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Solitude is fine, but you need someone to tell you that solitude is fine.
                      -Honoré de Balzac


Oftentimes INFJs start wondering whether their preference is really for introversion or extraversion.  Which tells me they are in touch with the main paradox of being INFJ.

An INFJ's top two functions are almost at odds with each other.  The DomNi process requires introversion, and a disconnection in order to go inside one's head and meditate to explore new perspectives.  But the Fe process is all about "connecting" with others.  Ni seems like the most extreme function for introverting, and Fe seems like the most extreme function for connecting.  So we sometimes experience an almost schizophrenic flip-flop between connecting and meditating (disconnecting).

I have previously used the metaphor of Ni being up in an "ivory tower," trying to get a glimpse of what's on the horizon.  And then, when extraverted Feeling activates, we have to run down the steps of that tower in order to get to ground level and connect with people there.  Calling down from the turret of the tower is like yelling downstairs -- people know you're distant and not effectively connecting with them.  Moreover, it may come out as incoherent jabberwocky, since it's nearly impossible to eloquently articulate all the complexity we see.

From their lives, and not least from their greatest fault--their inability to communicate--we may understand one of the greatest errors of our civilization, that is, the superstitious belief in verbal statements, the boundless overestimation of instruction by means of words and methods
-Psychological Types, CW 6, par. 665

This conflict between extraverting with people and introverting to meditate shows up in our type description (at the end; emphasis mine):

Foreseer Developer— Personal growth. Sustain the vision. Honoring the gifts of others. Taking a creative approach to life. Talent for foreseeing. Exploring issues. Bridge differences and connect people. Practical problem solving. Live with a sense of purpose. Living an idealistic life often presents them with a great deal of stress and a need to withdraw.

At minimum, I want to reassure other INFJs they aren't schizophrenic.  After all, I've had more than one person insist my prefs are for extraversion -- because my connection with them and others is so strong, how can I possibly be introverted?

Conversely, it's possible to withdraw so much and try to stay there so we don't have to run up and down those ivory tower stairs that we could end up being isolated without meaning to.  John Beebe says we risk the danger of "falling into the archetype."

I don't have any solutions to address this frequent need we have to withdraw, and I'd welcome any helpful suggestions INFJs can give me about being effective around this "split." 

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