Solitude is fine, but
you need someone to tell you that solitude is fine.
-Honoré de Balzac
INFJs start wondering whether their preference is really for introversion or
extraversion. Which tells me they are in touch with the main paradox of
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).
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.
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
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.
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
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."
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
* * *