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INFJ Potshots

Here are some ideas I've randomly collected along the way, and have yet to integrate into the rest of the site:

  • Otto Kroeger says that as a rule INFJs seem to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.  He suggests it may be from bearing the brunt of everyone else's feelings and stuffing down our own.

  • INFJs become upset when they aren't acknowledged for their contributions (a product of extraverted Feeling).  They really need to be acknowledged, and they often model this acknowledgement for others.  (If you've ever been acknowledged by extraverted Feeling, you know what it feels like.)

  • INFJs know what others want better than they know what they want for themselves.  They have to create ways of "connecting with themselves" in order to discover what it is they want, and take care not to sacrifice their best interests for the good of someone else.

From John Beebe: 

  • John Beebe states that Howard Gardner (of "Multiple Intelligences" fame) defines 7 types of "intelligence," which coincidentally map to all the cognitive processes save one:  introverted iNtuition.  So I guess we can't look to Gardner for any insights about insight.

More from Beebe: 

  • Jung singlehandedly rescued introverted iNtuition from being regarded as a sociopathy in Western culture.

  • "There's hardly any reason that one can see evidently in this culture why anyone should be an introverted intuitive.  I mean, absolutely nobody is putting out the welcome mat for that function.  And of course our culture suffers terribly from its lack of vision.  I mean terribly, absolutely terribly."

  • "Ni is marginalized." 
    "We marginalize and denigrate Ni all the time."
    "Ni is materially shabby, but never spiritually shabby."

  • "Introverted intuition is... for seeing archetypes."
    "Ni has a way of 'folding in' the other [processes/archetypes].'"
    "Ni is very close to the unconscious--they can fall into the unconscious.  It's a danger."
    "Ni opens up the Collective Conscious."
    "Ni has a sense of the inevitable, the sense of mystery"

  • Having an irrational axis [like INFJs do] -- "It's like living permanently in the land of the unexpected."

  • Dr. Beebe says that NJs often feel "frustrated."  As an antidote to that, NJs tend to pull out folders with vacation pictures in order to calm down.

I had the privilege of hearing Leona Haas (INFJ) speak at an APT meeting, and she got off several "potshots."

  • Leona observed that people with extraverted Feeling tend to remember people's birthdays and special events and make sure to honor them.  And then, when it's the person with Fe's birthday, nobody remembers them back.

  • She said that people with Fe sometimes have a hard time living by themselves, because there's nobody to "take care of."

  • Leona identified Hallmark, the company, as an extraverted Feeling company (compared to IBM, which is an extraverted Thinking company).

Some additional potshots:

  • INFJs are more introverted than they seem.  INFJs are more introverted than they seem.  INFJs are more introverted than they seem!  (So many people told me at a recent conference that I must be an extravert!  They don't see me recovering in bed for two days from all the excitement.)

  • INFJs tend to tell people how to be, compared to INFPs who tend to simply model how people ought to be.

  • Dr. Beebe says extraverted Feeling is concerned with the effect one has on others.  He says, "Cosmetics, conversation-piece clothes, and jewelry--though extraverted Sensing accoutrements--are often used to manipulate others to affect the feelings of others toward the person wearing them."  I interpret that to mean that many times NFJs will "dress to impress" -- meaning they will dress in attention-getting ways.  (Not meaning tacky or vulgar, but strikingly -- often attractive and well put-together.)

  • I have noticed that I have a habit of noticing certain "trends" as they begin to emerge -- particularly fashion trends.  I somehow know what's coming into style without being overtly conscious about it.  I also try to articulate when I notice something becoming en vogue -- such as when people start blogging.  Well, I was in conversation with Linda Berens today, and she told me that was Ni showing up.  She called it "trending."  Who knew?!

  • Here's how a male ISFJ describes his Fe, and I find it to be eerily accurate for me as well:  "My auxiliary extraverted feeling's limitations include a tendency to give a high priority to others' feelings while paying scant attention to my own.  This is not a workable strategy in the long term because my negative introverted feelings, which I know will usually not be welcomed by others, get shoved down into the shadow, growing resentful and powerful in the dark.   I try to learn to consult my shadowy, Senex Fi from time to time, so that my Fe can proceed with the recognition that my own feelings are part of the total environment.  If, however, I neglect my negative Fi for too long, it explodes in an orgy of ridiculing and belittling my too-solicitous auxiliary Fe.  This can temporarily overwhelm and disable Fe, and I then get into a lot of trouble by letting shadowy Fi run rampant."

  • Introverted Thinking is noticeable in the INFJ pattern even though a "T" doesn't show up in the code.  It's because introverted Thinking stands in the puer aeternus archetype position.  A lot of INFJ descriptions will note that INFJs are not as critical as they may seem.  This hypercritical side is the puer or puella aeternus expressing itself through the process of introverted Thinking.  It sounds crazy, but INFJs derive a lot of pleasure from criticizing.  (So I wonder what you relish criticizing...)

  • Building on the previous thought, Dr. Berens mentioned the other day that Ti can show up as "I can make it better."  She told about going up to somebody after their presentation with a list of suggestions for how they could improve.  It was not warmly received (big surprise).  Her anecdote caused me to swallow back some "suggestions" I had for coaching a friend of mine around his presentation.  :-O

  • INFJs often suffer from "foot in mouth" disease due to their introverted Thinking.  Coming from the tertiary position in the "eternal child" archetype, it tends to be inflated or deflated.  When it is inflated, it is erudite, appropriate, and even divine.  When it is deflated... ouch.  

    I went to lunch once with Dr. John Beebe, who offered to pay his share at the end.  I meant to say, "over my dead body," but I said "drop dead" instead.  Oops.

    I wanted to help out a teleclass leader one time, so I posted an ad for her class to a coaching board.  I went out of my way to get the right dates and times and all the info correct about the class.  Then I bumbled her name.  Somehow "Ricki Rush" became "Ricki Lake" (the actress).  Oops.

    I gave a presentation to high school students on Temperament, and I used the movie "The Matrix" as my theme.  One of the kids really got into the "Matrix" notion, and pretended to be one of the characters.  I took the wind out of his sails when I accidentally called him "Nemo" (from "Finding Nemo," the Disney kids' movie with animated fish) instead of "Neo," the name of the Keanu Reeves character he was pretending to emulate.  Oops.

    Around the time of 9/11, my husband was in New Jersey, and email was our primary form of contact.  Using email I reached out to him, and also attempted to reach out to others who might be longing for connection.  Well, I didn't use the BCC feature for some reason, and one of my correspondents copied all my email recipients and began sending them tasteless material.  Somehow I was provoked into sending out an email asking people not to "hijack" my email list.  It was a very unfortunate use of the term under the circumstances, and I was called to account by one of my recipients.  Oops.

    On a professional email list, I confused the heroic Mexican-American labor activist Cesar Chavez with the Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.  Oops.

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