15 Weird Questions All ENFPs Will Probably Ask You At Some Point

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1. “But like, who are you?”

Every bitty aspect is important and I want to know just what it is that makes you unique. Yes, it matters if you prefer dark or milk chocolate because last week I read a study on how chocolate preference affects relationships and I need to know what kind of friend you’re going to be. I’m equally obsessed with how different you are from me, and finding things in common with you.

2. “Why are you getting so frustrated?”

It’s just a wine stain. It’ll come out with some baking soda. I did not mean to disrespect you by spilling wine on the blazer you let me borrow. In fact, I think you’re fantastic and probably cried for three hours before admitting my snafu to you. I just got excited and started talking with my hands and I forgot for a split second that I was holding a freshly poured glass of wine.

3. “Can you just chill out downstairs for thirty minutes while I clean the stove?”

I know you want me to sit down and enjoy a bottle of wine and some Cheez-Its while we gab about the movies we’ve seen since parting ways the last time. And I will. I just need to do some chores, and they happen to get done a lot faster if someone is sitting there with me, even if you’re not helping, and even if you’re in the other room playing Freefall.

4. “Can you stay with me while my roommate’s out of town?”

It doesn’t matter if I only get to see you for ten minutes because our work schedules are the complete opposite. It doesn’t even matter that I get to physically see you at all, just so long as I can tell the place is being lived in by someone other than me. I know it’s weird, just go with it, okay?

5. “Is there anyone at this party capable of intellectual conversation?”

I can only stand one more chat about what breed your cat is and how that bruschetta is oh so amazing. I want to talk about your views on minimum wage and if you think there’s life after death. I know we just met while dancing our hearts out to Beyoncé, but let’s get a fresh beer, sit down, and really talk.

6. “Can you please withhold any and all judgment while I process my entire day out loud?”

I know I’m being outlandish and spewing ridiculous notions complete with wildly exaggerated body language, but I promise I don’t need your advice or words of encouragement, at least night right now. If you’re not going to play along and, in the words of a dear friend, follow the rules of improv, just listen. Or read. Or mix a drink. Really, I don’t care. I’m simply making sense of all the stupidity that happened at the office today. If it’s any consolation, we can definitely talk about you for the rest of the night.

7. “I know we just started playing Monopoly, but can we please play Yahtzee instead?”

I fully admit I have the attention span of a fruit fly larva. It’s not that Monopoly isn’t fun, I just thought of a new strategy pertaining to Yahtzee and I’m dying to try it out and no, it can’t wait. Humor me pretty please and then I promise you can pick out the movie we watch tonight and which pint of ice cream you want. I’ll settle for the Chunky Monkey if I can have just a bite of your Half- baked.

8. “Do you think it’s possible to be so captivated by someone that you’re trapped in unrequited love with them for eternity?”

Believe me, I’m not dense. I know it’s not possible (well, at least if I hope to keep any amount of independence and dignity). But I need the reassurance sometimes because it always feels much more validated and final if two people agree on how absurd it is. I’m also inviting you to tell me what exactly I need to do to get over this chick who most definitely does not like me back, even though I will probably disregard every piece of advice you give me for fear of conforming to the societal standards associated with relationships.

9. “What kind of idiot doesn’t support marriage equality?”

I know we’re in the middle of a crowded restaurant in W.A.S.P ville and I probably just offended close to fifty percent of the people in the room, but am I right? I’m sorry I embarrassed you yet again by putting my foot in my mouth. It’s just such a touchy subject and I have So. Many. Feelings.

10. “I’m serious, do I truly look okay?”

Translation: I want you tell me just how great my ass looks in these jeans and not a thing more. Save your criticisms for when I’m in the frame of mind for receiving them (like when I’m trying on wedding dresses and the tulle makes me look like I’m wearing the gown of an electrified bride).The two of us getting ready to go out with other people who will also be trying to look their best is so not the time.

11. “Can I just not talk to her again and pray we never run into each other at that coffee shop we both like?”

I know, I need to just call and tell her that I’m mad our weekend plans that fell through because of her boyfriend drama AGAIN, but it’s just so much easier to ignore it and write her off until she realizes just how terrible she’s been acting. And again, no, I don’t want your advice on the matter. I won’t follow it anyways. Besides, I’m incapable of being mad for long periods of time; this too shall pass.

12. “Do you think I can still graduate on time if I change my major again?”

Alright advisor lady, I know you and I just met because I transferred into the college of arts and sciences at the beginning of this semester, but I need you to walk me through the process of becoming an engineering major now. And, on a scale of one to ten, one being Nickleback’s “career”, how useless are my music-major credits to the engineering department?

13. “Have I eaten/slept enough/showered today?”

It’s a valid concern. I lost track of the days while hammering out a new story that popped into my mind at 3am after a particularly wild night out with some friends I picked up at our first bar-hop stop. Of course, the answer is probably a very judgmental ‘no’ since I have to ask in the first place. You’re right, I’m disgusting and irritable. I’ll pop some pizza rolls in the microwave while I shower.

14. “Can I come over and read on your couch?”

It’s totally okay that you’re writing a paper and cannot talk. In fact, I really just wanted to spend my alone time on your couch… you know, with people. I’ll actually prefer it we don’t acknowledge each other’s presence until I’m at least halfway Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication. I have some serious feminism to catch up on.

15. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

Yes, you’re smiling, and yes, we’re about to go have a fabulous dinner with all of our fabulous friends, but I haven’t checked in on you in three whole days, and so much could have happened. And if you’re not okay, don’t think I won’t notice. I have uncanny spidey emotional detectors. I’ll tune into your feelings eventually, even if you don’t want me to. Sorry, that’s just how good of a friend I am.

Stereotyping Intro- And Extroversion Is Not Helping Us Self-Identify Better

People seem to have fairly set ideas about what it means to be an introvert or an extrovert.

Some people readily identify with these categories, others can’t quite put themselves into one group or another. Either way, people are drawn to this process of categorization. I think that this is because of two things: 1) people need a sense of identity, and 2) categories like introversion/extroversion are easily understood and provide a framework we can relate to (even if we relate by rejecting either category).

In general, I resist any pull towards categorization or diagnosis: people are individuals and should be treated as such. But I do recognize that it can be quite powerful to identify with a particular group and that it’s useful for people that learn more about themselves if they can identify with others who are similar.

Today then, I’d like to talk about introversion and extroversion and argue that those categories aren’t as black and white as you might imagine.  The aim is to help those that don’t identify with either category understand introversion/extroversion a bit better and potentially to find solace in knowing they can belong in one of those groups.

One of the issues here is that introversion and extroversion are such ubiquitous descriptors that they conjure an almost instant idea of what they mean. In other words, a stereotype. And I mean ‘stereotype’ without negative connotation – stereotypes are a normal part of ordering the world. The problem is when a stereotype is used to make a conclusion about any specific individual. With that in mind, let’s talk about what being an introvert or extrovert actually means, rather than the general impression the words conjure.

So when you hear “introvert” there’s a schema that’s brought to mind. I think for a lot of people, this impression is that they’re home-bodies, uncomfortable socializing and generally prefer doing things by themselves. One image that comes to mind is a 20-something sitting at home, watching their favourite show on Netflix and really glad they turned down that invite to the club. And there’s probably a cat nearby. But maybe that’s just my fantasy talking now.

Anyway… There’s an equivalent image for an extrovert in my mind – someone going out with friends, chatting, drinking, dancing, laughing. They don’t like sitting alone at home and would generally like nothing more than to be sharing things with friends. This stereotype is someone outgoing, confident in groups and generally likes interacting with others.

I have no doubt that there are people reading those descriptions, saying to themselves ‘that sounds just like me.’ But as is the case with stereotypes, it’ll be more common that people will feel like a combination of the two. Perhaps you feel uncomfortable in social situations, but love chatting with close friends, or, you’re someone who sits at home watching TV most of the time, but is very outgoing or socially confident.

So what I’d like to do is add something to how introverts and extroverts are described which will make it possible to make these more complex and (if we attend to the stereotypes) opposing behaviours, consistent.

My premise is this: common understanding of introversion/extroversion refers to how people have come to stereotype certain people; they don’t refer to the causes of that behaviour. The closest example of a specific definition of introversion/extroversion that does this is that found in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. In this system, introversion/extroversion isn’t about what you do, it’s about why you do it. They ask the question: “where do you get your energy?” To expand on this: do you like to spend time in the world of people and things (Extraversion), or in the world of your own ideas and images (Introversion)?

So now let’s imagine the image of an introvert I presented above, sitting at home, not wanting to go party, happy watching 10 hours on Netflix. A lot of people that identify with this, might object strongly to being labelled an introvert, especially if they feel confident in social situations and like catching up with close friends. My simple assertion is that their objection could be quite valid as, to align with Myer-Briggs, it comes down to the reason they are sitting at home watching TV or reading books for hours.   

When you’re sitting watching a show that you love, you are transported away from your own life and into the world of the characters being presented. You feel fear and love and sadness and joy and you connect with the people in the story. When you sit alone and watch/read, you feel engaged and alive and connected. In other words, you’re getting your energy from a source that’s not part of your inner world. 

To me, it seems that our brains haven’t yet caught up with technology to the point where they can really differentiate between the emotional connection we get from fiction and that we get from other people. The main difference, of course, is that the fiction can’t feel anything back. What fiction does provides us with, is a very safe psychological space in which to experience an outward connection to others. This is what extroversion is essentially about – a felt connection to others: it’s not necessary for that connection to be felt in return.

While you might be alone, watching TV can be a very engaging and connecting experience. Especially for those extroverts that don’t find social situations very comfortable. Understanding that extroverted doesn’t mean outgoing might provide a fresh perspective for those people who love connecting with others one-on-one or with just a few people in a few circumstances (but prefer the company of fictional characters the rest of the time).

Conversely, I can imagine that there might be people who identify as introverts that spend most of their time in groups, even entertaining. Many people would see them as extroverted because of their social confidence and tendency to see seen ‘out-and-about’. However, if they are interacting with others to (for example) analyse behaviour, then this is actually quite an inner, individual experience. My point, again, is that it’s not the activity that makes you introverted or extroverted, it’s why you’re engaging in that activity and what it provides you with.

As humans, we have a need to feel like we belong to a community. Even the most fervent introvert can recognize that to have another understand them would feel rewarding. To this end, I hope I have allowed those that have worried because they haven’t been able to place themselves on an introversion/introversion scale, to find a place. For those that don’t fit. That’s fine too: maybe this can just serve to show that it’s not what you do that defines you, it’s why you do it.

10 Confessions On Life And Love From An INFJ

“I am indeed a practical dreamer. … I want to convert my dreams into realities as far as possible.” – Mahatma Gandhi
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image – demandaj

INFJ – Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging. As one of the rarest personality types we make up less than 1{67b9dc46c2005a2d6d0dc9e883ab6bdb9c47365a25e8ad24adf59fc11de2db4a} of the population and we’re a complex, strange, creative, highly intuitive group of people. I’ve written a couple of times about INFJs here on TC and while I certainly don’t speak for all INFJs I thought I would share my experiences and thoughts on love and life to better help others (INFJs or other types) make sense of this thing called life. If you aren’t sure which personality type you are you can take the Myers-Briggs assessment here.

1. On being a generally strange person

INFJs are known for their strangeness and complexity. What makes a person “strange” and what makes someone else “normal”? I’m not really sure and honestly, who cares about labels at this age? I guess what it comes down to is this feeling that I’ve always felt different compared to others. It is so rare to find anyone that really “gets” me. I can count on one hand the people I have met or people I’m friends with that I think really understand me and what I’m about. My entire life I’ve felt sort of out of place with this world and with others and I think it’s one of those things you can’t understand unless you’ve had similar feelings.

2. On having so many feelings

INFJs are known for being sensitive, empathetic, emotional people. Basically, we have A LOT of feelings. I cried a couple nights ago when I was talking to Chrissyabout how appreciative I am to know her and my other co-workers. Not like bawling crying or anything, just a few tears of happiness, but still…that’s just the way I am. I’d like to think my default state is happy but sometimes I can get overwhelmed with strong emotions. I guess what it comes down to is I just have so much love in my heart for everyone. When I sit and think about all the truly lovely people in my life I can get a little choked up.

3. On self-sacrificing in relationships

INFJs are known to be self-sacrificing in most of our relationships in life – both romantic and platonic. We’re idealistic. We like to believe in the best in people. We like to hold out for people even if everything in our being says not to. I stayed in a 5 year relationship when at least 2 of those years were not working simply because of this idea I could make it work if only I could do something different to make it better. If I just tried a little bit harder. If I just said this or did this maybe we could be the happy couple we were in the beginning. Eventually I realized I had been fooling myself for far too long. I’ve held similar ideas in other relationships but luckily now I’m able to catch myself much faster and in the past few years I’ve really tried to limit this aspect of my personality.

4. On forgetting self-care

In addition to being self-sacrificing in relationships INFJs can often forget to take care of themselves. We’re so busy trying to do everything for everyone else that we can completely forget about ourselves until we realize we’re empty and exhausted. Then what happens is we usually need to block out as much extra stimuli as possible to recharge. We just need to chill for a few days or a week or whatever. In my experience this can be difficult for people who are so used to me being around that when I sort of disappear and become a hermit they don’t get it. It’s not you, it’s me. It’s really alllllll me. Just me. That’s what I want right now. I’ll get back to you when I’m ready to be out in the world again. This is how I repair my inner-self.

5. On being self-absorbed

So while we’re are known to be self-sacrificing I think INFJs absolutely have the capability of being self-absorbed at times too. Trust me, I’m not trying to paint INFJs as these darling angels who will do anything for anyone. I don’t think we’re like that – at least not for just anyone. INFJs have high expectations for themselves and don’t believe in compromising their ideals. So what does this lead to? A lot of stubbornness, honestly, and a great deal of time thinking about ourselves and what we want.

6. On getting “that feeling”

You know what I’m talking about. That internal gut instinct when you just know something – either good or bad – has happened or is about to happen. You can feel it in your bones. This, obviously, is not something that only INFJs experience but I think something about us makes us more in tune with this level of intuition. We can pinpoint feelings without ever really knowing the “why.” At this point in my life I’ve tried to really hone in on my gut instinct and it’s rarely ever wrong.

7. On the conflict between the inner-world and outer-world

INFJs are great daydreamers. We have an ability to create rich inner lives to retreat to when the outer-world becomes a bit too much at times. Having the ability to hone in on my thoughts and dreams has been able to take me through some very difficult times in my life. I’ve never been the sort of person who’s uncomfortable with being alone or being lonely. I think the problem that comes with having a strong inner-life is that at times, even if you can clearly envision a happy and perfect future, you’re struck with the harsh realities of life. INFJs are intensely idealistic and this is one of those times when it can become an issue.

8. On casual relationships vs. committed relationships

INFJs are completely capable of having short term romances but is that what we prefer? Not really. INFJs are after meaningful, long-term connections in all relationships in life. For myself I’ve done the casual thing with dating and while it can be fun and fulfilling in the moment, it’s ultimately just not my style. I lose interest relatively fast and get bored when I realize there’s no long term potential or if our connection feels like it won’t ever scratch below the surface.

9. On being creative

INFJs are naturally artistic, creative people and we live in a world full of hidden meanings with a multitude of possibilities. If I didn’t have a creative outlet I’m not sure how I would be able to deal with life. That’s not meant to be dramatic. It’s more of this idea that creating is just as essential as other elements in life needed to survive. It’s my way of coping with both the good, the bad, the strange, and the powerful moments that happen. Art and creation has been such a huge part of my life since I was very young I can’t imagine a life without it.

10. On wanting to help as many people as possible

I don’t think it’s a huge surprise people like Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Oprah, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mother Theresa make the list of notable INFJs. They all share many similar traits and their mission in life speaks to the heart of this personality type. Feeling an innate drive to help others and to do as much for other people has long been with me. I could only hope to one day be as inspiring or impactful as any of the names I listed. This quote from Woodrow Wilson I think greatly explains the mission behind INFJs. “You are not here merely to prepare to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.”

15 Songs That Capture The Spirit Of Being An ENFP

ENFPs are the zany, restless dreamers of the Myers-Briggs world. Making up a whopping 8{67b9dc46c2005a2d6d0dc9e883ab6bdb9c47365a25e8ad24adf59fc11de2db4a} of the population, this type harnesses their energy from pursuing new ideas and inspiring those around them. Here are a few songs that perfectly capture the essence of what it means to be an ENFP:

ENFP having an Identity Crisis | Grace Kelly – Mika

ENFPs see possibilities everywhere, even within their own personalities. Like Mika, every ENFP knows the feeling of envisioning various versions of their best self and going a wee bit “Identity mad.”

ENFP asserting their independence | Billy Joel – My Life

ENFPs are fiercely individualistic. This type knows what they want out of their own lives and they aren’t interested in arguing with anyone who disagrees.

ENFP resisting growing up | Anna Sun – Walk the Moon

Let’s see – three minutes spent dancing around a dilapidated building asserting that a good heart makes up for a lack of shelter/money, and then a paint war amongst a group of adults who are having vivid flashbacks of their childhood – sounds like a classic case of the ENFP Peter Pan syndrome to me.

ENFP encouraging a friend | Nico Vega
 – I Believe (Get Over Yourself)

ENFPs are the most optimistic of any type – they fiercely believe in the possibility of better things for both themselves and the people they love. They live to inspire others through their unwavering confidence that the best is always yet to come.

ENFP looking to turn things around for themselves | The Bleachers – I Wanna Get Better

Self-improvement is the backbone of any ENFP. Though their proneness to distraction may occasionally lead them down the wrong path, they are always keen to get back on the right one – and they will fight their way there through any means necessary.

ENFP taking a chance on love | Air Traffic Controller – You Know Me

“This could be a rollercoaster/But we’re going to make the most of it” might as well be the entire ENFP motto.

ENFP getting lost in analysis | Lost In My Mind – The Head And The Heart

Though their primary focus is external, every ENFP experiences a vivid inner world that occasionally sucks them in. This type is prone to over-analysis, which can sometimes cause them to feel disconnected from the world around them.

ENFP seeking stimulation | Third Eye Blind – Semi-Charmed Life

ENFPs always want more out of life – more stimulation, more excitement, more meaning. No matter how great things get, they are always going to be on the search for a little something else.

ENFP working on their latest project | Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now

An ENFP working on a new project is the definition of “Inspired.” This intensely determined type will stop at nothing to achieve what they want – and the high they get from pursuing their goals is unmatchable.

Two ENFPs getting together | Walk the Moon – 
Shut Up and Dance With Me

Every time two ENFPs meet, the Universe explodes a little. Although this high-energy type needs a more grounded personality to balance them out long-term, the chemistry between ENFPs when they first meet is undeniable – and a little bit out of this world.

ENFP in love | 
Hall & Oates – You Make My Dreams Come True

ENFPs spend a lot of time day–dreaming and when they fall in love it feels like all of those daydreams are coming true. Like Tom from 500 days of Summer, an ENFP in love may as well have a marching band following them around everywhere they go.

ENFP bouncing back from a failure | Chumbawamba – Tubthumping

ENFPs are nothing if not resilient. After a brief period of sulking, this type bounces back from failure with confidence, enthusiasm and the eternal willingness to try again.

ENFP planning for the future | Ellie Goulding – Anything Could Happen

ENFPs are compulsive planners but at the end of the day they prefer keeping their options as open as possible. A perfect future for the ENFP is one where absolutely anything could happen.

ENFP reflecting on their life | One Republic – I Lived

Every ENFP’s dying wish is to know that they squeezed every last bit of life that they could from their years. They want to know that they have seen, done and felt it all.

And, of course, the ENFP Anthem | Queen – We Are The Champions

We are, after all, known as the Champions in the Myers-Briggs world.

Here Is What Happens When Each Myers-Briggs Personality Type Makes A New Year’s Resolution

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avgbro

ENFP

“I resolve to make less than thirty new years resolutions this year, and keep at least two of them.”

Outcome: Stays up for fourteen straight days in an attempt to complete first resolution and subsequently ends up creating fifteen more.

ISTJ

“I resolve to be less regimented and spend more time relaxing.”

Outcome: Schedules relaxation between 3:15 and 3:42pm each afternoon, during which time they create detailed lists of how they will relax on following days.

ESFP

“I resolve to party less… On weeknights… Before 5pm.”

Outcome: Drunkenly announces their resolution to five hundred of their closest friend on Thursday January 1st, at the bar, at 4pm.

ENTJ

“I resolve to screw over marginally less of my colleagues as I fearlessly charge towards success.”

Outcome: Keeps a detailed chart of co-workers they are not preying on. Eventually hires a colleague to manage this chart as a distraction while the ENTJ rises above them professionally.

INFP

I resolve to stop falling in love with the idea of people and being disappointed when their reality does not match up.

Outcome: Explains this resolution in a heartfelt letter to their love interest, who they just know will understand.

ISFJ

“I resolve to spend more time focusing on what I want instead of catering to the needs of others.”

Outcome: Mercilessly commits to this resolution until a loved one implies that it is inconveniencing them.

ENTP

“I resolve to only turn only every second conversation into a heated dispute.”

Outcome: Finds an unsuspecting ESFJ to debate the practicality of this resolution with.

ESFJ

“I resolve to gossip less and accept others’ choices without judgment.”

Outcome: Phones their closest friend to ask what their resolution is and then phones fourteen of their other closest friends to discuss their first friend’s resolution in totally non-judgmental detail.

ESTP

“I resolve to think through the consequences of my actions before I make them.”

Outcome: Adheres to their resolution for the first two – four days before being presented with a better plan and impulsively getting on board with that one instead.

INTJ

“I resolve to listen to the opinions of my less intelligent underlings.”

Outcome: Derives motivation from the opinions of commoners to fuel a series of research projects that prove everyone’s opinions to be indisputably wrong.

ISFP

“I resolve to give myself more credit for my talents and advocate for my own abilities.”

Outcome: Sits down to review their strengths, decides on twelve new ways in which their art form is imperfect and gets back to working on perfecting it.

ESTJ

“I resolve to find subtler ways of letting everyone know that my way is always best.”

Outcome: Loudly announces to colleagues that they all ought to make the same New Years resolution.

ISTP

“I resolve to get serious about one of my side interests and turn it into a profitable enterprise.”

Outcome: Develops a keen side interest in entrepreneurship, which they thoroughly analyze and develop ideas about.

ENFJ

“I resolve to avoid meddling in the lives of my loved ones, even if they are making a mistake.”

Outcome: Allows their friends to fail at their new years resolutions, then sits each of them down to talk about what went wrong and how they can fix it.

INTP

“I resolve to find practical implications for my work since the physical world does, unfortunately, exist.”

Outcome: Derives a theoretical implication for the practicality of their latest project and considers their resolution a success.

INFJ

“I resolve to be less of a perfectionist and share more of myself with others.”

Outcome: Refuses to disclose resolution to others, for fear that they will have to admit failure if they do not achieve it.

Why Humans Should Think Like Pigeons: A Psychological Experiment

Shutterstock / Furtseff
Shutterstock / Furtseff

Someone recently pointed out to me an experiment that was done with pigeons and humans. I won’t go into the details here. But the experiment involved playing a game. If you are a pigeon, you are rewarded with birdseed if you win the game. If you are a human, you are rewarded with points. In playing the game, you are offered a choice of two strategies. One of the strategies is “right”; the other is “wrong.” But it is not immediately obvious which is which, because the right strategy does not always work. It is right because it works more often then the wrong strategy (specifically, twice as often).

Pigeons eventually learn the right strategy. They do this by trial and error and by observing that one strategy works more often than the other. Humans, however, do not learn. Rather than simply observe what works and doesn’t work, they try to figure it out. Once they believe they have figured it out, they stop experimenting. Since the winning strategy, for some, is counter-intuitive, humans, more often than not, get stuck following the wrong strategy.

It seems to be a very human trait to reach a conclusion then to cling to that conclusion, making no attempt to verify it with actual data (or even ignoring actual data if it is brought to your attention). This is especially true in the political arena. I’m sure we could all point to instances where our political opponents are guilty of this practice. (We could, if we tried, point to instance where we are guilty of this practice as well. But it is much easier to notice in our opponents.)

This is such a human trait, that it caused me to wonder if, at some time in the past, it might have provided an evolutionary advantage. After pondering this awhile, I have decided that it probably did. Often groups are united by belief in something that simply isn’t true. If membership in that group confers some advantage despite its misconception (as it well might in a hostile environment), then the ability to ignore facts and cling to that uniting belief may do more good than harm. I suspect such an ability was critical at an early point in human history.

One hopes, however, that we will someday outgrow this tendency. Membership in a small, self-serving group is no longer the good thing it might have been in the distant past. Perhaps, someday, we will learn to think like pigeons.

10 Things INFPs Want From The Person They’re Dating

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Shutterstock

1. Meaning

INFPs are meaning-driven people. Everything in their life has a purpose or is helping them find a purpose — dating is no different. We want our partners to be deep people who will give us a sense of satisfaction in life. We want to feel like together, we are living a meaningful life.

Be careful about dating an INFP if you are a person who loves doing things for show, competing with people, or getting/doing the “best” things for the sake of it. We’re best for people who love to look at the big picture and try to find a way to do something that feels meaningful every day.

2. Space

INFPs are introverts — this means they recharge their batteries by having quality time alone with themselves. It doesn’t mean they’re sick of you or that they don’t love hanging out with you and doing thing together, it’s just like how every human needs to sleep at night, INFPs need to take space every so often to keep functioning.

3. To be able to be our overly emotional selves

INFPs are emotional people. It’s who we are.

We are sensitive and moody and we do the best we can to be reasonable about it, but we’re never going to be chill and breezy 100{67b9dc46c2005a2d6d0dc9e883ab6bdb9c47365a25e8ad24adf59fc11de2db4a} of the time. All we want is assurance that this is okay, that we can be ourselves with you and you accept that we are deeply emotional people.

4. Someone who doesn’t think romance is cheesy

There’s a scene in Sex and the City where Carrie Bradshaw’s boyfriend of the moment plays piano and reads poetry to her and she and all her friends cringe at how corny it is. Except, actual people love playing piano and reading poetry out loud to their love. There is honestly nothing better than this. Sometimes I light 20 candles and lie in the bath and read — it’s just who I am. And I want someone who doesn’t think this is a cheesy Hollywood attempt at romance. They embrace it too.

5. Handling conflict with kid gloves

INFPs want nothing more than to be happy and make their partners happy. We want harmony. We want everyone to win. This makes the unavoidable conflict of being in a relationship difficult because it hurts us not only to be hurt but also to see our partners hurt (and know that we are the culprits).

Yes, in relationships we should have fights, but we should use them to grow and improve. We need partners who will remain calm and not say things in anger that will be difficult for us to forget after the fight is over. Work towards resolving the conflict, not lashing out in anger or hurting the other person because it feels better momentarily.

6. Physical touch

INFPs love touching and being touched. Holding hands when walking down the street, giving long back rubs at the end of a long week, cuddling on the couch while watching a movie — we love all of it. We need a partner who enjoys giving and receiving touch as well.

7. Being our better half in social settings

INFPs are not naturally social butterflies. We prefer quiet, meaningful get-togethers to big, loud parties. That doesn’t mean the latter can’t be fun once in awhile, we just need to warm up to them first. A perfect partner for an INFP can facilitated this by balancing our social skills with theirs. Introduce us to people and get the conversation going — we’ll take it from there!

8. Curiosity

Like Christopher Robin, INFPs are people who never grow out of childlike wonder. We love learning and thinking about the world around us. We love people who indulge in this, who want to fall asleep talking about what we think the stars are supposed to be for or why it feels good to scratch an itch. Other people might think this is pointless or even time-wasting, but it’s fun, interesting, and even relaxing. It’s what humans have done since the beginning of time — asking questions that have no knowable answers.

9. To be comfortable

And I don’t just mean emotionally. INFPs love to be cozy. You can always identify one because they have the most comfortable beds of anyone you know. They need a place that’s comfortable to stay up reading all night, or cuddling with their SO. INFPs also tend to be able to cook or bake very well, we like to satisfy all our human urges in the best way possible. You can participate in this by allowing us to spend a few minutes making the living room “ready” for a casual night in — candles, extra pillows, fancy drinks and snacks. Indulge us — you’ll get to reap the benefits.

10. To love and be loved

The closest to reality I’ve ever gotten to the meaning of question is the Ray Carver poem Late Fragment, “And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so? I did. And what did you want? To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth.” INFPs love love. They love being loved and they love making others feel loved. We don’t have time for people who can’t access their emotions or who are afraid to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is all there is.

10 Great Things About Being INTJ

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Of the 16 personalities on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, INTJ (Introversion, iNtuition, Thinking, Judging) is one of the rarest. With 1 to 2 percent of the population falling into this pathology, it’s no surprise that INTJs may sometimes feel like an alien on Earth. With a reserved demeanor that favors pragmatism over emotion, the type is often used as the framework for villains in stories.

From the outside, INTJs can seem cold and distant. Internally, they can often find themselves struggling with their identity more than other types. In case you are in that situation, or just need a reminder, here’s some of the best parts about being a rarity on this planet.

1. Always Looking to Improve

Sure ‘The Mastermind’ may be the given title to INTJs, but ‘Tinkerer’ could work just as well—if ‘tinker’ didn’t have such a wonky sound to it. INTJs are constantly on the look out for ways to improve the world around them. This may annoy those that don’t understand the inner workings of an INTJ. Often they are almost always going to be their own worst critic. They often look for fix-up projects for themselves, or the people in their lives. It sometimes may seem meddling, but most are reserved enough to only help when asked. Once they do commit to a project, they are in it until the end. Anyone with an annoying but lovable parent might be able to understand.

2. Comfortable With a Quiet Night

Like other introverts, INTJs are perfectly content with a night on the couch. By themselves or with their comfortable circle, INTJs love a low-key night. It’s not saying that they don’t like to go out at all (some don’t). It’s that they spend energy when they’re out in highly stimulating situations, where most of the world (extroverts) feed off that stimulating energy.

For many INTJs it runs a bit deeper. Their sanity can sometimes be linked to their need for privacy and quiet. Many pursue solitary activities like reading and writing to regain their energy. This can explain why many of them appear extremely irked when someone disrupts their private time. If they fail to communicate this to the people around them, the INTJ can come off exceptionally cold and distant. It’s something they should look out for at times.

3. Mental Quickness

The whole ‘Mastermind’ stuff might have tipped you off to this, but mental quickness goes deeper than that. INTJs are a witty, innovative bunch that has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Consider them pack rats of wisdom, if you will. Once they have the knowledge, they use it to analyze and reach new insights of their own. Sometimes, they use it to better understand themselves, which falls back onto their desire for self-improvement.

In professional settings, they are often in math, science and computer fields that require an extensive amount of knowledge. One thing any INTJ must be aware of is that this high level of knowledge can be a dangerous combination when mixed with their unusually high levels of self-confidence. Too much of that can turn most people off, which may be why they are often reserved and to themselves. Notable INTJs include Karl Marx, Ayn Rand and Stephen Hawking.

4. Rebellious Free Thinkers

Did you ever have that silent, brooding kid in your high school? A loner, a rebel, but not the Pee Wee’s Big Adventure kind? If so, that misunderstood rebel very well could have been an INTJ. You see, it’s not that they want to rebel. Instead, they just don’t conform to many social norms the rest of the world accepts. The younger generations are shifting this way now, but INTJs have questioned authority as long as their nature has dictated. Just because someone holds a title of authority or seniority does not mean a thing to an INTJ. Respect is earned by everyone.

Their propensity for big picture thinking can further isolate them, as they tend to think less about the world around them. Mixed with their high levels of research, it’s no surprise that many INTJs believe that they can make positive changes in the world. See, they’re not evil masterminds like the movies make them out to be!

5. Extremely Loyal

One of the more frustrating aspects of an INTJ can be their extreme loyalty mixed with their high standards for honesty and morality. Loyalty and steadiness are highly desirable to them, but it can take some time to develop. Their reserved nature isn’t just some form of social aversion. Instead, they are gauging what could come of their potential relationships. To some, this approach can be maddening. For INTJs, it’s a highly effective way of going about life.

Once you have earned the loyalty of an INTJ, you have made a lifelong friend that often doesn’t let new people in. But, if you breach that trust it can be near impossible to gain back. Their trust can be lost by the slightest social norm that is otherwise accepted in society. For INTJs, the acceptance of white lies and other commonly accepted actions is not so easy for them—if at all. That can make their hardline loyalty the kind of bond you’ll never have to worry about losing. If you think you can sneak something past an INTJ, you may want to reconsider before losing a potential friend over something small. Then again, try to ease up every once in a while, INTJs. The world doesn’t see it your way all the time, or ever.

6. Open-Minded

Most INTJs are hard to sway once they have made up their minds, but that isn’t the case when they are forming their opinions. INTJsare actually one of the more open minded kinds of people. While there are certain ones that may not embody that mentality (Looking at you, Putin…) INTJs are often part of the most progressive group in the conversation.

This can be puzzling when factoring in their judgement (J) tendency. How does the tolerance work with all that judgement? One key point to remember is that like all the pathologies, each person is on a scale. Each person will be different. Or, if you asked anINTJ they’ll probably have an elaborate way to describe how it works for them.

7. The Rational Approach

What may drive others crazy is one of an INTJs strongest characteristics. They take pride in possessing a strong, pragmatic approach to life, but it comes with a down side. While most of the world jumps for what they want, an INTJ takes their time—deciding if it fits their fickle standards. This can make relationships a massive issue for them. Then again, that rationale allows for them to also separate emotion from situations. It can rub people the wrong way because an INTJ may not be matching the emotion of those around them, but that’s just how they are.

A rational approach can be a problem for the INTJ as well because they seek precise answers, which is not the way a large amount of people operate. However, once they get those precise answers it allows them to go into their heads and optimize the heck out of the situation.

8. Keen Observers

As previously stated, trying to get something past an INTJ is a dangerous game, my friend. Whether it’s big or small, an INTJ could react rather harshly if you get caught. The reason for that is their observation that rivals an owl. The ability comes from their introverted intuition being a dominant factor in their personalities. This fosters their mental quickness because of the constant flow of knowledge they take in.

When not using this to be amateur sleuths, an INTJ can use their observations to optimize a situation. They can remove themselves from the action to see what is going on, or hone in on a person during a conversation—especially if the INTJ is lacking anything to say on their end. Just be sure to break your gaze every once in a while, INTJs. You don’t want to have anyone think you’re a creep or anything.

9. Hardworking, Determined to Achieve Their Goals

A lazy INTJ is something you will rarely come across. They are workhorses, but only when they want to. Good luck getting them to quit once they have found a subject they are in to. They will stick at it until they know it inside and out. Long hours of practice and studying excite an INTJ because they know they are that much closer to perfecting their task. Between their work ethic and mental prowess, it is no surprise that they often excel in tasking situations. Where others often become exhausted, INTJs remain charged behind their new found knowledge. If you can’t find your INTJ loved ones, check where the books and computers are first.

10. Natural Leadership Abilities

When so much of their personality steers towards wise, fair leadership their reluctance to be the focal point puts their true ability to change the world into doubt. Their pragmatism and foresight allows them to make rational strategies that often come to fruition. Yet, frequently they will remain quiet unless they deem no one else fit for the leadership role.

Once in the role of leaders they can be highly effective. However, their nature to disregard emotions over the greater good of the cause can rub people the wrong way. A great INTJ leader should consider branching out of their comfort zone to factor emotions in while remaining their typical pragmatic self.

This Is Why It’s So Hard For An INFJ (Or INFP) Writer To Show Anyone Else Our Work

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God & Man

As an INFJ, I live in two worlds. There is the world outside of my body, made up of people and buildings and trees and things, and then there is the real world: the world inside my soul.

When I tell people this, I know that they think they understand what I’m talking about. I’m a dreamer and an idealist. I’m that girl, who always has her head in the clouds. They would be right. I am those things. But when I say that, for me, the real world exists inside my soul, it goes way beyond that.

Because, as an INFJ, I am ALWAYS in the middle of piecing together a theory. It doesn’t matter if you met me when I was five years old, or now when I’m almost 40. There has never been a time in my life when I have not been obsessively immersed in putting together a big, grand, epic, this-will-solve-everything theory inside my own soul.

At this moment in my life, for instance, my theory involves the stock market, yogis in India, the medical profession, and magicians. Reading over that list I can see how it looks like I picked the four most random things I could and threw them all together, but to me, there ARE connections. Glowing, sparkling, electric connections. And I will most probably devote the next two or three years of my life to finding those connections, translating it all into a theory, and then using that theory to write a book.

Inside my own private world, I am more than extremely excited about my burgeoning theory. It is THE THING that drives me right now. It is THE THING that I think about while showering, driving, eating, walking, and falling asleep. It is THE THING that hurries me to the library in order to read book after book after book for research.

However, I can’t really talk about it to anyone else.

And I definitely can’t show anyone the little I’ve written about it so far.

Because, the thing is, even though I’m a writer, I’m also an INFJ and something funny happens whenever I try to explain the things that I’m most excited about to other people. I don’t explain them well. I go off on long tangents and lose my listener or I get super amped up and intense and scare them off. I jump from idea to idea and even though I can see the glow-in-the-dark thread that connects them, others can’t yet.

My listener ends up confused or weirded out, and I end up deflated.

With my unfinished writing, it’s even worse. My sloppy first drafts tend to be very sloppy. I write in fragments and jump around everywhere with POV, voice, language, and timeline. I never know how anything is going to end or even what the middle will look like until I get there.

For years and years, I thought something was wrong with me as a writer. After all, everyone else in my creative writing classes had a plan for their story. Everyone else was able to answer questions about why they chose to write in the first person, or what objectives they had mapped out for the protagonist. It seemed like I was the only one who was being driven on mercilessly by an image or a voice or a vision that only I could see, in that inner “real” world that I retreated to so often as my refuge.

Most INFJs have this experience at one time or another in their lives. There is an idea or a theory — a magic vision — that only we can see. And that we feel powerless to explain to anyone else. Because our visions become the driving force in our lives, they feel intensely important to us. But because we can almost never properly articulate them to someone else, we tend to feel very, very alone a lot of the time.

It is only through writing that we can connect the vision we see in our hearts to the concrete reality that lies outside of us.

But that writing takes time. In many cases, it takes years. Intuitive introverts tend to be slow writers and perfectionists. So, if someone asks us what we’re working on or begs us to let them see just a chapter or two before it’s all the way finished it can be tempting to share it. However, more often than not, this outside party doesn’t understand the collection of fragments we’re working with and then tells us they’re confused, or it doesn’t resonate with them, or they don’t understand how it’s going to work as a story.

It only takes one experience like this for an INFJ (or an INFP) to shut down completely and decide to never let anyone see their writing again.

I wish I could dive right into a neat little solution here for all the INFJs and INFPs out there struggling with this problem, but the truth is that there isn’t a quick and easy fix. We are strange creatures and most of the world isn’t going to “get” how we work anytime soon.

The best advice I can give you is to treat your writing like you would a vulnerable child who you love very much. Keep it close to you and only show it to those you feel absolutely safe with. Whenever you feel defeated or deflated, go back to the place that gives you the most energy: that magical private world inside your soul.

If you’re an INFJ or an INFP you can trust your theory. It will all come together.

The most important thing is that you trust the magic inside yourself.

Here’s What You Can Expect From A Friendship With Each Myers-Briggs Personality Type

two friends reading on the floor
God & Man

INFP: They’ll sit you down and tell you why they’re worried about you.

ENFP: They’ll leave you behind at a public event by accident.

ENTJ: They’ll take over and do a job they assigned you because you weren’t doing it right.

INTJ: They’ll give you the Judgment Stare™.

ISFP: They’ll show you their art, but only if you’re really good friends. Any constructive criticism will be devastating, please avoid.

ESFP: You will randomly see each other in a public place that you would never expect to see them. Will hang out with you there for an hour, probably.

ISTP: They might physically harass you for fun.

ESTP: They will worry you deeply.

INTP: They’ll give you a full-length monologue about their Interesting Thing™ all at a shout because they’re so excited about it.

ENTP: They will involve you in a social experiment, probably without your knowledge or consent.

ESTJ: They’ll declare that they’re commandeering some situation or event while simultaneously declaring that you’re going to help them do it.

ISTJ: They’ll do one of your chores for you.

ESFJ: They will try to organize a party at YOUR house, probably without you knowing until the day of.

ISFJ: They’ll somehow get you to go hiking/backpacking with them.

ENFJ: They’ll tell you about their feelings in passing, but only in vague and cryptic words until you ask the right questions.

INFJ: They will tell you they’re up for social interaction or going to a party, but immediately regret it the moment you get there.

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