When INFJs and ISTJs Disagree

The INFJ does not live in the same world as the ISTJ. They’re both introverts (I) and judging (J) types, but that’s about it. One is intuitive (N) and the other sensing (S). One is feeling (F) and the other thinking (T).

Differences of Opinion

If you’re an INFJ in a relationship with an ISTJ, be prepared for differences in opinion. As an INFJ, I’ve had problems with some ISTJs in the past, and I’ve seen them happen in other INFJ-ISTJ relationships. As a result, this blog is as much a personal statement as it is the sharing of professional knowledge about Myers-Briggs types.

The ISTJ believes that everything must be seen, heard, or measured to be real. The hunches of the INFJ, frequently based on limited information, may seem outlandish to ISTJs—even though the INFJ is usually correct. Also, the emotional component of INFJ thinking doesn’t make sense to most ISTJs. They believe in making decisions based on hard data. They consider feelings to be mostly irrelevant, except for their own—which they believe are based on reality, not state of mind. INFJs consider ISTJs too literal and lacking in imagination. What’s the use of gathering so much information, thinks the INFJ, when the conclusion is obvious?

How to Handle Conflicts

To negotiate disagreements or differences of opinion with ISTJs, INFJs need to back up their points with literal, objective examples, not subjective feelings or abstract ideas. Discussions should be concrete and matter-of-fact, not emotional. If an argument concerns an expenditure, for example, INFJs should not dwell on how important a desired item is to them. They should focus on needs the item meets, the benefits it offers, and its impact on their financial resources.

Let’s say an INFJ female partner in a relationship with an ISTJ wants to buy a canoe. She’s pretty sure it’s within their budget, although she hasn’t done the calculations. She thinks canoeing would be good exercise for them both. She knows of nearby rivers and lakes where they could launch their boat. But mostly, she wants the pleasure of being out on the water with her partner. This last argument for a canoe is not the first one she should use. After broaching the subject, she should be prepared to go over the family budget with the ISTJ partner, look into the purchase price of canoes, and consult maps about available sites for canoeing. She might even raise the topic of exercise benefits.

Construct: Conflict Resolution

constructThe diagram shows how INFJs and ISTJs handle this type of decision. The triangle represents a construct—the prospect of buying a canoe. (The dictionary defines “construct” as “an idea or theory containing various conceptual elements.”) The green circle at the top of the triangle represents the INFJ, who, as an intuitive (I), generally approaches ideas from the top down, looking at the whole before investigating the parts. The red circle at the bottom represents the ISTJ, who, being a sensing (S) type, looks at bottom-line details first and then decides whether they fit into a larger construct. The question is, how do the two Myers-Briggs types meet in the middle?

The best way for an INFJ to discuss the matter of a canoe purchase with an ESTJ is to deal with information, not feelings. This approach draws the ISTJs mind further up into the overall construct of buying a canoe. If the INFJ and ISTJ are lucky, they will meet in the grey zone in the diagram. Then, hopefully, they can head happily to a sporting goods store.

Despite their personality differences, some INFJs and ISTJs have undoubtedly developed the skills to sidestep conflicts. I was never very successful.

Myers-Briggs Personality Types of Children—Part 1: Introverted Kids

If your baby comes home from the hospital quiet and easy-going, will the peace last? What about the toddler who enjoys nothing more than turning the pages of a book, while another is scaling every surface in sight? Will their personalities change over the years?

Parents who dreamed of their child becoming a celebrated athlete may be disappointed when he or she prefers staying inside taking a clock apart to playing outdoors with friends. Parents hoping for a Rhodes scholar may be let down when their child would rather climb trees than read books.

Many experts believe that Myers-Briggs personality tests are unreliable in children. Others claim that infants have their basic personalities in place from the time they take their first breath. Personality scores may shift over the years, but they rarely make an about face.

This is about introverted (I) children. There are eight types of introverts according to Myers-Briggs theory. They differ in the combinations of the other three pairs of traits on the personality test: 1) sensing (S) and intuition (N); 2) feeling (F) and thinking (T); and 3) perceiving (P) and judging (J). The scores on four pairs range from one extreme to another, with some close to the middle.

Sensing (S) kids are observant and aware of all the details around them. Intuitive (N) types are more thoughtful and rely on hunches. Feeling (F) children make decisions based on how they’ll affect other people. Those of the thinking (T) type depend on logic and are less likely to focus on outcomes. Perceiving (P) children are easy-going and move from one activity to another. Those with a judging (J) preference are more focused and like to finish things.

ISFJ: Introverted, Sensing, Feeling and Judging

isfj-stickAs children, ISFJs are generally well behaved. They’re little trouble to their parents and teachers. They want to know what’s expected of then, and they quietly follow through. Even when asked to make sacrifices, ISFJ kids take pride doing the right thing. In school, they stick with a few close friends and avoid conflict.

Because ISFJ children try to be certain about their duties, they tend to do only what they’re told. With their inward focus, they have a tendency to worry about things. For this reason, they may perform below their potential. They need encouragement to stretch themselves.

ISFP: Introverted, Sensing, Feeling and Perceiving

isfp-stickISFP kids are quiet and kind. Because they avoid the spotlight, their many gifts may be overlooked. They are compassionate not only with other people, but also with animals—and indeed with all living things. They’re easy to like and attract other kids as friends. When arguments arise, they act as peacemakers.

ISFP children appreciate beauty, often making unique gifts for others that are colorful and beautiful. They enjoy the feeling of their bodies in motion—skating, dancing, and simply moving gracefully.

INFJ: Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Judging

infj-stickINFJs are complex, even as young children. While they can be outgoing at times and involved with other kids, they’re also quiet and creative, caught up in their private worlds. They’re gentle and dislike violence and cruelty, whether in games or in real life.

It’s not uncommon for INFJ children to make frequent trips to the library, bringing home many books at a time and spending hours in their rooms reading. The next day, they’re outdoors having adventures with friends. INFJ kids can be a challenge to parents who find their inconsistency hard to understand.

INFP: Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Perceiving

infp-stickINFP children are daydreamers, creating their own fantasy worlds. They are quiet, especially in new situations. Sometimes their parents worry whether they’re sufficiently grounded in reality. These kids enjoy getting lost in books. They learn to write at an early age.

Before INFPs even start school, they know what’s important to them. They sense where they’re headed and seldom ask for guidance. They’d rather do things for themselves than get help—to be sure they’re done right. They’re often careful not to reveal their mistakes to others. INFP children benefit from gentle handling and understanding.

INTJ: Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Judging

intj-stickThe independent natures of INTJ children are apparent early in life. They like to daydream and get caught up in ideas of how the world should be. They can be rebellious when told things that contradict what they believe. INTJs make their own rules and boundaries.

The life of the mind is important to INTJs, so they value their education. They‘re creative and innovative, finding their own efficient ways of doing and making things. These children can be a challenge to parents who would prefer easy-going, compliant children.

INTP: Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Perceiving

intp-stick1As children, INTPs often enjoy their own thoughts more than the company of other kids. They generally read a lot, going out to play only when invited. INTPs are full of questions, many times challenging parents and teachers with their observations. More than most children, INTPs enjoy inventing things and finding unusual pastimes not typical of kids their age.

INTP tastes are not dictated by popular trends. When these children disagree with conventional ideas, they’re quick to find fault in people’s logic, no matter how important the person. Some parents are baffled by the complexity of children who seem to have such a rich inner life.

ISTP: Introverted, Sensing, Thinking and Perceiving

istp-stickISTP children have two sides—one that observes the world and one that takes action. The observer likes to sit quietly and watch what’s going on, absorbing all the details. These kids want to know what make things tick, taking them apart to see how they work. Children of this type who play outdoors a lot are frequently experts on bugs, snakes, and other wildlife.

Usually, ISTPs are good with their hands and can fix things. They aren’t afraid to take risks with such sports as rock-climbing and backpacking. Parents who enjoy quiet children will find much to treasure in the ISTP.

ISTJ: Introverted, Sensing, Thinking and Judging

istj-stickAs children, ISTJs are well behaved and quiet. They function best in an environment that’s ordered and structured. With their well-developed sense of responsibility, ISTJs do best when given schedules to follow. They want to get their work done before they play. Around new people, they’re cautious and often uneasy until they get to know them. When ISTJs know what to expect, they’re more relaxed.

People of this personality type take a conventional view of life. While they enjoy solitary pastimes at home, they also appreciate traditional group activities such as scouting. Parents of these conscientious children can help them develop a more playful side of their personalities.

 

Part 2 of this series describes the eight types of extraverted children. 

 

Famous People and Their Myers-Briggs Personality Types: Part 2, the Introverts

The Myers-Briggs personality test has been used to analyze many famous people. While most celebrities, past and present, have never taken a personality test, psychologists who are knowledgeable about typology believe they know what the outcomes would be.

Introverts are usually deep thinkers, complex individuals who can be charming in public but are private in their personal lives. Introverts aren’t easily categorized or put in boxes. Most politicians, entertainers, and leaders of large organizations are extraverts. Part 1 of this two-part series described some famous extraverts, living and dead. This article, Part 2, is about famous introverts.

Famous Introverts of the Past

ISFJ: Mother Teresa
Introverted, Sensing, Feeling and Judging

03-motherteresaMother Teresa was an ISFJ, a type called the “Protector.” True to her personality type, she was caring, down-to-earth and dependable. Working in the slums of Calcutta, India, she founded a charity that ran homes for the dying. Like most ISFJs, she was compassionate and dedicated to helping others.

INTJ: Bobby Fischer
Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Judging

06-bobby-fischerBobby Fischer, world chess champion. was an INTJ—a Myers-Briggs personality type called the “Mastermind.” He was a brilliant and creative strategist, but a difficult man. Like many INTJs, he sometimes seemed so confident of himself as to appear overbearing. True to his type, he liked to design models based on theories he’d developed.

INFJ: Mahatma Ghandi
Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Judging

09-ghandiThe foremost advocate of nonviolent civil disobedience in the world, Gandhi was an INFJ who led India to independence in 1947. It was Ghandi who inspired American civil rights advocates struggling for racial equality in the 1960s. Like most INFJs, Ghandi was idealistic, determined and compassionate. His integrity was evident in everything he did.

INTP: Marie Curie
Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Perceiving

11-mariecurieThe INTP “Problem-Solver” personality type, Marie Curie discovered radium in 1898. True to type, she was quiet and modest. Exacting in her work, she was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize. Like most INTPs, she adopted an approach to life and work that was intellectual and independent. She was intensely private.

INFP: Princess Diana
Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Perceiving

12-princessdianaPrincess Diana, beloved by millions, was an INFP noted for her compassion and global philanthropy. INFPs are soft-spoken idealists who dedicate themselves to helping others. They avoid conflict and try not to create waves, but when they see people behaving unkindly, they can become surprisingly assertive.

ISFP: David Bowie
Introverted, Sensing, Feeling and Perceiving

13-davidbowieDavid Bowie was an ISFP, a personality type called the “Artist.” He was a world-famous singer, songwriter and actor with a reputation as a flamboyant celebrity onstage. In private, Bowie was like most ISFPs—a gentle, modest human being. He had a natural curiosity that fueled his creative spirit.

Famous Introverts of the Present

ISTP: Dalai Lama
Introverted, Sensing, Thinking and Perceiving

14-dalailamaAn ISTP, the Dalai Lama is a famous Buddhist leader. True to his personality type, he is practical, reserved, and expresses himself in deeds. He is an independent man with an analytical mind. His enterprising, adventurous spirit were evident in his flight to India after the Chinese invaded his homeland, Tibet.

ISTJ: Angela Merkel
Introverted, Sensing, Thinking and Judging

15-merkelAngela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, is an ISTJ. As a political leader, she is organized, objective and demanding. While ISTJs know how to be gracious and articulate in social situations, at heart they are independent, private types. They don’t make decisions without first collecting detailed information.

 

 

 

 

Famous People and Their Myers-Briggs Personality Types—Part 1: The Extraverts

In recent years, Myers-Briggs experts have analyzed many famous people to make educated guesses of their personality types. While most celebrities, past and present, have never taken a personality test, psychologists who are knowledgeable about typology believe they know what the outcomes would be.

Most politicians, entertainers, and leaders of large organizations are extraverts. Introverts are usually deep thinkers, complex individuals who can be charming in public but are private in their personal lives. Introverts aren’t easily categorized or put in boxes. Part 1 of this two-part series describes some extraverts, living and dead. Part 2 about introverts will follow.

Famous Extraverts of the Present

ENTJ: Bill Gates
Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Judging

04-billgatesAn ENTJ personality type called the “Leader,” Bill Gates has always been decisive and strategic, willing to challenge old ideas and attract other people to his causes. ENTJs can be demanding, but they’re also objective and fair. Bill Gates built an empire based on his leadership skills and ability to innovate.

ENFJ: Oprah Winfrey
Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Judging

05-oprahwinfrey_2005With her outgoing, enthusiastic personality, ENFJ Oprah understands people. True to type, she’s articulate and tactful. ENFJs have the interpersonal skills to make others want to join them to make things happen. The ENFJ is idealistic, compassionate, and shows integrity in everything he or she does.

ESTJ: Margaret Thatcher
Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking and Judging

07-thatcherAs the “Supervisor” ESTJ type, Margaret Thatcher was the first female prime minister of England—a decisive, organized woman. Like most ESTJs, Thatcher was direct, objective and often impersonal. She based her plans of action on logic and past experience, monitoring progress every step of the way.

ESFJ: Barbara Walters
Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling and Judging

08-waltersA congenial, tactful ESFJ, Barbara Walters is an American media star. Compassion and thoroughness are her hallmarks. Called the “Caretaker,” this personality type places a high value on harmony. The cooperative nature of ESFJs make them naturals for drawing out other people while respecting their sensitivities and needs.

ESFP: Steven Spielberg
Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling and Perceiving

16-spielbergSteven Spielberg, famous Hollywood director, is an ESFP, a personality type called the “Performer.” Spielberg has been honored in many countries for his ground-breaking films. He is outgoing, flexible and observant. With his lighthearted approach to life, like most ESFPs he is generous with his time and money.

ENTP: Barack Obama
Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Perceiving

01-obamaAs a Myers-Briggs ENTP, Barack Obama is outspoken, creative, and analytical. Congenial ENTPs have a sixth sense for the needs of others and go out of their way to help them. The interpersonal skills of this personality type attract others. They’re able to unite people to work for their causes.

Famous Extraverts of the Past

ENFP: Walt Disney
Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Perceiving

02-disneyTrue to his Myers-Briggs personality type, ENFP, Walt Disney was creative and independent—a pioneer of animated films. Like most ENFPs, he was congenial, insightful, and versatile. His ability to identify with others was almost uncanny, as made evident from his wide range of film characters.

ESTP: John F. Kennedy
Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking and Perceiving

10-jfkAs an ESTP personality type called the “Promoter,” John F. Kennedy was persuasive, energetic, and easy-going. This Myers-Briggs type is practical and action-oriented, always ready to join in whatever is happening. True to type, Kennedy was direct in his politics, mincing no words while being tactful with those around him.

 

 

 

INFJ Meets ENTP

INFJs usually get along well with ENTPs. This may be surprising when one considers that they have only one Myers-Briggs trait in common—intuition (N).

With their tendency toward introversion (I), INFJs are reserved and shy. Extraverted (E) ENTPs are gregarious and outgoing. As a feeling type (F), INFJs base their decisions on emotional factors, mainly the impact their choices will have on others. More rational ENTPs, with their thinking (T) preference, make decisions based on hard facts, not feelings. Finally, INFJs with their judging (J) preference, like closure. Open-ended situations make them uneasy. Their goal is to bring matters to a conclusion. As perceivers (P), ENTPs are more happy-go-lucky. They often postpone decisions, barely skate under deadlines, and are late for appointments. If they weren’t so pleasant to be around, they might get on people’s nerves.

INFJs can be counted on to finish a project once it’s started. They’re serious, determined workers. ENTPs are more likely to jump from one challenge to another, leaving a good bit of work unfinished along the way. While both types get excited about thinking up new ventures, ENTPs tend to lose interest in old ones.

Friendship

Because they share the intuitive (N) trait, both Myers-Briggs types are able to see the big picture, which is what motivates their creativity. This is the most powerful connection they have. No matter what setting they’re in, they have ideas about how to improve things. Often they’re almost clairvoyant about the future. They’re confident of their hunches, and usually rightly so. However, INFJs are more averse to taking risks with resources—their own and others’. When ENTPs win, they win big. When they lose, they lose big. Their lives are full of twist and turns. INFJs are more predictable in the courses their lives take.

Both INFJs and ENTPs are independent types. They need freedom to follow their own dreams. They have this characteristic in common and it strengthens their relationship if both have high self-esteem and insist on their autonomy as individuals.

Romance

If an INFJ and ENTP meet and there’s a potential for attraction, it’s obvious to both of them pretty quickly. However, INFJs are reluctant to speak up first because of their natural reserve. ENTPs, on the other hand, are cautious for a different reason. With their rational approach to life, they’re conservative about commitments. On the ENTP’s side, platonic friendship often seems like a good option for a period of time. In contrast, once INFJs are sure of a commitment, their sensual nature urges them on to physical intimacy. If the ENTP isn’t ready for this, the relationship may die a natural death.

If the partnership continues but later falters, the ENTP, being the more rational of the two, may decide that the relationship isn’t up to his or her standard. Perhaps the more stable INFJ becomes boring after a while, causing the ENTP to feel tied down. When this happens, ENTPs usually try to find a diplomatic way out that won’t distress the partner too much. If the relationship ends, the INFJ may be devastated. On the other hand, the ENTP is likely to put his or her inventive brain to work figuring out why it was destined to fail anyhow. When an INFJ partner calls it quits, the ENTP partner uses the same rationalization and recovers relatively quickly.

INFJs who rely on financial security may find living with an ENTP chaotic. At some time or another, most ENTPs find themselves on shaky financial footing. An ENTP partnership may not suit the INFJ who enjoys a quiet, predictable life.

Home Life

As partners in life, INFJ/ENTP couples are likely to have homes jammed with books, gadgets, musical instruments, and hobby supplies. They encourage their children to use them all, especially for learning. Neatness and schedules are likely to be ignored in the scramble for pleasure and challenges. ENTP parents, particularly, offer their children more ideas of things to do than they can possibly manage. The ENTP parent can be counted on for nonstop fun and excitement. The kids may rely on the INFJ parent more for quiet expressions of love and relaxing down time.

ENTPs are more enthusiastic about family celebrations than their reserved INFJ partners. However, it’s often the INFJ who sees that the preparations are done on time and the party starts on schedule. Then the ENTP arrives full of energy and ready to turn on the charm. If the party gets overheated, the ENTP’s behavior is not always appropriate. Sometimes ENTPs pick arguments just for the fun of debating. Less competitive INFJs seldom take pleasure in these exchanges and may feel hurt or annoyed.

When home projects aren’t going the way ENTPs think they should, they are clever at persuading their partners of their point of view and talking them into their solutions. Because they’re so persuasive, they can be manipulative and take advantage of other, less quick-thinking family members.

Secrets of Success

ENTPs who can pause in their hectic pursuits to reflect and spend time in the quiet company of their INFJ partners are likely to calm down. INFJs can encourage them to enjoy intimate exchanges more than they’re accustomed to. Both are likely to benefit from traveling as a couple. They’ll be exposed to challenges and opportunities that stimulate them and, at the same time, deepen the intimacy of their relationship.

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INFJ Meets ESFJ

When an INFJ and ESFJ are drawn to each other, the attraction becomes obvious fairly quickly— although the ESFJ is usually the more transparent of the two and is likely to make the first overtures. INFJs are generally cautious until they’re sure of a relationship.

ESFJs are generous and outgoing, giving without any thought of return. If someone expresses a need, they’re among the first to try to satisfy it. They place a high value on harmony. They’re at their best organizing people for family, community or work events. INFJs are generous, too, but they’re reserved and shrink from being in the public eye.

As traditionalists, ESFJs rely on tried-and-true methods of solving problems. For this reason, they can overlook newer, better approaches that are obvious to others—a habit that may prove annoying for inventive friends and relatives who are reluctant to endanger their relationship with the ESFJ by being critical. This is especially true of INFJs, who usually have innovative ideas but are too tactful to hurt the feelings of less adventurous folks.

Friendship

ESTJs are steadfast friends. They will disrupt their work schedules to accommodate others. If a friend’s car is in the shop, the ESFJ doesn’t hesitate to provide transportation. But when the ESFJ is in the same boat a month later and a friend isn’t willing to reciprocate, hurt feelings are likely to result. Underneath it all, ESFJs need evidence that others care about them, too.

Sometimes ESFJs go to lengths that aren’t healthy in order to make others happy. Being warm and sympathetic is a top priority. If INFJ and ESFJ friends go to a restaurant that serves delicious French pastries, the overweight INFJ might say, “I can have the entrée, but don’t let me have any dessert!” When they’ve finished the main dish, the server comes around with a tray of petit fours. The ESFJ sees the look of longing in the friend’s eyes, knowing that the friend will regret the indulgence later on. What does the ESFJ say? “Go ahead. One dessert can’t hurt you.”

Romance

ESFJ partners are drawn to the rich imaginations and agile minds of INFJs. Falling in love is a totally absorbing experience. If an INFJ encourages the relationship, ESFJs show their affection with gifts, notes, and other symbols of commitment. Even when doing extra favors is inconvenient or expensive, ESFJs go out of their way to satisfy a partner’s desires. Some ESFJs may be more in love with love than with their partners per se.

Unfortunately, ESFJs are not always aware that a relationship is starting to fail. Their outgoing, optimistic natures may lead them to believe that everything is fine. In the meantime, the INFJ may continue a partnership that’s going downhill without airing his or her dissatisfaction. If the truth be known, the INFJ may not want to risk losing the intimacy with the ESFJ without another prospect standing in the wings.

This can be devastating for ESFJs who didn’t see the signs. They tend to deal with these crises by looking for their own mistakes and shortcomings. They think about the times when they were less generous or thoughtful than they might have been, even though this assessment may be baseless. They suffer a period of lowered self-esteem.

Family

In their efforts to keep family life harmonious, both INFJs and ESTJs often sweep problems under the rug rather than air them and resolve the conflict. Partners who swallow their irritation and/or underestimate their own needs tend to wear themselves out or become resentful. They need to risk the good will of others by saying “no” sometimes.

While ESFJs are easygoing and warm at home, they usually have set ideas about social matters—unlike unconventional INFJs. Their expectations are tied to tradition. Often they’re the ones in charge of family get-togethers such as Thanksgiving dinner. Also, they generally take responsibility for buying birthday, anniversary, and holiday gifts.

INFJs don’t understand all the fuss about family celebrations. They’ll go along to keep the peace, but they don’t want to be drawn into a lot of complicated arrangements. They can’t fathom why anyone would like to collect so many people around them over the holidays. INFJs prefer intimate gatherings with just the immediate family present.

ESFJs are involved in school and community activities more than their reserved INFJ partners. They plan educational or character-building social activities for their children, such as after-school sports. The children may accompany them to events at retirement communities or volunteer at animal shelters. INFJs are less group-oriented and have more reserved ways of demonstrating their ideals and desire to help others.

Secrets of Success

When an INFJ and ESFJ stay together and adjust to each other’s styles, they often find that each benefits from the influence of the other. ESFJs help INFJs expand their social horizons and avoid becoming isolated. With their warm personalities, ESFJs attract a circle of friends that can prove stimulating to the INFJ. INFJs can bring more warmth and intimacy to the relationship by initiating activities they share as a twosome, often strengthening their bond.

 

 

INFJ Meets ENFJ

People of the INFJ and ENFJ Myers-Briggs types usually make compatible friends and partners. It makes sense when you look at their shared traits: intuition, feeling, and judging. The two types differ only in their tendencies toward introversion and extraversion, and that’s not all bad. The introverted INFJ is likely to encourage the ENFJ to spend time together so they can enjoy each other’s company in private. The ENFJ, in turn, promotes participation in social activities and group events. This is good for the INFJ, at least some of the time.

Friendship

Like ENFJs, INFJs have a sixth sense for the needs of others. As friends, they often work on projects that involve helping people. The difference between the two is that the INFJ isn’t as obvious or demonstrative. The interpersonal skills of ENFJs make others want to join them. The INFJ is there to back up the ENFJ’s efforts. ENFJs are quick to show their gratitude to friends and co-workers and are generally well liked. INFJs are more reserved. It takes effort for them to show their emotions.

ENFJs and INFJs enjoy activities that require teamwork, especially service work. INFJs do, too, but they’re not as outwardly enthusiastic and verbal. While ENFJs often find themselves pushed into leadership positions at work and in the community, INFJs are happy to let them have the spotlight. They’re satisfied to serve their ENFJ friends as consultants and collaborators.

Both INFJs and ENFJs have strong personalities, radiate authenticity, and rarely betray their ideals. Both are skilled verbally, the INFJ more in writing than speaking. They have an eloquence that helps bring people together in a common cause. They enjoy working together.

Romance

When an INFJ and ENFJ are attracted to each other, it’s all they can think about. However, the ENFJ is usually the one to make the first overtures. INFJs are cautious and fearful of rejection. ENFJs bring gifts to the new partner, write e-mails, and arrange romantic evenings out. They like to talk about the relationship. INFJs are glad to hear the things that they, too, would like to say but are too shy to express.

Being idealists, both types tend to avoid acknowledging the normal ups and downs of a relationship. They may sweep problems under the rug when they should be handled openly. Resolving conflicts can clear the air. Both parties can learn new information that enables them to interact more meaningfully in the future.

Neither the INFJ nor the ENFJ wants to hear anything negative about their partner from friends. Both are sure they’ve made the right choice and don’t want to be told otherwise.

If a partner cheats on them or breaks up the relationship, they suffer considerably. They’re ashamed that things didn’t work out and feel that they’re somehow at fault. The split is likely to be more painful for INFJs than for ENFJs, who are more capable of moving on because of their outgoing nature.

Family Life

If an INFJ and ENFJ decide to build a home together, their family life is likely to be active and happy. They generally make considerate partners and parents. When they’ve brought work home from the office or have personal chores that need doing, they’re willing to put them on hold to meet the needs of their partners and children. As a result, the children may find it easy to impose on their parents. ENFJs, particularly, need to be careful about letting family members take advantage of their easy-going nature.

Both types spend a good deal of their spare time reading. They encourage their children to enjoy books, taking them to the library and often reading to them at bedtime. They like attending educational events as a family. On the way home from a movie or play, ENFJs are likely to engage the children in conversation about the plot and characters. It pleases them to encourage their children to observe the world intelligently. INFJs, being more introspective, enjoy the exchanges but may not have a great deal to contribute.

If family problems arise, the parents may avoid discussing them at first, due to their aversion to conflict. When things get serious enough—and the happiness and comfort of others are at stake— they will bring the family together to resolve the issues. Both are good at fostering a cooperative and amiable home environment.

Secrets of Success

While the INFJ and ENFJ have a lot in common, they should realize that their privacy needs differ and should be respected. The INFJ needs time alone to read, work at the computer, and putter around the house. Some INFJs need the freedom to take retreats by themselves. On the other hand, the ENFJ is an outgoing person who needs to participate in group activities. The INFJ should participate frequently to strengthen their bond.

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INFJ meets ISTJ

It’s fair to say that any two people with this combination of Myers-Briggs traits are likely to have adjustment problems if they’re to function smoothly together. While they are joined in their preference for privacy (introversion), this isn’t enough to make them compatible. Both have a preference for judging, as well, but they use the function in dissimilar ways due to their other trait differences.

The INFJ is introverted (I), intuitive (N), feeling (F), and judging (J). The ISTJ shares the introverted, judging traits, but is a sensing (S) and (T) thinking type. How do INFJs and ISTJs get along and where do they run into trouble?

Friendship

ISTJs are one of the most responsible of the sixteen Myers-Briggs types, but they can be inflexible. Although INFJs are responsible, too, their drive to meet obligations is softened by concern about the impact of their decisions on others.

ISTJs focus on objective details. They are bound by rules and regulations. INFJs are more comfortable with complex, subtle intellectual considerations. This difference can put them at odds. The ISTJ may view the INFJs as freethinkers, oblivious of convention. INFJs may consider ISTJs to be narrow-minded and rigid.

Another difference in their personalities relates to the way they gather information before making decisions. ISTJs rely on concrete details. They miss nothing and take nothing for granted. INFJs are more imaginative. They’re willing to trust their hunches as the basis for action. They feel that this is justified by the fact that their intuition is so reliable. As friends, INFJs and ISTJs can get impatient with each other because they think so differently.

INFJs are impatient with themselves, but tolerate the idiosyncrasies of others, at least openly. ISTJs, being quite sure of everything they think and do, can be demanding companions. INFJs sometimes find this hard to deal with.

Romance

While ISTJs make loyal partners, they are seldom outwardly sentimental, rarely putting their feelings into words. To them, the fact of their commitment is enough. This can be frustrating to INFJ partners, who like to hear words of affection. Without verbal evidence of a partner’s loyalty, INFJs can feel ignored or unappreciated.

Because ISTJs are traditionalists at heart, they usually conform to stereotypes of their gender. Females engage in conventional female activities, such as cooking and decorating, while males are more “macho”—preferring to watch football or tinker with their cars. They are protective of their female partners, figuring that it’s expected of them. They know how to make the masculine moves that the culture approves of—opening doors, pulling out chairs, and so on.

Family Life

ISTJs are happy to undertake routine responsibilities in the home—mowing the lawn, cleaning the kitchen, getting the children to school on time, and so on. On the other hand, INFJs seldom enjoy activities that involve regularity or what they define as drudgery. They prefer creative tasks, such as decorating rooms in the house or planning dinner menus. While the differences between the types can be complementary, they may cause friction when the two types are collaborating on the same task. When painting a room, for example, the ISTJ is likely to prefer a light, neutral color such as eggshell, while the INFJ may want to experiment with maroon. Neither can understand the other’s choice.

Because ISTJs love tradition, they go all out to celebrate important family events. Everyone is expected to show up and participate. Absentees are likely to have a guilt trip laid on them. INFJs find the ISTJ’s enthusiasm for get-togethers hard to understand. Being intuitive types, they aren’t conventional and don’t see the point, especially if they’re not fond of some of the people involved.

While both types enjoy their home life, ISTJs are neater and tidier. They prefer subdued, tasteful decor. Things are put away. The yard is neat and orderly, with no extravagant landscaping. Here they part company with INFJs, who are chronically untidy—although they do clean up after themselves when prompted. INFJ tastes in decorating are more elaborate and inventive. They’re so caught up in creative projects that messes are inevitable. Pleasure takes priority over neatness.

When children are involved, ISTJs enforce the regulations they learned while growing up. Family roles are clear. Fathers and mothers make the rules and children follow them. INFJs are not bound by tradition. They make up things as they go along. This free-wheeling attitude can be frustrating for ISTJs.

Secrets of Success

The INFJ, being capable of more insight than the ISTJ, may need to make the greatest adjustment in the relationship. However, when major conflicts arise, it’s important for the INFJ to explain to the ISTJ in concrete terms what he or she needs and why. Abstract reasoning frustrates most ISTJs. When handled patiently and given down-to-earth reasons for requests, ISTJs who were once difficult partners may become more spontaneous and tolerant.

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How INFJs Can Lose Out

 

 

 

People of every Myers-Briggs type can carry their preferences too far, with unhappy results. This usually happens when the person is under pressure or stressed. INFJs are no exception. They are introverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging creatures—sometimes a recipe for overreaction.

As gifted as INFJs are, life isn’t easy for them. With their tendency toward introversion they’re alone inside their heads a lot—not always a safe neighborhood. Their intuitive preference (N) causes them to be idealists, and the circumstances of life are seldom ideal. Their emotional tendencies (F) can cause them to inflate slights or mistakes. Because of their judging function (J), they may exaggerate imagined consequences. These tendencies sometimes cause INFJs to overwork one or more preferences in an attempt to control difficult situations.

Idealism

When INFJs are too caught up with their vision of life, they may ignore the facts. Even when the evidence contradicts their conclusions, they persist. As a result, they may not know when to cut their losses and move on. Their fruitless search for the ideal causes them to suffer.

A useful antidote is reliance on trusted friends and relatives for feedback. Others may be able to offer helpful reality checks. INFJs are persistent, stubborn folks and it’s sometimes hard for them to release their grip.

Tact

Because of their thoughtful, compassionate natures, INFJs aren’t always forthright about dealing with work or relationship problems. Following the adage, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all,” they remain silent and allow resentments to build up. When they finally blow up—if that happens—others can’t figure out what happened to the quiet, tactful INFJ they thought they knew.

The paradox is that tactful confrontation comes naturally to INFJs. If they stop to realize this, they may feel more inclined to give helpful feedback to others. By clarifying issues, INFJs pave the way for better relationships with friends, co-workers, and family. Often, their listeners are grateful for the insights and the opportunity to improve matters.

Focus

The judging (J) preference of INFJs gives them focus. It motivates them to complete projects, make decisions without delay and meet commitments on time. They’re reliable folks. Because they have so much faith in their hunches, however, they sometimes act prematurely.

When buying a used car, for example, an INFJ may feel justified making the purchase after merely looking the car over and taking a test ride. If the price is right, having a mechanic check it out seems like needless trouble. So the INFJ buys the car. Later, when it develops engine trouble, the person may regret the hasty decision. If the buyer had been an INFP, not an INFJ (that is, a P, not a J), he or she would probably have taken this precaution. Unlike INFJs, INFPs don’t reach decisions lightly. As perceivers (P), they aren’t satisfied with limited evidence.

INFJs sometimes bypass details to get a job done. They don’t like postponing decisions, waiting for more information. An INFJ invited to work on a project with an ESTP may fail to check on the person’s track record before agreeing to collaborate. INFJs have a tendency to say, “Things will probably work out fine.” Later, they may be exasperated at the ESTPs tendency to talk too much (E), inability to see the big picture (S), disregard for the impact of their work on others (T), and tendency to be late for deadlines (P). Completing the project on time with goodwill intact may be difficult.

Getting Back on Track

When INFJs are relaxed, comfortable with themselves, and back on track, they’re able to use their visionary gifts to best advantage, find creative ways to work and express themselves, and continue to pursue their worthy goals with ease and confidence.

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INFJ Meets INFJ

 

When two INFJs find each other, they’re lucky. After all, only one in one hundred people is an INFJ.

INFJs have many desirable personality traits. They are kind, generous, and helpful to others. When friends or even strangers are in trouble, INFJs hurry to the rescue. They’re ready to offer creative solutions or hands-on support.

Whatever their relationship, they can depend on each other to behave with integrity—whatever the setting. What they do is consistent with their ideals. While the two don’t make a fuss about their standard of ethics, it’s apparent in everything they do.

The reluctance of INFJs to accept praise is partly due to the introverted nature of their personalities. Their desire to avoid the spotlight reflects their need for privacy. In general, they’re at their best concentrating on their ideas and inspirations—not engaging in social niceties.

Friendship

INFJs usually forge lasting friendships when they’re lucky enough to find each other. If they have a common objective, they’re almost sure to work together harmoniously. They’re so persistent and stubborn in their pursuit of goals that they almost always achieve them. INFJs are formidable as a team. If they meet resistance, they only get more determined. Working together, they’re highly respected because of their quiet strength and ability to support each other. Even at play, they’re a delight to be with because they’re so companionable, honest, and usually good-natured.

Because of their shared introversion, they tend to prefer each other’s company with no one else around. When they’re enjoying themselves, they’re sometimes unwilling to invite others into the inner circle. They would do well to make friends with a few extraverts who can encourage them to share their fun or work. Spending time exclusively together can cause them to stagnate without their realizing it.

INFJs are a pleasure to collaborate with when they don’t get too driven. They are clear-thinking, intelligent, and witty. Together, INFJ friends are keen observers of the human scene. It’s hard to put much over on them, because, by the time they share their insights with each other, they’ve usually covered all the bases.

Romance

When two INFJs become romantically attached, they may feel shy about showing their affection at first. They aren’t big risk-takers in the business of romance. At first, they make subtle gestures to encourage the object of their affection. They’re cautious about expressing their feelings for fear of rejection.

If INFJs seem aloof, it’s because they do such a good job of hiding their feelings. It isn’t easy for them to make their emotional needs known. When two INFJs recognize these qualities in each other, they generally have the patience to fish for clues. Eventually they reveal themselves.

Once two INFJs are fully in touch, they’re delighted with the treasure they’ve found. Both have rich imaginations and quick minds. They inspire each other to grow and develop without being controlling.

If, for some reason, the INFJ/INFJ match isn’t working well, the dissatisfied partner may postpone a separation because the intimacy is so important. In cases where one is married and the other isn’t, trouble may be the result. Since INFJs are loyal and ethical, they’re unlikely to leave a marriage partner. If they do, they experience guilt and remorse. This isn’t good for any relationship.

When two INFJs break up, both suffer. Neither forgets the other. Some longing will always remain. INFJs are focused, intense human beings.

Home Life

INFJs are idealists as partners and parents. They desire harmony, sometimes avoiding family conflicts that should be resolved by direct means. When disagreements arise, INFJ partners do well to find privacy and quiet time to discuss them. Because they’re complex people with subtle feelings, conflicts need to be sorted out carefully. Bold confrontations tend to backfire and cause resentments.

As parents, INFJs encourage their children to develop a number of skills and get a good education. They will sacrifice considerable time and money to this end. If the children appear rebellious, uncooperative, or difficult for any reason, INFJs try hard to discover the source of the problem. As long as the children put forth genuine effort and appear to be making good use of their intelligence, the parents are mostly happy.

The INFJs’ home has an abundance of books, sports equipment, musical instruments, and other paraphernalia scattered around as evidence of the couple’s many interests and hobbies. The more they can share these as a family, the happier they are. At the same time, each needs personal space where he or she can have privacy.

The homes of INFJ couples are sometimes neat and organized, sometimes cluttered. It depends on how caught up they are in current hobbies and interests. Keeping an orderly environment feels good, but it’s not top priority. Their surroundings may be cluttered but their minds are extremely organized.

Secrets of Success

INFJs have a strong attraction for each other. They’re also intense and focused. To keep their relationship healthy, they need to preserve their needs for personal privacy while, at the same time, cultivating social outlets. They should give each other the space needed for individual pursuits but spend time with friends, too.