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Sensors vs. Intuitives—The Dating Game

In the dating game, the Sensing and Intuitive Myers-Briggs preferences can be a source of excitement and, at the same time, confusion.

Sensors are realistic about dating partners. They judge other people by what they do and say. Being grounded in objective reality, they aren’t impressed by phony facades or bragging. They clearly see the good and the bad in the here and now. Intuitives, with their active imaginations, are more titillated by the possibilities in their minds than what’s actually taking place in the present. They extrapolate from the evidence in front of them and don’t take it at face value. Sensors may fantasize, too, but they’re more likely to do it after the fact. Their perceptions in the moment must agree with what’s going on in reality, rather than their wishful thinking about the future.

Sensors are more tuned to their senses: how the date looks and sounds, whether he or she smells nice and has agreeable tastes in music and food. For them, the dating experience happens through the five senses. Intuitives are more interested in their hunches about the person. They experience dates more in the sense of potential for the future. The Intuitive is more interested in images conjured up by their imaginations—in other words, what the date should be like, more than what he or she actually is.

For Sensors, the date begins only when the two parties stand face to face. For Intuitives, the date begins as soon as arrangements are made. That leaves plenty of time to fantasize about possibilities.

One problem arises when the two types actually get together for their date. Sensors may have trouble following the Intuitive’s many trains of thought. Because good conversation is a major factor in the early phases of the dating game, the differences between the two types begin to emerge sooner rather than later. Sensors like to talk about concrete things: people they’ve met, experiences they’ve had, places they’ve been—with specifics provided in detail. Intuitives would rather talk about their dreams, visions, ideas, and other intangibles.

One aggravating problem for both parties lies in the details each provides. Sensing partners tend to interrupt the stories of their partners with corrections about dates, places, and so on. The Intuitive is less interested in minute details than in the main theme of the story.

Here’s an example of a story about poor restaurant service that Joe is telling friends:

Joe: We were eating at Chez Pierre, and they brought me a Martini instead of a Bloody Mary.

Susan: They brought you a Manhattan by mistake.

Joe: Then it took almost an hour to deliver my entrée.

Susan: It was 40 minutes.

Joe: And the trout wasn’t even cooked thoroughly.

Susan: You ordered grouper that night.

You can see how this couple could run into irritating conflicts over time—with the Sensing person aggravated by her partner’s factual errors and the Intuitive’s annoyance at being interrupted and contradicted like a small child.

For Sensors, it’s important that facts be presented correctly. The details are as important as flow and underlying meaning. For the Intuitive, the underlying message takes stage center.

Extraverts vs. Introverts—The Dating Game

Extraverts are naturals at the dating game. You can count on them to take the role of pursuer, make the date, and do the talking. They know how to fill the time and provide the entertainment, whether it’s just an evening of talking or a night on the town.

Extraverts carry on conversations with remarkable ease. In fact, when spending an evening with an Introvert, they can ask all the right questions, provide the answers, and then thank the Introvert for a wonderful time. They suggest different activities—bowling, dancing, the movies, etc. It’s not that Introverts are pushovers. But one event in an evening is enough, while Extraverts like to be everywhere at once.

The fact is, despite their differences, Introverts are drawn to Extraverts for their outgoing nature. Because they are so congenial, Extraverts can carry an entire conversation on their shoulders with no help from outsiders. They can practice their extraversion on ushers, waiters, hostesses, and anyone else within earshot. One Introvert said of her Extravert date, “I don’t need to show up for a date. My partner might not even miss me, but he’ll thank me for a good time.” It’s easy to be with an Extravert. You don’t have to worry how to act or what to say in public, or in private for that matter. The Extravert will do it all.

The ease of being with an Extravert is especially helpful in the first stages of a relationship. Don’t know what to say? Extraverts can keep a conversation going when nothing needs to be said. That’s why Extraverts perform so well on casual introductory dates. An Extravert coupled with an Introvert can enjoy the company of another person while still being alone, in a sense.

The advantages of the combination? The Extravert can keep the Introvert from isolating themselves too much of the time. On the other hand, Extraverts, like all of us, need some quiet time to keep from getting frayed around the edges. Introverts provide those intervals of peace and quiet.

Perceiving vs. Judging—The Dating Game

Perceiving (P) and Judging (J) are a set of opposite traits on the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory. They are called the attitude traits. The other three sets are Extraversion vs. Introversion (energy), Sensing vs. Intuition (information-processing), and Thinking vs. Feeling (decision-making). Differences in the J-P function may cause considerable friction among opposites—particularly between the Judger, for example, who is always on time for appointments and the Perceiver who always arrives late.

The differences between a Perceiver and Judger are hard to hide on a day-to-day basis. Concealing one’s type is not all that difficult for other types. For example, an Introvert may have cultivated enough interpersonal and communications skills that he or she can come across as an Extravert. This is not uncommon. Or a smooth-talking Thinker may come across as a Feeling type when he or she is anything but. The J-P difference, on the other hand, is difficult to mask.

The differences between the two types are seen in the following example.

P: I saw the new library building this morning.
P: It must hold a lot of books.
P: The library will be open evenings.

J: I saw it, too. The architecture is beautiful. It must have cost a pretty penny.
J: I’ll look forward to a larger selection of books now.
J: I’m glad it will be open evenings. I can go after work.

Notice that the Perceiver makes no judgments about the new library. She’s seen it. It’s big. And it’s open in the evenings. On the other hand, the Judger’s remarks are full of value statements. The architecture is “beautiful.” He looks forward to a larger selection of books. He’s happy that he can now visit the library after work. These three statements have considerably more attitudinal closure—the hallmark of the Judger—than those made by the Perceiver.

This example is pretty tame compared with many of the scenarios faced by couples, based on their attitudes and outlook. In real life, both parties can get irritated by the obtuseness of the other. The Judger has an opinion, a plan, and a schedule for nearly everything. Perceivers, meanwhile, seem wishy-washy with their lack of opinions. They are easygoing about everything short of life-and-death issues.

Neither function, Perceiving or Judging, is better than the other. We need both types in the world.  J’s need P’s to inspire them to relax, collect more information before reaching a decision, and not make major issues of relatively unimportant matters. P’s need J’s to help them get organized and follow through on decisions.

Judgers can be described as orderly and organized. Their actions are controlled. They’re always on schedule. They seem to make decisions quickly with a minimum of stress—far too quickly for the anxious Perceiver. Judgers plan their work and their daily activities and then stick to the plan, Even leisure time is organized. For Judgers, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything.

Perceivers try to create an environment that allows them to be flexible and spontaneous. They want to be ready to adapt to a variety of conditions that can’t be predicted. Making and sticking to decisions prematurely causes them anxiety. The person whose friends have trouble understanding where he or she stands on specific issues is usually a Perceiver—flexible, open, and not judgmental.

At their respective extremes, the Perceiver is almost incapable of making decisions. Judgers find it almost impossible to change theirs.

Thinking vs. Feeling—The Conflict

Thinking and Feeling are a set of opposite traits on the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory. They are called the decision-making traits. The other three sets are Extraversion vs. Introversion (energy), Sensing vs. Intuition (how information is processed), and Perceiving vs. Judging (attitude).

Everyone exercises their Thinking-Feeling function based on information they’ve gathered, one way or another. This decision-making function—unlike the information-gathering function, which is the process of taking in data before doing anything about it—is all about closure. It is focused. Its purpose is to make judgments and determine what action to take.

 The Differences

When a couple is buying a car, they look at its appearance, determine the price, and then test-drive it. During this time, they’re gathering information. If all the qualities of the car are right, they may decide to buy it. The buyer who is a Thinker—analytical, detached, and logical—is driven by objective information. He or she is likely to be swayed by price, mechanical characteristics of the car, and resale value. The Feeling person—flexible and more emotional—is likely to be influenced by comfort, eye appeal, and what others will think of the car.

If the Thinker and Feeler arrive at the same conclusion, that doesn’t mean that they’ve taken the same route to the decision. If, for example, the car were a distasteful color in the eyes of the Feeler, that alone could be sufficient reason for him to reject it as a choice. On the other hand, the Thinker might find the color of minor importance, outweighed by other factors. In this case, the two will disagree on the decision.

Conflict

Too often, in the intimate areas of life, Thinkers and Feelers pass like ships in the night. Because they so easily misunderstand each other, their dialogue is often laced with negative feelings and unresolved issues. Much interpersonal dissatisfaction can be the result on both sides.

It should be clear that Thinkers do more than just think. They feel, too. And the opposite is true. Feelers think. At best, the Thinking person can bring objectivity to the table in any decision-making situation involving the partners. The Feeling person brings an awareness of how their decision can influence others, or the subjective outcome of their proposed action. Together, they can complement each other, listening carefully to the arguments put forth by the other party. In this way, they can reach a decision that meets both their needs.

Thinkers Feel, Too

Because a Thinking person tends to be objective, it doesn’t mean that he’s always decisive. What’s at stake is the process by which the decisions are reached. The thinker tends to be objective and removed, while the Feeler is totally involved. Both care, think, and feel, but the routes by which they arrive at their decisions are very different. When they fail to understand each other, they can fall into the trap of mutual put-downs.

While more American men are Thinkers rather than Feelers and more American women are Feelers, it doesn’t mean that the trait is gender-specific. It’s estimated that about twenty-five percent of men are Feelers, and the same percentage of women are Thinkers. On first impression, this might be viewed as a natural and appealing split. Some women are charmed by a manly decision-maker, while many men may find feminine flexibility attractive. Over time, however, their differences can become a source of interpersonal problems. This is particularly true when women are thinking types and men are Feeling types. These women don’t follow the feminine stereotype of soft, malleable creatures. The men who show feelings too readily aren’t considered macho enough.

The Solution

For the Feeling and Thinker to be compatible, they should understand the advantages of their different points of view and profit by them, not criticize each other.

Traits of Thinkers vs. Feelers

Thinkers                      Feelers

Firm                             Flexible

Clear                            Subtle

Critical                         Tolerant

Detached                     Involved

Just                              Compassionate

Legal-minded              Fair-hearted

Objective                     Subjective

How to Catch the Woman of Your Dreams

To appeal to an attractive woman, there are a number of do’s and don’ts. There’s a lot more than initial appeal to maintaining a relationship, but first you have to attract her. Your appearance and demeanor are at the top of the list. You should look clean and well-groomed and act in a civilized gentlemanly manner. You should appear to be more interested in her than in yourself, show a sense of humor, and demonstrate that while she’s important to you, you have an interesting life of your own. Below are a  number of suggestions.

Good grooming. Dress like a man, not a boy. A jacket and tie are preferable to a t-shirt with a beer slogan, but dress appropriately for the place and occasion. Practice good hygiene. Make sure your nails are clean and you’ve shaved. Shampoo your hair so it’s shiny and floppy, not greasy and stiff. Wear deodorant. Forget the male perfumes. More women find them offensive than not. If you wear leather shoes, polish them. Look like you stepped out of GQ, not Mechanics Illustrated.

Gentlemanly behavior. Be polite, almost formal at first. Introduce yourself and tell her you’re pleased to meet her. Offer to buy her a drink. Listen to her conversation attentively. Don’t let your attention wander; keep your eyes on her face. Don’t glance at the TV, even if the Super Bowl is on. Don’t look at other women. And don’t play with your phone.

Interesting conversation. Try exploring her interests for topics of conversation. What does she like to do in her spare time. Is she interested in art, music, sports? Follow her lead and develop the topic with intelligent comments of your own. This is a good way to find out if you have some interests in common.

Playfulness. Laugh when she says something funny. Show her that you appreciate a good sense of humor. Tell stories of your own life, keeping them short and interesting. Don’t brag.

Body language. Keep your body language open and relaxed. Never cross your arms or legs. Smile at her often. Speak in a gentle, masculine voice, never becoming shrill or loud. Turn toward her as you talk, not blocking her off with an arm between you.

Show her that you find her attractive. Compliment her on her dress, hair, or other aspect of her appearance without being overly forward. Let her know that you appreciate her conversation.

Show her that you have a life of your own. Don’t be too pushy or needy. Indicate that you’d like to spend more time with her, but also make it clear that you have a busy life of your own.

Biggest Attraction Killers

Not holding eye contact, poor attention span. If you allow your attention to wander to other people or the scene around you, you’re sending the message that you’re not that interested in her and probably never will be.

Too much sexual intent. If your conversation has too much sexual content or you’re making passes at her, you’ll scare her off. Stay away from sexy topics for the time being, until the relationship has ripened to the point where it’s clearly safe.

Bragging and talking too much. Don’t monopolize the conversation talking about yourself or your interests. Instead, try to draw her out and listen attentively to what she has to say.

Discussing risky topics. Don’t talk about your ex-girlfriends, ex-wives, or children. Stay away from sex. It’ s a turnoff too early in the conversation. Don’t discuss politics or religion. If you’re a Democrat and she’s a Republican, that could be enough for her to back away.

Getting drunk. Don’t try to get acquainted with someone when you’re drunk or well on your way. If you’ve already had something to drink when you meet her, slow down or stop. Order a Perrier. You don’t need to stop her from drinking; just watch your own.

Bad hygiene. Bad breath, body odor, dirty fingernails, or soiled clothes are immediate turn-offs for most women. Be sure you’re clean and you smell only of soap when you leave home. A clean, well-groomed man is a turn-on for most women.

Getting overeager. Keep the conversation general at first. Don’t start by propositioning a woman or laying out plans for future dates. When you compliment her, don’t overdo it. Keep your remarks subtle.

Not being present. If you’re not enjoying the present moment, it will be clear to a woman. Make your interest apparent but subtle. Show her that you take pleasure in her company, that her presence lifts your spirits. Make it clear that you’re not bored.

First impressions are important. They’re the first steps in forming a relationship, but you can’t slack off. What you did successfully at the first meeting must become a habit if you want the connection to last.

How To Catch the Man of Your Dreams

Looking for a man? Sitting at home wishing for a dream partner, doing the same old routines and not bettering yourself, won’t cut it. You need to get involved in social action, take classes, attend sporting events, etc.—go to places where men collect.

Below are twenty rules to help in your search.

  1. Be yourself, whereever you go. Don’t try to be cute and sassy if you’re not. Don’t try to be a femme fatale. Just be yourself.
  2. Get active in projects that make you a better person—political action, art, dancing class, learning an instrument, etc. You’ll be more interesting to men.
  3. Know your core values in life. Be selective about the men you’re interested in. If you don’t have similar values, a relationship won’t last.
  4. Ask a friend to find him. Your friend knows you best and will probably pick someone who’s suitable for you.
  5. Go on internet dating sites. True, there are a lot of misfits out there, but there are also a lot of good men looking for the same things you are. If you’re selective, you’re not risking much.
  6. Don’t be afraid to go on a number of dates. Keep them brief initially. Trial and error is how we learn, and that’s true of dating, as well.
  7. Don’t make fixed judgments about your first date. The first time out is nerve-wracking for many men, and they aren’t at their best. Give him more than one chance.
  8. Concentrate on presenting yourself agreeably. Be your most likeable self. Dress and speak well.
  9. Do a makeover. There’s no need for drastic changes. Just do your hair and makeup carefully and pick out an outfit that’s a blend of conservative and sexy.
  10. Be adventurous but not reckless. An adventurous outlook will be exciting to him. A reckless one might turn him off.
  11. Review past relationships for where you went wrong, and take corrective action in the next one.
  12. Be flirtatious without coming on too strong. Flirty moves will turn him on. Being brazen and overly forward will make him nervous.
  13. Be who you are right away. Don’t put up a false front because you think It will attract a man. Be authentic from the start.
  14. Take breaks between dates. Making a man pursue you and giving him the impression that you’re a busy woman are good tactics for attracting him.
  15. Don’t be afraid to make the first move. Your dream man may be afraid of rejection. Fill the gap that separates you, but be subtle about it.
  16. Be willing to call it quits. If, after several dates, you’re convinced that the relationship is a bad fit, don’t invest any more time in it. The same applies when it’s clear that a man isn’t ready for a committed partner.
  17. Follow your gut feeling. Forget lists and consultations with others. Your gut feeling about a man is probably right.
  18. Give your all. Once you decide that a man is a good partner for you, give him all your love. No flirting with other men or playing hard to get.
  19. Make a decision. If you’ve never felt this way about anyone before, you know that the man may be your soulmate.
  20. Hold your man. Continue to look your best and act like a well-adjusted grownup while still being true to yourself.

Coming soon: How to Catch the Woman of Your Dreams

INFJ Men as Lovers

INFJ men are complex, warm, and perceptive. They’re drawn to women who are intelligent, creative, and compassionate. While few INFJ men ever achieve perfect relationships, they always wish for them. This is a positive quality when they stay in a committed relationship but it works against them when they move from one woman to another, always seeking a partner who lives up to their ideals.

If you’re in a relationship with an INFJ male, your feelings won’t go unnoticed. He’ll pick up every nuance and shift in your mood. Sometimes you’ll think he can read your mind. He’s a skillful, attentive lover who won’t be happy unless he can give as much pleasure as he receives. He views lovemaking as a nearly spiritual experience and wants you to feel the same.

Have no fear that he’ll leave you on a whim. He’s steadfast and loyal. Hurting people is not what he does. In fact, he has a tendency to hang on to partnerships long after they start going bad. If your relationship begins to deteriorate, you’re likely to see him struggling with himself. If he finally concludes that his efforts are useless, he’s likely to move on quickly. Don’t expect to go through a series of arguments. That’s not his style. There’ll be no shouting or fighting, just a quiet announcement that it’s over and time for him to go.

If your relationship stands the test of time, you can look forward to years of meaningful companionship. You’ll receive thoughtful gifts, favors and compliments. INFJ men enjoy showing their love, but they also like to hear that their efforts are appreciated. Getting material gifts from you isn’t necessary. They’re happy with your words of pleasure and gratitude.

Don’t risk being dishonest with an INFJ man. You won’t get by with it for long. INFJs have little patience for people they consider fake or corrupt. They recognize lies quickly, even if they don’t say anything about it.

You may notice that other women are attracted to your INFJ partner. He may not realize this. He’s hard to resist because of his intelligence, warmth, and consideration. He has interesting ways of viewing the world. He inspires people to be their best. Yet because he’s a selfless person, he doesn’t recognize the impact he has on others. His modesty is part of his appeal.

If you’re lucky enough to find an INFJ man, don’t count on his making the first move. INFJs are rarely the first ones to initiate social contact. Ask whether he’d like to have coffee sometime. If he’s interested, you’ll know. Also, keep these pointers in mind:

1.  On a date, don’t talk about designer labels, top ten music, and other superficial matters. This is a major put-off for INFJs, who enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Money and fads are of limited interest.

2.  Leave your hand-held devices at home unless you need them for directions to a theatre, restaurant, etc.

3.  Don’t flirt with other men. You won’t impress your INFJ man. He’ll worry that you’re an unreliable partner.

4.  Don’t suggest that you’re out for a temporary affair.

5.  Don’t pressure him into going places that involve crowds of people, unless they’re quiet spectator events such as concerts, art shows, etc. Remember, he’s an introvert.

6.  Even though he may talk about expensive places he can take you, let him know that your idea of a good date is spending time one-on-one with him—that you’d rather be picnicking next to a river in his company than eating at a five-star restaurant.

7.  If your relationship moves on to sexual intimacy, take your time at lovemaking. Don’t rush the process. Savor every moment.

8.  Don’t lie to him, even about little things. He’ll pick up on it and your deceits will lower his opinion of you.

9.  Be patient about learning the INFJ’s innermost secrets. INFJs are more guarded than most Myers-Briggs types. If your partnership flourishes, he’ll eventually tell you everything.

Of all sixteen types, the INFJ has the greatest capacity for love and compassion in a relationship. If you find an INFJ man, hang on. He’s one in a hundred.

*   *   *


How INFJs Can Lose Out

INFJs walk in the footsteps of such illustrious figures as Carl Jung, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, and Eleanor Roosevelt, to name a few. The path can be challenging. But for INFJs who struggle to evolve throughout their lives, it’s a rewarding one. However, problems can come up if one or more Myers-Briggs functions move to the extreme end of the scale.

• When their expectations aren’t met, the resulting stress damages their ability to function. 

• Their perfectionism can get them in trouble when their perceiving function is too weak to buffer setbacks.

Their idealism can bring them down if people disappoint them.

They can trick themselves into thinking they’re above rules and regulations—a sense of entitlement resulting from their superior grasp of principles and ideas.

They may be intolerant of people who lack their gifts, becoming arrogant and difficult to approach.

They can let their four dominant traits get out of control and lead them into depression.

Expectations

Because their expectations are high and they work hard to achieve them, INFJs stumble when their efforts backfire. Under stress, they’re likely to do more of what they’ve been doing all along, trying to force things to turn out as planned. More of the same is not what’s needed. They need to acknowledge what is and adapt. In situations where their judging function leads them astray, they need to tap into their flexible perceiving function to adapt their expectations and strategies to current realities.

If an INFJ is planning a big party and the caterers are late delivering the food, he or she may come unglued. Someone must fetch the caterers! It’s hard for INFJs to reframe the problem of no food arriving in order to devise an alternative solution. Instead they waste time blaming themselves for not having the foresight to avoid the disaster. At this point, wringing their hands is not helpful.

Idealism

Having intuition as a dominant function, INFJs can become wedded to their expectations for the future. When facts conflict with their predictions, they’re inclined to cling to their hopes despite evidence to the contrary. If, for example, they have watched their Widget stock rise over several years, they may be confident that it can’t fall. When the stock market has a downturn, INFJs may hang on to their stock with unrealistic fantasies of a market reversal.

False expectations can be personal. INFJs can be disenchanted by friends and co-workers who turn out to be less perfect than they thought. When a person shows himself or herself to be flawed in important ways, the INFJ feels let down. To them, this is a reasonable reaction because they expect no more from others than they do of themselves.

Entitlement

INFJs resist rules that make no sense to them. If they park where a sign says “One-hour parking” and stay for 90 minutes, they’re indignant when they find a police citation under their windshield wiper. There were no other cars on the street! They believe in the spirit not the letter of the law. Other sources of frustration are penalty fees when a payment was only hours late, returned forms for minor missing information, and so on. Bureaucratic details are beneath INFJs.

Impatience

INFJs have little patience for sensing/thinking/judging types, considering them to be barriers to progress. They consider many STJs to be shortsighted and obsessed with trivial details. Why can’t they see the big picture? INFJs get exasperated when required to follow protocol, even when it’s necessary to the smooth operation of an organization. This is why INFJs tend to do poorly in administrative positions where routine is critical. Security jobs, for example, are often unsuitable because they require so much focus on detail.

Attitude

Knowing that they’re gifted with more wisdom than the average person, some INFJs adopt an attitude of moral superiority. This puts others off. As a result, friends and colleagues hesitate to ask them for guidance. Only when INFJs use their feeling function to empathize rather than criticize are they able to relate to others authentically and help them as equals.

Depression

Many INFJs are prone to depression. Each of their four dominant traits contributes to this tendency. Being introverts (I), they are focused inward much of the time. Their highly developed intuition (N) provides them with insights into themselves, others, and the world at large—insights that are sometimes painful. Their feeling function (F) gives these insights emotional weight that wouldn’t count as heavily in a thinking type. Their judging function (J) sometimes leads them to gloomy conclusions. If they could call on their perceiving abilities, they could open their minds to more promising possibilities.

INFJ Meets INFP

INFP (introverted-intuitive-feeling-perceiving) and INFJ (introverted-intuitive-feeling-judging) types are a lot alike. They have rich inner lives and treasure their solitude. Also, their intuition is highly developed, giving them the ability to see what’s going on under the surface. They understand why people do the things they do. Because they see through facades and games, deceivers and players can seldom fool them for long. INFPs and INFJs examine every piece of evidence for its fundamental truth and then seek the wider context into which it fits.

As idealists, both types drive themselves to achieve their goals, which are frequently humanitarian. If they don’t have the luxury of choosing careers that meet their needs, they spend much of their spare time helping others. Their values are strong and their principles firm—unless they find a valid reason to change them. Their biggest question is, “What’s my purpose?”infp_injf table

INFPs and INFJs set such high standards for themselves that they’re often disappointed in the results of their work. Because they don’t give themselves enough credit, they make good partners. Each supports and encourages the other.

They protect their privacy. When they’re not allowed enough time alone, they feel drained. They need solitude to recharge their batteries and get their energy back. As friends and partners, they understand this and are usually generous about giving each other space.

Both are somewhat prone to depression. Their introversion inclines them to be loners, giving them the tendency to brood over problems without checking the facts with others. Their feeling preference inclines them to exaggerate the importance of conflicts or hurt feelings.

Both types are generally well liked due to their warmth and sincerity. They make good listeners, put others at ease, and are valued as friends and confidantes.

Intuition (N)

The intuitive skills shared by the INFP and INFJ form their strongest bond. They usually agree on important matters. Due to differences in their perceiving and judging functions, however, they don’t always carry out practical tasks in the same way. The INFP may start a painting project, then leave it half-finished—intending to finish at a more convenient time. INFJs aren’t happy until the job is complete.

As intuitive individuals, they sift through their experiences to discover their meaning. How does the evidence fit into the big picture? People with a sensing preference, whose intuition is less developed, tend to accept things at surface value. They see no point in overthinking matters. As a result, they may fail to appreciate the insights and predictions of INFPs and INFJs—sometimes at their peril.

Work

INFPs and INFJs frequently find careers in fields requiring verbal skills. They cooperate and communicate effectively with others. Often they hold medical or social service jobs. Their sharp intuition helps them solve problems, their feeling function encourages people to trust them, and their introversion gives them time to contemplate the complex factors in situations. They prefer careers that don’t emphasize details but focus on patterns.

Counseling and mental health therapy are common careers among INFPs. INFJs do this work, too, but they can be less patient with clients’ progress. Because of their judging function, they often make the best writers. They use their verbal skills to build constructs, put them on paper, and get them published.

While both types get along with others, group projects frustrate them. They get annoyed by co-workers who don’t live up to their standards or fail to see the big picture. They generally remain polite, but inside they may be seething. When an INFP and INFJ collaborate on projects, they may have conflicts over deadlines as the former dawdles and the latter pushes to finish on time.

Taking on too much to please others is a problem they have in common. Also, they may give colleagues the impression that they agree on the details of a project when in fact they do not. They need to assert themselves more and learn to be honest, giving negative feedback when it’s important. They need to make sure their own needs are met, too—asking for a raise, for example, when it’s deserved.

INFPs make effective mediators in the workplace—especially in situations where they have no self-interest. They are less likely to take sides than INFJs. They want to hear everything. INFJs can draw conclusions too quickly.

Romance

When INFPs fall in love with INFJs, the natural reserve of the former makes it hard for them to express their affection in words. It’s a little easier for the INFJ, who can also be shy but is better at taking action. Both can be eloquent in their physical expressions of love. As lovers, they are tender and creative. This helps keep the relationship anchored.

The two types are sensitive and easily hurt. One or the other can easily misinterpret a casual statement, offhand action, or forgotten promise and feel rejected. When one says, “I’ll be late tonight” as he or she leaves the house and means nothing more than that, the other may give the statement a sinister interpretation. To avoid bruised egos, they need to remember the importance of frequent reality checks.

Both tend to overdramatize situations and ignore the simple facts. When a disagreement comes up, they can get out of touch with each other. They have to release their ego investment and back-pedal in order to find common ground.

They tend to be absent-minded, too, which can be annoying for everyone. Where are the house keys? Did anyone let the cat in this morning? What time were we supposed to be there? Both are likely to shrug and say they don’t know.

Fortunately, they’re tolerant of each other because they share the inability to recall the concrete details of life. Such mundane matters don’t hold their attention.

Family Life

As parents, both types listen attentively to each other and their children, although INFJs are slightly less patient because of their judging function. They’re more likely to interrupt a conversation to see where it’s going. The INFP is content to listen without closure. INFPs wait to think about what’s been said before deciding what to do.

They avoid conflicts. Under normal conditions, they’re courteous and respectful, seldom raising their voices. When a problem comes up, they talk it over. The difference is that INFJs have a stronger need to decide who’s right and who’s wrong, while the INFP’s main goal is to preserve good will in the family. Both get rattled by conflict, but the INFJ is more likely to stand his or her ground on critical issues.

When it’s time for a vacation, INFJ parents are generally the chief planners. Their inclination to arrange details before checking them out with the family can cause problems, but after they’ve set off, the parents have no problem giving everyone time alone. After all, they want that, too. When the family re-gathers, they relax and have fun.

Nurturing their children comes naturally to INFPs and INFJs. They are patient, devoted, and protective parents. However, when friction arises over, say, a child’s behavior, they tend to keep their objections to themselves longer than they should. Eventually the INFJ in particular is likely to blow up.

Famous INFPs and INFJs

INFPs and INFJs whose four Myers-Briggs functions are healthy and well developed can accomplish great things, although they are generally humble about them.lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was an INFP—moody, quiet, gentle, witty and determined. As his law partner described him: “He cared little for simple facts. He cared for the underlying principle of truth and justice.” Other famous INFPs include J.R.R. Tolkien, Virginia Woolf, Vincent van Gogh, and John Lennon.jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was an INFJ. A historian described Jefferson’s character as having “a too-good-for-this-world streak that showed itself in many ways, from his mountaintop house, to his dislike of face-to-face argument.” Other famous INFJs include Carl Jung, Mahatma Gandhi, Agatha Christy, Leonard Trotsky, and Michelle Pfeiffer.

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INFJ Meets ENTJ

INFJs and ENTJs are on the same wavelength in many ways. They enjoy spending time together and sharing creative, stimulating conversations. Superficial topics bore them. Both have excellent intuition and can size people up accurately on short acquaintance. They share the ability to comprehend complex situations that baffle others.

ENTJTraitsWhile the two types can become close friends, INFJs should be mindful of the ENTJ’s rough edges. This type can be blunt, with little tolerance for mistakes. Sometimes their tempers flare because they don’t recognize the effect on others. As the ENTJ’s friend you may take offense at some of his or her remarks. Refusing to engage in an argument is the most effective way to deal with this.ENTJTraits

ENTJs have a high regard for their own positions. INFJs must be the ones to establish limits in the relationship, firmly but tactfully setting their boundaries. Most ENTJs have sharp enough intuition to recognize the need for tact if they want to keep the INFJ’s friendship.

Because ENTJs can be so intimidating, many people hesitate to be open and honest with them. This deprives ENTJs of important information. Surprisingly, they respond best to those who stand up to them quietly but firmly. ENTJs have little regard for people they can push around. Eventually, most friends and co-workers learn that the ENTJ’s bark is worse than his or her bite.

While ENTJs may seem like pillars of strength, most have a sentimental side that they try to conceal. They believe that emotional displays are a sign of weakness. When ENTJs are sad or worried, they seldom talk about it. Sensitive INFJs can usually pick up on their troubled feelings and offer compassion while not intruding with solutions.

The major difference between INFJs and ENTJs lies in their need to influence or control others. INFJs lack the ENTJ’s leadership drive. In a work setting this need not be a liability, because the INFJ is comfortable letting the ENTJ take charge as long as the two parties agree on objectives. INFJs don’t have the same ego investment in running the show. They like credit if it’s due, but they won’t ask for more than their share. At home, the issue of control may become troublesome. The INFJ is likely to tire of the ENTJ’s tendency to micromanage and, when things don’t go as planned, to lose his or her temper.

Falling in Love

ENTJs are usually drawn to attractive partners. This preference is a reflection of their high standards. Most ENTJ men prefer beautiful women and most ENTJ women like handsome, confident men. To get along with an ENTJ in a relationship, an INFJ needs a well-developed sense of self. It helps to have a sense of humor.

If you’re an INFJ man, you may find ENTJ women intimidating. They are hard for many men to accept. In fact, women of this personality type can be quite nurturing and caring. Their femininity isn’t expressed in traditional ways. When their confrontational style surfaces, the most effective way to avoid conflict is to deflect arguments with humor and good will.

The partners of ENTJs will find themselves on their own much of the time. An INFJ shouldn’t expect to take top priority in the partnership. While it may seem possible at first, it won’t last. The INFJ will be expected to fit into the partner’s ambitions. Some of the INFJ’s intimacy needs will have to be met by family and friends. Otherwise, the INFJ is likely to feel emotionally short-changed.

ENTJs tend to see their partners as extensions of themselves–as supportive characters in their life scripts. They expect them to honor their commitments and respect the ENTJ’s need for autonomy. Failure to do so will make the ENTJ angry.

Family Life

ENTJs and INFJs share a love of family life. They invest themselves fully in their children, see that they get a good education, and emphasize responsible behavior. As conscientious parents, they make sure their children do their homework and sign up for extracurricular activities.

Friction can arise between the parents when the ENTJ parent takes charge too much. ENTJs prefer a domestic autocracy, with them at the head. An INFJ entering a long-term relationship with an ENTJ, including plans for marriage and children, should have a strong self-image and be able to set clear boundaries.

An ENTJ’s family can expect to have their playtime and vacations structured. The children won’t be encouraged to lie on the beach doing nothing. ENTJs don’t approve of pursuits that have no goal. In their view, leisure activities should be productive. Not only that, it’s preferable that they be scheduled. INFJ partners are likely to share this view to some extent, but they’re less intense about it.

Work

ENTJs are career-focused and fit well into corporate life. They’re quick to solve problems and have an uncanny sense of where business decisions will lead. They aspire to leadership roles and enjoy competition.

INFJs share the ENTJ’s gifts of highly developed intuition and creativity, but they aren’t interested in the power needed to run things. Because they find conflict unpleasant, it’s hard for them to be forceful. Also, they treasure their private time too much to participate fully in the social aspects of business.

In business settings, the two types complement each other. INFJs make good advisors to ENTJs. INFJs have the social sensitivity needed to help ENTJs avoid problems in the workplace that might result from heavy-handed decisions. They can express their hesitation about the wisdom of an ENTJ’s decision and have their opinions respected. By complementing the ENTJ in this way, the INFJ acts as an effective buffer.

Famous Examples

thatcherroosevelt-3Eleanor Roosevelt, an INFJ and the wife of U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was a renowned humanitarian and U.S. Peace Ambassador. Margaret Thatcher, an ENTJ, was the first female Prime Minister of Great Britain.

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