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Is Romance in the Air?  INFJ Meets INFP

INFP and INFJ types are a alike in many ways. Both types are introverted (I), intuitive (N), and feeling (F). They have rich inner lives and treasure their solitude. 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?” This quest helps them form a close bond together.

 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 need each other’s support. One 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.

Friendship

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.

INFPs and INFJs frequently have compatible careers 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. These similarities give them a lot in common as friends.

While both types get along with others, group projects frustrate them. They get annoyed by people 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 while 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 others the impression that they agree on the details of a project when in fact they do not. This is true of them as friends as well as participants in the larger community. They need to assert themselves more and learn to be honest, giving negative feedback when it’s important.

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.

Home 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.

Secrets of Success

INFPs and INFJs whose four Myers-Briggs functions are healthy and well developed can accomplish great things, although they are generally humble about them. Respect for personal boundaries is an important key to success for the INFJ/INFP couple. Each has strong needs for privacy along with their need for mutual support.

 

 

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Is Romance in the Air? INFJ Meets ISTP

If you’re an INFJ, you may find yourself drawn to ISTPs. They’re quietly competent, people of few words who make every utterance worth listening to. They pay attention. They have emotional control. How refreshing!

INFJs and ISTPs have very different personalities. The only trait they have in common is introversion (I). Because both are private people, they prefer thinking about things to talking about them. They’re quiet, but their minds are always busy.

What about the other traits? First, ISTPs, being sensing (S) types, are matter-of-fact and observant of what’s going on around them. Intuitive INFJs, being more creative and less down-to-earth, are often unaware of details. They lose things like cell phones and credit cards frequently.

Second, the ISTP, a thinking type (T), makes decisions based on the facts and logic of a situation, not emotional nuances. If they’re paying to have a job done and the work is shoddy, the INFJ may worry about confronting the worker and hurting his or her feelings. The ISTP is more objective. The job isn’t satisfactory and the worker must be told.

Finally, perceiving (P) ISTPs avoid final decisions and are more comfortable when things are left open-ended. They’re casual about appointments and deadlines. They can undertake two or three projects at a time. INFJs do only one thing at a time, and they’re punctual and deadline-oriented. With their preference for judging (J), they like to see decisions made and situations brought to closure.

Friendship

While INFJs and ISTPs may have philosophical differences, they can complement each other in practical ways as friends. Unlike INFJs, ISTPs generally have good eye-hand coordination and understand how things work. Faced with a car repair, for example, the INFJ can usually rely on an ISTP friend to figure out what’s wrong with the vehicle before making a deal with a mechanic. ISTPs are unlikely to be fooled by mechanics or other fixers of things. They may even be able to repair the car themselves. Because they rely on their sensing preference more than their intuition, they think problems through while working on them. Unlike INFJs, they’re not interested in theories.

When a friendship between these two types runs aground, it’s usually because of conflicts in thinking and feeling. ISTPs make decisions based on facts father than feelings and values. This impersonal approach gives them a tendency to be unaware of the reactions of others to the things they do. They may not even be clear about their own emotions. Although INFJs do examine the facts, they’re more likely to be concerned with the impact of their decisions on others. Because of this difference, the ISTP can offend the INFJs without meaning to.

Romance

When ISTPs are looking for romance they seek partners who give them freedom to follow their own interests or, better yet, share these interests. An ISTP who loves camping may persuade an INFJ of the fun of sleeping in a tent. If the INFJ shows some enthusiasm, the ISTP may acquaint the person details about types of tents, sleeping bags, and cooking equipment. Before long, the two are likely to find themselves planning a trip to the nearest state park for a weekend.

Because both types are shy about expressing their feelings toward each other in words, they look for other ways to show their affection, such as finding gifts that will please the partner. They offer to cook, run errands, and do other practical favors. They prefer to show their feelings through actions rather than words. They don’t often speak words of love to each other, because they believe that the things they do together convey the message. The way they talk about their relationship is likely to be subtle and indirect. The words “I love you” don’t come easily. It’s easier to say, “Let’s eat at this restaurant again soon.”

If one partner decides to leave the other, the rejected ISTP is quiet about his or her suffering. ISTPs don’t give up easily on their relationships unless the facts make it obvious that the partnership won’t work out. A rejected INFJ may take longer to recover from a broken romance and be reluctant to take the risk to move on.

Home Life

When an INFJ and ISTP decide to make their relationship permanent and live together, they usually find that it takes effort and patience to preserve the bond that they enjoyed initially. To avoid unnecessary friction, the two must respect each other’s ways of thinking and feeling. The ISTP should try to understand the INFJs need for emotional support. For this to happen, usually the INFJ must explain his or her needs to the ISTP and make suggestions for meeting them. At the same time, INFJs shouldn’t expect ISTPs to be their sole source of emotional support. They need to cultivate a few friends who can empathize with their feelings. It’s a good idea to spread dependency needs around.

Secrets of Success

A well-matched pair of INFJs and ISTJs can complement each other in ways that benefit them both. The INFJ can appreciate the ISTP’s ability to enjoy the details of life without over-thinking, as INFJs tend to do. ISTPs have an uncomplicated way of viewing the world. This can be a relief to the complex INFJ for whom very little is easy. The ISTP’s life is enriched by the creative, witty INFJ who is usually a pleasure to be around.

 

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Is Romance in the Air? INFJ Meets ENFP

Myers-Briggs personality traits have a lot to do with the potential for romance, friendship, and working relationships. They’re important in family life, too. Romance has a better chance of lasting between lovers of similar Myers-Briggs types. Siblings of the same personality type are likely to get along better than those of very different types.

People of the Myers-Briggs INFJ personality type share some characteristics with the ENFP type, but not others. They differ in their sociability (I = introvert, E = extravert), but share their preferences for both intuition (I) and feeling (F)—the main reason for their attraction to each other. Both types have an uncanny ability to size people up as the result of their intuitive gifts. The difference is that the INFJ is less likely to share discoveries and insights unless prompted. Because of their shared feeling preference, both are kind, compassionate. Their differences in Perceiving (P) and Judging (J) explain why they go about tasks differently—the perceiving type being more easy-going and less driven than the punctual, conscientious judging type.

Life is fun with ENFPs, who never tire of developing new interests. They’re at their best in situations that are fluid and changing. Even in their day-to-day activities they look for new ways of doing things. The same is true of INFJs except that they are drawn to activities that involve fewer social contacts and less communication with others. INFJs are more private.

Friendship

INFJs and ENFPs can spend long hours talking and laughing together because their ways of thinking are similar. Their intuitive and feeling traits are the glue that holds the friendship together. However, they are often at odds about their differences in sociability. The INFJ may grow weary of the amount of time the ENFP spends in the company of others. He or she regrets that the ENFP doesn’t take more pleasure in their time alone as friends.

In healthy friendships, compromise is the key. If the ENFP accepts many party invitations, the INFJ can consent to attend some but bow out of others.  Each friend needs to understand the character of the other, honor his or her preferences, and adapt some of the time.

Another difference between them concerns punctuality. The INFJ is rarely tardy and gets things done when promised. ENFPs have a tendency to be late. They lose track of time, because they underestimate how long it will take to finish what they’re doing. They miss deadlines or are slow in meeting their commitments. This happy-go-lucky attitude often annoys INFJs, who think it irresponsible. ENFPs, on the other hand, may consider INFJs clock-watchers.

Romance

ENFPs have such appealing personalities that they’re never short of admirers. When a relationship takes hold with an INFJ, the bond is likely to be intense at first, as the ENFP showers attention on the other person. The INFJ feels honored and unconditionally loved. However, many of these relationships wear out over time, and the ENFP begins looking for another conquest.

Being in love is an almost constant state for ENFPs. When the love bug gets them, they study all aspects of the new partner. ENFPs tend to idealize their current relationships, thinking that the latest one is the best of all.

Whether male or female, ENFPs can be seductive. They know how to appeal to attractive prospects and make themselves desirable. Sometimes they go too far in their quest for affection, making the INFJ feel pressured and deprived of private time. If this makes the INFJ uneasy, the ENFP is likely to get anxious and needy. A discussion about the importance of boundaries may help ease the ENFP’s jittery response to a partner’s hesitance.

Being abandoned by an ENFP partner is hard on the sensitive INFJ, who thinks, “I’ll never find a person this wonderful again.” In contrast, a rejected ENFJ usually smarts at first, but then recovers by exaggerating the partner’s shortcomings and concentrating on new prospects. When ENFPs are left by a lover, they rebound quickly.

Home Life

INFJs who marry ENFPs find that they’re enjoyable to live with. They also make good parents. They know how to turn family chores into enjoyable activities. If there’s a task that’s boring, they find a way to make it interesting. They infuse family life with creativity and avoid letting their home get too structured, with no room for imagination. When the freewheeling goes too far, however, the INFJ may complain that things are getting out of control.

ENFPs may consider themselves organized in their home life, but INFJ partners often take a different view. The ENFPs’ desire to be open to new possibilities is usually stronger than their need to keep things neat and tidy. When they fix meals, the kitchen is likely to be a mess. Their offices or dens are cluttered. There’s always something more interesting to do than clean up.

Because of their wide-ranging interests, ENFPs tend to change jobs often—even career tracks—with the result that their finances are shaky. Partly this is due to their success at landing jobs for which they’re not fully qualified. If the family needs a steady income, the tendency of ENFPs to quit jobs or get fired may frustrate INFJs.

Secrets of Success

INFJs and ENFPs share the gifts of compassion and desire to help others. They’re champions of good causes—whether their efforts are directed at people, animals, or the environment. By cooperating in their efforts to help others, they strengthen their own personal bond. They make good partners, and together they are an admirable team.

 

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Is Romance in the Air? INFJ Meets INFJ

When two INFJs find each other, they’re lucky. After all, only one percent of the population is the INFJ type. INFJs 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.

As friends or partners, each can depend on the other to behave with integrity—whatever the setting. Their actions match their ideals. While they don’t make a fuss about their standard of ethics, it’s apparent in everything they do.

Despite their admiration for each other, they are shy about giving and receiving praise due to their introverted personalities. They try to avoid the spotlight, even with one other person. Small talk is not their forte. They’d rather be quiet than engage in trivial conversation. In general, INFJs are at their best concentrating on their ideas and inspirations—not engaging in social banter.

Friendship

INFJs usually forge lasting friendships when they’re lucky enough to find each other. As friends, they work together harmoniously and are persistent about meeting their shared goals. If they meet resistance from outside sources, they only get more determined. Their friends and acquaintances respect their quiet strength and ability to support each other. Even at play, they’re a delight to be with because they’re so friendly, honest, and good-natured.

Because of their shared introversion, they’d rather be alone together than out socializing. When they’re enjoying themselves they may hesitate 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 solely as a couple can cause the partners 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. By the time they share their insights with each other, they’ve usually covered all the bases. You can’t put much over on a pair of INFJs.

Romance

When two INFJs become romantically attached, they may at first feel shy about showing their affection. They aren’t big risk-takers in the business of romance. 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 become close, 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 try to postpone a separation because the intimacy is so important. In cases where one is married and the other isn’t, trouble may result. Since INFJs are loyal and ethical, they’re unlikely to leave a marriage partner. When they do, they suffer guilt and remorse. This isn’t good for any relationship. When two INFJs break up, both suffer. Neither forgets the other. Some longing for the relationship will always remain.

Home Life

INFJ partners are idealists as partners and parents. They strive for 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 and skills, 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 work and think in private.

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. To keep their relationship healthy, they need to preserve their needs for personal privacy. They should give each other the space needed for individual pursuits. At the same time, they should take time for social activities that get them out of the house and around other people.

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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.

INFJ Meets ISFJ

INFJs and ISFJs are alike in many ways. They’re introverted, feeling, and judging. They differ only on the intuitive/sensing dimension of the Myers-Briggs Inventory. Both types put much of their energy into helping others and share a drive to make the world a better place. People can count on them in times of trouble.

Although INFJs and ISFJs have high ideals, they’re modest about them. They prefer to make their values apparent in their actions. This is partly due to their introverted personalities and desire to avoid the spotlight. Seldom do they call attention to themselves or demand recognition for their achievements.

The main difference between INFJs and ISFJs is that INFJs are more perceptive. They pick up on the motives of others quickly. Because they’re so sharp at spotting phony behaviors in people, their judgments are sometimes harsh. On the other hand, ISFJs are somewhat naïve. They have a hard time understanding power-hungry people or those with self-serving motives. They are bewildered by greed and unkindness as it’s so foreign to their natures. INFJs and ISFJs complement each other because they meet somewhere in the middle. INFJs protect ISFJs from their gullibility, and ISFJs are models of tolerance.

Quiet and unassuming, INFJs and ISFJs aren’t easy to get to know, but people close to them value their friendship.

In Love

Both INFJs and ISFJs take romantic relationships seriously and are attentive to their partners’ needs. In their speech and demeanor, they’re tactful and kind. At the same time, their introverted natures make them cautious about expressing their feelings for fear of rejection. These two types may be so cautious in their approach to romance that more extraverted partners get impatient with them. INFJs and ISFJs have a tendency to hold back on the playful aspects of their personalities until they know people well.

INFJs and ISFJs sometimes remain in partnerships that are no longer working. The thought of leaving a relationship makes them nervous and insecure. When either of these types is left by a partner, they’re deeply hurt. Typically, their self-esteem suffers and they go through a period of painful self-examination. If they don’t turn to friends for support, they’re slow to regroup and move on. Some grow quiet, trying to appear composed and stoic to the people around them.

At Home

The homes of INFJs tend to be more cluttered than those of ISFJs. An abundance of books, crafts supplies, musical instruments, and other paraphernalia lie around the house, allowing INFJs to pursue their hobbies at a moment’s notice. While they would prefer a tidy environment, housekeeping has a lower priority than having fun. When family members complain about the mess, however, INFJs will pick up after themselves.

ISFJs’ homes are usually neater, as they’re more prompt about attending to home maintenance and domestic chores. Sometimes their sense of responsibility prompts them to take on more than they can handle. They may complain about their workload in a martyred sort of way, but then turn down offers of assistance from family members. To accept help makes them feel inadequate and guilty.

Celebrations such as birthdays and anniversaries are important to ISFJs, who are more traditional than INFJs. To get the most enjoyment out of such events, they participate enthusiastically in the preparations—cooking the holiday meal, cleaning the house, and so on. This is one way they show their commitment and love.

Both Myers-Briggs types take their parenting responsibilities seriously. For them parenthood is a lifelong commitment. Protective and patient, they’re likely to set aside their own needs to be sure their children are taken care of first. They give them every opportunity for a good education, for example. While ISFJs tend to encourage their children along conventional career lines, INFJs are more broad minded. They’re tolerant of unusual extracurricular and career interests as long as their children put forth genuine effort.

INFJs and ISFJs desire harmony above all. They want their partners and children to be happy. As a result, they sometimes sidestep family conflicts that should be resolved for the good of everyone.

At Work

INFJs and ISFJs need careers that are consistent with their values and desire to serve others. ISFJs are generally satisfied with conventional careers that focus on short-term goals and hands-on attention to detail, while INFJs feel fulfilled only when their intuition and creativity are called into play and they’re involved in long-range planning and problem-solving.

Both personality types are averse to conflicts and stress in the workplace. INFJs can become rigid and uncommunicative in a competitive or intense work environment. Eventually, they look for another job. ISFJs are likely to keep trying, working harder in the hope that the situation will improve.

Growing Older

INFJs and ISFJs enjoy their retirement years if they’re free of financial worries and have leisure time to pursue their interests. INFJs, once preoccupied with world problems, become more relaxed as they grow older, leaving many of their worries behind and enjoying the present. They’re likely to decide that the state of the world is the next generation’s problem.

ISFJs, always more now-oriented than INFJs, also enjoy being released from the time-consuming obligations that characterized their working years. With age, they become less self-critical and more extraverted. Their give their own needs and desires higher priority than they once did. Still, being of service to others remains important.

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INFJ Meets INTJ

INFJs (introverted, intuitive, feeling and judging) and INTJs (introverted, intuitive, thinking and judging) are suited to each other in many ways. Both are independent and guided by their intuition. However, INFJs are more tactful about insisting on their autonomy. INTJs can be confrontational. Sometimes they’re so confident that they seem argumentative. INFJs aren’t comfortable with this. When an INTJ seems to be picking an argument, an INFJ friend can be surprised and hurt, even though this is rarely the INTJ’s intention.

At Work

Like INFJs, INTJs are organizers. As a result they often rise to leadership positions. Blessed with strong intuition, both types are good at seeing the big picture and solving problems.

They’re effective workers because they’re skilled at planning projects and carrying them out efficiently. They don’t walk away and leave the details to others. The main difference is that INFJs are more content to work in the background, while INTJs want to be sure they get credit for their efforts. INFJs cooperate with others more easily and avoid conflicts.

In Love

When an INFJ and INTJ fall in love, they want to include each other in every aspect of their lives. Both express their affection more by what they do than by what they say. They’re cautious about discussing their deep feelings for fear of rejection. INTJs are likely to purchase expensive gifts for their partners. The INTJ man in love with a woman who enjoys jewelry may buy her an expensive ring. The INTJ woman involved with a man who’s into winter sports may buy him cross-country skis.

If a relationship between an INFJ and INTJ starts to fall apart, the INTJ is likely to withdraw and remain silent about his or her feelings, even with the partner. INFJs are affected more deeply and deal with the crisis by looking for their own mistakes and shortcomings. Unlike the INTJ, they may need friends to help them overcome their grief before they can regroup their energies and move on.

Because of their need to be loved, INFJs are more likely than INTJs to get involved with partners who aren’t right for them. Even when they suspect this, they often continue the relationship because the intimacy and commitment are so important to them.

INTJs are more particular. Even before they find a partner, they know what they want and how they want a relationship to function. They don’t continue a relationship that doesn’t meet their needs. An INTJ who does a lot of camping and hiking looks for a partner with outdoor interests. No matter how attractive a bookish INFJ type may appear, the INTJ won’t feel drawn to them. An INTJ who makes a living as a concert violinist won’t be interested in an INFJ who dislikes classical music, no matter how appealing the person is otherwise.

At Home

Both INFJs and INTJs are inconsistent about how tidy they keep their homes. Sometimes their homes are neat and organized. Sometimes they’re not. Keeping the environment in order is probably more important to the INTJ than to the INFJ.

When the partners and children of INFJs complain that their house is a mess, they will try to tidy the place up to keep everyone happy. Their work areas may be cluttered, but, as with INTJs, their minds are extremely organized. INTJs may let some parts of the house be in disarray, but they usually keep their personal quarters organized. To both the INFJ and INTJ, their inner lives are the most important. Both types need solitude, but the INTJ is more demanding about this than the INFJ.

INTJs develop idealistic models of how people should lead their lives, applying them to family members as well as themselves. An INTJ father may decide what college would be best for his son and what his major should be, failing to consider the boy’s preferences and personality. If the father was a business major in college, he may discourage an athletic son who wants to study physical education. A mother who is a biologist may not understand a daughter who wants to be a musician. Music doesn’t fit her model of what a child should pursue in college.

As parents, INFJs are more broadminded than INTJs. They’re more tolerant of the types of playmates their children choose, what kind of extracurricular activities they’re involved in, and what they choose to study in college. To them, the important thing is how much effort their children put in and whether they’re developing into happy, productive human beings.

Leisure

INFJs and INTJs like purposeful leisure activities, but INTJs are more serious about it. When vacation time comes, the families or companions of INTJs shouldn’t look forward to unplanned, carefree days. Outings must have a goal and be scheduled. INTJs don’t feel comfortable lolling on the beach. They must be scuba diving, taking pictures, or collecting shells. INFJs are also more comfortable if their leisure activities have purpose, but they’re not as goal-directed. Planned activities are mostly an excuse to have fun.

The dedication of INTJs to specific sports or seasonal pursuits can be daunting to INFJs. Perhaps an INTJ plays tennis three times a week in the summer, then goes cross-country skiing three times a week in the winter. Most INTJs like to keep their bodies in shape. In contrast, INFJs give more importance to having fun with others. They like sharing hobbies and outdoor activities with close friends. In the company of others, they don’t necessarily talk a lot, but they enjoy easy, informal exchanges connected with what they’re doing.

INTJs and INFJs are able to enjoy each other if the INTJ is accepting of the INFJs’ enthusiasm and open display of feelings, and the INFJ is patient with the INTJ’s reserved, competitive tendencies.

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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.

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When INFJs Go Bad

When INFJs are on track, they’re creative and insightful. They’re almost clairvoyant. In addition, they’re compassionate and generous. They are protectors of the weak. As idealists, they have strong values. And they get a lot done. While they prefer private time to socializing, they use their solitude productively. INFJs can be depended on to come through—and to come through on time.

How can they miss? Any Myers-Briggs type can overuse or abuse one or more traits.

Ways of Losing Out

When INFJs act on their ideals and do good in the world, all is well. But some INFJs focus on their visions without doing anything except talk about them. If unpleasant realities come along that contradict their utopian views, they try to ignore their existence. Focusing on their single-minded beliefs, they cling to goals that can’t be attained. INFJs who have painted themselves into this corner need to reframe their visions, attune them to reality, and be more flexible in their objectives.

Many INFJs dislike conflicts and go to great lengths to avoid them. As a result, they may fail to be assertive about important issues—only to find later that their ideas are overlooked or played down. People who might have been their allies don’t come through because the INFJ didn’t share his or her thinking.

Similarly, INFJs may be so conflict-avoidant that they’re afraid to voice criticisms that might offend friends or colleagues. Even though their concerns are valid, they keep them bottled up for fear of creating ill will. Their negative energy builds up, like steam in a kettle. When the pressure gets too great, they blow up, causing conflict and making the resolution of problems difficult. In reality, their fears of antagonizing others are mostly groundless. INFJs are masters of tact. They can count on their customary encouraging style of communication to reassure others that their intentions are good.

Another way INFJs lose out is by focusing obsessively on minor details. An INFJ preparing to give a seminar, for example, may get so caught up in preparation of name-tags, seating arrangements, projection equipment, and so on, that he or she doesn’t spend enough time on the presentation itself. The students are there to listen to the INFJ. The housekeeping details aren’t that important.

Getting Support

INFJs are, of course, introverts. Asking for advice isn’t their long suit. But getting help from others is a major ingredient of success. Also, the very process of discussion prompts INFJs to come up with ideas and insights of their own.

INFJ Meets Sensing Type—A Relationship Challenge

INFJs trying to live peacefully in this world face a major challenge in their relationships with the Myers-Briggs sensing type. Unlike INFJs, sensors are not intuitive (N). They’re puzzled by people who rely on hunches rather than hard facts to steer their way through life. Sensing types believe in concrete evidence. INFJs depend on insights. They just know. For this reason, the two types often find themselves at cross-purposes.

It isn’t so difficult for INFJs to relate to their opposites on the other three Myers-Briggs scales: extraversion/introversion, thinking/feeling, and perceiving/judging. Like INFJs, extraverts need some solitude, too. It’s just that they need much less. Thinkers may be mostly logical in their approach to life, but they’re not without feeling. Perceivers are capable of adopting some judging habits when it’s to their advantage. If they antagonize enough people with their tardiness, for example, they may cultivate the habit of punctuality.

Examples

The INFJ looking for a car with a sensing partner may dread the shopping experience. He or she is prepared for a long, tiresome search. Alone, many INFJs could purchase a car in a single morning. They’d do research online the day before, figure out what automobile would be the best buy, and then go out and look for a dealer that has one.

Not sensors. They want to collect lots of information and then go out and look at lots of cars. Even when their brains are full of specs and prices, it may be hard for them to choose. However, pressuring a sensing type into a hasty decision tends to come with consequences when he or she later ponders its wisdom. (“Are you sure the sticker said 27 mpg?” “Do you think we could have gotten a better interest rate?”)

Another problem is that INFJs lose things a lot. Unlike sensing types, they have more engaging things to think about. With their minds elsewhere while checking out at the supermarket, they leave their keys at the counter. When they reach the car, they panic. If they’d taken a sensing partner shopping with them, this probably wouldn’t have happened. The sensor would see the keys on the counter, pick them up, and roll his or her eyes.

INFJs and sensors also handle social situations differently. After a party, sensing types remember who was there and what they were wearing. These details go right past the INFJ. On the way home in the car, the sensor asks, “Did you notice Fred’s orange tie? It was horrible!” The INFJ has no memory of Fred’s tie. He or she says, “Do you think Fred’s having trouble at home? His wife wasn’t there and he seemed tense.” The sensor wonders how the partner could have jumped to that conclusion from across the room.

Earth to INFJ

Sensing types are earthbound. They’re systematic, follow instructions, and collect information before making big decisions. INFJs are creative and free-wheeling. INFJs with sensing partners are in for a rough ride if they don’t respect their personality differences. Neither type is being willful or obstinate. They are simply using their tried and true methods for viewing the world.