© Vision Software - Please Understand Me
Taken from David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates' "Please Understand Me"
|Name:||Victor Issa||On the whole, this report is amazingly accurate. Anyone who knows me, though, would find a few differences. I test mostly as an INFJ, but sometimes as ENFJ.|
INFJs focus on possibilities, think in terms of values and come easily to decisions. The small number of this type (1 percent) is regrettable, since INFJs have an unusually strong drive to contribute to the welfare of others and genuinely enjoy helping their fellow men. This type has great depth of personality; they are themselves complicated, and can understand and deal with complex issues and people.
It is an INFJ who is likely to have visions of human events past, present, or future. If a person demonstrates an ability to understand psychic phenomenon better than most others, this person is apt to be an INFJ. Characteristically, INFJs have strong empathic abilities and can be aware of another's emotions or intents even before that person is conscious of these. This can take the form of feeling the distress or illnesses of others to an extent which is difficult for other types. INFJs can intuit good and evil in others, although they seldom can tell how they came to know. Subsequent events tend to bear them out, however.
INFJs are usually good students, achievers who exhibit an unostentatious creativity. They take their work seriously and enjoy academic activity. They can exhibit qualities of overperfectionism and put more into a task than perhaps is justified by the nature of the task. They generally will not be visible leaders, but will quietly exert influence behind the scenes.
INFJs are hard to get to know. They have an unusually rich inner life, but they are reserved and tend not to share their reactions except with those they trust. Because of their vulnerability through a strong facility to introject, INFJs can be hurt rather easily by others, which, perhaps, is at least one reason they tend to be private people. People who have known an INFJ for years may find sides emerging which come as a surprise. Not that INFJs are inconsistent; they are very consistent and value integrity. But they have convoluted, complex personalities which sometimes puzzle even them.
INFJs like to please others and tend to contribute their own best efforts in all situations. They prefer and enjoy agreeing with others, and find conflict disagreeable and destructive. What is known as ESP is likely found in an INFJ more than in any other types, although other types are capable of such phenomena. INFJs have vivid imaginations exercised both as memory and intuition, and this can amount to genius, resulting at times in an INFJ's being seen as mystical. This unfettered imagination often will enable this person to compose complex and often aesthetic works of art such as music, mathematical systems, poems, plays and novels. In a sense, the INFJ is the most poetic of all the types. Just as an ENTJ cannot not lead, so must an INFJ intuit; this capability extends to people, things, and often events, taking the form of visions, episodes of foreknowledge, premonitions, auditory and visual images of things to come. INFJs can have uncanny communications with certain individuals at a distance.
INFJs often select liberal arts as a college major and opt for occupations which involve interacting with people, but on a one-to-one basis. For example, the general practitioner in medicine might be an INFJ, or the psychiatrist or psychologist. As with all NFs, the ministry holds attraction, although the INFJ must develop an extraverted role here which requires a great deal of energy. INFJs may be attracted to writing as a profession, and often they use language which contains an unusual degree of imagery. They are masters of the metaphor, and both their verbal and written communications tend to be elegant and complex. Their great talent for language usually is directed toward people, describing people and writing to communicate with people in a personalized way. INFJs who write comment often that they write with a particular person in mind; writing to a faceless, abstract audience leaves them uninspired.
INFJs make outstanding individual therapists who have the ability to get in touch with the archetypes of their patients in a way some other types do not. The INFJs are also the most vulnerable of all the types to the eruption of their own archetypal material. As therapists, INFJs may choose counseling, clinical psychology, or psychiatry, or may choose to teach in these fields. Writing about these professions often intrigues an INFJ. Whatever their choice, they generally are successful in these fields because their great personal warmth, their enthusiasm, their insight, their depth of concentration, their originality, and their organizational skills can all be brought into play.
At work as well as socially, INFJs are highly sensitive in their handling of others and tend to work well in an organizational structure. They have a capacity for working at jobs which require solitude and concentration, but also do well when in contact with people, providing the human interaction is not superficial. INFJs enjoy problem-solving and can understand and use human systems creatively and humanistically. As employees or employers, INFJs are concerned with people's feelings and are able to provide in themselves a barometer of the feelings of individuals and groups within the organization. INFJs listen well and are willing and able to consult and cooperate with others. Once a decision is made, they work to implement it.
INFJs are generally good at public relations and themselves have good interpersonal relations. They value staff harmony and want an organization to run smoothly and pleasantly, themselves making every effort to contribute to that end. They are crushed by too much criticism and can have their feelings hurt rather easily. They respond to praise and use approval as a means of motivating others, just as they, the INFJs, are motivated by approval. If they are subject to a hostile, unfriendly working condition or to constant criticism, they tend to lose confidence, become unhappy and immobilized, and finally become physically ill.
As mates, INFJs are usually devoted to their spouses, but may not always be
open to physical approaches. They tend to be physically demonstrative at times,
but wish to choose when, which is when they are in the mood. This may be quite
confusing to an extraverted mate. Often an INFJ's expressions of affection will be
subtle, taking a humorous, unexpected turn. INFJs need and want harmony in their
homes and find constant conflict, overt or covert, extremely destructive to their
psyches. Their friendship circle is likely to be small, deep, and long-standing.
As parents, INFJs usually are fiercely devoted. A female INFJ, particularly, is
linked to her children in a way different from the other types: with almost a
psychic symbiosis. This deep bond can create an overdependency that can be
unhealthy for both mother and child. At the same time, INFJs tend to be good
friends with their children, while firm in discipline. They usually are concerned
about the comfort of a home and most especially the comfort, physical health, and
emotional well-being of both mates and children.
At midlife an INFJ can best continue developing the thinking function in the form of logic and the pursuit of theory. The pleasure of taking a theoretical model and applying it to a situation may be a source of interest which an INFJ may have been neglecting. While continuing to pursue the person-to-person in feeling-type relationships, at midlife INFJs may want to get more involved in working with NT's, who offer a dimension not dominant in NF's and vice versa. Carefully providing for rest and taking care of physical health is vital to the INFJ at all times, and mandatory from midlife on.
The oracular INFJ may opt for the inventive ENTP, but also may go for a different kind of contrary, namely the ESTP. The ESTP and ENTP, to the casual observer, look pretty much alike. Charming, suave, urbane, humorous, witty, fantastically easy to approach, venturesome, even reckless. But one is out to invent, the other to promote; this is no small difference. It takes an inventor to make a mousetrap, it takes a promoter to make an enterprise. To succeed, the promoter has to be, in the best sense of the word, a con artist. He must be able to get people's confidence. Now why would a meaning-giver INFJ be intrigued by an entrepreneur ESTP? Because he wants to help the entrepreneur find his soul and his significance in the scheme of things. Similarly, why is the INFJ attracted to the ENTP? Because he wishes to rescue this iconoclast from his seeming folly (and let's face it, most inventions are abortive, or still-born).
If ever a person died for love, it was sure to have been an Apollonian (NF). Romeo and Juliet, both NFs, could not face the prospect of life without each other and so chose to die in a way which was symbolic of their single minded and eternal commitment to each other. Other famous lovers, such as Heloise and Abelard, the Brownings, Antony and Cleopatra, Beth the landlord's daughter and her highwayman, all created a work of art in their courtships. This is not surprising, since one of the arts at which the NF is skilled is that of creating the romantic relationship. In fact, the term sex would seem somehow crude when used in discussing the NF; love better captures their appreciation of the physical relationship. Both the NF female and male respond to their mates with sympathy, tenderness, and frequent, passionate expressions of love, both verbal and nonverbal. Possessing facility with language, NFs are able to express nuances of emotions that may escape other types. NFs are not afraid of using poetry, music, and quotations to enhance their courting relationships; the romantic developments in the lives of NFs thrive on receiving these tokens of affection and dedications. NFs have a flair for dramatizing their courships, making each the perfect love. A storybook flavor permeates their courtship behavior. The NF suitor is certain he will live happily ever after, and transmits this certainty to the object of romantic pursuit. The ideal of the perfect love that will never die motivates the NFs in their search for a partner who can relate spiritually as well as physically. They strive to be authentic lovers capable of sustaining deep intimacy. Seeing their identity as mate is a major part of their personality.
Just as the possible rather than the actual lures NFs in other parts of their lives, so do the possibilities in relationships inspire them. When a relationship is being established, the recipient of the NF's attention is apt to be the center of his world. The pursuit is given almost single-minded attention and no effort is spared in the wooing. An undying love is in the offing, and once the physical relationship is consummated (for a male NF) or the words of love spoken (for a female NF) the relationship will be blessed with romantic bliss. Both NF males and females are likely to be blind to any flaws in their beloved in the early stages of a romance. Life will be happy ever after (although the details of this happy ever after are usually not explored in depth). The romantic gesture and the idealization of the relationship are characteristic of the courting behaviors of the NF. The dream is sometimes preferred to reality. At times, the fantasy of the sexual encounter cannot survive the reality of consummation, especially for the male NF.
It appears female NFs are more able to sustain the depth of romanticism involved with a relationship longer than male NFs. Once the physical side of the relationship is acted out, the male NF can lose interest and turn to another fantasy. In a Quixotic way, he seems to be compelled to pursue the impossible dream of a larger than life, giant-screen goddess who will be Madonna, mistress, lover, whore, mother, daughter, and wife. His real-life mate is not always able to measure up. The NF male, in hot pursuit, is likely to express a love which is undying but which can vanish all too soon in the harsh light of the morning after. The female NF does not demonstrate this characteristic; rather, she is likely to increase her dedication after the physical relationship is consummated. She becomes more and more devoted, continuing to romanticize the relationship and believe in its perfection, to give small transactions profound significance, to dramatize the interactions with her mate, to be willing to die for love. She seems seldom disappointed in the sexual act; orgasmic response on her part is seen as inconsequential compared to the pleasure of giving pleasure to her mate. What matters is that he is fulfilled and satisfied. For the male NF, this is not as likely to happen. The SP can say, and mean, with Dorothy Parker, "I'll be true as long as you, and not a moment after...,"; the female NF is more likely to have as a part of her mating identity the image of falling in love once and for a lifetime. The fact that his does not always work out does not negate the possibility of the dream coming true. Fortunately, both male and female NFs have a capacity for deep affection and caring over and above sexual expression, and out of this capacity can grow a lasting, satisfactory relationship.
In the last decade or so a curious phenomenon has occurred, perhaps arising from the female NFs characteristic of maintaining her romantic dream even in the face of a contradictory reality. The group that spearheaded the sexual revolution were the female NFs. It has been the female NFs who have said NO to the double sexual (and other) standards. It has been the female NFs who have been most militant in demanding equal orgasmic rights. It has been the female NFs who have decided that they are not sure they will be true, even as long as their male partners. Somehow female NFs have decided that their vision of a better, more satisfactory mating relationship can be actualized. They seem willing, in ever growing numbers, to take whatever risks are necessary to find that relationship, either in or out of a legal contract. In fact, more and more the NF females seem reluctant to tie themselves down to a legal arrangement, putting off the urgings of their housemates, asking that both wait until she is sure she is doing the right thing. More and more NF females seem to be willing to bear their children outside a legal arrangement and to raise them alone. This is not to say that other types are not also involved in this movement, but it is the NFs, along with a limited number of NT females, who provide the vanguard of the revolution. Instead of being ready and willing to die for love, the current NF female seems to be willing to live for the possibility of a better way of relating to mates.
Both male and female NFs are likely to be charming mates, and a source of continuing warmth, support, and understanding. They are usually ready to lend sympathy to a mate when the outside world turns hostile and are not apt to use that moment to point out the errors of a mate's ways, something which other types might be tempted to do. The NFs are generally skilled socially, and people usually feel wanted and well-hosted in their homes. They often are experts in the arts of appreciation, especially in the area of personal characteristics, and they are apt to be generous in expressing these appreciations to their mate. It is probably the NF who is the most loving, dedicated, affectionate, appreciative mate, and is unstinting in the expression of these emotions, both to mate and to children. Their conversations, particularly those of extraverted NFs, are apt to be sprinkled with terms of endearment, especially in private. The NF can be as extravagant as an SP when expressing love through the media of gifts, but the NF is more than likely to present the gift in private, and select with extraordinary care something with special or even symbolic meaning. NFs, both male and female, usually remember birthdays, anniversaries, and the like without being prompted, or at most needing only a hint. If, in turn, the NFs' milestones are not heeded, they are deeply hurt, as deeply as they are appreciative when theirs are noticed.
Although NFs, especially the male NF, become restless if others (including mates, children, or parents) are dependent, NFs have in their own personalities characteristics that promote this dependency. They pride themselves on being sensitive to others and caring about them. It is almost impossible for NFs to be unaware of others' psychological needs. Yet the NF becomes restless when these ties begin to bind, as they do when the amount of emotional input becomes a psychological overload for the NF. At this point, the NF can seem cruel, insisting unexpectedly that the other "stand on his own two feet." This shift in attitude is usually abrupt and the person who heretofore believed that he was very special in the eyes of the NF now finds himself apparently rejected. The NF does not mean to be unkind; he or she is simply disconnecting a relationship which can no longer be handled - in spite of the reality that the NF created this dependent relationship through expressions of empathy and unique understanding. Building empathic relationships is second nature to this temperament, a master of the art of intimacy. But as those around the NF want more and more attention, more and more expressions of this unusual appreciations, more and more signals of deep affection, the NF mate becomes restless and resentful of pressures to deliver what had seemed promised: the ideal love, the perfect friendship, complete understanding, and total acceptance.
The NF is vulnerable to this kind of misunderstanding because of his extraordinary capabilities to introject. He can take into himself the point of view, the emotions, and the psychological state of another so completely that the other feels totally received. The other person may not realize that the NF does this in most relationships, and may be hurt on discovering that he is not valued as uniquely as he first thought. When the NF leaves each person, the NF no longer resonates to that person, but relates to the person now present. Understandably, this can cause some difficulty in the mating relationship for mates who want this characteristic to be exercised more exclusively; the NF may not know how not to respond to the emotional demands of others.
A danger an NF faces in his intimate relationships is that he will move from relationship to relationship rather than making the necessary effort to develop those already existing. The NF's tendency to experience anticipation as more attractive than consummation can cause him to use his energies pursuing the dream at the expense of what is actually available. Once an NF believes that he or she know all there is to know about another, disinterest sets in; restlessness and a sense of boredom develop. NFs, as do other types, want a certain amount of variety and change in their lives. Other types, however, may seek this through intellectual pursuits, adjustment of living routines, vocations, new activities. The NF is most vulnerable to seeking this through searching out new relationships, more often than not at the expense of deepening those already existing.
A quality an NF can bring to intimate relationships is an extraordinary sensitivity and ability to communicate emotionally. In the affective areas the NF is without equal. No other type is as sympathetic to others as is the NF. As mates they can be a source of warmth, appreciation, and support which other types have difficulty emulating.
After the honeymoon is over, the mate of an NF can feel let down when the reality of living with the NF may be in some contrast with what was anticipated. The discovery by the mate that the NF is, after all, less than perfect often results in feelings of resentment ill-deserved by the NF, but nonetheless real. NF mates themselves are in a dilemma. They are caught up in the romanticized expectations of the psychological and sexual experience generated in their own perceptions and encouraged by others. The fantasy is more than likely to be exaggerated by both the NF and the mate, and it is a common experience for the NFs to express that anticipation was more delightful than consummation. The actual sexual act, in particular, can be less than anticipated, for, more often than not, the NF's romantic nature will not allow him or her to acquire sexual expertise through study. Rather they see themselves as somehow supposed to know the appropriate loving and tender approach intuitively. Counseling scientific studies is seen as cold and objective and somehow destructive. Thus, the actual sexual relationship may be a letdown initially and a disappointment to both partners until both acquire the necessary competency.
Although NFs are almost hypersensitive to the moods of their mates, especially if they are also introverts, they may not always be willing to deal positively with other's emotional reactions. NFs report that they find their own emotional circuits often so overloaded with their own concerns that they cannot deal with emotional experiences of others who are especially close to them, particularly when experiences involve conflict and hurt. Thus, the mates of NFs can see their mates responding to relative strangers with a degree of warmth and acceptance that may not be available to them.
As parents, NFs are sensitive to the viewpoint of their children,
sometimes to the point of siding with them in a way which reinforces the
youngsters' antisocial, self-defeating behaviors. An NF parent, for example,
can rush to rescue a child from consequences of his wrongdoing and, in the
process, not permit the child to develop necessary skills which he needs to deal
with the realities of a less protective world.