So it appears as though a collective myth has developed in the minds of typologists around the world about the INFJ identity. And I felt it would be worthwhile to explore just what constitutes this expression.
But to be fair, I won't be attempting to compare MBTI to CT at first (maybe later). Instead I first wish to explore the phenomenon of the INFJ cultural construction and mythos.
I've spent some time analyzing why this is, and while I don't have all the answers I'd like to share what I've gathered (please feel free to share your thoughts as well)
The first thing that strikes me about this portrait is that it is quite presumptuous. Among most of these sorts of descriptions of the INFJ we see at least some, if not many, elements that assume the INFJ has access to some special knowledge -- void of reason or justification. They just "know" and think very deeply, and the alleged profundity with which they treat topics, and it's comparable distance from normal thinking, is responsible for the chasm felt between the INFJ and others. In other words "2 deep 4 u"
Which, rationally, is quite a fallacious position to land on. To say someone just "knows" is unfalsifiable and confuses the sensation of knowing, with actual knowledge. But the MBTI architecture is very interesting because the INFJ portait escapes full scrutiny from the rational dimension by virtue of being an ethical/feeler type to boot, directing the narrative in the direction of the unquantifiable and unknown. This is quite an interesting development because what it does, archetypally speaking (to use Jungian terminology) is it affiliates the INFJ to the absolute feminine principle. The feminine principle is that which is eternally mysterious, eternally wise but also dangerous, from which life arises and from which death emerges. It's "unknowable by definition" which is exactly right of the INFJ as well. Because to be Ni is to have access to a type of psychic sense that one is not even aware of themselves.
I've seen them called "The Seer of Souls" as well as the "Psychics" and "Empaths". This video below truly captures this mythos the best:
Now, for those here who have knowledge of Jungian theory, you know this is essentially archetypal projection. Some references/examples here and here for those interested. The feminine, which can be the Anima or the Wise Woman/Crone, is the entity that carries the attributes above. Often times prophetic or heroic figures (i.e. Christ) are given this title. This is not a personality type, this is an archetype.
Now most people with even some knowledge of function dynamics know that this an an exaggeration. So I'm not really trying to strawman the INFJ portrait into its most iconic iteration. I'm instead aiming to note what this most iconic iteration says about the whole of the MBTI motivator and trend.
More generally, the same INFJ principle is reflected in the INFP sister type. And often times people who enter MBTI as an avid undertaking to discover their core elemental nature, struggle most with the question: Am I INFJ or INFP?
And so, even in the more toned-down and grounded profiles, this mystical undertone nonetheless emanates across the INFx types. And the attraction to the MBTI, especially in relation to the INxx types, has crossovers with archetypal themes. Anything that *captures* the human imagination, soul/identity in a powerful way like this has its roots in the primordial imagery.
We are innately drawn to symbolic narratives, and the MBTI phrases things by placing the type as the prodigal 'hero' at the center. It blurs over into that domain and I think this is what's responsible for much of its reception among laypeople.
But, by an equal measure, it's also why so many people mistype as INFJ, INFP, INTP, INTJ. Their symbolic attraction and conflation of identity/ego with myth, which can seem like a very powerful and magical sudden feeling of "being understood", is hard to let go of.
Part of the reason it's hard to let go of is because this magnetic attraction to the original symbol is also defined by an antagonistic relationship to the polar: the EST (or ES) temperament. And so any suggestion of actually being within that category is an assault on both identity/ego and personal myth.
But what they might need to realize is that the symbol they resonate with is still a valid thing they resonate with. It's just not the functions. And what it means to be a "type" by CT's definition, is at its strictest level little more than an information metabolism methodology.
Post by tobyspringfield on Apr 25, 2017 3:28:20 GMT -5
This whole thing is the reason I don't ascribe to MBTI anymore. The whole type description of the "INFJ" personality is directly proportional to what we see in society and aspects of it, as well are very linearly proportional to the hypocrisy we see in society. Society likes to have a hero, or a seer, or something they can't quite explain, so they don't even bother. Society elevates the stars and makes them look perfect while ignoring the other equally as talented or impressive people and this has filtered down into the overly commercialized MBTI concept. The MBTI has become like society sees and classifies people. NFs are the hearty innocent ones. NTs are the cold logical ones. STs are the traditional logical ones and SFs are the down to earth hearty ones. The stereotyping is too much. MBTI also needs one star to make the mystical type so they use the INFJ and the struggle with Fe expression of Ni (which really sucks actually) to fit this mantle forcibly and also classify them as the rarest type when they have no data to back this up since not everyone on earth has been typed. I used to be a big fan and proponent of the MBTI but now I believe it's necessary to break free of all the stereotypical thinking and generalisation MBTI gladly and shamelessly propounds to be able to accurately engage in the psychological typing of individuals.
I think one of the reasons so many relate or identify as INFJ or NF in general is that it's the type who's inner life is most richly described. Other types like, including but not limited to, ESTP mostly have their apparent behaviors described and possibly most SeTis who self identify as ESTP are very strong in Se and fit that ESTP stereotype. On the other hand, I know of a SeTI (in CT) who describes himself as "clumsy" and "deeply emotional" and "sensitive", and I don't really find those words much in most of the ESTP profiles online. He most probably wouldn't end up being typed as an ESTP in MBTI, maybe ENFJ or INFJ. Other than that, the points you guys mentioned too 👍🏼 INTJs are reduced to just wisecracking math lovers, ISFPs as silent artists, ENTJs as powerful CEOs. What about INTJs with strong Fi, ESTPs with strong Ni or ISFPs in a Fi-Ni loop? They'd most likely end up self typing as INFJ.
I'm wondering, where do most NiFe's who don't type as INFJ end up typing as? I think it isn't INFJs who are rare, it's actual INFJs who consider themselves INFJ who are rare.
Post by tobyspringfield on Apr 27, 2017 0:31:39 GMT -5
Very very true. MBTI has too many stereotypes, and that's the reason why it's not considered legit psychology. Most people think psychological typing is like an online "which Disney princess are you?" test. But about the point you made saying it's rare to find NiFe's who actually identify as INFJ's is very true. On MBTI descriptions, the INFJ is a reserved, psychic empath chameleon (yes, I know how this sounds) who's only aim in life is to save the world, and when some very legitimate NiFe's read that, whose Ni didn't take that path, because Ni, unlike Si, is very flaky in perceptions and one jolt could change the whole kitten caboodle, will say, "wait, this doesn't fit me," and end up ascribing to an Se dom or auxilliary type like SeTi or FiSe as is the case with Justin Bieber who is the MBTI poster boy for ESFP when he's actually INFJ. I even distinctly remember a time when I used to type as INTP and I was quite satisfied with that until some really unnecessary jolts to my Ni happened to make me see that I have more Fe than is necessary and led me to INFJ, where I stuck ever since. The INFJ myth is real, as with the myth of all other MBTI types.