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Used to think I was INFP but now I've seen the light

Inner Space

INTP (subtype: Romantic, Sensitive Analyst?)
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Hello, my name is Ellen and I've just figured out recently that I'm probably an INTP. For a long time before that I thought I was INFP and tested that way, probably for several reasons:

1) I feel my emotions very deeply and I'm very sensitive to being affected by the emotions of people around me, and I thought that meant that I must be an F. But I now think that this is just my Fe being wildly overactive in a dysfunctional way. My emotions are not naturally *in tune* with other peoples' feelings -- I am more likelly to feel overwhelmed and "scrambled" by the feelings of those around me.

2) I was answering test questions in a way that reflected who I wanted to be rather than who I actually am. I had an idealized notion of living "from the heart" and being a loving, humanitarian person. I now realize that although I am certainly a humanist with deeply felt emotions, my decision making process works most *skillfully* when I use rational thoughts. In the past I would often exhaustively analyze my options, but then impulsively veer off into making a "gut" decision based on feelings, which almost always ended up being a bad decision. Unfortunately this has been true for all the major decisions in my life (college, career, mate) which means that I regret most of them.

I really think that most of the MBTI and cognitive process test questions are worded very ineffectively, at least for me. The phrasing is so general that it would require an implausible degree of self-knowledge to answer them accurately. I've found it extremely difficult despite the fact that I have, I believe, a higher than usual degree of self-knowledge, because it's part of my personality to extensively self-analyze.

For example, take the question, "How often do you feel strongly that something is good or bad?" Now, the authors of the test have, in their own minds, a very specific conceptual framework for how the mind works. When they came up with that question, they were thinking of a very specific detail within that conceptual framework. But the wording of the question itself does nothing at all to help me connect my own mental processes to that point in the framework. The phrasing of the question makes sense to them because it evokes the details of the conceptual framework they have studied. But for me, the test taker who has not studied Jungian psychology, the question "How often do you feel strongly that something is good or bad" evokes memories of an extremely wide range of past mental experiences, many of which have nothing to do with the specific part of the conceptual framework that they are attempting to reference. I might think of moral feelings, aesthetic feelings, emotional reactions to events, concepts, objects, etc....

I wish the test questions would use very specific examples, like "How often do you feel strongly about whether another person's actions were morally right or wrong?"

It would be even better if they gave a specific example and then asked you to choose between two examples of reactions, one on each end of the spectrum within that cognitive process. For example, "Think of the last time you had an argument with someone. Is it more likely you might have said 'That doesn't make sense,' or 'that's not what I believe'?

That's the best example I could come up with, and having to come up with it made me realize that it is very difficult to do. But I think part of my difficulty is my lack of knowledge about the miniscule details of the cognitive process. It makes me wish I could go back to school and study Jungian theory. Who knows, maybe I will one day. :)

But I think someone who was sufficiently immersed in the details of the theory could, with careful effort and collaboration, come up with a test with questions like that which would do more to connect the theory with the users' actual, specific mental awareness and memories of their own mental experiences.

So anyway, all that being said, I'm still not 100% sure that I'm an INTP, but that's my best guess at this point and I'm fairly sure that's correct. It just fits me and my history so much better overall than any of the other type descriptions. Once I understood the possible wacky role of the inferior function (in my case, Fe) then it all started to make sense.
 

Dimensional Transition

Bill Cosbor, conqueror of universes
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I hear you! I understand exactly what you're talking about with the wording of the questions etc.

I'm also one of those borderline INFP-INTPs, I guess. There are quite a few of them on all sorts of INTP forums, actually. There are many subtypes within the main types. It's like the Fe is extremely strong and definitely there, but just not very under control in our 'subtype'. I'd say it's probably because I was raised by an ENFJ and an INFP who always supported humanitarianism and emotions a lot. I'm grateful for it, I'm glad with the person I am right now, but it's probably caused me to behave in a way that's not very archetypal for INTPs. But then again, no INTP probably behaves like the archetypal INTP. There is no such thing as a 'true' INTP, really.

So yeah, you're not alone! Welcome.
 

downsowf

Active Member
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Welcome Ellen. Hopefully, you'll find the type of answers you are looking for through this site. We're all individuals who are way more than four letters.
 

Auburn

Luftschloss Schöpfer
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Welcome!

(..)"Think of the last time you had an argument with someone. Is it more likely you might have said 'That doesn't make sense,' or 'that's not what I believe'?"

That's the best example I could come up with, and having to come up with it made me realize that it is very difficult to do.
That's an interesting phrasing, one of the better ones I've seen.
I wonder about better phrased questions too.

I think that if tests *must* be made and can't be eliminated (because not everyone is predisposed to self-analyze & will look into in deeply) then it should:

1) Be designed to identify functions, not I/E, N/S, T/F, P/J.
2) Be done in several sections, comparing functions to each other from various dichotomies, for example:


  • Priorities: Ti/Fi --Ni/Si -- Se/Ne -- Te/Fe
  • Polarity: Ti/Fe -- Fi/Te -- Si/Ne -- Ni/Se
  • Orientation: Ti/Te, Fi/Fe, Si/Se, Ni/Ne


The current functions assessment test tries to do things by giving a bunch of questions for each function independently, then plotting the scores as bars. The issue with that is that there are many similarities in manifestation between, say -- Ne & Ni, Te & Ti, Fe & Fi, Se & Si -- so that testers will generally test high on both of them and not know exactly which one they're using.

But since the functions themselves are split in dualities, then the questions should be worded as such -- also pitted against one another. All the while making the wording not overly complicated and user friendly. It would be quite a feat to pull this off though. v.v
 

Audentia

is a logophile
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It's nice to finally know, isn't it? I always tested as an INFP, but it never felt quite right. After finding the INFJ personality info, everything about the INFJ screams me to the T. I know now without a doubt I'm an INFJ. Happy for you that you found your type.:)
 

The Gopher

President
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I used to be an INFP but then I took an.... no I can't do it...
 

Owfin

ISTJ
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Welcome!

You might be the elusive INTP enneagram type 2! Do you identify with this description?
 

cheese

Prolific Member
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Owfin,
Could you tell us more about the relation between Enneagram and MBTI please? I'm looking through One now and it sounds exactly like an INFJ. I've read through them all before but the correlations aren't perfect (of course; different numbers for one thing).

Or you could just PM me/start a new thread if you don't want to derail this. I thought others might want to know though.
 

Owfin

ISTJ
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Owfin,
Could you tell us more about the relation between Enneagram and MBTI please? I'm looking through One now and it sounds exactly like an INFJ. I've read through them all before but the correlations aren't perfect (of course; different numbers for one thing).

Or you could just PM me/start a new thread if you don't want to derail this. I thought others might want to know though.
There are slight correlations (like type 7s are a bit more likely to be P's) but not enough that an "abnormal" enneagram type should make one reconsider their MBTI type.

I termed INTP 2s as "elusive" because what enneagram often does is make the MBTI type look different. When an INTP finds that it is important that they can be considered a good person, it can be very easy for them to see more of "themselves" in INFP descriptions than INTP descriptions, as a 2, being an image type, has a natural tendency to conflate their image of themselves with their real self.
 

Inner Space

INTP (subtype: Romantic, Sensitive Analyst?)
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Welcome!

You might be the elusive INTP enneagram type 2! Do you identify with this description?
Actually, in reading over the Enneagram type descriptions, I identified very strongly with Type 4 (Individualist) AND Type 5 (Investigator), in equal measures. If you combined both those descriptions into one bigger one, that describes me almost exactly. I'm romantic, sensitive, and yet intensely analytical. :confused:
 

Inner Space

INTP (subtype: Romantic, Sensitive Analyst?)
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But since the functions themselves are split in dualities, then the questions should be worded as such -- also pitted against one another. All the while making the wording not overly complicated and user friendly. It would be quite a feat to pull this off though. v.v
This is the sort of thing that is so intensely fascinating to me. I would love to delve into something like this as my life's work, if only my situation allowed.

It's the sort of thing that makes me feel sad and regretful, feeling the weight of all the missed opportunities in my past. The timeline of my intellectual development was very unfortunate in that I never found my intellectual passions until well after my college years were over, starting in my late 20's. When I was 21, I had all the resources before me to follow any academic path I chose -- my father offered to send me to graduate school, but at the time I just couldn't figure out what I would want to study. I had the time and the money, but my mind wasn't ready. Now I'm 38 and I have all these intellectual passions, but I have no time or money to study them academically and make them my life's work. :slashnew:
 

Jennywocky

guud languager
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Actually, in reading over the Enneagram type descriptions, I identified very strongly with Type 4 (Individualist) AND Type 5 (Investigator), in equal measures. If you combined both those descriptions into one bigger one, that describes me almost exactly. I'm romantic, sensitive, and yet intensely analytical. :confused:
Yes, I think while INTPs can have aspects of Two's, some of the biggest things about Two's (needing to help people as a way to retain control; falling into codependency traps, etc.) are contrary to INTPs by nature, and the Four/Five area of the enneagram is a more natural match due to the innate independence of the types.
 

Owfin

ISTJ
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Yes, I think while INTPs can have aspects of Two's, some of the biggest things about Two's (needing to help people as a way to retain control; falling into codependency traps, etc.) are contrary to INTPs by nature, and the Four/Five area of the enneagram is a more natural match due to the innate independence of the types.
The point is that is is possible to have an INTP 2, but they will appear to be a highly atypical INTP.

I'm not doubting the original poster's enneagram type (4 looks like a definite possibility), but finding out that your enneagram is "strange" for your type (like my strong 7 wing) seems more of almost a confirmation of your type, as some "off-type" traits may actually just be enneagram differences.

I hope you don't mind me derailing your welcome thread, OP.
 

RaBind

sparta? THIS IS MADNESS!!!
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Hey, you seem to have similar results to me. I keep getting like high introvert, around 60% intuition, 50% thinking and 60% perceiving. So I’m kinda unsure about the T there.

Take the tri-type enneagram test in the tests section if you don't feel really certain with one type. I did that and got like type 4 with 5w6. It may just be that you have some aspects of one type but have mainly INTP, or type 5, so that's the result you get.

It says fours feel as though something is missing from them, they often daydream or think of romantic conversations (can relate to this in some ways), this type is labelled both the romantics and the individualists. Five is basically your INTP. And sixes are loyalists; they feel a sense of duty to help people who are close to them.

It’s hard to categorize personalities. They are affected by your experiences and how you perceive them; since everyone has different experiences and perceives them differently it is quite understandable that types cannot be very specific. I hope you find your persona though. Ooh and welcome to the forum :)

Are INTPs likely to copy other people's mood or is that INFP's characteristics? because I am always changing mood depending on who I am with, what mood they are in and what sort of music I'm listening to at the time.
 

Enne

Consistently Inconsistent
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^Changing mood to me sounds like empathy. Empathy requires Fi, whereas sympathy sounds more like a Fe-based trait.

An INTP may take cues as to what is appropriate based on the setting or context, and most introverted intuitives will be selective with whom they share their "inner world" with, by experience or by nature of their willingness to socially extend themselves.

How do you know that you're mimicking their mood?
 

RaBind

sparta? THIS IS MADNESS!!!
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I don't think I'm overly empathetic or sympathetic. What do you think trying to ignore a homeless man, when you don't have change is? what would that be out of? Because I usually try to look away from something, that I feel as though I should act upon, when I can't.

About empathy, can't really remember any time recently that I showed that.

How do you know that you're mimicking their mood?
Now that I think about it, maybe it's not mimicking their mood. The situation I had in mind was if somebody was joking around or having a logical debate(anything that makes me forget about watching what I say) and they suddenly start to get all touchy and angry at me, I feel as though their anger towards me is not justified, therefore I get angry at them. I don't know if this is normal or if it points towards any type?

If someone is joking around with me, I assume that I have the right to joke around with them and I can easily go into a friendly attitude but I get really angry if they get offended by what I say, since it is logical that they also take my words as a joke so I feel as though I've been set up and back stabbed. Is this common among anyone else?
 

Hadoblado

think again losers
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Good morning and welcome to the INTP forum!

I test well as both an INFP and an INTP, however the holistic description of INTP describes me far better.

FYI: psychology inventory questions often start from very crude approximations of conceptual links which are then filtered through statistical process. As such, a questionnaire such as the MBTI is initially created but then evolves to be a more efficient tool. This results in questions being less well thought out, but still very effective at determining typology for the majority of the population.
 
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