I didn’t always know I was and INFP, I tested out as and INFJ, thought I could be an ISFJ (I am not very ISFJ like, but raised by one of these lovelies). But after learning about cognitive functions I was both deeply intrigued and surprised that perhaps I was (am) an INFP.
So today, I thought I would share with you 5 ways in which I know I am an INFP.
1. It is hard to do anything I don’t feel like doing
I mean anything. Motivation, and especially coupled with it’s pal inspiration, is the key to getting tasks done. Dishes, washing, getting the kids lunch boxes out of their bags on a Friday, keeping on top of shopping lists, even keeping other people in my home organised all require some level of motivation to do it.
My current method to getting motivated to do something mundane is to tell myself to do it. I literally, out loud tell myself “just do it. Just get it done. You will thank yourself later. It won’t be that bad”. It works most of the time, but I fight back “but really don’t want to. I really don’t”.
But if it’s something that someone else wants to do and I don’t (like my family wants to play a game), I try to tap into my values to generate some motivation. Some of my values in relation to family are “connection”, “nurture”, “be present with”, and “hold space for”. When I tap into those, I can be more motivated to be involved with my loved ones.
2. I see the world through the lens of feelings
That’s because my dominant function is Introverted Feeling. I didn’t realise that this is how I show up to the world, but now I know it’s so obvious (like what is seen can’t be unseen).
I can instantly recognise when there is dissonance between my actions and values.
I am constantly aware of how every piece of information and experience is affecting me on a feeling level. That is why I get so passionate about ideals (that everyone should deeply care for themselves, or individuality).
When I see, hear or experience something new I often say ” I am not sure how I feel about that”, because I have a few conflicting elements going on internally and I need time to reconcile and process it.
I love watching and reading emotional stories, and I love complex characters who have difficult decisions to make, or endure difficult circumstances. Those who have good and bad within them.
3. When I am stressed I suddenly need to be productive
I suppose that stress does conjure up motivation. But it isn’t inspired motivation. It’s panic. When I am stressed, or I have been in my introverted space, I often come back to the external world with a jolt of anxiety.
Things need doing, little people need attending to, a timeline needs adhering to. And I often lose my cool, feel rushed, have a sense of urgency to get it all done, notice other (not important) things need doing too, the whole house is a mess that needs addressing right now!
It’s a feeling of overwhelm, and I feel like I’m flailing around without a sense of diretion or plan. And it’s true.
My inferior function is extraverted thinking (meaning getting things done in the outside world). The words that come to mind when I think of this function are: timelines, efficiency, productivity, and doing things smart and intentionally. It’s not my strength but I can use it in a positive way when I am intentional about it (e.g. I set up an automated system for our bank accounts ensure I didn’t need to log in and rearrange finances regularly. I’m super proud of it, but I don’t want to have to do it again).
I love this trait in others that have this higher in their cognitive stack. I like to use Tywin Lannister from Game of Thrones as my extraverted thinking example. Cold, calculated, all moves are planned and with purpose, and feelings aren’t the priority – results are! Although most people who use this function arent necessarily heartless and cold, but feelings aren’t as big a factor as it is for me.
My husband is pretty good at just plugging away at tasks, and when I am madly feeling out of control because I too many things need doing, I try to take on board my husband’s words (he’s an INFJ) “just focus on what the priority is”. He is honing in on what needs taking care of most (he uses extraverted feeling of getting people’s needs met), where I am to busy feeling my feelings and seeing all the things simultaneously and become paralysed.
4. There are too many options
There are too many exciting options and I end up doing nothing. I want to read that book, journal, watch a K-Drama (which has too many options within itself), sit in the home office to blog, sit on the lounge to blog, have rice for lunch or maybe noodles.
In the end I often miss the chance to do anything because I can’t decide.
It is funny, because in these instances (when I am overloaded with possibilities, inspiration), to those around me I look like I don’t want to do anything or go anywhere. Then someone will suggest something to do or a place to go, and if I don’t feel like it I won’t want to do it.
So basically, either way I look disinterested, and like I don’t want to do anything ever. And that’s the limiting story I have told myself for years – that I don’t like doing things or going anywhere. That’s how (along with a few other things) I have become stuck in a rut, and low energy. Where deep down on the inside I am full of excitement and enthusiasm and I want to do all the things.
5. My mind asks quirky questions and I love it
Last night in bed, when we were almost asleep I noticed I asked about 5 different, unrelated questions about not important things, to my super tired husband. And it didn’t matter that he barely answered me because my mind just kept expanding with more and more.
It happens when we are watching Netflix too. We will be watching a Korean period piece and I will ask questions (our loud as we are watching) from “how did they die their fabric?” (back in the day), to “are the wigs they use come as a top knot or is the hair loose and stylists actually do the wig hair?”, to actual storyline clarification… I mean it goes on, and jumps around. My husband is a good sport and really considers all my questions and comes up with what he thinks is the answer. And as a sidenote, it is much more fun watching a series with my hubby than it is by myself.
Once I am in a zone, I can’t turn these questions off. I gain energy. I feel passionate and alive. I feel elated and animated. I love it.
Are you an INFP or ENFP?
As I was writing this blog post, I had to try so hard not to veer off on different tangents. Like most things I explore, I come away with more questions, my world is bigger, more things to reflect on and consider, like all the limiting beliefs I have adopted, and how my infp-ness looks from the outer world, how these traits when harnessed can catapult me to living a successful (to me) life.
Are you an INFP or ENFP? Did any of these 5 points resonate with you? Do you have any experiences to share. I would love to read your comments below.