I am curious about peoples’ thoughts regarding INFJ/INFP interpersonal dynamics.
I’ve noticed a tendency (as an INFJ) to seemingly connect well with INFP’s at first, but then something just goes… off. I remember reading about this in some of the Stellar Maze articles about the differences between the two types.
In particular, I am thinking about a recently ended friendship with somebody whom I strongly believe to be an INFP. At first, I thought that they could be an INFJ but as time went on our differences became more apparent. This person was one of the sweetest and most compassionate human beings I have ever met. I really wanted this friendship to work. It looked so promising. And yet… it was like a possibility that just never materialized.
Some differences I noticed:
People seem to initially describe me as a kind and thoughtful person. However, those who know me well know that I am not really “nice.” I value connection and rapport but am not above disappointing people or hurting people in the service of truth and authenticity. I very much feel that I have equal amounts of light and darkness inside of me. I am not afraid to confront the dark, cruel and selfish parts of my psyche. I choose to live out more of the light based upon my personal ethical and moral code which I have painstakingly built and refined over the years. But this is very much a code that is unique to myself. There are things that most people would consider “immoral,” that I won’t bat an eye at and there are things that most people think are “fine,” that are totally off limits to myself. Integrity is important to me but I see this much more as an alignment between my inner and outer worlds rather than a desire to be a “good,” person in the eyes of society.
My friend appeared to be much genuinely repulsed by anything that hinted of selfishness, power or force. They seemed much softer, through and through. Like you pull back the outer layers of kindness, and there’s just more genuine kindness. I felt that this person saw me as being a much “nicer” person than I really am and, in this way, I felt somewhat misunderstood. I held back some of my truer feelings because I felt that they would be too harsh or violent in the presence of this gentle soul. I shared about this openly, eventually.
I also noticed that, while my friend was very bright, they were not particularly keen on lengthy discussions. It was more, “Let’s just enjoy the moment!” Which, honestly, I could learn to do more of! I have almost a compulsion to continually seek out challenging and difficult experiences. I want to feel like I’m confronting greater and greater depths. In this connection, my friend appeared to feel put off by my intensity and I felt bored, like, “We’ve only scratched the surface! Let’s find out what we’re really made of!”
Also, I noticed that this person was very affectionate and wanted to connect openly from the beginning. I can be very charming and friendly upon first meeting, but I am slow to really open up. I feel like people instinctively pick up on this and keep their distance. While I can make people feel at ease when I engage them in conversation, I am rarely approached first. When I do care, however, I am all in. This is all very internal for me, so sometimes I think that people don’t realize how deeply invested I really am. I don’t have a lot of fluff in my conversation or feel-good small talk. It’s more like a deep honoring for the soul of the other person rather than a giggly “your-my-bestie” kind of deal.
All of that said, I feel that I learned a lot from this connection. I learned that, despite my freakish intensity, there is value in the small, more human parts of life. The sweet gestures and tokens of affection. The connection of sharing simple, ordinary acts of life. Sometimes there is no deeper meaning- or rather, the deeper meaning is already in the experience and it doesn’t have to be any more or better than it is. There is joy and value in respite from the harsh realities of the world, at times.
So, that was my INFJ/INFP experience and adventure. Again, curious as to other peoples’ experiences and thoughts: