I am an INFP surrounded by INFJs and ENFPs everywhere but it seems no matter how hard I try to get them to understand or see anything from my point of view, they reject it and treat me like an imbecile. I don't know of any INFPs that I can befriend or what to do at all most of the time considering even the people that are supposed to be most similar to me don't understand. I think taking that Myers-Briggs test for that first time really made me feel understood for the first time since the description for an INFP fits me almost too perfectly. I guess my question here is are INFJs and ENFPs really as similar to us as they say? Will I ever be understood? 

Comments

Reg says...

Hello, fellow INFP dreamer. I'm going to address your 2nd question, "Will I ever be understood?"

If you're an INFP like me, you've had the desire for an ultimate best friend who would understand you completely. If you're like me, you've at times kept people at a distance out of fear they wouldn't "get" you. Allow me to share - in my humble 30 years experience, I've had one best friend (he called me a "big sister" very early in our friendship) whom I thought completely understood me, only to learn he was manipulating other friends around me; followed by a partner whom I thought could practically read my mind, only to have him abuse my emotions and bring my self-esteem to the lowest its ever been. I've learned through heartbreak that even if someone seems to completely understand your inner world and the way that you see the outer world, they won't always have the best of intentions.

As INFPs, our emotions practically dominate our lives. And in today's world, emotion-driven people can be hard to understand - we INFPs hardly understand ourselves at times! So it's especially important for us to be patient and gentle with ourselves, foremost. There are times we may hold back to protect our emotions while feeling out the intentions of others, and times when we can sense someone's intentions are pure, then we can gradually bring our walls down. I know how hard it can be and how isolating it can feel when you can't seem to get empathy from others. The best advice I have which was given to me, is to be patient and gentle with yourself. Like how I'm discovering patience with myself in learning how to let people in again. If you're like me in search of authentic friendships, you'll take the time in getting to know others, and the ones who share your interests will take the time in getting to know you as well.

Besides taking time to build relationships (including the ongoing one with yourself), another thing to remember is that each one is different. So even if there isn't one person who understands you, with each new friend you make, that's one more person that has a different insight to your personality. Like having one friend to talk with about (insert your favorite TV show/band/obscure reference), one friend to talk with about your work or home life, and another to talk with about philosophy/politics/the universe. And as much as INFPs hate small talk, sometimes it's just nice to have someone to talk to, period.

Well, I hope some of that has helped you in some way.

Col (not verified) says...

Hi Reg,

I just want to say I've been going through a lot recently with trying to discover myself and figure out why I feel so alone when on the outside it seems like I have so many people in my life. I read this response and literally broke down in tears to know I'm not the only one, and that enough makes me feel so much better.

I'm sorry this is a little random I just really resonated with your advice and I want to thank you.

White Swallow (not verified) says...

"Besides taking time to build relationships (including the ongoing one with yourself), another thing to remember is that each one is different. So even if there isn't one person who understands you, with each new friend you make, that's one more person that has a different insight to your personality. Like having one friend to talk with about (insert your favorite TV show/band/obscure reference), one friend to talk with about your work or home life, and another to talk with about philosophy/politics/the universe. And as much as INFPs hate small talk, sometimes it's just nice to have someone to talk to, period."

I subscribe it Reg! Very well said! I'm an ENFP, dating an INFP. Sometimes it's very difficult because we don't understand each other very well, because our definition of "understanding" is to understand it all! But it doesn't have to be like that! We were not made to have one single friend (only Jesus, I believe :) ), but we are blessed with an amount surrounding of people, each one with different personalities and understandings that we can connect, one thing at the time.

Of course me and my INFP boyfriend have a lot in common, but we do not understand all of each other... It is a process of discovering... And yes, I have to admit that sometimes I look at him as if he was an imbecil, but most of the times, when I get the courage to confront him, I realize that that is not the case; in other times, I realize that he needs a lot more experience to understand the world... But I feel very happy when he can find people that share his sense of humor, for example (that I don't share), or his delight for silly things (like mimicking wrestling characters); I fell very happy, because I cannot give that kind of comprehension to him, but some of our friends can...
It is amazing that in our surroundings we always will have someone who understands some part of us that no one else understands...
I fell very blessed for all this diversity, because now I've abandoned that idealistic view of the world that a friend has to be perfect, or a partner has to be perfect...! We will not find perfection in men, just in God; and when we think we've found it in men, we are wrong for sure! These examples that Reg talked about are awful examples, but it happens all the time at small scales, like, believing that we found the prince or the princess charming and then discovering that he/she is just a peasant like we are ;) 

I hope you both the best!

I really would be very happy to be your friend (of both of you)… Maybe one day we mete… However, I am not perfect… No one is…

I liked your post very much Reg! I’m so sorry that you passed for all of that…!

God bless you both!

Big hug from an ENFP fellow!**

 

White Swallow (not verified) says...

My friends, I am forced to say, in remission of the truth, that my boyfriend discovered today that he is an ISFP. 
He discovered this because of the functions (see the chart, and compare the INFP with the ISFP: <https://cezarspace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/mbti-functions-map.png>).

However, I believe the core of my previous message remains.

I'm sorry for any inconvenience caused by this misunderstanding.

Carefully,

An ENFP friend.

Kiana says...

Interestingly enough INFJs are considered to be the rarest bunch as a type, many MBTI researcher, professionals and sites claim this to be. So, im quite skeptical when you've said "...surrounded by INFJs". Please do not be fooled, there are many people who are mistyped or do not fully understand how MBTI works. Many people are fooled by the understanding that MBTI focuses on the behaviours of the 16 types but in actuality, it's centred upon the cognitive functions. Basically, it focuses on the process of how people percieve informations and make decisions. Now because of this mislead, people easily relate themselves to a type that is considered to be the rarest. This is obvisouly because people are attracted to unique things and loves to feel special of course. Now there's nothing wrong with that, it's just sad and irratating to see people aren't aware of this and do not know their true preference. 

Regardless, to answer your first question - all types act differently. It is actually worth noting though that everyone uses all functions however we use some more than others. This is how we get the term "preference" in a type. The only similarity between ENFP, INFJ and INFP is the cognitive functions of 'NF', they all share the same dominant and auxiliary functions. 'N' stands for inuition and 'F' stand for feeler. I won't go into detail of the 3 types have in their function stack and how they work, you can research that for yourself. 

Good luck. 

White Swallow (not verified) says...

Here are the functions charts for all personalities: <https://cezarspace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/mbti-functions-map.png>

;)

Getting (not verified) says...

Met the most extraordinary man at work. Methinks he's INTJ. He has since switched jobs and I can't seem to forget him. I am an ENFP female, lates 40's. I miss that beautiful mind...

IAMTHELAB (not verified) says...

Interestingly, I am an INFJ and have been mentoring INFPs for many years. We tend to have an intense and lasting connection, one that baffles onlookers. 

 As was mentioned, the rairity  of the INFJ type means that you may not know as many as your surroundings suggest. Even if they are, remember that anyone, no matter the type, can have issues and insecurities regarding friendship.

I’ve found an incredible kinship with INFPs. Their depth and incredibly robust inner world is a favorite charactistic. Many INFJs have similar inner worlds. When an INFP allows you in, I consider it a privilege. An INFJ/INFP friendship, while rare due to the amount of each type in the population, can be incredibly cohesive and fulfilling. Keep looking for what you need and, with friendship always remember: be the type of friend someone else needs. You’re too valuable to settle for less. 

Stephen Kunich (not verified) says...

Interesting.  Not sure why you believe these are INFP's surrounding you. INFP's aren't likely to treat you like an "imbecile," and are true gatherers of thought, wanting all voices at the table heard.  INFJ's on the other hand, though still wanting all voices heard, hold hard and fast to what their intuition says is correct, even without proof they are right. Mostly, their gut leads them to truth.  Certainly they can be wrong but I find when INFJ's are in tune to their nature, their gut is almost spooky in it's ability to be correct.  I do find the ENFJ type as one that bulldozes others and rolls their eyes, is dismissive of any thoughts contrary to their own and never admit they are wrong, along with their need to make others feel stupid for their disagreement. 

White Swallow (not verified) says...

"I do find the ENFJ type as one that bulldozes others and rolls their eyes, is dismissive of any thoughts contrary to their own and never admit they are wrong, along with their need to make others feel stupid for their disagreement. "
My friend, that is an ESFJ or more likely an ESTJ; not an ENFJ... ENFJ are kind are rewarding persons... They do not bulldoze anything...

I think you got the person you know wrong...

Liza Vaca (not verified) says...

Hello, INFJ Female here.  My cousin is an INFP and I attract ENFPs.  I feel that NFs make each other nervous though we adore and are open to each other 90% of the time.  I think as an INFJ I am way too harsh on myself and at times, I can be somewhat harsh to those closest to me out of noticing a pattern of sorts that might be hurting my beloved INFPs or ENFPs.  I've been told on countless occasions during my 39 years on this earth that I don't sugar coat stuff or that sometimes my direct feedback is symbolically comparable to going to a dentist and yanking a tooth without a "numbing" agent. In my first 20 years or so; I was completely silent and had a smile on my face; which led someone to believe that I wasn’t really listening or thinking or even caring.  The flipside of this communicative style is that I'm as free with loving and uplifting feedback.  INFPs and ENFPs (from my interactions) either stay positive in tone or hide away if they are feeling judgmental towards me or the proper word in my mind is "condemning" towards me.  All in all, when we all sit back and reflect how we speak to each other or decide to give each other space; they tend to understand that I'm highly protective of them and it comes from a profound and meaningful place.  If I didn't care, I wouldn't invest energy to speak up for them, to just witness themselves.  Just know that from my own internal experience, I am hard on myself most of the time and I know that for me I have to focus on not feeling like an imbecile; it's beautifully awkward to be an NF, in general....and I think we deep down know that we can laugh about it after realizing that in the grand scheme of things it was really our ego that was bruised.  Sometimes we care about feedback or reactions from a certain person because we want to be seen in the best light but even then; I like to receive feedback that may not be so "light" so I have something to improve on, reflect on or at least consider the source and the sincere intention of the INFP or ENFP.  https://www.quietrev.com/portraits/liza-vaca/

Bia (not verified) says...

I am also an INFP and two of my best friends are an INFJ and an ENFP. We get along greatly and being with them make me feel very understood. Of course sometimes they do things that hurt me - but it is usually because of some lack of communication or because they were going through something bad. Otherwise we love to share our thoughts and to just be around each other.

I think in your case maybe it could be more about the character of the people than their type? Regardless, if someone doesn't take your opinions seriously or are not remotely interested in trying to understand then just let them go. It's hard but keep striving to find people who really resonate with you - they are out there
 

melo (not verified) says...

I am an infp and I have also had bad experiences with enfp and infj (add to that entp). I hope its okay if i share the nitty gritty details? For reference. I loathe what I've found are typical enfp and entp traditions of disagreeing with you halfway through your statement. Reminding you to let them finish while they're interupting. Proceeding to use thier bias(perspective) as evidential fact after contraindicting you. And then walking away so self satisfied it never dawns on them they've left everything in ruins. Among other malfunctions this is the one i finally get sick of. Vowing to tell them im angry, remind them why and never to speak to them again. Which i do. Works fine with enfp (altho they will never understand how they possibly could've ever done anything wrong since they have genuine intentions. again bias of perspective eludes them). This however does not fly for me with entp. And i just dodge them out til they eventually get nothing from our interactions. Now infj...As far as i know the females irk me. I dont happen to have any infj friends, male or female. From what i gather at the end of the day whats behind their mystery and seemingly intelligent front is shallow self serving emotionally conflicted fluff. They're like dirty discarded candy. And they crave similar influence. Leaving their sticky traces everywhere they go seems to be the lifes mission. 
Now do i think this is those mbti profiles at all times in all cases no. But i think it is perhaps my point of view, my bias or my experience. Or my luck so far.
I decided to respond to this because i found it a very interesting coincide I too have had bad experiences with enfp and infj. Athough it says we should be besties / soul friends. So i wanted to support you and say, "You are not alone". But i also wanted to help you out and say ISFP, INTP, INTJ, ESFJ, ISTJ i have had great luck with!!!! And some success with ENTJ.
Sorry my response is so cold but it irks me that websites list the potential friend types based on what? Shallow crude theory? And then sensitive people like infps feel even more questioning of ourselves. What the heck. Why do they even include those stupid lists of 'compatibility". I think its a ridiculous stretch of what? Astrological commercial realty!? So yeah i was brutally honest and told the worst. It is only a personal account and nothing more. It is not factual about the types nor does it reflect or include everyone. And it certainly doesnt make me right, or better. 
Sincerely, Best of Luck to Everyone

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