PHQ | QUESTIONS: “Perspectives” Used By INFJ vs INTJ

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PHQ | QUESTIONS FROM COMMUNITY: In this episode, Joel and Antonia answer a question about Introverted Intuition (“Perspectives”) being used by an INFJ vs INTJ.


In this episode, Joel and Antonia answer a question about #Introverted #Intuition ("Perspectives") being used by an #INFJ vs #INTJ.

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Showing 12 comments
  • Alina

    I have a PHQ but I am not sure where to post it:
    Joel and Antonia, I’m an athlete and I am also vigorously involved in personal growth. I have discovered I’m an INTJ and I want to figure out how to use this model to become more aware of myself when I play basketball. I try to enter every game with an effectiveness attitude of trying to be very strong with the ball, remembering my training, and focusing on a few goals for every game. As the game gets started, I do fairly well but then when the pressure gets turned on or when I mess up, I try to brush it off but I feel like I need to process it in my mind before I move on to the next play. I don’t always have time to do that since I need to get back to the other side of the court. One strategy I’ve tried to implement is to visualize my games. I often get frazzled when things don’t go the way I pictured them in my head so I try to visualize even more scenarios. However, there is no way to possibly prepare for every possible situation, no matter how much my Ni wants that to be true. If something goes wrong or I mess up on a play, I go to authenticity and ask myself how I’m feeling, which if you can imagine is not the most effective way to play a basketball game. I really want to excel at basketball. I’m not sure which tool to use. Of all of the tools I have, Se would be great in this situation but it is my 3-year old. Should I find a way to develop it even at such a young age (17)? (When normally, it would develop around middle age). Should I stick with effectiveness and just try to get the job done here? I have trouble staying in this headspace so do you have any strategies if you think I should go that route? Or should I go into Ni and just go with the gut feeling I have in that specific situation? I haven’t been playing long so whenever I have tried to go there, I end up freezing and taking about 5 seconds before I even make a decision about which direction to dribble. I would really appreciate any input you guys have. I’m a fairly new but seasoned fan of your podcasts. Keep doing what you guys do, because it definitely help a lot of people.

    • Patricia

      My advice to you is develop it now. The key early on is to appease your conscious mind. To appease your conscious mind tell yourself you will setup a certain time to let your mind roam free with no judgement. Make sure you are clear with yourself that you are changing up a very long term dynamic of the inferior trait. This is a blood oath type of promise 🙂so if you can’t make the time, acknowledge it to yourself and set a new time. During your quiet time yell, scream, cry, get frustrated, or over analyze. Remember no restrictions or judgements.
      Quiet time is never about understanding, it is always about experiencing. Type inspirations and ideas you get in your notes section of your phone ( that’s what I do).
      Don’t pressure yourself to be the best so fast because if you slow down for just a short time and connect with your subconscious through quiet time your mind will be clearer and come up with a way to develop the inferior trait in your everyday life probably without you noticing until later.
      A calm mind is your best friend so embrace it and watch it soar. It took me over 30 years to embrace my entire mind, you starting now is amazing. There is literally no one stopping you but you. Relax in that instead of being afraid because other people may see it as risky. You are already ahead of the game because you want to not only do better, but you want to do it and respect yourself.

  • Fahad

    Hi everyone,
    I love your website, i really find it effective and the material you’re posting is really helping. All of it in a good environment that you created.
    So Thanks for that.

    A side note anyway, I think that (even almost sure :D) Joel Mark is an INTJ, not an ENFP.
    based on his way of talking it’s clear that he’s not using the extroverted intuition. I mean if you look carefully he’s using a practical extroverted thinking, straight forward to the point which is a trait of both Ni and Te. That’s just the tangible objective part of the argument i’m making.
    There’s also a subjective thing in my mind (maybe it’s the Fi of my INFP :D) that says ‘this is absolutely an INTJ’, So trust the INFP please 😀

    I’m really ashamed of posting this while it’s very irrelevant to the topic being discussed, but anyway I felt I have to say it anyway.

    And please correct me if I’m wrong, since it will help my typing mechanisms in the future.

    Thanks a lot,

    • Josh

      Hi Fahad – a couple observations about your comment.

      1) You’re trying to explain to a typology expert — whose own resources you said were very helpful — that he doesn’t know his own type. If you were correct, that would mean Joel’s knowledge of typology is rather pitiful — and would also mean you lack sufficient knowledge of typology, since you found his material to be “effective.” (Point being, the entire statement seems self-contradictory.)

      2) Even if we didn’t already know Joel’s type, and were trying to deduce it from his commentary in the podcast, it’s pretty clear that he’s a Feeler simply based on his expressiveness. Antonia (a Thinker) is expressive to a certain degree, but it’s not so much emotional as it is purely energetic (because she’s an Extravert). Antonia isn’t attempting to convey any emotions, whereas Joel clearly is. The reason that’s relevant is because an INTJ will not attempt to directly affect people’s emotions, because they want people to understand things rationally (not emotionally). INTJs filter out emotional content when delivering information, because it’s viewed as being irrelevant. The fact that Joel uses emotion in his delivery gives a high degree of certainty that he’s a Feeler. So even if he weren’t an ENFP, he couldn’t be an INTJ.

      I’m an INTJ, I have an ENFP dad, and I know at least one other male ENFP and a few female ENFPs. I can attest to the similarities in thought process between all of them — namely, that their observation is based on patterns in the outside world, not in their ability to see from multiple perspectives. Ne has to do with observing patterns in — for example — people’s actions, as opposed to recognizing the patterns in their thought processes that led to said actions (a.k.a. Ni).

      If Joel were speaking from an Ni point of view, he would primarily be analyzing how a persons’ cognitive functions affect their own thoughts and motivations (from the inside), not primarily how it affects their behavior in an observable fashion. While both Ne and Ni can speak to either point (assuming sufficient knowledge of cognitive functions), Ne primarily observes actions, whereas Ni primarily observes that which can’t be observed from the outside (namely, thought processes). If you listen to more than one of the Personality Hacker podcasts, hopefully you’ll start to see the Ne more clearly.

      Also, keep in mind that Te is a Judging (not a Perceiving) process. When Joel is discussing how Ni is affected by either Te or Fe, his is making observations (not value statements). He is explaining “how it is,” not “how it ought to be.” I believe you were mistaking Ne (which deals with observable patterns) with Te (which deals with making systems work the best way possible).

      3) I also know at least one male and one female INFP. I also know an ENFJ with the symptoms I’m about to describe. If you’re familiar with cognitive functions, then you should realize that people who lead with a Judging function (such as Fe in ENFJ, or Fi in INFP) need to temper their drive to reach conclusions by first gathering more information, and/or testing the information they already have. You used Ne to a small degree when listening to Joel — but then swiftly jumped to a conclusion with Fi before gathering more information to find out whether your observations were actually valid.

      In certain contexts, your ability to reach conclusions based on limited information is very useful. But when it comes to determining someone else’s type, you need to take more care in jumping to conclusions. In this case, it doesn’t matter at all since Joel already know his type. But if you make a habit of “speed-typing” people, you’re lvery likely to mistype them (as you did with Joel), which can confuse people who don’t know their own type. This may turn them off from looking into it further, because you’re essentially claiming to speak as an authority on the subject — and if the apparent spokesperson is unreliable, then it can give the impression that the entire arena of typology — or at least typology based on MBTI — is bunk (as many people have concluded for similar reasons).

      I applaud you for wanting to apply what you’ve learned, but — as Treebeard in LOTR said — “Don’t be hasty.”

      P(arting).S(hot). This was written to you by an INTJ. As a Feeler, consider whether it was a more or less pleasant experience than having a Feeler (such as Joel) explain typology? That should be one more clue to his type (ENFP).

      • Joel Mark Witt

        Thanks Josh for this post. I think you are very clear in your thinking around this and you articulate it well.

        Fahad – you are onto my use of Te (Extroverted Intuition). As an ENFP – this is my Tertiary (10-year-old) process and I draw on it a lot to help me structure what I do. I think you are on the right track – keep refining your skill.

        I would encourage you to keep pursuing type and I agree with Josh about “Don’t be hasty.”

        All in all – typology at this level can be nuanced and complex. So I’m excited that we have attracted intelligent people to this community who love to talk about how we can apply type to personal growth.

  • Alyssa

    I just want to thank both personality hacker for this podcast and commenter Kenneth for his take on how an “S” would view Ni. My husband is, we think, INFJ while I am fairly confident I am INTJ. This podcast reaffirmed some conclusions I had come to about the differences I see between myself and my hubby and explained them in a more thorough fashion than I had yet been able to do myself (I’m pretty new to cognitive function study).

    I grew up around Ni’s so the idea of abstract ideas being “woowoo” is foreign to me. The sensing personality type that,as Kenneth mentioned, wants to manage the cashiers every task but won’t see that his business is failing, is harder for me to understand. What he explained was that, whether supported by more concrete data supplied by math and science, or lacking that support in subjects of personal feelings or, as Antonia mentioned in her reply, astrology, the conjectures made by intuitives will all be “woowoo” to an “S” type. This is immensely helpful to note as an INTJ since I feel like “hey! I have data here so of course everyone will think that my thought process makes sense!” when really it doesnt.

    However since the podcast was comparing INFJ to INTJ and not S’s to N’s, I certainly think Antonia’s use of “woo woo” was appropriate since most T’s will ABSOLUTLY think soft sciences or reading people’s feelings are more “woo woo” than the hard sciences.

    And I can’t really think of a better term for a conversational type setting than “woo woo” either. 🙂

  • Kenneth

    This is the insider definition. But, from an S’s point of view, its all “woo woo”. As a ENTP you can point to Astrology and say, “woo woo” but when an S looks at an ENTP, who says, “when you come right down to it, I don’t know what money is, no definition explains all of what money does, without a long list of exceptions.” (Ti) All an S hears is “woo woo”.

    I spent a couple of years working closely with an INTP. From my point of view, his experience, knowledge, and competence were equal, but different, to my own. From the point of view of our Artisan and Guardian co-workers, he was not to be taken seriously, and I was an expert. It was because people could his learning process at work, and experts aren’t understood as people who learn, they already know. People couldn’t see my learning process, I’m Ni. We could say the same thing, he wasn’t taken seriously, I was. His verbalizing the Exploration process undermined him at work. I verbalized the Effectiveness process. Since I was on the same side of the N-S communication barrier, I could look at the INTP and say, I do the same thing, only in my head. There is nothing wrong with the intuitive learning style, but when S’s see it, you may as well tell them your business decisions came out of the astrology pages.

    We all want to be taken seriously for our gifts, for our perspective. Who gets disregarded because their thinking is not considered serious (or is considered too serious, our words for that are “cruel” and “ruthless”) depends not only on the thinker, but the observer.

    On the point that INTJ’s spend more time on the concrete, I’ll remind you of something you said earlier: “There’s only so much think tanking the world wants done, and the overwhelming majority of INTJs are just looking for a job that doesn’t make them want to stab their eyes out.” Oct 14, 2014. If there are INTJ’s testing as S’s, in addition to the problems of testing, I’d point to the fact that most of us are forced to do a lot of S work. Very few of us are asked to solve world hunger, revive the American auto industry, or devise a solution to the Social Security financing problem. When we do, that’s when we’ll look the most “woo woo”. An INTJ’s master plan to change everything to a more effective equilibrium will involve so many new assumptions for participants, and so many untested assumptions about how the world works, that to a lot of people, its effectively astrology for public policy.

    My objection isn’t with the podcast as a whole, but the way terms are used, “woo woo”, what gets called abstract, and some others seem much too casual to be useful. Some of this is the inevitable nature of your conversational format. Benefits from the engaging style mean losses elsewhere: the rigor in the expression of ideas. Some may be the openness to newcomers to type, some of whom will be turned off by what sounds like a graduate seminar in comparative Jungian psychology.

    There is a great cartoon on the INFJ doodles tumbler, where the artists INTJ friend says to her, I need to translate what you say into terms I can measure, analyze, and take action on. So perhaps I am just expressing frustration with the fact that I have to translate what you say into things I can measure, analyze, and take action on.

    • Antonia Dodge

      I still think we agree pretty much on everything. And you’ve got a point about the podcast being more free-flowing. While still seeing word choice as important when speaking as opposed to writing, I’m definitely more casual in my speech (probably because I’m Ne’ing and to some extent thinking as I go), whereas my articles and posts show more in-the-moment Ti and a far less cavalier spirit with individual word choice. Though I do think to some extent the very word “woo-woo” is tripping you up to the point where the purpose of that sentence is being lost. I tried to once again reiterate that the word choice was intended to be representative of a possible macro-opinion, not reflecting my own.

      Sorry I used the word “woo-woo.” Every time I do I seem to get frustrated feedback, but I’ll be damned if I can’t think of a better word for how other people seem to see iNtuition (and, yes, sometimes in particular Ni). So I’m probably going to keep using it and just taking the hit. 😛


      p.s. You being taking seriously and the INTP being discredited is probably an entire conversation in and of itself. I wouldn’t assume it’s entirely because of Ne vs Ni, though that’s probably a node in the system.

  • Kenneth

    “Woo woo” and intuition are not synonymous. Extroverted iNtuition, perhaps, in the sense that S’s won’t take anyone seriously when they see N. Ne’s verbalize their discovery process, saying aloud what they don’t know as they explore it.

    Ni’s don’t do that. We extrovert our judging function and judging, whether Te or Fe is going to sound a lot more like judgement than than exploration. INFJ has the problem that their F subject matter, people, values, relationships, is not testable. Its always conjectural. Not more abstract, more conjectural. We can’t look inside the relationship or someone’s head, so maybe what INFJ says, or maybe not. It can be hard to defend categorical statements about conjecture.

    T has the advantage that its subject matter has various languages to employ, math, logic, science, that give us words to explain how we arrived at our conclusions. Having words, especially these kinds of words, makes it sound like you know what you are talking about. You prove things in logic and math, and you demonstrate things experimentally in science. The opposite of woo woo. But INTJ wanders off into conjecture as well, we have theories about all kinds of things, economics, politics, cosmology, the nature of matter. But talking about these things, no matter how conjectural, sound like academics or science. Someone asks, but how do you know, and we can cite sources and give examples. Even if the subject is a grand theory of social power, people don’t walk away saying “woo woo” they say, “smart”.

    But its not because its more concrete, even though we can test some of our theories in the real world. Its because the subject of our NiTe interest, grand systems have the patina of math, logic, and science.

    When an INTJ runs a business, they are concerned with the big picture. What is the purpose of this business, and then they begin to work from this idea into its implications. If the business is supposed to make money, we should have happy customers, products of high value and low costs. Now I know what to strive for. INTJ doesn’t care about the procedures of the staff unless and until it impacts on the big picture.

    The concrete thinker starts with the procedures and doesn’t give much (or any) thought to the big picture. S’s never realize they are running their business as a hobby (something to keep them busy) rather than as a profit maximizing enterprise. They are too busy writing a list of things for the cashier to attend to all day.

    Concrete thinking starts with the procedures and fewer and fewer S’s push into the big picture. As the picture gets bigger, there are fewer S’s there, this is the realm of the abstract. Its easy to presume you are running a profit maximizing enterprise when in fact you are managing the decline of the organization.

    The thinking of NiTe is not less abstract than NiFe, but it often benefits from math, logic, and science to make it seem more certain, when in fact any Ni is concerned with conjectural possibilities. Dealing with the objectivity of reality is not less theoretical than the subjectivity of the person or a relationship, but it may appear testable in a way the other is not. Though in truth, what we are testing are not the theories themselves but the implications of these theories, so in that regard, the data rich approach merely conceals the subjectivity of the theorist. This is true in the hard sciences, and poses a major hurdle in the soft sciences. Economics is a data and number rich field, but the data never persuades economists away from their prior commitments, it only gets interpreted to support their prior commitments.

    • Antonia Dodge

      I think you misunderstood our intent with the word “woo-woo.” I made sure to articulate my sentence carefully when talking about this: “INFJs are more attracted to things that other people may disregard as woo-woo.” That’s a sentence full of subjectivity, very much on purpose. Meaning – if you took a poll of how many INxJs are into a subject like, say, astrology you are likely to see some INTJs on board, but I’d wager you’d have a heavier dose of skeptics. Whereas the scales would more likely tip in the favor of interest or belief for INFJs. (Obviously I’m talking about trends, not rules.) This and other topics like it are subjects that are easily called “woo-woo,” though I may not agree with the word or sentiment.

      I’m still trying to make out if your comment is one of echoing or umbrage with the podcast. Other than taking some exception to the specific words we used, I can’t really see where your comment disagrees with the content.


      • Raederle Phoenix

        For what it is worth, I didn’t find your use of the term woo-woo to be misleading or offensive, and I am definitely an INFJ who falls into the category of being a believer in the so-called supernatural. That said, I tend to only believe things because of my own personal experiences; I believe my tarot cards work for me, for example, because of the many uncanny occurrences in the cards (like drawing three out of the four kings in a row when asking about different aspects of the same situation).

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