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How to tell INFJ vs. INFP

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tegan-sara INFJ/INFP

Two types that are easily mistaken for each other are INFP and INFJ. Often times people will appear to us as shy, aloof, unique, abstract-minded and sensitive and it seems likely that they’re one of the two. Discerning the correct type between the two can be difficult though. In this post I’ll give some tips on how to make the distinction.

The first place to look for differences is in the primary function. INFJs use Introverted iNtuition as their primary function while INFPs use Introverted Feeling.

Introverted iNtuition (INFJs’ Primary Function)

Introverted iNtuition is more detached and analytical. It aims to make sense of the world by recognizing patterns that are often hidden or difficult to discern. It looks at things independently of the self and it shifts them in the mind and re-imagines them until a satisfactory understanding is reached.

See if you can get the sense for how Annie Clark’s (St. Vincent) Introverted iNtuition shows itself in her song ‘Digital Witness’. Notice how detached and analytical the song, lyrics and video are:

Introverted Feeling (INFPs’ Primary Function)

Introverted Feeling is more personal and subjective. It evaluates information on the basis of authenticity and personal truth. It comes from deep within the self and emanates outward, seeking to express this subjective truth.

See if you can key in on Chris Pierce’s Introverted Feeling. Chris shows one of the clearest expressions of the function I’ve come across. You can pick it up in his lyrics, his voice, his body and his facial expressions when he plays:

INFJ & INFP Interaction

A great opportunity to observe the two types interacting is in interviews with the duo Tegan and Sara. They’re twins who happen to be INFJ (Tegan) and INFP (Sara).

In interactions, INFJs will often come across as more outwardly dominant. They’re also more likely to be more demonstrative with things like dress, hair and tattoos. INFPs will often come across as more outwardly soft, with deeply held convictions lying below the surface.

One thing to consider when observing either type interacting with others is that both will likely appear much more comfortable and extraverted when they’re around people they’re familiar and comfortable with. In Tegan & Sara’s case there’s, of course, a very high degree of familiarity and comfort.

Miscellaneous Tips

  • INFPs are usually better at multitasking and dealing with distraction. INFJs’ flow state is more fragile.
  • INFJs are more likely to have issues with insomnia.
  • INFJs are more likely to like their music louder, as they tend to have a higher threshold for sensory emersion.
  • INFPs get more enjoyment from novelty than repetition when it comes to their work, whereas INFJs derive more satisfaction from iterating and refining their ideas over time.
  • INFJs are more sensitive and responsive to the subtle emotions of the people around them.
  • INFPs are more likely to resist labels and well defined categorizations, especially for people and art.

Well Known INFJ Musicians

  • Matt Bellamy (Muse)
  • Tori Amos
  • Tegan Rain Quinn
  • Marilyn Manson
  • Jessie Baylin
  • Yanni
  • Annie Lennox
  • Pete Townshend (The Who)
  • Roger Waters (Pink Floyd)

Well Known INFP Musician

  • Joni Mitchell
  • Zack De La Rocha
  • Corinne Bailey Rae
  • Heather Nova
  • Tracy Chapman
  • Sixto Rodriquez
  • Bob Dylan
  • Fiona Apple
  • Bob Marley
  • Eddie Vedder

If you’d like to learn more about how to tell the difference between different types with video examples, then check out: Comparing the Types.

 

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