Seeing Double

Tuesday, May 08, 2012 0 Comments A+ a-


Ah, the sun is shining brightly through my windows this morning. Last night the sky was covered in gray storm clouds, but the day dawned fair and clear. Perfect for sipping coffee and mulling over our next topic:

INFJs see two people in everyone. They see the public persona, the outer shell, that everyone else sees. But they don’t stop there. Their Se and Fe functions pick up subtle non-verbal cues which are then synthesized and interpreted by their Ni. This provides them with information about an individual’s inner world that is completely missed by other types. Because of their keen perceptiveness, INFJs are rarely fooled by facades or fakery. They can readily see beyond appearances and apprehend an individual’s deeper motives and intentions, including any underlying ego issues. In fact, INFJs can often see the truth about people more clearly than those people can see it in themselves. It is no wonder that many INFJs can make a decent living by hanging a “Psychic” sign on their front door.

Before I delve into this, I may need to explain the lowercase letters beside the capital letters. These are related to "Jungian Functional Notation." Our four functions (I, N, F, J) are either introverted or extraverted, and this is indicated by the lowercase letter. For example, Dr. Drenth often refers to "Ni" which stands for "introverted intuition." As INFJs, we break down into the following, in order of dominance:

Ni (introverted iNtuition)   = N
Fe (extraverted Feeling)   = F
Ti (introverted Thinking)   = I
Se (extraverted Sensing)  = J

I know these don't exactly match up to our letters...I mean, where the heck did they get the J, right? At some point I'll blog on the notation in greater detail. For now, let's just assume we know enough to get through the article :-)

I'm sort of wondering how long other INFJs take to see the "two people" in everyone. With me, I sometimes get a 'feeling' or 'impression' the first time I meet someone, and that will dominate my opinion until my other functions kick in and provide more data. This could take seconds, or it might take several meetings with the person. Depends on the day, the person, my mood, etc.

I agree that my sensing function is extroverted. This explains why, when I walk into a room, the first things that hit me are colors, smells, sounds and textures. If it's a stimulating environment, I can be easily overwhelmed as my body tries to interpret and process the data. Several years ago, my husband and I were in a hotel with a casino (we were in Canada at the time). The moment I hit that casino, I felt dizzy. The longer we were there, the more nauseous and uncomfortable I became. Pure air, bells and whistles from the slot machines, loud voices, heavy perfumes, bright flashing lights - it was too much for me. Fortunately, we were only there to exchange for Canadian money, and I can't tell you how relieved I was to get out of there!

In ordinary circumstances, though, my extraverted sensing function can tell me a lot about a person. Appearance, clothing, accessories, posture, hair color and texture, scent, tone of voice, carriage - I pick these things up immediately (and usually without realizing it). At the same time, my extraverted feeling function is assessing the firmness of their handshake, body position, vocabulary, when and how they laugh, projected mood, etc. The data is then sent to my introverted intuition, which often tells me how to respond or which "Judgment" category to throw the person into (nice person, big jerk, complete nerd, idiot, etc.). This can all happen in the blink of an eye, or over time. Same applies to an environment. I don't like being in places that strike me as sterile, cluttered, noisy or smooth/shiny with cool colors. But I love warm-colored, organized, cozy, nurturing places with lots of textured materials. The moment I enter a store/restaurant/cafe/house, I know whether or not I'll be comfortable there.

As far as 'keen perceptiveness' and being able to discern deeper motives or egos, I think I'm fairly good at this. But since I'm at home so much and not out around people, I don't know for sure. I've had some 'impressions' that turned out to be eerily accurate later. So for the most part, I trust my intuition. But I would never call myself psychic, although others have referred to me that way. I'd just say I'm sensitive to things others can't see, and the Holy Spirit uses that to speak to me and keep me safe.

How about you?

Next up...conspiracy theories and following the crowd...