Monthly Archives: December 2016

Sixteen Months of Type – INFP

This is the twelfth post in our 16 Months of Type series and we focus here on INFP. To remind you, we are using our material on managing life transitions with psychological type (formerly available through CPP as Introduction to Type® and Reintegration and soon to be available on CareerPlanner.com – stay tuned!) as the jumping off point for each piece and then connecting this material to the self-discovery process that frequently accompanies life-changing events (LCEs). Read on!

INFP, Introversion, Perceiving, Feeling and Perceiving
When facing an LCE, INFPs typically want an approach that is aimed at improving relationships and clarifying purpose. If your preferences are for INFP, you most likely require time to reflect on and explore your feelings before engaging in or adopting new behaviors. INFPs tend to seek strategies that are win-win and allow them to delve into the deeper meaning behind significant transitions. They prefer approaches that encourage creativity and empower them to do things in their own way as they work toward mutual goals. INFPs welcome information from a variety of sources and strive to find solutions that foster healing, hope, and harmony.

When INFP preferences are overdone, people who prefer INFP may fail to practice constructive self-interest, allowing the notions of others to override their own feelings. Their measured, diplomatic approach can mean that they fail to speak up immediately or forcefully about the problems that they see. INFPs also can fall into the trap of assuming that they are mistaken about their perceptions – and thus stay quiet – if others aren’t voicing similar concerns. This INFP tendency to underestimate their authority can mean that important issues go unaddressed. They may also assume that even more careful thought and introspection will uncover a better way, when in actuality, speaking up, or taking some small action now, no matter how imperfect, would be simpler and more effective.

INFPs typically need an empathetic companion to mentor, guide, and support them on their transition journey. Since those who prefer INFP don’t want to be pushed or given a one size fits all prescription for how they should react to life-changing events, they seek companions, who will honor their values and their careful, individual style. Utilizing a wise companion to explore philosophical viewpoints that promote resiliency, forgiveness and understanding of self and others helps INFPs put difficulties into perspective. Discussing how others came to grips with the emotional toll of transitions helps them move forward with confidence, arming them with the objective fact that that if others can make it through similar challenges, they can too. Further, with the supportive encouragement of a creative companion, INFPs can practice responding courageously and actively to tough situations, relying the inherent strength of their values – their best guide and motivator when times are uncertain.

When such a companion is not present in the life of people who prefer INFP, they may agonize about how people will be affected if no win-win solution is found and exhaust themselves in the search for an ideal solution where all are pleased. While it’s admirable that INFPs typically strive to make transitions as smooth and painless as possible, they may overdo it by saying yes to too many requests and rescuing those who do not need rescuing. Without a trusted companion to help them look at circumstances and relationships objectively, INFPs might sacrifice their own wellbeing or permit others to take advantage of them. Sound, caring advice helps INFPs recognize that emotional appeals do not always require a response and that others have the chance to grow when allowed to deal with problems on their own. With such empathetic, reasoned support, INFPs can see tough times and their role in them realistically, enabling them to move forward more swiftly and with greater self-assurance – reminding them that the best harmony to seek is harmony with their own INFP values.

Self-Discovery Tool Number 82
If you prefer INFP (or you have someone in your life with this four-letter type code), the following questions may help as you process a life-changing event.

  1. How can you find ways to enrich your experience by connecting with others and reaching out to share stories, time, and activities?
  2. How can your past experiences be a guide to what might help you manage things more successfully now?
  3. How can you take an objective inventory of which approaches to your new circumstances are working and which are not?
  4. How can you create plans, schedules, or routines to help you manage your new way of living more easily?
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Sixteen Months of Type — INTP

This is the eleventh post in our 16 Months of Type series and we focus here on INTP. To remind you, we are using our material on managing life transitions with psychological type (formerly available through CPP as Introduction to Type® and Reintegration and soon to be available on CareerPlanner.com – stay tuned!) as the jumping off point for each piece and then connecting this material to the self-discovery process that frequently accompanies life-changing events (LCEs). Read on!

INTP, Introversion, Intuition, Thinking and Perceiving
When facing an LCE, INTPs typically want an approach that is theoretically sound and internally consistent. INTPs usually want to examine the foundations of any system to ensure the basic operating assumptions are in alignment with their beliefs. People who prefer INTP appreciate having sufficient time to consider at least one option in depth and collect data on the merits of this option from a wide variety of sources. They feel most confident about a plan when they have had the opportunity to conduct a systematic review of its pros and cons. The idea that they can think their way out of every situation can lead them to invent creative and imaginative solutions to deal with the day-to-day challenges of forging a new life. Furthermore, people who prefer INTP don’t tend to shy away from hard truths and will attempt to use their gift of analysis to see all points of view to help bring people together during difficult transitions.

When INTP preferences are overdone, people who prefer INTP may become so concerned about appearing incompetent that they simply stop taking action for fear of making a mistake. Thus, if the principles on which a plan is based appear to be incongruent or contradictory, they may discard it completely, throwing their hands in the air rather than tweaking the plan so that it is good enough to warrant moving forward. Because they usually require a well-thought out rationale, INTPs can become distressed, even if the stakes are low, in situations where all choices seem equally good (or bad) and a decision must be made immediately. Those with INTP preferences may also neglect to share their elegant reasoning with significant others. Without this shared understanding, the INTPs’ insistence on doing something a certain way can appear arbitrary and their criticism of significant others’ alternative approaches can feel unwarranted.

When facing an LCE, INTPs typically need an objective companion to mentor, guide, and support them on their transition journey. If your preferences are for INTP, you tend to seek companions who can help you weigh up the potential future consequences of any decision you make today. INTPs are typically quite skeptical and need a companion who will honor this as well as match the INTP enthusiasm for analysis and inquiry and not be put off by queries of all kinds. Debating and probing “the truth” with a skilled companion not only helps INTPs to organize the available options into a logical framework but also reminds them that a thorough appraisal, by definition, requires looking at emotional as well as bottom line impacts. Such a companion can also help INTPs strike a balance between critique and showing appreciation for the ideas and contributions of others so that INTPs genuine desire to make things better can be realized.

When such a companion is not present in the life of people who prefer INTP, they may get so caught up in an attempt to understand the reasons for their new situation that they fail to attend to basic aspects of daily life, unable to focus on anything outside of their worrying ruminations, becoming embroiled in a fruitless search for the perfect answer. People who prefer INTP also tend to be concerned about repeating past errors. Without a dispassionate companion who can help them evaluate the actual severity of missteps, they may have difficulty achieving a more balanced view of the past, and in turn doubt their ability to cope with similar situations going forward. Without reminders that nearly all problems combine aspects within and outside of their control, INTPs may exaggerate their responsibility or culpability and be unable to face the reality that sometimes things cannot be explained or improved, no matter how hard they try. Impartial and wise counsel can help INTPs to pick their battles and focus their excellent problem-solving abilities on those issues where progress is possible.

Self-Discovery Tool Number 81
If you prefer INTP (or you have someone in your life with this four-letter type code), the following questions may help as you process a life-changing event.

  1. How can you find ways to enrich your experience by connecting with others and reaching out to share stories, time, and strategies?
  2. How can your past experiences be a guide to what might help you manage things more successfully now?
  3. How can you assess the impact of your actions on those you care about?
  4. How can you create plans, schedules or routines to help you manage your new way of living more easily?