Erasing INTJ Stereotypes

I am an INTJ, and trust me, I am aware of the many stereotypes floating around on the internet. These stereotypes had at one time made me believe I was an ISFJ/INFJ. Therefore, I figured it’d be good for some INTJs who may be confused like I was to have a better reference point.  I don’t mind being that reference point, as I’m very certain of my type.

Stereotype: INTJs are assholes.

One of the reasons I had once mistyped as an ISFJ/INFJ is because of the sociopathic, asshole symbols often associated with INTJs (Lex Luthor,  Hannibal Lecter, Jay Z, haha Jay Z etc.) Most decent human beings would find figures such as these hard to stomach in relationship to themselves. Considering I’m actually a pretty nice guy, so did I. Talking as an INTJ, the big surprise is I’m not evil, strictly cold, nor callous. I can be incredibly altruistic, and am passionate for the causes I stand for.

First of all, everyone who knows me is aware that I would die for my loved ones. When I think of disease and death, I always hope that it takes me instead of the ones I am closest to because it’d be so much harder to bare otherwise. When my soon-be-wife is in need, it takes me but seconds to come to her side. I am also sorry to hear that so many “INTJs think hugs are ew or whatever,” because I am not above showing affection. I actually do very much enjoy cuddling my fiancé into submission.  Hell, I’ll even write her a romantic letter to express how much she means to me when the moment arises.

And yes, I’m nice to people outside of my inner circle as well (although I must admit the larger chunk of my heart.) I was an English teacher, for Christ’s sake. I’m also moving into an administration position next year that affects the lives of children. Furthermore, I will help a stranger if they need help. In fact, I have stopped my car numerous times after a person has run over an animal and have saved some by calling the ASPCA in time. Bad people upset me just as much as the next person, let’s say, so I’m not one of them.

Stereotype: INTJs have shallow emotions.

For better or for worse, I am deeply emotional. It is not always the easiest for me to explain how deeply I feel for the people I choose to have in my life, but I do everything in my power to make them happy. Whatever they wish, I try my best to grant. Every dream they have becomes mine, and I work towards their goals as actively as I work towards my own.

While shameful to admit sometimes, it is also relatively easy to hurt me. Do not get me wrong; constructive criticism is always useful from colleagues and peers. Those things never falter me, as I accept the truths and filter out the useless comments. But if a person I care about says something to intentionally hurt me, then in moments I am hiding back tears. I react similarly when the right person says something sweet to me that strikes a chord.

Something else I have to note is that if you mess with my loved ones in front of me, you will be sorry.

Stereotype: INTJs do not understand what you’re feeling.

It is the Fe types who get all of the credit for understanding other peoples’ emotions. Well, INTJs can have a pretty good idea as well. I am a very good judge of character, and if I’m in a healthy mindset, I have a pretty good idea of whom I am dealing with within seconds of meeting you. So if you’re upset after a few conversations, I can basically read it off of your forehead. If I’m close enough to you, I care about that, and I have a good idea of what is wrong.

Stereotype: INTJs are  always mathematical geniuses. 

I was English teacher, and am going into an administration position this upcoming year. My fiancée handles our budget. Repeat: I was an ‘English’ teacher. Studied English. Not mathematics. 

Stereotype: INTJs have no regard for humanity, and would be willing to do ‘twisted things’ for their end goal.

As a Fi user, I have a strict moral code. I am not willing to intentionally hurt another human being to gain what I have set out for, and what I have set out for is pretty noble: a wife, a career as an administrator in a school system. Not conquering the world. 

2

The Extra-Special Autistic” by s.e. smith at Disability in Kidlit:

This kind of exceptionalist narrative might, at first glance, seem like a positive or even empowering one. At last, autistic readers can plunge into texts where their identities are presented as a positive, where their personality traits become keys to solving problems and viewing the world with a new perspective. But, as it always goes when it comes to depictions of disability, the situation is much more complicated than that–because the truth is that many autistic people are utterly unexceptional–just like neurotypical people–and there’s nothing wrong with that. We don’t expect every neurotypical person to be a crack detective, so how does it follow that we demand the same of autistics?

These stories construct autism as a singular set of symptoms and a very narrow range of experiences, rather than an incredibly diverse spectrum, and every personality trait of every character is ascribed to autism, as is every achievement.

[read the full article]

Erasing INFJ Stereotypes

I saw this as a submission topic and HAD to submit a post about this topic, mostly because it is these stereotypes that drive me INSANE!

But first a little backstory. I remember when I first discovered I was an INFJ I was very relieved, partially because I was finally able to see in writing how I think. But I was also very confused, because all INFJ descriptions that said that people like me are high acheiving mystical wonders who are super creative and change the world. But I’m not like that. I started to think that maybe I was mistyped, maybe I was an ISFJ, but no. Every description of Si was completely unrelatable to me, and every description of Ni and inferior Se just stuck so well. So what was the problem?

It’s not that I wasn’t an INFJ, it’s that INFJs are not all superhuman beings. And that is why I wrote this today, to debunk common INFJ stereotypes that drive me up a wall.

INFJs are incredible, mystical psychic beings.

Hahaha this one’s funny. While I will say that Ni does have the ability to intuit odd things, I definitely don’t know everything. I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen in every event, and I can’t immediately decode someone’s thought process from just meeting them. Yes, I do intuit with my Ni but its not all-knowing and it can even be wrong. Yes, an INFJ’s magical intuition can be wrong, and misguided. For example, last week I was sure one of my teachers was going to give an incredibly hard final. I was sure of it. But did she? No. I was wrong, even though I was convinced I was right. Another important point is that Ni dominants can be fooled. Especially by people we trust. Our Ni is not foolproof, and it can overlook things. We are perfectly human, and we definitely don’t have superpowers.

INFJs are so caring that will sit there and listen to your problems all day. They make perfect counselors.

Yep, no. I will tell you, I am a generally caring person, and when a friend needs to talk to me about something that bothers them I will be there for them. Even for strangers, I won’t mind sometimes sharing feelings and helping them. But be a therapist all day and listen to people’s problems as my job? Nope. I am not very patient with people who create their own problems, and to be perfectly honest, dealing with other people’s emotions a lot of times annoys me. Does that sound like that stereotype to you?

INFJs are silent martyrs in society who constantly feel alone and suffer in silence.

First of all, I will admit that, in an intuitive way, I have understood for most of my life that people tend to not understand how I think. That being said, I do not feel alone. At all. I have plenty of friends that are invaluable, and who understand me more than anyone else does. I do not feel alone at all, and I do not silently suffer from loneliness internally. What is with the martyr concept anyway? If I’m mad at someone, I don’t spare their feelings because of my unconditional love for humankind. I tell them off. It’s misguided to think of us with these kinds of traits because we are HUMAN! An MBTI type does not change that.

INFJs are super sensitive.

I will admit that I am more of an emotional person, after all, I am a feeler. But I definitely know MANY people that are waaayyy more sensitive than I am, and the funny thing is, I actually have a tendency to get annoyed by over sensitive people. My feelings don’t get hurt very easily at all.

INFJs are inspirational people that change the world.

This stereotype is based of the fact that a lot of famous world leaders are oftentimes claimed to be INFJs. But guess what? You don’t know my name. You haven’t heard of me. Why? Because I am a perfectly normal person. I am not the next MLK and it is not the Ni dream of every INFJ to aspire to that kind of extreme level. We are normal people, and we live normally amongst you.

INFJs are the most brilliant, smart, creative type.

I do creative work. I like to write fiction and play music, to be specific. But am I the next Mark Twain or Mozart? Heck no. Not to say my ideas are bad, because I like to think they’re not, but they’re not mind blowing, and they’re definitely not necessarily more creative than ones you came up with. We are not extraordinary, and just because we are in the minority doesn’t mean that our ideas are better than yours.

So there you have it. Those are the stereotypes that bother me the most, but I could honestly go for hours on this topic. Hopefully this post was helpful, and hopefully it helps to take away some of the mystery around INFJs and Ni dominants because in truth, we are just people. Normal people. Just like you,

“A girl from Vogue called my modeling agency wanting to know the background of Talisa Soto [pictured]. And I was so proud. I said, ‘Talisa’s Puerto Rican.’ The girl said, ‘No, I asked what her background was. Where is she from?’ I said, ‘She’s Puerto Rican.’ The Vogue girl goes, ‘Please have Alan [Bethann’s white business partner who helped her run her agency] call me.’ The girl wasn’t willing to accept that someone who looked like Talisa could represent Puerto Rico. She wanted someone who fit the white standard of ‘exotic.’”

– Bethann Hardison in our new episode of the ‪What’s Underneath‬ Project. For Bethann’s entire story, watch her video!

i’m like hardly even asian but i’m still sensitive to racism having to do with being asian, or “oriental”, because all my life I’ve been made fun of for having “squinty eyes” and the fuckin white people in my hometown would call me Chinese or Japanese. and every racist thing actual eastern-asian people probably get made fun of for, I was made fun of for too. “fix my computer”, “hey can you read this?” [insert kanji here], “you probably have a small dick”. it was all the stupidest shit. And I feel bad for any actual Asian people who had to deal with the same shit, y’all don’t deserve that. for the record, if I’m asian at all, it’s a very small percentage. I’m 50% white, and 50% percent hawaiian. From what my dad says, there may be a small amount of Chinese in my blood as well. And if there is, I’m hella proud of it. If not, I love my Hawaiian roots and fuck white people anyways. 

So Gay or Typical teen?

Aonme and dad just had an argument on what I wear cos apparently skinny jeans and constant black only suggest am not straight or am Gothic now he’s not homophobic or anything but I sew he’s trying to mould me into a typical tbh black teenager and let’s be frank am really not,I, am look more like kieth Richards than say tupac in terms of style and I get a lot of stuck about that but honestly people need to get idgaf about what message I am supposedly giving out by my style, btw if you’re a homophob fuck you

Erasing INFP stereotypes

I loved the blog post about the ISTJ stereotypes. My sister is ISTJ and she’s anything but unemotional! So I’d like to tell you about the INFP stereotypes I find annoying.

All INFPs are sweet, innocent, harmless people

You know about Elliot Rodger, the kid who killed six innocent people and was proud of it?

He was a looping INFP. Just read his manifesto: “I’m the supreme gentlemen and I suffered so much…” That’s unhealthy Fi and Si all over the place.

I’m not saying that all INFPs are mindless killer, not at all. Most INFJs are nothing like Adolf Hitler after all, and most INFPs don’t act like Elliot Rodger. Healthy INFPs can be very likeable but an unhealthy INFP can be downright nasty. I remember a homophobic INFP girl who would send hundreds of insults on a gay activist blog. Whenever people told her to stop trolling, she would say that only her personal values mattered (unhealthy Fi) and being gay was sooo wrong and she was soooo misunderstood and special and people were sooo wrong to “bully” her… Poor girl.

INFPs are depressive and suicidal

An INFP in a loop can be depressive, yeah. But all people can be depressive.

An INFP who uses his/her auxiliary function can be very happy. Some time ago, an INTJ told me “hey, you INFPs are so annoying, you cannot be happy if you keep thinking the world is unfair”. I tried to tell him that making the world a (slightly) better place actually makes me happy. Even small things can make me happy. Why not?

INFPs don’t care about the real world, they live in their own little world, with fairies and unicorns

I’m an author. I enjoy writing fairy tales. And you know what? I know they’re fairy tales. I can write a story that begin with the words: “there was a ghost in the wardrobe” but if I hear something in my wardrobe at night, I just think “oh no, my cat is inside!”

INFPs have Te. They reject things they don’t believe they need. Is there serious proof for astrology? No? then I won’t believe in astrology.

INFPs never make decisions

Same thing. I enjoy movies and books yet I know I cannot live with only movies and books. Saying INFP cannot make decisions is like saying ISXJs have no imagination or EXFJs cannot think logically. Everyone uses all of their functions.

INFPs are selfish, INFJs are selfless

All types can be selfish or selfless. The problem is, when you read type descriptions, INFJ always sound better than INFP so a lot of INFPs mistype themselves as INFJ. Hey, when a healthy, altruistic, likeable INFP appears on fiction, he/she is always mistyped as INFJ: look at Trudy Monk and Sally Sparrow.

This is not an attack against INFJs. One of my best friends at school was INFJ and she was awesome! But Fi people can be altruistic. I know Fi users who donate their blood or are anti-racism activists. How you USE your functions matters.

THE SIGNS’ ROLES IN SCHOOL

Stoners: Taurus, Pisces

Preps: Virgo, Libra

Emos: Cancer, Capricorn

Class Clown: Gemini, Sagittarius

Jocks: Aries, Leo

Rebels: Scorpio, Aquarius

Populars: Leo, Libra

Shit Talkers: Gemini, Virgo, Libra

Valedictorians: Virgo, Capricorn

Smart but doesn’t care about grades: Gemini, Scorpio, Aquarius

Artists: Taurus, Cancer, Pisces

Hipsters: Virgo, Aquarius

Skaters: Aries, Sagittarius

Bullies: Aries, Capricorn

friendly reminder that asian people do actually exist outside of the tropes of the delicate porcelain doll, the apathetic bookish overachiever, the teen with streaked hair rebelling against strict harsh parents, the dragon lady with ~~~exotic~~~ beauty and ~~~mysterious~~~ (always) evil aura and the wise old sage with all the answers to the world who exists solely to help the white protagonist discover his true purpose in life to be the greatest insert-asian-martial-arts-here master ever!!

friendly reminder that asian people are actually multidimensional people with different personalities, fears, dreams and goals and stereotyping us all in as just one of 5 types is actually incredibly harmful and racist!!

Erasing ENFP Stereotypes

The first time I tested as an ENFP, I shook my head and let out a scornful laugh. Seriously. And that’s because of the way ENFPs can be portrayed in profiles. I just did a few that were on my mind. uwu

ENFPs are always happy and bubbly, and are the least likely type to get depressed.

Come here, child. You are very confused. This stereotype might be the one that single-handedly upsets me the most. Unfortunately, I have not yet met an ENFP who has NOT struggled with emotional issues or anxiety. Now isn’t that depressing? In fact, on PersonalityCafe, it’s truly rare to not see a thread about anxiety or depression on the first page of the ENFP section. Oh, but then why do we seem cheery so much of the time? Well, due to Fi, ENFPs don’t like show their strong emotions outwardly if they can help it. The stronger it is, the more internalized it gets. It’s a constant state of knowing exactly how terrible you feel, but being unable to put it into words, or not wanting to trouble others with your burden. Instead, a lot of ENFPs just go on being outwardly upbeat, especially in public. Because of that, it seems we’re all carefree and nothing troubles us. We veer towards being Stepford Smilers, or in some cases, Stepford Snarkers. It took my parents three years before they realized I was depressed, and it wasn’t until my school put me in institutionalized suicide watch that they realized it was serious. At the end of the day, ENFPs are people, just like any other type. We get depressed, and we get sad. It just might not be as obvious. 

ENFPs live with their heads stuck in the clouds, and are not realistic.

Nope. I mean, with Ne as our dominant function, we are excellent at brainstorming, and tend to have active imaginations. Especially when we’re younger, we can be more idealistic with some shining paragon-like morals. And yes, we never quite lose that eccentricity that Ne brings, but the older we get, we start to become grounded pretty firmly in practicality. It’s tertiary Te that does this, as well as inferior Si. But the more those are developed, the more grounded an ENFP is. Of course, we’ll never be up to par to higher Si or Se, but it keeps us from living completely in our heads. I personally was a bit surprised at how practical I became in my late teens, almost veering on pragmatic. Yeah, that’s a great item, but is it useful? 

ENFPs are cheaters, and can’t stick with one partner.

I don’t find this to be true–in a healthy ENFP. People cheat, so I’m sure there are ENFPs who are cheaters out there, but aside from that? I can see that with Ne as a dominant function, we generally try to look to new possibilities and chances. And I suppose this is where auxiliary Fi might make the difference. Fi sticks to its own moral code. Mine screams that cheating is a terrible thing to do, because loyalty is something I’ve always considered extremely important. Many ENFPs I’ve come across share the same view. But if Fi is unhealthy–it’ll be self-serving, and won’t care about other people either, so yeah, that could certainly happen. 

ENFPs are manipulators. 

This is pretty similar to the one above. With a well developed Fi, it probably won’t happen–at least not maliciously. ENFPs tend to be very persuasive, but not in a way that seems demanding or moralizing. Where persuasion turns to manipulation depends on their Fi, once again. I personally know that I could manipulate people and their emotions, but I choose not to, because I don’t think that’s right. Sure, I was taught that manipulation isn’t nice, and sure, I think about how it might hurt the other person–but that comes second. My belief that it’s wrong comes first, not what society thinks. That goes for any Fi user. 

ENFPs get offended easily and can’t take criticism.

Fi indeed can be sensitive. I can only speak for myself here, but I might be the hardest person to offend in the room…as long as you don’t hit the flaming hot red buttons. Fi will only be extremely reactive if an issue they care about is poked at. The other stuff, like appropriate behavior and social standards? Nah. Being an Ne-dom helps with coming up with a lot of possible reasons why someone might had done this or said that, and so that makes it difficult to get angry. That lenience tends to go out the door when someone hits the red button issues. I’ll still be cordial, but if that person is just plain rude and condescending about it, and unwilling to see the other side of the argument, Te will come out full force. I’m perfectly fine with criticism, as long as I can tell that the person means well and it isn’t done just to be hurtful. I prefer objective criticism–cold hard facts, please. 

Anyways, I hope this might help relieve any confusion ENFPs might have had because of some prevalent stereotypes. Phew! 

The Signs' Stereotypes
  • Aries:super aggressive super athletic super super intense
  • Taurus:foodie!!! also super stubborn
  • Gemini:two faced and annoying but also really cool somehow???
  • Cancer:crying 24/7 in the house in the park in the grocery store
  • Leo:really self-centered and also a queen!! really pretty
  • Virgo:really really motherly and also super OCD
  • Libra:super flirty but nobody hears much else about you tbh
  • Scorpio:murderer and also broody teen with a kind heart :')
  • Sagittarius:rad, everyone wants to date you but you have serious commitment issues?? also super chill
  • Capricorn:emotionless and very smart. kinda scary tbh
  • Aquarius:also emotionless but very creative. conspiracy theories and aliens!!!!
  • Pisces:crying with cancer wearing a fairy dress
Erasing ISFJ Stereotypes

I won’t pretend my experiences are universal, but I am an … unusual ISFJ that certainly tears apart all the stereotypes, so … take it as you will.

ISFJs are dull and have no imagination or creativity.

This is the one I find most frustrating. Every person has an imagination; it is merely a matter of whether or not it has been sufficiently activated or allowed to flourish. This happens quite naturally in an ISFJ and often is ignited through reading. Books, particularly fiction, activate our Ne. The more we read, the more easily we can access Ne in daily life, and the greater a pull it has on us. Reading lets us experience and entertain new ideas without endangering our “safety,” but it may also make us more inclined to desire them in real life. 

Many ISFJs are intensely creative, in a variety of ways. The stereotype is that we knit socks for our children; the reality is that we write best-selling fantasy novels and have a healthy interest in novelty. ISFJs take such pride in their craft that they perfect it over long years of practice and, once obtaining the confidence to show their work to others, soon rise to the top of their field. Some choose handicraft skills and design, others choose to become writers. Many ISFJs wind up fantasy novelists, because what better way to explore their Ne than through directing it at taking what they know or have an interest in (such as tropes, myths, legends, archetypes, etc) and re-imagining it in entirely new or re-purposed ways? ISFJs possess Ne, which is the ability to see things “not as they are, but as they COULD BE.”

ISFJs cannot handle abstract concepts, cannot see through people, and are oblivious to symbolism and have no patience for it.

Wrong. At eight years old, I was sensing innuendo in old movies. I grew up reading C.S. Lewis. Not just his Narnia books, but his grown up allegories, which were all about abstract concepts and symbolism. I love discussing those kinds of things. Nothing makes me happier than to tear off the surface of a book or film or even a person and unearth its deeper meaning, symbolism, or greater significance. It’s true that I’m not all that fond of extremely abstract poetry that is open to interpretation (because I’m not always sure the answer the professor wants is the “right” or “only” one) and am not that fond of Shakespeare, but I know a ton of other ISFJs who love the Bard.

Regarding people … while ISFJs are stereotyped as having no insight into them I beg to differ and again, for me this comes back to literature. When you have read as many books as I have, from all kinds of different genres, you gain insight into human nature and start instinctively picking up on things. Or at least, that’s where I think my intuition about people comes from. But where I differ from the INFJ is that I’m not confident enough about my “sense” of this person to articulate it as a fact; I COULD be right in guessing their motivations or there might be an unseen variable that I haven’t considered. I am sometimes right and sometimes wrong, so I wait to see how things unravel… but I often get a “sense” of people right off the bat that is fairly accurate. I may not know why I don’t like them or consider them trustworthy, but later they’ll prove themselves to be liars, or thieves, or manipulators. 

ISFJs cannot be logical or make rational decisions, and believe BS.

Some of us do believe BS. I’ll admit it. Low-order Ne is fascinated with the idea of ghosts, magic, horoscopes, etc.

But that we cannot be logical is false; we have a fairly strong grip on logic and whenever encountering anything new, can go into intense “question mode.” We will attack something new, tearing it apart until it makes sense to us. You might even find us in mathematical, scientific, or engineering fields, where our traits will be intensive research and follow-through. And because our Ti is close to our Fe, we are eternally in a struggle between emotion and logic (hence, the semi-accurate stereotype of us being “moody” – you try shifting between feelings and rationality sixteen times every hour, where your first instinct is to be emotional and a half second later you catch yourself and say, “Now, you shouldn’t be upset over this… they have a good point”).

There is also a stereotype that goes along with this that we just “fall in line” and do as everyone else does. No. We are not robots. In fact, if everyone is doing it, someone needs to raise their hand and ask, “Why are you doing this?” As introverts, we’re not comfortable with everyone blindly doing the same thing and we might even do the opposite just to make a point.

ISFJs never question their upbringing and cannot break with tradition.

Not at all. In fact, the older we get, the more in touch we are with our Ti and Ne, which inevitably starts to question our entire belief system and compare it with the greater possibilities we can see in our environment. My views have totally shifted on many topics just in the last few years, as I have re-thought them, met with new material, had new experiences, etc. I am comfortable fundamentally altering my worldview, so long as the new perspective seems logical to me.

Regarding tradition, I have a sneaking suspicion that upbringing has a great deal to do with keeping family traditions. If your parents believe in them, you might be taught to care more about them (same with pictures, keeping family heirlooms, etc). I have some traditional views but am not tradition-keeping or ritualistic in any way. I have zero interest in old family recipes or in preserving them, could care less about photo albums, and get bored eating the same things on holidays or going the same places. Show me something new!

ISFJs all just want to be spouses and parents, and are anti-feminist.

Gosh, you should have met me as a child. I was the biggest feminist on the block, telling all my friends they ought to learn to do things for themselves. It ticked me off that the boys always rescued the girls in faerie stories. I much preferred strong single women in literature to the sappy romantics, and actually got annoyed when people kept telling me that my enjoyment of being single would wear off “when I met the right guy.” And, “Oh, you’ll change your mind about not having kids when you look into his eyes.”

I’ll decide if I want kids or not, thanks so much. It’s none of your business.

There’s not getting around the fact that I would be a good mother. I’m attentive and compassionate and a peacemaker, who knows how to get things done and take care of other people in ways that make them feel loved. But it is only lately that I have entertained the thought of not being single. Humorously, the situation is reversed in my ISFJ friend, who grew up wanting to get married and as she has gotten older, now has more of a desire to stay single. In short, families are nice and I admire mothers a great deal, but it has never been my ultimate ambition to be one. I’d rather be a novelist if I have to choose (I bet I could do both, though, and a bunch of other things, too).

Remember, no two ISFJs are the same and if you find stereotypical ones, it often means they have not fully awakened their Ne yet. Give them a Terry Pratchett book. If anything will do it, that will.