Karen, age 25,  wrote but didn’t leave her email.  Hoping she will read this but it is also of general interest as her quandy is very common.  We turn to our MBTI expert Dave DeVaughn for help.

I am not sure if I am an INFP or an INFJ.

It seems to me when I am in my element I am more of a doer…INFJ and when I am sad or depressed I am more of an INFP. I am not talking day to day, but more as stages in my life. Right now there is no doubt about it I have very strong INFP preferences.

I have always known that I was different. I found that people often came to me for advice, and strangers would open up to me for some odd reason. I have also had very strong connections with people (who I am assuming now are INFJ’s and INFP’s). I could tell within seconds that they are similar to me. When I meet people like this the conversation is very deep but if someone else was listening in they would think we were talking in codes. This has happened to me at least 5-10 times in the last 10 years.

Then we go about our marry way. I prefer not to have intense conversations all the time. I would go crazy.too much of my energy drained. I find with other INFP’s once we start talking about how different we are we become Debbie Downer’s.

For me to COPE (in lack of a better word) I travel. I backpack, I kick it at resorts. I go by myself, I go with others. I truly feel in my element. The world makes sense to me, and I am able to give my insight to people. I feel so blessed as a person to see the world. When I am not traveling I am working crazy hours so I can travel. I mostly hang out alone because I don’t care about the stuff that others find interesting. I don’t care about gossip, or materialistic things to the  extent of my peers. I distance myself from people who are dramatic as well. Although, I do often admire how people can be set off by trivial things. I am usually the person who sheds some light on the situation.

I am different. I find interest in the struggles of humanity and building a better place. My sister always thought I would make a great rebel leader fighting for underdog and standing up for what I think is right. I am introverted, but if someone hurts someone I love I don’t care if it is the president or someone famous I would open a can of wupass for sure.

What do you think? INFJ or INFP?


It is often very to hard to separate ourselves into one specific type of MBTI Ttype. In my own case, I often wonder if I am INFJ or INTJ. Now and then, I think I might be INFP – but never INTP. Go figure. This distinction of Type is much more difficult for Intuitive types. In fact, I have never had a question like this from a Sensing Type.

Sensing Ttypes rarely over-think anything and are usually practical enough not to care what Type they are.

To be honest, it is impossible for me to tell what Type you are from your letter. I could venture an educated guess, but I will let you reach that conclusion on your own. Here are a few points to consider, based on my own observations of people and from what I have read:

1. J-types tend to need order in their lives. INFJ’s tend to work hard to put order into other peoples lives as well as their own. INTJ’s tend to build systems or structures that put order into organizations and businesses.

2. INFJ’s tend to be outgoing and almost enjoy dealing with people problems even if minor confrontations occur. Their Feeling side is

Extraverted. INFP’s tend to avoid confrontation, at least to the point

where confrontations are inevitable and then they turn into their true warrior selves. Their Feeling side is Introverted so they are more impacted by the negativity. INFP’s are hurt by rejection and don’t expect it. INFJ’s are less hurt by rejection because they expect it.

3. INFP’s are more likely to lead a non-conventional existence. They are not as bound to the norms of society as much as INFJ’s. Again this is an affect of the Introverted Feeling versus Extroverted Feeling functions.

I could go on and on – but better advice would be to pick up the book “Gifts Differing” by Isabel Myers Briggs. It goes into great detail about the differences in type and how the various factors impact who you are. Another great source is – a favorite of mine!

As usual, I will end this letter by telling you that I am not a psychologist or even an expert of human behavior. I have studied personality profiling for many years and consider a very helpful tool for understanding ourselves and others. Please remember that nothing is written in stone and we are all different on a day to day basis.

No one Type is better than another. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Try to be happy with who you are and always treat others with respect.


David DeVaughn

contact Dave here: or read his articles on


~ by nancyfenn on December 11, 2007.

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