Hey there:) I’ve been very confused over my mbti, because besides being an NP, the other two seems to always fluctuate. I need a lot of recharging, I can be very quiet or very talkative to strangers and friends. I‘m often warm and affectionate to others, but I can sometimes be unaware of their feelings or be too drenched in my thoughts to care. It’s been bothering me for a long time so I hope maybe you can give me some insight on that🙏🏻
As per usual, we’re gonna talk about the cognitive functions. If anyone needs a refresher on those, here’s the link to our FAQ page on it.
If by “recharging” you mean alone time to regain energy, then you’re definitely an introvert by MBTI standards. Being unaware of other people’s feelings doesn’t necessarily make you a T type, but you’re likely not an Fe user, which would make sense because none of the NPs are high Fe users.
So if we’re in between INTP and INFP, I’m gonna borrow some stuff from past asks:
written by our INTJ admin:
Starting with INTP, the dominant function is Ti which is logical, analytical, rational and independent. They love to pull things apart to figure out how they work and build giant framework. They can easily identify connections and strive to simply understand. Ti doms tend to be good at puzzles, analyzing information, seeing patterns and picking out details.
Finally INFP’s dominant function is Fi. Fi focuses on their own feelings and values. Understanding what they want and what they believe and using this information to decide what’s ‘right’ and what’s ‘wrong’. This makes Fi very opinionated and because of their strong connection to their feelings, they can get caught on an emotion. They value staying true to themselves no matter the cost. Where Fe is more open with emotions, Fi’s emotion is very concentrated and direct. Because of this, their relationships are very deep and rooted but they have fewer relationships. Fi is known for being extremely stubborn and for expressing themselves through a medium like art or writing.
INTP and INFP have the same auxiliary function, Ne, so both types will show similarities here. Ne is similar to Ni but where Ni builds a linear chain of ideas, Ne creates this giant tangly web of ideas. Deep thoughts and connections are always firing through their mind. It might seem like they jumps from idea to idea and possibility to possibility because of this. They also tend to be creative, visionary, inventive and imaginative.
Written by me:
On a surface level, INTP and INFP differ by one letter, T or F. However when you look at the cognitive functions, you will realize how different they really are. INTP and INFP share the same auxiliary and tertiary functions, Ne and Si, but the dominant and inferior functions are often the easiest to identify, so we will focus on those. INTP’s dominant function is Ti, which is a judging function that compares information to an internal system based in logical consistency. INFP’s dominant function is Fi, which is also a judging function, but it classifies information based on how it makes you feel.
Looking at the inferior functions is also a good way to identify which type you are. I mentioned earlier that INTP has Fe inferior. Now, Fe is about being attuned to other people’s feelings, which can also include catering to them. Since it is INTP’s inferior function, that really just means that they are not very good at this, and it often makes them very uncomfortable. Having Fe as an inferior function has quite the opposite effect, as INTPs are often detached from other people emotionally. This isn’t to say that INTP’s can’t/don’t form emotional bonds with others, but they are likely to only do so with people they are very close with, as opposed to a casual acquaintance. Nevertheless, INTP’s can come across as socially awkward, as they might not have a good sense of how the people around them are feeling, and so they may say things that are out of place, or inappropriate for the situation. You did mention that you don’t know how to deal with interactions, which fits with inferior Fe, but it is important to note that people of all types can be socially awkward, and so it would not be accurate to use this as evidence pertaining to your MBTI type.
INFP’s inferior function is Te, which is all about hard facts, data, efficiency and practicality. This can mean that an INFP’s organizational skills and their ability to make quick decisions are fairly weak. As I said earlier, having a function as your inferior can have quite the opposite effect. This means that INFPs prefer to take a long time to think about decisions before they make them, and probably feel very uncomfortable when they are not given the time they need. They might not have a very good judgement of what is practical, and don’t always think to look at the evidence that supports the idea that what they are doing isn’t necessarily the best idea. For example, an INFP might think that they have enough time to study for a test in 4 days, despite the fact that last time they tried to do this, they ran out of time. To be fair, INTPs can also have terrible organizational skills, but it becomes a question of which one of these do you think affects you the most.
Now what you’ve said does sound like inferior Fe, however I didn’t want to be too quick to rule out INFP. Anybody who isn’t a strong Fe user can have difficulty catering to other people’s feelings, so I’d encourage you to self-reflect and question if you’re simply too lost in your thoughts to bother (more likely INFP), or if you simply don’t want to bother in the first place (more likely INTP).
Hopefully this information helps, but if not, if you’d like to dive into some specifics we could perhaps provide some more assistance!