By Dr. A.J. Drenth
In INFJ-INTP Relationships & Compatibility, I explored some reasons why INTPs and INFJs may enjoy good rapport and compatibility in relationships. In Part II, I touched on the fact that these personality types may encounter some difficulties with respect to their Si-Se differences, but suggested this was typically not a deal breaker. In this post, I will focus on what are likely to be greater challenges for this pairing, involving Judging-Perceiving and Thinking-Feeling related differences.
In my post, Rethinking Judging and Perceiving in IJs and IPs, I explain why IPs, whose dominant function is a Judging function (Ti or Fi), are often well understood as predominant Judgers. Similarly, IJs, whose dominant function is Perceiving in nature (Si or Ni), are best viewed as predominant Perceivers.
INFJs, while appearing outwardly like Judging types because of their auxiliary Fe, are inner Perceivers. When their Introverted Intuition (Ni) is not engaged in forming an impression of an external situation or problem, it can be highly imaginative, playful, carefree, fanciful, and childlike. INTPs, while sometimes appearing carefree and relaxed, tend to be inwardly serious, calculating, focused, and agenda-driven. Their Introverted Thinking (Ti) is anything but playful and childlike.
More specifically, INFJs’ inner child can get very excited about the arts and culture. Their Ni, Fe, and Se functions love relishing and experiencing fine meals, music, productions, and art. There is something very magical for INFJs about seeing the marriage of S and N through these media, which can confer a deep sense of fullness, wholeness, and joy. What makes these experiences even better for INFJs is having someone to share and celebrate them with. And since their Feeling function is extraverted, they look for their partner to join them in their excitement, making such experiences all the richer.
Since INTPs are neither N dominants nor Feelers, their interest in arts and culture cannot match the INFJs’, especially if not raised in an artsy family. Rather, INTPs’ interests tend to be more conceptual and utility-focused. And while Fe is a part of INTPs’ functional stack, its inferior position makes INTPs far less outwardly celebrative and expressive. Moreover, INTPs often get excited about different things than INFJs. While INFJs may find pure joy in a fine meal or performance, INTPs are most excited by new ideas, possibilities, or challenges. (This Personality Junkie Post is continued on the next page.)