Different personality type combinations come with different benefits and opportunities for growth. In this INFJ + INTP friendship there were some clear differences and similarities, which helped Patricia (INFJ – Hummingbird) and Ann-Marie (INTP – Crow) understand each other better, but also pushed them to grow and go outside of their comfort zone.
We will explore those benefits and opportunities, and give you some insight into the obvious and hidden dynamics of an INFJ + INTP friendship. We will also touch on some cognitive functions to help us better understand the reasons behind these differences and similarities.
What the INTP brings to the INFJ
What stood out throughout the interview as the main benefit of the relationship was a certain level of mutual understanding. But it goes beyond just understanding. Both, INFJs and INTPs, are intuitive personality types. “When I talk to her I get to see my own way of thinking reflected back”, said Patricia.
INFJs have introverted intuition (Ni) as their primary cognitive function, leading them to often reduce ideas to a common theme or moral. But INTPs have extroverted intuition (Ne) as their secondary cognitive function. Ne is much more expanding and can show the INFJ the bigger picture beyond the common theme.
The feeling and thinking dichotomy
While the similarities in intuition let INFJs understand themselves and INTPs better, the differences in feeling and thinking help them to realize “when not to be so concerned with what affects other people”. Because of their secondary function of extroverted feeling, INFJs are often willing to sacrifice things in the sake of harmony. The close friendship or relationship with an INTP can help put things into perspective.
INTPs also have introverted thinking (Ti) as their primary cognitive functions. This makes them care more about the truth and facts than about harmony. In addition to helping INFJs balance out their need for harmony with logical reasoning, Ti lets them “do things with more structure”. INFJs have introverted thinking as their tertiary function, which “they put to the side for emotions”. The friendship with an INTP gives them the opportunity to explore that gift and talk about their ideas.
Overall, feeling understood and valued by an INTP can help an INFJ gain more confidence in themselves. Patricia said, “it very quickly made me feel more comfortable with myself, with my choices, my decisions, and my interests. I gained a lot of confidence and strength.” Leading her to feel more secure in who she is.
What the INFJ brings to the INTP
Similar to what the INTP brings to the INFJ in regards to intuition, the INFJ also reflects the INTPs way of thinking back to them. In this case, the INFJ shows the INTP how to reduce ideas, to find the common theme or moral. Instead of expanding the idea and potentially diving too deep into it.
In regards to the feeling and thinking dichotomy, the INFJ helps the INTP be more aware when there are small emotional nuances. Reminding them occasionally that “there are people involved, [and that] there are feelings involved”. Which is a skill that the INTP can then carry into their other relationships. INTPs have extroverted feeling as their inferior function, INFJs give them the opportunity to explore and develop that further.
How the INFJ and the INTP interact
With two intuitive personalities there is no telling where the conversations are going to go. Rarely will they talk about something specific. More often than not, the conversations will turn theoretical and philosophical. They talk about topics like “the morality of certain things, or ‘is it okay to do this, but under what perspective?’ ” said Patricia.
Deep conversations like this are the norm in an INFJ + INTP friendship. They can happen on a daily basis without ever getting boring. But even in a long distance friendship/relationship it is easy for INFJs and INTP to pick up right where they left off when they meet again.
Struggles in an INFJ + INTP friendship
One of the biggest struggles in an INFJ + INTP friendship is getting the INFJ to open up and trust the INTP. INFJ are generally very guarded and take some time to feel comfortable around new people. Patricia mentioned that “[Ann-Marie] told me that she felt like I needed a lot of time to open up to her”. And that it took a lot of hanging out and getting to know each other before their relationship became very loving and transparent.
The reservation and discomfort of the INFJ around new people can often not make sense to the more logical INTP. In Patricias case, when she didn’t know someone, she didn’t know how to act around them, which was very uncomfortable for her. Which can sometimes be hard to explain logically.
On the other hand, INTPs can be oblivious to emotional nuances, which are very important for the INFJ. If both, the INTP and the INFJ are open learn and understand where the other is coming from, they can help each other grow by leaning on each others strengths to balance their own weaknesses.
For a deeper insight into how the cognitive functions complement each other, consider reading our article on Personality Type Compatibility.
Disclaimer: These insights into an INFJ + INTP friendship are based solely on the individual experience of Patricia (INFJ – Hummingbird). It does not mean that every friendship involving an INFJ and an INTP will be exactly the same. But we are hoping it will give you a general idea of what you can look forward to and what to be aware of.