How to adequately Show Up as an INFJ… or as anyone?

(Once in a while I prefer writing in English, so I hope you'll bear with me on this one. :-) )

After some depressing days — reminding me of the spiritual dark nights [1] I first experienced a couple of years ago — without searching for it, this morning I stumbled upon a YouTube clip by the INFJ life coach Wenzes (see above). At first, I felt I didn’t had the time to watch it, since I nowadays usually am occupied by much deeper and broader stuff than MBTI. But, since the depressive mood had me in its grip, I decided to give it a go. And yes, it did really pay off! Let me tell you how.

Before proceeding, though, I must warn you that in this article I am trying out an integrative synthesis between Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Ken Wilber’s Integral theory. It is my first novel shot at doing so, and it was not planned to be; at least not today. Therefore, it may seem a little too immature or under-developed to be recognized as a full article for But you may also think of it as a promise for the development into future full-bloomed articles. 🙂 So, without further due, let’s jump right into it!

What I mean by Showing Up

In Integral theory — a grand meta-theoretical framework about the evolution of consciousness, culture and society; on which I will focus much more in future postings — there are some process aspects outlined as it comes to spiritual development in a trascendental and inclusive fashion. The aspects are called Waking Up, Growing Up, and Showing Up. Generally speaking, the first aspect is often met in spiritual communities — Waking Up from the general Matrix (Maya) and ego- and/or ethno-based worldviews into a more mature and wise sense of consciousness, by entering into previously unknown (or forgotten) states of consciousness. Then, in Integral theory, the second aspect Growing Up is roughly about integrating those states in everyday living, so they become parts of more or less continuous stages/levels of consciousness. The final aspect, thus Showing Up, e.g. concerns how to express the transformed inner world of consciousness to the outer world — which for obvious reasons can become challenging, since the first two transformative aspects may implicit an invitation for some identity crises to arise along the way. Moreover, the social environment surrounding you may not be as prepared to meet the “new” you as what you would like it to be, and as an INFJ that could add up to the social obstacles already in place since long ago…

Furthermore, in Integral theory, quite a helpful model called AQAL is often used to describe Reality. AQAL stands for All Quandrants and All Levels (or Stages), but also implicit All Lines, All States, and All Types. [2] With that being said — but nothing more, because I’d like to come to the point — I’ll focus on the last one here and now, since Types may correspond to personality types such as e.g. Enneagram or MBTI types. More specifically, I’ll focus on the INFJ type within the MBTI system — which for many years has correspondend fairly well to my general sense of personal identity, and is the type that Wenzes addresses in her clip. Perhaps this will be helpful for other INFJs too, but also other types that may experience so called Ni-Ti loops [3], which Wenzes addresses in the clip, or other kinds of loops related to their 1st and 3rd functions.

This far into the story, I have to ask for some patience with me, since the source of this article was an intuitive strike that hit me on my morning-walk in my neighborhood woods — usually a perfect excercise to get things come to mind. 🙂 Those strikes use to be quite vivid and clear as they appear, but after a while thoughts may have strayed away into other topics and the memory of the strikes then becomes more clouded, and thus less obvious. That being said, what the strike led me to was an obvious intuitive connection between Showing Up and the INFJ’s 2nd function in the so called MBTI function stack, which for an INFJ is the extraverted Feeling function (Fe). A connection enabled by looking at Wenzes’ clip before taking the walk. 🙂

The Fe way of Showing Up

Well, what occurred to me in the woods was that each personality type may have its own internally-rooted (i.e. function-rooted, according to a MBTI perspective) way of Showing Up — an aspect which rarely is addressed in detail within the Integral community, according to my experience. Moreover, perhaps Wenzes stresses one of the most critical issues in the INFJ’s case: an unreflexive over-use of the introverted 1st and 3rd functions — introverted intuition (Ni) and introverted thinking (Ti) — may fixate him/her in a depressive mood, while repressing the critical 2nd function of extraverted feeling (Fe); the function that actually may free him/her from the fixation. In short, Fe stands for the cognitive function that directs us into social interaction with our fellow creatures; thus drawing our awareness somewhat away from our mentally inner concerns of processing intuitions, knowledge, emotions, contexts, etc.

So far, so good, but Wenzes goes further than that: many an INFJ may run into trouble by the use of the Fe function as well, since overt social stimulation without obvious self-limits followed by intense inner processing may lead to a sense of over-stimulation — thus inviting cognitive and emotional exhaustion as a reasonable outcome. That is by no means a healthy use of Fe! So, what Wenzes is talking about is not the misconceptual way for an INFJ to make use of the Fe function.

A bit into the clip (~ 3:30–7:10), Wenzes therefore stresses the importance for an INFJ to be correctly informed about what Fe indeed stands for; and probably rightfully so since there might be some misconceptions.

— It’s not about creating harmony, and it’s not about making other people feel understood or seen. This is [rather] what you can do with Fe, these are the results you can get with Fe. But, very often these are actually things we sholdn’t be doing, because creating harmony means I’m not interrupting what is already going on. And in a lot of cases, that is not what we are doing [anyway], /…/ because we are so afraid of adding our own Fe, our own values.

— Whatever is going on in your Ni mind — and maybe you have even thought it through Ti, so you already have got a system in it — you already understand how your life is working on the inside. [But you also have to express it] /…/ through Fe, /…/ by living out your truth. So you are showing up — no matter what you are at — [and] not hiding who you are, showing the aspects of you that you really like and things that really matter to you. /…/ I mean you are just showing up, and being as excited about your own life as possible, /…/ that is what creates Fe!

— The truth is that we deserve to be liked, to be loved, to be respected for us being ourselves, for us going on our road, our adventure of creating our own epic life. /…/ If you are not okay with fighting for yourself, and [being liked] for that, you are way more likely to get into the Ni-Ti loop.

— When you get to the point when you can say “I don’t need to convince anybody of anything, I don’t need them to really like me” /…/ you stop going into that Ni-Ti loop in order to understand them and [instead] you’ll do your own thing. Then people will love you — for you loving yourself.

— This is actually all in a nutshell.

Conclusions for the spiritually ones

Have you been on a consciously spiritual path for quite a while by now, all of the above may already stand clear to you since the most accute personality/ego aspects probably have disintegrated to a great extent in the consciousness you know. Perhaps you actually couldn’t care less about a self-confidence that depends on how other minds may receive you, when you express your “new” true self and what interests you the most?

If that’s the case, I’ll be the first to congratule. 😀 But, if you are kind of a freshman like me in this kind of expressive territory — at least concerning IRL encounters —  and also happen to resonate with the INFJ personality type, no matter how vaguely on your current path, perhaps this article may propel you in that respect? After all, it brings good news to you: from an MBTI perspective, suddenly not a single slice of the ego is left to stop you! 😀

Further readings

  1. 18 Signs You’re Experiencing A Dark Night Of The Soul, Otherwise Known As an Existential Crisis.
  2. The AQAL model, presented at the Integral Life website.
  3. INFJ Ni-Ti Loop: What it means and how to break free.
Om Jonaz Juura 128 artiklar
Jonaz är initiativtagare till myEvo samt upphovsman för och huvudredaktör samt skribent på myEvo WEB men du kan även stöta på honom på myEvo LEARN; då främst som administratör. Sysslor som sammantaget upptar en god del av hans fritid. Hans primära intressen kretsar kring det mesta inom integralteorin; dock med betoning på psykologi, filosofi och spiritualitet. Därtill går hans själ igång på webbdesign och av att skriva samt av magiska stunder med djupa samtal. VDN-personlighetsfakta: INFJ enligt MBTI, 5w4 sx/sp enligt enneagrammet, Blå/Grön enligt DISC samt Grön/GUL/Turkos enligt Spiral Dynamics.

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