INFP: develop your extraverted intuition and soar

I get into these crazy spins in life and I don’t know why until I stop and think about it and remember yet again: I’m completely skipping over my secondary function: extraverted intuition.

It’s called a tertiary loop and I do it all the time. A tertiary loop is when you get to spinning between your dominant function, which in an INFP is introverted feeling, and your tertiary function (introverted sensing in INFP).

I become even more introverted, isolated, and sometimes even afraid of the outside world. I am living on the inside of myself, flipping rapidly and radically back and forth between introverted feeling – judging everything in light of my inner values and how I feel about those – and introverted sensing – perceiving everything according to my inner memories of pain, which causes me to withdraw even more.

When I am in a loop, I have stopped considering any possibilities and all I want to do is hide from the outside world.

The only way to solve this problem is to put one foot on the floor to stop the spinning, and then remember about my secondary function, extraverted intuition.

Every MBTI will do well to focus on his or her secondary function. I believe it is the most efficient path to a rapid increase in the quality of life no matter who you are. It is truly the path to sanity and the beginning of wholeness.

In the INFP, making use of extraverted intuition jolts an extreme introvert back into the outside world in a very pleasant way. INFP’s really are possibility thinkers when we remember that we are, and we take a lot of joy in studying our environments for options and new ideas, especially when it comes to creative endeavors.

When I look at the world around me in an extraverted way, it balances me and nourishes my soul in the best way possible. It’s the other side of me and it’s good and necessary. It can feel very uncomfortable and unwelcome at first, especially if I’ve been in a tertiary loop for some time. It’s awkward to poke your head out of your shell if you’ve not done it in a while. However, it doesn’t take long to start feeling good again. It’s worth the effort.

Whenever you hear someone saying they are both introvert and extravert, they are intuitively understanding that just beneath the surface there is a balancing, complementary force. It’s true. None of us are only introvert or only extravert. When we forget that we get into a spin. A loop.

As introverted as I am, a huge, powerful part of me is extraverted – and that is my ability to see possibilities in the world. It’s a blessing.

Do you get into tertiary loops? Or do you have a solid grasp on your secondary function?

If you’re unfamiliar with your MBTI temperament, you can take a free test and start exploring.


Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash


When you’re an INFP

When you’re an INFP, you can find tragic beauty in everything. You can cry and laugh at the same time, for the same reason. When you’re an INFP it’s hard to accept things just as they are. They could be so much better. But you don’t have the energy to change them. Unless you’re pissed off and then you can move the world. Until someone looks at you funny and you stop to wonder why. And then you’re paralyzed and you cry and hide. And you play sad music and you cry some more and then you write something beautiful. You put on your black clothes and tie flowers in your hair and color your toenails black with a sharpie. Even though you’re fifty five years old.

When you’re an INFP, your kids know you’re weird but they love you anyway because no other mom could connect with them the way you do. Except when you’re in one of those moods and you hide in your room and pretend you don’t hear it when they knock. But then they text you and you answer instantaneously because you love them, after all. You just can’t bear to have them look at you right now. So you answer all their questions digitally, diligently, and give them advice that you haven’t followed all that well but you know it is the right way to be. And you would follow it if you weren’t so emotionally fragile. You know your kids are much stronger than you.

When you’re an INFP, you love your husband because he’s perfect and because he’s broken, all at the same time. He’s your hero and he irritates the snot out of you but you would give anything for him and do anything for him. You’d give up writing for him – at least your public writing. The journal is never going to be sacrificed for any reason, except if you just don’t feel like it today because the world seems too dark to relate to but that’s when you need it most so you put on some sad music and you let the words and the worlds come tumbling out. Then you take him coffee and massage his temples and read to him and laugh together and it’s a new day.

When you’re an INFP, you keep pushing onward each day, starting over again with all your commitments and promises to yourself and others. Hope drives you to never give up, and when it seems like hope is running out you find a way to find some more because hope is the battery of the engine of your life and you know that without hope you’d have been dead a long time ago and you’re not done living, dammit, so wake up body. Blood cells flow to where they are needed, by your command, and body parts relax when you tell them to. You control the very processes of your existence. You are in your body and you know it intimately and care for it intimately. You are the master of your destiny and the captain of your soul.