So much has been written about whether opposites attract or difference is the key but in real life it is all about understanding the differences, accommodating and managing them. This section will help you see where the potential for conflict exists between personality types and help you manage it.
Meaning, harmony and personal values are at the heart of the INFP. It is essential to the INFP that their beliefs and actions are totally in sync. An INFP is unlikely to take any action which they don’t believe in their heart is right. Sensitive, caring and empathetic INFPs are excellent in supporting roles. Deep and private, they do not like being boxed in or constrained by rules.
The INTJ is the patient visionary clear on how the future should look and will work with quiet, logical determination to make it happen. The INTJ loves an intellectual challenge and is stimulated by the abstract, the complex, the new and the untried; facts and figures bore them. They can seem a little detached from others as they quietly process so much information inside their heads.
There is no perfect type and in the same way there are no perfect matches. We can all learn to adapt and modify our behaviour if we choose and this section is therefore not designed to suggest particular specific matches but to demonstrate areas of similarity and difference so that a true understanding can happen and thus reduce the risk of misunderstandings.
Being around them
The INFP has two contrary characteristics, curiosity and shyness. They love to know what's going on, feel excluded if not kept informed but do not like to be the centre of attention, shunning the limelight.
For the INTJ everything has a scientific base so getting close would be difficult initially, as they don’t see the need for emotional connection. Their engagement tends to come via intellectual arguments with like-minded people.
Dealing with emotions
INFPs are incredibly emotional, indeed they can actually feel what others are feeling and this can even stay with them. They are tuned in and insightful and they are happy to deal with the emotions of others.
For INTJs emotion doesn’t compute and so they may not understand their impact on others or indeed gauge the emotional reactions of others, which can make them appear as insensitive or a little cold.
Openness and sharing feelings
The INFP will often display their reactions to their feelings, rather than their feelings, and may bottle things up which then leak out at strange moments thus adding to the 'difficult to understand' image.
INTJs are private and can often be naturally impassive as well, which makes them easy to misunderstand. INTJs want people to make logical sense and so feelings are difficult for them to fathom.
Drivers and values
It is essential for the INFP that their beliefs and their actions are totally in sync at all times. An INFP is unlikely to take any action which they don’t believe in their heart is right.
INTJs are intellectually curious and love complex problems and analysing data to and come up with unique solutions, driven more by concepts and abstract ideas than by the emotions of people.
Building stronger relationships
Learn what INFPs are like in a relationship. Understanding the differences between two types is a really great starting point for getting along. For practical guidance on building strong relationships take our practical tutorial.
Get along better with an INTJ. Understanding the differences between two types is a really great starting point for getting along. For practical guidance on building strong relationships take our practical tutorial.
Some people seek harmony, some see conflict as simply robust discussions, some people are emotional, some more factual. So there is no right or wrong about this and what we are trying to do is help two different people each understand how the other might deal with conflict and what it will mean for the relationship.
Initial response to conflict situations
INFPs have a deep desire for harmony and balance and will prefer to see the good in people, focusing on the positive issues and the interconnections between people rather than with the negatives.
The INTJ is often impervious to their environment as they are deep and private and love getting their heads into complex problems. They love the intellectual robust debate and won’t really ‘see’ conflict.
Issues they'll fight on
For a type so caring and gentle there is a surprisingly crusading side to the INFP. When a personal value is trodden on, the INFP can become uncharacteristically outspoken and champion of the cause.
For the INTJ it is about creating something new and worthwhile and this will be their focus. They won’t really see the emotional issues and will work at a more cerebral level where they are more comfortable.
Conflict style / communication
The INFP does not like conflict and will seek to be the one who brings harmony, diffusing tension and seeing things from the other person’s perspective, excellent supporters and empathetic friends.
INTJs work more at an intellectual than emotional level and so would see conflict, if they did engage, as simply an extension of the debate and their arguments would be well thought through, based on data.
How they feel after
Conflict, aggression or even extended people interaction will sap the energy of the INFP who will need to disappear back into their own inner sanctum, reflect deeply on how it made them feel and recharge.
As the INTJ inhabits an internal world of complexity, ideas and possibilities, working towards conclusion, any conflict would simply be seen as part of that process, enacted then it’s time to move on.
Dealing with conflict
Some types dislike and avoid conflict, whereas others use it to solve problems and get things done. Understand how an INFP deals with conflict in our practical tutorial.
We all bring something different to the team and we all agree that difference and balance are good things. However when someone is different from us we might not understand them so well so in this section we allow you to compare the differences at work, how these might manifest themselves and how best to manage them.
Contribution to the team
Although gentle and sensitive the INFP will bring a sense of conviction and what is 'the right thing to do.' Though quiet, the INFP can glue the team together and support others fostering great team spirit.
INTJs will overturn established practice be forward thinking and truly radical. They love the intellectual challenge, coming alive with difficult problems to solve then step back again when it becomes mundane.
The INFP will tend to prefer a less visible role as their strengths are working from the back and supporting others, using their insight and wisdom and lack of ego rather than being the leader.
The INTJ will be at their best with the facility to work for long periods on their own. If they do lead they prefer like-minded people who also love the intellectual debate and complex challenges.
The INFP does not want to be constrained by rules, and they dislike the routine. Others will see the INFP as flexible, gentle and difficult to understand. They do not appreciate criticism or a hard taskmaster.
The INTJ will often find the mundane and routine tedious and energy sapping and may prefer individual contribution excelling at deep diving and working on the unique, the interesting and the complex.
Attention to detail / focus
Flexible and spontaneous INFPs will need their space and freedom to work their way. They dislike routine and need meaning to be part of something special, and they will be loyal and diligent and productive.
INTJs are perfectionists, with an endless capacity for improving upon anything that takes their interest. They will work long and hard on such tasks, driving towards closure, impervious to the outside.
Spontaneous and creative the INFP inhabits the internal world of imagination and is not bound by traditions. The ideal world is one where they can immerse totally in interesting and meaningful tasks.
INTJs are ideas people. Anything is possible. INTJs love developing unique solutions to complex problems, and, conversely, if it were not complex or interesting then why would they bother?
Getting the best and motivating
Find out how to get the best out of an INFP and what motivates them in our practical tutorial. Are they more motivated by the task at hand, or by the people around them?
Get the best out an INTJ and learn the way to motivate them. Are they more motivated by people, or by the task at hand? Find out more in our practical tutorial.