Directing (infj) Vs Informing (infp) Communication Styles
Ok... Here's a basic summary of this topic., it's short(perhaps too short) and sweet : the person using a directing style would say something like "Get some milk", whereas someone using an informing style would say the same thing differently by saying "We're out of milk". INFPs naturally prefer informing, while INFJs naturally prefer directing.
This is all I'm going to say on that: For a more complete explanation of the directing and informing styles, go to http://www.infjorinfp.com/ and click on "your preferred communication style" under the drop menu at the top, to make more sense of what I'm about to write (as I refer to specifics of the article a lot). Onto my reflections!
I’m really torn with this one though I definitely know which one I’d prefer to receive. I prefer to be spoken to in the directing style over the informing style most of the time. Here’s why. Especially in a difficult situation where I need to take action to improve it, the informing style can sound so passive and helpless…almost like things are stuck that way and sort of fix. For example, in musical situations I’d prefer “Bring the pitch up” or “Listen” or “tune it” to “you are really flat” “you’re not listening” or“ your intonation is really off”. I experienced a situation with someone who made informing style comments like this all the time, though some of them were milder than this, and it got under my skin for reasons I’ve already mentioned. But when the conductor or another peer gave instructions in a more directing style, I felt more comfortable. The other thing that annoys me about being on the receiving end of the informing style is that the use of informing implies that the other person thinks you’re unaware and often is pointing out the obvious. And I'm usually hyper aware of both myself and the world around me, with maybe a few blind spots and I take being informed of something I'm already aware of as a bit of an insult. It just sounds back-handedly naggy to me. (The shoes don’t belong on the sofa comment gave me this vibe) I’d totally prefer bossy to this.
However, I am often aware that there’s a request informing communications (see it as an implied request), I just don’t care for the way the style is used sometimes. I’m not sure if my awareness of this would make me lean toward INFP on this choice.
The way I make my requests may just be a very softened version of directing. In the milk situation, I’d probably say “we/you should get milk this week”. For me it’s hard to see what it is exactly because of the should. On the surface the request sounds like I’m informing but with the should in there it sounds a bit like a directing style. I use phrases like that a lot. I like of think of them as suggestions rather than directions or me giving information. It’s sort of in between the 2 styles.
I can definitely relate to wanting to move things forward and making sure some kind of action or progress is being made, but I try to do it as nicely as possible because I know a lot of people don’t like being bossed around so I try to soften my bossiness to a degree. I was accused of being bossy a lot when I was a kid and my parents (who are both big users of the informing style) discouraged it and I adapted often by staying silent when I really wanted to make a comment that would help move things forward, hesitate, or soften the comment so much and reword it so that it was basically an informing style. But this did not feel too comfortable for me. I’m also often hesitate to speak up (though when I think to myself about what I want to happen, my thoughts are in the directing style) in leadership situation but when I do people listen.
However, I can also really relate to the INFPs comment about wanting to let people chose for themselves though I am hoping they’ll chose my suggestion. That’s why I call it a suggestion rather than a command or direction or something stronger. I won’t be offended if they think of a better option, elaborate on my suggestion, so long as things are moving forward.
I’m going to say I’m a mild directing type for this.