Things You Should Know About INFJs

It might be terribly self-centered to devote an entire post to my Myers-Briggs personality type, but I’m going to do it anyway (think of it as a birthday present to myself). As the rarest personality type, we INFJs often feel misunderstood and alone. Most estimates say that less than 1-2% of the population have this type. That’s one reason discovering our label is so important to us (as I’ve written about before). It lets us know that we are not abnormal, flawed humans. We’re perfectly normal INFJs. This isn’t going to be the first list of it’s type. There’s a Top 10 Things Every INFJ Wants You To Know list and one titled How to love your INFJ? This last one is written mostly for romantic relationships, but it’s funny and true so I linked to it anyway. Though these two lists, and others like them, are excellent, I still wanted to add my voice to the mix. Which brings us to the first point:

  • INFJ spend a lot of time thinking, and we like to share our thoughts. The problem is, we have a hard time putting them into words when we’re speaking, which can make us appear inarticulate or even unintelligent. That’s why so many of us become writers — it gives us the time we need to put our thoughts in order before we present them to other people. When we do talk with and listen to others, we crave depth and sincerity rather than small talk.
  • In keeping with all the time we spend inside our own minds, you’ll sometimes notice us staring off into space. There’s nothing wrong with me when I do this and there is certainly no need to wave your hand in front of my face, shout at, or poke me (you know who you are).
  • We really do need people. While some introverts can thrive in solitude for quite some time, INFJs love being around people. They might terrify us sometimes, and we do need alone time to recharge, but life without people makes us depressed. This doesn’t mean you’re likely to find us at parties, however. We prefer a few close friendships. And when we find those friendships, we want them to last forever and tend to work hard at being a good friend.
  • The flip side of this relationship thing is that it’s hard for us to make these deep friendships because we’re reluctant to share our true selves with others. It’s taken years for me to share bits of my inner world with my closest friends. In addition, INFJs have a horror of conflict, and will avoid it as long as possible even when something needs to be addressed in a relationship.
  • We’re often feel like we belong in other worlds. For me, this fits quite well into my Christian faith and my fantasy writing. For other INFJs, it can mean feeling disconnected from the physical to such an extent that they’ll forget to eat (something I’ve never struggled with).

  • INFJs tend to be romantic idealists. We do dream of finding true love, but I mean this in the sense given in the fourth Oxford English Dictionary definition. We are fascinated by what might be, what could be, and what should be. We want to bring order and peace to the world.

    4. Characterized or marked by, or invested with, a sense of romance (romance n. 5a); arising from, suggestive of, or appealing to, an idealized, fantastic, or sentimental view of life or reality …

  • INFJs are known in personality circles for being deeply intuitive. We just seem to know things without being able to explain them. This frustrates our more logical friends, but we find it very useful. It helps us see situations and arguments from both sides and appreciate different people’s perspectives even when we don’t agree with them. In spite of a strong sense of right and wrong and strict adherence to an inner value system, INFJs are very open minded and want to see the best in people.

 

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57 thoughts on “Things You Should Know About INFJs

  1. Couldn’t imagine it any other way. πŸ™‚ Well thought and nicely stated. I enjoyed the links provided as well. Thank you for sharing.

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      • I’ve taken this personality test on a number of occasions but never before really understood the meaning of it, or looked into it in much detail. Every time my result has been INFJ and as I have got older I have often felt like I see things differently to other people and that in this I was strange. I have found the research I have done fascinating and mind-blowing at how I can relate to everything that is said. This article in particular is really interesting. Its funny because ever since I was a young child I have been very emotionally complex and fascinating by random theories, and expressed myself through writing and art. I love the C.S Lewis quote you have used because it kind of makes everything make sense. Again I really enjoyed your article, you may have inspire me to write something myself πŸ™‚

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          • I was wondering if you’ve ever found yourself kind of being blurred between J and P. I’m definitely INF, but depending on what people write on their websites, I find myself identifying with both J and P aspects of thinking. Today it seems like I more identify with J.

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          • Keith, I think this is something many INFJs struggle with. Since the J or P in a type name describes a person’s extroverted function, it can be confusing for introverts. For INFJs, this means we extrovert our judging function (Extroverted Feeling). But since we are introverts, we actually lead with a perceiving functions (Introverted Intuition). That’s why INFJs can feel like perceivers even though they are considered a “judging” type. The same works for INFPs — they lead with Introverted Feeling (a judging function) and interact with the outer world using Extroverted Intuition (a perceiving function). Here’s a really good article from Personality Hacker that helps point-out the differences between INFJs and INFPs. Hope this helps πŸ™‚ http://www.personalityhacker.com/infp-vs-infj/

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  2. Great list of what INFJ’s need.Thank you for pointing out how much we crave human interaction. I think that the biggest and most hurtful misconception that other personality types have about INFJ’s is that they do not care to be around other people.

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    • I agree. Too many people assume “introvert” means anti-social or shy, when we need people too. And INFJs seem to need interaction even more than other introverts — I’m not comfortable being alone for as long a time as my INTJ sister is.

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  3. I love this! I discovered I’m an INFJ a while ago, and it was a relief to read about my personality and realise that there are other people like me out of there! I think it’s difficult being a INFJ, as we often don’t understand ourselves and struggle to put out feelings into words. I agree with the part about needing to be around people.. but not for too long, I need good solid blocks of alone time.. but after a couple of days I do start to get depressed and need to talk to somebody else to recharge! People think I’m anti-social.. but it’s not really like that, I just need time by myself to process to world!
    I’m about to write something myself about it, but have been worrying that it’s terribly self-indulgent! I’m going to get down to it today though, I think it’ll actually help my understand myself a little better to write it all out (as you say.. we’re not very good at verbal articulation!).

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    • It really is a wonderful feeling to realize you’re not alone. I wish you luck with writing … I’ve found it be a perfect outlet, whether or not it’s shared with others. If you do decide to post your writings about INFJs, I’d love to read it.

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  4. Yup, yup, yup. INFJ’s – be proud, be loud (or actually, quiet). One of the hardest aspects for me is sharing my true self – so much too the point that its taken me 36 years to start even getting to know my own self! I am very internal and can still be made to feel guilty about it at times. I love to talk and chat though and I love hanging out with a group of close friends. Great post, thanks for sharing. It is always nice to bump into other INFJ’s.

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  6. I just found you today! I am an INFJ, and I agree with the writer preference. I love talking but prefer writing so that I can find the correct words to adequately describe my thoughts and feelings. I think the J aspect of the personality tends towards perfectionism and speaking cannot be edited πŸ™‚

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    • That is one of the best things about writing; I even edit and properly punctuate text messages. Thanks for your comment. It’s always good to hear from another INFJ πŸ™‚

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  7. My boyfriend of over a year now is INFJ, and I am ISFJ. Although I know he loves me, I’m the kind who likes to hear it as well, and I want to feel comfortable telling him. We’ve only said those words to each other a few times, and none of those times was it well received by the other party, so not a lovely, happy, mutual exchange that I want. Earlier this week as we were making out, I stopped and asked, “Do you love me?” Idk what came over me, as I am an extremely strong-willed and self-protective person who doesn’t put herself out there like that. His reaction was less than stellar, and now I’m extremely upset. I feel like I do a lot for this man and that he’ll never love me, even if I KNOW he does based on how he treats me. As I feel like this not being able to say, “I love you,” has to do with his being INFJ, can someone provide some guidance and insight for me? Perhaps he really doesn’t love me, and I’m fooling myself thinking it’s his personality type. If so, I need to know that as well.

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    • My first thought is that this sounds more like a love language issue than a difference in personality types. But before we talk about that, here’s how a typical INFJ expresses themselves in love. Keep in mind that there is plenty of variation within a personality type, so a description of typical INFJs may not be specifically true for your boyfriend. A typical INFJ will express their feelings to people they care deeply about, even though they are not very comfortable with spoken words. In his book Please Understand Me II, David Keirsey said that Idealists (NF types) are β€œapt to be generous in expressing heartfelt approval of their loved ones,” including β€œfrequent, passionate expressions of love, both verbal and nonverbal.” It can, however, be very hard for Idealists, particularly reserved ones like INFJs, to open up to someone they love, especially if they were hurt in a past relationship.
      In terms of love languages, the basic idea is that everyone has a specific way in which they prefer to receive and express love. If someone is speaking a different love language than you, you might know that they love you, but you won’t necessarily feel loved. I think your love language is Words of Affirmation, but your boyfriend’s is probably one of the other languages (Quality Time, Gifts, Acts of Service, or Physical Touch). INFJs don’t typically stay in a relationship if they are not in love, so he is probably just expressing his love in a language you don’t naturallyβ€œspeak.” I would encourage reading this post: http://personalitycafe.com/articles/112444-five-love-languages-explained.html. It has a description of each language, and might be more helpful than just looking at personality types.
      I hope this was of some help πŸ™‚

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  8. Wow, this is so comforting to read! I recently discovered I am an INFJ. The more I read about it, the more I understand my heart and mind. These facts ring true in so many ways. Learning about myself has been difficult, but vastly rewarding. Thanks for sharing! Glad to find some more people that fall into the 1-2% of the population πŸ™‚

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    • 1.INFJs are very open minded and want to see the best in people.
      2.INFJ spend a lot of time thinking, and we like to share our thoughts. The problem is, we have a hard time putting them into words when we’re speaking, which can make us appear inarticulate or even unintelligent.

      Well reading this just freaked me out…coz Its soo damn true. thank you so much i feel more confident about myself after reading this and i’m dating an ISFP i also did a research about her personality it feels great that i now know how to treat her.

      Thanks Again.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Things you should know about INFJ | Kept moments

  10. The thing about us not being able to explain things and being frustrating to logical people is that in school, they ask us to explain our thoughts, even if we have the right answer. Being an INFJ makes that really, really hard because we know that we’re right, but we can’t explain it in a way that makes sense to others, so we usually don’t explain it and get bad marks because we didn’t “show our work”.

    (Trust me, I just turned fourteen and I’ve been dealing with this for a while now…it’s really frustrating!)

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    • Yes, it is very frustrating, even as an adult. Often there is the workplace meeting where everyone looks at your comment in surprise and then has to work through things to come to the same conclusion or asks you to write out the proposal in step by step stages. Managers may really like and are positive about the proposal, but they need to sell it higher up the chain. Even though showing your workings is labourous pain in the but and hard to do because you just know it is the right answer, learning to do it whilst your 14 may help you learn things that will help you implement fantastic and creative ideas further down the your life’s path. I’m a real INFJ, but the reality is I have to work in a world dominated by highly logical ‘T’ management wanting things in very concrete terms. We know things will work and we can adapt, adjust and know what to do as things arise, but most of the world can’t do that in quite the same way. We have make the allowances for them. I have a saying which you may find amusing, but true, ‘my intuition works fine until logic gets in the way’.

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  11. This is a great blog! Very educational πŸ™‚ I recently just took the test and came up with INFJ. I didn’t really think it had much importance until someone told me how rare it was. I started researching more about the test and this personality. I really couldn’t believe how much INFJ reflected upon myself, and I’m glad to be a part of the group πŸ™‚

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  12. Not sure I really want to know the answer, but here goes… I hurt my INFJ boyfriend. This is the ugly truth: Before I met my current INFJ bf I had an affair with a married man. I never told my bf of the affair out of fear of his reaction since that is such a lowly thing to do and very looked down upon. Not only did I have this affair, I continued text contact with this man while I was with my bf. He found all this out when the wife called and told him everything. My bf hasn’t pushed me away, and we’ve been in each other’s company a lot since this all broke on Monday. What I need to know is if I’ll ever have this man’s love and trust again. Is it even worth trying? Idk what to say or do, and it is MY nature to leave a situation when I feel there’s no hope and no use in my even trying. It’s extremely difficult for me to give a lot of myself in general but much more so when it may be futile or I don’t know how to handle a situation.

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  13. You’re so right about not wanting to share our true selves. I always have trouble sharing things that bother me on a deep level. I am often told by my mother and family that I shouldn’t be so private and to open up.

    True about the friends too. I can’t stand superficial relationships. My best friend and I have been friends for 8 years, and she is an INTJ. I wish she were a little more social though. πŸ™‚ I do like people.

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    • Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting πŸ™‚ Opening up is so hard! I find it even harder when someone tells me to share more. I just clam up and can’t think of anything to say.

      My sister’s an INTJ and we are excellent friends, so I know what you mean. I treasure my few really close friendships.

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  14. Love what you wrote. Very true for the most part especially me and conflict. I’ve had such a hard time trying to figure out why I run away from people the moment I feel like I’ve disappointed them or done something wrong in some way and I just feel like I’m not good enough to be in their life. I’ve read all the other personality types and nothing else sounds more like me than being an INFJ.

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  15. “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”

    I love this quote, I can so relate to that πŸ™‚

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  16. Hello, hello. πŸ™‚ I know this is an older article, but I can’t help but comment. This pretty much describes me, lol. The only thing varying is that, if I had the chance and the people to go with, I’d probably go out a lot more often than I do now (which is, basically, never). It’s just, when I go out, it’d be in the most INFJ way ever: I legit go purely for the dancing and having an awesome bass line to groove to. A lot of the people I go with, well, they’re probably going to look for a date. Oh, woe is me, lol.

    Thanks for sharing this post! It’s always great to see other INFJs to know we’re not alone in the world, you know? I sometimes wonder what it’d be like to be friends with another INFJ…

    Then again, given our personality, would we ever really know another INFJ if we saw one? o_O This is a legit question. If neither refuses to open up, and both choose to keep their deepest feelings/thoughts to themselves, how would you know you’ve met another INFJer? Too often, I’ve thought I found someone just like me and (not-surprisingly) it never goes anywhere. Maybe that means I /did/ find one, lol.

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    • I’m glad you decided to comment — I do read all the comments I get, even on the older articles, and it is always nice to hear from another INFJ πŸ™‚

      I only know one INFJ who I met in “real life” rather than through the Internet. The only way I know she’s an INFJ is that Myers-Briggs came up in a conversation. I probably wouldn’t have guessed otherwise. I think we INFJs are much more likely to open up in writing rather than in conversation, which would explain why my other INFJ friends are people I’ve never met in person.

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  17. Hi , this is the most accurate post I have stumbled upon for quite some time. Yes I always have difficulties putting my thoughts in word and that makes me look like an idiot . Plus, I often feels like people took advantage of my kindness , so , I will try to be like different person when talking in groups or with friends. I cant show my deepness in shallow water. Still feels like an idiot when typing .

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    • It’s so hard to get all those thoughts out in words — like trying to represent something that’s 3-dimensional with a stick-figure drawing. I think many INFJs can also identify with acting like social “chameleons” trying to adapt ourselves to different settings to protect our sensitivity and fit-in. You’re not alone!

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  18. Pingback: Things You Should Know About INFJs | Nazmus Sadat

  19. It was for my interdisciplinary project that I had to take a personality test in order to fill out a team analysis. That’s when I came to know that I’m a INFJ. It suddenly added meaning to everything I have been and I am,- it was the finding the answer to ‘why, who and how’ of me. Even though it is the rarest of the personalities it feels good that there are others similar to me.
    Before this I used to wonder if I am the only person who has such complex thoughts and feelings, why I am always drawn to the ‘broken’ ones, the ones who always take my help and then hurt me. I have always been trying to ‘perfect’ myself and have been way too harsh with myself.
    I knew that I am an introvert but many had told me that they found me to be an extrovert and I couldn’t understand why. The MBTI’s personality test gave me an answer to the innumerable doubts I had about myself. I feel so much more calm now and I feel special instead of feeling weird…. or rather I feel that my kind of weird is special. It’s so good to see you writing about INFJs. Thank you πŸ™‚

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  20. Pingback: 5 Things INFJ People Want You To Know | Katie Kuo

  21. 100% ME!!!.. lol i even wished it was longer coz it was so INTERESTING!. if you would write a Novel “A life of an INFJ” I’d definitely buy it.:) Thank you.

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    • Thanks — I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I do have an e-book coming out in June about INFJs, which includes real-life stories from 5 INFJ contributes. I’ll announce it on the blog when the book’s available πŸ™‚

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  22. As a fellow INFJ individual, reading your post somehow aligned my sanity today. I know all of this fits right in but there are times you just really needed to hear it from someone else. You must truly understand when I say no amount of explanation or support or listening skills can correct “our” nuisance of unbelongingness (not a proper word) or more like an “exile feeling”. I hope more than understanding, there’s some sort of relief to this kind of “world”

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    • I’m so glad you stopped by πŸ™‚ I think it is easier knowing other people are going through the same thing, but it doesn’t really get “easy.” There’s still the struggle of not feeling truly understood, and of feeling disconnected from the rest of the world. I’m starting to wonder if part of this feeling is coming from me, though. Am I too hesitant to let people in, and that’s one reason I don’t feel understood? But then I think about some of the people I did try to let in who hurt me, and retreating into my INFJ turtle shells sounds like the best idea. I suppose it’s just a constant struggle for our type. At least we’re all here to help and encourage each other!

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      • you took the exact words right out of my heart! It really does help knowing that I’m not alone on this struggle. Though i feel so defeated everytime I try to defy the feeling and go out there to give people chances but right after i go back to the shell, i just want to curl up and die. (no suicidal intentions) The only relief we can take refuge from is from the Almighty whom we can fully unleash ourselves, no holds barred. Thank you Marissa!

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  23. I realize that this was posted several years ago, but I couldn’t help but comment. This is such a well-balanced post. Probably the first one I’ve seen that clearly, and accurately describes the INFJ personality. I am an INFJ myself, and I could relate to all of this. Especially the part where you said when we try to talk out loud we sometimes (most of the time in my case) sound unintelligent. But when I write, the flow of words never seems to stop. Thanks for this!

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  24. Hi. I’ve only just found out that there is such a thing as INFJ and that could be me. All this time I thought I was just a bit weird. It really helps to hear what other people have gone through. Thanks for writing this!

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