The INFJ Stare

INFJ death stareLast week, I noticed that one of the Google searches that led to my blog was “INFJ stare.” My reaction: “We have a stare?” Whereupon I posted the question to Facebook and performed a Google search of my own. One of my friends sent me the image on your right, and I found many more results from Google.

Apparently, it is only non-INFJs who consider this a “stare of death.” In one forum I found, an ISTP asked, “What’s going on in your head when you do it? Why do INFJ girls stare at me after every other thing I say? It makes me feel like I’m creeping them out or something, but they continue to talk to me regardless how creepy I may/may not be.”

There seems to be a consensus among INFJs that this is not meant as a death stare. It’s simply our default thinking expression, and we actually spend quite a bit of time trying not to creep people out with it (we’re awkward enough as it is, without people asking about our creepy stare).  Once I read several comments along those line, I realized I do indeed have an INFJ stare. I just didn’t realize it at first because the people who have asked me about it generally describe it as “spacing out.”

INFJ Eyes

Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock stareAccording to an analysis on infjs.com, we are a “Perception-Dominant type” and our eyes are the “most prevailing part” of our faces. The typical INFJ will maintain a very steady focus on people or objects for long stretches of time, and when we shift our gaze to something new our whole head turns to look. Of the infamous stare, this writer says, “The eyes fall into a dream-like state and stare off into the distance. The eyes will appear to be looking through the object of it’s focus, rather than being fixated on it.”

One of the results that I found while looking up INFJ stares was a huge, two-part analysis of why Benedict Cumberbatch might be an INFJ. That’s where I found this picture. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of his, but this was a little over-the-top-obsessed even for me. It does show, however, that people who aren’t INFJs are analyzing INFJ (or possible INFJ) eyes. What this deduction about his MBTI type might have to do with anything important, I have no idea. I did, however, find it an amusing read.

Dealing With the Death Stare

While listening to a church service this past weekend, I realized I was making an effort to soften my eyes and smile a little instead of just staring at the speaker. I hadn’t really thought about before, but I have been trying to teach myself a more open and welcoming “default expression.” My sister once described this as my “interview face.” I suppose even though I hadn’t been thinking that I had a “death stare,” I still realized it made people uncomfortable and was trying to change it.

If you’re an INFJ, you’re probably already trying not to make people uncomfortable with you’re staring (which also makes it more effective when you want to give someone a death stare, since they won’t have seen it before).  If you’re talking to an INFJ and we do start staring off into the distance or through you, try not to be offended by it. We really don’t mean to make you uncomfortable. At least, not usually 😉

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7 thoughts on “The INFJ Stare

  1. I’m an INFJ and I’m not entirely sure if I do this. There has only been one instance when a girl in my class approached me and asked me why I always give her ‘dirty looks’ (or something like that). I was really surprised and apologised immediately, explaining how that was never my intention.
    From then on I was a little confused as to whether she was being serious, or just joking (I was new at the time, and she and her friends were nice, but slightly snarky), I came to the conclusion that it was a mixture of both.
    I wonder now if I was doing the INFJ stare. Interesting.

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  2. Hello, Marissa. i come again hahaha
    i’m INFJ. yeah, that’s really happened to me. for the example :
    1. My big sister always ask me is there something around or in her back (that’s because i have somekind of power which made me to able to see or feel something “invesible” #sometimes) or what are you stare at. She also say that if i’m a man, she will really really scared of me when i look / stare at her like that. Although i have been always i just stare for nothing, and even i didn’t know why i look at her and i really think nothing, it just a blank stare. hahaha
    but she always keep asking me why and keep saying abaout that when it happened again.

    2. One of my close friends ever said that when the first time she saw me (about 7 years ago where i’m still in elementary school), i look really scary with the way i look at her. She said it’s like “Hey you are an eyesore, go away of my sight or i cannot guarantee what will I did to you!!!”.
    (of course i don’t know about this until she told me 1/ 2 years later).

    On other hand, I also often said by other peoples that I seems like would crying when i stare at something blankly (not a living thing). I’ve asked several times by my teacher “are you crying?, what happened? and why are you crying and etc. Then I answered my teacher “ha ???”, “I’m fine; I was not crying” with a smile. ( though it’s a common respond people will gave if they got asked by people no matter there are really a problem or not hahahaha)
    I really don’t cry; i’m just thinking about something (I do not remember exactly what it was) or
    trying to process what is happening here and thinking about what i want to do next after this.

    Is there someone else that got into this kinds situation too ?? or maybe it just me ??
    i’m full of curiosity >3< hahaha

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    • This happens to me, too. My brother often asks me why I’m starring at him, and I don’t even realize I’m looking in his direction. I’m just lost in thought. He also tells me I can’t hide my anger very well, and that I look scary when I’m angry.
      People also ask me if I’m about to start crying, even when I feel fine. I guess when we INFJs are lost in thought, we either look angry or sad.

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  3. That stare. And I was not feeling anything. I was like piercing into the person I’m staring at. So true, people tell me that my eyes seem to about to cry.

    And sometimes, I stare at something but really I am thinking or not thinking, I’m lost.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My goodness. I’m on a roll leaving comments on your blog, but you have many good articles I can relate too.

    This is another.

    I’ve said somewhere else i’m very ‘intense’. I’ve been told I have ‘inherent b*tch face’ syndrome or ‘murder face’, ‘angry face’, and just the aforementioned ‘death stare’. My family, Aunt in particular, mentioned this is a ‘family’ thing as well. To be honest, after reading up so much on different functions i’m starting to think most of my family (On my dad’s side) ARE either INFJ or more so iN then anything. I need to do more studies and reading up between art, but…there you go.

    I’m possibly one of the highest ranking ‘unicorns’ in my herd, so to speak in a symbolic sense.

    Anyway…enough of that.

    Even before all this MBTI and INFJ dealings, I did this…a lot. And for a while, especially this year (probably also due to work and trying to be more hospitable to customers), i’ve attempted to make more ‘smile’ and general kinder outlook attitude towards normal human beings who interrupt my thinking phases when I run across them in the aisles etc and try to politely engage them in that terrifying ‘small talk’ of if they need help.

    I think the biggest thing here for me, is in the last and most prevalent situation with someone I care about is that I was coined by his friend’s sister (I had met him in person, and this friend of his was female and I had no idea who she was but anyway) that I was giving this insanely horrifying ‘death glare’ at his friend and he believed this, as if I was wanting to tear his friend apart. Even though she and I shared hugs, words, and I found her a truly kind individual – the fact that he in part believed this other person over me despite our long theological talks (and boy howdy, can I go on about the inner workings with those I think are worth the effort and trust worthy enough) because of this inherent, and as you put it, ‘INFJ Stare’.

    I guess my ‘stare’ was also in part to being completely out of my comfort zone, and some of it was by proxy my feelings for this person and the confusion set down upon me until I realized what was happening.

    I hope that made sense, but anyway…I can attest and resonate with this. Its something beautiful to find things that really ‘feel’ towards how you are and makes you feel less alone.

    In the mean time, I will try to keep the ‘mask’ up and smile for the multitudes. Even though in Seattle ‘resting b*tch face’ is pretty much an inherent quality.

    Liked by 1 person

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