3 Weird and Wonderful Secrets About Living While Having An INFJ - type Personality.
“We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness-and call it love -true love.”
– Robert Fulghum
I thought I was so weird, so strange…and now it all makes sense. People who have felt like outcasts or oddballs their whole lives discover their personality type and suddenly years of confusion and frustration start to melt away. Suddenly someone doesn’t feel “wrong” because they perceive things differently than their parents did or their teachers did…suddenly an individual realizes that who they are is a beautiful thing..! Sure, we’re not perfect. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. But it’s okay to be different – in fact, it’s good to be different and unique..!
INFJs tend to feel this relief in a very strong way. Because we are such a small percentage of the population, it can be especially difficult for us to find like-minded friends and confidantes. Many times INFJs feel we have to “play a part” to fit in or form relationships. One of the greatest joys I’ve experienced is by making peace with myself, accepting my strengths and seeing them AS strengths. I’d love to be able to see other people embrace their “weirdness” and unique individuality and I hope that learning about your type can do that for you, too.
So what makes INFJs “weird” and wonderful? What three unusual characteristics make us stand out..? Let’s take a look, shall we.
INFJs are dominant Introverted Intuitives. This means that every bit of information we take in is pieced together into a “vision” or insight into what will take place in the future. This foresight tends to appear “out of the blue” in a sudden moment of realization and clarity. This all sounds very magical and mysterious, but there’s a science behind it. This ability to spot future possibilities makes INFJs strategic, creative, and sometimes mysterious.
Because INFJs have such strong insights and imaginative visions for the future, they can use their creativity to bring these ideas and visions to life.
Intuitive hunches and visions, often so esoteric, can become brilliant and unforgettable in creative form.
INFJs are wired to see patterns, symbols, strategies, and future implications. Because they are so constantly in this mental state it can seem like they are “psychic”, but it’s really just the way they are used to seeing the world and perceiving the data around them.
Each personality type is wired to notice different things. As an example, ESTPs, are highly attuned to the moment and incredibly in touch with current details. They have faster reflexes than most people, and notice more minute details than other types. They are extremely in tune with the present. INFJs, in contrast, are incredibly attuned to anything that would imply something for the future, anything that would change or alter future events. Everything is seen in the context of how it will play out someday. As a result, INFJs are quicker to pick up on future outcomes or transformations than most other types.
INFJs See Two (or More) People In Everyone
One of the lesser spoken-of qualities of Introverted Intuition is the ability to discern hidden motives. As Ni-dominant types, INFJs are quick to grasp the intentions and underlying goals that other people are aiming for.
Their Ni provides a deeper sense or impression of people, penetrating appearances and revealing hidden motives and intentions.
Introverted Intuition quickly grasps the meaning behind words. Its focus is on reading between-the-lines. INFJs are drawn to complexity and rarely accept anything at face-value. For that reason, they naturally look for the deeper motives and intentions of other people and are always trying to “peel away the layers” of someone’s personality type and find their core purpose, desires, and truth.
The INFJ sees the outer persona, the appearances, and the surface-level interactions of others, but they are more focused on what’s going on behind the scenes. They are always trying to figure out the deeper meanings behind why people say or do the things they do.
The strength of intuition paired with the INFJ’s auxiliary function, Extraverted Feeling (Fe), gives them a special awareness of the emotional health or mood of people. They often get a sense of how other people are feeling, even when those people are trying to keep their emotions hidden. They have a tendency to absorb other people’s emotions into themselves, which can be confusing at times. It can be easy for them to get other people’s emotions mixed up as their own.
INFJs Often Appear Extraverted Even Though They’re Highly Introverted
INFJs are extremely concerned with maintaining morale and making sure that everyone feels welcome and at home in their presence. They want to maintain harmony in whatever social realm they’re in and will go to great lengths to ensure that everyone’s emotional needs are met. As a result, they tend to appear much more outgoing socially than they really are. They may speak up during awkward silences or use humor to diffuse tense moments. They tend to speak to people they feel are left out and try to make them feel welcome. Many INFJs will poke fun at themselves or use self-deprecating humor to ease the tension in the room or help someone who is feeling shy or uncomfortable.
In larger groups, INFJs may seem consistently cheery as part of their attempt to cultivate good feelings. Many INFJs have a good sense of humor and can be funny and engaging…Even if not to the same extent as ENFJs, INFJs can be warm, welcoming, loyal, giving, and self-sacrificing. At the same time, as Introverts, they need time to themselves to recharge their proverbial batteries. This creates an ongoing, even lifelong struggle for INFJs, trying to balance their own needs and desires with those of others. INFJs need a lot of alone time to process information, to get in touch with their intuition, and to reflect. They can get frustrated when they have to socialize a lot because they end up relying much more on their auxiliary feeling function than their dominant intuition. Over time, this can leave them feeling overwhelmed and drained. Ni is notoriously difficult to access in social settings, and, like all types, INFJs are most happy when they can tune into their dominant function. As a result, INFJs may feel the need to “disappear” regularly to recharge and get back in touch with their insights and ideas.
While INFJs are skilled at creating harmony, they simultaneously feel a need to be alone to process information and recover after being in social situations. This can create confusion for people who know them because after spending much time with others, the INFJ will need to retreat into their own environment for days or even weeks to be able to reflect, think, and process things clearly. During this time, the INFJ may cut off all outside contact to be able to gain composure and a sense of peace. This back and forth between socializing and isolation is normal for the INFJ, but can be confusing to friends and family members who may take the INFJs retreats from them personally.
You might see INFJs referred to as “the most extraverted introverts” in articles and personality forums. And while this is true in one sense, it couldn’t be more false in another. While INFJs can appear very extraverted socially, they need quite a lot of alone time and actually get exhausted much faster than many other introverts do in social settings. This is largely because they can get so caught up in maintaining everyone else’s morale that they lose sight of their own needs.
It’ll be the death of me.
3 Challenges INFJ's Face Over & Over Again:
INFJs have an incredibly strong vision about who we want to be and how we want our lives to play out. We're idealists who believe in pushing ourselves to make the world a better place. Our efforts may seem reserved and understated, but we have a quiet resolve and determination that is unrelenting. While this can be a good thing, it can also mean we tend to forget to celebrate our small successes. It can also mean that we are forever trying to "one-up" our last accomplishment. We can be hard on ourselves and can struggle with appreciating the 'moment.'
👉 What to Do About It:
Practice mindfulness. Focus on the good things in your life and take the magnifying glass off the bad things. This is easier said than done, but taking the time to just be aware of all the small beautiful things happening around you on a regular basis is important. These things can be as simple as a morning sunrise, a hot shower, or a hug from a loved one. The point is to notice it and really sink into the raw beauty of it.
Think of mistakes as lessons. Instead of beating yourself up over your shortcomings and let-downs, ask yourself what you can learn from what happened. Be thankful for the lesson and for the opportunity for growth.
Set realistic goals. Instead of setting huge, far-reaching goals for the future, make a list of "baby steps" or strategies towards reaching your goal. Enjoy and celebrate each step forward that you make, and stop pushing yourself to an unhealthy level.
INFJs have a lot going on inside their minds; they are constantly synthesizing data and trying to form predictions and insights. Sensory stimulation can be overwhelming for them and interruptions or noises can be more irritating for them than many other types. They also can feel overwhelmed by the emotions of the people around them. Many INFJs struggle with "over-empathizing" to an unhealthy degree. They may not be able to separate their own emotions from those of other people and they may struggle with feeling pulled in too many different directions.
👉 What to Do About It:
Take time for yourself. Even if you can only get a way for a few minutes at a time, make sure that alone time is a priority in your life. If you're feeling extreme overwhelm, go into a room, shut off the lights, and focus on deep breathing. INFJs are easily over-stimulated, so shutting out any kind of external stimulation is important during those high-stress moments. Remember that you're in charge of your emotions and you don't have to be the caretaker of everyone else's emotions.
As an INFJ it can be hard to find other people who see the world the same way that you do. You also tend to have high hopes for relationships and seek a "kindred spirit" over many casual acquaintances.
👉 What to Do About It:
First of all, friendships won't all happen organically. Don't be afraid to try out new avenues; INFJ groups and forums can be a great place to meet like-minded souls. Sometimes you also have to take the chance to work on a friendship that seems superficial initially, but can reach great depths in the end. Many people are slow to open up (including INFJs) and have to get through the "small talk" before treading deeper waters. Some of these people can be treasures once you get to know them deeply, but need extra "warming up" time.
🔸 As an INFJ you have a lot of amazing gifts to offer the world. Your empathy and insight are so desperately needed. Don’t forget to DO YOU..!