I’ve known about personality typologies for a while now, but over the last year or so I’ve been a little more interested in them. I don’t think they are to be taken as black and white classifications but simply as typologies. They are helpful in knowing who you are, and knowing others around you. As an INFJ, I am the rarest of types, and thus most often misunderstood. I find them quite helpful in knowing why I do the things I do, and think the way I think (the reason for my liking typologies will be explained at number 4). The following are NOT 100% accurate, but provide soundings of who I am, and my tendencies. For one I don’t think I am “extremely intelligent” nor am I “socially inept” – but I do think that the description under those headings provide an accurate characterization of how I think. Though, being careful of overgeneralization, it’s important to note that behaviour will depend on the context.
Also, I did not write the following, but grabbed it from here:
Are you an INFJ? Do you know an INFJ?
INFJ is the rarest Myers-Briggs personality type accounting for less than 2% of the population. Because of this, we can feel misunderstood by many. While there is a lot about us that we want you to understand, here is a list of the Top 10 Things Every INFJ Wants You To Know.
10. We are planners
As with many other Judicial personality types, the INFJ enjoys structure and order. Though our intuition can cause our structure to fluctuate, we still thrive best when we can plan out the details of our situations and lives.
Sometimes, however, spontaneity can occur outside of our control. This deeply shakes us and we often respond to this loss of control with anger and frustration. Brandie, over at Little Left of Normal sums it up best when she says, “Sometimes spontaneity leaves us in a position that we cannot plan…, and we find this upsetting. Please understand that we are never upset with you, only the situation.”
9. We are extremely intelligent
INFJs are introverted thinkers and extroverted feelers. Because of this, we can struggle to articulate our thoughts. While we may, in our minds, be able to answer deep meaningful questions, retain amazing amounts of data and debate with the best of them, when asked to speak aloud, we often fumble, stutter over our words and say a small fraction of what we are actually thinking. This lands us the labels of slow-witted and unintelligent.
However, when we are comfortable with a person and situation and are given plenty of time to ponder an inquiry or organize our thoughts into words, we can speak fluidly, clearly and passionately on almost any subject.
8. We only need one person
Because we are introverts, INFJs are completely content being with just one person, whether a partner, friend or family member. When we make friends, it is usually for the long haul and it takes a lot to destroy a relationship. Unlike extroverts or some other introverts, INFJs can spend the rest of our lives with only ever being close to one person and never feel as though we are missing out on other relationships. In fact, we actually prefer it.
When we have many relationships in our lives, we can become easily overwhelmed and feel as though we are not giving our best to each relationship, leading us to feel unhappy, exhausted, and stretched thin.
7. Prolonged solitude kills us
While some introverts can be all by themselves for every second of the day and feel nothing but contentment, an INFJ needs to be around people. Though we still need time in solitude in order to recharge ourselves, too much time alone can leave us feeling drained, lonely and depressed. INFJs thrive on the emotions of others. We live for bettering others to better ourselves. We cannot do this if we are always by ourselves. When an INFJ does not have a close relationship, they can became depressed and feel empty.”INFJs often feel happiest and most fulfilled when helping others understand themselves and their problems.” – Personality Junkie, INFJ
6. We are perfectionists
INFJs are never happy with ourselves. No matter how much an INFJ has improved, there is always room to be better. Often times, we can struggle with relishing in our accomplishments since we continue to focus on where we have fallen short and how we could have done better. It can sometimes frustrate an INFJ to see others complacent with their current selves.
“INFJ is a perfectionist who doubts that they are living up to their full potential. INFJs are rarely at complete peace with themselves – there’s always something else they should be doing to improve themselves and the world around them. They believe in constant growth, and don’t often take time to revel in their accomplishments…they have very high expectations of themselves, and frequently of their families.”
– Portrait of an INFJ, www.personalitypage.com
5. We are socially inept
While many INFJs can practice and put on a good show, most of us struggle with social norms and routines, especially if we see little use for them. Since, as mentioned before, we find it difficult to put our thoughts into words, we can feel uncomfortable being in situations that cause us to interact in a spontaneous manner, such as meeting someone new.
INFJs spend most of our time thinking through deep and complex matters, therefore shallow and menial conversations of everyday life can confuse and frustrate us. Talks of the weather and local sports are exhausting for us. We would much rather ask for life stories, sincere problems of which we can offer solutions and therapy session-like conversations. When we ask “how are you,” we mean it on the deepest and sincerest possible level.
4. Our label means a lot to us
While every person can be pinpointed as a specific Myers-Briggs Personality Type, INFJs tend to cling to our label as soon as we discover it. As we are the rarest personality type, making up an approximate 2% of the population, we spend most of our lives feeling lost and misunderstood. Once we learn that we are not alone and that there is an explanation as to why we have always felt different, we feel overjoyed and almost “normal.”Even if the description of an INFJ does not fit us 100%, it still usually offers us a lot of information for which we have spent the majority of our lives searching. Those four little letters can be life-changing to an INFJ.
3. We are very open-minded
INFJs have an amazing ability to think abstractly. In our minds, it is easy to see gray areas and blurred lines. While we tend to have strong principles and passions, an INFJ can usually see another persons point-of-view on any situation. Whenever there is a difference of opinion, an INFJ is very driven to ask questions and seek information about the opposing side in order to understand the different perspective. This part of our personality leads to deep compassion and always giving others the benefit of the doubt.
2. We are warm-hearted
INFJs can outwardly appear cold. Because we tend to be very private and enjoy only opening up to our closest companions, others can see us as cold and detached. This is the furthest from the truth. INFJs are, in fact, extremely warm-hearted and open to everyone around us, but because we are socially inept, we can struggle with making others aware of this. Our compassion knows no limits and we are mostly selfless people. We hope that everyone can open up to us and know that we are there for them, however, we will probably not open up much to them by no fault of their own.
1. Our intuition is real
INFJs are known for being the most intuitive personality type. We “just know” a lot of information that we can never fully explain. Many sensing types and a few intuitive types cannot fully grasp our level of intuition and easily discredit our knowledge. Without any explanation as to why, we can feel the feelings of everyone around us as deeply as though they were our own.
As An Anonymous INFJ states: “In my experience, the most misunderstood part of an INFJ is how we feel everything those around us feel. We do not sympathize. We do not empathize. We literally feel exactly what you feel. Even if you are trying to hide it or don’t express your feelings, somehow we still know.”
Along with our open-mindedness and compassion, our ability to intuitively feel and sense things around us is a large part of why we can help others so easily. We just know what is best for those around us even if we cannot articulate why.
If you know an INFJ or want to be closer to an INFJ, believing in our intuition is the best thing you can do because it is the biggest part of who we are.