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.
If you’d like to know more about the INFJ personality type, check out my book The INFJ Handbook. I just updated it with a ton of new information and resources. You can purchase it in ebook or paperback by clicking this link.