The INFJ Stare

Last week, I noticed that one of the Google searches that led to my blog was “INFJ stare.” My reaction was, “We have a stare?” I immediately posted the question to Facebook and performed a Google search of my own. One of my friends sent me this image of the dreaded “INFJ Death Stare:”

INFJ death stare

Apparently, only non-INFJs consider this a “stare of death.” We INFJs don’t really think about it much at all until someone points it out. But other types do notice. 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.”

What’s Going On Behind The Stare

Among INFJs, the consensus is that we don’t meant to give you a death stare. It’s simply our default thinking expression. The INFJs who know that they stare actually spend quite a bit of time trying not to creep people out with it. We’re awkward enough as it is without having to worry about people asking why we’re giving them the death stare.

This isn’t the same thing as “resting bitch face.” People don’t generally describe the INFJ death stare as being rude or angry. It’s just hard for other people to read. And once I’d 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’ve asked me about it generally describe it as “spacing out.”


Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock stareEven though there’s a “J” in INFJ, we’re a Perception-Dominant type Introverted intuition is a perceiving function, and that’s what we lead with (click here for more information about Myers-Briggs® Functions).

According to an analysis on, eyes are the “most prevailing part” of a perception-dominant type’s 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 an extensive two-part analysis of why Benedict Cumberbatch might be an INFJ. That’s where I found this gif. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of his, but this was a little over-the-top-obsessed even for me.  I did, however, find it an amusing read. It also demonstrates that INFJ eyes are apparently interesting enough that some people will spend hours of time analyzing them.

Dealing With the Death Stare

The INFJ Stare |
Photo credit: luxstorm via Pixabay

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 😉


Featured image credit: Free-Photos via Pixabay

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.

15 thoughts on “The INFJ Stare

  • 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.


  • 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


    • 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.


  • 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

  • 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

  • An INFJ (pretty sure of it now) girl in class kept giving me the death stares just before I actually introduced myself to her and it kept going for about more than a month since I introduced myself to her. As an ENTP, the stares stops me in my tracks both physically and mentally. It’s just plainly magnetic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not much into astrology, but my zodiac sign is Cancer and the description in this post matches pretty well (though not 100% accurate. More like 80%, and some of the other descriptions match just as well).

      Liked by 1 person

  • I’m an INFJ and there was this situation once with my professor:
    My professor once asked me (in the middle of class discussion) why am i looking at him “that way”. He said “are you angry?” using this irritated voice with me. And i was shocked obviously, cause I’m not really angry or anything. And one of my classmates raised her hand and said “that’s just how she stares at everyone sir. ”
    I was more shocked. I mean what do they mean about “that stare” Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  • The INFJ stare is defiantly one of the most iconic characteristics of the INFJ. It’s really interesting to learn about and makes me feel a connection between myself and other INFJs knowing that we have a physical feature in common. Since I’m INFJ, I feel it’s really rude to talk about myself, but I would like to share some incidents I’ve had involving my INFJ stare.
    1. When I was little, my dentist for some reason always asked to take a picture of my eyes everytime I had a check-up because he was fascinated by them. I was really confused because my eyes are just a dull blue-green that practically look gray. There was nothing special about their color, so it must have been my INFJ stare.

    2. I’m a martial artist, so one day I had to spar a younger student in class. Before the match started, I must have been INFJ staring at him so hard, trying to figure him out, that he actually ended up crying!

    3. I had a martial arts class just yesterday as well. Long story, short: during one of the drills, my classmates’ mistakes resulted in me having to do push-ups. I got lightheartedly-angry for having to do push-ups because of a mistake made by my classmates, so I gave them a stare as I got down to do the push-ups. Before I know it, all of them are yelling in surprise because of the look I gave them! They continue to talk about it while I finish my push-ups.

    Man, talking about yourself is hard. I feel like whatever I say about myself comes out as bragging. This is why INFJs don’t talk about themselves because they regret it later! I hope I didn’t annoy anyone. I’m going to stop typing now only to dwell on what I have said here for many weeks to come. Thank you for your time.

    Liked by 1 person

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