Learning about our unique strengths as INFJs helps us realize what gifts we can access most readily. It also gives us some guidelines for learning to use those gifts effectively in work, interpersonal relationships, and our private lives. These strengths don’t make INFJs “better” than any other type (each type has their own valuable strengths) but they are an important part of our personalities.
We often use our personality strengths so easily that we don’t think of them as gifts. For example, it’s so natural for INFJs to pick up on other peoples emotions that it might just seem like a slightly annoying thing we do automatically, rather than a unique gift we can use to relate to other people. But the strengths that are so much a part of the INFJ personality types are not common in the world at large. If we ignore our gifts or assume they are not useful, we deprive ourselves of confidence and deprive the world of our unique skills.
As I’ve been working on the second edition of The INFJ Handbook, one of the things I’m expanding is the chapters on INFJ strengths and weaknesses, as well as the one with personal growth tips. That re-writing that sparked the idea for this post, which is a shortened version of one of the chapters in my upcoming handbook.
While INFJs may struggle with certain types of verbal communication, most are adept at non-verbal communication. We listen to what people tell us with their facial expression and body language as much, or in some cases more so, than to their spoken words. This helps INFJs see through dishonesty, cut to the heart of a matter, and develop fantastic listening skills.
When INFJs do communicate in words, they can develop a very persuasive communication style. Whether it’s through writing, counseling others in small groups, or even public speaking INFJs can use their keen insight into what motivates other people to become persuasive communicators. Especially if we’re given the opportunity to focus on something we are passionate about, such as solving human problems or discussing future possibilities,
Passion For Improvement
INFJs need something to focus their energy on and can become passionate about a whole range of things including relationships, causes, and academic ideas. If we think something matters, we’ll do everything we can to move it forward. As perfectionists and idealists, INFJs are constantly striving to make things better. Whether it’s a relationship we’re invested in, a person we care about, a project we’re working on, or a cause we’re working for INFJs rarely give up until they’ve exhausted every possibility for improvement.
People-oriented problem solving comes naturally to INFJs. Our intuitive side makes makes us insightful idea-generators, and our Feeling side encourages us to focus on issues that directly impact other people. This combination of creative problem solving and an instinctive sense of what people need has led to INFJs being seen as a wise source of counsel. This doesn’t mean INFJs are better or smarter than other types. It’s just a recognition of a particular skill set that comes with a healthy version of the INFJ personality type.
INFJ problem solving abilities aren’t limited to issues involving people. We can also put our Intuition and, to a certain degree, our Thinking to work solving any sort of problem. Though people tend to think of scientific curiosity and problem-solving as something associated with the logical, Thinking personalities in reality everyone has the ability to problem-solve. We just use different parts of our personality to do it. INFJs use their pattern-loving intuition and support it with Feeling for interpersonal problems and Thinking for impersonal problems.
INFJs with well-developed Extroverted Feeling are very concerned with the people around them, even to the point of ignoring their own needs in favor of the people or causes they care about. INFJs want to know that they are having a meaningful, positive impact on other people, whether it is their immediate family members and friends or a poverty-stricken family overseas. While this can make INFJs a powerful force for good, they do need to be careful of overextending themselves and burning-out.
Seeing Different Perspectives
People who use Introverted Intuition aren’t always tied to just one perspective. As INJ types, our mental wiring lets us adopt a meta-perspective and see things from multiple points of view. While it is possible for INFJs to become rigid in their beliefs and judgmental of those with different ideas, that’s not how healthy INFJs operate. Even when INFJs have a very decided opinion on something, they are usually sensitive to conflicting perspectives as well.
Dealing with conflicts is very hard for INFJs. However, if we do the growth-work needed to truly develop our Extroverted Feelings side we can become highly skilled at resolving conflict. INFJs have the potential to become harmony-creators, but we can’t do that if we flee conflict. True harmony comes from working through and resolving potential conflicts rather than avoiding them because we’re scared of experiencing any disharmony before the conflict is resolved. Conflict resolution isn’t usually a skill that comes quickly or easily to INFJs, but our other skills give us a good foundation for learning to resolve conflict between different groups.
INFJs often have a hard time seeing themselves in a balanced way. All too often, we either can’t see our strengths at all or we over-value them to the point that we start to think INFJs are better than other people. But it’s much better to have a realistic view of our strengths — accepting and cultivating them without lording them over others.
I hope this article helps you recognize some of the gifts that you have as an INFJ type. Maybe it even inspires you to think about some other strengths that you have which are related to your personality type. Share them below in the comments!
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