Why Are So Many INFJs Obsessed With Fictional Characters?

Every once in a while, I go through the list of search terms that WordPress says leads people to my blog looking to see if there are any topics I haven’t covered. This is one of them. It’s no surprise that search term led to this blog, though, since I’m an INFJ bloggers and the number of posts I’ve written about typing fictional characters (both here and on my Star Wars Personalities blog) shows that at least this INFJ is obsessed with fictional characters.

That doesn’t answer the question of “why” though. Nor does it explain why my posts about fictional character types were the most popular posts on my blog last year. It’s not just the posts about INFJ characters that are popular, either. All of my “7 Fictional Characters You’ll Relate To If You’re An ___” posts get a lot of views. We might not all be obsessed with fictional characters for the same reasons, but it seems that at least some people from every personality type feels an interest in and an attachment to fictional characters.

For INFJs (and perhaps other types as well), I suspect this obsession with fictional characters comes from a few different sources. Part of it is likely because INFJs so often feel alone and misunderstood in our real lives. We struggle to find belonging and acceptance, and so we search the stories that we love for people who seem to be like us. Many INFJs feel as if they find themselves in their favorite stories, and they may feel that the characters they find within fiction could understand them better than the people in real-life do.

This last part leads to another possible reason why INFJs are obsessed with fiction and fictional characters. We have very active imaginations and often talk about our “rich inner world.” Our minds are peopled with interesting places, people, ideas, and storylines that we encounter in fiction and real-life alongside all the imaginings we come up with on our own. Fictional characters give us fuel for the imaginative lives we lead inside our thoughts.

INFJs are also a type that loves people, but often finds interacting with other people in real-life challenging. It’s not that we avoid spending time with people, but we’re selective about who we spend time with and for how long because we have a limited amount of social energy. Reading well-written fiction or watching a well-acted film gives us the opportunity to “interact” in a non-social way with a wider number and variety of people than we’d typically get to see in real life. Fictional characters are not by any means a substitute for real friends, but they can help fill an INFJ’s hunger to learn about as many different people and perspectives as possible without wearing themselves out.

So there are the three reasons why I think INFJs are so often obsessed with fictional characters. We find connection with characters, we enjoy the way fiction fuels our imaginations, and we learn about people from stories.

Do you have any other explanations you’d add to this list for why we’re obsessed with fictional characters? And if you’re not an INFJ, do these reasons resonate with you as well or are there other reasons that you enjoy engaging with fiction?

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

Featured blog image by StockSnap from Pixabay

If Your Myers-Briggs® Type Was a Superhero, What Superpower Would You Have?

Sometimes, I really enjoy writing and reading fun, silly posts like “Here’s the Greek God or Goddess You’d Be, Based On Your Personality Type” or “Your Not-At-All-Confusing Guide To Finding Out If An INFJ Agrees With You.” Today’s post falls into that category. Don’t take it too seriously, but it’s fun to think about (and I don’t know about you, but I could use some not-too-serious things to think about right now).

Last week, I suggested, “Which superpower would you like to have? Which one do you think you’d actually have based on your personality?” as an expressivist journaling prompt. This post is an extension of that. Assuming that if you developed a superpower it would be based off your personality, what sort of power might each of the different Myers-Briggs® types have?

ENFJ – Shapeshifting

Like other FJ types, ENFJs are good at blending into just about any social situation. Once they’ve got a feel for how a group works, they can perfectly mimic the people around them or turn themselves into the sort of person they need to be in order to fit in or lead. Shapeshifting or mimicry seems like the sort of superpower that could grow out of that personality trait.

INFJ – Mind Reading

INFJs already have people half-convinced we can read minds, so this choice shouldn’t come as a surprise. I’ve always thought that if I were to have super powers, it would be something like mind reading or mood-sensing (though water manipulation and telekinesis are actually on the top of my wish-list). INFJs are usually really good at picking up on patterns in other people’s behaviors and guessing what they’re thinking, and in many ways superpowered mindreading is a natural extension of that talent.

ENFP – Persuasion

ENFPs are already charming people who are great at convincing others to see and do things their way. I decided to call it persuasion instead of mind control because I suspect a superpowered ENFP would tend to manipulate more than outright control other people. I could easily see an ENFP superhero using their ability to deescalate fights and turn final showdowns into dance offs or philosophy discussions.

INFP – Invisibility

INFPs can often feel as if they’re overlooked and misunderstood. Literally fading out of sight with an invisibility superpower would let them turn something that may feel like an annoying feature of their personality into an asset. Like many introverts, INFPs aren’t all that interested in being in the limelight. Being able to help people without drawing too much attention to themselves or having to face supervillains head-on seems like a very INFP way to superhero.

ENTJ – Telekinesis

ENTJs are often efficient, innovative, and forward thinking types who like to control the world around them. They’re also good at holding several different ideas and perspectives at once, and juggling a wide array of responsibilities. The ability to move objects with their minds might not be a direct extension of a personality trait but I suspect ENTJs would find telekinesis very useful.

INTJ – Future Predicting

Like INFJs, INTJs are really good at picking up on patterns. They’re usually more focused on patterns that have to do with facts and data rather than people, though, and that makes them good at planning for the future. A superpowered version of this talent could give them the ability to actually predict the future with an impressive degree of accuracy.

ENTP – Reality Warping

ENTPs are often the sorts of people who come up with new, innovative ideas that change the way the world works. For a superpower, I think this talent could expand into the ability to warp and shape reality itself. It also seems a good fit for the charming side that many ENTPs have, which can persuade you to see things they way they want you to.

INTP – Teleportation

INTPs aren’t a type that likes to waste time (at least by their own definition of wasted time). They often prefer to spend their time thinking rather than doing, and when they do choose to act they don’t enjoy delays like the necessity to travel getting in the way. Teleportation gives them an instant ability to jump wherever they need to be, accelerating their ability to put innovative ideas into action and also ensuring they’re never stuck in a situation they don’t want to be.

ESFJ – Healing

ESFJs are often kind, gentle people who are deeply invested in helping others. Many go into helping professions or spend a good amount of their time helping the people around them find comfort and healing. Though I’m sure it wouldn’t be the first-pick superpower for every ESFJ, I can’t think of an ESFJ who wouldn’t want the ability to touch people and make them well.

ISFJ – Force Shields

ISFJs are the quintessential guardian type. Even without superpowers they’re often out there protecting people or working tirelessly to keep their loved ones safe and happy. Force shields that they can use to defend themselves and others seems a great fit for an ISFJ superpower.

ESFP – Probability Manipulation

I saw a post somewhere (probably Pinterest) pointing out what an under-appreciated superpower this is and I’ve been thinking about that ever since. How powerful would it be to actually be able to change the chances of something happening? ESFPs are a type that responds quickly to changes in the external world, and with this personality type they’d be able to manipulate how likely those changes are to occur.

ISFP – Animal Communication

Many ISFPs describe themselves as comfortable around animals. They’re the kind of introvert who you might find talking to a cat or dog at a party instead of hanging out with people. Turn that into a superpower, and you’ve got someone who can actually understand what the animals are saying when they talk with them.

ESTJ – Super Speed

Like so many other TJ types, ESTJs place a high value on efficiency. They like to get things done right, and to do so as quickly as possible. For ESTJs who don’t like to slow down, super speed seems to me like a perfect superpower.

ISTJ – Time Manipulation

ISTJs are often the sort of people who are extremely skilled at time management. They’re punctual, efficient, and are good at helping improve how others use their time. A superpower that lets them manipulate and control time seems like it could easily grow out of this personality trait.

ESTP — Flight

Like other SP types, ESTPs are often very physical sorts of people who respond quickly to the real-world. I wanted to give someone on this list flight (one of the most classic superpowers ever), and it seemed a good fit for ESTPs to give them a power that adds another dimension to the physical space they can work with.

ISTP – Accelerated Healing

ISTPs are already the type that makes the best action hero, so I think it makes sense to give them a superpower that lets them keep doing what they already do more efficiently. Just think what an ISTP could do if they didn’t have to worry about injuries taking weeks or months to heal.

Your Turn

Which superpower would you like to have? Do you think I picked a good one for your personality type?

Featured image by alan9187 from Pixabay

How To Be A Better Peacemaker As An INFJ

Several weeks ago, I wrote about the traits people with an INFJ personality type have that can make them wonderful peacemakers. One thing I didn’t cover in that post was how to develop those traits in order to become a better peacemaker. Just because we’re “hardwired” to have certain personality traits doesn’t mean they’re all equally well developed or that we’ll be comfortable using them. Peacemaking comes more naturally to some individuals than to others. That doesn’t mean, however, that we’re stuck with whatever traits and quirks we have now which might make it challenging to be an effective peacemaker. We can always grow and improve, even if we’re already pretty good at dealing with other people.

Learn To Handle Conflict

Raised voices are one of my biggest anxiety triggers. Even a hint of conflict used to send me scurrying for another room. But we can’t help create peace if we run away any time there’s a lack of peace. In other words, if you’re paralyzed by fear in the face of disharmony, you won’t be a very effective peacemaker.

One thing INFJs need to keep in mind is that what seems to us like a frightening disagreement often seems like a harmless debate to someone else. What we interpret as a voice raised in anger, for example, might come from someone who merely thinks they’re proving their point in an emotionally neutral way. This is not to say that INFJs should let others bulldoze their boundaries or that they should make themselves stay in genuinely threatening situations. But we do need to learn how to recognize when we might be over-reacting to conflict and learn how to step down our fight-flight-or-freeze reaction.

Learning to handle conflict in a healthy way can be a long process. You might even want to get professional help (that’s what I did, and I highly recommend seeing a counselor if you’re struggling with any sort of anxiety that impacts your quality of life).

Practice Seeing Others’ Points of View

How To Be A Better Peacemaker As An INFJ | LikeAnAnchor.com
Image by David Mark from Pixabay

An INFJ’s favorite mental process is a cognitive function called Introverted Intuition. Personality Hacker nicknames this function “Perspectives” because it’s so good at seeing things from different angles and it’s not tied to just one perspective. We INFJs are still human, though, and it’s a very human tendency to get comfortable with one way of looking at things and then not notice (or not be open to hearing) contrasting points of view.

Learning how to take responsibility for our own feelings and talk about complicated issues is not an easy thing to do. When I wrote an article on that topic a little over a year ago, some of the things I recommended for learning how to do that included assuming positive intent on the other person’s part, refusing to insult them, really listening instead of assuming you know what they’ll say, and reading articles like “How To Talk To People You Disagree With” and “We Should All Speak to People We Don’t Agree With. Here’s How.”

Learn to Listen

Since INFJs are so good at seeing patterns, we can very easily fall into the trap of assuming we know what someone will say and then not really listening. But no matter how good we are at predicting what will happen and how people will response, people are still full of surprises. If we want to mediate conflict, we need to learn to really listen to every person involved. Only once we understand each person’s point of view can we help smooth relationships and fix miscommunication.

In most of the opportunities I’ve had to be a peacemaker, I find myself acting as a kind of interpreter for emotion and intent. So many times, conflict happens because people just don’t understand each other. I find there are often times when two frustrated people just need a bit of help to rephrase their arguments so they can sort out misunderstandings and resolve the conflict.

Take Action

INFJs often find theory more comfortable than action. We like to read about how we can grow, but then hesitate to take those steps. I’m as guilty of that as most anyone else. But if we want to become better peacemakers (or improve in any other area of our lives) at some point we need to put theory into practice.

Peacemaking gives INFJs a chance to use skills that come naturally to us because of how our brains work. It can also be an incredibly satisfying use of our talents. Most INFJs want there to be harmony between people, and if we learn to act as peacemakers we have a chance to actively create harmony rather than passively wishing it would happen. We won’t always enjoy perfect success. Sometimes our efforts might even make things worse. But if we are invested in peace, build our peacemaking skills, focus on trying to help others, and strive to act with their best interests in mind we can grow to become effective peacemakers.


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

Featured blog image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Featured image by Comfreak from Pixabay

INFJ Interview with Esabelle

Hello dear readers, I hope you’re having a great weekend!

Sometime ago, a friend contacted me about doing an interview on her YouTube channel, and I’m so happy to finally be able to share it with you all . I hope you enjoy it, and that you’ll check out the other videos on her channel as well. She has some great content on psychology and personality types 🙂

Favorite INFJ Songs Playlist

A couple weeks ago, Susan Storm asked me to write an article about songs that INFJs love. When I asked some INFJs on Facebook for feedback on that topic, I was overwhelmed by the responses. It was far more than I could fit in just one article! I’ve compiled a Spotify playlist with the recommended songs, albums, and artists that you can click here to listen to. It’s over 6 hours long, and growing with each new comment. I’ve found several new favorites, and I hope you will too!

Coincidently, I finished writing this article shortly before I finished listening to Jordan Peterson’s “Maps of Meaning” lecture series. In the final lecture, he spends a few moments talking about music.

“Virtually everyone gets intimations of meaning from music. And I think music is hierarchically structured patterns that are representative of being laying itself out properly.  … It is an abstract representation of proper being.” — Jordan Peterson, 2017 Maps of Meaning 12, time signature 1:51:00.

Music is meaningful to us on a level that I doubt most of us (me included) really understand, at least consciously.  And, in the case of many of the songs INFJs list among their favorites, it really does prompt us to think about “being.”

Some of these songs represent irrepressibly hopeful ideas of the world, while others dive deep into brokenness and pain. Some are raw, some are happy, some beautiful, some hard to listen to. But for at least one INFJ out there, the different songs on this playlist are expressing the sorts of things “which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent” (to quote Victor Hugo).

Why INFJs Make Such Good Peacemakers

When you read about INFJ strengths or dig-in to tips for personal growth, one of the things that often comes up is the potential for INFJs to act as peacemakers. As an INFJ, you might have mixed feelings about that idea. Sure peace sounds nice — we love peace — but peacemaking assumes that there’s a lack of peace when you start out. In order to make peace out of conflict, you need to be able and willing to wade-in to that conflict.

Many INFJs, including me, find conflict extremely uncomfortable. Our palms get sweaty. Our insides start to shake, and possibly our hands or whole bodies as well. Our throats start to close up and our thoughts race to worst-case scenarios for how this might end. We’d often far rather quietly slip away from the conflicts, hold our tongues, or give-in on issues that don’t seem “all that important” right now than risk escalating a conflict. If we can get past that fear, though, INFJs have innate skills that we can build on to become good at conflict resolution.

We Value Harmony

Because external emotions affect us so much and we’re quick to notice disconnects between people, INFJs typically have a heightened sensitivity to conflict. We notice when something is off between two people (whether or not it directly involves us). INFJs place a high value on peace and we’ll do almost anything to preserve it.

For many INFJs, that means avoiding conflict even when something really should be addressed. We fear conflict rather than resolve it because we want harmony so much. But we need to learn that sometimes in order to create harmony, we have to deal with conflict.

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