10 Signs That You Might Be an INFJ Personality Type

I realized this morning that it’s been more than six years since I wrote “You Know You’re an INFJ When …” While I’ve written a large number of articles on INFJs since then, I haven’t really written another addressing signs that you might be an INFJ Personality type.

Individually, the signs listed in this article are true of more than one personality type. There are 16 different types in the Myers-Briggs® system and many of them share a number of similarities that can make it challenging to tell them apart. But if most of these points sound like you, then there’s a good chance you might be an INFJ.

1) Your Mind Works Differently

Phrases that other people use to describe you include “old soul,” “impractical,” “daydreamer,” “too sensitive,” “good listener,” “weird,” and “deep.” Sometimes you may feel alienated or not quite human. If you think about it (as many of us do) you might reach the conclusion that your mind works in a fundamentally different way than most other people.

This sort of thing happens because INFJs are a rare personality type. Intuitive types only make up about 30% of the population, and your preference for Sensing/Intuition affects how you process the world and learn new information. Our minds do work differently than most other people.

2) You Notice Patterns and Perspectives

As an INFJ, you notice patterns, especially big-picture patterns, that other people typically overlook. Introverted Intuition (the cognitive function that INFJs lead with) is basically like advanced pattern recognition software for your brain. INFJs tend to pick up on things “behind the curtain.” And since this process works in the background of our minds, we often make intuitive leaps that we can’t consciously explain but are based on recognizing patterns.

Personality Hacker calls this function Perspectives because it “is focused on the patterns that form those perspectives,” — our subjective beliefs, thoughts and feelings — “and over time it starts to see the ‘pattern of the patterns’.” This lets INFJs adopt a “meta-perspective” and see things from many different angles.

3) You Have A Rich Inner World

As introverts, INFJs prefer the inner world to the outer world. If you’re an INFJ, you likely have a well-developed “rich inner world.” You may also have the feeling that you belong in a fantasy world rather than the real one, though this doesn’t happen for all INFJs.

We INFJs like to create/find meaning and often have a vision for making the world a better place. Even if our ideas end up being used in the outer world, we’ll keep coming up with new ones to keep our minds busy. Many INFJs are also spiritual and/or religious people who frequently ponder deep, abstract ideas.

4) You Know What People are Feeling

An INFJ’s Feeling function is extroverted, meaning we’re most comfortable using it in the outer world (click here if you’d like to learn how Myers-Briggs® functions work). If you’re an INFJ, it seems easy to pick up on other people’s emotions and mirror them while you are talking. In connection with this, INFJs are often described as empathic. This can range from an awareness of what others are feeling to literally feeling as if you’ve absorbed the emotions of people around you.

Our outer-focused Feeling side can turn INFJs into one of the more social introverted types. We like people, but for many INFJs there is also a struggle between needing to be around people so you can connect with them and share your thoughts, and an introvert’s desire for alone time.

5) You Hate Conflict

If given the option, most INFJs will do almost anything to avoid tense moments. This is partly due to our Extroverted Feeling side, a function with Personality Hacker nicknames Harmony. INFJs are hardwired to desire harmony in our relationships and to work toward making that happen.

Lack of harmony is extremely uncomfortable for INFJs. We’re so focused on how people relate to each other that tension in those relationships unsettles us even when we’re not involved.

10 Signs That You Might Be an INFJ Personality Type | LikeAnAnchor.com
Photo credit: Free-Photos via Pixabay

6) You Want Your Decisions to Make Everyone Happy

Feeling in Myers-Briggs® theory is a rational, decision-making function. Usually when we think of someone leading with their feelings, we assume they make decisions emotionally but that’s not exactly what’s going on with INFJs. Extroverted Feeling makes well thought-out decisions based on what will meet everyone’s needs.

The human factor is an INFJ’s primary consideration when making decisions. Many find that they can’t act on something until it makes sense emotionally and morally, even if it already makes sense logically. We want our decisions to maintain harmony, meet other’s needs, and negotiate positive unspoken social contracts.

7) Other People Seek Your Counsel

One of the nicknames for the INFJ type is “the counselor.” If you’re an INFJ, there’s a good chance that you’ve experienced other people wanting to confide in you, even random strangers. You often find yourself acting as counselor and confidant for friends, acquaintances, and people you’ve just met.

In many cases, this confidence is one-sided. INFJs tend to know a lot more about the people in their lives than they other people know about them. We tend to be private people, but we’re always ready to lend a listening ear and advice when we can.

8) You Can Change Your Personality to Fit Context

INFJs can appear to fit-in with most social groups and act as a chameleon in social situations. Our Extroverted Feeling lets us pick-up on what the people around us feel and expect, and our Introverted Intuition turns those observations into patterns we can tap into and use to tailor our personality to fit different contexts.

This ability can be very useful as it gives us more versatility in social situations. But we might also use it as a crutch because fitting in feels safe. Acting like a chameleon seems like a way to protect ourselves from negative attention. However, it can also block us from really being seen and appreciated as ourselves. If that sounds like you, check out my post “The Importance of Living Authentically As An INFJ.”

9) You Have an Analytical Side

As an INFJ you feel things deeply but also have an analytical side. Even though we’re Feeling types in the Myers-Briggs® system, INFJs tend to have a pretty strong Thinking side too. Specifically, we use Introverted Thinking as your tertiary function. INFJs may often find themselves “looping” between their intuition and thinking, using both in a way that feels very comfortable.

You don’t want to spend too much time in your tertiary process, but it can be very useful. INFJs using their tertiary function might become more analytical and organized than usual. You might find yourself fascinated by certain topics and spend hours researching everything about them. If you get stuck in your Thinking side, though, you might start to loose touch with your diplomatic, relational side. When that happens, it’s important to reconnect with your Extroverted Feeling to stay balanced.

10) Stress Affects How You See The Outer World

A type’s inferior function typically shows up when they get stressed. For an INFJ, this function is Extroverted Sensing. Typically, an INFJ’s stress reaction includes obsessive focus on external data, overindulgence in sensory pleasures like food or shopping, and/or an adversarial attitude toward the outer world.

Stressed-out INFJs might try to escape the outer world by immersing themselves in books, TV series, or video games. They might isolate themselves and fall into depression, or become angry, suspicious and hostile. On the other hand, you can also learn to use your Sensing side in healthier ways through hobbies like gardening, cooking, and yoga.

 

If you’re still not sure whether or not you’re an INFJ, check out my article “5 Signs You Might Not Be an INFJ – And What You Might Be Instead!” on Psychology Junkie.

I also highly recommend taking the Genius Style Test by Personality Hacker. It’s free and they offer the most reliable test that I’ve found on the internet. Please note that this is an affiliate link, which means if you decide to purchase any of their products after taking the test I’ll receive a commission at no additional cost to you.


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.

 

Featured image credit: Pexels via Pixabay

How Do I Know If I’m an INFJ or an INFP?

One question you might have after learning about Myers-Briggs® types and taking a few tests is how to tell which of two similar types you are. Maybe the online tests you took gave you a couple different results. Or maybe you started reading about the types and discovered more than one that sounds a lot like you.

If you’re trying to decide whether you’re more of an INFJ or an INFP type, I hope this article will help. Just looking at the letters in these personality types, we might think the only difference between them is that one is a perceiving type and one is a judging type. This is only party true. When we dive deeper into the cognitive functions that describe the mental processes each Myers-Briggs® type uses, it become easier to see the differences and similarities between these two types more clearly.

If you’re not familiar with cognitive functions, click here to read “The Simplest Guide to Myers-Briggs® Functions Ever.” INFJs and INFPs might look similar at first, but they use completely different functions, as shown in this graphic:How Do I Know If I'm an INFJ or an INFP? | LikeAnAnchor.com

The way these cognitive functions work together makes INFPs and INFJs similar in some ways and very different in others. They might seem near-identical times but their underlying thought patters and motivations don’t look nearly as much alike as you might think. Read more

Intuitives Abroad

I’ve safely returned from my trip to France, though not without a few complications. Flying with a nasty headcold scores a 0 out of 10 and I would not recommend it. Thankfully my brother and sister were healthy and navigated the airports for me so I could just follow them around in a congestion-induced stupor and focus on breathing.

That was only a shadow over the last couple days of trip, though. Most of the experience was fantastic. Before this, I’d never been any farther outside the United States than the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. Then all the sudden I’m getting on a plane in Detroit, waking up the next morning in Paris, and walking down streets older than the country I live in. We had one day in Paris, then flew to Nice and took a bus to Saint-Raphaël. We were there on the Mediterranean coast for about a week, during which we also visited Saint Paul de Vance (pictured in the featured image for this post), Monaco, and Cannes.

Visiting Paris with Mark Twain

I took this trip with my siblings, so our little group consisted of an INFJ, INTJ, and ENFJ (hence the title of this post, which I’ve been planing on using for a while now and am still endlessly pleased with). I started reading Mark Twain’s Innocents Abroad while on the trip, mostly because I wanted to nod to it in a blog post title once we got home. I love the books by Twain that I’ve read, but even though this was the one that sold best during his lifetime I hadn’t read it before.

It’s interesting to read Twain’s record of his visit to Paris in 1867 with our own visit 152 years later. Our experience with French food was similar, with unfamiliar dishes accompanied by “wine with every course, of course, being in France.” Like Twain, on visiting Notre Dame “we recognized the brown old Gothic pile in a moment” even with the recent fire damage making it impossible for us to go inside. We also visited the Louvre like Twain and his companions, though we seem to have been more impressed by “its miles of paintings by the old maters” than he was. Read more

How Do I Know If I’m an INFJ or an ENFJ?

One of the questions that often comes up after someone learns about Myers-Briggs® types is how to tell which of two similar types they are. Maybe you took a few different online tests and they gave you a couple different results. Or maybe you started reading about the types and discovered more than one that sounds a lot like you.

If you’re trying to decide whether you’re more of an INFJ or an ENFJ type, I hope this article will help. Just looking at the names of these personality types, we might think that the only difference between them is that one is more extroverted than the other. This is only party true. When we dive deeper into the cognitive functions that describe the mental processes each Myers-Briggs® type uses, it become easier to see the differences and similarities between these two types more clearly.

If you’re not familiar with cognitive functions, click here to read “The Simplest Guide to Myers-Briggs® Functions Ever.” INFJ and ENFJs both use the same cognitive functions. They just use them in a different order of preference, as shown in this graphic:How Do I Know If I'm an INFJ or an ENFJ? | LikeAnAnchor.com

The way these cognitive functions work together makes ENFJs and INFJs very different in certain ways and very similar in others. The two types can often find lots of common ground and make great friends. But there are also several key differences in how they learn information and approach the world that makes it possible for us to tell these two types apart. Read more

Personality Type Myth-Busting: What’s The Rarest Personality Type?

As an INFJ, I often see people talking about how it’s the rarest personality type. According to every type distribution I’ve seen this statement is true. However, I’ve also seen quite a few INFJs treat this rarity as if there’s a huge gap between how rare we are compared to the other personality types. Some also treat this rarity as meaning that we INFJs are so rare no one else can relate to us and/or that it makes us extra special.

While INFJs are the rarest type overall, there are other types that are almost as rare. And when we break type distributions down by gender, INFJ is not the rarest type among women (though it is among men). You can see the Estimated Frequencies of the Types in the United States Population in this chart:

Personality Type Myth-Busting: What's The Rarest Personality Type? | LikeAnAnchor.com

Relative Rarity For Each Type

As you can see from the type distribution chart at the start of this post, most of the Intuitive types each make up less than 5% of the population. The estimates from Center of Application for Psychological Type cover a pretty broad range, though. The Myers-Briggs® Foundation offers more specific estimates in addition to the ranges. These percentages pin-point INFJ at 1.5%, ENTJ 1.8%, INTJ at 2.1%, and ENFJ at 2.5%. They’re all pretty rare. Read more

7 Fictional Characters That You’ll Relate To If You’re An INFJ

What fictional characters do you relate to as an INFJ?

Just as we can describe real people using the Myers-Briggs® typology system, we can also type well-written fictional characters. Some of fiction’s most iconic and intriguing characters are INFJs and today we’re going to talk about seven that I think real-life INFJs will find relatable.

One great thing about looking at character personality types is that it helps us better understand people who have different types than we do. Fictional INFJs can serve as examples for what real-life INFJs might be like, and also show how much variation can exist between individuals with the same type.

The things that makes INFJs such great fictional characters are some of the same things that make them such interesting people. Though the rarest personality type on the planet, INFJs are fairly common in fiction. They’re thoughtful, introspective characters with a unique way of looking at the world and a keen interest in other people.

Alyosha Karamazov

It’s fascinating to read the narrator of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov discuss the story’s hero Alexi Karamazov (more often called by his nickname Alyosha/Alesha). He spends most of the introduction apologizing for presenting readers with such an unusual hero. “He is by no means a great man,” the narrator explains, but he is doubtless “a strange man, even an odd one.” He was strange “from the cradle,” growing up a quiet child preoccupied by something inside him while at the same time loving people. I’m sure many INFJs can relate to that in their own childhoods — liking other people but being too preoccupied by their inner worlds to be considered sociable.

As the story progresses, we see Alyosha dreads conflict with a loathing that I think all INFJs (and the other FJ types as well) can relate to. We see him weeping when others are hurt, displaying the empathy that’s so much a part of real-life INFJs. We see him make social blunders in an effort to make everyone happy and at peace, all with an INFJ’s insistence on working toward harmony in all situations. Like so many INFJs, he’s sensitive, emotional, indecisive on certain things (though quite decisive in others), and isn’t afraid to appear weak so long as he’s being true to his beliefs. Read more