What stories do you relate to as an INFJ? Not just a character in the story that you identify with, but also themes and plot points that speak to something inside you.
That’s what this blog post is about. It’s not necessarily a list of INFJs’ favorite books and movies (though there is some overlap). It’s not even about INFJ fictional characters, though they do appear in several of these stories. This list is about stories that INFJs can read or watch and see something of their dreams, desires, worldview, and personality. We love to find ourselves inside stories, and the 10 on this list are among the stories that INFJs find most relatable.
“We are all stories in the end, just make it a good one eh?”
― The Doctor (Matt Smith)
Even though it’s always at the top of INFJ movie lists, I’d never seen Amélie (2001) until I watched it to write this post. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I can’t think of any film character who’s more relatable for me as an INFJ than Amélie is in this film.
What INFJ hasn’t experienced random strangers pouring out their life’s stories? And how many of us have got so caught-up in our imaginations that we sit crying over our future on the couch? Or imagine that the person running late was kidnapped by bank robbers and through a weird series of events ended up living as a hermit in Afghanistan?
We can also relate to Amélie’s strong desire for justice, which plays a big part in the story. And many of us (myself included) can relate to Amélie’s journey toward building the courage to engage more directly with real-life and risk entering relationships with people. The themes of connection and personal growth in this story speak strongly to INFJs.
Have you ever dreamed of traveling to an alien planet or fantasy world and finding more belonging there than you’ve ever known here? You’re not the only INFJ who’s thought like this, wondering if there’s somewhere that you might fit-in better than you seem to fit here on earth.
I think that’s the part of INFJs which identifies so strongly with the film Avatar (2009). The main character, Jake Sully, doesn’t fit in at first either. He’s not like the other Marines on Pandora. But he’s not a scientist either, so he doesn’t fit in with his colleges working on the Avatar project. He’s also “other” to the Na’vi — a literal alien. Yet by the end of the story he finds complete belonging and acceptance for who he is on the inside.
INFJs also identify with themes of the film, particularly those of spiritual connection and the importance of protecting all life. We are like the small handful of humans on Pandora who can see the truth of what’s happening in this story and (it often seems) in real-life as well. And it breaks our hearts to watch violence (or even just disconnect and mistrust) unfold that could be stopped by people communicating effectively and actually listening to/caring about the other’s viewpoint.
Whenever I talk with INFJs about Frozen (2013), they identify strongly with Elsa and almost unanimously agree she’s an INFJ. Non-INFJs always want to type her as something else (usually ISTJ). Still, whatever her type really is, this is a story that resonates with many INFJs.
- Want to know the types of all the Disney princesses? Click here to see my Disney Princesses MBTI Chart
Even stable INFJs with a normal childhood report feelings of alienation that comes from being different than the rest of the world. Not only did Elsa know she was different, but she also knew that difference made her so dangerous she had to “conceal, don’t feel.” That advice cut her off from her extroverted side, which for INFJs is all about connecting with other people and is very much tied to our feelings.
The sentiments expressed in “Let It Go” are typical for INFJs as they mature and learn to embrace the aspects of their Ni that sets them apart from other people. From that perspective, Elsa progresses from a “kingdom of isolation” in the first verse, to breaking free of social rules (INFJs will stay within rules that make sense, but don’t want confined by ones that do not). She finally rises “like the break of dawn” to become who she is inside rather than the “perfect girl” that other people imagine her to be.
4. Jane Eyre
If I’m forced to pick just one favorite book, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is the one I always choose. Unsurprisingly, this book also makes Susan Storm’s list of 10 Must-Read Books for INFJs. Not only is it a beloved classic, but the title character is one of the best-written INFJs in fiction. INFJs will identify not only with Jane’s character, but also her journey to find her place in her world on her own terms as a free and independent woman.
Jane is not your typical idea of an 18th century woman. She’s independent minded and strong willed, yet also models the gentleness typical of so many INFJs. She’s quiet and self-controlled with depths of feeling and passions that many around her don’t see (please tell me I’m not the only INFJ who’s had people ask why you’re so cold/distant and wanted to laugh because inside you’re anything but).
We also identify with the strong spiritual themes of this novel (sadly, these are rarely explored in adaptations. Only the Broadway play does Jane’s religion justice). Like many INFJs, Jane has strong convictions related to her personal moral and spiritual beliefs. Though INFJs won’t all share Jane’s particular religious views, we can identify with her commitment to living in the way she believes is right.
5. A Little Princess
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a book that I, along with many other young girls, read as a child. I was obsessed with the story and watched all the film versions I could find (my favorite was the 1995 version, but I wasn’t allowed to watch it very often because my mother thought it was “too weird,” which is probably why I liked it so much).
Sara Crew is a little young to type accurately, but I think she’s more of an INFP than INFJ. Still, her story is one that most of us can relate to. She’s an imaginative child who weaves stories through her life and the lives of her friends. She also has a stubborn streak and refuses to give up on hope, which isn’t a trait you’ll see in most INFJ type descriptions but it’s one that I think most of us have.
Sara’s story is ultimately one of hope that affirms every girl or woman’s value. Individual value is something most INFJs believe in strongly and we, like Sara, also want others to realize their own worth. We comfort, encourage, and counsel those around us and we identify with stories that speak to the hopeful parts of ourselves that want to believe in other people’s potential.
6. The Lord of the Rings
All but the most cynical INFJs still love classic tales of good-versus-evil. INFJs have a strong sense of justice and we love stories where characters battle evil even when all hope seems lost. For Lord of the Rings, the story is made even more relatable by the allegorical overtones. Many INFJs are deeply spiritual people and they love stories that speak to that side of their personalities.
Another thing INFJs can find relatable about The Lord of the Rings is the bittersweet ending. We like happy endings, but we’re also too realistic not to realize things don’t always end exactly the way we hope. Though evil is defeated, it’s at the cost of a great many lives. And (particularly poignant for a type that places such a high-value on interpersonal harmony), the relationships don’t all survive either. Several characters who become very good friends rarely or never see each other again.
The LOTR books and movies also feature at least one INFJ character. Galadriel is always typed as an INFJ, and Gandalf might be one as well (his type is hotly debated in certain circles). Characters don’t have to be the same type as us to be relatable, though. INFJs might also relate to characters like ISFJ Sam who goes above-and-beyond to help his friends and ENFJ Faramir who feels out of place in his society and family.
7. The Night Circus
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern combines mystery, romance, and whimsy in a sweeping story about connection and magic that takes my breath away every time I read it. This is one of my favorite books (probably top 5, definitely top 10). I’m guessing most of you haven’t read it (yet), so for now you’ll just have to trust me that it belongs in this post.
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. (click here to go to the description on Goodreads).
INFJs will relate to the beauty of the storytelling style, as well as to the main characters’ journeys. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but INFJs don’t like to be told there are only two options or that their futures are scripted for them. We like to imagine new possibilities and create our own out-of-the-box destinies, and that’s one of the things happening in The Night Circus.
8. The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty
The first time I watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013), it was because a good friend asked if the film was an accurate description of how my mind works. I can confirm now that it is (as are the 1939 story and 1947 film of the same name).
Walter Mitty takes daydreaming to an extreme that many (though probably not all) INFJs can relate to. I know I’m not the only one of us who’s stood in one place staring at nothing for an uncomfortably long time while distracted by something interesting that’s going on in my head. Beyond being a relatable character, though, we can also relate to his story in the most recent film adaptation.
One of the big messages of the film is that there’s value in getting involved in the real world. Walter doesn’t have to give up his imaginative side, but he learns that real adventures and real people can be even more exciting. And that’s a story that many INFJs can (or want) to find relatable.
9. Star Wars
Star Wars is pretty much my favorite story ever. Movies, TV shows, books — I love it all (as evidenced by my website Star Wars Personalities, which is all about typing characters in the Star Wars universe). Like The Lord of the Rings, it si a story that full of symbolism that speaks to an INFJ’s love for good-versus-evil stories.
There’s so much going on in this galaxy far, far away and when you bring in all the different series, films, and books it’s a feast for our pattern-loving intuitive minds. Human relationships, the Force, politics, race relationships, questions of right and wrong — thinking about all that can keep INFJs entertained for hours.
As a bonus, there are plenty of characters for us to relate to. Yoda is the only character who I type as an INFJ, but we can also relate to ENFJ Padme never giving up on the people she loves, ISFJ Obi-Wan fighting for what he believes is right, and INFP Luke insisting on a better solution than killing his father.
10. To Kill A Mocking Bird
To Kill A Mockingbird (both the 1960 book and the 1962 film) is a story that resonates with INFJs’ strong sense of justice. While INFJs often have a hard time translating their dreams and ideals into action, they will fight relentlessly for a good cause once they’re pointed in the right direction.
The main character’s father, Atticus Finch, is a lawyer who takes on the case of a black man named Tom Robinson who was accused of raping a white woman. The setting is 1930s Alabama. If you know anything about the history of racism in America, you know the cards are stacked against Tom as well as any lawyer who would dare to actually defend him. Yet that’s precisely what INFJ Atticus does, calmly insisting that his client is innocent and that he will prove it.
The way Atticus stands up for what he believes even when most of the town is against him and how deeply he cares about helping Tom touches my INFJ heart. And then to see how Atticus’ example teaches his children not to judge people based on appearances … it’s so beautiful.
There are a lot more than 10 stories that INFJs relate to. In the interest of keeping this post at a manageable lenght, there were quite a few stories that I had to leave out of the main list. I didn’t want to ignore them entirely, though, so here are some “honorable mentions” in no particular order:
- The Green Mile
- Emily of New Moon
- Beauty and the Beast
- Alice in Wonderland
- Pride and Prejudice
- Cloud Altas
- A Walk to Remember
- The Catcher in the Rye
- A Wrinkle in Time
- The Shack
- Game of Thrones
- Harry Potter series
- Twilight saga
- The Chronicles of Narnia
- The Hours
- Doctor Who
What do you think my fellow INFJs? Do you relate to the stories on this list? Which stories would you add to your own list of most relatable books, films, or other types of stories?