Are You a Vanishing INFJ? Here Are 5 Tips for Keeping in Touch With People When You Want to Withdraw

One of my most popular posts on this blog is one I wrote back in 2016 called “The Vanishing INFJ.” Not only does it get quite a bit of traffic, but I’ve heard from several INFJs who contacted me specifically about the idea of them “vanishing.” It’s often something they hadn’t realized about themselves, but recognized immediately when they read my article.

Many INFJs have a tendency to drop out of contact with people. We get distracted by the world inside our own heads and might cancel plans, respond very briefly to communication attempts, or ignore other people entirely. Some INFJs might do this very rarely, other quite frequently. It depends on a variety of factors, including the INFJ’s priorities, maturity, personal growth, and how much social energy they have left after dealing with the people they come in contact with each day.

As an INFJ, you might think it’s perfectly normal to go months without contacting someone. You might not even notice it if you’re used to retreating inside your head for long periods at a time. Or perhaps you do notice it, but you worry about intruding on others and so you don’t like to reach out first. Maybe this time your vanishing is prompted by some outside influence, such as the social distancing regulations designed to help stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As you become aware of your tendency to “vanish,” you might also notice that it can have a negative effect on your relationships. Assuming these are relationships you value, you’ll want to find ways of keeping in touch with the people you care about and not letting your “vanishing” get in the way. Here are five tips for keeping in touch with people even when you’d be more comfortable withdrawing.

1) Give Yourself Alone Time

This may seem a weird place to start a list of tips for keeping in touch with people. After all, “alone” is the opposite of keeping in touch. It’s one of the things that happens when you vanish.

INFJs are introverts, however, and that means we need a certain amount of introvert time. One of the reasons we may want to vanish is because we’re burned-out and need some time to recharge. Before you try to push yourself to reach out to others, make sure you’re taking care of yourself as well. Read more

Do You Let People Change?

Most of us know that we can change. In fact, since you’re reading a blog where I talk about personal growth and development from a Christian perspective, I dare say most of you are actively trying to change for the better. We believe we can grow. We believe we can become better versions of ourselves. We believe in change and new beginnings.

But do we believe the same thing of other people? Do you think everyone you meet is capable of the same level of change that you are? Maybe you can say “yes” to these questions as an abstract idea. But if other people are changing and growing, do you suppose that you would notice?

I’m sure most of us would like to think that we hold space for others to grow. We probably also like to think we’d recognize change when we see it, but research indicates that most of us aren’t very good at this. To quote Psychology Today, “People tend to get attached to their initial impressions of others and find it very difficult to change their opinion, even when presented with lots of evidence to the contrary.” We tend to size people up quickly and then stick with our initial impressions even if we see proof that we were wrong. Read more

How To Start A Deeper Conversation With Each Myers-Briggs® Personality Type

This pandemic might have us stuck at home and/or keeping our distance from other people. But that doesn’t mean we have to go without conversation. We humans are social creatures, and even the introverts need other people sometimes. And so we head online to talk with people on social media, or pull out our phones and call a friend, or join one of the Zoom hang-outs that people are organizing to stay in touch. If we’re still leaving our homes, we might have the chance to talk with customers and co-workers in-person as well.

But what do you talk about?

Assuming you want to move beyond the weather and other small-talk, then you’ll need to find a topic that the other person is interested in as well. When trying to draw others into conversation, it can help to know what things different personality types like to talk about.

I recently published two posts about how to tell which Myers-Briggs® type you’re having a conversation with: How Do You Know If You’re Talking with a Feeling or a Thinking Type? and How Do You Know If You’re Talking with an Intuitive or a Sensing Type? Figuring out which personality type someone has is going to involve talking with them quite a bit, so if that’s part of your goal then you’ll already be having a conversation with. Once you know someone’s type, or have a good guess which type they might be, then knowing how to start a deeper conversation with each personality type can help you move past small-talk to connecting on a more meaningful level. Read more

What Does It Mean When an Introvert Says You Don’t Count as People?

If an introvert says they “don’t think of you as people,” what do they mean? You might think that not being considered people is an insult somewhere along the lines of calling you sub-human. However, that’s far from the case when this phrase is coming from an introvert. We actually mean it as a compliment.

Being an introvert does not mean you hate people. Even so, for many introverts, “people” aren’t a group that they trust or feel particularly comfortable around. To quote Agent K from Men in Black, “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.” That pretty much sums-things up. An individual might be okay but as a group people aren’t necessarily all that great.

If you “don’t count as people” for an introvert, that means you’ve gotten past our lines of defense guarding us from the world at large. You’re in the inner circle of human beings who aren’t part of that big, scary mass of people.

Mapped to the Inner World

Introverts are people for whom the inner world is more “real” to them than the outer world. They live life from the inside first, and take that focus into their outer world interactions. As a general rule, people are part of the outer world. But it is possible for introverts to “map” the people they’re closest to into their inner world. Read more

How Do Other People See INTJ Personality Types?

When we talk about the INTJ personality type, stereotypes are often the first things to come to mind. INTJs are the mastermind personality, smarter than everyone else. They’re also the villain type counting such characters as Moriarty, Emperor Palpatine, Maleficent, and Jaffar among their ranks. Common descriptors include aloof, intelligent, blunt, sarcastic, loyal, and cold.

Clearly, the people who claim Myers-Briggs® types feed you an unrealistically positive view of yourself didn’t read very many INTJ articles. Even the ego-stroking articles that highlight INTJ’s intellect almost immediately mention drawbacks like loneliness because of how they come across to others with their “take-no-prisoners” attitude.

I suppose it’s not surprising, then, that I’ve talked to quite a few INTJs who assume people don’t like them. I’ve also seen quite a few people online bear this out, saying they “can’t stand” INTJs because some aspect of their personality rubs them the wrong way. Even INTJs themselves perpetuate the stereotypes. For example, my INTJ sister suggested (half in jest) that I title this post “Are INTJs really unfeeling bastards?” and answer simply: “Yes. Yes, they are.”

With all that said, you might think this post is just going to be about how much people dislike the INTJ personality type. But once you step off the Internet and start meeting INTJs in person, many people find that they really do like being around people with INTJ personality types. And many INTJs find that they often make better impressions on people than they expected they would.

Intelligent

“Wow, you’re so smart” is a comment the typical INTJ hears quite often. The INTJ may or may not believe this. Some soak in the praise and think of themselves as intellectuals or geniuses. Others will deflect such comments, saying they simply work hard and that other people overestimate their intelligence. Read more

5 Things Introverts Do That Might Seem Normal to Them, but Are Actually Rude or Annoying

The introvert possibility movement has been a wonderful thing for quiet people. Finally, we introverts are being seen as people with their own unique gifts and talents rather than a “broken” extroverts.

It has also had some unintended negative effects, though. One of these is that some (though of course not all) introverts use their introverted nature to excuse behaviors that most people actually consider rude or annoying. I’ve done it myself from time to time. But it’s not a good things and I really think we should stop.

I hesitated to write this post because so many introverts have been wrongly accused of being rude simply because people misinterpret our introverted natures. We talked about that in a post earlier this week, “5 Things Introverts Do That Might Seem Rude to Others, but Are Actually Normal For Us.” But setting that aside, there are certain things that some introverts do that really can be rude or annoying and which we use our introverted nature as an excuse for. Let’s take a look at five of them.

1) Refusing To Small Talk

I know, I know — introverts hate small talk because it creates barriers between people. Well guess what? Most people hate spending all their time on small talk. But they also recognize that small talk is an important step in relationships and there are times when refusing to engage in small talk is just plain rude. Read more