Many people find it difficult to understand the INFJ personality type. Even INFJs can find it hard to understand themselves. Here are six ways to help you understand the INFJ personality type.
1. INFJs hate explaining details.
If you ask your INFJ how to get from point A to point B, don’t expect an exact answer. Since INFJs rely more heavily on Introverted Intuition and Introverted Thinking than their extroverted counterparts, explaining processes, procedures, and other detail-oriented tasks can be difficult. Imagine the INFJ’s brain as scattered pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. We already know what the puzzle is supposed to look like when it’s complete, so we don’t bother putting the pieces together. However, in order to explain
Imagine the INFJ’s brain as scattered pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. We already know what the puzzle is supposed to look like when it’s complete, so we don’t bother putting the pieces together. However, in order to explain how we know what the picture looks like we have to take the time to actually arrange the pieces. We’re not naturally detail-oriented. This is one reason we like things like lists and schedules. They help us structure our scattered minds.
2. It’s difficult to type an INFJ.
I’m an INFJ and I have several INFJ friends (thanks, internet!). I’ve also been studying personality type for years. Yet it still comes as a shock whenever I find out someone else I know is INFJ. INFJs tend to mimic other personality types, and it usually takes getting to know them at a very personal level before their true personalities start to show.
3. INFJs love people.
We really do love people. We are constantly trying to understand and make sense of everyone around us and we try tirelessly to make others understand how important this is. We are also frequently let down by people because we set expectations in our minds that rarely come to fruition. Our warm and friendly nature may make people type more outgoing INFJs as extroverts, but we are very much introverted and need plenty of time alone to recharge.
4. INFJs spend a lot of time in their heads.
Here’s a typical — ok, slightly exaggerated — exchange between a non-INFJ and an INFJ:
Non-INFJ: “Woah, I can’t believe there was a 5-legged purple giraffe outside of the mall!”
INFJ: “Huh? What? Where?”
We are dominant intuitive types and Extroverted Sensing is fourth in our cognitive function stack, so don’t be surprised if the INFJ doesn’t pick up on the same sensory details that you do. It’s not that we aren’t paying attention to our surroundings, it’s just that we do it on a subconscious level. You know how sometimes you go on a long drive and you start getting so lost in thought that you don’t remember passing certain landmarks along the way? That’s basically how INFJs operate most of the time.
5. INFJs are walking contradictions.
We want to be noticed and appreciated, yet we hate attention. We want to make others feel happy and comfortable, yet doing so causes a great deal of stress for us at times. We like to be alone and are very independent, yet we yearn for companionship. We’re able to think logically, yet are willing to disregard logic if our intuition tells us something different. At times, being an INFJ can feel like being two people at once, and we regularly struggle with balancing these different personas.
6. INFJs are extremely passionate about causes they believe in.
Since we are Extroverted Feeling-using introverts, we may not come across as the type to champion causes. Your first impression of an INFJ may be that they are nice and agreeable, and possibly even easy to manipulate. But an INFJ can spot manipulation a mile away and if we feel like someone is attacking our personal morals and beliefs, a much more assertive and passionate side of the INFJ will come out. While we don’t often like to debate, we feel obligated to stand up for what we believe in, especially if the cause also involves standing up for others who aren’t able to stand up for themselves.
Want more info about how to understand the INFJ personality type? Read How to Understand The INFJ Personality Type: Part 1.