I recently listened to a podcast for Intuitive Thinking women. I’m not a thinking personality type. My Extroverted Feeling (Fe) is an insanely powerful guide when it comes to my decision-making. However, I could relate to some of the feelings and experiences shared by NT women, primarily the feeling of not quite fitting in with other women and not feeling completely in touch with my femininity.
Although INFJ women are feelers, we’re also one of the least common personality types in women–third after INTJs and INTPs. Introverted Intuition (Ni) dominant types (INxJs) are the least common personality types in the general population. Due to this, even though an INFJ woman is a Feeler personality type, she may struggle to identify with mainstream femininity.
My Experience as an INFJ Woman
In an effort to connect with like-minded female entrepreneurs, I recently joined a few women’s empowerment groups on Facebook. As a scrolled through the posts in one of the groups, I immediately felt like these women were so different from me. They seemed so much more in touch with their femininity and used it as one of the top guiding factors in developing their personal and professional brands. They had jobs titles that involved words like “Goddess”, “Priestess”, and “Queen”. They called each other girl bosses and we’re all about the power of sisterhood.
My experience in these groups was not the first time I felt out-of-place around other women. Growing up I never thought of my gender as a defining part of my identity. I didn’t necessarily feel like I was more masculine than feminine, either. I just felt like myself, whoever that was. Once my Fe started to develop in my teens, I started to become aware of my gender based on how I observed myself fitting in the world as a woman. I started to notice that people made assumptions about me and others based on gender. I didn’t feel like these assumptions were fair or correct, but I also thought I was an exception–maybe most women really are one way and I’m just different.
During my first year of college, my roommate encouraged me to join her sorority. As both an introvert and INFJ personality, I could not have felt more out-of-place in a group than I did in that sorority. The girls were nice and I made some good friends from the experience, but I didn’t feel a strong connection to this sisterhood and I felt guilty every time that I faked it to fit in with the other girls.
After I graduated from college I started to work in marketing, which is a female-dominated field. Most of my female co-workers were SF personality types. I was able to find shared interests and get along with the women at work, but I still felt like a duck in a pond of swans most of the time. I could easily swim along next to them, but I would never be able to completely fit in.
Masculine Vs Feminine Energy in INFJs
What INFJs extrovert, or show to the outside world, is their feeling function. More women than men identify as Feeler personality types. So to the outside world, an INFJ woman may seem to possess many feminine personality traits. However, our dominant function is Introverted Intuition. Because of this, an INFJ may find that they can relate to an INTJ personality type more than they can to another feeler personality type.
Seven percent of the population identifies as a Ni-dominant personality type. Out of all Ni-dominant types, only one-third are women. Out of all Ni-dominant women, about 33% are INTJs and 67% are INFJs. Even though our decision-making process is more common in women, our dominant function is more common in men. This can explain why an INFJ may internally feel like they possess an equal amount of masculine and feminine energy, and this energy may show up in ways that defy certain gender stereotypes.
INFJs–tell me what you think! What has your experience as a female INFJ or a male INFJ been like?