People get inaccurate results on the MBTI often, especially if they’ve only taken the free online tests. The best way to determine your true personality type is to learn how the cognitive functions work, but I totally get that not everyone is into all the MBTI nerd talk like I am. So in this series, I’m going to attempt to simply explain the major differences between INFJs and other personality types.
One of the most common questions I get on here and Tumblr is “How do I tell if I’m an INFJ or an INTJ?” INFJs and INTJs are similar in several ways. They are both introverted judgers who share a dominant function — introverted intuition (Ni).
However, the two types are also very different. According to the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, INFJs are Idealists, while INTJs are Rationals. Furthermore, the function stack for INFJ is Ni, Fe, Ti, Se, whereas for INTJ it is Ni, Te, Fi, Se.
So what does this all mean?
The two types use introverted intuition as their ultimate guide in decision-making. However, the actions they take to accomplish the end goal are different. INFJs rely on extroverted feeling (Fe) to implement their Ni idea in the external world. INFJs will ask questions like, “How will my decision affect other people?”, “Will this decision be unpopular or create conflict within the group?”, and “Is there any chance this decision could hurt or offend someone?”
INTJs rely on extroverted thinking (Te) to implement their Ni idea in the external world. They ask questions like, “Is this process the most logical way to get to the end goal?”, “What steps are required in order to complete the task?”, and “What is the most efficient way to get there?”
This isn’t to say that INFJs don’t enjoy organization and efficiency or that INTJs don’t care about feelings. The auxiliary function (Fe or Te) is simply what comes most natural to these types when making decisions.
INFJs have been referred to as harmony seeking idealists, which is a very apt description. INFJs constantly seek group harmony and avoid conflict (Fe). They also prefer to keep their personal values and opinions to themselves or to share with only those they are close with (due to their tertiary Ti). If the conversation becomes too heated or controversial during a group discussion, INFJs will try to find a way to ease the tension or remove themselves from the conversation entirely. An exception would be if the conversation revolved around a topic that they felt very passionate about or if they felt as though they or someone else was being unfairly attacked.
INTJs, on the other hand, don’t have a problem with a debate. In fact, most rationals enjoy a healthy exchange of ideas and opinions, and rarely get personally offended or feel attacked if the conversation becomes heated.
INTJs enjoy sharing their thoughts and ideas (Te) but are much more uncomfortable with relational conflicts (tertiary Fi). For example, if an INFJ had an issue with a romantic partner, they would feel better after discussing the issue with the partner and sharing their personal feelings. INTJs prefer to process their feelings and emotions internally, rather than talk them out with someone else.
Keep in mind that what I’ve discussed above is how INFJs and INTJs tend to act in most situations, as that is what comes most naturally to them. It isn’t to say that if you don’t respond a certain way 100% of the time, you aren’t an INFJ. For more information about the top four cognitive functions of INFJs, check out In-Depth MBTI. Hope this helped! In the next article in the series, I’ll be talking about the differences between INFJs and INFPs.