I’m not going to bore you with another piece about how special INFJs are or how to be kind to the HSP in your life. I’m also not going to hold forth with florid detail about what an amazing gift it is to be an INFJ (gag). Nor will this be listicle number 478 detailing all the ways to deal with being INFJ or HSP. Being an INFJ is not a disability. It’s a set of personality traits. What I do want to talk about is what you should know about the rare INFJ and HSP man. For instance, what do they eat? How often do they need to go outside to play? (I kid.)
Supporting The INFJ and HSP Man In Your Life
It’s taken me the better part of my forty years to figure some of this stuff out. In order to help other INFJ and HSP guys like myself, I want to explain ways that friends, family members, and partners can help the INFJ and HSP man in their life. This includes specific ways you can be there for him, ways you can help him work through some of the junk society throws at us, and how to help him use his traits in a positive way without getting overwhelmed.
Here are the three main things you should know when it comes to supporting the INFJ and HSP man in your life.
He Needs to Learn How To Use His Strengths
First and most importantly, INFJ and HSP men need to learn how to use our personality traits in a healthy way. It can be overwhelming just getting to and from the office, let alone navigating office politics and water cooler small talk. Believe me, I know this from personal experience.
It’s enough to send any self-respecting INFJ packing and heading for a cave somewhere far away. I was lucky enough to discover the field of coaching, specifically personal development and wellness coaching. This discovery changed my life. The skills I gained earning my certificate, combined with the strengths related to my personality type (reading people’s body language, knowing when to stay quiet and just listen, and blocking negative vibes) has made my day job more bearable. Plus, I get to coach in my off hours, which is the single most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. It truly helps me and my clients.
I’m not going to tell you to “follow your bliss.” I spent way more years than I care to admit trying to figure out what my bliss was, let alone try to follow it. What I will say is this, we all have things we’re passionate about, those things that you can read about until 1:00 AM without realizing it’s past your bedtime. For me, those topics all centered around sociology, psychology, and behavioral economics. Through much research, I found that coaching was something that would allow me to indulge in my passions while providing an outlet to use what I was learning to help other people.
Toxic Relationships Are One of His Biggest Challenges
Next, let’s talk about the INFJ and HSP man and toxic relationships. GET HIM OUT, GET HIM OUT NOW. Sorry, am I being too subtle? INFJs absorb and feel the emotions of others as though they are our own. Therefore, toxic relationships are perhaps the biggest threat to our well-being. Toxic relationships can hide in plain sight, making them all the more insidious. For guys, this can be even more insidious because we’re not expected to listen deeply. When someone displays this ability, they can quickly find themselves surrounded by people who are taken with that and who will want use them as a sounding board. They’ll talk about each and every bad relationship they’ve ever been in. They’re dumping and we’re absorbing. Before you know it we’re curled up in the corner of our apartment sobbing and we’re not always sure why.
Coworkers are another example. You know the person in the cubicle next to you who talks 70 miles per hour, doesn’t think or filter their words at all and doesn’t consider the ramifications what they say? We often get bombarded with emotions that they don’t even realize they’re having. Then they don’t understand why we seem upset or need a nap after every meeting with them.
Both of these are simplified examples of toxic relationships. Notice neither was romantic in nature. Any relationship can be toxic, not just an intimate one. If you recognize one or more in your INFJ and HSP man’s life, do whatever you can to help him get out. Help him see the nature of the relationship. Encourage him to use the line, “It’s not you. It’s not me. It’s us.” Treat the relationship as a third party so it can be talked about and modified, independent of it being either person’s fault.
He Struggles To Explain Himself To Others
It’s important to help your INFJ and HSP man understand and explain his personality traits succinctly and clearly. One of my first clients was an actual rocket scientist with a Ph.D. in Astrophysics. When I could make him understand my INFJ and HSP personality, I knew I had the description knocked. This is more difficult due to the cultural assumptions people make subconsciously like guys aren’t supposed to be sensitive. So trying to explain that we’re getting choked up because of something the other person hasn’t even said yet can be rough. I had someone ask me if I thought I was “some sort of psychic or something?” Being able to explain, “No, I just have a more finely tuned nervous system than most folks,” was amazingly helpful.
If you’re still reading this, thanks for being a friend to the INFJ and HSP man in your life. It’s friends like you that we crave and we need in order to be fulfilled and content. Whatever you can do to assist your friend will go a long way toward helping him be happy and healthy.
This post was written by a contributor to INFJblog.com. Want to write for us? Let’s get in touch.