This is the first of a 4-part series surrounding the relationships between INFJs and each of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types.
INFJs tend to work well with SJ partners, but the relationships definitely come with challenges if both partners aren’t able to compromise and make an effort to understand each other. These types tend to want similar things in relationships and share many of the same values. However, they are different enough to balance each other out and learn and grow from one another.
According to Just Your Type*, NFs with SJ partners are reportedly the least satisfied with their relationship out of all the temperament pairings (SJ with SJ partners reported the highest satisfaction). This is likely because SJs value tradition and commitment and NFs value passion and growth, and can feel stuck in a rut if their partner isn’t willing to consistently work towards bettering themselves and the relationship. Since their thought processes and decision-making factors are so different, the biggest issue these couples have is communication, as both have a hard time understanding their partners perspective.
INFJs with ESTJs
INFJs and ESTJs are initially attracted to each other because of their differences, but the relationship can turn unhealthy fast if the sensitive INFJ continuously gives in to the more assertive and decisive ESTJ for the sake of avoiding conflict. ESTJs are realistic and logical, so it’s difficult for them to understand the emotional depth of an INFJ. INFJs can view ESTJs as too critical and demanding. It’s important that an ESTJ in a relationship with an INFJ takes the time to listen and understand their partners’ feelings and not be overly critical about their ideas and goals, which may not always be “realistic” to the ESTJ. It’s equally important that an INFJ in a relationship with an ESTJ takes the time to listen to their partner’s opinions and take them into consideration when making decisions and to show love and appreciation through actions, like celebrating a work promotion by cooking their favorite meal.
INFJs with ISTJs
Since both INFJs and ISTJs are introverts, these types enjoy the comfort of having someone who understands their need for alone time. INFJs appreciate ISTJs for the practical skills they possess that NF types struggle with, as well as their loyalty and responsibility. ISTJs admire INFJs for their genuine compassion and warm nature. The frustrations between these types stem from different interests and communication styles. INFJs like ideas and constantly seek new ways of doing things, whereas ISTJs prefer routine. Change is not something that ISTJs take lightly, so INFJs need to be sure to give their ISTJ partners plenty of time to consider a new idea. ISTJs, on the other hand, should be sure to remain supportive of their partners’ ideas and visions, as well as patient and understanding of emotions and feelings.
INFJs with ESFJs
INFJs and ESFJs share the same first extroverted function — Extroverted Feeling (Fe). Because of this, both types are warm, empathetic, and emotional. INFJs and ESFJs in relationships often have a great emotional bond and truly want to work to better their relationship and make their partner feel cared for and appreciated. However, like other SJs, ESFJs are realists and have a hard time understanding the INFJs never-ending search for meaning and fulfillment in life. ESFJs tend to be super social and enjoy hosting and attending parties and events, which can be overwhelming for an INFJ. ESFJs can help INFJs be more down to earth and appreciate the simple pleasures of life, whereas INFJs can help ESFJs be more open to exploring new ideas and possibilities. Conflict can arise since both types are emotional, values-driven, and opinionated, so each type should be sure to calmly listen to their partners perspective without ridicule or judgment.
INFJs with ISFJs
Out of all the SJ types, INFJs probably have the most in common with ISFJs (which is why they sometimes even mistype as ISFJ). Both types have Extroverted Feeling (Fe) and Introverted Thinking (Ti) as their auxiliary and tertiary functions, which enables them to understand each other in many ways and communicate effectively. Problems can arise due to the major difference between their dominant functions. INFJs are future-oriented and see many possibilities, while ISFJs live in the moment and are content with consistency and routine. ISFJs can feel like the daily efforts they make to be a good partner go unappreciated, while INFJs can feel like their ISFJ partner doesn’t understand or support their goals and dreams. Since both types dislike conflict, they can often go too long without talking about important issues. For success in a relationship, ISFJs and INFJs need to remember that even though they are often on the same page, they don’t always understand each other, and need to vocalize concerns and problems as they arise. ISFJs can show appreciation for the INFJs future-oriented planning and ideas, and INFJs can show appreciation for the tangible things the ISFJ does to take care of their partner and family.
Are you in a relationship with an SJ? What are some of the benefits and struggles of your relationship? Do you have any other advice for these couples?
*For more information about type compatibility check out Just Your Type by Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger. It was my main resource when writing this series and very helpful and informative!