INFJ’s are considered as the rarest of 16 Myers-Briggs personality types. While they are friendly, they also can appear cold and distant at times, focusing more on their inner world. They may seem misunderstood at times – sometimes they are confused by their own behaviour! People like that are often considered quiet, thoughtful and kind. They are reserved about their feelings, perfectionists and stubborn when they are stressed. Hence the occasional moments of lashing out. They also have a rarely seen dark side that the world doesn’t exactly like to see… Sounds confusing? Welcome to my world…
A Walking Contradiction
INFJ’s are often called “extroverted introverts”. While they need a lot of time to recharge their batteries, when they’re comfortable around people they come off as extroverts. They get talkative, enthusiastic and passionate about the topics they love deeply. The struggle between spending some time alone and being a part of some community is quite serious! There’s so many interesting books to read and video games to play, but at the same time not going to a tournament means losing out on so many things. The struggle is real!
INFJ’s can be very extroverted when they are fighting for a cause that they believe in. It could be recruiting for a team, assembling the team, talking about favourite games or poet. Doing all of this comes with a high price. In my case, I tend to sign up for too many things, while I’ve got no time to recharge. It’s disastrous and draining.
Let’s save the world!
INFJ’s like to help people and solve their problems. That’s why this personality type is nicknamed “the Counsellor”. Quite often people take advantage of this and dump their problems on INFJ’s. When it’s too much they feel completely drained. I once skipped training because while trying to solve a problem it was emotionally too draining to function. It happens and it’s weird. Quite often the exchange like this is one-sided. When it’s turn for an INFJ to vent, there’s no one in sight to listen and give some support and understanding.
INFJ’s have a tendency to absorb and simulate other people emotions. It can be quite overwhelming when you add your own emotions to the mix. The worst place for it to happen is during a tournament. When there’s a negative vibe on the team, sooner or later I’m going to simulate that state of mind. What a double edged sword, eh?
An INFJ may tell you they don’t have those, but that’s a lie. The high expectations may concern the people around us, everyday life, work, relationships and especially ourselves. For example, if I’m good at throwing a forehand I may still expect myself to do better. If I don’t, I get irrationally mad. It’s a constant need to be better and it gets worse when under pressure or stress. Then the need to be better grows and so does the expectation that others meet these standards too. Sometimes these high expectations lead to bad decisions – you think that you need to prove something and you make mistakes. As a rookie handler, that’s exactly what I did at the worst possible moment during the National Championships. Not everything goes according to the plan. I hate making mistakes.
Harsh Words Of…Advice?
INFJ’s like to give advice when they see the situation from different angles or know something from experience. It’s often seen as harsh, judgemental and even cruel. That’s not intentional! While trying to give the best advice, INFJ will be honest. Even if it hurts. It might be softened not to hurt the feelings, but it usually ends up with another person understanding it all wrong. Bad word choice, misunderstandings. That’s very common. I often find myself in situations when I want to give advice – it sounds alright in my head, but when I say it out loud it’s all wrong. When giving advice on playing Ultimate, people often have a negative reaction. Then I end up wondering what did I say wrong and try to fix this. It makes it worse.
Like Rainy-Sunny Day
On the outside, an INFJ may appear calm and collected, but there’s a war raging on inside. While I may try to seem like there’s nothing bothering, it’s quite apparent. Resting sad face. It may seem like it’s good to talk about it, but that’s not always the case. INFJ’s don’t like to share their feelings and they push people away. Then feel guilty. When they trust you enough they do share their feelings and then apologize for talking about them in the first place! Situations like that call for some time alone as it’s hard to tell what the hell is wrong…
Change? Hell no!
Remember those letters that make up the personality types? They mean something. “J” concerns intense planning and thinking about the future. While we can experience the sudden bursts of spontaneity, we’re quite vulnerable to change. We hate it. It may take a bit of time to persuade an INFJ. Let it all sink in.
Cooperation is the key! Even if an INFJ is supposed to be a decision maker, you can bet that they’re going to ask you what you think about it. Leaving things to someone who can do it better is easier. INFJ’s are reluctant to be bossy. I often look for confirmation from others involved in the process. It may drive them mad. Similarly, this sense of equality also applies to expecting others to be as invested in the cause. Being reliable is important. For example, if our women team is supposed to go to a tournament I rather expect everyone to be on board or at least talk about it. That way your INFJ is not over analysing and slightly going mad. It takes away the fun of playing the game and drains those batteries…
Not talking about emotions and keeping the frustration to ourselves leads to everything piling up. When it’s too much are you wrong an INFJ, you will not expect when they lash out. It’s unexpected. It happens when people least expect it and it’s fugly. Ask someone close to an INFJ and you won’t hear the end of it!
The solution for this kind of anger explosion is simple and yet complicated for an INFJ. It’s better to address the issues as they happen. I tried doing that for a while, but that’s so troublesome. Sometimes it’s easier not to say anything. When the meltdown actually happens and there’s no way to avoid that… well, make a joke. Tested. Bulletproof.
Another situation when you can see INFJ’s anger in action is when you insult what they believe in. Or worse… someone they care about. INFJ’s are very protective of people around them. If it seems like their friends can get hurt the claws come out. Of course, when it’s all over the guilt comes and it’s time to apologise. While I might usually choose my words carefully, the words spoken in rage cut deep. Can’t really take that back. That’s meant to sting a bit.
The Ultimate “I nothing you”
If hurt, an INFJ can go as far as cutting someone out of their lives. It’s not because of the hate – it’s about hurt feelings. It’s easier to not deal with the pain. That’s why people say ignorance is bliss. After writing ten songs and sulking for months, it will be alright. However, if INFJ gives up on somebody because they’ve had enough, they are also giving up on some part very important to them. In some cases, you can’t avoid people or completely ignore them. In times like that, an INFJ may talk to the person, but they’ll be emotionless, distant and cold. Even the nicest people can’t stand everything.
Dealing with such a contradicting personality may be exhausting and maddening. Being an INFJ can be both a blessing and a curse. It takes lots of work and understanding.
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Thank you for this. A lot of people have a hard time understanding me. I feel very alone. Mostly I’m okay, even do better, when I’m by myself. This pandemic has me stuck at home with my husband, who is an ENFJ and can’t understand me most of the time and it’s very hard for me to be stuck here with someone like that all day every day. Work was my escape to be “alone” sometimes. But we’re working from home now. This article hit me.
Thank you for your point of view! I feel the same about being stuck at home. There’s no escape with everyone at home and it would be nice to have a stress free everyday life routine. 🙂 Take care of yourself!