INFJ personality type is rare and complex. We can be tricky to understand. In fact, we INFJ’s often have a hard time understanding ourselves!
INFJ is one of the types of Myers-Briggs personality types. Myers-Briggs types are a popular classification of different types of personality. It uses one main principle at its core: do you prefer one trait over another?
One of the reasons INFJ personality type is so difficult to understand is that many of our characteristics seem completely contradictory. There is a constant conflict between our inner and outer worlds. At times it is like we are two different people. It can be very confusing for the INFJ, as we often don’t quite know what it is we want or need.
Here are five of the most puzzling aspects of the INFJ personality type:
1. We love alone time, yet desperately need to be with people
Because INFJ’s are introverted they are primarily focused on their internal life. However, because they are also feeling, they have an external focus on the world around them.
This means that while they are introverted, they also have a real need for companionship and close bonds with others. This conflict also shows itself in their need to be private, even secretive, but also extremely sensitive warm and caring towards others. This can be difficult for others to understand and it may seem that we are blowing hot and cold in our relationships. For the INFJ, this can be confusing, too. They might block a whole day to be alone and recharge only to wake up feeling desperate for deep meaningful conversations with others. These changes in mood can be disorientating, some INFJs even worry that they have a mood disorder.
2. We are easy going but also perfectionists
INFJ personality type is both intuitive and judging, two more traits that can appear contradictory. This can mean that at times we are easy going and relaxed. Often we may be seen as a calm and serene person, however inside we are sometimes anything but. This is because our judging aspect leads us to have perfectionist tendencies and a strong value system. While we may long to be spontaneous and follow our intuition, we are held back by our need for order and control. This can mean we make many plans and lists, but often rebel against the rigid order we have imposed upon ourselves.
3. We are artistic but also rational
While INFJs are often very artistic, there is often a conflict between their creative and rational sides. We often have lots of ideas, but we criticize and judge them too soon before they have had a chance to really develop. For this reason, we may have a lot of half-finished projects. Because we are sensitive, we also find it hard to share our work with others in case they are critical. Our artistic work is our way of expressing our inner world, which makes criticism or judgment feel very personal. As a result, we often repress our creative nature. This can lead to us being very unhappy. We need to express ourselves in creative ways and feel like we are only living half a life when we don’t.
4. We are both messy and tidy
Because INFJ’s have a judging trait, we love to have beautiful surroundings. We like to artistically arrange and organize things. However, once again there can be conflict. We often wish we could be more spontaneous and embrace the chaos. Sometimes, we find our own rigid need for organization and plans hard to bear. We may also be constantly assessing our priorities and making lists and plans which the more intuitive part of us usually fails to keep. This means we swing from desiring to follow our intuition and live spontaneously with fearing failure and being criticized by others. Because of this, though we strive for tidiness, we rarely achieve it because as soon as it is done we are rearranging and sorting and making a big mess all over again.
5. We stand up for others but not ourselves
As INFJ’s we will always stand up for those weaker than ourselves. We have a strong sense of justice. If we see something we don’t think is fair we have the courage of a lion. We will argue and fight for justice to prevail. However, we often fail to stand up for ourselves. This can come from a lack of self-esteem, but it can also be because we hate to make others unhappy or cause a conflict that we will struggle to deal with. This is yet another reason why we need so much time alone because we are often exhausted by attending to the needs of others around us.
Being an INFJ personality type is difficult; there is no doubt about it. But understanding our special personalities can help us to live a happier life. When we see that these are aspects of our personalities we are often reassured because we may have previously thought there is something wrong with us, such as a mood disorder or other mental illness.
Studying our personality type and making time to attend to our needs can transform our lives from a constant struggle to one of flow. This can help us and make the most of our unique personalities and gifts.