The INFJ type is believed to be very rare (less than 1 percent of the population) and it has an unusual set of traits. Even though their presence can be described as very quiet, INFJ personalities usually have many strong opinions, especially when it comes to issues they consider really important in life. If an INFJ is fighting for something, this is because they believe in the idea itself, not because of some selfish reasons.
INFJ personalities are drawn towards helping those in need – they may rush to the place of a major disaster, participate in rescue efforts, do charity work etc. INFJs see this as their duty and their purpose in life – people with this personality type firmly believe that nothing else would help the world as much as getting rid of all the tyrants. Karma and similar concepts are very attractive to INFJs.
These tendencies are also strengthened by the fact that INFJ personalities have a unique combination of idealism and decisiveness – this means that their creativity and imagination can be directed towards a specific goal. Few other personality types have this trait and this is one of the most important reasons why many INFJs are able to eventually realize their dreams and make a lasting positive impact.
INFJs are masters of written communication, with a distinctively smooth and warm language. In addition, the sensitivity of INFJs allows them to connect to others quite easily. Their easy and pleasant communication can often mislead bystanders, who might think that the INFJ is actually an extrovert.
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
– Martin Luther King
INFJs should be careful to avoid “overheating” as their zeal and determination can sometimes get out of hand. As introverts, INFJs need to have some “alone time” every once in a while or otherwise their internal energy reserves will get depleted really quickly. If this happens, the INFJ may surprise everybody around them by withdrawing from all their activities for a while – and since other people usually see INFJs as extroverts, this can leave them both surprised and concerned.
INFJs take great care of other people’s feelings and expect others to return the favor. Unsurprisingly, people with this personality type are very sensitive and vulnerable to conflicts – even the most rational INFJs may find it quite difficult to not take criticism personally. This is the INFJ’s Achilles’ heel – if someone with an INFJ personality cannot escape the conflict, they will do their best to deal with it head on, but this will result in a lot of stress and may also potentially lead to health problems or highly irrational behavior.
Some famous INFJs:
- Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter
- Mel Gibson
- Mother Teresa
- Martin Luther King
- Nelson Mandela
- Nicole Kidman
- James Wilson from House M.D.
- Determined and passionate. INFJ personalities work very hard for causes they believe in. This passion can easily surprise people not used to seeing this side of the INFJ, but it is an inseparable part of their personality.
- Altruistic. It is very rare to see an INFJ do something just for their personal benefit. People with this personality type tend to be very warm and altruistic, even though these traits may not be clearly visible.
- Decisive. This is one of the most important strengths of any INFJ. Their imagination, combined with decisiveness, usually allows INFJs to achieve incredible things – not only they can come up with interesting and unusual ideas, they also have the willpower and planning skills necessary to implement those ideas.
- Creative. INFJs possess a vivid imagination and rarely have any difficulties expressing it in one way or another. Most of their solutions revolve around people or ideals, as opposed to technical strategies – this strength makes INFJ personalities excellent counselors and advisors.
- Inspiring and convincing. People with the INFJ personality type know their way with words and are known for their fluid, inspirational writing style. INFJs can also be convincing speakers, especially if they are talking about something they are very proud of or passionate about.
- Very insightful. INFJs find it easy to decipher other people’s motives and are rarely affected by manipulation or sales tactics. They tend to know instantly whether someone is being honest. This strength shields their sensitive inner core, protecting the INFJ from disappointment.
- Extremely private. INFJs may appear expressive and passionate, but they are actually very private individuals. People with this personality type often find it quite difficult to trust a new friend or open up, even to people who are closest to them.
- Can burn out easily. That strength and passion that INFJ personalities are known for can exhaust them quickly if they are not careful. INFJs also tend to internalize most of their feelings – this trait is not necessarily a weakness, but it deprives them of the “exhaust valve”.
- Very sensitive. INFJs are highly vulnerable to criticism and conflict situations, and can get hurt very easily. People with this personality type are also likely to react strongly to anything that challenges their inner principles and values.
- Perfectionistic. INFJ personalities are inherently idealistic and do their best to achieve their ideals. This is a great trait, but it can quickly become a weakness if the same approach is applied in every area of life. For instance, INFJs may find it difficult to settle down in a romantic relationship, always looking for an ideal partner.
- Always need to have a cause. INFJs may find it difficult to focus and force themselves to complete tasks which are not linked to one of their goals, e.g. some routine administrative work that must be carried out. People with this personality type always want to know that they are moving towards a worthy goal, and may feel disappointed and restless if this is not the case.
Relationships and Dating
INFJs are warm and caring partners, able to love unconditionally and show that love to their partners. They tend to be perfectionists and this can sometimes irritate their partners – however, such a tendency also shows how sincere and serious INFJs can be. INFJ relationships often reach the level of depth that most people could only dream of.
INFJs possess the ability to see behind the obvious, to clearly understand the idea behind the process. They are extraordinarily insightful and able to sense other people’s thoughts, desires and emotions very easily – this is an incredible strength in romantic relationships and helps INFJs a lot during the dating phase.
INFJs can act wisely and spontaneously even in the face of unforeseen events, in contrast to traditional and less flexible S types. INFJs’ dating and relationship partners can expect to be pleasantly surprised over and over again.
It is hard to manipulate an INFJ as they evaluate the motives of other people very carefully, especially when dating. It is very rare that INFJ is tricked or talked into something they did not want. Nevertheless, the INFJs are friendly and full of compassion, even though they can be very picky when it comes to choosing their dating partners. A relationship with an INFJ is a connection that simply cannot be described in everyday terms.
From the sexual perspective, INFJs look at the intimacy as an excellent opportunity to express their love and make their partner happy. They enjoy becoming one with their partner, physically and spiritually, even if just for a short while. INFJs’ emotions are incredibly powerful and they cherish the idea of expressing them in this way – people with this personality type are likely to be very passionate and enthusiastic partners.
INFJ friends are likely to be very insightful, warm and caring. It will not be easy to get to know them well as INFJ personalities hide their true thoughts deep within their minds – however, if their friends are determined enough to work on the friendship, its strength and depth will be remarkable. This personality type is very enigmatic and difficult to decipher yet able to see through other people’s masks very easily. Authenticity and sincerity are extremely important if you want to become friends with an INFJ.
INFJs are not really interested in friendships which mostly revolve around practical, daily matters or physical activities. They are quiet yet very determined idealists, brimming with desire to make the world a better place. Therefore, INFJ personalities are likely to seek friends who are willing to let a bit of idealism into their lives and engage in deep, meaningful discussions about things that go beyond the daily routines.
INFJ friends also tend to be relatively perfectionistic, which can be both a very positive and a very negative trait when it comes to relationships. On one hand, the INFJ will seek to grow and develop together with their close friends, seeking out life-enriching experiences. On the other hand, this tendency to always reach for the ideal may exhaust people with different personality types, as they may not have the same stamina and determination that the INFJ possesses. Consequently, the INFJ may keep moving from one friend to another, hoping that the next one will be more similar to them than the last.
INFJs should remember that they have an extremely rare personality type and not get frustrated if their friends do not share 100% of their principles or goals. INFJ personalities seek friends that they can trust, and who are both willing and able to understand their passions and ideas. Not many people can cope with the depth and richness of the INFJ’s imagination, and even fewer can support the INFJ in the way that they need. INFJs tend to be very loyal and supportive friends, and are sought out by many other personality types for their wisdom, but they need to learn how to meet potential new friends halfway.
As INFJs are generally eloquent and persuasive, they tend to be quite popular and influential. The INFJs themselves are often quite bemused by this, as they are very private individuals who do not really need nor enjoy the attention. It is likely that the INFJ will only have a few true friends, but those friends will value the INFJ’s companionship very highly.
People with the INFJ personality type tend to be very principled, driven and compassionate. They will do their best to ensure that their children are able to fight for the cause they believe in and separate the good from the bad. This does not mean that INFJ parents are likely to encourage their children to become fanatical about something – on the contrary, the INFJ will push them to think independently and take responsibility for their own decisions.
An INFJ parent will not even blink an eye if they are asked to do something for their children, no matter how difficult that might be – and they will bear that burden with a smile on their face. This devotion and idealism that all INFJ personalities share makes them very warm and dedicated parents.
On the other hand, INFJ parents can also be quite demanding and even manipulative. People with this personality type react very badly to their principles being violated – an INFJ will feel very hurt if their child goes against something that they believe in, regardless of the child’s age. Consequently, INFJ personalities may find it quite difficult to cope with the adolescent years, when their child may rebel against their authority for no logical (from the INFJ’s perspective) reason.
However, this is unlikely to happen – even though INFJ parents really want their children to be the best they can be (this is why they can be demanding), they also know that it is crucial to give them independence to form their own opinions and principles. An INFJ’s child is likely to recognize and appreciate this, which should lead to a less turbulent adolescence.
It is probably safe to say that the majority of us already are, or will be, working 9 to 5 and trying to climb the career ladder. If you are an exception by your own conscious choice and feel great about that, then congratulations – but many people live in a different reality, where interactions with colleagues and managers are an inseparable part of their daily routines.
This is why it is important to discuss the interaction of different personality types in the work environment. I will talk about INFJs in this article – how are they as colleagues? What should you know about an INFJ manager? How can you maintain a good working relationship with an INFJ subordinate?
- Loathe conflict and tension
- Highly idealistic, but also very insightful, able to sense somebody’s motives nearly instantly
- Surprisingly social and eloquent, quickly and easily connecting with their co-workers
- Popular, friendly and altruistic (however, INFJs need to make sure that their generosity is not being abused)
- Very serious about their duties and responsibilities, especially if they are strongly aligned with the INFJ’s principles
- Seek harmony and cooperation
- Prioritize values and good atmosphere rather than cold facts or ruthless efficiency
- Need to be able to work alone if they choose to
- Have very high standards and expectations when it comes to competence and professionalism
- Able to accurately judge situations and subordinates
- Very principled and just
- Do not seek nor enjoy authority – INFJ managers tend to see their subordinates as equals
- Sensitive and understanding
- Cannot stand unreliable individuals
- Able to easily inspire and motivate the team
- Excel at coordinating and supervising people – not so good at managing systems
- Value personal touch and sensitivity rather than strict directives
- Dislike routine tasks
- Are extremely vulnerable to criticism, especially if it is not completely justified
- Want their work to be meaningful
- Need to feel that their values are more or less in line with their manager’s
- Are very hardworking and trustworthy, but may need occasional encouragement
- Value independence and informal relationships
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