My personality type – INFJ

I did the Meyers Briggs personality test last year and I discovered that I am an INFJ. I did the test at least 10 times on different sites and I always got the same result. When I first read the description I was totally surprised how accurate it was. I could not describe myself better. I always felt like I was strange and no one is like me. Discovering that there is a group of people who think and act like me made me feel less lonely.

I finally appreciate my personality and see it in a good way. Here is the most accurate analysis I found on the internet:

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The INFJ is a deep, complex type, seldom seen and little understood.  As introverts, they are content to keep inside their inner world, intriguing those who try to probe their gentle but inscrutable exterior.  Is there a way into this inner realm?  Perhaps, perhaps not; when it comes to relationships, INFJs choose quality over quantity.  They prefer to build close, intimate bonds with a chosen few and invest deeply in this select group of people.

While INFJs may be seen as withdrawn or even secretive, the truth is that they care quite a bit about what others think of them–sometimes too much.  They take criticism very personally, and may be unintentionally hurt by others.  When this happens, an INFJ may hold their hurt inside and let it stew, never really expressing how they feel.  Instead of confronting the person who hurt them, they may take the less painful route and simply avoid the other person or even cut them off entirely.  Other people may see the INFJ as “too sensitive,” while the INFJ for their part sees others as “unsensitive.”

Like other NF Idealists, the INFJs are committed to a better tomorrow.  Quiet but determined, INFJs will continuously press to make everyone’s life a little bit (or a lot) better.  An INFJ may write an article to spread awareness of domestic violence, or volunteer at an animal shelter.  People-focused and possibility-oriented, they see a brighter world in the distance and work to make it a reality.  It is their Intuition, focused on ideas, possibilities and the future, and their Feeling, focused on building harmonious relationships, that drives this world-reforming engine.

With their tendency to hope for better things, INFJs may be perceived as overly idealistic, stubbornly principled, or “naive.”  It is true that INFJs can benefit from the input of other types in their attempts to reach their goals, but in general their idealism is a good thing for a cause.  Their sincere belief in their vision serves as an inspiration to more cynical folks who would otherwise say, “It’ll never change” or “this is hopeless” and give up.  And of course, those who never try, never succeed.  With a pinch of practical wisdom and knowhow from other types, an INFJ can cover their weak points and make an effective agent of change in the world.

It is difficult to broadly classify INFJs as either right-brained or left-brained since they utilize both sides of the brain with equal adeptness. INFJs are both creative and responsible, artistic and logical, spiritual and scientific, intuitive and analytic.

INFJs grow up feeling “different” from their peers. The more pronounced their Introversion and Intuition, the more estranged they are likely to feel. Young INFJs also feel misunderstood by their elders, who can be quick to ignore or dismiss their precocious insights and observations. If given unsympathetic circumstances, INFJs may come to feel isolated or rejected rather early in life.

INFJs are “old souls.” They grow up feeling far wiser than would be predicted by their chronological age. Some may experience themselves as wiser than their teachers or parents. They may take on the role of counseling and advising their friends and siblings, or even their adult family members, from an extraordinarily young age.

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Having discovered the benefits of their Introverted Intuition (Ni) quite early in life, INFJs grow to trust its judgments and insights. Their Ni often works through dreams or premonitions that turn out to be startlingly prescient. While others may at first be skeptical of INFJ’s powers of insight or foresight, many will come to see them as psychic or prophetic, or at least highly perceptive.

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Because of their strong powers of intuition, many INFJs report feeling like aliens in the world. One INFJ described her experience as almost a constant feeling of deja vu, since her intuition is constantly foreseeing the future before it unfolds. Other INFJs report feelings of disembodiment, as though their body is independently moving through space while they watch from without. The fact is that many INFJs experience the world and their bodies in radically different ways than other types. It is therefore not uncommon for INFJs or others to question their sanity.

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INFJs see two people in everyone. They see the public persona, the outer shell, that everyone else sees. But they don’t stop there. Their Se and Fe functions pick up subtle non-verbal cues which are then synthesized and interpreted by their Ni. This provides them with information about an individual’s inner world that is completely missed by other types. Because of their keen perceptiveness, INFJs are rarely fooled by facades or fakery. They can readily see beyond appearances and apprehend an individual’s deeper motives and intentions, including any underlying ego issues. In fact, INFJs can often see the truth about people more clearly than those people can see it in themselves. It is no wonder that many INFJs can make a decent living by hanging a “Psychic” sign on their front door.

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Growing out of their distrust of first-blush appearances, INFJs are reluctant to trust majority opinion. They are often the last to read a bestseller, feeling that if everyone else (i.e., the majority of whom are prone to being fooled by appearances) thinks it is good, it probably is not worth their time. Like INTs, however, INFJs can be suckers for a good conspiracy theory, appealing to their sense that “most things are not what they seem.”

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A misconception about INFJs is that because they prefer Feeling they are less likely to be interested in intellectual endeavors. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, some of the most intellectually-inclined people I know are INFJs. They rival and resemble INTs in their level of openness and hunger for new ideas and perspectives. In some regards, they may actually eclipse INTs with regard to intellectual openness, readily appreciating both science and literature, fiction and nonfiction, poetry and prose.

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INFJs often think by way of images. The visual nature of their minds is germane to their creativity, ingenuity, and ability to generate and wield metaphors. While other types are thinking in words or concepts, INFJs understand through “seeing.” Their Ni functions as a proverbial bridge between the conscious and subconscious mind. And since the subconscious is filled with primitive images, it is no wonder that INFJs swim in a sea of vivid dreams and imagery.

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INFJs also tend to be purists and classicists. Many enjoy collecting antiques, historical artifacts, old first edition books, rare art, or anything that satisfies their thirst for what they perceive as pure or classic works. For similar reasons, they may find themselves captivated by a certain period in history, a specific genre of music, or a handpicked selection of actors or writers. In selecting a novel, would far prefer a known classic to a new bestseller. Similarly, if they are going to wear shoes (which according to recent research, most INFJs do), they want the shoes to be of high quality and a classic, rather than trendy style. If selecting artwork for display in their home, they most would opt for an original over a print.

Despite their refined tastes, INFJs are typically not pretentious or excessively serious individuals. They regularly enjoy spending time with other people, listening to music, and watching movies (especially “classics”). Perhaps more than anything, INFJs love spending time engrossed in meaningful conversation. Because of their verbosity and enjoyment of others’ company, they can easily be mistaken for Extraverts.

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Many INFJs struggle with bouts of depression, which may relate to any number of things. They may, for instance, get depressed when they feel their creative inspiration has left them. Or, because of their otherworldliness, they may struggle with feeling deeply alone and misunderstood. Depression may also stem from feeling dissatisfied in their careers or relationships. They may dream of having a beautiful home adorned with beautiful things, but feel stuck in a low-paying job that they are reluctant to quit because of a poor economy.

For INFJs, expressing themselves through their Fe is critical to their psychological and physical health and well-being. Even if doing so does not provide them with immediate solutions to the problem at hand, they tend to feel better once they have expressed their feelings, whether through words or tears. This is especially important for the mates or friends of INFJs to recognize. Namely, INFJs are usually not looking for others to solve their problem, but only to offer support, empathy, and reassurance. Without such an outlet, INFJs can begin to feel isolated and depressed, turning to their inner fantasy world as a means of escape. And while fantasizing may seem helpful in the short-term, it usually makes the real world seem even less tolerable and can exacerbate existing frustrations toward life.

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Even if not to the same extent as EFJs, INFJs can be warm, welcoming, and endearing. They genuinely want to please and help others, working to ensure that people are getting along and are well cared for. They tend to be loyal, giving, and self-sacrificing. At the same time, however, INFJs are forward-thinking, goal-oriented, and independent-minded. As Introverts, they need time to themselves to recharge their proverbial batteries. This creates an ongoing, even lifelong, struggle for INFJs. Namely, trying to balance their own needs, values, and desires against those of others.

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INFJs have a reputation for being the strongest perfectionists of all the personality types. Their perfectionistic bent makes sense in light of their functional stack, with their Ni supplying the vision and their Fe/Se wanting to see it actualized.

INFJs are harder on themselves than they are on anyone else. Their Fe makes INFJs more than willing to forgive the offenses and shortcomings of others. But since they see themselves as more insightful and wise when it comes to human behavior, they rarely grant themselves the same degree of grace. They figure that if they are unable to perfectly embody their theories and ideals, then why should they expect anyone else to. And if their ideals have no chance of being actualized, then why even bother? Without the ability to maintain hope in their ideals, INFJs may feel they have no reason for living. This is why it feels so important for them to act perfectly. INFJs know they have been entrusted with much, so they expect much more from themselves than they do from others.

As mentioned earlier, INFJ are masters when it comes to reading people and their motives. The Ni/Fe/Se combination, whether occurring in INFJs or ENFJs, is adept at detecting and interpreting human emotions. Not only are INFJs adept a surveying and reading emotions, but they are highly skilled at solving people-related problems.

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When it comes to people and humanitarian issues, INFJs typically feel they have answers, or at least have the capacity to generate one. INFJs feel that in order to solve the myriad humanitarian crises facing the world, we must first gain a better foothold on the fundamentals of human nature and human behavior. We need to better understand ourselves—our motives, behaviors, and personality.

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INFJs often feel happiest and most fulfilled when helping others solve their problems. They also enjoy receiving new insights into people as they going about helping them. INFJs are least content when they become too caught up in themselves and their own personal grievances. This is why healthy relationships and/or a well-suited career are so vital to INFJs’ satisfaction. If they feel bored or stagnated in their work or relationships, they have been known to engage in destructive behaviors to produce a problem to solve.INFJ deep

Because of their love for proferring advice and solving people-related problems, INFJs are commonly drawn to careers such as ministry, counseling, and teaching. Others may opt to work toward social change in politics or non-profit work.

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INFJs may well be the most profoundly creative of all types. When engrossed in creative flow, they experience themselves in perfect synchrony with the universe. Some have described this as a trance, an altered state of consciousness in which they morph into a vessel of creative energy. Others have likened it to divine inspiration or being visited by muses. Such metaphors speak to the power of the creative process for INFJs. When engrossed in a creative stint, they may write for hours, occasionally even days, without rest. They may feel that, should they stop, they will lose out on the wealth of insights that are effortlessly flowing through them.

Metaphor, the primary offspring of a fertile Ni, is INFJs’ bread-and-butter tool for communication, allowing them illustrate their ideas in an easy-to-swallow format. In contrast to INTs’ bent toward linguistic parsimony, INFJs prefer to dress up their ideas, invigorating and embellishing them with descriptive metaphors. It is interesting to note the degree to which Se details shows up in their verbiage; INFJs not only want others to see their point, but to hear it, feel it, taste it, and smell it. A good INFJ friend of mine and student of the culinary arts cannot help but use food metaphors on a routine basis.

Although INFJs are commonly drawn to music, visual arts, design, or architecture, writing may well be this type’s signature creative talent. Adept at channeling their right-brain creativity into a fluid and engaging left-brain storyline, INFJs are unmatched in their feel for and creative use of the written word. Since writing is largely an intuitive enterprise, INFJs who can readily access their Ni muses can enjoy a great advantage in this particular craft.

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15 thoughts on “My personality type – INFJ

  1. Wow! I actually read all that. I’m an INFJ too and I’ve known it for awhile but I’ve only read short descriptions describing the INFJ. I can’t believe how well that describes me. I don’t really know of any other INFJ’s. I’m excited to read your posts! Thank you for posting that. I might reference it on my blog and put a link to your blog about it at some point.

    • Thank you! I always enjoy meeting fellow INFJs. For me discovering that I am an INFJ was a life changing experience. For the first time I felt like a belong somewhere. It gave me answers to why I am behaving the way I am. It pretty much explains everything. Thank you for the links, I enjoyed both articles. 🙂

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  5. I just can’t explain how happy I am for reading this. It’s like the description of me, my behaviours, my life. Thank you for this.

    • Thank you! When I found out about my personality type I also was very happy. 🙂 It explained everything about me. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one and there are people like us, even when we are in the minority :).

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  9. I’ve spent a long time reviewing and looking into the Myers Briggs personality tests. Probably been about 10 years at least since I first took it. I always find myself coming back to it and I usually get the same two results. INFP or INFJ, although I tend to align myself more with the INFJ inside myself I do find that both describe me fairly well. It comes down to the place I find myself in life. When I’m more insecure about myself, depressed, or concerned about my well being I tend to become more of an INFP. When I feel like I’m comfortable and committed to achieving something, or when I’ve finally found my drive and focus in life again I become an INFJ.
    Having spent so much time myself focusing on the self improvement aspects of myself within this test I feel as though I’ve come to trust these results more and more over time. It’s nice to look back at how far you’ve come and to remind yourself that although the world is going to always have a different mind set than you, that you still belong, and often in very fundamental and progressive ways.

    One of my favorite resources for information has been this site: http://www.16personalities.com/personality-types

    It breaks things down nicely, and it has a wonderful aesthetic to it 😛

    As far as everybody else on here who comes looking for a better understanding of who they are, as a fairly self aware and actualized INFJ feel free to come talk to me. Ask me questions, or just check out one of my blogs for fun. It would be nice to talk to some fellow free thinkers, I often find myself lacking the right audience for the topics I’d like to discuss.

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