How many times have you worn a mask? Try to think of an event, social gathering, or even a simple outing when you felt it was better to pretend you were someone else. One of the biggest pains of our INFJ personality is that we are often forced to wear masks. Whether this is because we want to fit in, or don’t want to be called weird, hiding our true colors is as painful as it gets for INFJs.
INFJs and masks go hand in hand
Those of you who follow my articles on Introvert Spring know that before becoming a writer and a certified coach I was an event organizer and a public relations manager. Most of my days back then were filled with meetings and crowded conference halls. I was constantly talking to people all day long.
As overwhelming as my previous career sounds, it was something I liked before finding out who I really am. I got to meet incredible people and had a chance to learn from those wiser than me. But there was this thing that made me quickly forget about the good and feel only the bad.
My past calling required me to wear a mask. This alone made me feel extremely lonely and I had no idea how to overcome that loneliness. It didn’t matter whether I was sick, tired, or sleepless, because when an event was being held, I had to smile and talk until I couldn’t talk anymore.
Not to mention the terrible situation I found myself in where I knew if I quit, finding a new job in Serbia would be close to impossible. So, I wore a mask, and I had to learn to live with it. I still get the shivers when I remember that time. Because of my experience, I wanted to share a secret with you.
You don’t have to pretend to be something you’re not
Nothing matters more than staying true to yourself my dear INFJs. I found an excuse in the fact that I woudln’t find another job, which of course is not true. But I convinced myself that was the case.
I don’t want you to go through what I had to. So, I made a list of three eye-opening reasons why INFJs wear a mask, so that you can recognize when it’s time to embrace and accept who you are.
1. We want to fit in.
You’re not meant to fit in. You are meant to stand out from the crowd and create your own path. But INFJs want deep connections, so we wear a mask to blend in. Believe me, I tried fitting in and it made me feel miserable. There is nothing wrong with being the outsider and living a life only you understand. It’s actually something most people only dream of.
2. We fear that we’ll never find “the one”.
I can name 50 INFJs who have toxic relationships and have to wear a mask every day in order to survive. We know we are rare, so that makes our search all the more difficult. I promise you, when you take off the mask, the right person will find you! 🙂
3. We fear that we’re not enough or too much.
This is one of the primary reasons why INFJs wear masks. We are tired of being rejected, so instead we pretend to be someone we’re not. Few emotions in the life of an INFJ cause us more pain. It’s like a never-ending costume party where you can’t take the costume off. Just a gentle reminder, for the right people, you will never be too much or not enough. Just like with potential partners, friends who are meant to stay in your life will accept you for who you are.
I hope all the reasons why INFJs wear masks I named here will help you to be gentle with yourself when you notice them. Don’t be ashamed if you are hiding your true self from others. Just remember that there is nothing wrong with you. There never was.
The greatest advantage the INFJ personality has is that even if you wore a mask all your life, you can still take it off, shine, and show who you really are at any given moment. If you are having problems with that, please take a look in the mirror after you finish reading this article.
What you see is a gorgeous butterfly that only needs to shed its caterpillar exterior and show the inner light that you as an INFJ always had. There’s no need for you to wear a mask, because you are already enough just as you are. <3
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Do you wear masks too?
How does this make you feel? I would love to hear your experience with this! Feel free to share what you think in the comment section below.
I have always struggled with the “not enough/too much” loop, but have not had it articulated to me quite so simply.
I’m really sorry you went through this struggle Jenny… I hope and wish the situation has improved.
I agree! Just be yourself, and only yourself. If some drift away, they simply weren’t right for your life. You have to live with yourself always, and with everyone else only part of the time. We don’t like liars, so don’t live 24/7 with one! Let your quirks show and the ones who belong will appreciate them as a valuable part of you. ?
Wonderfully said, Becky! Exactly, we need to be ourselves in order to attract the people who are similar, and who will accept us for who we are. 🙂
I wear masks because otherwise people take advantage of me. I see through bull shit and then I call people out on their shit. People don’t like that very much but it’s who I am and I am done protecting abusers I see in the communities I am in. I do not tolerate intolerance and abuse. I wore a mask of okay with it for so long that when I spoke out against I became the bad guy. So I did just that, I then wore another mask the mask of the Ice Queen and now at least they leave me alone.
I’m sorry you had to go through that Pollen… I believe it was far from easy…
Pollen, I hear you! I have always been taken advantage of when being my true self up until I got tired of it and cut people out. Sad thing is I recently started talking to someone who made me feel like I could take the masks off (because we know we have multiple masks and layers upon layers of walls, doors, and rooms in which we hide parts of ourselves). Unfortunately, he backed up and I’ve been in such a loop of emotions and self-criticism. Definitely closing the doors again for a while…
I wear a mask, so that the illusion I have created of myself remains.
My friends see me as someone sorted in life and “good enough” student. They believe I probably study half of the day when in reality my anxiety makes me circle the lobby round and round at night. My teachers see much potential in me and they used to think I wanted opportunities to showcase. True I did, but those were earlier years when I was ignorant of self doubt and depression. My parents are another story.
In my life I have people who believe that I would end up doing something great or used to believe that( times changed when I bore no results) . I have not always been the best at gossiping and manipulating so school conspiracies came and went at times. It felt bad because I was left out. Everybody would be discussing the latest thing and I would to ask them and they would all go silent. It hurt really. Never considered pretty enough, just a bookworm. Had to stay top of the studies because I had to no other benefits to offer to people. Wanted to make parents proud but reluctant to have the stress of competition.
So I couldn’t allow myself to show weakeness. I would not make myself vulnerable to the stings and criticism. So I wore a mask. To make people think instead of hurting and being lonely, I was cold, aloof and serious. It worked. At least I never break down in front of strangers
I wear an extrovert mask at work because I do a patient load of over 20 patients a day. I have to be outgoing and make small talk all day long. It’s exhausting but I like what I do. I just need a lot of recharging when I get home.
That leads me to my next mask. We’ve recently moved to a neighborhood where all the neighbors are friendly and people are very drawn to my husbands personality so now even in my own home most weekends and some weeknights I have to put the extrovert mask back on.
I’m finding it hard to express to everyone why I need alone time at night and away from them without hurting their feelings or seeming too crazy
I hear you Meridith, and I believe it’s hard to wear these masks, even when you love what you do. I really hope the situation changes for the better though. 🙂
Trying to fit has always been a struggle. People would always want to try to make introverts more outgoing or be more outspoken. I guess that’s where the feeling of being not enough comes in. Having that feeling that being you is not good enough because you’re different from others somehow makes you feel out of place. That’s why I treasure those few people who undetstands and appreciates me for being me.
I’m so glad to hear you have those few selected people around you who understand you appreciate you for who you are Katrina! 🙂