As INFJs, we often feel guilty for our need to refocus and refuel alone. After a long day of interacting, communicating, and exerting energy towards others, we long to be at rest with ourselves and our thoughts. Unfortunately, this need is often met with shame and guilt.
The expectations of friends, family, and work may cause us to feel selfish or undeserving of time alone. So in an effort to please, we may forsake much-desired alone time. And in doing so, we lose touch with ourselves, grow bitter towards others, and feel as if we are running on fumes.
I currently work in a busy coffee shop as a shift manager several days a week. As the only INFJ in the shop, I often feel drained by all the energy, noise, and demand from coworkers and patrons. Recently I worked multiple long shifts in a row, with little to no alone time.
I began to notice a feeling of resentment in my work, a kind of vexation that nothing seemed to remedy. I felt spent in every manner possible, and would return home in the evening disinterested in interacting with anyone, even over text.
After multiple days of inward suffering, I realized that I was in desperate need of refuel. I was not designed to traipse around from one social function to the next, enduring small-talk and noise incessantly. I was created for quiet, for introspection.
By denying my need of alone time, I denied myself of love—and in turn, love to others. INFJs cannot give of themselves when they feel as if there’s nothing left to give. With that said, here are five things to keep in mind for refueling as an INFJ:
1. Communicate the need to recharge alone.
Whether you’re talking with your significant other, roommate, or a close friend, it’s very important that you communicate your need to be alone with those that share life with you. In doing so, you protect your alone time, and prevent a heated argument and hurt feelings.
2. Don’t reach for the remote—at least not right away.
It may be tempting to plop on the couch and Netflix the evening away, but that won’t recharge you. Neither will Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook surfing. Media equals information overload and social interaction, which is precisely what INFJs need a break from.
3. Unload pent-up thoughts and emotions through soothing self-care activities.
Journaling, prayer, yoga, and silent meditation allow INFJs to catch up with themselves after a long day of draining social interactions and being pulled in multiple directions. Taking time to quiet the mind and heart will help you reconnect with yourself and give way to peace.
4. Do something that inspires you.
INFJs are often known for being creative, due to the deep well of their inner life. I have found that the best way to recharge as an INFJ is to create, or to be inspired by someone else’s creativity. So consider that new novel, concert ticket, or trip to the art gallery as an investment in your well-being.
5. Refuse to listen to the negative self-talk.
Even a lovely evening alone in one’s apartment can be ruined by judgmental self-talk. Buying into the guilt of taking time to refuel will only deplete you further. By taking time to give yourself what you need to be the best version of yourself, you are in turn giving the world a gift. INFJs are rare creatures that the world needs. So shrug off shaming guilt and enjoy refueling!