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!
Thank you so much for this wonderful article. I’ve been getting extremely drained lately and when I saw this post, I was so excited to read it. My excitement quickly turned to amazement and peace – I too am a manager at a busy coffee shop and I feel that 99% of my feeling drained comes from work. It was wonderful to read your suggestions, they are great. But it was even more wonderful to feel like someone else understood my plight at work. As an INFJ I battle with not feeling understood and wanting to find others to bond with which conflicts with my desperate need to be alone. I love what I do – developing others and leading a team but I recently found myself asking for a transfer to a quieter store. I don’t know if that will help but it’s worth a try. Thank you again!
I am so glad you found encouragement from my post! That is the best compliment. 🙂 I hope that as you move through your work, you can feel confident in who you are, and that the right connections will make themselves known to you. You are most certainly not alone! I feel drained by people, yet I crave deep connection…but it’s difficult to truly connect with people in an extroverted environment like a coffee shop. Peace to you as you learn the art of rest.
Take care of yourself,
That was lovely and just what I needed to hear. I knew those tips, but had mistakenly started depreciating them. Thanks for the reminder. ((big hugs))
Just what I needed at the moment, especially point number 5!! Thank you so much for such an amazing article. 🙂
Thank you for this. It’s just what I needed. Everyday, I feel like I am an introvert living and working in an extroverted world. And though I love learning about people, I find myself drained (not from the insights I observe, more from the social interactions) and I forget that I need to refuel in order to keep taking care of others…patiently and politely and not becoming short and too direct as I do when I am running on fumes.
This is perfect – just what I needed too. There’s so much advice out there for INFJs but at times it feels too abstract to be effective. These 5 points are practical and not too overwhelming to start applying – immediately! Thanks!!