There are some things that only INFJs understand. We are rare, and others just don’t get our unique experiences. I know, I get it, I’m an INFJ, too, and sometimes I feel like no one understands what I’m going through. That’s why, in a rush of emotions, I’ve gathered several experiences that only INFJs can understand.
6 experiences only INFJs will understand:
1. We always care.
INFJs always care, we can’t help it. An INFJ will even risk his or her own well-being in the process of caring. But all too often, people take advantage of this and we end up getting hurt. A classic example is when we believe we are annoying someone we cherish by caring too much, so we feel guilty (and overthink it), which brings me to my next point …
2. Inner Guilt.
I’ve been overcome with guilt more times than I can count. Only INFJs will understand this inner feeling because it has a unique meaning for us. When you send a message to your friend, you might feel guilty and think you are bothering him or her. Or when you believe you said something wrong, you spend days repeating the scenario over and over again in your mind.
Even when everything is going well, our INFJ mind actively seeks for ways to sabotage things. It’s like our brain looks for a self-destruct button when experiencing happiness. It’s the same old story when we accomplish something. INFJs have a bad habit of putting down our own success because it’s strange to us that things are actually going well.
4. Loneliness in a group.
No one else will understand this experience better than an INFJ. It’s known to many, but understood by few. INFJs are walking paradoxes because we feel lonelier in a group than when we are alone. It’s not the lack of company that troubles us, but rather the feeling that no one understands us.
5. Rarely opening up.
INFJs don’t like being vulnerable. Because we have a savior mark imprinted on our heart, opening up to someone is hard. Don’t confuse this with being arrogant, it’s just a consequence of being hurt so many times that we are scared to go through it again. Opening up for us is an achievement.
6. No middle ground.
If you’re an INFJ like me, then you know that the term “balance” doesn’t exist in our vocabulary. No matter what area of life — relationship, job, or personal development — we either go all the way or not at all. This is because we are idealists obsessed with progress. We will blindly follow what we believe in to the point that it will even catch the people who know us of guard.
The commonality between these experiences, is that only INFJs understand that they start from within. The outside world simply doesn’t get us, so I wanted to shed some light on several inner events that I know you’re all too familiar with. Now before you go, read this last paragraph carefully, because I poured a lot of INFJ emotions into it.
Understanding starts with you
No matter how much pain you face, there’s always going to be someone who will understand. I’ve never met you and I have no idea what you’re going through right now. But what I do know is you are not alone. All INFJs know how you feel.
Before you set out and plan your day, let this thought sink in: Uniqueness and experience go hand in hand. Even though not many will see the world as you do, there are those who will. You are an INFJ for a reason. This is why these experiences only INFJs will understand serve to remind you that loneliness and misunderstanding are not a burden. They are there to remind you that you are meant for greatness, to stand out and make a difference! <3
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What about you?
Have you faced an experience only an INFJ would understand? How did it make you feel? Share your comments below. I would appreciate your thoughts on this topic! ☺
Sometimes I say things that are in my head & in my head it sounded good but then I see the quizzical stupor I put on another face.
Nodding in agreement, Underwoodgang. This happens to a lot of INFJs, when something usually sounds better in our own mind, but when it comes for us to share it further, it can sound quite different if we estimate the environment will not see it like we do.
I think we do such quick mental gymnastics that we may be a few steps ahead of the person with whom we may be speaking.
I seem to do this a lot. Then I feel like an idiot and clam up. Then I need to escape. I find it hard to face people who I’ve made a tool of myself in front of.
Exactly the same thing has happened to me more times than I can count. Which usually works out ok, especially as we’re supposed to be great listeners, so I end up doing a lot of listening.
I constantly sabotage myself! If things don’t go according to plan my frustrations boil over and i always end up saying something stupid then i spend the rest of the day feeling guilty and it ruins the entire day!
Be a little bit gentler to yourself, Jordan. You are doing the best you can, and that is enough, trust me.
Definitely relate to these, especially about opening up to people and sharing details about my life. I was at a family reunion recently and found myself constantly anxious, because I always get peppered with questions about what I’m doing with my life. (These are family members I don’t see very often and don’t know very well.) Between that and the constant socializing & noise, I had a major social hangover the next day. 🙁 It made it hard to just enjoy people’s company.
I’m glad you can relate, Jaymae. I can fully understand and relate to the feeling you had after the family gathering. Indeed, these kind of questions and pressure can cause a major social hangover for us INFJs. Hope you managed to replenish later on. 🙂
I love your term social hangover. I found myself very cranky yesterday and I realized that I was overwhelmed with obligations last week. I had a social hangover. Perfect! Thank you.
I actually sat in the car most of the last family reunion. . . I couldn’t take the meaningless small talk anymore, but I knew if I opened up I would be there weirdo and the talk of the family. . . but then again I felt guilty for not being involved. . . oh well. . . it’s almost Winter hibernation time?
Social hangover! Yes! Perfect description, I love it.
I definitely relate to these. Being so different from the crowd in so many ways is not for the faint of heart. We are often seen as weak or maladaptive I think, as INFJs simply because we can’t push an imaginary internal button and become the flashy, superficial, and fast-moving ideal projected as optimum in American culture. And probably in other cultures. Even worse perhaps is that I often find my strengths to be irrelevant, and therefore not important.
What is the “saviour mark” referred to in #5? I never heard that term.
P.S. I must clarify that irrelevant and not important is an external judgement from others that I battle to not internalize.
Glad you can relate Jennifer, and thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. The savior mark is our need to help and “save” as many people as we can. We cannot help it, we just want to help everyone we can. 🙂
Thanks for the clarification Marko.
I like your reply Jennifer. I recently left a temp job for just the reasons you listed. I got a feeling from my manager that she didn’t think I was as “flexible” as she wanted. The whole company is like that. Doesn’t know what it wants and is always chasing after something new. So the managers are too and they expect their reports to be “Will O the wisps” too. But it is not my nature to be that way. I want to work and will work hard but it has to be for something that matters. I can’t stand doing things that are useless but are basically time killers that the company can charge it’s partners. I had to move on. But I know that a few people probably thought of me in light of one of the terms you used, “maladaptive”. I don’t just go with the flow instantly so I am branded that way. I know what I am about and it is not about wasting time for some middle manager. End of rant.
Hi Marko, Thanks for your article, it was spot on. I have an experience that only INFJ’s would understand. It is sleeping in my closet in the summertime, when the windows are open. The traffic noise, the sound of the trains, airplane noise, the sounds of the birds in the morning…….are all too loud. Plus there is so much early light. I have to sleep in my closet to escape the overstimulation and get some rest. LOL!
Another thing that I’ve become aware of recently is how much the sound and tone of some people’s voices bother me. Some voices feel like they’re always scolding; others feel forced and efforted. Some are rather “clipped” sounding, and others are just disharmonious. Of course these are the challenging voices. A few people have absolutely lovely voices that create feelings of harmony and peace.
You are most welcome, Jan, glad you like the article. This is an really interesting experience lol, and I can fully understand you as a fellow INFJ, similar with noise and voices. 🙂 We INFJs can sense the negative energy, and it can appear through voice or sound, depending on the situation we are in. Like you said, some people’s voices are like beautiful music for our ears. 🙂
I recently went into a retail store with my mom (I don’t get out much, all shopping is online lol) and I could not believe how LOUD they had the freaking music on. Then of course it just causes the ppl to try and talk OVER it—omg I was borderline panic attack and had to get out of there.
This too happened to me. I arrived to a restaurant to meet friends for a retirement party. I walked into the restaurant and was hit with a wall of noise. People talking, dishes clanking, even the forks were heard on the plates. I knew immediately that I had to leave. I said hi to the guest of honor, gave her a hug and got the hell out. It felt like a panic attack.
Check (in bold) every single one of these (sigh). Thank God for courage!
Surviving many dark nights enough to finally poke my head up and say, “OMG! Lord! I made it (survived the guilt, shame, loneliness; survived the consequence of an empowered choice to speak up to an authority that I sense really REALLY resents the heck out of me for “caring” enough to say the hard truths despite denial, money…fear for my job (of which there never is a guarantee to keep).”
I keep living through to another day despite lighting the fuse that will destroy the hard work my exalted intention and my sincere desire to make things better and whole in opposition to the inertia of the status quo. Ironically, lightight the fuse of self sabotage does finalize the intention, but being a system buster is felt deeply, for the discomfort of others is mine to feel as well…being a profoundly feeling empath. Oh…it hurts me more than you…trust me, but…this is my nature…and I have strength to bear it…half the time. The other half…more dark nights to survive.
I do HATE to open up, but my duty to service requires it…my duty to life demands I be open…and what is opened seems so strange to most, and so in being open…I am open to censure, judgement…gossip and the thoughtless consequences others would contrive for me in order to shut me down. Oh! To live a life shut down is like death…and I do DO LOVE LIFE. And I have lived a hard life for this. But I live.
God bless you all…fellow INFJs. Have your courage and keep it close to your heart…see life through it…and keep living your truly beautiful INFJ selves.
Thank you so much Brian for this beautiful, inspiring comment! I hear you, it’s not easy, far from it. But like you said, living life is worth it, and there is so much good to be found. 🙂 Thank you once more for what you wrote here, and for your marvelous courage to share it.
Bravo Brian! Thank you for popping out of your isolation and courageously sharing your INFJ love for life! You really packed allot of truth and emotion in your comment that I can relate to.
Hey Grassdancer (Love that name). You are 9 years senior to me. OMG! What have YOU LIVED through all these years?
No matter our age, our essential core empathing is engaged (I am projecting…yes, but…this is a mechanism not worthy of judging…and has value as an empath if conscious of its function).
In my hindsight reflections of all I observe, I DO see myself clearly in you all. HERE is comfort KNOWING we all share something that the majority do not (just an objective observation…observed and communicated with humility, for I have deeply felt the humiliation of being very different to the greater majority who created the standard by which I must, Literally, garner my very life and living…and all too many times IMPLODED with the sheer effort it takes to run THIS (my INFJ personality) through a process that is most likely going to short circuit me…and has…and still does…and likely will continue to do.
But sometimes…when I’m truly centered (oooooo….that’s a hard place to get to sometimes), I can trigger the empathy of another…and then….SHAZAM! Two light bulbs go “On”…mine and another (sometimes others)…and then I see my purpose in that moment.
Those moments are precious, and they are hard won.
I have learned to truly value my recovery time…and I advocate earnestly for it because I never know when the next call to duty will be. Each call, I know, I will likely not be able to resist…and I DO NOT serve well when I’m completely deplete though I’ll run myself right into the ground…into brick walls…even before the old wounds aren’t yet healed to endure more.
Oh yes! Take care of yourselves no matter your age. I find that at age 52, that all that INFJing has a compounded and accumulative impact on me…I feel the years of my “calling” holistically – in body, mind, and spirit.
Finding support like that which is found HERE…I wish I’d known of 30 years ago when I was first tested. Then it made little difference to me…was just something noval to know about and forget (because there was no formal or convenient venue to acquire support). Now…there is.
I believe NOW that there is here a valid resource to advance many past a lot of very rough hard knocks. USE IT so LATER you’ll all reach your mid-life much better prepared to live more well…more whole…have more reserve to really enjoy a time of life meant for positive change vs. reconciling half your life already lived in a state of crisis. This actually is not a good age for crisis. I’d have rather entered this time of life feeling free vs. feeling just at the beginning so late in life.
Thank you…I hope this helps every one.
Peace…and joy…good health and well being to you all for being here and preparing for what comes.
Spot on. I am 61 and for me, you clearly express the anxious side of my entire life in six, absolutely correct statements. Just like that. My internal struggle looking back at me in your heartfelt words of understanding. For once, I feel a hand reaching out saying, ‘you are not alone’. Do you have 6 statements addressing how to live peacefully with these uniquely INFJ’s experiences? I am looking deeply at my own patterns of self-suppression, which is how I found your site. I’m grateful for the information coming to light about introversion, sensitivity etc. having lived much of my life under the thumb of extroversion. I feel even more isolated now, as I move away from these old survival patterns of belonging. There is a lovely freedom in doing so, but also heightened rejection. I’m ready to support myself in ways I probably haven’t stumbled on yet! I will take your offerings into my day with much thought and gratitude Marko. I’m going to visit my family and that always leaves me feeling like I’ve done something wrong.
Thanks, Grassdancer! Glad to hear you can relate with what I wrote. 🙂 These 6 statements can definitely be applied to inner peace as well, since they are unique to us as INFJs, and can also serve as motivators if we think of them as lessons and something that ca help us if we look at them from an INFJ perspective (how can I upgrade and improve this questions). Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and once more, you are not alone. 🙂
You should really thank Michaela Chung, since she is the creator and the gentle soul behind Introvert Spring. 🙂 She created this safe place on the internet where all INFJs can express themselves without fear of judgement and rejection.
Everything I have been reading about the INFJ has been such a relief for me. For many years, I have felt so alone and misunderstood that it was a relief to see that others feel the same way. This article was incredible. Thank you for providing a balm for this eternal pain and struggle. 🙂 Oh. And I have aggressive multiple sclerosis, which only makes the isolation much more complete. I am a writer and “write” on the computer with my voice, using voice activated software because my hands no longer work. Believe me, I do feel included for once in this silent group of individuals.
I’m so happy Rosalie that your INFJ discovery brought you such relief and clarity! 🙂 Thank you so much for your kind words about the article, I really appreciate what you said.
Also, thank you for sharing this, I am humbled to read what you wrote here, honored you feel safe here, and please know that you are not alone
Me too! Reading about INFJ’s has helped so so much. I also suffer from some health problems and what you said is so true about adding to the isolation. Most of all I’m so glad to hear that you have found some validation and relief from this/these posts, take care
Thank you in advance for your great articles. Also, forgive me because of bad English.
I’m 26. It’s less than 6 months that I know I’m an infj. I’ve faced all of experiences you mentioned. I’ve hardly tried to make friends. being warm and open with others. the Problem is that I can feel emotions behind their words. anger, hatred, arrogance and … .I can’t tolerate these feeling and emotions. I’m a good listener for everyone, they say about their problems and spiritual matters. they like me, It’s a relief for them but I feel lost
and in many cases it’s a one-way friendship. In past 8 years, I’ve had tough moments to connect with the people and outside world. To find and understand myslef. these days I need and I want to be with people. I can’t find a person who would listen to and understand my problem.
I understand I’m not alone and there are people like me but it’s not enough.
I’m an engineer and studied in the best university of my country, Iran. Now lot of my friends and classmates continue their study in top universities in US and Europe for PhD. but it’s not what I want. I think I’ve been in a wrong way for my whole life. but I don’t have bravery to change that
No need to apologize, mostafa, your English is great! 🙂
Please know, you don’t have to be fearless to fulfill your dreams, just don’t let fear stop you. Do what you believe is right and follow your heart no matter what anyone else says or does. I can fully understand how you feel, but you will find people who will accept you, just the way you are, it’s only a matter of time. Feel free to visit our INFJ forum, since you are safe here and no one will ever judge or criticize you. You will find endless respect and understanding here. 🙂
I will pass on my gratitude to Michaela and study your site more closely. Thank you Marko.
I can relate with all 6 experiences it’s amazing. Being INFJ is definately not easy but I agree with Brian that we can handle it…And we have something special to offer the world. Finding this blog has been such a relief for me as I finally understand myself alot better. I am 26 and ever since I discovered my INFJ personality type I have become more courageous in staying true to my true self and not following the crowd just to fit in and be accepted. It is lonely sometimes but it comes with immense freedom, however I know I can’t always be my true self and open up to people in certain contexts otherwise I will be judged and criticized. Considering that one of our gifts as INFJs is to read people and pick up on their moods/emotions/temperaments we are well equipped at ascertaining whether it is “safe” to open up to a person or not (I really love this trait). I have found that we are different and rare types most people do not quite understand us fully, that’s why I am incredibly happy about finding this blog with fellow INFJs who understand, thank you Marko for this accurate post!
I’m happy to hear you can relate Anele and that your INFJ discovery has given you so much! Indeed, it can be hard, but we really can handle it, and I am glad you found us! 🙂 Thank you for your kind, understanding words. 🙂
Man… it blows my mind reading this because i never found anyone else who understandss me like this articles does. Thanks You Marko!
You are most welcome, Charlie! 🙂
Love this ?? Thank you, Marko ❤️ Thank you, Michaela ❤️ , and for everything you’re writing, loads of us are quiet but reading and totally appreciating
You are so welcome petakk! 🙂 Thank you so much for your lovely words, they really mean a lot! <3
A very important experience in my life which I think INFJ’S will understand is that I want to work on a topic very deeply and want to study from every angle, I can’t help it , it comes from within. And most people misunderstood that labels me as indecisive and scared person , just because they can’t see me going after things and putting some “physical”effort, without knowing that I’m putting efforts mentally. And I don’t think it’s always about unhealthy perfectionism for us but it’s more about committing to an idea slowly and seeing it’s potential, seeing it building and going somewhere. I can’t put my energy physically something that I’m not sure of and people often find it hard to understand how I have reached to this conclusion. We just feel !
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Deepika! You are right, we just feel. 🙂
Jan, as a child my mother created a closet fort for my overstimulation. My bedroom is still a soothing ‘closet space’. Even though, I am a non-conformist on many levels, I often view my INFJ qualities as something to be fixed or the result of trauma. And like Brian expresses so well, this accumulative impact is a bugger! I’m coming into elder status never married, single, no children …. Right choice for me. I believe this was an innate act, to self-preserve my INFJ uniqueness. And now, my elder peers often respond to me as maladaptive, unsuitable, what could possibly be wrong with you to be alone? I literally feel people repelled by this. Closets and singlehood help on many levels, but here I feel for the first time our strength as a community! Like a huge fracture of light into the world my heart has longed for. Gosh, I relate to all the sharing here. Much gratitude everyone. I feel great relief for our young ones who find their way to this supportive awareness of self.
Great article and I love the comments. I’m an older INFJ too. It’s been a long, lonely path, but my trust & knowledge of God has gotten me this far. Without Him as my anchor, I would have been gone a long, long, long time ago.
I’m thankful to learn more about our uniqueness. Just knowing about it makes it something more tangible to work with & around.
God bless ya’all! Don’t give up. Thank you Marko & Michaela! <3
Thank you so much for your kind, supportive words, Castingcare! So glad you liked the article, and that you embraced your wonderful INFJ uniqueness. 🙂
Your words speak my heart, life. Thank you.
WOW, what an article it just talks about me, there is something i experienced in life too, where you try to show love to someone but that person can’t just seem to understand what you are trying to do, instead they paint you a bad picture. What i do is, i just withdraw from the whole thing, because i don’t what to keep hurting someone or myself. Thank you very much Marco, i love the article very much and i learned a lot from it.
I can fully understand and relate how you felt regarding the feeling and action you described, Inotila. You are most welcome, I’m so glad you like the article, and thank you for sharing this, as well as for you kind words. 🙂
Enjoyed this article immensely Marko. So right on in terms of INFJ’s. Thanks for shedding light on!
I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed reading the article Olivia! You are most welcome! 🙂
Again, thanks for the spot-on article. When I learned I was an INFJ, I felt, as many INFJs do, an “I’m not alone or weird, after all!” moment. It was like finding a diamond in the midst of so much coal! And then I found the Introvert Spring and this wonderful INFJ Forum where we can meet together and offer support.
Thanks a lot to both you and Michaela
You are most welcome Tiona! I’m glad that your INFJ finding left such a wonderful impression on you, that you found us, and that it made such a difference. 🙂 Thank you for your kind words, they truly mean a lot! 🙂
I can’t believe I’m in a community of people like me. My life is over whelming right now. I just recording 5 songs for my Ep, even though the sound engineer and critiques say it’s amazing and a real progress , I am constantly judging and doubting my work . Also after my studio session last week, I locked myself in and cried. It was like I was drained of every energy I had in me. No one understands me. Thanks for this community and writing this article.
You are understood here, Zinny. 🙂 You are most welcome, glad you found us and that you like the article.
Loving this article too Marko, thank you 🙂
Thanks Louise! I’m glad you like it. 🙂
wow… just wow. It is incredible reading this. I have just found this site and I am so excited to communicate with others who think and feel the same way.
Glad you found us, kmoore167. 🙂
Anxious, depressed, both in the same day, all is a paradox, do what I don´t want to do, scream when nobody hears, and drowning into myself when I have some people near, I agree with you with the sixth point, there are not balance, it never has existed but give in whispers drives me into madness, I am searching a little stability
Please feel free to visit our INFJ forum, Angie5220, you will find unconditional support and understanding there, as well as throughout the site. We INFJs really are walking paradoxes, but here, you are fully accepted. 🙂
INFP and I relate to a lot of these!
That’s great to hear you can relate as an INFP, Emily! 🙂
Hi …Thank u for this great article ..first of all im really sorry ..I know my english is very bad …but these are the words from my soul which i didnt open up with any one !! ..I think im very blessed that i have met people who are very kind hearted and who listen to my words here. When i was small i used to think that i would never meet a person who has the same personality type of me..but now i feel very excited and feel a soulfull happiness in meeting INFJs. Please dont mistake me that im not formal..I like to open up my soul cry here!!..I am doing my bachelor’s in Psychology …..i really feel very very happy about this article …thank you so much!!! .I wish i could learn many things about me…!! This article really supports me!!! Thank you …thank you so much!! Being an INFJ…its not at all simple to make move with outer world and im facing lots and lots of problems with poeple who are good speekers but not good listeners..this article really show me the way to know more about me …i dont want to be flexible to people. .i hate people judging me… i want my surroundings to now that im very complecated and im really happy about that!!…I feel proud to be an INFJ…
Thank you so much Aarthi for your kind words, and for sharing them here, really! I am so glad that this article resonated with you, and that you like it. 🙂 I’m also happy you are proud to be an INFJ, that’s wonderful to hear! 🙂 And don’t worry, your English is great!
I can relate to all 6 experiences. And with most of them I’ve came with agreement or just know how to deal with, apart from inner guilt. Personally that is the feeling that just eats me up inside, completely cracking me open and wreks me. There’s nothing more horrific than knowing the fact that because of me someone else got hurt.. and the fact that I know deep inside I’ll never forgive myself, it doesn’t matter how hard I try, it just never seems to get any easier. So I came to conclusion that I deserve to feel that way… by the way, this is a great post, can’t wait for the next one 🙂
Glad to hear you can relate, and that you liked the post, thank you! 🙂
This is so cool, so glad I found you guys, reading your articles and comments has made me understand myself better and feel less lonely. Its comforting to know that there’s someone out there who understand. I’m 28 years old from South Africa… Thank you guys so much
Thank you PlanetChick for your kind words! We are glad you found us, and that you can relate with our articles. 🙂 You are most welcome! 🙂
Ugh…self sabotage. *raises hand*
Self sabotage is something I can relate too, Selcouth, so I understand you.
Thank you for this post. I’ve ALWAYS felt so alone my entire life. I’ve been with my husband for 20 years and although I know he loves me unconditionally, he’s never seemed to understand me. Same thing with everyone in my entire life. Every point rings true for me except 5. I have had to learn to open up about my life circumstances for my job and because I’ve gone through terrible ordeals where I had to repeat what happened so many times that it just became something I said. Sadly, I learned to detach my emotions from certain things. It’s been good for people in my life because I can tell them my circumstances and them assure them things get better. Anyway, I just appreciate knowing this page exists. I thank you wholeheartedly. ?
You are most welcome, Rosalee! I can fully relate with the understanding part, and that’s something many INFJs can relate too as well. Not many people will understand us. Thank you for your kind words about the page, and you are always welcome. 🙂
Thank you for the last paragraph!
You are most welcome Megan! 🙂
Maybe someone said this already, but this happened to me twice already. When you’re actually talking about you for a change but people turn it around and make it about them. And then you feel like you’re the only one who notices. Then when you describe what happened to your INFJ workmate, they totally get it. And you didn’t even have to explain that they turned it around and made it about them to your INFJ friend. They totally saw it, too! Such a relief!
Thanks again for this website. It’s very helpful right now. Feeling really let down and angry at people for what I described. This place really is a refuge!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience on this, Tiona. I can relate to what you say here, it happened to me too. Thank you also for your kind words about the site. 🙂 Michaela’s wonderful expression, kindness, creativity, and vision all stand behind Introvert Spring, and your warm words really mean a lot. 🙂
You’re very welcome, Marko! I’m sure it happens to INFJs a lot. Keep up the good work!
I feel that being in love is one of the toughest things for us INFJs. I am head over heels in love with a beautiful woman. She tells me that I have all of this confidence (I really do not), well only in certain situations. I have sent her messages and pondered and worried about what I said. I wonder if I said too much or said the wrong the thing. If she takes a while to get back to me, I become anxious thinking that I did something wrong. However, most of the time, It is because she forgot about the question. Then I kick myself for pestering her. There is much more to this story, I shall refrain from telling it here. I do not wish to bore you all with the details. Thank you for “listening” to one tiny aspect of my life.
Thank you for sharing this Venus. I am humbled to have the chance to read what you wrote here. Also, I was there, so I know how you feel, I understand you.
I love this, reading through the article and the comments is comforting. Most of all, everyone is typing real, complete words!
I’m glad you are loving the article and the comments, Mantik! 🙂
Thank you for this. After being in a long term marriage where I was constantly told I needed to change and that there was something wrong with me..and believing it, I finally had the courage to break free. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when my husband started telling my adult children there was something wrong with me. I am also an empath and got wrapped up in a marriage with a narcissist. I am happier alone, (with my dog). My children saw how the marriage was distroying me and supported my leaving. I’ve recently discovered I am an INFJ and what a relief to know that there isn’t anything wrong with me. Our type is needed in this world just as every other type is. It can be a very lonely place though, not being understood. I love reading posts like yours, where you have a good handle on this personality. Thank you.
You are most welcome, Susan. 🙂 I’m glad you liked the article, and that your INFJ discovery brought you peace and clarity after these difficult events from the past. Thank you for your kind words, and know that there is nothing wrong with you, there never was.
There are so many comments on this thread, so forgive me if I am repeating what someone else has asked. Are there any INFJs who have asked themselves or thought, “Am I a constant disappointment?” It feels like throughout most of my life I have never measured up to what anyone wants, especially in a relationship. I know, I know, we’re different, us INFJs, but lately I just can’t seem to shake that from my core. I know how valuable I am and can be (yet, definitely understand my imperfections), so what gives? Why can’t anyone else see it?
Hi Sparrow, that’s because we are perfectionists, and can be our own worst critics. Being INFJs, we are really hard and demanding on ourselves (perfectionist nature), but when others are concerned, we are the best support you could hope to have.
I’ve completely related to these. I knew I was an infj a year ago but I never looked into it. All of these things are spot on. Even the self sabatoge. I’ve kind of had to let go of a friend recently because he kept taking advantage of me (not purposefuly)(he’s so amazing but still so emotionally manipulated ..)( but that’s always the case isn’t it?) (And he was an enfp oh man is it hard) Giving more that you receive. Anyway. Yeah I relate. Um. I’m really grateful to know that I’m not alone. I grew up in a big over bearing , all over you all the time family and it sucked. As much as I love them I was constantly over whelmed and made fun of. I remember telling my mom I felt lonely when I was younger and she basically laughed in my face and it shattered me bc “Why theres so many people around?” Aaaah.. So many memories .
You are definitely not alone, Hey.says.amanda, and thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this! 🙂
What someone along the way said about taking INFJ as a result of trauma or something needing to be fixed… that is exactly how I felt until I started doing a lot of inner work and in the process repeatedly took personality tests that came back INFJ every time. I thought since there were only 16 different types that it couldn’t be all that rare of a personality type but it took me a long time to find a real life person that was also INFJ. And that was the result of my entire college course taking this test and reporting back openly (how many other graphic designers are out here??) This article had me sobbing before I could even get through the numbers. Honestly I was lead to this site not even through my explorations of INFJ personality (really surprised I haven’t seen this before) but through an article I found on Quora about how INFJ’s feel about sex while researching asexuality and demisexuality. The topic of sexuality is a whole other thing, but this brings me back to the feeling of unknown trauma or something unbalanced that needs to be fixed. I discovered a trauma that existed within me relating to my first experience with sex many, many years after the fact and this article, and whole website really, is just another amazing piece of the puzzle that I am just now discovering. What never gets old for me is realizing that there are other people out there that feel like me and that the isolation I feel is not something I am completely alone in! Fortunately, my soul journey has brought many spiritual practices to me that have helped immensely with self-love and maintaining a positive outlook… but from my perspective the community here is really a shocking and beautiful thing to see (for a first time visitor). Peace and love to all of you!
PS: My INFJ quality that I have experienced is the feeling/wanting to share and express openly many things all at the same time (LOL perfect ending to this long post) after a long time of keeping everything inside! And the intense satisfaction of finding not only someone who will listen but actively engage in the topic!
Thank you so much, Bewitched459 for your kind comments about the site! Please know that there is nothing wrong with you, there never was. I am honored that Introvert Spring is helping putting the puzzle together, and know that you are always welcome here. You are not alone. 🙂
Question after reading this article: why and how do we self sabotage? I don’t understand. I just noticed I do the same.. I think due to feelings of insecurity or jealousy (at least for me), coupled with overthinking, I immediately assume the worst of things sometimes and then feel the need to escape or overreact. I’m only learning now how to not act out on these negative thoughts, and learn to step back.. it’s tough. I ran out of a party the other day because I interpreted a comment that someone said as offensive and didn’t want to stick around.. I know that wasn’t good ‘social behavior’ and may have cost me and embarrassed a few ppl but I just didn’t want to stick around…I regret doing that it it’s tough. I wonder if it’s a form of self sabotage now.
Hi AnonymousINFJ! It’s because we feel odd if something is actually going well for us. Many INFJs are misunderstood and judged based on our uniqueness, so when something good actually happens, we’re afraid that something bad might follow. So we sabotage that happiness to be “prepared” for the bad that might come. Self-sabotage comes in the form of breaking a friendship because we think we bore that person, sabotaging our own career despite knowing we are capable of doing, relationships because we believe we are not worthy. We give so much to people, but tend to forget that happiness is our birthright, too.
Wow, spot on. I would like to add that sometimes I wish I could just turn off my brain, just to hear what quiet sounds like. I can’t, so I immerse myself into TV, books, movies just to deal with problems that aren’t mine and don’t matter. Then I obsess over the character’s problems, notice everything and get really annoyed when I figure out the ending. Why are the writers so obvious? Why do they think we are so dumb? Then I am back in the real world, more drained. Why can’t I ever just hear the quiet?
Hi Annie! Thank you! 🙂 I know all too well how it feels like not being able to shut down our mind. You can hear the quiet, and instead of focusing on emptying your mind, try to focus on one thing, just one that makes you fulfilled. This is one of the guiding rules of meditation. Hope this helps. 🙂
Another thing is when I do try to engage in conversation it seems that everyone talks over me.
I hear you Jon and understand. This is something that negatively impacts all INFJs, since we want to listen to everyone, but it can happen that people don’t listen to us.
Reading the comments, I couldn’t help but think to myself “Oh, I must be normal” Growing up, I felt weird about myself because I think and sometimes act differently. I was observant and I can observe that I am different. Then I came across this myer-briggs personality test which shed light to my confusing behaviour. That’s when I get to know myself. These articles like yours, is very helpful, I began to understand and appreciate myself more. Plus, it is both funny and satisfying that there are others who have the same experiences as mine.
There is nothing wrong with you Monica, there never was. 🙂 And you are most certainly not alone. 🙂
Marko, Thank you so much for this article. You are helping me to know and accept myself. I have found always caring gets me in trouble. I have a hard time figuring out when to let a person take care of their own problems and when to try to rescue someone who can’t stand up for themselves. I have always suffered greatly from inner guilt and shame and haven’t been able to escape it. I thought it stemmed from being abused when I was little, but maybe its just because I am an INFJ? (Or was I abused because I was an INFJ?) I wonder if you might have some insight into this. It seems like I would be happier if I could shut off the guilt and shame that stops me in my tracks about 3 times a day and keeps me awake at night. I too have an inner voice that likes to (must) speak out ‘trying to help others’ and this another of my forms of self-sabotage. I ruin relationships by being too frank trying to ‘help’. I find can’t can’t be fake or hold back. If I try, I feel disloyal to myself. I also feel uncomfortable socializing too much or having others lean on me for emotional support. So, the self-sabotage seems to be a form of self-protection that I subconsciously use to keep others distant. Then, when they distance themselves I feel worthless, like no one likes me. So, its a catch 22 theme that reoccurs in my life. I have learned there is middle ground but I don’t know how to attain it when trying to patch up something I have sabotaged. Even when I apologize, it’s often too late to repair the damage. I sometimes feel angry that people don’t understand that I was just being me, and that I was just trying to help.
Dear Karen, what happened to you in the past did not happen because you are an INFJ, or because anything you did or said. It was not your fault. Don’t try to rescue anyone, instead, be there for them and listen, support them, that;s all we can do. We can’t help anyone unless they make that decision first. Help the ones you cherish by being there for them, that’s all. I know it’s not easy, because every atom in our INFJ body wants to do more, but I promise you, you are doing so much for the ones close to you just by offering a listening ear. You would be surprised how many people desperately need it… Know this, there is nothing wrong in wanting to help, please don’t let that guilt to engulf you. You are understood, and you are not alone. I’m humbled my articles help you to accept yourself. 🙂
I feel that infjs are too hard on themselves, but don’t realize how much the rest of us care about each and everyone one of you. Please, tell us when you need another persons help because l don’t want any of you to be alone in your own struggles. It really helps having a person that fills this role for you to look after you. Infjs are too caring for others, which the world does need. I just dont want the infjs to over extend themselves. B/C this creates problems for infjs, but they cant see it until much later, which l too experienced. Im just saying create a method that works for you. So, you don’t feel this way often. Its what l do. Talk about the problems/emotions and then solve it. It’s my simple method.
Thank you so much for sharing an INFPs point of view on this Angela! 🙂
I am a female INTJ who sometimes types as an INFP due to the effects of 54 years of OCD. But I know I was born an INFJ. Before I was 21, The most important thing to me was to uplift other people. At 21, I finally realized they didn’t care about my efforts. This is I believe when I started to pursue knowledge as a venue to combat the OCD which now leads me to sometimes type as INFP.
I can tell if a situation will fail or succeed by the lack or presence of its innate balance. Have been able to do this instantaneously since about 12. I think that is when my unified field of knowledge was great enough to understand the intuition .
So many times I tell people things won’t work but they don’t listen, then they fail.
I am tired of being misunderstood. Of having my precious insights disregarded and mocked because I can’t share a “proof” of how I know them. ( tears while I type). It is so sad to see people fail, get injured, and die because they didn’t listen to me.
I sometimes wonder what good is this precious gift if people do not listen. But then I remember how precious it is and that ahead of me is a time when someone will listen and it will make all the difference. Karen
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Karen! I know it can be difficult sometimes, but just like you said, you have a wonderful gift. 🙂
Wow! I am constantly having those “OMG I am such a dork for saying that” sound tracks running through my head!
When I was a Physical Therapist Assistant I pretty much had developed a “speech” for explaining the process of how each session was going to “generally” work, because I always adapted, with in the PTs plan, the program depending on the patient’s needs. Outside of that I felt like I was pretty much dorky sounding when discussing general things and chitchat.
That was the other thing, I had to learn the art of chitchat. It’s a useful tool when dealing with people that didn’t want to “exercise”, made time go by faster. But it was painful sometimes, the end of the day found me in front of the computer mindlessly scrolling trying to recharge the battery. Thankfully the hubs is an INTP (I think that’s what he said, he’s an IN type either way) and would leave me alone for a while.
Thanks so much for sharing this, Cyn! I’m sorry you had to go through all this, I can fully understand you regarding the small talk that you mention.
I’m choked up right now. I am much younger than most of the commenters here, still in my teens, actually, but I simply have to comment. Recent events in my life have most certainly alienated me from everybody in my life. My closest friend recently attempted to take her own life, and ever since, my life has been an array of people asking me if I am okay or if I need any support. I don’t think anybody understood; not even my parents. They did not give me the space I needed to process everything on my own, and always invited me to group activities that I felt pressured to say yes to. In the months that followed, I don’t think I have had a single conversation with anybody in which i haven’t felt out of place or unable to communicate. I work on a different wavelength than everybody I know, and in the wake of such a tragic thing, I felt more alone than ever. I couldn’t explain the overwhelming insecurity that hit me so often, or the overbearing loneliness I felt in the group activities. I couldn’t feel happy for long when I finsihed writing my first book, and with two days, I was convinced that though I had poured months of work into it, it was complete trash. I couldn’t speak to anyone about how I was feeling. I wanted to, but it was impossible- whenever I started, I simply did not know how to go on. In addition, I felt guilty for struggling so much. I poured myself into caring for my friends, planning their birthdays, constantly asking them how they were. The friend that had attempted to take her own life did not know that I knew (her mom texted me and told me), and so, I could not talk to her about anything, either. I find myself in a position where I have to lie to my very best friend constantly, I can’t relate to anybody my age, and really, my only solace is the myriad of books littered around my room. Reading everybody’s comments here, I think it was the first time I have felt understood for months. So thank you.