I’ve struggled a lot, wondering if I should even write this article. I coach and talk with dozens of INFJs on a weekly basis, and I get the amazing chance to make their path a little bit easier. But I’m not immune to emotions and feelings that a lot of you can relate with. One of them is being in the so-called INFJ survival mode.
What is the INFJ Survival Mode?
Have you ever felt like all your senses are in a state of constant alertness? As if you are just waiting for something bad to happen, even though everything seems to be okay? If you have, you are officially going through the INFJ survival mode.
This week was extremely tough for me. I struggled to contain my anxiety to an acceptable level. If that wasn’t enough, I felt as if everything that could wrong, would. You see, when your INFJ mind activates its survival mode, everything you are going through is heightened.
I wish that I could say this state of alertness is a good thing, but it’s not. INFJs are already under constant pressure. You might think that our amazing empathy, for example, would be enhanced, which would be so cool by the way! But the truth is, only our worst-case scenario thoughts get triggered.
My INFJ survival mode made me feel as if everything presented danger. I couldn’t focus, sleep, eat properly, but most of all, I couldn’t relax my mind, which was already under major pressure.
The problem with INFJ survival mode is that you can’t prepare yourself for it. It comes unannounced, and you know what that means to a personality type that loves to have everything planned in advance. I felt as if everything around me was collapsing.
However, not all is lost, and the solution can be found in a place we INFJs love to visit often.
Your mind is your ally
When you sense yourself shifting into INFJ survival mode, you don’t have to write, meditate, or google what the experts say. Instead, sit with your own thoughts. I know, easier said than done when your mind is going through a chaotic state of creating a thousand uncontrollable scenarios for every possible situation.
This is why the INFJ brain is such a powerful tool, because as much as it can overthink, it can also find a solution. Why do you think so many scientists and inventors were and are INFJs? Because we have the ability to think under pressure.
Take 30 minutes of your time and sit in silence. Nothing bad is happening. You are in the present moment and no harm is coming. You are in your comfy chair and breathing deeply. This is the only thing going on right now.
All the bad events that the INFJ survival mode amplified don’t exist at this very moment. You are in your home and you are breathing deeply. Sounds so simple, but this is a technique that the Dalai Lama himself talked about in one of his lectures.
INFJs tend to go too far into the future, and think too often about the past, thus allowing that primal survival instinct of ours to take over. But nothing is happening to you as you are reading this, because you are looking at the words I wrote. This is how you can cope with INFJ survival mode.
The ultimate act of self-care
Taking care of yourself and being an INFJ are two things that rarely go together. We dedicate our lives to our friends and families. When my most cherished people are in danger, or if they just need to hear me, I stop everything and even forget about sleep until they feel better.
When you give yourself that half an hour and acknowledge that you are safe at this moment, you reach the level of self-care few do.
The INFJ survival mode is a tricky thing that won’t go away in one day. But when you accept that it’s there, and that you have everything you need to face it, a miraculous change will reveal itself.
You will start taking care of yourself first. And that’s the greatest inner victory an INFJ can accomplish.
Safe Space for all INFJs
We know how difficult it can be to go through these moments alone. This is exactly why there’s a whole community of INFJs here waiting for you to sign up!
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Do you experience INFJ survival mode too? I would love to hear your experience and thoughts! Feel free to share what you think in the comment section below.
This article could not have come at a more perfect time for me! Thanks heaps : )
You are so welcome! Glad the article came to you when you needed it. 🙂
Awake at 2am with my mind super alert (even though I’m a brand new mom and seriously sleep deprived), and Google Chrome had this article listed as a recommendation. Couldn’t have been more timely! Yes, I most definitely experience this. Especially very recently I have noticed it happening to me more often. What triggers it? Big life events and changes? Or is it different for everyone? You were spot on with this article; it’s reassuring to know I’m not alone!
I’m glad you found the article Gonzales. 🙂 The usual trigger is stress, and anxiety, anticipating a certain event. It’s vital that you give yourself even a few minutes of rest during the day, just a little bit, so that your senses calm themselves. You are not alone. 🙂
This describes so perfectly what I go through. I find myself so anxious and sometimes without concrete reasons, just trying to unravel it all…usually at 4am. Wow this is dead on and the advice helps… Thank you!
I needed to hear this at this time im sure. Smh ive been feeling like there has got to be a way around or through this… Thank you
I have struggled with this same issue quite often…..Meds.. … anti-depressants can calm this in me but the meds alter my personality a bit and enough of that…..turning more to my faith and reviewing the blessings on my life up to this point and looking into a less stressful career path……but not confident of a quick fix in any of this……Good to know there are other people that can relate to this struggle……most people in my circle simply dont get me/ can’t relate…..
I can relate, keep the faith.
I am unsure if I am in survival mode but something is definitely up. I feel like I am stuck between wanting to reach out and feel loved (receiving affection) and then in the next moment, I simply want to be alone. Maybe it is because when I am alone I do feel an incredible love that I know exists within me. Does anyone else ever feel stuck in this no-mans-land?
I fully understand that… You are not alone in this, and I know a lot of INFJs, a huge majority feels the same way as you do.
I’ve recently learned I’m an INFJ although I’ve known this intuitively all my life; I now have a label for this rare personality and finally feel like I’m not the only human being on Earth who struggles with many INFJ issues. I’d like to join this group but am not sure how. If someone could please advise me, I’d be very grateful. Thank you for your help.
We would be honored to welcome you, Susanna. 🙂 Here is the link to our private, safe INFJ forum where you can join and meet other INFJs:
Thank you, Marko, for your timely response. I think I found you at the time of greatest need in my life. I’ll join introvertsprimg just as soon as I finish this note. I know I’ll find good, positive techniques for coping on your site. I truly need them. Being part of 1% of anything is a rarity but especially just 1% of the whole world. It’s so difficult. Yours truly……
You are so welcome Susanna! You are not alone, and in case no one told you this today, you matter and you are enough. 🙂
This advice will definitely help me. I’ve been going through survival mode for a while, so thanks for writing this!
You are most welcome Carla, I’m glad my article helped you! 🙂
Sounds all too familiar. There are pros and cons with everything. I struggle to keep the positive in mind and the worst case scenarios that constantly stream like unwanted videos -but like you stated, it does allow me to find a solution of some kind.
I hear you brandy… It’s not easy sometimes… I’m glad you could resonate with what I wrote. 🙂
Many INFJs and sensitive spiritual individuals experience “survival-mode” days when incoming increased electromagnetic events occur, straining the nervous system and brain circuitry. Numerous articles and UTube videos are available online. Simple management /health practice techniques apply. Care of self, relaxation, focus and concentration, etc. It’s evolution. Best wishes INFJs.
Thanks so much for sharing this, Sylvia! 🙂
I have been reading the infj articles, and relate to them which is odd because that never happens. Thanks
Glad you can relate with the articles, you are most welcome. 🙂
I do think that I am one of you. I’m not sure as to why I’m doing this. I guess that I would like more info or someone with more experience to talk to. If I do get someone to talk to. It will be a challenge since I don’t like to open myself up any, really.
Wow…..just wow…… Earlier on, I watched a video about signs that you are an infj and it turns out by comparing the contents in the video and about myself both strengths and weaknesses it turns out I have most of the qualities of this rarest personality and am I shocked that I am an INFJ!!!!!! How surprising!!!
Glad you found out you are an INFJ, Natasha! 🙂
Thank you so much for writing this article. I’m in full survival mode and “close to implosion “!
Your words are like a little release valve for some of the pressure that I am experiencing.
You are most welcome Evan. 🙂 Take a deep breath, you got this. read the article and the technique I shared, it will help. Slow and steady, you got this.
I think I have spent years like this
You read my article ?
Wow !! I have seriously been thinking of giving up on finding anyone else in this world that thinks and feels like me. And here you are !!
Yes, I absolutely go through this and have just recently come out of several weeks of it. Reading your article is reassuring, Marko. Thank you. It can be a terrifying, lonely place.
I hear you Megan… I am glad that reading my article was reassuring to you. 🙂 Yes, it can, but you are not alone, and I thank you Megan for sharing this.
Such an excellent article with great advice. Thank you Marko. I have been feeling this way lately and this helps so much!!
Thank you so much Denise! Your support means a lot, and I am so glad my article helps you! 🙂
Few days ago, a friend of mine asked about how i’m Coping with my traineeship ( witch is so stressful ) and I was like i’m On a survival mode.. back then I didn’t even know it was a thing!! I’m just spending every second of it waiting for something bad to happen.. and it’s so exhausting and terrifying 🙁 Thank you for letting me know that it is a part of An INFJ personality and that there is a way to deal with it
I believe you it’s not easy to handle, Hajar, and I fully understand you… You are most welcome, you are not alone, and I am glad my article resonated with you. 🙂
This reAlly helped me alot. But i still dont understand this empty feeling i have in my gut. at first i was too overwhelmed and full of emotions and unkempt energy but now its like i cant feel anything at all. Like my whole mental barrier just…Crumbled. IF you could help explain atleast what happened to my mind and how to fix this, i’d be great. THanks.
I’m glad the article helped you, Courtny. it looks to me that you got overwhelmed and that this was a defense mechanism your mind created to protect you. What I mean is, you now need to recharge and replenish your mind, since it gave you that signal that it needs to recharge.
Hi Dear Mark. I read this article and I found it very helpful for standard and normal situations like when everything seems Ok. But in my Country nothing is okay. I know I’m going to be naggy in this comment but here we can’t have plans and programs for next week or even next day because everyday some economical and social crisis is going on and everything is going worse day by day. This kind of situation could be devastating for anyone but for an INFJ it’s a living hell. When you don’t know what’s going on and what will happen next and you can’t have any plan for your life and you feel overwhelmed and very close to fall apart. I had plans for my future and all of them are becoming unapproachable. What you people would do in this situation? What can I do? I don’t know…
Maybe this can be a subject for a new article.
I’m glad you liked the article! I was in your situation, and living in a country with similar environment. I did my best to live my life without allowing myself to be impacted by the external events, but it wasn’t easy, I hear you. Perhaps making certain changes might help, new location perhaps, new people, or maybe going to a place that will accept you for who you are.
Can you tell me if this is INFJ survival mode:
I get super critical in my mind. A friend says something in a way, I ask him why, I pick on things, I unveil them, and then here and there a lot of revelations for them and me and it’s draining me.. And I feel like there is no other way than to vocalize what is going on with the person next to me instead of letting them be. It’s like I listen too much. Every area of my brain goes boup bip boup and makes connexions. I try to be this light person but I’m not. And I feel like I’m giving up bad vibes. And sometimes, I would love to part with this agitation and somehow responsibility. Because it’s not my work and also maybe it’s completely harmful on both sides I don’t know. I want to be this very chill and cool person who makes people smile. I do that a lot too… let’s be honest here. But these days it’s hard not picking on things. Yes there is definitely something about me with the picking thing. Noticing, pointing a pattern, an idea, or a solution. Picking on so many things my brain has NO REST!!!
This is your high sensitivity and intuition being an INFJ, Cynthia. 🙂 We can pick up vibes, good or bad, and read between the lines too. Plus, we notice everything. Try to do some activities that can give you comfort, anything that you like, so that your mind has something to relax with, even if it’s for a little bit.
More articles I read, more I feel like WOW this is real me and my struggles and my thought and this is how I actually function. Years of asking myself why I am this way and trying to explain and looking for solution. I feel very lonely on this planet sometimes, I do feel misunderstood, I am typical introvert and observant and spending to much time with other people really drains my energy. I overthink and generally think a lot. Sadness is always around me with some reason. There is so so much about INFJ and I should rather adore it that fight it. Thank you for amazing read!
I have discovered MBTI a year ago and it definitely helped me with my self-discovery. Yet i seem to have a problem on whether i’m and INTJ or INFJ. I have taken several tests which categorized me as INTJ. However i feel like i relate to INFJ more? I mean i am empathetic and care but i don’t make other people’s problems mine like in most INFJ’s descriptions (i know it makes me an asshole) Does that makes sense? and yet on the other hand i am not an cold blooded like most INTJ descriptions indicate. Please kindly advise me.
I belive that you are a infj, because normally the intjs are more confiendents of your nature, sorry my english, i am from brazil.
Woah, you reply to almost everyone’s comment? That’s hard work and you must be considerably dedicated to doing so. Anyways I’m an INFJ male here, only 15, the lack of understanding I get from people during my childhood years made me an INFJ as soon as I reached puberty, I fell into depression at 12, and at 13, I became aware of who I was and my spiritual journey began, at 14 I learnt about myself deeper as an INFJ, this year my INFJ survival mode began, I didn’t see life the way I used to, for 5 months straight, I was getting tired of every single thing, and now Im having a month of holiday, I can finally rest at home, with my own time, I have no one to have a connection though except my God, but generally speaking, even when I have a family, even when I have friends, Im all alone, but in the end Im comfortable with all this, whatever happens will always end in a bad way for me, yet Im still here, I dont mind if all this happens, and I’m surprised that as a 15 yr old boy, Im aware and Im able to be alone, with all my problems, for as long as no one else is burdened with all the difficulties I’m having, as long as I die without being a nuisance to anyone. I miss my past, I miss being who I used to, I miss seeing a possible future I have, all I can do is just wish and hope for a miracle, yet I wonder, will it even happen to me? Im not that confident about myself though, but I’m fine, I’m fine with everything by myself.
I like an infj woman. I don’t know if she likes me, or if she is not even remotely interested. I read that they want love, but chase it away. How would I know if she is honestly interested or not?
I’ve been living in INFJ survival mode on and off (mostly on) for almost 3 years now