Loneliness is the biggest obstacle slowing down INFJs on the road to happiness. Overcoming INFJ loneliness is not easy. No other feeling causes so much anxiety and sadness. What separates loneliness from other roadblocks on the INFJ path is that it can show its face anytime and anywhere.
Why is overcoming loneliness hard for INFJs?
Have you ever found yourself surrounded by people, listening the sound of small talk, and feeling judgmental eyes looking straight at you? I know I have plenty of times.
Even today I face judging words — “He is weird, quiet, and strange”— because I love spending hours in bookstores by myself, and love having dinner alone in a restaurant.
If I’m honest, I feel lonely where I am now. But I’m balancing that feeling because there are plenty of moments when happiness embraces me. The source of my loneliness comes from the knowledge that people I hold dear live thousands of miles away.
Also, my full potential will only be fulfilled when I reach my dream and leave my current location. It will happen, but until then, loneliness and me are stuck with each other.
Overcoming INFJ loneliness is hard because we often feel misunderstood. We feel that no one gets us and that we’re all alone in our way of thinking. It feels lonely when INFJs constantly need to explain why solitude is important, why we feel lonely in a crowd, or why we need peace and quiet. It’s not easy to win a race against loneliness, but it’s possible.
The best strategy to conquer INFJ loneliness
A review by researchers at the University of Chicago found that targeting negative thought processes is the key to conquering loneliness.
“Effective interventions are not so much about providing others with whom people can interact, providing social support, or teaching social skills as they are about changing how people who feel lonely perceive, think about, and act toward other people,” said John Cacioppo, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Chicago.
If you want to conquer loneliness you need to shake off the doubt and self-criticism. There’s enough of that from the outside world. Make yourself your own biggest support. I’m not saying that loneliness will magically disappear in a day. But only you can decide if it will put you on your knees or propel you to your dreams.
I recommend the following strategies for INFJ loneliness prevention:
1. Start the process to conquer loneliness by shifting your focus. Make note of the things that make you happy, no matter how small they are and no matter how long they may last.
2. Involve yourself in doing any activity that will transport your mindset far away from loneliness. If you’re working on a project or hobby, give it that creative INFJ flare . Make it interesting, and add new rules to make it fun and enjoyable.
3. Strive to be around people who will fully understand what are you going through. Direct your efforts toward searching for local introvert or INFJ gatherings if possible. Joining online groups and forums can help, too, though nothing can replace the value of in-person connections.
What other INFJs have to say about loneliness
Loneliness is a universal problem for the INFJ personality. It is our common, unwanted visitor. Here’s what some of my fellow INFJs from the private INFJ Forum have to say about INFJ loneliness from their own experience.
Lisa shares her loneliness experience through the lens of the INFJ personality: “My personal take on the loneliness issue is undoubtedly influenced to some degree by my Enneagram personality type (Five with a Four wing; 5w4s have a natural inclination towards being unconventional, introspective loners), and I would imagine that a certain amount of this sentiment could be attributable to the INFJ personality.”
Jeff says he gets lonely mostly among people, whether in groups, or sometimes among friends. As well as in relationships. He adds: “Usually when I’m reflecting on life, I feel lonely and long to establish a relationship based on a mutual deep connection, which so far has eluded me. Ironically, I do crave a significant amount of solitude, and in those moments I never feel lonely!”
Suwi points out the feeling of loneliness when she’s in a group of people and no one understands her. She keeps things to herself and stays quiet and observant. Suwi also adds: “Sometimes I feel lonely when I’m in my deep self-observing state. I feel as if I miss something or someone, but I can’t get the grasp of what that is. I almost never feel lonely when I’m alone.”
The people who make you feel lonely
Late American actor Robin Williams explained the INFJ feeling of loneliness to a T, when he said,
“I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone.”
And as seen from the examples of INFJs from the forum, loneliness affects our personality more so in a group. But it’s not there to punish you. It’s temporary and you can overcome it. It will become much easier when you see loneliness as a guide to where you want to be.
Loneliness is a road sign to success
When you feel lonely, know that feeling is not there to stop you. It’s there to show you that you can succeed. Wherever you are right now and whatever thoughts found their home in your INFJ mind, remember this.
Everything that comes your way is not more that you can handle. Every single event, person, or word that made you feel lonely was there to teach you something.
Feeling lonely doesn’t feel good, but it has a purpose. It’s there to show you that you are capable of handling everything life throws at you my fellow INFJ. You will overcome loneliness because you have something few people possess. A beautiful personality like no other. You are an INFJ and you are not alone. <3
Live This Tuesday: 6 Steps to Deal With INFJ Loneliness
We’ll be doing an encore of the 6 Steps To Deal With INFJ Loneliness INFjam this Tuesday Nov. 7th. These INFJams are interactive webinars covering topics that matter to INFJs.
During the INFJam, you’ll discover:
- Mindset tools to conquer loneliness in your own INFJ way
- How to find a balance between needed alone time, and socializing
- The simple tweak that will bring more connection into your life, without overwhelm
- As usual you also have the chance to connect with INFJs from all over the world in the live chat box
Go here to join this Tuesday’s loneliness INFJam.
What about you?
How often do you feel lonely? What situation trigger INFJ loneliness for you? Please feel free share your comments below, I would love to hear what you think.
P.S. There is more on this topic in the INFJ Forum. If you’re interested in connecting with other INFJs from around the world, join Introvert Spring’s private INFJ forum. We are truly a buzzing community! Join today, and you’ll receive our 20-page INFJ Relationship guide as a gift. You’ll also gain access to unique INFJ blog posts, member events, and videos.
As I indicated in my thread, my dearest friend, the following quote by fellow INFJ psychotherapist Carl Jung beautifully expresses exactly what I also feel regarding loneliness:
“Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.”
I literally cherish solitude, and am fortunate enough to be able to enjoy a substantial amount of it in my life (which I personally require in order to truly be happy); being alone has never once caused me to feel lonely.
However, as I noted in my initial thread post, I came to the realization quite a while ago that the times that I actually do recall feeling lonely in my life have all been times when I’ve been in the presence of other people, either in relationships or in social settings, in which I didn’t feel understood, accepted or valued for being my authentic self and for openly expressing my thoughts and feelings.
I do know that joining the forum last April was definitely helpful for reducing my sense of isolation related to not feeling understood in certain ways, since there are often things that other INFJs share that I can relate to, which is certainly refreshing, and others often relate to what I share, as well.
I really appreciate how respectful and considerate my fellow INFJs are with each other on the forum, and I also enjoy the level of introspection and insight.
Thanks for another thought-provoking article, Marko. 🙂
Wonderful quote! Thanks for sharing it my dearest friend! 🙂 I know how much solitude means to you, but I can also understand that you had times when you felt lonely. I’m really glad to hear that joining the forum made the positive difference. 🙂 You are most welcome!
Well said. My sentiments exactly!
HI Marko, I too feel lonely in a large group when I can’t join in the conversation. I am out of work at the moment, but am actually thoroughly enjoying the alone time. I read, do things online and can watch my favourite tv programmes by myself. I do look forward to going to the library though to see my new workmates there who are very nice. 🙂
I can fully relate with your feeling about the conversation in a group Snookie. That’s good to hear that you have alone time at work to read, relax, and also visit the library to see your new coworkers. 🙂
I enjoyed your article very much. For me this feeling of loneliness has become the biggest issue. Not in any life threatening way, but still always present in the background. As you describe it is not about the number of people that I am surrounding myself with. In fact I work everyday with many people in a helping profession that very much makes use of my strengths. I like the quotes by Carl Jung (thanks to @MzAnneThrope) and Robin Williams as they pinpoint this rather sad fact very well. And I would like to add another quote by Janet Fitch:
“Loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow. Never expect to outgrow loneliness. Never hope to find people who will understand you, someone to fill that space. An intelligent, sensitive person is the exception, the very great exception. If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment. The best you’ll ever do is to understand yourself, know what it is that you want, and not let the cattle stand in your way.”
The loneliness many INFJs feel (and I am sure not only this type) is connected to perceiving things about our world that can’t be shared with most people on the street without being declared a day dreamer, spoilsport or even a heretic. By the way I am not unhappy about it. As you mentioned it has a purpose and it has helped me to identify new ways of dealing with the dissatisfaction that arises from this state. I have not been interested in religions so far but through my constant search I have found Buddhism to be a very attractive world view to answer many of the open questions that most people don’t even want to know or are afraid to ask. It is a philosophy that offers very good techniques to deal with those problems that I have pondered about in the past and really completely turned my ideas about the world and my place in it upside down.
Any way I am very glad you are helping INFJs to feel they are not alone and that they are here for a purpose.
Thank you so much Susan for your kind words, I’m glad you liked the article. Also, thank you for sharing your thoughts, and this great quote, I love it! 🙂 I’m honored Susan that I can help my fellow INFJs, you are not alone. 🙂
A very interesting article and thought-provoking comments that followed. Made myself really think about where I fit in this conundrum and how my loneliness is materialised.
As an INFJ I can say that when we talk about loneliness we are not pineing for someone. It is not our personal life per se that we are focusing on. Our loneliness has manifested on a much bigger scale than that, I feel. Of constantly being misunderstood in life over small arguments and big discussions to the point where we feel we can’t talk to anyone anymore.
I was such a talkative child. Still am. Though now if I get the giggles even my family will call me silly and weird. So again misunderstood for acting up and not being a multifaceted person.
I have fought with fibromyalgia for over 8 years and that has isolated me geographically, socially and emotionally as no one believed I was telling the truth about being ill until I was diagnosed a year a go. Even now some family don’t.
I am one of the most strongest personalities in my family yet I am grossly misunderstood about personal and world opinions or ideas. Or even my intentions. With this my sense of justice, right & wrong, morality, basic humanity, everything gets hurt AND that is what causes my loneliness.
Not living in a city where I know no one, living in a small flat day in day out. As that is where I am discovering and remaking myself.
Hi Simah, I’m really sorry you are facing this misunderstanding. Please know, everything you faced and are facing will make you stronger. Hard to accept, yes. But in the long run, it will take you to your goal and dream. Nurture your INFJ personality and remember, you will be misunderstood, but accept fully who you are. Maybe you don’t see it now, but your loneliness has a purpose and it will help you find what you’re looking for. Don’t stop and keep moving forward.
Today I spent some time with a fellow from Mexico. I realized that being around Americans all the time makes me feel lonely. Their values and orientation towards life so often seems shallow. I really like being around people from different countries, I feel less alone.
Good to hear you like spending time with people from different countries, Jan! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
I think I feel lonely or different from people in that I find people harsh . I find people generally very competitive in day today life and I don’t want to be a part of that . I work with the public and from time to time I recognize a person who is walking a gentler path. This may sound crazy but I feel like we recognize each other and an energy is exchanged .
Thanks for sharing, Spenjor! I don’t think what you say is crazy, quite the contrary, it makes perfect sense. I also believe in the flow of energy, that it is being exchanged for a better recognition, so you are not alone. 🙂
Hi Marko & Michaela,
I just took the MB Test & found out I’m an INFJ & stumbled on your link to find out more about my test results. I was immediately amazed & impressed with the depth & accuracy of your description of INFJ personality. Now everything makes sense why I’ve been/ felt so left out among family & socially. I was in healthcare as a therapist for 30 yr’s. & loved helping others realize their full potential. Now that I’m retired I am finally taking care of my own needs – thank you for this website where we can reach out to others like ourselves!
Hi Cindy! We are so happy to hear about you INFJ discovery and that it made so much sense to you! That’s great that you are taking care of yourself and that you found us. 🙂 You are most welcome, thank you for your kind words! 🙂
Reading your experiences on loneliness gave me a physical sick feeling in the stomach-I really really relate to you!
Thank you so so much for sharing this with us. Thank you for all your amazing work at Introvert Spring. I’ve been subscribed for a few months now, but this is my very first “appearance”. Probably because I’m struggling with this the most. And have done so throughout all my life.
As painful and scary as it is, it’s also been the leading reason we’ve been striving forward and continuing to push our boundaries further and further. Growing wiser and more fulfilled on the inside.
I LOVED your suggestions and tips. I’m definitely going to be putting them to good use.
Keep going Marko! You’re doing GREAT! Such an inspiration to us all ☺️
Hi Elly! You are most welcome, and thank you so much for your kind, supportive words, they mean a lot! You are doing well, just keep moving forward and don’t stop, you got this. I’m glad to hear you will be applying the tips and advice I wrote. Thank you again Elly for your encouraging words, I’m honored and humbled to read them. 🙂
Good day, all. A topic worth discussing for hours. That seeping feeling of isolation often sneaks up on me by a number of things, such as through observing the typical extroverted world’s general culture and being a quiet male. I feel that no matter which way I were to go about explaining such isolation, it would be misinterpreted or seen as ‘over dramatic’ or abnormally negative. I am no longer encouraged of explaining myself if the same answer typically runs along the line of mentally inept or ‘get over its’…
Hi, Odin! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I fully agree with you. There is no need for us INFJs to explain ourselves, because some people will not understand us no matter what. Luckily, there will always be those who will. 🙂
Hey, I’m a INFJ teen and I struggle with the feeling of loneliness and INFJ depression. I have trouble telling people how I feel because I don’t want them to be sad because of my depression and anxiety and when I found out I was a INFJ. And that I wasn’t weird or alone it took some of the anxiety away, but how can I meet other INFJs?
Hi GeekyKim! Before I give you my advice on meeting other INFJs, please know, I’m not a professional therapist, so I would suggest that you consult a professional when it comes to depression. There’s nothing to be sad about because you are an INFJ. You have a wonderful personality, and yes, many will not understand you, but that’s okay, there will always be those who will. I understand you. Embrace who you are. No matter what anyone else says, no matter what they think, embrace your INFJ personality and use it’s beautiful traits to meet like minded people. Don’t wear a mask. I promise that people will be drawn to your authentic nature. It’s not about the quantity of people you meet, it’s about the quality of those who understand and accept you. Don’t loose hope, you are not alone and you matter. You are important, please remember that.
A good deal of my loneliness comes from
1. Being an expat. I feel most at home with fellow expats (from other first world countries) because we share that international experience and frequently delt with similar if not the same problems. I find people who have grown up solely in one country to frequently be narrow minded, and sometimes determinedly so.
2. Being surrounded by small talk. I often crave to just be completely alone so I wouldn’t have to sit through endless “how are you”s (i think that is the most overused, misunderstood, personal question ever and shouldn’t be used as a greeting, but it seems to offend people when you don’t… go figure) as well as comments about my accent. How would you feel if you constantly were asked where you got your eyebrows, or something like that?
3. People trying and failing to relate to me.
And 4. People telling me how much worse they’ve had it. I will give and give and give to try and make people happy. I’ll listen and advise and distract and use every strength I possess to help someone I love. All I ask is that they realise what I’m giving and not tell me I know nothing about pain when I try to reciprocate. It took a lot for me to open up. Saying things like that pushes me back in.
Thank you for sharing this, Ninae. There’s a sentence you wrote with which I think all INFJs will relate to: “It took a lot for me to open up.” Not many understand how difficult this is for INFJs, so I humbly thank you once more for sharing what you wrote here.
ty Ninae i have that problem 2 u said it perfectly
hello marko i have been an infj all my life just didnt know the proper name for my quiet natured personality i run into the lonliness depression and anxiety that comes with having the infj personality i dont like big groups i tend to look for an escape when i feel boxed in im very highly sensitive and a big empath as well i look at as a blessing and a curse bc i often feel misunderstood as well as used by people because of my type of personality and i often over think that there is a problem with me when thats not the case at all.
Hi christinamarie! Thank you for sharing this. Please know that when it comes to your personality and being an INFJ, there is nothing wrong with you, there never was. I understand how you feel about big groups, empathy, sensitivity… But remember, you are not alone. 🙂
This article was great for all of us INFJs who feel the lonliness. Friends sometimes ask if I’m depressed. How do you explain that it’s not that I’m depressed, but I feel like I need to be left alone, but at the same time I’m lonely? Great reminders here. Thanks, Marko! And thank you, Susan for the quote from Janet Finch. It is really helful.
You are most welcome Tiona! 🙂 I’m really glad to hear the article answered your questions about loneliness, and that you found it helpful.
Thank you for this article. This is exactly where I am at right now. Loneliness has definitely been overwhelming for me lately. Thanks for the reminder that it won’t last forever. 🙂
You are most welcome, Chelsea! I fully understand you.
Oh, this is a positive spot I’ve found online, brimming with connection and recognition. Bravo to Marko. I will take on board the idea of stretching out those moments of happiness to last longer. Who knows, they may even join up.
But I’ve arrived too late for the INFJam…will there be another?
Thank you so much! I’m so glad you found us! 🙂 Unfortunately, there are no more INFJams, but pay close attention to our Facebook groups, as there will be lives that will cover all that matters to introverts and INFJs, similar like the jams did. 🙂
That sounds good.
I liked the idea of jams, they sounded delicious.
Only thing is, I’m far too shy for Facebook. Rather too much chatter, masquerading as connection. How many friends? Are they real? Do they like you? Do they approve of your wall? Do you still get poked, or is that old hat?
All so confusing…sigh.
But I do understand that it’s a necessary tool in the world. If you could point me towards the quiet puddle of INFJ, I will maybe muster the courage to join.
I don’t favor facebook either my friend. Did you ever find a quiet puddle?