10 Things INFJs Need in a Friendship
Guest post from Marissa Baker
Have you ever wondered what INFJs need most in a friendship? Whether you’re an INFJ trying to figure out which types of people you can trust as close friends, or you’re someone who knows an INFJ you’d like to be friends with you’re reading the right blog post.
I’m an INFJ and I’ve spent quite a bit of time talking with other INFJs about what we’re looking for in relationships with other people, including friendships. Not every point on this list will be equally true for all INFJs, but as a general rule these are 10 things we need if we’re going to have a really good friendship with someone.
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1: We Need To Feel Safe
I can’t stress this first point enough. INFJs absolutely need to feel safe in their friendships. Of course we don’t want to get close to people who deliberately hurt us, but even people who keep hurting us accidentally aren’t considered safe. Most INFJs have been hurt often enough and deeply enough that we’re very careful who we let in. INFJs won’t open up unless we think and feel that we’re safe around you in a physical, emotional, and intellectual sense.
2: We Need Understanding
INFJs know that we’re weird. Most of us have accepted this fact and we’re used to people not really understanding how our minds work. We expect they won’t take the time to actually talk with us, really listen, and make an effort to understand what’s going on in our heads. I suppose that’s one reason we don’t feel close to very many people. If you want to become friends with an INFJ, you’re going to have to show that you’re one of the few people who will make the effort to understand us.
3: We Need You To Make Some First Moves
INFJs rarely reach out to people first. Many of us hold back because we’re not sure you’d really want to talk with us and the last thing we’d want to do is insert ourselves where we’re not wanted. We also tend to get distracted by what’s going on inside our own heads and may need a reminder that you want to be friends with us. We’re usually happy to engage with you — we just need you to reach out first.
4: We Need You To Be Genuine
Some websites describe INFJs as human lie-detectors. Our ability to read other people’s emotions and notice patterns makes it pretty easy for us to figure out when someone isn’t being genuine. If we get a dishonest vibe from you you’ll probably never make it into our friend circle at all. But if you do get in and then we find out that you’re lying to or manipulating us, you’re going to get door-slammed because you’ve just proven you’re not safe.
5: We Need Deep Connection
INFJs have little interest in shallow conversation or superficial connection. Our social energy is limited and we’d rather spend it on a few friendships that we can take to a deeper level than on several casual acquaintances. We need friends that we can be weird around, talk about random and deep things with, be there for when things get tough, and who we can count on being there for us when we need someone. In short, we want friendships that have a depth of conversation and of commitment.
6: We Need To Know You Want Us
We don’t want to seem insecure, but even if we don’t say so out loud most INFJs are going to wonder why someone wants to be our friend. We might worry that you misinterpreted us in some way and want to be friends with an idea of us rather than who we really are. Or we might have so much rejection in our pasts that we don’t understand why you’d want to be our friend when other people didn’t. Whatever the reason, INFJs need to know that our friends really want to be friends with us.
7: We Need You To Be Patient
As mentioned already, it often takes INFJs a long time to open up to other people. As we’re building a closer friendship with someone, we need them to be patient with us while we try to figure out if they’re safe. Even after an INFJ is friends with someone, we still appreciate patience. This is especially noticeable in how we communicate. INFJs often struggle to get their thoughts out into words. We need friendships where it’s okay for us to talk though things for a while before getting to our final thoughts on something. Don’t pressure INFJs into quick decisions or expect us to give you all our thoughts on an important topic at once.
8: We Need You To Trust Us
Most INFJs are highly intuitive and sensitive. These two traits are often misinterpreted, which can lead to the INFJ feeling like people don’t trust them. We hate it when someone dismisses our intuitions and/or treats us like we need coddled or protected from ourselves and others. The truth is that while we may want comfort and shelter at times, INFJs are also fiercely independent and much stronger than we first appear. We never want our friends to sugarcoat things hoping to protect us or to condescendingly put up with our intuitions. We need you to trust that our intuitions are valid and that we can handle things on our own if need be.
9: We Need You To Leave Us Alone
If an INFJ didn’t like spending time with you they wouldn’t be friends with you in the first place. However, we’re still introverts and we do need our alone time. To a certain extent, we can recharge with another person around if we’re having a one-on-one conversation. But if we shut down and withdrawal for a little while don’t take it personally. Better yet, don’t make us feel guilty about needing time away from you. We’ll come back when we’re ready. And we’ll probably come back a lot sooner if we don’t feel pressured to hurry up with our introverting.
10: We Need You To Know We Care
INFJs have high hopes for their friendships, but also we know this doesn’t just go one way. If we’re asking something from you then we want you to know you’ll be getting that from us. INFJs want to be in friendships with people who trust that the INFJ isn’t going to hurt them. We try to understand and accept our friends the way that we want to be understood and accepted. We’ll be genuine with them, work to build deeper connections, and commit to the friendship. INFJs need friends who understand them well enough to realize how much they care about their friends.
In Conclusion …
You might have noticed that I didn’t list specific personality types that make better friends for INFJs. That’s because what makes a good friendship goes far beyond someone’s personality type. Whether or not we can find a deep, meaningful, and real friendship with someone has a lot more to do with who they are as a person than with what letters represent their type.
To use myself as an example, I’m close friends with an INFJ, ENFJ, INTJ, ESFJ, and ENFP. I’m also friends with quite a few people whose personality types I don’t know. Certain types might be easier for an INFJ to relate to than others, but it’s really more about the individual than it is about their type. Plus, INFJs are pretty good at connecting with people of all different personalities.
What do you think? Did I miss anything in this list of what INFJs need in a friendship? Let’s discuss in the comments! You can also check out my web site at LikeAnAnchor.com
Other Articles for INFJs:
7 Things that INFJs Experience as Children
10 Ways INFJs Can Boost Their Creativity
INFJs and the Challenge of Staying Present
Marissa Baker is the author of The INFJ Handbook (available in the Amazon Kindle Store). You can find her online at LikeAnAnchor.com where she blogs about personal growth and development from a Christian perspective.
I guess part of me is just wondering if this article doesn’t generally apply to most introverts?
There can be many things that apply to other introverts, because introversion is a characteristic that determines INFJs to be as they are. But, this article is more specifically written to INFJs based on what makes them different from other introverted types. So, while there may be some overlap, it is not complete for other types.
I have to know that you want to see the real me, and not a social construct/mask
Your comment sounds like the concern of an INFP
Thank you for this great article
When the list gets that long, aren’t they “wants” rather than “needs”? 🙂
Thank you for this descriptions of INFJ’s needs. Now I better understand my INFJ friend. 🙂