10 Things You Should Never Say to an INFJ
As an INFJ, words are very powerful to you. You think hard about what you say and how you say it, being careful to choose just the right phrase to fit the occasion. You try to think of perspectives and alternate viewpoints, trying to take into consideration everyone’s point of view. When other people use words carelessly or refuse to see your viewpoint it can feel draining to spend time with them.
We’re all triggered by different statements and words more than others. In general, everyone hates hearing “calm down”, “relax”, or “you’re being too sensitive”. When I spoke with members of each personality type, across the board everyone hated those statements. Nobody wants to feel like they’re being irrational, regardless of their thinking or feeling preference. But what especially triggers the perceptive, empathetic INFJs? Let’s take a look.
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“Let Me Stop You Right There…”
INFJs think hard before they speak, and they like to have the chance to complete one thought before moving onto another. Interruptions and being cut off in the middle of a sentence will exasperate them because they often need to take some time to feel that their message is fleshed out properly.
“Get Over It”
When INFJs have been hurt they need time to heal and think through how to move forward. Being rushed to “get over” what happened will make them feel irritated and misunderstood.
“That’ll Never Happen”
The insights and predictions of the INFJ are often met with skepticism by other types. Because their premonitions are often the result of a “hunch”, sensing types tend to be wary of accepting them. This is usually a bad idea, because INFJ insights are often scarily accurate.
“I’ve Got You Figured Out”
Sorry. You don’t.
“Here’s Some Advice”
INFJs don’t appreciate unsolicited advice unless someone has an extremely thorough knowledge of the subject at hand. Think hard before giving advice to an INFJ, if they are really struggling with something, chances are they’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out solutions already.
“You’re Too Serious. Lighten Up!”
INFJs take life seriously and have difficulty just “living it up” in the moment. Typologist A.J. Drenth says of INFJs, “Because Ni perceives the world so differently and profoundly, INFJs often experience a sense of loneliness and isolation, even when they are with other people. Depression may also arise from the feeling that their ideals and insights are not being recognized or actualized in the world. They may see the world as deaf to, or unconcerned with, the truths they espouse. INFJs may, therefore, question their value in a world that seems indifferent to their insights.” Read his entire article here.
“Everyone Like This Does That”
Generalizations. These are the bane of the INFJ’s existence. People are nuanced and life is complicated, and INFJs realize that there are a million and one different reasons why people do the things they do. Hasty generalizations about broad groups of people make INFJs instantly irritable. For example, “All INFJs don’t know how to be logical!” or “All Republicans/Liberals believe (some extremist viewpoint).” INFJs may even find themselves playing devil’s advocate against themselves just to discount a generalization!
“You’re Not Trying Hard Enough!”
INFJs are major perfectionists and generally try hard at just about everything. What are they not trying hard enough to do? Is it really important? Could there be a better way of encouraging them? Probably.
“I’ll Never Understand You”
INFJs tend to feel misunderstood most of the time, but being told that the hope of being understood is out of reach or impossible can be an incredibly depressing realization.
“Your Idea is Weird. Let’s Go the Traditional Route.”
INFJs are visionaries who like to try new and innovative ways of doing things. Using the “tried and true” method can be frustrating for them. They don’t automatically respect tradition or repetitive techniques. Give their ideas a chance before automatically reverting to a traditional method.
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What Are Your Thoughts?
Any statements you’d like to add? Share your thoughts with other readers in the comments!
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As an INFJ, it is hard for me to let people in when I’m feeling sad or lonely. At work, I have a very sweet colleague who can’t help barely listening to what I say, even when I’m being very vulnerable and it’s something very serious, so she can jump into a whole bunch of stuff about herself or her family members. I want to say, “Can we stay focused on me for a little while?” usually, what she says are things I’ve heard many times before. She is a high extrovert and doesn’t know what it costs me to open up. I’m figuratively lying their bleeding saying I’ve had an amputation, and she says,” My son once got a bad papercut… “
That must have been frustrating for you, Tina.
I can certainly understand the feeling of not getting a word in edgewise.
It can be hard to find someone who’ll give the time of day, and who we feel we can trust, but there are gems out there and I sincerely hope you find one around you.
I will say, I’m an infj, and I noticed myself bringing conversations back around to me when I was incredibly depressed. I wasn’t interacting with anybody from The real world, so whenever people would bring issues to me, I would bring up my past experiences in an attempt to relate to them. she might just be doing that because she’s extroverted and it’s her way of trying to relate to you. When you’re introverted all the time, and don’t share much with the world, you’re not really giving them anything to grasp onto as far as a conversation would go. Just think of it like she’s trying to be a little more personal with you, kind of like a you share then I share situation. Everything in this world is on a spectrum of positive and negative, and it’s steered completely by your perception of your world. Try not to go into things giving it the negative slide on that spectrum. Give it a chance.
“That’s no big deal”.
I’m relatively “low maintenance” and typically an “under-reactor”. I tend to be pragmatic. So when I’m actually concerned (not overreacting-but serious about it). It feels very dismissive to be told “that’s no big deal” in a flippant way.
“You can’t do it”. Whenever I’m told I can’t do something I will make it my life’s purpose to do whatever it is. I don’t like to be told that. I’m very stubborn but will do anything to make someone happy even though it is rarely returned. Also someone calling me stupid infuriates me. I’m smarter than most people think.
EXACTLYYYYYY. I only smile when I feel the need to, and when I’m genuinely joyful. telling me to smile won’t make me any more likely to do so, and makes me not want to
I can understand what Tina has said. As an INFJ, I have a hard time opening up when I’m sad as well, which tends to drive me deep into loneliness and isolation. I recognize the need to talk to someone, and I’ll go through a list of peopleI could potentially talk to about things, close friends and family, but ultimately realize that I can’t trust anyone (not that family and friends can’t be trusted to keep my issues private, but that they can’t be trusted to fully understand and empathize with what I’m feeling, what is, for me, extremely important). So, I isolate myself from people, determine im going to turn into a hermit, but eventually I work my own problems out through a creative outlet like writing or art, and I can feel close to people again when my emotions are toned down. Its when my emotions are unbearably strong that I can’t connect with others. Talking about them only hurts worse.
Robin I completely agree. Those two statements are most annoying to me as well. I have done some pretty crazy things in my life because people have told me I couldn’t do it. So I did it just to prove them wrong. And being called stupid is the number one worst thing to say to me, or to respond to something I’ve said with “that’s stupid,” oh that drives me mad!
Having my opinion dismissed. I’m happy to share silly stories on myself, and vulnerable snapshots of myself to win others into a discussion. But if I share my it-took-me-a-very-long-time-and-lots-of-thought-and-brain-space-to-establish-and-a-lot-of-courage-to-share OPINION on something. Acknowledge it, consider it, but DO NOT dismiss it. Or, I will NEVER speak to you again.
1 more thing not to say, if you love me!
exactly , you can’t smile while you are in bad mood , it will be fake if you smile against , if they want you to smile genuinely , they must cheer you up instead .
Get over it.
My boyfriend said that to me and straight after that he was my ex boyfriend.
“You think too much…”
Orrr, maybe you dont think enough? (No, I think too much but I did almost hit the guy.)