Ever wondered what it means to be an INFJ? How does it really feel to be in the head of the “Mystic” type? As one of the rarest types in the Myers-Briggs® system, INFJs are known for their keen insights, warm empathy, and profound insight into human potential. Today we’re going to explore twenty-four things that most INFJs will relate to. Do you relate? Let us know!
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24 Signs That You’re an INFJ
You Are Fascinated by Human Psychology
Nothing thrills you more than digging into theories or ideas about how people think and respond to life. Being able to understand people better is one of your greatest goals in life. You’re naturally eager to learn more about the human mind, human behavior, coping mechanisms, and more. This interest in psychology is one of the reasons that your type is especially drawn to theories like Myers-Briggs® or Enneagram.
You Enjoy Complexity
To you, the whole world is filled with layers upon layers of meaning. Your goal is to wade past the shallow details of life and dive deep into the true meaning of life itself. You view life as if you’re standing on a precipice, looking down, wanting to see how things connect and unfold.
You Are Deeply Empathic
You tend to absorb the feelings and emotions of the people around you. It’s not hard for you to shift perspectives and imagine how many different people would feel about something. This empathy can be both a blessing and a curse. At times, it can help you to form authentic bonds and counsel effectively. At other times, it can feel overwhelming and burdensome – especially if you can’t differentiate other people’s feelings from your own.
Learning Is Your Drug of Choice
You seek wisdom more than nearly anything and are always probing for more information about abstract topics and ideas. You may quickly forget facts, but you desire constant self-improvement and increased understanding. Taking classes is one of your favorite leisure time activities, and non-fiction books probably fill your shelves.
You Connect with People One-on-One Rather Than in Large Groups
When there are a lot of people all around you, it’s difficult for you to focus deeply on one individual. You like to get away to a quiet setting where you can really concentrate. You crave depth over breadth, so you enjoy intimate conversations where a deeper level of understanding and authenticity can be reached.
You Can Be Hard to Get to Know
While you might seem emotionally warm and expressive on the outside, your biggest dreams and ideas in life are often held inside where you guard them carefully. Often this results from a childhood where you were chastised for having “outlandish” or “unrealistic” views. This can also happen because it’s difficult for you to verbalize intuitions that are often rich, nuanced, and complex. Your ideas and insights can be shocking, non-conformist, or so abstract that people can’t figure out what to do with them. As a result, you’ve often learned to internalize them rather than express them outright.
You Withdraw to Protect Yourself
Because you take on the emotions and cares of the people around you so readily, you are easily hurt or affected by the pain of others. You may go through bouts of socializing only to disappear for great lengths of time so that you can handle all the emotional disruption that you’ve received from the outside world.
You Quickly See Other People’s Intentions
Because you’re more interested in the background reasons why people say or do what they do, you can quickly discover what their hidden intentions are. To you, the motives and intentions are always more evident than what is on the surface. Because of this, you often notice good or evil intent before even the person you’re speaking to is aware of it.
You Are a Quiet Cheerleader to Your Friends
You enjoy motivating people to be their best selves through gentle, consistent praise and approval. You are highly sensitive in how you handle other people’s feelings and are slow to criticize or micro-manage. You feel that the best way to get someone to do something is to inspire them from the inside rather than push them from the outside.
You Despise Interpersonal Conflict
You enjoy being in harmonious, peaceful environments and find places of conflict and criticism highly stressful. While some types can compartmentalize conflict or even enjoy a certain amount of volatility and debate, you find yourself deeply stressed and troubled by it. Even hours after the conflict has ended you find yourself sorting through what happened in your mind and trying to make sense of it or trying to make sure that everyone you care about is okay. One of the hardships of having your type is that you can sense other people’s feelings so easily that conflict situations can make you confused. You find yourself empathizing with everyone rather than holding your ground on how you feel. You may give in or rush to get past the conflict only to realize you should have stood up for yourself more.
You Can Be Hot and Cold When it Comes to Affection
You enjoy a warm hug from your partner or a good friend, but not always. If you’re “peopled-out” from socializing or you’re stressed, you tend to want space both physically and emotionally. Typologist and psychologist David Keirsey states of INFJs, “They tend to be physically affectionate, but wish to choose when – which is when they are in the mood – and such a hot and cold style may be quite confusing to their mate.”
You Often Wind Up in the Role of Counselor
Because of your intuitive, empathic nature, many people find themselves confiding their deepest secrets to you. You often find yourself advising siblings, friends, or even adult family members as they go through hardships. While some types might hate this role, it actually makes you feel fulfilled because you’re able to tap into your intuitive and feeling sides at the same time. You often feel it’s your duty to improve the lives of others.
You See Two People in Everyone
You rarely take anything, or anyone, at face value. You easily see people’s public personas, their outer shells, but more than anything, you’re looking for the core of the individual. You want to apprehend their motivations, intentions, struggles, and yearnings.
You Have a Vivid, Playful Inner World
While on the outside you might seem serious and studious, on the inside you have a lush, imaginative, playful inner world. Your thoughts are often mischievous, humorous, controversial, irreverent, and even daring. You love playing with ideas, images, symbols, connections, theories, metaphors, and possibilities. You can find more ways to get in touch with your intuition in this article: How to Strengthen Your Intuition (Your INFJ Superpower)
You Don’t See Events as “Stand Alone” Incidents
When something happens, you instantly connect it with any other related incidents and then map the incident forward, seeing how it will progress. Your goal is to see the ripple effects of current experiences and actions. Every ripple is connected to another ripple and then one core event. Every ripple spans out and affects other things. Because of this, you often see the consequences of various actions simultaneously with the action itself.
You Are Deeply Connected With Your Dreams
Your mind is constantly synthesizing unconscious information and trying to decode hidden meanings and abstract concepts. A.J. Drenth from Personality Junkie states in The 16 Personality Types: Profiles, Theory, & Type Development that, “Because Ni affords INFJs a more intimate relationship with the workings of what most people call the subconscious mind, INFJs’ routine existence often assumes a sort of dreamlike quality. For INFJs, there is less of a distinction between their ordinary waking state and the experience of sleep. At times, this can make it difficult to separate dream from reality, making nightmares all the more disturbing for this type.”
When You’re Stressed, You Crave Sensory Overload or Escapism
In moments of extreme stress, you tend to say “Screw it!” to the world and all your restraint. You want to binge eat an entire pizza, spend all the money in your wallet, buy a last-minute ticket to a far-off location, or pick a fight with someone just to get a rush. Sometimes you channel this restless energy into something productive like cleaning frantically, exercising hard, or singing at the top of your lungs while you dance alone in your room. You can find out more about INFJs and stress here: Understanding INFJ “Grip” Stress
You Can Struggle to Make Sense of Your Own Emotions
Because your mind relies on a function called Extraverted Feeling (Fe), you tend to detect outer emotions more quickly than your inner feelings. It’s easy for you to understand outwardly expressed emotions because this is one of the skills of Extraverted Feeling. However, understanding your own internalized emotions is a bit trickier. This is because you tend to process your inner thoughts and feelings through Introverted Thinking (Ti). Inwardly, you’ll try to analyze the logic of your feelings more than really trusting them. You tend to get stuck in analysis-paralysis when it comes to your inner feelings. Because you’re using Thinking to process them, it’s like trying to chop a vegetable with a spoon instead of a knife. You’re usually able to process your feelings much more easily if you can verbalize them or write them down and read them out-loud back to yourself. This allows Extraverted Feeling to do its work!
You Are Desperately Bored By Small Talk
You know a certain amount of small talk is an integral part of getting to know someone. After all, you can’t really start a conversation with a “So what’s the meaning of your life?” line. However, prolonged small talk or conversation relating to surface-level details tends to leave you desperately bored. You want your conversations to have a point or some meaning beyond the day-to-day. Profound discussions about concepts and psychology or raw discussions about relationships are always preferable.
You Get Overwhelmed by Details
Because Extraverted Sensation (Se) is your inferior function, you tend to get flustered by a lot of sensory details in your environment. Loud noise, bright lights, or having to track a bunch of moving parts all tend to make you feel anxious and tense.
You Have a Knack for Interpreting
You are talented at explaining to others what people mean or what their intentions really are. This makes you an excellent peacemaker or diplomat – rather than jumping to conclusions or taking immediate offense, you tend to listen in a nuanced, understanding way. You can help two opposing sides see where their intentions or goals align.
You Crave Enlightment
You are highly driven to understand the spiritual and metaphysical world. You enjoy helping people to grow and develop and get in touch with their purpose in life. Like rumored INFJ Mahatma Gandhi, you believe “There is force in the universe, which, if we permit it, will flow through us and produce miraculous results.”
You Hate Generalizations
Because you have tertiary Introverted Thinking (Ti) and dominant Introverted Intuition (Ni) you tend to see many nuances in people’s perspectives and logic. When people make sweeping generalizations it disrupts your Introverted Thinking side, and when people fail to see the perspectives of other people it disrupts your intuitive and feeling side. Not sure what these cognitive functions are (Ti or Ni)? Check out the Mind of the INFJ here.
You Always Wonder, “What Does This Really Mean?”
Because you’re more concerned with why something happens than how it happens, you are always trying to look behind-the-scenes. Like a detective, you’re constantly scanning for clues or hidden secrets that would explain something or someone in a deeper, more profound way.
What Are Your Thoughts?
How many of these points do you relate to? Do you have any insights or experiences you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments! Find out more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type, The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic, and The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!
“The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic is so insightful and has helped me to understand myelf SO much better. Susan packs the book with so many useful tips and it has helped me to understand my stress levels better, my relationship with my ISTJ husband, and what I need as a mom to my three kids. I’m so glad I have this book in my life!” – Arlysse McKinney
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