4 Reasons You Might Be Lonely As An INFJ

A few days ago I received an email from an INFJ who was struggling with bullying and a sense of isolation in her everyday life.

“I feel so alone. I feel like I can’t be myself around anyone. When I do try, I’m instantly rebuffed.”

Unfortunately, this kind of experience is very common. Every day I get emails and comments from INFJs who feel like nobody understands them – like they’re walking through life unheard. They feel like aliens in a world that simply doesn’t accept, understand, or appreciate their strengths.

Why is loneliness so common for the INFJ? How can they feel more connected to the outside world and more understood? I hope this article helps you (if you’re an INFJ) feel less alone, more understood, and more aware of why you struggle with loneliness. If you’re not an INFJ, I hope this article can help you to understand the INFJ in your life in a better, more positive way.

Not sure what your personality type is? Take our new personality questionnaire here. Or you can take the official MBTI® here.

P.S. If you want even more in-depth information on INFJs and relationships, careers, parenthood, and more check out my eBook: The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic.

4 Reasons INFJs Struggle with Loneliness

Reason #1 – INFJs Are Rare

infjs rare

INFJs make up only 1% of the population. That means that you have a very small chance of meeting another like-minded individual in the world. This also means that 99 out of 100 people you meet are likely to see the world in a different way than you do. Many INFJs go through life never meeting anyone who sees the world and makes decisions in the same way that they do.

“But I see so many INFJs online!”

INFJs gravitate towards personality forums, groups, and message boards. They are one of the types most naturally interested in Myers-Briggs® theory, so you’ll find a much higher percentage of them in personality groups. Also, I would guess probably 8 out of 10 people typed as INFJs by online tests are actually INFPs, ISFPs, or ISFJs (also amazing personality types). You can find out more about this here.

Now before you give me a hard time about having a “special snowflake INFJ syndrome” just remember that I’m only stating facts here. Every personality type is unique, special, and gifted.

Reason #2 – INFJs are Social Chameleons

INFJs interact with the outside world using Extraverted Feeling (Fe). This means that they are remarkably attuned to the emotions and moods of others. They “absorb” the feelings of the people around them. If they are with people who are sad, they will feel sad. If they are with people who are happy, they will feel their joy. If they are in a stressful environment, they will feel other people’s stress.

On one hand, this ability makes INFJs great at connecting with people and feeling their pain, rejoicing in their joys, and empathizing deeply. On the other hand, it also leaves them at the mercy of the ever-shifting moods of the people in their environment.

INFJs are so concerned with maintaining harmony and improving the moods and emotions of others, that they can leave their own emotions and feelings untended. As a result, they can wind up feeling overloaded with other people’s feelings and lost and alone when managing their own.

Related: ENFJs, INFJs and Empathy Burnout

The INFJ - Understanding the Mystic eBook

Reason #3 – Very Few People Trust INFJ Insights

The intuitive insights of the INFJ are hard to explain in a tangible, concrete way. INFJs have insights, premonitions, or predictions about the future and most people will laugh these off as “silly” or not grounded in reality.

Why do people react like this?

If we look at the US population, about 70-75% are made up of sensors. Sensors trust concrete facts and tangible results. If an INFJ explains a “gut” feeling or insight about the future, the sensor is naturally going to feel suspicious. They’ll want to know what led to this insight, what tangible, concrete steps were taken to determine this intuition.

The problem with this is that Introverted Sensing (Si)  is the function that determines a future outcome by looking at past experience. Introverted Sensing (Si) focuses on verifiable facts, credentials, or concrete tangible proof. Si-users predict the future based on past performance and experience. If you ask a Si-user why they predict something, they’ll be able to say “because A led to B which will lead to C”. If you ask a Ni-user why they predict something, initially all they might be able to say is “I just know”. This does little to impress or influence the sensor, and as a result, the INFJ may be seen as “nutty” or bizarre. There IS a logical way that INFJs get their insights, and you can find out more about this here.

Living like this can be debilitating for the INFJ. Many other types have dominant functions that are appreciated and promoted in daily life. Extraverted thinking, for example, is easy for people to trust and see as beneficial. Introverted Intuition is one of the most abstract and misunderstood cognitive functions, and very few people in the outside world trust it or understand it.

Reason #4 – INFJs May Lose Friends Due to “Vanishing” 

INFJs often go through long periods of time relying very heavily on their auxiliary function, Extraverted Feeling (Fe). Work, family life, and social obligations demand it. INFJs enjoy the company of others, because it allows them to exercise their feeling preference. However, after prolonged socialization INFJs can experience stress from leaning too hard on Fe. It’s important for them to get plenty of alone time to give their dominant function, Introverted Intuition, time to breathe and be fully accessible.

After too much time spent socializing, INFJs may suddenly decide to retreat from the social realm for an indefinite time. They may ignore phone calls, texts, emails, or any effort at communication. INFJ blogger Marissa Baker writes about this well in her article The Vanishing INFJ. No matter how friendly and sociable INFJs may seem to others, deep down they are true introverts, and they often leave their introversion needs unmet.

What happens when an INFJ vanishes? Many times their relationships suffer. Friends and family members may be offended, and certain relationships may even be lost. It’s hard for people to understand why someone who once seemed so friendly and compassionate would disappear, leave phone calls unanswered and refuse to speak to them for days, weeks, or even months. This not only hurts the friend but the INFJ, in the end. They care very deeply about their relationships and when they finally return from their vanishing act they can feel regretful and even more alone than ever.

What Can INFJs Do to Avoid Loneliness?

1. Tell Your Friends and Family About the INFJ Personality Type

Share this article with friends and family if that would help. Otherwise, you can check out a book like Please Understand Me or Type Talk: The 16 Personalities That Determine How We Live, Love, and Work. Understanding more about yourself can help you to feel less alone, and telling your loved ones about your type can help them to be more understanding of your needs.


2. Balance Time Alone with Time with Others

It’s important that you get plenty of time alone to recharge. Just make sure you also balance that out with occasional time with friends and loved ones. INFJs who spend too much time alone and ignore the auxiliary function can get stuck in a Ni-Ti loop and that can lead to more loneliness. Conversely, spending too much time socializing and ignoring your introversion needs can result in the need to “vanish” and can hurt relationships. I know as an INFJ you care deeply about your relationships so try not to wear yourself out so much that you need to disappear completely!

3. Express Your Feelings to a Good Friend/Journal

As an INFJ, you are probably able to express your thoughts and feelings in a deeper way through journaling. Because you use Extraverted Feeling (Fe), instead of Introverted Feeling (Fi) you may be more aware of other people’s feelings than your own. This can exacerbate a feeling of loneliness and anxiety. When you write your feelings down in a journal and then read them back to yourself, it allows you to channel your emotions through Fe and understand and manage them better. Venting your feelings to a trusted friend can have the same effect.

4. Read

Many INFJs find that reading allows them to feel a connection with other individuals, albeit fictional ones. Ideally, you would balance reading with real human interaction, but reading can be a wonderful way to cure stubborn loneliness when there’s no one around you can truly connect with.

What Are Your Thoughts?

Do you struggle with loneliness? Do you have any tips you’d like to share with other INFJs? Let me know in the comments!

Find out more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type or The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!

You can also learn A LOT more about the INFJ personality type with this INFJ starter kit and course from Personality Hacker.

This article contains affiliate links. I only recommend products I truly believe in.


Related: My INFJ “Grip” Stress Experiences

Do you want to understand yourself better as an INFJ?

Check out my new eBook The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic

INFJ Understanding the Mystic


I don’t just come up with this information on my own! Check out these amazing books:

Please Understand Me
Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
MBTI Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, 3rd Edition
Neuroscience of Personality: Brain Savvy Insights for All Types of People
Creative You: Using Your Personality Type to Thrive
Type Talk: The 16 Personalities That Determine How We Live, Love, and Work

Four reasons #INFJs tend to feel lonely. #MBTI #Personality #typology

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  1. I read often about depression, loneliness, low self esteem, etc. But I have embraced my personality type and realized the world doesn’t “hate” me, it doesn’t “understand” me. I read posts from INFJ’s on several different sites and the commonality is staggering. However, when I turn away from those conversations, I am a drop in the ocean as far as connections go. Sure, I have a few (stress ‘few’) friends that I have bonded with over the years but those friendships took a very long time to manifest. One clocks in at 33 years. And trying to make friends with that INFJ label is extremely difficult. That struggle translates to lonliness also and conflicts with other personalities that have very different definitions of friendship. To shorten this up, loneliness is a part of this INFJ whether though self preservation, retraction from the stresses of the world, and/or the vast misunderstandings of our personality type. Ok, that made it longer. Sorry! Thank you for the article and letting me understand (and accept) the INFJ label.

  2. is vanishishing a cornerstone trait of the infj?? I have never vanished, and I do know people who have. It’s very strange. I feel very extraverted myself, I thought I was ENTP for YEARS.But in every other way I am infj. Thoughts?

  3. I test as an INFJ when I’ve taken the “real” MBTI. Very strongly INF, but it’s very close between J & P. I sometimes get INFP on online tests. Anyway, I felt kind of funny about it, but I actually enjoyed the isolation of Covid. I am in healthcare, so still had to go into work, but it was actually kind of a reprieve from having to do so much “peopling.” I enjoy people, especially close friends, but it is exhausting.

  4. I’m a 52 year old male, married 17 years with 2 kids. Recently found out I’m an INFJ. Growing up I was familiar with Myers-Briggs but was always skeptical thinking it was a bit too much like astrology. Well, as I have struggled with some depression the last couple years, I am trying to know myself better. This article and others describe me astonishingly accurate. Now, if only other people understood me, sigh. I am also extremely ADHD and wonder the relationship between ADHD and INFJ and the rate and the effects. Sounds like a fun topic to hyper focus on!
    Thank you for the article

    1. I’m very much the same way! I took the official MBTI six times over the past 8 years and each time I got either INFJ or INTJ. Given that the four MBTI dimensions correlate well with four of the Big 5 personality traits (‘E’ with extroversion, ‘N’ with openness, ‘F’ with agreeableness, and ‘J’ with conscientiousness), my very close F vs. T isn’t surprising given that F correlates positively with agreeableness and that’s the only Big 5 trait I’m almost dead average in (54tb percentile).

      I’m not aware of any data on the relationship between ADHD and MBTI types, though I’ve also noticed that high-functioning autistics (like myself) also very frequently gets types like INFJ/INTJ/INFP/INTP. Also, ASD and ADHD show a substantial amount of comorbidity, so it’s entirely possible that certain traits shared by both conditions may cause one to lean towards certain MBTI types more so than others.

  5. I discovered I was INFJ during OT school; my classmates could not believe I was an Introvert, but I have know it my whole life. I am now in my 50s and in order to avoid disappearing I schedule 2 “off” days per week and one social outing. That seems to give me a good enough balance and I can use my strengths to my advantage.

  6. It’s crazy to me how often I get bullied or told how weird I am… I always said they broke the mold when they made me.. It wasn’t until I started learning about my personality type and found out how rare INFJS are that it all started to make sense. I am different and I don’t color in the lines and I’ll never fit in the proverbial “box” (I can’t even find the the box). Learning to love ourselves and what makes us so unique and special is amazing. Loneliness is often part of it but I’ve learned to be okay with it. Tysm for all your articles. I love reading and knowing that I am not alone. 💚

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