Why INFJs Need More Alone Time (But Struggle to Ask For It)

As an INFJ, do you often find yourself dreaming about a peaceful moment of solitude? Does it feel like the world is always demanding something from you, leaving you with little time to recharge your batteries? You’re not alone. As an INFJ you need alone time to function at your best. In the peaceful solitude of alone time you feel like you can breathe, think, and process with ease. However, it can be hard to ask for alone time. You may feel like it’s selfish, or you may feel nervous about being misperceived as a “bad friend/sibling/child/partner”.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Why INFJs often struggle to get enough alone time, and what they can do about it. #INFJ #MBTI #Personality

Why INFJs Need Alone Time:

INFJs are introverted personality types. They find solace in immersing themselves in their internal world. They are invigorated by intricate thoughts, unique ideas, and profound insights, which they thoroughly contemplate and analyze during serene moments of deep reflection. Without these precious moments, the INFJ’s wellspring of creativity and insight may gradually wane. Being remarkably intuitive beings, INFJs yearn for ample time alone to rejuvenate and foster a profound connection with their inner selves. During these times they connect to patterns, get insights into human dilemmas, and forge a mental path for their future.

How INFJs Feel When They Don’t Get Enough Alone Time:

  • Exhausted
  • Unfocused
  • Over-stimulated
  • Out of touch with their path in life
  • Tense
  • Overwhelmed by others’ feelings and unable to differentiate their own
  • Like a very profound part of themselves is being held underwater and can’t breathe

Why INFJs Struggle to Ask for Alone Time:

As Feeling-Judging personality types, INFJs possess a fascinating duality in their personality. Alongside their inward-focused nature, INFJs also exhibit an extroverted aspect called Extraverted Feeling. This facet of their personality encompasses a range of qualities, including a strong emphasis on external connection, a keen sense of social propriety, and a remarkable ability to discern unexpressed emotions and needs.

Linda Berens, a highly regarded psychologist and typology expert, says of Extraverted Feeling, “we feel pulled to be responsible and take care of others’ feelings, sometimes to the point of not separating our feelings from theirs.”

INFJs often experience a delicate balance between the desire for solitude, introspection, and the simultaneous yearning to connect with others and meet their needs. This internal conflict can give rise to intense feelings of guilt and inner turmoil when it comes to seeking alone time. Many INFJs fear being perceived as selfish, self-indulgent, or emotionally distant if they choose to step away from their relationships, even momentarily.

“As a mother of three children under five, I feel like I’m not allowed to ask for alone time. I worry that my family will feel rejected by me. I worry that I will be seen as a distant, selfish mother. I know this is absurd; but I often give in if I’m wanted – struggling to see when I’m being self-caring or self-indulgent.” – Heidi, an INFJ reader of my blog

“In relationships I get so caught up in my partner’s needs and their feelings that I merge with them. I struggle to see where I begin and they end. Over time I start to feel exhausted. I wonder what happened to my original thoughts and independent feelings. Yet I feel horrible if I ask for time for myself. I seem to attract people who demand a lot of my attention and they often take my requests for solitude as a sign of personal rejection.” – Andrew, an INFJ reader of my blog

Enough is Enough: How INFJs Can Ask for Alone Time Effectively (and Kindly)

Why alone time is so important for INFJs

Setting Healthy Boundaries:

So, how can an INFJ get the alone time they so desperately need? One of the first things to do is to set healthy boundaries. Saying “no” can be tough, but it’s essential to creating space for alone time. If you’re not sure what this means, start with small steps. For example, if you’re an INFJ who works from home, decide to set aside a couple of hours each day to be alone and work on personal projects. Then, let your family know that these are sacred times for you – times when you will not be available to meet their needs.

Consider another scenario: maybe you have a family member who frequently calls you out of the blue during the week. You can kindly let them know that there are certain days or hours when you need to concentrate on other important tasks. Reassure them that you will reach out as soon as you have some free time in your schedule.

Take Advantage of a Schedule:

We all know that Judgers love lists and schedules. Embrace this side of your personality by actively practicing the art of scheduling your commitments instead of simply saying “yes” to everything that comes your way. Set aside specific blocks of time each day dedicated to solitude, and guard it fiercely against any disturbances or interruptions. This sacred time could be utilized for activities like reading a book, taking a relaxing bath, or simply finding solace in the stillness of the moment. By nurturing this aspect of your personality, you can create a harmonious balance between your personal needs and external demands, cultivating a sense of fulfillment and inner peace.

But what do you do when someone wants some of your time? Depending on the priority of the need, either give them your time, or let them know you’ll make time for them during one of the days or blocks of time you’ve set aside for connection. For example, if your mom calls and she’s struggling with a dire health need, prioritize that. But if your best friend is asking for a coffee date and you already have plans to take some time alone, don’t be afraid to kindly let them know when you can connect with them.

Remind Yourself That You Can’t Pour From an Empty Cup:

As INFJs, it’s important to remember that you can’t give your best self to others if you don’t take care of yourself first. Tell yourself, “I’m an individual, and my needs matter as much as anyone else’s.” Remind yourself that giving yourself some space doesn’t make you selfish; rather, it demonstrates an act of self-love which is essential for long-term emotional and physical well-being. If you wear yourself out, you will only be left with resentment or exhaustion. If you take care of yourself first, then you can give to others without feeling resentful or drained.

Finally, don’t forget to be patient with yourself if you find it difficult to carve out the alone time you need. It takes practice and sometimes it’s hard. Start small if you have to. Practice saying “I need some time alone, but can we catch up at another time?” when people ask for your attention. With love and dedication, you can learn to feel in control of your own personal space – and finally have the alone time that you dearly need (and deserve).

A Word of Caution:

Before we end this article, it’s important to note that you can have too much of a good thing. Even introverts need to make space for the connection-seeking, empathic side of themselves. Some INFJs get so wrapped up in solitude that they enter a Ni-Ti loop. This doesn’t lead to happiness or fulfillment; instead it disconnects INFJs from the warm, conscientious side of their personality that is in touch with the world around them. INFJs in a loop become detached, cold, and out of touch with reality. They are less effective and less able to make real positive change in the world around them.

It’s okay to be alone sometimes; in fact, it’s extremely beneficial. But remember that meaningful relationships are essential for an INFJ’s emotional growth and development. So don’t forget to welcome the world into your life – even if it’s only a few hours each week! Allow yourself to connect with others, get outside and be in nature, or embrace the part of yourself that wants to positively impact others.

Most INFJs I know personally struggle with not getting enough alone time; but there are always a few that take things to extremes and so I always feel inclined to mention this.


All in all, INFJs need alone time – but it can be hard to ask for it due to their empathetic nature and fear of being misunderstood (which, let’s face it, happens a lot with INFJs). With practice, however, INFJs can learn how to set healthy boundaries and prioritize their own needs while still managing relationships with others. Embrace your innate need for solitude and don’t forget to connect with the world around you – and soon you’ll realize that balance is within your reach. So take a deep breath, practice self-love, and remember to cherish the moments of peace that occur when you give yourself permission to be alone.

What Are Your Thoughts?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Share any tips or strategies you use to create balance between your need for alone time and maintaining relationships with those around you. Are there any activities that help you find solitude? Let us know in the comments section below.

Discover more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type,  The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic, The INTJ – Understanding the Strategist, and The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer. You can also connect with me via FacebookInstagram, or Twitter!

7 Things That INFJs Experience As Children

24 Signs You’re an INFJ, the Mystic Personality Type

12 Amazing Fictional INFJ Characters

INFJ Understanding the Mystic


Understanding Yourself and Others™ – An Introduction to the Personality Type Code by Linda V. Berens and Dario Nardi (2004, Interstrength)

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  1. Thank you fir the alone time advice and info. I do go out into the garden everyday. My spot is noted. Sometimes i am able to actually have alone time, but i have to react ” distracted”, so the digs and kids get the message. For some or other reason, all the dogs follow me, (5) and demand attention. I also make sure grandkida are fed as well as the animals and ” become invisible”. As you know senses are always alert, so i put plugs in my ears. Devious.. But have to really focus. I breath in my surroundings, thank God for His Creation, listen to the birds and ” feel” nature. My coping mechanisms.

  2. Great article as always, thanks! I am in that minority of INFJ’s who have to watch having too much alone time. I’ve found getting up very early & taking a walk, or a bit of a jog, makes all the difference. My energy starts flowing out, & balances the intense inward stuff. And that early morning energy is quite healing I think. I also love very late at night, as it’s so peaceful & I can mentally stretch out, but I have a cat now, who wakes me early, so I shifted my habits! 😛

  3. Yes. Learning to have boundaries and not feeling guilty for having them is key for me. I am getting better at this, but must make a conscious effort. I have been pulled in so many directions lately and need to recharge. I am realizing that if I don’t withdraw, I will be like a zombie around the people who are important to me. I wonder “what will they think of me” but I can’t be there for others if my cup is empty. I can’t think straight and I can’t engage. I did good this past weekend. I gently turned down a friend who invited me to dinner and when a relative contacted me wanting to get together this weekend. I said no and gave her a specific day next week that I will be available. I am trying to give myself quality solitude on a daily basis so that I don’t get to this point. Great article!! It’s nice to have confirmation that I am doing the right thing.

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