Thought Catalog

20 INFJs Explain The Ways In Which They Defy The INFJ Stereotype

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INFJs – or introverted, intuitive, feeling judgers – are known for being intelligent, compassionate and veering on the border of psychic in their ability to predict the future. But not every INFJ fits this bill to a T. Below, 20 INFJs explain the ways in which they defy the habits that are commonly associated with their personality type.
Karl Fredrickson
Karl Fredrickson

1. “I enjoy time to myself (sometimes to an unhealthy level) but when I get together with certain people, I love being social – going to bars, clubs or just out to dinner. Once I get started with social interaction I can’t get enough.”

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2. “I’ve personally never seen myself as creative. I’ve never been the idea-generator in a brainstorming session, and while I do love to write, my writing is marked more by clarity than ‘creative’ or poetic language. This always bothered me, in terms of confirming if I was really an INFJ, until I understood the cognitive functions better. I realized that having strong Ne/Se generally results in what we would describe as ‘creative,’ whether it be with ideas or a physical craft. But, Ni, which is what INFJs have, is better marked by its insight than its ‘creativity.’ This was really affirming for me. It’s not that INFJs can’t be creative in the stereotypical sense, it’s just nice to know that it’s not actually a defining feature of INFJs. I much better identify with insight.”

beetlejuice

3. “Even though I can normally connect the dots, I feel far from ‘psychic’ – although I am both skeptical yet fascinated by the metaphysical realm. I also don’t think we are as rare as everyone thinks. I know a lot of other INFJs in real life and online. Other than that, INFJ stereotypes ate pretty spot on!”

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4. “A lot of people classify us as being cold, super mysterious, complicated, psychic etc. But we’re definitely not psychic, just extremely future oriented. We’re also not cold, although in many cases it can appear that way. The only stereotype that I believe to be true, is that we’re complicated; but I’d rather be complicated than basic any day.”

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5. “I don’t connect with the “wallflower” description – I am not and have never been quiet. I’m only weakly introverted – I’ve called myself ambivert for awhile – so many think I’m an extrovert because I have always been more curious and intrigued by people than quietly assessing and I love to entertain. But the ENFJ description has just never fit me. I get a read of someone initially, but then always quiz the person about themselves to hone and help them see the good I can see.”

beetlejuice

6. “I often read that INFJs aren’t good leaders. However, I’m an excellent leader. INFJs just like freedom and personally, I’ve shied away from authority positions because I didn’t want to infringe on others’ freedom by telling then what to do and when to do it, etc. INFJs may also be scared of having power over others, because we know how much of an influence we can have on others (often called manipulation, although that’s not our intention). As a leader, I don’t play into the rule of the superior – rather the equal. Most INFJs lead in nontraditional ways, so our style of leadership isn’t recognized in the cutthroat world of business. We don’t lead from the front or from behind – we walk along side each team member every step of the way (Fe), offering them personalized advice and support to reach their goal (Ni).”

beetlejuice

7. “I think that INFJs have the stereotype of being a dreamer – we’re supposed to be a paradoxical mix of idealism and practicality. I think that I am much more heavily bent toward the practical. I don’t ever get lost in my head and lose track of what I’m doing. My ‘dreaming’ is more like planning, because I think dreaming implies optimism, and I have a difficult time with that. Also, I think I tend to come across more aloof and rigid than warm and affirming.”

beetlejuice

8. “I empathize very well but I don’t want to have to use physical affection (e.g., hugs) to make you feel better. I dislike touching. I also don’t think anyone would ever think I’m extroverted in any way shape or form. Pretty sure I would fall into the creepy side of the INFJ’s where I just enjoy observing people.”

beetlejuice

9. “I’m actually very analytical and my tertiary Ti is quite strong. This allows me to enjoy the logical aspect of the world as well as the abstract.”

beetlejuice

10. “I think INFJ’s get this reputation of being uber-sensitive and empathetic. I definitely am over-empathetic in a lot of situations, but it can be difficult for me to feel much empathy if I haven’t gone through it myself. I always try to understand, but understanding and empathy aren’t interchangeable. My ENFP wife, however, seems to be highly empathetic to others, no matter if she’s experienced a similar situation herself or not. So, there’s certainly a distinction between empathy as it relates to my INFJ-self and what I frequently read about INFJ’s online.”

beetlejuice

11. “I absolutely hate when strangers (i.e. cashiers at stores) ask about my day. I have a career in engineering cause I liked technical subjects way more than humanities/social sciences enough that I decided to switch my major. Although I had mediocre to terrible grades in college and generally don’t learn well in a classroom environment.”

beetlejuice

12. “The word around the block is that INFJ’s are warm, affectionate and just ‘know’ things about people before they happen. If you don’t know me outside of my very small group of friends, you would assume I’m opposite of all the aforementioned characteristics. In fact, most of the time I genuinely go out of my way to avoid deep conversations with strangers, despise when people want an emotional reaction out of me and the only reason I would ‘just know’ something is going to happen would be because I luckily blurted out one of the 1,001 potential sequence of events I’ve played out in my mind – 90% of the time, if I say it out loud I end up wrong. Apparently we’re also known to fight valiantly for our beliefs… yeah, no. Maybe I’ve developed my Ni/Ti so much that I can’t quite seem to be too sure of anything anymore, leaving me with a fragile sense of morality.

beetlejuice

13. “I am not super clean or organized AT ALL. But when I am, it’s an all or nothing thing – either everything is clean, or nothing is.”

beetlejuice

14. “I don’t get how people say INFJs are the most extroverted introverts out there and seem like they have a lot of friends most of the time. Yes, I can be a bit of an extrovert in social situations, but long periods of spending time with myself render my ‘extroversion ability’ rather useless the next time I have to use it. I need some time to warm up and awaken that extroverted-introvert part of me. And no matter how at ease I seem while being extroverted, I’m always hyper-aware of everything happening around me and it is exhausting. I also don’t have – or seem to have – a large group of friends (even on the surface). It’s just me, and maybe just those two or three other friends – and I wouldn’t consider them close friends. Not that I mind that very much, but the INFJ stereotype on this gets on my nerve sometimes!”

beetlejuice

15. “I’m not a super private person, I actually like to share my experiences with people so we can be more intimately acquainted. Like, I don’t tell just anyone my business but it would be that. Also, I’m pretty trusting.”

beetlejuice

16. “I WISH I was organized, but I’m not. I’m very messy and have tons of ‘piles.'”

beetlejuice

17. “I feel like most people generalize is as having it really together in terms of organization, punctuality, and follow-through. In perhaps a negative way, I don’t fit these qualities.”

beetlejuice

18. “I’m not always as quiet as we are made out to be. I am generally quite logical which I attribute to a strong Ti function – probably because both of my parents are IxTJs I’m good at math. Although I do need some degree of order in my life I’m not good at imposing it on myself. My living space is not always neat. It builds up messiness until I decide to clean it and then the process repeats.”

beetlejuice

19. “Just because I’m intuitive, doesn’t mean I’m a psychic.”

beetlejuice

20. “I seem to be more positive then other INFJs. I’ve noticed on INFJ forums, so many posts are negative. I understand why because we INFJs have it tough being so rare and misunderstood. But I try to see my type as something to be proud of rather than a liability.”TC mark

beetlejuice

Pick up Heidi’s new book “How You’ll Do Everything Based On Your Personality Type” here.

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This is me letting you go

If there’s one thing we all need to stop doing, it’s waiting around for someone else to show up and change our lives. Just be the person you’ve been waiting for.

At the end of the day, you have two choices in love – one is to accept someone just as they are and the other is to walk away.

We owe it to ourselves to live the greatest life that we’re capable of living, even if that means that we have to be alone for a very long time.

“Everyone could use a book like this at some point in their life.” – Heather
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