INFJS (one of the sixteen personality types from the Myers-Briggs personality type indicator) are believed to be one of the rarest personality types in the world, making up only 2% of the human population. The Myers-Briggs test measures four components of one’s personality based off of extroversion/introversion, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling, and judging/perceiving. Here are some struggles of the INFJ that might help others understand us a little bit better:
1. We constantly feel too many emotions at the same time.
It sometimes feels as though we absorb every emotion around us. If a co-worker is feeling stressed, we might suddenly feel stressed too. If we are happy over something we have done well, but suddenly get a call that a friend is sick and not feeling well, our whole day could be knocked off kilter. Being an emotional sponge can make us feel emotionally exhausted, which is often why we need to take breaks from others and reflect on our own emotions in solitude.
2. We prefer socializing one on one, which makes group socializing difficult.
In social groups of more than about three people, we often do not want to be the first ones to start a conversation. We would rather listen and chime in at a time we think is appropriate. However, we love to chat one on one. We can devote our attention entirely to the one person and not have any other distractions around us.
3. We can find it hard to trust.
We have had blind faith in many people before, and this has led us to be betrayed or deceived. We know how complicated people are, and we know that even those with the best intentions can lie or betray us. We believe that trust must be earned.
4. We listen so much to others that sometimes we forget we need someone to listen to us, too.
We like to help our friends solve their problems. We want to know what is troubling them, and we want to know how they feel. The issue, then, is that sometimes others take our listening ears for granted. They feel so comfortable with us, and they forget to ask how we are doing. This is when we try to find someone who will listen to us, too.
5. We sometimes have difficulty with verbal expression, but know we are masters of written expression.
If I am nervous when talking to a new person, (which happens often) I will sometimes use words that seem out of place or stumble upon my words. Often, people are shocked when they read my writing because it doesn’t always sound like I sound when I speak. The fact is that I often have so many thoughts jumping around in my mind that it is easier to write them out because they become easier to understand.
6. We tend to overthink about…well, everything, but especially our purpose.
We want to give meaning to the world by helping others or at least helping a cause greater than ourselves. We are constantly asking ourselves if we have contributed enough, or when will contribute enough. We wonder why others don’t see helping others as a priority.
7. We don’t know how to express our anger and we tend to bottle it up.
Whenever I’m upset with someone for being insensitive or doing something I think is inappropriate, I don’t know how to tell him or her. Instead, I will often shutdown and be quiet, and tell the person that everything is fine. The person knows it’s not fine, because I’ve suddenly stopped talking. It’s not healthy, but it’s also always been my gut reaction to being upset. This is something most INFJS could work on—how to express anger in a way that is clear and understandable.
8. We want everyone to be happy and we are often noted to be “people pleasers.”
We hate conflict. If someone is upset, we want to fix it right away. We’re often called the teacher’s pet because we want to successful and we want to be liked. This is exhausting, truly. Luckily, I’ve grown out of this trait a bit, but it’s taken much practice.
9. We know that happiness comes and goes, and that happiness is all up to us.
We’ve done the work—believe me. We’ve struggled and been extremely depressed. We’ve read books, we’ve painted, we’ve written, we’ve stayed up until 5am in the morning trying to discover what happiness might be. We know that happiness is that warm feeling that goes off in your heart when you’re simply present and in the moment, doing something you love.
10. We will always want to be better.
I’ll sign off here, writing this article. It’s 11:57pm and I’ve got a sinus infection.