You know you’re different. You’ve always known you’re different. That others don’t understand you, not really.
That might be because you’re the unicorn of personality types. By that, I mean an INFJ.
An INF-what? INFJ: One of sixteen personality types according to the Myers-Briggs scale, it’s incredibly rare: Less than one percent of the world’s population qualify as INFJs. INFJs are introverted, intuitive (meaning they intuitively understand things), feeling, and judging (as in they can quickly judge the value of something).
INFJs are incredibly gifted—and if you regularly get the feeling that you’re different, that others don’t understand you, that you aren’t valued for the person you are? That might because you’re an INFJ.
How do I know? Because my wife is. And she is by far the most amazing person I’ve ever met.
In the personality type’s archetypes, the name for an INFJ is “The Advocate.” Martin Luther King, Jr, Nelson Mandela, and Mother Teresa were all INFJs.
Yeah. Seriously astounding people, all of them, and if you’re an INFJ, I have news for you: So are you.
Mysterious, diplomatic, emotionally intelligent, intuitive—these are all descriptions of INFJs. Add to that misunderstood, because no personality type is more prone to being misunderstood.
But let’s back up a minute and talk a bit about the Myers-Brigg system and personality types. Developed by two psychologists who just so happened to also be a mother-daughter team, Isabel Myers and Katherine Briggs worked off Carl Jung’s psychoanalysis theories and types to develop a better system of classifying personality types.
First, they broke down personality traits into four distinct dichotomies: introversion/extroversion (I/E), intuition/sensing (N/S), thinking/feeling (T/F), and judging/perceiving (J/P). Each test-taker then answers questions that assess where they fall on the spectrum for each of those four dichotomies.
As a result, INFJs are people like you, the rarest of the rare: intuitive introverts who are open with their feelings (and understand others’ feelings, courtesy their intuition and powers of observation) who can judge situations quickly and easily. If that sounds like a superhero description, it’s because it is. You quite literally are the superhero mold.
As an INFJ, you’re fiercely loyal as a friend, empathetic and compassionate to a fault (and perhaps sometimes to your detriment), and highly organized. You make a great leader for the causes you’re most passionate about.
But your rarity also makes you easily misunderstood. Most people don’t know how to read you.
As a result, many INFJs say they feel different, which can lead to loneliness. Those differences make you great, but in a world where you have so few peers, it makes sense that you’d feel different.
You also recognize inauthentic people for who they are. That mix of emotional intuition and keen observational skills mean you recognize the phonies in your life quickly. You pick quality over quantity and let the fakes fall by the wayside.
Your warmness puts others at ease, and they feel completely comfortable telling you their secrets. You’re a fantastic listener, confidante, and friend because of your emotional warmth and depth.
You see through to who people really are. That intuitive sense and your emotional depth means it doesn’t take you long to recognize people for their true character. If someone is not genuine? You’re the first to know.
On the flip side, though, this can mean you’re more willing to forgive. You can see when someone is genuinely a good person, because you can see why they might have behaved the way they did, such as past trauma or their insecurities.
You’re a truth-seeker, and you find meaning wherever you go. You don’t care for other people’s big stories if they’re just empty attention-seeking gestures, but on the flip side, the little things can be really important to you, especially when they speak to a larger meaning. Your aim in life is to find understanding and insights, and you regularly do just that, courtesy your powers of intuition.
You enjoy new experiences because they help you hone that sense of intuition, build self-reflection, and uncover larger truths and deeper meanings.
People confuse you for an extrovert even though you’re an introvert because you can be such a social chameleon, almost like an ambivert (though you’re still very much an introvert). You know you’re an introvert, though, because you need quiet time to recharge.
The best type of quiet time for INFJs like you? A chance to reflect, find your truths, and learn about yourself and the world around you in your own way.
You hold firm to your beliefs with intensity, and do not waver. While you’ll question most things in your pursuit of truth and deeper meaning, there are certain moral and ethical truths of which you are certain, and as a result, lines you will not cross. If a job, relationship, or even law doesn’t fit your moral compass? You trust yourself to know what’s right.
You keep your circle tight and when you say someone is your friend, you mean it. You may have hundreds or even thousands of acquaintances because of your innate charisma and leadership, but you may count your friends on your fingers, because when you call someone a friend, you mean it from the bottom of your heart, and for life. You are profoundly loyal to those closest to you.
You work well in teams, because you’re the diplomat that can help soothe out everyone else’s rough edges and keep the team running smoothly, but you prefer to work alone. That might mean working from home, or in other places where you can work quietly, efficiently, and free of distraction.
You are creative and gifted with language as a result of your well-developed inner emotional lives and introversion. As a result, you may be a successful writer (most of whom are INFJs).
You make decisions on insight and emotion and you trust your gut. For people who don’t know you, this can seem haphazard, even illogical. But you know that you see deeper into people, into who they really are, rather than just look at window dressing like performance history. Instead, you’d rather know how someone treats others when they don’t think anyone is watching, because that speaks to who they truly are.
You are a deep-thinker…about everything. You don’t do things superficially, because you can’t. Instead, you’re an old soul, and you look for the meaning in everything around you. You’re a reader, researcher, lifelong learner…and it can be incredibly difficult sometimes for your friends to get you to relax and take things less seriously (even if you sometimes need their help doing so).
You’re a big picture visionary and as a result, are usually several steps ahead. Occasionally that comes at the detriment of the present, but usually all of that planning is what helps you get ahead and to where you want to be.
You can’t help but help people who need it, because you are a fixer. You see the good in other people, and can’t help but want to help them toward their best possible self. While this frequently is quite rewarding, it can also be incredibly challenging and difficult—especially when someone doesn’t want your help.
You make friends with people because you’re looking for lifelong relationships, not friendships of convenience or simplicity. As a result, most INFJs find they work well with extroverts who share their intuition, such as ENTPs, ENFPs, and ENFJs, though you might also work with an INTJ, who may be most similar to you without being an INFJ themselves.
*This content was inspired by an amazing article that can be found here.