Portrait of an INFJ

Your Portrait of an INFJ

Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging
(Introverted Intuition with Extraverted Feeling)

The Protector

As an INFJ, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you take things in primarily via intuition. Your secondary mode is external, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit with your personal value system.

INFJs are gentle, caring, complex and highly intuitive individuals. Artistic and creative, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. Only one percent of the population has an INFJ Personality Type, making it the most rare of all the types.

INFJs place great importance on having things orderly and systematic in their outer world. They put a lot of energy into identifying the best system for getting things done, and constantly define and re-define the priorities in their lives. On the other hand, INFJs operate within themselves on an intuitive basis which is entirely spontaneous. They know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. They are usually right, and they usually know it. Consequently, INFJs put a tremendous amount of faith into their instincts and intuitions. This is something of a conflict between the inner and outer worlds, and may result in the INFJ not being as organized as other Judging types tend to be. Or we may see some signs of disarray in an otherwise orderly tendency, such as a consistently messy desk.

INFJs have uncanny insight into people and situations. They get “feelings” about things and intuitively understand them. As an extreme example, some INFJs report experiences of a psychic nature, such as getting strong feelings about there being a problem with a loved one, and discovering later that they were in a car accident. This is the sort of thing that other types may scorn and scoff at, and the INFJ themselves, does not really understand their intuition at a level which can be verbalized. Consequently, most INFJs are protective of their inner selves, sharing only what they choose to share when they choose to share it. They are deep, complex individuals, who are quite private and typically difficult to understand. INFJs hold back part of themselves, and can be secretive.

But the INFJ is as genuinely warm as they are complex. INFJs hold a special place in the heart of people who they are close to, who are able to see their special gifts and depth of caring. INFJs are concerned for people’s feelings, and try to be gentle to avoid hurting anyone. They are very sensitive to conflict, and cannot tolerate it very well. Situations which are charged with conflict may drive the normally peaceful INFJ into a state of agitation or charged anger. They may tend to internalize conflict into their bodies, and experience health problems when under a lot of stress.

Because the INFJ has such strong intuitive capabilities, they trust their own instincts above all else. This may result in an INFJ stubbornness and tendency to ignore other people’s opinions. They believe that they’re right. On the other hand, INFJ is a perfectionist who doubts that they are living up to their full potential. INFJs are rarely at complete peace with themselves – there’s always something else they should be doing to improve themselves and the world around them. They believe in constant growth, and don’t often take time to revel in their accomplishments. They have strong value systems, and need to live their lives in accordance with what they feel is right. In deference to the Feeling aspect of their personalities, INFJs are in some ways gentle and easy going. Conversely, they have very high expectations of themselves, and frequently of their families. They don’t believe in compromising their ideals.

INFJ is a natural nurturer; patient, devoted and protective. They make loving parents and usually have strong bonds with their offspring. They have high expectations of their children, and push them to be the best that they can be. This can sometimes manifest itself in the INFJ being hard-nosed and stubborn. But generally, children of an INFJ get devoted and sincere parental guidance, combined with deep caring.

In the workplace, the INFJ usually shows up in areas where they can be creative and somewhat independent. They have a natural affinity for art, and many excel in the sciences, where they make use of their intuition. INFJs can also be found in service-oriented professions. They are not good at dealing with minutia or very detailed tasks. The INFJ will either avoid such things, or else go to the other extreme and become enveloped in the details to the extent that they can no longer see the big picture. An INFJ who has gone the route of becoming meticulous about details may be highly critical of other individuals who are not.

The INFJ individual is gifted in ways that other types are not. Life is not necessarily easy for the INFJ, but they are capable of great depth of feeling and personal achievement.

Jungian functional preference ordering:

Dominant: Introverted Intuition
Auxilliary: Extraverted Feeling
Tertiary: Introverted Thinking
Inferior: Extraverted Sensing

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INFJ and Stress

INFJs tend to withdraw from reality into a fantasy world of their own, which gradually gains importance as they become dissatisfied with their real life and the people in it. While fulfilling the demands of their outer commitments, they harbor secret criticism and the feeling that their imaginary world and the characters that inhabit it are more important than the actual people in their lives. They can end up living almost exclusively in their imagination, resisting reality with a defensive attitude, feeling like a misfit and spending enormous amounts of time exploring and discovering their deepest hidden fantasies and emotions. In this state, they might be attracted to majorly defective people and environments, which they perceive will truly understand and appreciate them.

INFJs in this situation can help themselves by finding a way to bring their artistic vision and intuitive insights out to light. By learning to express their rich imagination in a way that other people can understand and appreciate, they become psychologically liberated as well as integrated into the world. Artistic pursuits (painting, writing, sculpting, photography etc.) bring a great benefit to INFJs and offer an appropriate outlet for their deep emotions

How can you tell when an INFJ is under stress, particularly at work?
One common way to tell that INFJs are feeling stressed is when they limit their options to just one. They might insist there is only one solution to a problem. Others become extremely critical or angry, often blaming people for their troubles. Some INFJs accuse other people of failing to help, while some will make even the simplest task unnecessarily complex. There can be paradoxical behavior: some INFJs might extravert a great deal, saying harsh things with little regard for the feelings of others. In contrast, some INFJs can become rather introspective and shut themselves off from the world or outside help. Still other INFJs set unrealistic goals for themselves, which just makes matters worse. Finally, some INFJs might eat or drink too much.
What are possible stressors for INFJs? Well, being forced to learn or retain vast amounts of detailed information can often have that affect. Being around too many people, particularly those whom the INFJ considers shallow can be stressful. If the INFJ feels like he or she is under great critical scrutiny, they can feel overwhelmed. Finally, if people are underappreciated or emotional charged conflict is not resolved, INFJs can feel stressed.

The agreeable nature and quiet personality of INFJs makes them particularly vulnerable to hurt feelings. Distress within close relationships can shatter the INFJ. Like all NFs under stress, INFJs feel fragmented and lost — as if they are acting out a part rather than simply being themselves. This disassociation can be related to physical symptoms for the INFJ, whether real or imagined. Feeling split off from their physical natures, INFJs may become virtually immobilized by repressed feelings.

What to do?

INFJs can escape stress by cultivating their own identity aside from society’s expectations and predefined roles. By exploring and rejoicing their own interests and potentials, they become less concerned with public approval and more open towards a wider variety of people and experiences.

Although INFJs may feel like remaining still and stationary until the chaos and confusion of a stressful situation dissipates, it would be best for them to actively sort out their needs from others. Being excessively cooperative and agreeable, the INFJ has a tendency to adopt values and beliefs of others as their own. When external conflicts grow, so does the INFJ’s sense of personal disharmony. Disassociating themselves from others takes a great deal of effort for the INFJ.

-Extreme anger
-Overdoing sensory activities- cleaning, exercising, drinking
-Conviction that they are right, even when evidence proves otherwise

INFJ: Under stress, become “The Indulger,” over-indulging in anything sensory, like eating, cleaning, or exercising. Flip Side Motto: “I need MORE!”

Famous INFJ’s

Famous people/icons sharing your type

  • Adam Sandler – Actor / Comedian
  • Billy Crystal – Actor / Comedian
  • Mel Gibson – Actor / Filmmaker
  • Michael Landon – Actor
  • Oprah Winfrey – TV Show Host
  • Robert Burns – Poet
  • Tom Selleck  – Actor

Possible INFJ career choices…

  • Clergy and Religious work
  • Teacher
  • Medical Doctor/Dentist
  • Alternative Health Practitioner
  • Psychologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Counsellor
  • Social Worker
  • Musician
  • Artist
  • Photographer
  • Childcare/Early Childhood Development worker

All rights acknowledged: Original source here

Acknowledgement to Patrick L. Kerwin, MBTI® Master Practitioner




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