What follows is a brief description of the INFJ personality type, including:
• Natural Strengths
• Common Tendencies
• Interaction Styles
• Stressors and Coping Mechanisms.
• Ideal and Corrupt versions of the INFJ
Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging. INFJs are known for their emotional insight. They often (gradually) “learn” other people, until they can practically “see things from that person’s perspective.” They often use this skill to “care for others” and create/maintain emotional harmony (INFJs do not handle conflict well).
INFJs are often very sensitive, noticing “little things” before others do. This often grants them a form of “early warning,” but can also make INFJs difficult to deal with, as they can become upset over “small things.”
INFJs often strive to “minimize conflict (and intensity)” by speaking softly and using subtle words (which can be interpreted in multiple ways). They tend to be very precise with their words and their actions, which (along with their insights) often help them achieve their goals.
INFJs are very goal driven, very “I want” focused. They tend to choose a very specific goal and pursue it intensely, sometimes overlooking other concerns (like proper diet and exercise). INFJs tend to have a vivid imagination, and long to bring their ideas to life.
When interacting with others, INFJs can struggle. INFJs are one of the rarer types (1-2% of the population), so most people have little experience interacting with them. At the same time, the personality types that are most common often have a natural tendency to “clash with INFJs.” And since INFJs often pride themselves on “caring for others,” they can be very critical of themselves when they “struggle to get along with others.”
This is another reason INFJs frequently try to “learn others” so completely. They strive to “understand others” so that they can know “how to engage someone in a positive way.” In some cases INFJs may even “adopt personas” based on what they think others “want them to be.” This can lead to confusion, as the INFJ may seem to “change (sometimes radically)” depending on who is around them. INFJs are very sensitive to being excluded or abandoned, so they will often go to great lengths to achieve acceptance.
INFJs struggle with “repetitive tasks” and “a lack of choices/freedom to express themselves.” When stressed, they tend to withdraw, analyzing the problem in an effort to find a pattern or solution. They may also try to exercise “self-care,” but that itself can be stressful for an INFJ, leading to a self-perpetuating cycle of escalating tension.
When overwhelmed, INFJs frequently seek “quiet places” and “ways of ‘blotting out the world” or “focusing on something simple and familiar.” Examples include time in nature, time with a trusted friend (or 2), a story that has strong emotional content, or a casual game or puzzle that helps the INFJ feel “clever” and “skilled/competent.”
INFJs are natural mediators and nurturers. They strive to “see things from each person’s perspective” and use that insight to find an outcome that is “good for everyone involved.” They are very sensitive and often recognize a “brewing conflict” long before others do. Their strong sense of empathy (and intuitive insight) help them to recognize when “someone is in need” and (sometimes) “what ‘small thing’ will mean the most to them.”
INFJs will always find it difficult to balance “their own views” and “the views of others.” They are prone to the two extremes of “completely embracing someone else’s view” and “completely denying it.”
INFJs will always be vulnerable to “losing touch with reality” and becoming delusional. INFJs are known for their determination and focus, but sometimes it’s important to “recognize that something is impossible” and “move on” (rather than continue to cling to it).
The corrupt INFJ is a self-righteous manipulator. Their insight into other people has led them to the delusion that they are “more considerate” and generally “superior” to others. Consumed by their vision of the future, they refuse to listen to anyone else, dismissing contrary views as “shallow and short-sighted.” (This tendency to believe they are “superior” (and expect conflict) can lead to forms of “defensiveness” and “paranoia.”)
The merit and virtue of their vision is so extreme that “anything and everything” is justified for the sake of bringing about that “better world.” (In some cases the “vision” may not be their own. INFJs can easily become swept up in “someone else’s vision,” becoming a strong advocate rather than “the leader/source.”)
Often the corrupt INFJ will be completely out of touch with reality, living in a fantasy where their unrealistic expectations are “reasonable and likely.” They refuse to recognize that “their methods and means are insufficient” and “even if they do succeed, it will be a pyrrhic victory.”
Guilt and empathy will be ongoing challenges for a corrupt INFJ. They may avoid those they have wronged, or use passive-aggressive techniques to try and “provoke others into ‘doing something’ that the corrupt INFJ can use as justification for labeling them ‘the villain’ (casting themselves as the victim and hero).” In some cases INFJs (corrupt or otherwise) may try to “escape” as a coping mechanism (into fiction, fantasy, or physical pleasure).
If a corrupt INFJ is unable to avoid “facing their own guilt,” they may fall apart, wallowing in self-pity and avoiding anyone who expresses any negative sentiments.
They will still “care about others,” and believe in the idea of “fairness” (but both “how they care” and “what they believe is fair” can make those lingering virtues difficult to recognize.
The stack is essentially “what distinguishes one personality type from another.”
1. Ni (Perspective)
2. Fe (Harmony)
3. Ti (Accuracy)
4. Se (Sensation)
5. Ne (Exploration)
6. Fi (Authenticity)
7. Te (Effectiveness)
8. Si (Memory)
If you would like some basic information about what the 8 skills and 8 roles mean (in general, please click the button below.