The INFJ is the rarest of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types, making up only 1-2 percent of the population. As introverts, we’re selective about who we let into our lives, but once someone is in our inner circle, we form deep, long-lasting relationships with them. Are you fortunate enough to be friends with an INFJ? Here are 5 things you should know about us:
1. We’re not ignoring you, we’re just processing.
I promise that this silent nod and smile setup we have going on is not us ignoring you. INFJs aren’t daydreaming and hoping that you don’t ask us any questions. Quite the contrary. We’re analyzing what you’re saying and trying to jump on your train of thought. When my best friend is upset, I’m the quietest I’ve ever been. I’m listening to what she has to say and lining it up with my own experiences so that when I do talk, it’s meaningful and she can see that I get it. I try to connect with her in any way possible because I know how it feels to stand alone in the wake of your life falling apart. I don’t want her to be in the same position.
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2. We need time to rant.
INFJs tend to pick up on other people’s emotions and in some cases absorb them. If you’ve ever witnessed your INFJ friend fasten themselves to another person’s problem instead of worrying about the big flashing warning light hovering above their own head, then you’ve seen this feature in action. Unfortunately, by focusing on others, we end up neglecting our own problems. When left alone, those problems become a pressure cooker waiting to explode. When it’s time for us to explode, we need someone to unload to. We need to discuss our feelings and work through what’s stressing us out. Otherwise we feel like we are being edged out by others’ problems and that we don’t matter. Take the time to hear us out when we need to rant—even if it’s about a problem that you told us to fix about one hundred times already and we ignored your advice. If you listen to us, we will be forever grateful. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been emotionally distressed over a simple problem because I let that warning light above my head become critical.
3. We suffer from separation anxiety.
INFJs value long-term relationships, so as a side effect, we can be a little clingy. Do we show this clinginess? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean it’s not there. When we settle into a friendship and finally feel like we can just be, we’re weary that the other shoe will drop. In fairness, most of our relationships have ended when the other shoe dropped. When the person we trusted twisted our secrets into arrows and shot them at us. When the information we shared with them was used against us. So, we’re clingy. And with clinginess comes separation anxiety. When a friend or trusted loved one has been dodging our texts, and we haven’t seen them in a while, we feel inclined to fix the relationship. How? By worrying. What did we do wrong? Are they angry at us? Do we need to text them right now and fix everything? With this whirlwind of questions comes a pang of nostalgia and that intense feeling of missing you. So, please be kind to your INFJ friend when we text you out of the blue. We need confirmation that you’re still in our lives.
4. Don’t be offended that we haven’t shared everything with you.
Seriously, I’m like James Bond with my secrets. There are very few people who know about my most painful moments. Even fewer people have seen me cry. Like I said, INFJs yearn for long-term relationships. However, most of what we find are half-attempted friendships that leave us feeling drained. So, we end up keeping most of what we think and do to ourselves. We’ve been burned before. So, we give out personal information like gold coins. There’s more where that came from, sure, but what you receive is valuable to us, and now to you. It can be infuriating when you feel like you’re not connecting with someone. We hear you, we know, but we need time to see that this friendship won’t collapse under the weight of our unique crazy. Please don’t be offended that you don’t know every aspect of us. You will get there eventually.
5. If you want to get to know us, hang out with us one-on-one.
It’s only in private that we show our true colors. Think of us as roly poly bugs. If we are overwhelmed or startled, we curl into a protective, hard ball. We’ll sit and watch conversations but rarely contribute with personal substance. But if we are comfortable, we will be more open. Some of the best conversations I’ve had occur when I’m spending one-on-one time with someone. For example, one of my best guy friends and I had a very personal, hour-long conversation about snow and what it symbolized to each of us. It reminded him of his travels and the friends he met in places that snowed. For me, snow is the promise of Christmas and sweaters and all things comfortable. So, if you truly want to get to know us, get us alone. We might talk your ear off.
Read this: 10 Type Secrets of the INFJ Personality Type