My life changed when I found out I am an INFJ personality type, because it explained so much about who I am. It didn’t explain everything, but it explained a lot.
Any personality type will take slightly different forms in different people, based on your experiences, the people you’ve grown close to, and how you were raised, but the similar traits help explain how a certain personality views (and copes with) the world we live in.
Sometimes we INFJs feel like tortured souls—but our personality can also be a real gift. There are two sides to it, and it’s important to see both:
1. We are only one percent of the world’s population. As the rarest type, we are the minority. That means it takes some searching to find a friend or romantic partner who really understands us. Because it’s so hard to find someone who gets us, or someone we can be ourselves around, we are vulnerable to loneliness.
2. We care too much. We sometimes make it our duty to fix everything, even when fixing everything is not possible. When we can’t fix everything, something inside us aches and we may end up feeling helpless. We think, if we don’t fix it, who will? We feel alone in our caring, and end up wondering if anyone else will care enough to do something.
3. We see too much. We notice problems that other people don’t think are problems. The old mantra, ignorance is bliss, might have some truth to it, and unfortunately for us, we’re not ignorant. We know something’s wrong, and we’re not OK with that. No matter how many times someone reminds us that life has beauty, we can’t help but notice the flaws as well.
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4. We have high expectations. Maybe because we see too much, we also see other people’s potential. Life’s potential. We see what could be, and it could be beautiful. It’s rather anticlimactic when the only potential reached is our potential for being disappointed. The question for us, then, is not what greatness can be achieved, but if we’ll ever be satisfied.
5. We’re all-around restless. Our minds never stop, because we care and see so much. It’s beyond exhausting.
Yet the things that make life tough for us are also the same things that make being an INFJ so amazing.
1. We are only one percent of the world’s population. Let’s look past the loneliness for a bit and focus on how great it is to not be like everyone else or think like everyone else. We go against the current and stand out. We’re a kind of gentle rebel who doesn’t follow the beaten path, but takes the less-trodden route. That is a rare gift.
2. We care too much. Despite the pain caring can bring, caring is still a good thing. We care even if others don’t. We care even if there’s nothing we can do. That counts for something. Our Hercules syndrome will inspire us to fix as much as possible. And everything we fix, everyone we help, is another victory. Maybe that can be enough.
3. We see too much. It’s better to see too much than nothing at all. It’s better to notice the problems and point them out, even if the noticing hurts. The first step in fixing something, after all, is noticing it needs fixing. You can’t mend something you had no idea was broken.
4. We have high expectations. But that’s good! That means we’ll never stop striving for greater. We’ll never stop attempting to fix things, and hopefully succeeding in some of those attempts. It means we can do our utmost to bring out more of the best in each person, because we see who they can be, and we expect the best for them. Perhaps we can try to use that as an inspiration for determination rather than disappointment.
5. We’re all-around restless. Our restlessness can be the tool that drives us, that pulls out the best in us, just as we try to pull out the best in others. It means the caring and the seeing and the expecting won’t stop, ever. That means our fixing things won’t stop either.
Being an INFJ is not only defined by the things that make life difficult for us, but it’s also defined by the good, by the gifts of our personality type, just as each personality type has its special gifts.
If you take only one thought with you as you go through your day, let it be this: who you are is a special gift. It’s up to you to discover how to use that gift.
People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates. Thomas Szasz
Image credit: Deviant Art
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