I Had Always Felt ‘Different’ Until I Learned I’m an INFJ Personality Type

IntrovertDear.com introvert

I have always thought of myself as different somehow. Like I don’t fit the mold of a “normal” person. From a young age, I can remember whispered conversations in the background—adults talking about how worried they were about me, and how I wasn’t like other kids. I was too quiet.

The truth was I didn’t want to be like the other kids, not one bit. I liked to sit back and observe. I liked to be by myself. Unfortunately, no one quite understood this and I often found myself being forced into uncomfortable situations: “Go play with the other kids,” “Sleepovers are fun!” and “Lunchtime is for going outside with your friends.” All of the things I didn’t want to do. But how could I, as a child, say no?

As I got older, I started to become more conscious of the fact that I was different. I would look around and compare myself to everyone else. For a long time, the constant comparisons really got me down. At school, I didn’t want to participate in class discussions or spend my lunchtime on a noisy playground with the whole school. And I didn’t understand why. I started to believe I really was abnormal, and to make things worse, those whispered conversations got louder and louder. Teachers were concerned and other kids were unforgiving. I could now sense that people were treating me differently, like I was fragile and could shatter at any moment. I just wanted to be normal and for other people to believe I was normal too.

Embracing My Introversion

Around the time I reached university, I started to get a better sense of who I was. I moved away from home for the first time and was introduced to a whole new life. I observed people, I read things, I learned more and more about people and life, and in turn, about myself. I realized I was different from those I had been comparing myself to in the past, but in no way was I any less of a person. I was just me, an introvert and an INFJ personality type. The more I learned about my personality traits and myself, the happier I felt. I grew more comfortable in my own skin. I felt confident being myself and I finally understood my need to be alone–something that I could never explain before.

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With this newfound confidence I started to do things outside of my comfort zone. I traveled to a foreign country alone for the first time and experienced new and exciting things. I made new friends and never once felt restricted or underappreciated. I started to do the things I wanted to do and I was happy. Everything I did, I did for myself. Of course, this surprised a lot of people.

They were surprised that I, that painfully quiet and fragile child, could do what normal people could do. Suddenly the whispered conversations had a new tone. I was impressing people with my actions and mindset. Were people beginning to change their minds about my capabilities? Was I finally being accepted for who I was in this constantly noisy world?

And was this what I had wanted all along? After years of not accepting myself for who I was, and never feeling fully accepted by others, had it finally happened?

I Felt Like I Could Do Anything

As introverts, I think many of us seek acceptance (whether consciously or subconsciously) from the rest of the world—an acceptance that it’s okay to be ourselves. In a way, we try to prove ourselves as capable human beings who do not shout louder than the rest of the world in order to be heard. Some of us may need to work twice as hard to prove to ourselves that we are enough—and to convince others of the same.

After finally feeling a glimpse of acceptance, I felt like I could do anything!

My biggest “anything” to date happened almost three years ago when I made the decision to move solo to the other side of the world. The move from my small town in England to a big city in Hong Kong was definitely my biggest challenge, but it soon became my proudest achievement.

I’ve learned that even on the other side of the world, there’s no escaping those whispered conversations. There were now new people who were “worried” about me, “concerned” it would all be too much and I’d crumble under the pressure. But those distant voices don’t bother me anymore. I’ve proven to myself that I can do anything I put my mind to. I am enough and I am far more than capable. I have found that the feeling of acceptance from within is much more important than trying to gain approval from anyone else. Be who you are and let others worry about what you can and can’t do.

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Read this: 21 Undeniable Signs That You’re an Introvert


    • Hi Lyndsay! I can relate to much of your story. I am an INFP empath and share your interest in quiet education. Thanks for sharing!

    • Joel Saito says:

      Awesome little piece that speaks true, These last few years for me have been really eye opening and I’ve been more courageous to do more things but really what allowed that was gaining the confidence through risk taking and trial and error. I used to be terrified of speaking up in class and public speaking in general and now I think its actually one of my strengths. I think us introverts can be late bloomers in many ways but honestly I wouldn’t have it any way because I think I’m a much more aware and conscious person for all that I’ve gone through.

      Its pieces like yours that inspire us to constantly challenge ourselves! That’s really awesome that you decided to make a big life move and I feel as if this year is a year that I really want to explore a different country!

      Thanks for the good read.


    • Hello Dear Introverts! Did you know that being introverted can be shaped by the influence of the arrangement of the planets on the day you were born? For instance, the Moon can make one very sensitive (if you are born on Monday) and the planet Saturn (if you are born on Saturday) can make you very reserved. The important thing to note is that we have the power to control these forces, vs them controlling us. There is a powerful mantra bequeathed to humanity by the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh that helps us to become courageous,fearless, speak up for our truth and have the magnetism to lead people in the right direction. You can learn about this science in its totality in the book Lifting the Veil by Dr. Joseph Michael Levry. Much love and light, may you be fearless, go forward with all of your dreams and keep shining as the spark of the Divine that you are!!!!!

    • Teresa says:

      I actually cried while reading this. I can relate to you on a whole new level. Never thought someone else is the same way as I am. Always thinking I’m different from others, therefore always thinking something must be wrong with me. Lately I’ve been wanting to traveling alone, but anxiety has been a problem for the past few years. But I’m working on myself. I’m working on it 24/7. I’ve just discovered this website, and I’m very grateful.

    • Haddy Abra says:

      Hi Lindsay. I very much relate to your experiences s a child. It took quite sometime for me to discover that being an introvert (INFJ), being shy and having low self-esteem was not a package deal. It took my troop sergeant a full year to find out who I was when I joined the army. I learned to hide in a crowd and avoid all responsibilities. It was how I liked it but it held me back in many ways.
      I didn’t start to open up until I was in my thirties when I began to address my insecurities. It was then that I went back to school and became a counsellor. Before long I was giving workshops and getting more comfortable speaking to groups of people. My shyness slipped away as my self-esteem took flight.
      The highest level in Toastmasters, the organization which promotes communication and leadership skills, is to become a Distinguished Toastmaster. Most members don’t even come close to achieving that level. Never having any sense of what normal was, I became distinguished three times in my first ten years. I have learned to use my quiet sense of the world to express ideas in a very different and quite effective manner. Although I now feel very comfortable in front of a crowd as well as face to face with individuals, I make time every day to be alone to recharge my batteries.

    • Lou says:

      Beautifully written and very encouraging. I experienced much of the same; my parents, boisterously expressive Latins, were always telling relatives and friends “she’s ok, she’s just quiet.” I found myself trying to be as loud as they were, but even then, hardly got noticed. It was sad to try to keep up with all that noise! It’s so wonderful to stop striving and to just BE!

    • Laura Mendoza says:

      Beautiful article! For many years I have felt misunderstood and that I don’t fit in this world. As you said, after I discovered I am an INFJ personality type, I started to accept myself. It’s still a long way for me, but now I feel that I can, that I am capable of do many things! Thank you for sharing.

    • RM Wyatt says:

      Thank you, it was nice to read an article that one can relate to and feel that they’re not alone in the world.