INFJ: My Contradictory Nature Makes Me Feel Like a Hypocrite

an INFJ personality feels hypocritical

I hate hypocrisy. One of my worst nightmares when I was a child was when my dad said, “Do as I say, not as I do.” I’m a firm believer in exemplifying the values you claim you hold. But there’s one small problem: my INFJ personality sometimes makes me feel like a natural hypocrite.

The INFJ is one of the most complex and often contradictory personalities of the eight introverted Myers-Briggs types. In addition to feeling both sides of the spectrum at all times (for example, liking to be alone but also enjoying deep connections with people), we also really care about what others think. For me, this often leads to feeling completely hypocritical, which naturally sends me into a spiral of “oh my gosh, now this person is going to hate me and never want to talk to me again” thoughts.

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Without further ado, here are five examples of how my contradictions have persuaded me into believing I’m a hypocrite.

My Contradictory INFJ Personality

1. Telling people I don’t like social gatherings and preferring to stay in, but also occasionally going out and not absolutely hating it

When I started college, I was convinced I hated socializing, but I quickly realized I just hadn’t found my tribe yet. However, at the start of the semester, when everyone was trying to get to know each other, I dodged invitation after invitation to go out. Now, comfortable in my new surroundings, I enjoy going out from time to time, but only with the select few people I choose to engage with. Therefore to some, I must seem pretty hypocritical when I dodge their invitations with the excuse, “I prefer to stay in.”

2. Preaching the “live in the moment” philosophy and then freaking out when plans aren’t solidified a day in advance

Sure, my deadline for when the plans have to be solidified may adjust according to the activity, but the point has been made. In my head, when life is stripped down to its simplest form, I truly believe that living in the moment is the best way to go because you can’t always predict what tomorrow will bring. However, when it comes to events and trips, I much prefer to have a solid plan ahead of time because even the slightest bit of chaos will cause me much anxiety and overthinking.

3. Giving advice I don’t take myself

As an INFJ, I’m basically a professional advice giver. This “profession,” however, perfectly fits into the nature of contradiction a lot of the time. While it is true that people need different things, I often feel guilty when I tell people things I firmly believe but then don’t follow myself (for example, to stop worrying so much about how others perceive you and just live how you want to live). I think it’s fair to say that everyone could benefit from letting go of expectations now and then, but as much as I tell others to do this, I find it very difficult to do it myself. Basically, I feel like I’m turning into an advocate for the “do what I say, not what I do” gang. Ugh, cringe.

4. Wanting to have a connection with everyone, but then INFJ door slamming people out of my life

Sometimes relationships are toxic, but in most cases, it’s slightly irrational to completely (and usually intentionally) lose touch with someone who’s meant something to you in the past. Nonetheless, INFJs (me included) long for deep connections with anyone who may possess the rare ability to understand us while simultaneously cutting people out of our lives who no longer fit the right (and sometimes rigid) criteria of a supportive and balanced relationship.

5. Daydreaming all the time about the places I want to go and the experiences I want to have, but often staying in and appearing to be the exact opposite of adventure seeking

In my head, one day I’m going to live in Europe or New York City (or maybe both) and climb mountains, jump out of planes, and maybe even become a pilot. However, to someone looking at me from the outside, I don’t seem adventurous at all. I often reside in my bed or at my desk doing mundane things like reading and writing. Sure, some of this is because I’m an undergraduate student who can’t afford to do all the big things she dreams about yet, but part of this is indecisiveness and overthinking: the inability to forget about all the reasons not to do something and just focus on the reasons to go for it. I live in the mountains and I like hiking, yet I’ve only been hiking once in the six months I’ve lived there; maybe it’s time to do something about that.

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With that said, I’d like to address that I in no way believe that any of these contradictions are my downfalls. I’ve become content with being an INFJ, I’ve learned about its perks through experience, and I love who I am as an introvert. But nobody wants to feel like a hypocrite, so for anyone who can relate, know that you’re absolutely not.

You’re not a hypocrite because your personality allows you to see life and choices from many perspectives; if anything, you’re more well-rounded. It may take you some time to wrap your head around why you can feel such opposite forces at once and what you actually want out of your experiences — and that’s okay. You’re not alone in that.

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