Confessions from an INFJ Personality Type About Friendship

IntrovertDear.com INFJ friendship

As a writer, I feel it is my duty to be completely transparent when sharing my experiences. So much of our lives can be filtered and edited, but to write means to write openly and honestly. If I’m being honest with you — and myself — I admit that this article was particularly difficult to write. I have been struggling to find the correct way to convey my experiences and my perspective, while simultaneously coming to terms with them.

The concept of friendship is not something I take lightly. As an INFJ personality type, every relationship I welcome into my life becomes rich and meaningful to me, because I invest a lot of my time and energy into nurturing these relationships.

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Of course, I have come to understand that not everyone views relationships the way that I do. Perhaps this is the reason INFJs have small social circles. Although INFJs are social introverts, we crave soul connections. We much prefer quality over quantity when it comes to friendships. Instead of going to loud parties or big events, we much prefer chatting with a close pal for hours over coffee.

I’m in a place now where I am comfortable with how I function as a friend to others. I’m by no means saying that I’m perfect. I have been known to tuck myself away from the world for weeks at a time. I get lost in my inner worlds when I take time for myself.

Above all, we INFJs are introverted. We need our solitude to regain our strength. I use that strength to extend myself emotionally to my friends. I would do absolutely anything for them, as long as they understand not to take this for granted.

You see, I have been prone to getting into one-sided relationships. I know I have touched on the INFJ notion of feeling misunderstood. In a one-sided friendship, this notion is amplified when you give and give and do not receive the same in return. You can listen to someone for hours, give them advice, show up for them when they need you — but that doesn’t mean they will do the same for you. Thus, you feel isolated and misunderstood by someone you thought you were close with.

Granted, INFJs have high expectations in relationships. Just because someone isn’t treating you exactly the way you treat them doesn’t mean they don’t value your friendship. But keep in mind that you don’t have to bend over backwards for people if they aren’t nourishing your life in some way.

I have gotten a lot better at establishing boundaries for myself. However, it is inevitable that people will hurt you, and it’s up to you to decide how much you are willing to allow into your life.

‘Our Souls Recognize Each Other’

For INFJs who are struggling to make friends, please remember to have patience. There is no rush to create relationships in life. Due to our sensitive nature, many people are drawn to us, but just because they enjoy how well we listen to them and affirm them doesn’t mean they are a good friend to us.

I have been in several scenarios where someone opens up to me, sharing intimate details of their life, and saying something along the lines of, “I feel like I’ve known you my whole life.” These people feel connected to me, for one reason or another. But just because they feel connected to me doesn’t mean I feel the same way about them. Maybe they just really needed someone to listen to them. And since listening with empathy is one of the INFJ’s greatest strengths, I sit there and listen to them. Rarely do I feel like opening up to them in return. INFJs open up a lot more slowly over a long period of time.

With that in mind, be sure to say “Yes!” to opportunities that seem inspiring. I know it can be scary to open up to new people, but try to not fall back on that reserved nature we often cling to when we are in public. Opening up and connecting with people is a wonderful human experience. Even if certain connections don’t last, at least you tried.

As far as the friendships I do have, I am forever grateful to have them. A lot of my friends live far away from me. Whether they are across the country or in a completely different country, I know that we are still connected.

It may sound cheesy, but when I feel a soul connection with someone, I make friends with them almost immediately. It’s kind of like love at first sight, except it’s that our souls recognize each other and we connect instantaneously.

When an INFJ decides to claim you as a close friend, there is very little that can make us stray from you. No matter the physical distance or gaps of time between communicating, your friendship will last forever.

INFJs are deeply loyal and loving to the friends we make. We see the best in our friends, and we naturally understand them on a deeper level. Even during tough times, we are often very understanding and forgive easily. If you are friends with an INFJ, remember to listen to us when we open up, give a genuine apology when you hurt our feelings, and go along with our whimsical ideas. These simple things mean a lot to us.

Your INFJ friend would move mountains for you. We are deeply serious souls, but we have childlike imaginations and love to make you laugh.

Be patient with us when we want to hide from the world. We promise it’s nothing personal. We simply need to get in touch with how we feel to stay grounded, so that we can be the best friend as possible to you.

Your INFJ friend,

 

 

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Read this: 10 Kind, Thoughtful Things You Can Do For Your INFJ  retina_favicon1

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  • IBikeNYC

    Tryin’ to figure out how to get this all on a t-shirt in a stylish way!

    • April Anders

      Love is Honesty without Bullshit.

    • faithesper

      I guess that would make stripes to your shirt if you want the whole article. I once had a shirt with the brand’s name written and printed all over it.

      • IBikeNYC

        What a great idea!

  • John McFadden

    “…not everyone views relationships as I do.” This is so true and is painful when I reach out and it’s not reciprocated like I want. Then it become a once sided relationship that I can’t let go of which brings ongoing pain. I have one soul relationship (I think she’s and INFJ) that started out great and lasted 2 yrs. Then that person turned it into being one sided. I think her marriage turned around for the better. Problem is, I’m still loyal and miss our closeness. She’s commented that she’s “such a bad friend”. What is she telling me with that statement? To be polite and hide my pain I just say, “It’s ok, I understand”. But, it hurts. (Wow, I didn’t expect my emotions to be so strong)

  • faithesper

    I relate so much. As an INFJ it’s rather challenging to make friends, open up or even just be yourself around people you don’t fully know. Especially if someone has broken one’s trust. Exactly what I had to experience during my “teens”. I think relationships are based on trust. If broken, the famous door slam will definitely happen.
    If it’s REALLY bad, the relationship will probably end, depending on the person. It will take time for the emotionally feeble INFJ to recover and may even reconsider being friends again.
    In my experience, pushing oneself to the INFJ is a wrong move. It will not help because the INFJ will feel sort of weird and if correct, wrong too. For me it was both. Trying too hard will only make things worse.

    Luckily, everything changes for the better in time. I have forgiven and moved on even though bad memories will haunt me from time to time. But what is important is to try to find a solution and accept life’s hardships. Sometimes when I cry, which is rare, I become happy because crying is ok and part of human nature and it sounds strange, but it feels good to feel sadness. Hang in there, fellow INFJs.

    Ps. Sorry for the not-so-lighthearted comment.

  • sanduckiedalmate

    This entire article speaks so much about myself. I LOVE IT! Thank you so much for writing this and sharing it to the world. Bless your soul. ♥
    Specifically for this one, “It may sound cheesy, but when I feel a soul connection with someone, I make friends with them almost immediately. It’s kind of like love at first sight, except it’s that our souls recognize each other and we connect instantaneously.” I’m really this kind of person! But it ‘s painful to think that I’ve met a best friend like this but she seems to no longer be the same soul I’ve met before. She feels distant now. I’ve talked about it with her and she keeps telling me there’s nothing wrong but she hasn’t been talking to me anymore and has become closer to another classmate she can occasionally meet up with since they’re living in the same country. I doubt it’s because we now live far away from each other though. 🙁

  • Sarah Wood

    Amelia your writing is always so sweet and heartfelt and I identify with everything you say here. Sadly many of my fellow INFJs commenting seem to be sharing the heartbreak I currently feel myself at the loss of a friend I also thought was a ‘soul connection’. I hope all our generous hearts heal with time. I appreciate the online community here.

  • Thank you, Amelia. I am also an INFJ, but lean closer to extroverted-ness. I like to be around people and even lead social functions, but I am all of these things you’ve described, except that I want to connect with people too soon. I would give too much of myself and then get disappointed when they didn’t return. I have had soul connection experiences with a few, and have a few long term friends. But yes, everything about seeing the relationship different than others is completely true. Thank you for this heart-felt admission and description of your / our experiences.

  • Reason

    I think the main thing for an INFJ is to find a friend that they can trust – it’s hard to find people who are honest and want the best for you, because there are so many people who are drawn to you because they feel safe around you. Unfortunately that means that users are drawn to you, also.

    • April Anders

      I had one person that I considered my “best friend” for 24 years. She lied. I lost trust. My thought process is: You lie then there is no trust. Without trust then there is no love. I told her that I will dance on her grave. Many consider me their friend but I think of them as acquaintances. Unfortunately my paid results are a INTJ/INFJ cross. Trying to understand oneself is a process, but personal faith in moral knowledge is important. I wish that I started this “understanding” process earlier in my life…