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.
(What’s your personality type? We recommend this free personality test.)
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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