8 Honest Truths From a Contradictory INFJ

an INFJ personality smiles

Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging. These are the four traits that make up the INFJ, the rarest Myers-Briggs personality type. Only 1-2 percent of the population are INFJs, so either you are one, like myself, or you’ve never met one and want in on our mysterious, elusive, and often confusing ways.

Growing up, I never knew if I was an introvert or an extrovert because I always felt somewhere in between, and that’s a confusing place to be. So after doing research on personality types and eventually determining my INFJ nature, things started to make a little more sense.

(What’s your personality type? Take a free personality assessment.)

INFJs are not just confusing, we can be downright contradictory! Here are eight insights into my life and its confusions as an INFJ.

Honest Truths About My INFJ Personality

1. I’m a people pleaser.

Like it or not, I aim to please. As an INFJ, my Intuitive and Feeling ways dominate, and this allows me to sense others’ emotions without them ever saying a word. I despise confrontation, so in order to avoid it, sometimes I do whatever it takes to make others happy, even if it means sacrificing some of my own time or emotions in the process. This is all due to our overly empathetic nature, which leads me to #2.

2. Your emotions are my emotions.

INFJs are like emotional sponges. Due to our high levels of empathy, combined with our intuition, when we sense someone’s mood, we may involuntarily mirror those same emotions. And honestly, it’s exhausting, but it allows us to really feel and try to understand what someone else is going through — and strive to help them the best we can. Just look at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Theresa, two of the most famous INFJs. We might be introverts, but putting the needs of others first is often our priority.

3. What you see isn’t always what you get.

My closest friends often forget that I am actually an introvert. While at first I may appear quiet to most people, I eventually transform into a fun, loud, and talkative extrovert (hence my earlier confusion). All it takes are two special ingredients — the right people and time. Since INFJs are so intuitive to their surroundings and the people around them, it takes time to really get to know us. We want to make sure we’re 100 percent comfortable with you before letting our guard down. Only a small group of select individuals actually make it into our innermost circle of friends, and that’s why we prefer a few good friends to a large group of acquaintances.

4. The door slam isn’t an emotional overreaction.

Ah, the INFJ door slam. Any article written by or about INFJs will mention it. And let me tell you, it’s very real and can be very complicated. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, the door slam basically involves an INFJ cutting someone off from their life suddenly or without notice. Does that seem rude and uncalled for? Not to an INFJ. A door slam sends a message that represents the hours, months, or years of emotional energy put into someone that they now realize will never be reciprocated in the same way. It can also occur when a friendship or relationship is toxic or no longer relevant because it has changed with time. And since we hate confrontation, we silently close the door. Basically, the INFJ has no more emotional energy to give and would rather put that energy into something more productive or worthwhile.

5. Some door slams are more like door ajars.

Here’s a little secret. Not all door slams will stay closed forever. I like to think of it as keeping the door ajar. It’s an INFJ saying, “The door is closed on you right now because it hurts too much to open it just yet, however, deep down, I really do care and I might want to check in on how you’re doing one day because you’re still super important to me.” Again, it’s all about the person, my feelings at the time, and/or the situation. (Like I said, we’re complicated). This is no simple feat. If you’ve managed to have an INFJ let you back into their life, you’re a pretty big deal to them. Congratulations.

6. I despise small talk.

This one is no secret. INFJs (as well as most introverts) will tell you that they loathe small talk with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. It’s because we crave deep connections and conversations of substance. Telling me that you “can’t believe how cold it is” for the fifth time today does nothing but interrupt my inner monologue and leave me scrambling to utter some sort of sound of acknowledgment that I heard you and don’t know what to say because I still don’t know how to properly do this.

7. Too many interests, so little time.

My INFJ personality gives me plenty of time to enjoy my favorite thing — being alone! And in that time, I’ve cultivated a vast number of hobbies and interests, like photography, theater, painting, playing piano, going to concerts, reading… well, you get the picture. It’s often hard for me to express myself, so, despite #7, I enjoy finding different creative outlets that allow me to express my built-up emotions. Fast forward to then feeling scattered and frustrated that I can never settle on just one path to follow or perfect. The cycle goes on and on.

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8. No rest for the perfectionist.

I might be a people pleaser, but the hardest person in my life to please is myself. When I invest my time and energy into something, I go all in. I’ll spend hours fussing over the tiniest details in order to attain the end result that was so perfectly envisioned in my mind. And when it’s not, my stubborn side rears its head. I’ll either shut down completely and procrastinate or obsess and do nothing else until it’s perfect… I mean, finished.

Being an INFJ is a beautiful, confusing life.

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