12 Things INFJs Absolutely Need to Be Happy

IntrovertDear.com INFJ needs happy

INFJs are thought to be the rarest of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types, making up only 1-2 percent of the population. Because there are not many people in the world like them, INFJs often feel like perpetual outsiders. And, INFJs see the world in a very unique way—a way that most people can’t understand or relate to. As a result, many INFJs feel unhappy, discouraged, and even depressed.

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In a society that doesn’t understand the INFJ’s way, what does this unique personality need in life to be happy? Here are 12 things.

What an INFJ Needs to Be Happy

1. A sense of purpose. INFJs will not be content living a shallow life. Simply working to pay their bills will leave them feeling empty and restless. Sure, they can do routine tasks, but they must see how they fit into the bigger picture. They can’t just punch in and punch out; in order to be happy, they must be working to help others and ultimately change the world. And the world needs what INFJs have to give. There is perhaps no other type better suited to create a movement to right a wrong.

2. Meaningful conversation. Don’t let their quiet, easy-going demeanor fool you. INFJs are just waiting to dive into your inner world and learn more about what makes you tick. They want to hear the secret thoughts you’re afraid to utter. How you’re really feeling, even though you said you’re “doing fine.” INFJs love discussing personal, big-idea topics. They especially love helping other people understand their complicated, messy emotions and grow. But don’t worry, INFJs will never use your vulnerabilities against you. So, please do reveal your inner world. Without meaningful interaction, INFJs will wither.

3. A deep understanding of themselves. From a young age, INFJs are obsessed with understanding human nature. They yearn to not only know others on a deep level, but also themselves. They may turn to journaling, travel, literature, and art to further their self-knowledge. They may hop from one career to the next, “try on” different identities, or enter into relationships with people who are vastly different from them in the search for who they are. Without intimate self-knowledge, INFJs will feel lost and aimless.

4. Human contact, not social contact. INFJs are among the most social of introverts. Sometimes they are even mistaken for extroverts. However, as true introverts, they get drained by small talk and the trappings of socializing. Rather than “social” contact, INFJs need “human” contact—that is, mutual human understanding. They need people who can enter into their very private inner world. People who will listen without judging and try to see the world from the INFJ’s unique perspective—even if it’s just a glimpse. These people are hard to come by, but they are absolutely necessary to the INFJ’s happiness.

5. Alone time. INFJs often surprise the people in their lives by withdrawing from time to time. Suddenly, the INFJ has “turned off.” They have shut themselves away, alone, and can’t be bothered by anyone or anything. This is not because INFJs are antisocial. Rather, alone time is as nourishing as food and water to the INFJ. It allows them to clear away the chatter of the world and focus on their own thoughts and feelings. It gives them time to reflect on their lives and process what they’ve experienced. Without it, INFJs will feel drained, moody, and overstimulated.

6. Structure. INFJs do not need as much structure as SJ types like ISFJs or ESTJs. However, being a “judging” type, INFJs require some amount of routine and orderliness to function at their best. In general, they like planning ahead rather than being spontaneous, because it gives them time to prepare (both mentally and otherwise). Their plans tend to be fairly loose and flexible, however, because they are intuitives, not sensors. Think: A weekly calendar with a few things penned in, not an hour-by-hour day planner.

7. Independence. INFJs are not the type to just go along with the crowd. Their easy-going nature belies an ambitious, strategic, and at times, strong-willed core. They are free-thinkers who are not afraid to (quietly) go their own way. They function best when they are in control of their life, environment, priorities, and schedule.

8. An orderly environment. Similar to #6, INFJs tend to need their environments somewhat organized. They are probably not the types to alphabetize their bookshelves (attending to tiny details in their environment drains the intuitive INFJ), but they do need things generally picked up, put away, and clutter-free. INFJs tend to like minimalist environments, because too much stuff in sight can overwhelm their already busy minds.

9. An outlet for their insights. INFJs are old souls who understand human nature perhaps better than any other personality type. Sometimes they question their own sanity, because they see and understand things that others don’t. Thanks to their Introverted Intuition function, they excel at predicting what people will do, and they easily “see behind the curtain” in any given situation. Many INFJs find that sharing their insights through writing, counseling, or leadership makes them happy.

10. An outlet for their creativity. In addition to being insightful, INFJs are creative individuals who possess the gift of language. Employing metaphors and symbolism, they tend to be excellent writers, poets, and musicians. They often feel like conversation falls short of conveying their deepest ideas and feelings, so they turn to creative expression.

11. Beauty. INFJs are deeply moved by beauty, whether it’s a masterfully designed environment, a breath-taking work of art, or a song that touches their heart. Unlike INFPs, who live a more bohemian lifestyle, INFJs crave beautiful, high-quality things. This focus on material things may seem contradictory to their spiritual, “old soul” nature, but for them, beauty is a calming, inspiring force.

12. At least one person who “gets” them. It’s not easy for other types to wrap their mind around the INFJ. INFJs are complex people with many layers. Sometimes even they don’t understand themselves. Not everyone will understand the INFJ, and unfortunately, most people won’t even try. INFJs need at least one person in their life who “gets” them—or at least makes an effort. 

What’s your personality type? Knowing your personality type can help you leverage your natural strengthsand grow. Take a free personality assessment here.

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Read this: 21 Signs That You’re an INFJ, the Rarest Personality Type

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  • Julie Keeler

    This sums me up, exactly! Thank you.

  • I often hear that INFJ like a minimalist environment because they get overwhelmed by too many sights. As an INFJ I find that rather than wanting a minimalist environment, I like a familiar environment. My version of tidy looks quite cluttered to my Sensor family, but it reflects my internal pattern. I lose things when I am forced to put them “away” rather than leave them “where they live”. I have a large amount of colourful decoration, paintings, ornaments, etc, but as they are my things, a reflection of who I am on the inside, I don’t find them overwhelming. I do find other people’s houses overwhelming, even if they are more minimal than mine.

    • Nicole Nottingham

      Wow this is so true for me and I’ve never seen it articulated like that before! My husband hates any kind of clutter out, but I like having things out that inspire me, it’s a hard balance. We’ve compromised with me having a room/office that is mine only.

  • Mari D

    It’s all me. I am alone most of the time and I am tired of it, because I feel NORMAL the way I am and don’t want to be an outsider. I have done so much efforts to fit in and I am really really tired of it. Tired of everything.

  • Puspa Anggraini

    Exactly me…

    It is so hard to feel alone all the time although many people around.

    Spiritual acitivity is my only way to get clarity..
    It’s only thing can Cure my madness…

  • Rava

    This is exactly what INFJs need! Altough I’m yet to meet another INFJ, the best support has come from my loving (and a bit motherly) ISFJ friend. We understand each other so well and in return, I explained to her why she might be an introvert before discovering her personality type.

  • Bo Miller

    Well said, Jenn! 7 is surprisingly important.

  • Lynne Fisher

    Brilliant! So much covered here and all fits beautifully too – many thanks for sharing!

  • Angie Coll

    Love it!

  • Kitti

    my infj friend has a second bedroom where she keeps her collections of manga, stuffed animals, dolls, etc. its not messy at all, but it’s really full of stuff. the room she sleeps in has mostly the things she needs and uses on a daily basis. i think this is the ideal environment for her, and i envy her. id love to have that setup.

  • Thanae Georgiou

    Is this blog mostly about INFJs?