INFJs can be quirky, complicated, and sometimes downright contradictory. How do you know if you’re an INFJ, the rarest of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types? Taken as a whole, these 21 signs show that you are. These signs might not be true for every INFJ, but I believe they are generally true:
1. From a young age, you felt different from the people around you. Even if you had plenty of friends, you never felt like you truly fit in. Sometimes you faked being more like them so they would accept you.
2. You want to know what’s REALLY going on in people’s lives, not just trivial stuff like what they did this weekend or what they bought on their latest shopping trip. You want to dig deep and get at the things that no one else sees. What does the person in front of you really think? How does this person really feel? The fake facade they put up for other people doesn’t fool you.
3. You feel more comfortable having a loose plan for things than you do completely winging it.
4. You can be both incredibly shy, quiet, and withdrawn, as well as charming, fun, and hilarious. It’s all about the situation, your mood and energy levels, but most importantly, the people you’re with.
5. When someone comes to you with a problem, you usually don’t give them advice or your opinion unless they ask. Instead, you ask them questions to help them better understand the situation and their own feelings about it. Sometimes you tell a story of a time when something similar happened to you, in the hope that they’ll draw their own lesson. You feel like you can usually see the path they should take, but you don’t want them to do it just because you told them to — you want it to be their decision.
6. You like being alone, but you can’t be alone for too long. Eventually you need to reunite with your people. “Your people” are a handful of good friends who truly “get” you. Deep conversations with these people are priceless, and hanging out with them can actually boost your energy.
7. You’ve been known to suddenly cut people out of your life when they’ve hurt you one too many times. It’s not that you enjoy cutting people out, rather, you do this simply to protect yourself. Even though you may look like you have it together on the outside, you’re extremely sensitive inwardly, and you’re especially sensitive to other people’s words and actions.
8. Sometimes you try so hard to make other people happy that you forget to make yourself happy.
9. You often feel like you see precisely what someone else is feeling, and you believe you know what they need deep down. You’re not always right, but you tend to be more perceptive than most.
10. You feel like you’re destined for so much more than just dragging yourself to your 9-5 job to pay the bills. You want to help people and change the world — not just get a paycheck. The problem is you either don’t know what your “glorious purpose” is, or you have an inkling, but you don’t know how to achieve it.
11. You almost always have this sinking feeling like you could be doing better with your life. This results in you constantly have secret self-improvement projects going on, like learning how to cook healthy meals, setting better boundaries, or getting better at articulating yourself. Sometimes you push yourself too hard as you attempt to achieve your “perfect” life.
12. Sometimes you turn to people-pleasing to protect yourself. You’re sensitive, so you can get really bothered when someone criticizes you or is disappointed in you. They can’t criticize you if you make them happy.
13. You often immediately sense the mood of a room when you walk into it. Likewise, you often absorb the feelings of the people around you. If they’re excited, you get excited. If they’re anxious, you get anxious, too. You tend to gravitate toward calm, centered people so you don’t have to deal with as much emotional garbage.
14. You’re drawn to high-quality things, like good food, high-end clothes, and anything else that has good craftsmanship. As much as you hate to admit it, the way things look is important to you. You like being surrounded by beauty, and you tend to have sophisticated, refined tastes. But you’re a minimalist at heart. You’d rather have one or two really nice shirts than ten mediocre ones.
15. You care deeply about the people in your life, but they’ll probably never know just how much you care, because you keep your feelings mostly to yourself. You can have trouble articulating your emotions, even though you feel them intensely.
16. You’re usually thoughtful, conscientious, and considerate. Other people who are not as conscientious can seem callous and even cruel.
17. You love learning, especially when it comes to psychology, self-improvement, spirituality, and certain sciences.
18. When everyone else is gossiping, discussing celebs, or talking about other trivial things, you often find yourself thinking about outer space, time travel, human nature, the meaning of life, and other more epic topics. You rarely try to steer the conversation in that direction, though, because you don’t think other people will be interested.
19. You feel compelled to get things done. You often write to-do lists, and you enjoy checking things off them. If you don’t have a goal to work toward, after a while, you feel lost and bored.
20. When you’re passionate about something, it feels like nothing can stand in your way. The INFJ motto is, “The impossible takes just a little bit longer.”
21. Other people see you as wise, insightful, and almost spiritual. They often come to you for advice and emotional support. You relish your role as the “wise one,” and you like being needed. But sometimes it becomes too much. You’re an introvert, for crying out loud, and sometimes you just wish everyone would solve their own problems and leave you alone for a while.
Still not sure what your personality type is? We recommend this free personality test from Personality Hacker.
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Learn more: My True Type: Clarifying Your Personality Type, Preferences & Functions, by Dr. A.J. Drenth
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