Understanding my place in the world as an INFJ personality is a journey that’s still being written. It’s a process that has taken me through multiple jobs, relationships, and life experiences. At times, it’s been a tough path, but ultimately it’s been a necessary one that has required me to question who I am. In this article, I want to shed some light on the strengths of the INFJ personality type. (Not sure what your personality type is? We recommend this free personality test.) Ultimately, I hope this inspires other INFJs out there.
INFJs bring many strengths to the table, and here are five of them:
1. INFJs have a wonderful sense of observation and attention to detail.
We can pick out minute differences in our surroundings, and we notice things about people that others may miss. For this reason, INFJs love to people watch. People-watching allows us to study human nature without having to actually interact with others. I often notice small details about other people like what they’re wearing or if the customer said thank you to the cashier. It’s always interesting watching two people talking without eavesdropping on the conversation but rather looking at their body language. INFJs can agree that our people-watching isn’t meant to be creepy. Rather, it’s how we analyze human behavior and societal norms, which for INFJs is fascinating.
2. INFJs are natural empaths.
INFJs are very good at empathizing with others even if we’ve never directly experienced what the other person is going through. This is because we can put ourselves in other people’s shoes and view things through their lens. For example, I recently worked as a team leader for a Youth Conservation Corps in Hawaii where I was in charge of six young adults. One of my biggest accomplishments was getting to know each of my team members on a personal level but also holding true to my role as a leader and a mentor. One day I had a deep conversation with one of these young adults who told me his life story and what was presently troubling him. I mostly just listened and soaked up all that he said—and also what he wasn’t saying. I picked up on his body language, change in tone of voice, and overall demeanor. I got into a zone where nothing else mattered; my sole purpose right then was to listen and try to understand what was going on in his life. At the end of our conversation, this individual told me that he had never shared that much with anyone in his life. I’m not trying to boast, nor am I saying that I’m some sort of expert psychologist, but something in my body switched on and entered a deep state of focus. Perhaps it was the work of my empath abilities coming out when needed.
3. INFJs are extremely creative.
Whether it’s related to the arts, literature, or music, or even something like creating an engaging lesson plan for students, INFJs are never short on ideas. For example, the other day, I was a bit bored so I decided to pull out my sketchbook and replicate a picture I had taken on a recent trip. I got lost in my inner world, trying to recreate the image of a mountain range. My creative juices were flowing and my attention to detail took over. Another example of INFJ creativity comes from when I worked as an environmental educator. I had to design interactive lessons for high school students; once I was put to the task, I spent hours coming up with the perfect lesson plan—and I enjoyed it all.
4. INFJs are lifelong learners.
INFJs are always seeking out new information and experiences, whether it’s picking up a new book, people watching, or even doing something completely out of our comfort zone like skydiving. One of my favorite places is a book store. The other day I picked up two new books after perusing the store for several hours. Libraries, bookstores, and the Internet are havens of information, and the INFJ loves to spend hours exploring them, learning about whatever their heart desires. But INFJs don’t spend all their time with their noses in a book. I also have an adventurous side that pushes me to do things like go skydiving and spend days camping in the wilderness. INFJs naturally have a curiosity to do and try new things—and external pleasures such as novels and traveling are the perfect antidotes.
5. INFJs are driven by people and want people to succeed.
Contrary to what many people believe about introverts and how we might be selfish or unapproachable, INFJs are in the business of helping people. A crucial ingredient for INFJs to find inner peace is working to empower others. I have found that teaching, counseling, and coaching are perfect for this. INFJs are generally people who have idealistic values who want to make this world a better place, especially for those who might be underserved.
Being an INFJ can have its bright moments and its dark periods. But ultimately, I wouldn’t have it any other way. INFJs can be people of contradictions and opposites. At times we are reclusive hermits and other times we are the life of the party. We can be confusing to others and most people don’t truly understand us, even though we understand others well. But what is important is being okay with who you are. What we can control is how hard we work, how much we accept ourselves, and how we interact with others. So, INFJs, keep following your values and standing up for what you believe in.
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Learn more: Type Talk: The 16 Personality Types That Determine How We Live, Love, and Work, by Otto Kroeger
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