8 Peculiar Traits of the INFJ, the Rarest Personality Type

IntrovertDear.com INFJ life

Following my 10 Contradicting Things About the Elusive INFJ Male article, I want to further explore some of the INFJ personality type’s unique traits and how they affect us in both life and work. Whether these things are true for other INFJs, I don’t know, but I would be interested to see if you relate, and if so, to hear your own stories. Leave me a comment below.

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

Peculiar Traits of the INFJ

1. All-or-nothing syndrome

This is an affliction that has plagued me for as long as I’ve known, and will probably continue to do so until I shuffle off this mortal coil. Love fiercely, or not at all; exercise relentlessly and eat well, or pig out on the sofa and eat junk food; work 20 hours a day for days on end, or sit and procrastinate all weekend like it’s no one’s business. I cannot do middle of the road, at least not for any appreciable length of time. I’m not sure why. Could it be that we INFJs are simply wired to do things “with Passion or not at all”? Perhaps middle of the road feels like a stagnant approach to living? It seems bland, uneventful, uninspiring. No room for development. No opportunity to go off the beaten track in search of your own path. I suppose it rids us of the opposites that we need in order to experience the full spectrum of what life really is — which I believe is the true nature of our existence. Although I worry that this constant going from one extreme to the other could simply mean I remain on the wrong path and am aimlessly searching for the right one.

2. The inability to settle

This is related to the all-or-nothing syndrome. INFJs are searching for the “one,” although not necessarily in the romantic sense (although that still applies), but in the sense of a life mission. INFJs seem to be on an eternal quest to find an endeavor or field of work that gives us that feeling of contributing to the greater good, of helping others, or of creating a legacy. I often feel I am “burdened with glorious purpose,” to quote Loki, but have no clue what that purpose is, nor how to find it. So when settling into an occupation or project, if I’m not feeling it, I invariably move on. I would rather escape and look for something else than pursue something that doesn’t stir up any emotion within me and/or restricts my capacity for personal and spiritual growth. But that seems to bring with it its own set of problems — a lack of regular income for one thing! I’d like to think this is my entrepreneurial spirit in action, but I don’t know. The inability to see something through that I started is becoming tiring. I would say that it seems like a Perceiver trait (as opposed to a Judging trait) but perhaps it’s P for perfectionism?

3. Perfectionism

In my entrepreneurial endeavours, if something doesn’t go as planned, or if people let me down, then the initial passion for the project wanes. People or companies just don’t live up to my (albeit I admit, too high) expectations and disappointment sets in. And lo and behold, I move on to the next project. As this happens more and more, I feel it reflects badly on me. Going from project to project, vision to vision, but seemingly unable to realize those visions and in turn struggle to make a living. Wrong people, wrong time. Or is it my fault in the way I’m doing business? Granted, I can be too soft and naive (believing the best in people), which invariably sets me up for disappointment. But I’ve made a promise to myself to never get too negative in my outlook. Rather, I try to see the positive lesson I need to learn from those experiences.

4. Solitude vs. friendship

I can count the number of close friendships I have on the fingers of… well…one finger. I’m talking IRL friendships here btw, not online. Given the INFJ’s Extroverted Feeling (Fe) nature, this seems somewhat of a contradiction. I have the need to develop intimate ties; I crave deep, meaningful relationships. Ones that inspire, motivate, and sustain the growth of both parties. In order to develop that degree of closeness, intimacy, and freedom, a lot of time/energy needs to be expended. And therein lies the problem. If I have a friend or partner, I want to be able to give them my all, so anyone outside that small circle usually gets relegated to “acquaintances.” If I can’t give my best to any one person, I’d rather not give at all. That’s probably why I see many INFJs with a small friend circle.

5. Full of contradiction

Again, this relates to many of my former points. I can go from opposite ends of the spectrum on a gut feeling using my Introverted Intuition (Ni). Others can’t fathom it. So to others, I appear contradictory, mysterious, and enigmatic, but more often than not, incredibly frustrating (for both parties).

The INFJ’s Ni/Fe functions are also great for mirroring and adapting to different environments and people, so I can appear vastly different in different scenarios. I can be the life of the party amongst those who “get” me (very rare) but come across as painfully shy, solitary, and quiet to others (very common). I can fit in when I want, but more often than not, I rebel fiercely. I suppose this rebellious nature has come about later in my life when I started to settle into my INFJ skin, when I decided to drop the mask and to live true to my beliefs, even when they conflicted with society. The transition from being a people-pleaser (mirrorer) to not worrying as much about conflict can be confusing for the people around me, especially those who have known me a while. Because I now have a firmer sense of self, I don’t feel the need to fit in with others, and I suspect it comes across as jarring. I am more careful these days in choosing how to expend my energy/love and not afraid to reject the ones who don’t fit that pattern (e.g., the people who don’t respect my boundaries or those who have a pessimistic outlook on life).

6. Writers not talkers

Although I’ve yet to meet an INFJ in real life (that I know of), I’ve heard this said many a time: we have difficulty talking on the spot, on the phone, and in person, but when it comes to writing, we can often knock out masterpieces. No wonder there are a disproportionate number of INFJ writers. We can mumble, splutter, stutter (well that might be just me) or just be plain mute. In writing, our ideas seem to flow effortlessly — although I have to reread several times and tweak often before I’m happy with my writing. What might be the reason for this? I think it boils down to time: we have the ability to see many different possibilities, eventualities, and gray areas in a given scenario. Our Ni also means we live inside our heads. So we may have several conversations going on at once, arguments even. And all this internal cacophony serves to create a bottleneck, which we have to verbalize. Sometimes it spews out in such a random fashion that it makes no sense, even to us. Yet when writing, we have the time to sit down, process the influx of ideas, then refine them until they come across eloquently and succinctly. Our writing brings order to our mind’s chaos and allows others to understand it.

7. Seeing the big picture and the details

This can be a good trait if we are balanced. However, given our contradictory, all-or-nothing nature, it can be an ongoing challenge. As visionaries, we INFJs see the big picture and play out scenarios from any given circumstance to its logical conclusion. But we also have the ability to delve into the minutiae of a project, which can help realize that vision. The problem arises when we stay at one extreme or the other, which fails to drive the project forward.

8. Dot connectors. Visionaries. Doers.

For all the issues we INFJs experience, I believe we have one great thing going for us: we are compassionate visionaries and doers. We may not finish every project or realize our perfectionistic vision for it, but we almost always give it a go. If we have the passion for an idea, and it will serve others, then we endeavor to accomplish it and make a difference to at least one person. The world, I think, needs more of us.

A version of this article was originally published on Misterp.ink.

More INFJ Resources

Did you enjoy this article? Sign up for our newsletters to get more stories like this.

This article may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products we truly believe in.


  • I think mature, self-aware INFJs have a lot to offer the world. That said, getting to that mature, self-aware place often comes from being severely misunderstood at a young age and feeling wholly unsure of how to successfully live in the world (at least in my experience).

    I don’t necessarily think the world needs more of us (I’m a turbulent INFJ and resonated with every single point in this article). While I love my drive to make things happen and go against the grain, that has proven to be extremely frustrating for myself and others throughout my life. I’ve found myself thinking lately how easy it would be if I didn’t have this incessant need to continuously strive for an ideal. I’m in my mid-twenties, so I feel that need is a bit justified now as I work to find myself and my place in this world–but I worry that I will never want to settle and although that is exciting, it is also terrifying. Perhaps that’s just me still coming to terms with myself, though. I think the world needs us because of our passion and drive, but our all or nothing approach is not conducive for the day-to-day tasks that keep society afloat–so too many of us would be counterproductive.

    I think, rather than the world having more of us, the world needs to work towards a better understanding of INFJs and other more non-traditional types. It can be awfully hard to be an INFJ in our extroverted, sensing, and thinking oriented society–and I think that’s because we spend so much time trying to understand others (often, unconsciously, because that happens to be how our brains our wires), while receiving so few real attempts to be understood in return.

  • Adolf says:

    You are handsome. 🙂

  • Abigail says:

    This is really me ?. I’m only twenty years old but i feel like i should’ve already find my “purpose”, my dream job but i can’t settle for anything. I feel like i’m missing out on something..I wanna do so much but at the same time the wide range of possibilities is enabling me to achieve,commit to something or someone.Full of contradictions indeed.

    • daniela says:

      the ”missing” detail is what i feel always too. not something exactly, but i guess this is the reason we are active in searching… and yes, i get desperat that my life is passing by and i dont do anything meaningful, even though i study medicine and many thinks its already a big deal, i think i am wasting my bigger potential… i love my INFJ nature, but seems like it comes with some broken details that we have to fix (eg. too many thoughts to talk that it most of the time sounds like i am some retarded who cant talk properly :((( )

  • wandergir1 says:

    I’m a INFJ and I relate 1000% to number 1. Just the other day I told someone I’m either 100% in or I’m indifferent, there is no in between. This applies to love especially, bringing me to 2, 4 and 6 at 100% as well. When I finally told the most resent love of my life that he was the one I wanted most in this world, I managed the words, “I’m in love with you” and then handed him a 4 page letter explaining it. The outcome was not the wildly romantic one I craved, however it was one of the many tragic outcomes my brain acted out while I drove to his house.

  • Lauren says:

    LOVED this article! Thank you for sharing! It was all me, really! But particularly the parts on perfectionism and being a writer. 🙂

  • Wow. I’ve never been described so well before. Craziness! The more I read the more I’m more clearly understanding myself.

  • Dude! You nailed it as far as I’m concerned… Using my INFJ self as a focus group of one. #1 is especially big for me.

  • From the comments so far, seems like you’re pretty spot-on in describing these traits! #7 is the hardest for me to explain in the workplace – it’s gotten slightly better as I’ve moved into more mid-level and senior roles, but it’s sometimes difficult for my boss to understand that I want to know why things matter/where they fit in the bigger picture, rather than just knowing the details of my job. #8 tends to be the thing that other people point out in astonishment – “wow, how did you connect those dots?”. #3 (and to an extent #1) is something I’m actively working to improve; let go of some of that desire for perfection in order to recognize progress and success.

  • Ronique says:

    This article really resonated with me. When I first learned that I was an INFP and read the description about us, (similar to reading this blog post) I thought “Man, this is painfully true. I’ve got a lot of issues to work on.” But I’ve now begun to focus on the positives of my personality/brain make-up. Like my writing ability. I started a blog not too long ago on confidence as an introvert, and probably similar to you, it feels like I’m somehow using my skills to making a difference, even if it’s only to 1 person. One other thing, even though I would love to know my one and true passion, if I never find it or it never finds me, if I spend my life just doing different, cool stuff that tickles my fancy, that’s hardly a bad life.

  • Ronique says:

    I related to this so much, I forgot it was catered to infJs not infP like I think I am! Whoops! Maybe I’m on the border of J and P. Personality types are so interesting!

  • Jen says:

    All me 🙂 Thanks you for sharing

  • Phil says:

    I think with respect to writing we have the leisure, though it may be an intensive process, to cultivate metaphors and allegories that better express our viewpoint than would otherwise be possible in a verbal dialogue, although some INFJs can do this spontaneously, through proficiency in their extraverted expression over much hard-earned practice and insight into the particular situation at hand, it is by no means the norm. I strongly agree with the aspect that differing viewpoints in the mind must be reconciled ad hoc, which is difficult to do in the moment; reflection and consideration of various leverage points, depths of values and impacts must all be weighed before a satisfactory expression is reached. While this may seem the purview of the extraverted intuitive type, it is with the INFJ that we find a careful attention to the interrelation of each component and holism is paramount.

  • Oh my goodness! I 100% relate to this and your previous INFJ post. It’s such a wonderful burden to feel the constant need to find a mission and a purpose, to feel the need to be perfect when you think you might be on the right path, and to achieve all these balances in between.

    I’ve got to say, thank you so much for your posts! I have been struggling so much as of late with sense of self and my perception of accomplishment and purpose. Reading posts on the site has given me a renewed calmness and self-assuredness, especially in knowing that there are other people that struggle with being an INFJ. Thanks!

  • I’ve found my people!!!!

  • Rakesh Kalra says:

    This is Rakesh Kalra from India.
    I’m also an INFJ. I’m 30. All points suit me except writer not talker.
    I’m always feel alone most of the time. I’m 30 but not find a purpose for my life till now. Always looking for the meaning of life. Feel depressed most most of the time. But one thing i know we have a something hidden talent but i don’t know my talent.
    We have a common thread, we start from there, where common people give up.
    Pls keep in touch give us better life experiences .
    Regards Rakesh Kalra

  • Viraj says:

    This is like reading my thoughts 🙂 I so relate to this. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Rachael says:

    I relate more to INFPs, but the similarities are staggering! I relate to quite a bit of this.

  • You have described me perfectly. I relate to all of these. I frequently find it very tiring to be so passionate and all or nothing. In my 50s now and starting to be able to moderate some of these traits

  • Catherine says:

    All of this is so true. I am constantly asking myself ‘but what am I *for*? What am I here for and supposed to do?’ Its tiring and uninspiring.

  • I could comment on every point, but I won’t 😉
    I totally get ‘all or nothing’. It ties in with refusing to settle. I’ve been stopped dead in my tracks, struck by the thought- am I doing something that’s authentic and true to who I really am?
    If I can’t do something perfectly, originally and with complete authenticity… I just won’t do it. #INFJproblems
    I also often feel like I always have thoughts churning around in my mind and writing helps me to organize them like nothing else.
    I also really relate to point five. I feel like I just react to different atmosphere’s and different parts of my personality come to the front in response.
    Another great article!

  • Zahiyya says:

    “Burdened with glorious purpose”- I thought it was hilarious when I first heard it and I’ve been quoting it ever sense. No one gets it when I say it, but I see I’m not alone. Great article.

  • Yup. As an infj dad with entrepreneurial leanings, been thru all this, if you wanna talk more careerwise that is what I do…. at liberty blossom (join the fb group) I found im terrible at organisation the regular way but when I do it God’s way, it mostly straighten out. Though I think I’m no slacker at writing when I set to it, talking is much more my thing ….in focused purposeful conversations. They say Hitler was infj 🙂 very convincing. Mostly the boom and the bust stems from not having unifying purpose. I.e. I am a homeschooling talent shop working homesteading pastoral …. one thing ni_ef but many facets. All welcome to lb. The other people frustrating things fixes itself when you set apart from ownership of results, that’s God’s job…. you’re awesome! But you’re not that.

  • Rakesh Kalra says:

    Same problem here, all or none thinking, sometimes i like to comments but don’t comment because of my all or none thinking, as i think writer must read my comment, but its not possible for writers to read all comments sometimes and reply all, when there are many comments, so it stop me to comment….

  • Magdalena says:

    Hi, Rakesh: There’s no magic age when people are “supposed” to wake up and say, “Ah, NOW I know what my life’s purpose is!” Perhaps you are being too hard on yourself, which is sometimes a typical INFJ position to take. As an INFJ myself, I can say that I was able to grow and find my path in life by doing A LOT of reading, both about all kinds of things that simply interested me, and about the spiritual life. One thing leads to another. . If you continue to feel depressed, perhaps reading a good book on cognitive behavior therapy techniques, or going to consult a therapist will be very helpful, and give you the “tools” you can use for the rest of your life. Good luck, and know things will work out for you!

  • Mira says:

    This listing of traits bore through with accuracy in all but one category. In regard to number 6 I can certainly relate to much of the internal landscape described, but when it comes writing and speaking I have always enjoyed success in reference to both. I can say that I distinctly prefer writing if given the choice and that I use extreme discretion when choosing to speak, if possible. I was curious if any other INFJs deviate in a similar way.

  • Bethany says:

    This spoke to me. Number 6 made me laugh out loud because I feel exactly that way. I mumble and stutter and my words make no sense when I try to talk to someone. But, give me a pen and paper, and I will be able to coalesce my “internal cacophony” into something that expresses how I actually think and feel.

    Thank you so much for this article.

  • YES! The first two especially. I cannot tell you how many “Find Your Purpose” books I’ve read. Or started and stopped. And in the words of U2, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”.

  • Aaahhh, “I often feel I am “burdened with glorious purpose,” to quote Loki, but have no clue what that purpose is, nor how to find it.” This is the most me thing I’ve ever read. Reading articles like this from people like me make me feel so much less of that kind of beautifully debilitating loneliness that being an INFJ can create. Thank you for this.

  • I relate to and agree with all of these! Great post!

  • Lee says:

    Incredibly accurate my friend, you have no idea how exact you are on everything in this article. Surprising to hear that you haven’t met a fellow INFJ, I have been lucky enough to meet three others. Keep up the excellent writing.

  • jewelybe says:

    Thank you for clarifying my life.

  • Eagle1 says:

    Like so many others this describes me well. One of my current issues is getting projects done that I say are important to me. I am Always distracted by new thoughts, the “shoulds” of everyday life, and writing out my feelings about wondering what’s wrong with me and what I really want to be doing and then actually Doing It. I feel like my head is spinning off my body. I keep telling myself, chose what’s really important to me, and focus on it until its done. Then I get distracted my great articles like this and don’t get anything else done. It has to get better! Soon!

  • Daniel Pinkney says:

    Thanks for your kind comments. Yup, not many INFJs round this neck of the woods it seems (North East UK). The one close friend I have is the only intuitive (an ENTJ) that I know of. That said I don’t get out much 🙂

  • Alloryn says:

    Regarding #1, All or Nothing Syndrome, yes. I’m either all in or all out, although I do admit to taking a middle of the road stance here and again. That said, if I’m middle of the road, I am 100% completely middle of the road. #5 strikes a nerve, too. A former boss once told me I was one big contradiction and he didn’t understand it. I just smiled. With age has come acceptance of myself; I’m comfortable in my skin and with who or how I am. To quote Popeye, “I yam what I yam and tha’s all what I yam.”

  • Sandy says:

    Oh god. I have never read a better overall description of myself. It choked me up. Recognition and validation are potent things. I am so all or nothing. And thought it was mostly just me. A flaw. Plus all the rest. The writing. So much easier to speak that way. This note is being done quick and at work and on a cell phone. I hope it would be more coherent in better circumstances. And out comes the perfectionism. ?

    Thank you for writing this.

  • daniela says:

    Daniel, I wonder how do you feel seeing all the infj”s gathering here? all of them understanding you. it”s been my life wish to meet someone who feels like me. when i was a child, or a teenager, i often thought there was something wrong with me. i had few friends, and still do, but strangelly i felt comfortable the way i was. when i talked it was like i was retarded :)), and it was hard for me to express myself, so i loved to speak with people online. it was like i was another person. always full of ideas, and smart jokes, when i reality my jokes rarelly sounds majestic:D usually i end up messing words. i feel happy that i could find this article. id love to have a friend who understand these issues, and i wonder what would their opinion be to one another”s daily little infj problems 😀
    PS: keeps searching the purpose, i hope there are infj” who found it 😀

    • Katie says:

      hey same with me! It’s just so nice to find other INFJs and know that you aren’t alone. A friend once told me that I am a different person online, more “social” than in real life and I kind of laughed at that because back then I had no clue I was an INFJ. I had no clue that I was even an introvert. People just categorized me as “shy” “quiet” “anti-social” and “reserved” and even though those words might not seem harsh, I always despised them. INFJs are wonderful people and categorizing us as just shy anti-social people feels like a lazy way to describe us and get to know us for who we are. The thing is, I was never shy or anti social, I just couldn’t get along with everyone but I didn’t hate company or people, I just was a person who was cautious about who I wanted to trust and spend my time with. I liked how Daniel pointed that out: ” I can be the life of the party amongst those who “get” me (very rare) but come across as painfully shy, solitary, and quiet to others (very common).” Also as I got older, my circle of friends (which wasn’t really big enough anyway) really started shrinking up to the point where I don’t have any friends (which actually is not a bad thing as the extroverted society likes to point out that it is awful not to have friends) On another level, it does get lonely at times not having someone who you can talk to (except for pets and relatives) so I am constantly searching for people that are of the same mindset as me (preferably introverts), or the same wavelength. And it’s not easy. I just want to be around people who make me feel comfortable in my own skin. I find it easy to actually talk to such people and for once use my voice. People who don’t understand me, well around them I always stutter or forget what I am saying or go blank and get stressed out about not being able to talk normal. When in fact I speaking is not an issue for me, it’s more of who I am communicating with that matters. I think this world is built more for extroverts and since there is such a small number of INFJs out there, it is much harder for us to find the right career path and to find the right people to surround ourselves with. It’s like we have to work twice as hard for something while also trying to remain true to ourselves. I always ask myself, what I am I here for on this earth? What is my purpose? I always become baffled when I see young twenty somethings already being successful while I in my late twenties still haven’t discovered my purpose yet. Maybe I have multiple purposes? I like having multiple purposes. I love being creative.

  • Katie says:

    Everything is so true…I’m not going to go on about the whole article because I can go on and on (as I can relate to every aspect and point made) but I had to point out that for INFJ’s like myself, making phone calls was and still is a nightmare for me! I remember my dad always telling me to make a call for this and that and I was like: but I don’t want to, can’t you do it? He would be like: but it is sooo simple!!! I didn’t know back then that I was an INFJ, but looking back now I know why it is hard. It is not simple at all. I had to re-energize a whole day after making a phone call. I would rather text or write a long email. But call in person, no that is too much and too stressful and for others it’s simple. It’s hard for extroverts to really understand that what is simple to them is really hard for introverts and it’s not because we are impaired creatures or whatever, we are just different people and it’s really hard to explain that…I actually gave up on explaining myself. I am who I am and I am happy and I like doing things my way, the way that I understand, even if I write a novel for 3 days without sleep and then end up having writer’s block for 3 months and then never finish that so called novel and start a new story (I never finished any of my writing projects yet) I could spend a whole week drawing and then not draw for months. It’s a funny thing that I always start projects but never finish them, I guess as you mentioned always looking for a purpose and being a die hard perfectionist with high expectations might be the reason.

    • Daniela says:

      interesting how your struggles flowed here on the paper. usually i write a lot when i have something bothering me. when i feel depressed and sad. in my experience, i have good relationship with people who are extroverts too, as well as introverts. it depends much on the behaviour, common interests, and of course, mostly they should be alone so we could create that ”bound” in our conversation. its true that i act like an extrovert when i am excited about talking about something interesting. my boyfriend is an extrovert, and he knows im an introvert, he never expects me to entertain him, even though i try to be very dedicate and loyal. i admire extroverts, but i feel comfortable in my skin. i dont think there are few introverts. there a so many, who struggle to find a place in this world and they dont even know themselves. the one most important thing is to study ourselves. than we can make peace of mind and not be so frustrated trying to explain why we feel wrong among certain people, or about a job. i could still say a lot about my life philosophy, i am really positive at the moment. i saw many sad coments here about how infj”s are not understood. well, we really have a complicated nature and we should not blame on it every bad decision we had made in our lives. nor we should not blame extroverts for not understanding us. its not their fault. i guess there are many lesson to learn in this life, and some of them are: 1 to study about yourself( i had read some of the jung”s personality books in which i had found a lot of wonderful theories about how people can be) or whatever book anyone feels better with and brings a light about your soul. and 2: try to think less subjective when it comes to judging other people”s behaviour. u can never know what is their life, what struggles they might have too, or just its not their problem to understand an introvert like us and its just the way it goes. not their fault. if you are upset about something, always ask if YOU did everything really right. well… it came like i wrote again a whole page. wonder if ill be able to write like this when i will do my licence :)) stay awesome INFJ!!

  • Seito Hojoin says:

    my tears about to fell down , someone understand my thoughts 🙁
    gonna keep this article to read it when i’m down or upset
    thank you very much

  • Nessie says:

    To be honest.. I’m more of a “chiller” than a doer. lol

  • Try being an INTJ/INFJ half-breed.

    INTJs “know more about the inner workings of their mind than all other personality types.”
    This means I even know more about INFJs than they know about themselves.

    “Hell is having an INTJ mind with an INFJ heart. – Hell is me.” – 777arkV †


  • Lauren D says:

    This article really resonated with me. I struggle with a lot of this. But this part, ” The transition from being a people-pleaser (mirrorer) to not worrying as much about conflict…,” is the evolution I am going through currently and I couldn’t have put it in better words. I often am shocked at my behavior as I just don’t care anymore about the things I thought were imperative. The people around me are just as thrown off, but just don’t have the utter assurance that I am doing the right things that I do.
    Thank you for a very well-written and wonderful article. I may carry it around with me, just to remind myself that there is, at least, one other human coasting on my wave length out there.

  • Kathryn Morgan says:

    The first point, the all-or-nothing syndrome, makes sense in my life but only in certain ways. Mostly with my emotions and my work/study habits. This is because when I decide to do something and commit, I am all in and will give it everything. I don’t half-way do something I committed to, especially when other people are relying on me. With my emotions I think it’s true for all INFJs that we feel things so strongly that when we are sad we are really really sad and when we are happy we are bursting with joy. This is how I’ve always been. With my work/study habits I realize I don’t like doing things that suck the life out of me so I procrastinate a lot on certain things and classes. When it’s something that I’m committed to and enjoy and gives me life then I will work endlessly on it.

    Your second point, the inability to settle, really resonates with my life currently as I am graduating college and choosing what to do and where to go. Do I want to be a speech-language pathologist or work in ministry? They both stir up something inside me, this passion, but what dream is worth working towards? This plagues my life and decisions and relationships. I can’t fully settle on one because I don’t know how to do both (all-or-nothing). This is essential a product of the all-or-nothing syndrome. When we can’t decide which to go all in on then we move from one to the other. I guess the reason we can’t decide is because we seek the highest purpose and highest truth. We want the time we spent and what we do in this life to be meaningful and worth it. This is probably one of the most important things to me. Makes life a bit difficult haha.

    I can only relate a little to your third point. I can see in my own life when I set my heart on something and then it doesn’t go as planned then I immediately try to let go of it so that I won’t be any more disappointed than I already am. When I have a feeling something isn’t going to go as I would like it to I drastically empty almost all the hope I have in it because I don’t want to feel more let down. I think it’s a protective mechanism.

    Solitude vs. Friendship. This is a characteristic that makes being an INFJ really hard. I am not currently in a situation with few close friends because I’ve gotten really lucky. I am in college with a lot of free time and a lot of friends that I can be close with. Before college I was never this lucky. I always felt so alone in my thoughts and emotions because I only had one or two really close friends who understood and spent time with. I think I might have to experience this again soon when I graduate and move. We need those relationships but they are so difficult to find or to find time for. Life can get really lonely with only one or two of these friendships.

    I am continuously contradicting myself, as well. I process things differently and decide one way and then continue to evaluate my decision until I am on the complete opposite end of my initial decision.
    I use to be a people-pleaser too. It wasn’t until I let go of that when I could truly be myself and find joy and not having to be something other people wanted or expected. That didn’t happen until I got to college.

    I have never been eloquent with my words. It’s so frustrating! I come off as unintelligent and strange way too often. Luckily I have gotten a little better about expressing my thoughts the past few years because all of my friends are very talkative and articulate. I love writing because I can fully say everything I want to say and everything I’m thinking without someone interrupting or misunderstanding something I’ve said. I love writing letters to people because I can say exactly what I want to say the way I want to say it and how they interpret it is less dependent on what I say in the moment and more on what I have thought about critically.

    I really like your last two points and agree that INFJs do both. You have a really great understanding of this personality and I really enjoyed reading and responding to this article.

  • Daphne Zaballero says:

    Hi. All the 8 things that you written here about the INFJ, they are true to me. Because yeah, I’ve been experiencing these 8 traits for some time now. And about that trait of being a Writer not a Talker. Definitely true for me. Because I really prefer to write than talk for hours. Writing in my notebook/ journal give me some peace that I needed. So, thank you for writing this article. Thank you. It helps me to understand myself more

  • Shelby Nicholson says:

    You hit the nail on the head with all your points. I want to put some of my ideals into action, but I don’t know what those ideals are! I’m so close as dammit. I’m ready for action, but I don’t know what is disturbing me or what I want to do. I read today a man in PA has a pizza store, where patrons leave a dollar and the owner pins a note to a buletin board, so when a homeless person comes in, they get a free pizza slice. Pay it forward is the name of the program. I think of all the refugees I saw in Genoa, Italy, and I think that’s what I want to do. But do I really want to work in a pizza store? I have a friend who keeps harping on me to recycle. I don’t recycle because I don’t have a four-bin trash can. So let’s make one, I think, and sell it on the web, but how do you make a trash bin? I want to plant a U-pick raspberry grove, but I hate weeding and cannot stand the sun. And it costs $1,500 to get the mulch to kill the weeds. How can I do that?

  • Cori C. says:

    Everything in this article I can agree with, with the exception of #6. I am a talker. While I do spend a good deal of my time writing, I prefer to talk to someone in person. However, while I do enjoy talking I’m not very good at it. Small talk kills me. I’d rather have a conversation over something philosophical or something their passionate about. I guess that makes me an even more peculiar INFJ.

    • Janie Schantz says:

      I have that same issue. I live to write, but for my eyes only. I can philosophize for hours with someone who has an opinion lol but I choke at small talk

  • Kit D says:

    This is fascinating to me because it’s like seeing what someone else does with all the same basic traits I have. I believe the pivotal difference is likely my life experiences- I had a really hard time growing up, which has made my world view far less positive than it might otherwise have been, but it also shapes my own ‘purpose’; my current career centers around helping children with problems similar to the ones I had. As difficult and exhausting as it can be, it often feels like I’m the hero of my own adventure story, fighting familiar monsters and saving people in ways that feel personal to me, without actually being about me, if that makes sense.
    I too search for ‘my people’; a small family like group where I belong and have deep meaningful relationships. I also struggle just to communicate sometimes, due to how difficult it is to translate my abstract and relational thought patterns into something other people can understand. But it’s as you said- I’m not done growing yet, and it’s all still a work in progress. I’ll get to those good places, or die trying, and even that sounds like a life worth living to me 🙂

  • Danielle Bentley says:

    Wow! I have goosebumps, knowing there’s another being that’s exactly like me ha! Thank you for writing this. Seriously, I’ve been utterly confused by my personality my entire life. Loved everything you said about me haha! Especially the bit about writing vs. speaking.

  • Smitten Smitty says:

    This makes me feel like less of a loser and understand who I really am

  • Shawna says:

    I loved this article. When I feel that someone understands my strengths and struggles it always feels amazing. I have a number of projects on my plate at any given time and labeled myself as a serial entrepreneur because like you said, I’m always looking for that life goal that I was sent here to achieve. As of recent I’ve become a Reiki Master/Teacher and this is seeming to satisfy me. It’s always different and I get to “analyze” people.

  • Ikram Maududi says:

    i agree with everything. And for all-or-nothing, I often exercise crazily to the point of almost getting fainted and if i can’t do that (because of getting sick or have little time or weather problem) i don’t exercise at all

  • You get me!!! I’m sending this to my mom. lol *sending hugs*


  • Emily says:

    I absolutely felt like I was reading a description of…ME! I connect with everything you discussed, but especially the point about writing versus talking. I can be so articulate and eloquent in writing, but in most group settings, I am often TERRIFIED of contributing my thoughts. I think that my concern about what others will think plays a big part. I also simply can’t organize my thoughts fast enough (though I usually have many) to articulate what I’m thinking right at that moment. Moreover, I always worry that what I’m about to say/what I said sounds stupid. I have a doctorate in Education, but I’m still convinced that when I speak on the spot, it will sound dumb or inarticulate. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy!

    • elizabeth chisolm says:

      Me to a “T” 100% Its like you were following me around like an animal researcher…good article.

  • sierra says:

    I’ve read this before and it’s extremely insightful. I also feel like an extroverted loner…. if that makes sense. I’m not shy and I can easily connect with people but I tend to push people away. I wonder if it’s the “all or nothing” approach and a tendency to see friendships as projects…. projects that can be very draining. I feel like we can be incredibly warm and caring but we get drained very quickly. Plus we’re drawn to wounded people. For me it’s still a process of learning healthy boundaries and some semblance of balance.

  • JD22 says:

    “The world, I think, needs more of us.”

    It truly does. If I had any belief in the notion that being an INFJ was based on a strong genetic component, I’d consider instituting a breeding program.

  • Every single bit of this!!

  • Cheryl Ann Murphy says:

    My entire life has been an internal and external struggle to find a place in this world. I am 47 and still lost as to where and how I fit. I resonate with every single word you wrote to a “T”. Does it ever get better?

  • Tina Henry says:

    WOW! Daniel – You are so incredibly in tune w our gifts and idiosyncrasies. AND this was so well written. It really touches me that someone else out there in this crazy world GETS me. Thanks for putting this in writing and sending it out to the world. I LOVE it and truly appreciate you taking the time to share. ~: ) {side note: YEP! I have had SO many different “careers” in my lifetime (in-home child care provider, dog walker, cashier, elementary school teacher, receptionist, professional dog groomer…)… now I’m sick and unable to work much… this has not only been a huge challenge to me physically, but also mentally because I’m limited w my desire to explore/learn/teach/reach out/CHANGE THE WORLD. ~: ) } Thanks again for this moment of grace in my life…