12 Problems All INFJs Will Understand

an INFJ has a problem

One typical INFJ problem is feeling very world-weary, as if they have been alive for over a thousand years.

If you’re like me, sometimes you wish you could SCREAM at the top of your lungs at your brain to stop with the constant racing thoughts. But it won’t listen, will it? Being an INFJ, the rarest of the Myers-Briggs personality types, can feel like both a blessing and a curse.

For example, as introverts, INFJs possess a rich inner world, and they’re extremely caring and empathetic – these are key INFJ traits. However, INFJs also encounter a host of challenges, often directly related to their deep empathy and concern.

So, here are 12 problems all INFJs will understand. These issues aren’t exclusive to INFJs — meaning other types may experience something similar — but they are especially common and frequent for this rare personality type. Read on to discover if you can relate!

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12 INFJ Problems

1. Strangers confide in you within minutes of meeting you.

Something about INFJs makes strangers want to tell us everything. It happens again and again, whether we’re in the produce aisle, on an airplane, or just walking down the street. While it’s not always problematic, it can be unsettling when the stranger next to you on the subway suddenly divulges their deep-seated feelings of not being loved by their father.

Perhaps it’s because people sense our empathetic nature, which for some reason makes them immediately desire to share very personal information with us (to use some 90s slang, TMI, right?). Or maybe they detect that INFJs hate staying on the surface. After all, what we really seek is to dive deep. When we ask how you’re doing, we want to know what’s really on your mind.

2. You feel oh so old, but also very young… at the exact same time.

This one is a bit difficult to explain. It’s said that INFJs have old souls. I don’t mean this in a snobby, “I’m-so-wise,” boastful way. Rather, we sometimes feel very world-weary while we restlessly seek inner peace and meaning. We may experience this as an intense, almost timeless awareness of the world’s pains and joys. Complicated, right?

It’s not necessarily depression, although INFJs are known to struggle with this mental health condition. Rather, it’s more of a bittersweet melancholy, as if we’ve been alive for over a thousand years. But at the same time, we love to laugh, dance in the snow, frolic in meadows, watch Disney movies, and have pillow fights. This perpetual tug between youth and maturity can be a source of internal conflict for us.

3. You can be very hard on yourself.

INFJs are the epitome of perfectionists. Got a 98% on a test? That’s not good enough; it could have been 100%. Resolved a conflict? You might think you could have done it differently or more efficiently. No matter our achievements, there’s always a nagging thought that we could have done better. In every project, we scrutinize the details, constantly seeking improvement. Striving for perfection is admirable, but INFJs need to learn there is a limit.

4. You feel terrible when you can’t make others happy.

Another common INFJ struggle is our desire to make others happy, likely stemming from our people-pleasing tendencies. It’s not unusual for INFJs to put aside their own needs for the sake of their friends and loved ones if it means bringing them joy. Unfortunately, this often leads to burnout and resentment.

We might try to help in a healthy way, but sometimes our loved ones reject our efforts. For example, imagine offering advice to a friend going through a tough time, only to have them respond curtly, insisting they don’t need help. Even then, we, as INFJs, intuitively sense that something is off. The issue intensifies when we’re unable to help, perhaps driving us into feelings of worthlessness.

The solution, however, isn’t to double down on trying to make others happy. Instead, it’s about acknowledging that our own needs and desires are valid and important, and learning to set healthy boundaries.

5. You’re easily drained by other people’s emotions.

Our acute inner senses swiftly tune into others’ feelings and states of mind. Often, we end up absorbing these emotions ourselves, complicating our desire to make others happy. This is because INFJs could be considered highly sensitive people. (Here are 27 “strange” things highly sensitive people do.)

This sensitivity is invaluable in the work of an INFJ, or in any role involving teaching, counseling, healing, and advocacy, as it enables us to deeply connect with others. However, it can also be overwhelming, especially when confronted with intense emotions. Being an INFJ is exhausting!

6. You bottle up your emotions, then explode.

Typical of INFJs, we tend to be reluctant to burden others with our feelings. Some of us might even view our emotions as a nuisance to others, leading us to keep them bottled up. However, as humans, we can only suppress our feelings for so long before they erupt, often unexpectedly and with great intensity. This cycle is one of the aspects of the dark INFJ.

What’s more, we might feel guilty afterward, believing we shouldn’t have burdened others with our issues. We might think that since everyone has their own problems, we shouldn’t add to them, right? But that’s not the case. It’s important for INFJs to remember that expressing our emotions is healthy – and it can be done in ways that don’t hurt or burden others.

7. You might come across as clingy and needy.

Here’s the thing: INFJs are incredibly loyal, and when INFJs love, they do so more deeply and fiercely than they might realize themselves; they are desperate for the people in their lives to feel appreciated. However, this can backfire, as constant checking in and asking, “How are you doing? Are you OK?” may be perceived as clingy. Moreover, when others feel stressed and down, we might also feel stressed and down, making it hard to focus on our own lives.

It’s odd, considering that as introverts, INFJs usually shun the spotlight. Rather, they want to make sure everyone is doing okay and let them know they’re always there for support. (Some INFJs may struggle with codependency in their close relationships.) Even INFJs might find their own behavior surprising, as they are typically quite independent.

8. You overthink yourself into an existential crisis.

Overthinking is a common problem for many introverts, and INFJs are no exception. What starts as an innocent thought can quickly spiral into a full-blown existential crisis. Once caught in this cycle, it can be extremely difficult to break free.

These crises often arise from our need for a clear purpose or mission. For instance, when we scrutinize every little aspect of our current job, we might discover a lack of overarching purpose. This leads us to question why we were put on this damn earth to begin with. Such a crisis can greatly dampen our enthusiasm and motivation, as we tirelessly seek purpose and meaning – which is why it’s important for INFJs to learn to calm overthinking.

9. You cry easily.

This INFJ problem can be particularly troublesome, as it often occurs at the most inopportune or embarrassing moments. Like all humans, INFJs are prone to spontaneous tears. This can happen anywhere and at any time – at the gym upon hearing a sad song, in the grocery store when a memory flashes by, or while watching a kid’s show with a tender moment. It happens all the time and it cannot be helped, which leads to the next struggle…

10. People sometimes think you’re strange or aloof.

Others might regard INFJs as a little odd, especially when they catch us in a moment of stress. And let’s face it, we INFJs are somewhat unpredictable. You never know if you’ll find us beaming with happiness or crying our hearts out.

Since we’re so inwardly focused and attuned to emotions, we can sometimes come off as rude or distracted. We also need a lot of alone time to recharge and sift through what we’re feeling and why. We’re not snubbing anyone; we’re just deeply immersed in our inner world, filled with a hodge-podge of thoughts and emotions that need sorting out.

Is the chaos of life overwhelming you as a highly sensitive person?

Sensitive people have certain brain differences that make them more susceptible to stress and anxiety. Thankfully, there is a way to train your brain so you can navigate the challenges of sensitivity, access your gifts, and thrive in life. Psychotherapist and sensitivity expert Julie Bjelland will show you how in her popular online course, HSP Brain Training. As an Introvert, Dear reader, you can take 50% off the registration fee using the code INTROVERTDEARClick here to learn more.

11. You have a plan for everything.

I used to joke with my friends that if they want me at an event, they need to inform me three months in advance. I find myself planning everything. My week, including daily activities and meals, is typically laid out by Monday morning. It can be tiresome, but I just can’t fly by the seat of my pants. If a detail of my life is uncertain or unplanned, I get stressed. All INFJs need some kind of stable routine in our lives, especially since our inner life can be so intense.

12. You overanalyze your own words and others’ words.

Sometimes, it takes hours for me to compose an email. I worry about every sentence. What if they take it the wrong way? Does it sound harsh? Will it make them happy or upset? Could they misinterpret what I’m trying to convey? Before I know it, half an hour is gone, and I’ve written only one sentence. The same happens with others’ words; I often ruminate on what someone said, trying to decode the real meaning behind their words.

Whether you experience just one, several, or all of these problems on any given day, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Keep your head up, and embrace your unique qualities and sensitivity; the world needs INFJs!

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