If You’re an INFJ, You’ll Relate to These 12 Problems

an INFJ personality reflects on her problems

If you’re like me, sometimes you wish you could SCREAM at the top of your lungs at your brain to just STOP with the constant racing thoughts. But it won’t listen, will it? Being an INFJ personality is both a blessing and a curse. Being introverts, they possess such a rich view of the world around them, and they’re extremely caring and empathetic. However, as INFJs, we run into a whole slew of problems. These problems aren’t exclusive to INFJs, but they are quite common experiences for this introverted type. Read on to discover if you can relate!

(Not sure of your personality type? Take a free personality assessment.)

INFJ Problems

1. Complete strangers confide in you within seconds of meeting you.

Something about us makes strangers want to tell us everything. It happens over and over again, whether it’s in the produce aisle, on an airplane, or at a restaurant. People can sense our understanding nature, which for some reason makes them instantly desire to share personal stories with us. This is not always problematic, but it can be a bit jarring when someone who we’ve never met before is suddenly sharing very personal information with us.

2. You feel worthless if you can’t make others happy.

As INFJs, we want nothing more than to make others happy. At times, we will sacrifice almost anything and everything for our family and friends, as long as it makes them happy. But even when you block us out or keep things from us, we can still sense that something is wrong. The problem snowballs when we realize that we can’t help, even though we really want to. We may be plunged into a sense of worthlessness, which can have far-reaching consequences on our self-esteem and quality of life.

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

This one is a bit difficult. INFJs have old souls. I don’t mean this in a snobby “I’m-so-wise” way. We just sometimes feel very world-weary, while we restlessly seek inner peace and meaning in everything we do. It’s not necessarily depression; rather, it’s more of a calm, contemplative feeling, as if we’ve been alive for 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 is definitely a source of internal conflict.

4. You can be very hard on yourself.

INFJs embody the very definition of a perfectionist. 98% on a test? Not good enough; it could have been 100%. Solved a conflict? Could have done it a different or more efficient way. No matter what we accomplish, we always wish we had done better. In every project we undertake, we are constantly scrutinizing every detail in a quest to improve. Striving for perfection is admirable, but sometimes INFJs need to recognize there is a limit!

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

Our keen inner senses quickly pick up on what other people are experiencing or feeling. We are then likely to adopt these emotions ourselves. This is of course helpful when deciding on a course of action or debating on what to say in a certain situation. However, it can also be thoroughly exhausting, especially when experiencing contrasting emotions.

6. You bottle up and hide your own emotions — but then an explosion happens.

INFJs don’t want to bother others with their feelings. They may even view their emotions as a burden to others, so they keep it all inside. However, we are only human, and eventually, it needs to come out. And when these emotions and feelings do come out, it’s essentially an avalanche of epic proportions that nobody ever saw coming. Even worse, we immediately feel guilty afterwards. Everyone has their own problems, and we shouldn’t be plaguing others with ours, right? Wrong. INFJs need to be reminded that expressing our own emotions is healthy!

7. You can come off as clingy and needy.

Here’s the thing. INFJs are incredibly loyal, and when they love, they love more deeply and fiercely than even they can fathom. And they want to make sure that their loved ones feel appreciated. This can backfire, as constant communication and inquiry can be viewed as clingy. But as introverts, the last thing we’re probably looking for is attention. Rather, we just want to be sure you’re doing all right and to let you know we’re always there for you. Even INFJs may be surprised at their own behavior, as this personality type is typically quite independent and sometimes even aloof.

8. You overthink yourself into an existential crisis.

Overthinking is a major problem for INFJs. Sometimes what begins as an innocent thought into how to solve a problem can quickly spiral into an existential crisis. Once stuck in this crisis, it can be extraordinarily difficult to escape. We need to feel like we have a goal or mission. When we analyze every little aspect of our current job, we might find that there is no overarching purpose. We might wonder why we were even put here on this earth to begin with. This existential crisis dampens our enthusiasm and motivation, as we search endlessly to find purpose and meaning.

9. You cry easily.

This one is especially problematic, as it often happens at very inopportune or embarrassing moments. Like other Feeling personality types, INFJs are prone to random tears. It can happen anywhere. It can happen at the crowded gym when you hear a sad song. It can happen when you’re in the grocery store and a thought or memory flickers across your mind. It can happen when you’re watching a kid’s show that has an especially tender moment. It happens all the time. And it cannot be helped. Which leads into the next problem…

10. People think you’re strange and aloof.

Other people probably regard us as a little bit odd. Let’s face it, INFJs are a tad unpredictable. Nobody knows if they will catch us beaming with happiness or crying our hearts out. Since we are so turned inwards and focused on our emotions and those of others, we can sometimes come off as rude or distracted. We also need loads of alone time to recharge and process what we are feeling and why. We’re not snubbing people; we merely exist in our inner world, which is a constant hodge-podge of thoughts and emotions that we have to slowly sort through.

11. You have to plan EVERYTHING, sometimes months in advance.

I used to joke with my friends that if they wanted to do something that I was to be present at, they needed to let me know three months in advance. I find myself planning everything. My week, from daily activities to meals, is usually laid out by Monday morning. It can be tedious, but I just cannot fly by the seat of my pants. I get stressed if there is even a tiny detail of my life that is uncertain or unplanned. Even worse, a last-minute, unexpected change in my schedule can feel catastrophic. As an INFJ, it’s very hard for me to be flexible, which is a source of frustration for others. We need some sort of stable routine in our life, especially since our inner life can be so jumbled and intense.


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12. You overanalyze everything you say and everything others say to you.

Sometimes, it can take hours for me to compose an email. I agonize over every sentence. What if the person takes it the wrong way? Does it sound mean? Will it make the person happy or sad? Is there a possibility that they might misinterpret what I’m trying to say? And before I know it, a half hour is gone, and all I have is one sentence. It also works the other way, as INFJs will often obsess over what a person said, trying to unravel the true meaning of the words.

Whether you experience just one, or several, or all of the above problems on any given day, it’s crucial to remember that you’re not alone. Keep your head held high, and embrace your gifts and sensitivity; the world needs INFJs! 

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Written By

Maria is a graduate student interested in plant pathology who is working on her Masters in Natural Resources. In addition to writing, she loves to horseback ride, hike in the glorious mountains of the Pacific Northwest, run, boat, cook, and sleep. Despite her great love of the outdoors, Maria also adores staying in on rainy days with a cup of hot tea and a book.