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, one of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types, is both a blessing and a curse.
For example, being introverts, INFJs possess a rich view of the world, and they’re extremely caring and empathetic. However, INFJs also run into a whole slew of problems, often directly related to that 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 extremely common and frequent for this rare personality. Read on to discover if you can relate!
(Not sure of your personality type? Take a free personality assessment.)
12 INFJ Problems
1. Complete strangers confide in you within seconds of meeting you.
Something about INFJs makes strangers want to tell us everything. It happens over and over again, whether it’s in the produce aisle, on an airplane, or on the street. Maybe people sense our understanding nature, which for some reason makes them instantly desire to share very personal information with us. (To use some 90s slang, TMI, right?) This is not always problematic, but it can be jarring when someone we’ve just met is suddenly telling us how they never felt loved by their father.
2. You feel worthless if you can’t make others happy.
As INFJs, we want nothing more than to make others happy. Some INFJs have been known to sacrifice anything and everything for their loved ones, as long as it brings a smile to their faces. This, of course, can lead to burnout and resentment.
Sometimes we want to help in a healthy way but our loved ones block us out. But even when they do that, being INFJs, we will 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 plunge 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 to explain. It’s said that INFJs have old souls. I don’t mean this in a snobby “I’m-so-wise,” zen inner peace sort of way. We just sometimes feel very world-weary, while we restlessly seek inner peace and meaning in everything we do. Complicated, right?
It’s not necessarily depression, although INFJs have been 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 the meadow, watch Disney movies, and have pillow fights. This perpetual tug between youth and maturity is definitely a source of internal conflict for us.
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 (which complicates #2 — wanting to make others happy). This is, of course, helpful when deciding on a course of action or debating what to say in a certain situation. INFJs can make powerful counselors, healers, and advocates because we have such deep empathy. However, it can also be thoroughly exhausting, especially when experiencing strong, contrasting emotions.
6. You bottle up and hide your emotions, but then an explosion happens.
In true INFJ form, we rarely want to bother others with our feelings. Some INFJs may even view their emotions as a burden to others, so they keep it all inside. However, INFJs are only human, and eventually, the feelings need to come out. And when they do, it’s essentially an avalanche of epic proportions that nobody saw coming.
Even worse, we will probably immediately feel guilty afterward. Everyone has their own problems, and we shouldn’t be plaguing others with ours, right? Wrong. INFJs need to be reminded that expressing our 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; they desperately want the people in their life to feel appreciated. However, this behavior can backfire, as constant communication and “How are you doing? Are you doing OK?” can be seen as clingy.
It’s weird, because as introverts, the last thing INFJs are looking for is the spotlight. 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 is typically quite independent and sometimes even aloof.
8. You overthink yourself into an existential crisis.
Overthinking is a major hurdle for almost all introverts, and INFJs are no exception. Sometimes what begins as an innocent thought into how to solve a problem quickly spirals into a full-blown existential crisis. Once stuck in this crisis, it can be extraordinarily difficult to escape.
Often our existential crises stem from our need to have a clear goal or mission. For example, when we analyze every little aspect of our current job, we may find there is no overarching purpose. We then might wonder why we were even put here on this damn earth to begin with. These crises of thought can dampen our enthusiasm and motivation, as we search endlessly to find purpose and meaning — which is why it’s so important for INFJs to learn how to deal with overthinking.
9. You cry easily.
This one is especially problematic, as it often happens at very inopportune or embarrassing moments. Like all Feeling types, INFJs are prone to random tears. It can happen anywhere and at any time: the crowded gym when you hear a sad song; the grocery store when a thought or memory flickers across your mind; while watching a kid’s show that has an especially tender moment. It happens all the time. And it cannot be helped. Which leads to the next problem…
10. People think you’re strange and aloof.
Other people regard INFJs as a little odd. And 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 inward and focused on emotions, 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 I know is a source of frustration for others. All INFJs need some sort of stable routine in our lives, 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 their 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!
You might like:
- 4 Curious Traits of the Enigmatic INFJ Personality
- What INFJs Do When They Get Stressed Out
- 12 Things INFJs Absolutely Hate
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