I know that you are sensitive. You observe the world around you with great attention to detail. You observe and you absorb. You are capable of noticing the small things that create and influence the bigger picture of a situation. You take in the energy of the room, the lighting, the smells, the sounds. Your sensitivity is one of your greatest strengths. I want to discuss some of the things that I am particularly sensitive to as an INFJ. I am going to categorize them according to the following three of our five senses. Please feel free to let me know if you can relate to any of these.
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They say that smell is the biggest trigger for memory. I wholeheartedly agree with this because I am so, so sensitive to smells. I usually have a variety of soaps and lotions that I keep around, as what I want to smell like is very dependent on my mood. There is one perfume that I had, and used completely about a year ago, that reminds me of one of my aunts. She wore this particular fragrance when I was a child, and each time I smell it, I think of her. I will sometimes walk by a store and it smells like another place I have been. I have been standing somewhere in public, smelled a fragrance on another person, and I am immediately taken back in time to someone’s house that is across the country from where I am standing.
One of my favorite compliments to receive is when someone tells me that I smell good. Human scent is such a deeply personal thing. We each have our own pheromone makeup that is specific only to us. It is all very biological, but it’s in part why we are drawn to the people we create intimate relationships with. It’s why we want to snuggle up in their sweater or why we aren’t bothered by their natural scent.
Some of my favorite smells include lavender soap, freshly cleaned laundry, the air after it has rained for a long time, coffee brewing in the morning, and any candle that smells like autumn.
I am very sensitive to sound, especially the frequency and volume of sound. I recently went to a concert that was too loud for me to stay there long. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing bands perform live. However, there can be certain amounts of bass or volume that make me feel physically unwell. I become overstimulated and need a break in a quiet place.
On the flip side, there are certain sounds that calm me down immediately. I am soothed by the sounds of people’s voices. Well, certain people’s voices. I’ve always been fond of Audrey Hepburn’s nondescript lilt and use of language when speaking in films. Her voice comforts me to no end. On a similar note, I love hearing the voices of my loved ones if I haven’t spoken to them in a while. It’s so nice hearing someone’s voice when you haven’t been able to. I pay attention to the phrases they use, their inflections and tones. Other sounds I love to hear often come from opening my windows. I can hear cars passing by, birds chirping, people working in their gardens. There are certain sounds that are familiar and stir up memories from my childhood. For example, there are certain songs that take me back to a particular moment in my life. It’s actually pretty incredible that one song can transport you to another time in your mind.
Some of my favorite sounds include the crackling of a vinyl record before it begins to play, kittens meowing, the crunch of gravel underneath my boots, and belly laughs.
I am a very visual person. For instance, I pay close attention to details in everything from my outfits to my living spaces. I am typically very tidy. Being organized in my physical world helps organize my mind. I also highly detest clutter. I am constantly reorganizing, rearranging, and purging the things I own. I feel so much lighter every time I donate things I no longer use.
As far as décor, I like my lighting to be soft and color palettes to be muted. My living environment is often filled with lots of candles, and I try to utilize natural light as often as possible, as overhead lighting is always too harsh and gives me a headache. I try to keep things clean and organized, otherwise I get stressed out being in that environment. Right now, as I write this, I know that I need to pick up things around my house, so I am going to do that as soon as I take a break.
Some of my favorite sights are overcast mornings in the woods, plant shadows against a white wall, steam rising from a coffee cup, and red nail polish on sun-kissed skin.
So, yes, I pay close attention to details. I’m sure that you do, too. You pay close attention because you care. Whether you are paying attention to a person’s hand gestures while they talk or the way the late day sun pours into your bedroom window, you notice these things because they matter. The world is often very loud and harsh on us INFJs, so we stop and take note of the smallest things that make everything feel lighter, calmer. We create inner worlds to escape into, but we also create our outer world to be as beautiful as possible so that we can retreat and gather our strength to carry on about our business.
I am learning more and more just how powerful it is to be a sensitive person. I hope that you can recognize your sensitivity as a strength, too. Stay tender, my INFJ pals.
Your INFJ friend,
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Read this: 21 Undeniable Signs That You’re an INFJ
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