3 Things I’m Sensitive To as an INFJ Personality Type

IntrovertDear.com INFJ sensitive

Dear INFJ,

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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1. Smell

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.

2. Sound

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.

3. Sight

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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  • Jane Stallcup Rampona

    I am INFP, not INFJ. How can I get my phone to send me articles on my real type?

  • Amelia Stone

    From one INFJ Amelia to another, thanks for the relatable article 😊

    • Amelia Brown

      Two INFJ Amelias! Incredible!! 🙂

  • njguy54

    Check, check and check on all three of these. As a child I used to be very upset by loud noises, but they’re less of a problem now largely because of hearing loss. Same with scents; my nose isn’t all that sensitive, but a certain smell will be like a time machine for me — food, perfumes, and even cleaning solutions (anything that even remotely smells like stop bath and fixer will transport me back to my teen years when I was a major darkroom nerd). As for sights, I’m particularly sensitive to bright lights. I can’t stand overhead lights as a rule and really don’t like fluorescents. In general, the dimmer the better.

  • Lynne Fisher

    Definitely sound and sight – I love being near a window for natural light, and hate being confined in a room with totally artifical light, far too oppressive. My visual stuff comes in handy as I’m an artist. Too much sound eg in a coffee shop with lots of coffee machines drives me nuts! I have grown to apprecate my sense of smell more in recent years. Lovely post!

  • CubedFantasia

    You are an ISFJ…

  • Mim

    I can definitely relate! I love the sounds of happy people living in my house, for that reason I will never live alone. I love mist, the way sunbeams tilt and the way clouds present themselves.

    I am also very sensitive to touch. Touch stays with me for a while, and it does a lot to reveal a person’s energy to me- creepy or loving. When I’m sleeping, I feel like the princess and the pea because even if my jumper is rolled up at my waist or, God forbid, I am forced to wear a hoodie, I wake up with aches and sometimes even bruises!

  • Pistis

    A lot of what you’re describing actually seems far more along the lines of Introverted Sensing (Si), which is what ISFJs use most strongly (and what INFPs use in the third position). The way you describe the *strength* of your association between smells and sounds and your memories/past experiences just doesn’t quite ring true for me as an INFJ (and it wouldn’t tend to, since INFJs have very weak Si — it’s not even in our primary functional stack). Your description of your “brand” of attention to detail in your environement doesnt sound quite like INFJ either, since INFJs tend to pick things up from their environment largely subconsciously due to inferior Se. As one example, I dont find that I am consciously observing others the way my Sensing friends do — I’ve especially noticed that my Si-dom or aux friends seem to be really skilled at recognizing and naming exactly what led them to a certain conclusion about someone (whether it’s nonverbal action or tone of voice), and as an INFJ I can struggle to pinpoint exactly what sensory data led me to reach a conclusion. I’ve seen the way my Sensing friends watch and observe people, and it’s very different from my own process—it sounds a lot more like what you’re describing. 

    Your description is beautiful, but it just seems to embody Si (which made this quite an interesting and enlightening read for me as an INFJ) more than Ni. I’m not trying to be limiting or overstereotypical or type-snobbish at all, so I hope not to come across that way… Sensing types just get far too little credit and attention in the online mbti community due to intuitive bias, and I thought your description sounded like a really beautiful and meaningful description of the strengths of Si.

    • Amelia Brown

      Hi there. I can assure you that I am an INFJ. I have taken the test many, many times over the years and I always score as INFJ. Keep in mind that just because two people fall into the same personality type does not mean we will be exactly the same. There are billions of people in the world and only 16 personality types in the MBTI world. My Ni is my strongest function and my Se is my weakest, just as the INFJ function stack predicts. However, that doesn’t mean I’m not aware of the world around me. I am often *most* aware of the world when it is quiet and aesthetically pleasing, which are the things I recount in this particular article. My Se is very weak when I’m dealing with the real world outside of that. I hope this helps clear some of your concerns of my INFJ-ness. I hope that more Sensing types do contribute to the introversion discussion! I get along with them so well and I enjoy watching their thought processes unfold.

      • Pistis

        I truly apologize if I came across snobbish or overly-stereotypical. That wasn’t my intention, and I didn’t mean to question your knowledge of yourself or system. I love all the articles of yours that I’ve read and they’ve helped me to feel understood, so thank you for that!

        I have been studying this personality theory deeply for a long time, and I don’t expect every person within each type to look exactly the same. I have just become so aware of how easy it is to mistype, and all the complex factors that can contribute to that. My rationale wasn’t just that you don’t sound like me (I just used myself for a couple examples because those were most readily available at the time). A big part was your descriptions of how certain sensory experiences tied so (seemingly) vividly your memories/past experiences. This sounded a lot like the process of my Si friends and acquaintances (not that INFJs don’t have memories as everyone does, but Si-recall is very distinct and special).

        Si seems to be pretty misunderstood/misrepresented right now in a lot of mbti conversations and even official resources, so to see a description like this that was so beautifully conveyed and seemed to fit it so well maybe got me a little too excited. I’m sorry to have projected on you! Thanks for what you do, and keep up the amazing articles!

  • Amelia Brown

    Thank you for your kind words, Mel! I’m so glad you can relate to what I have to say. That means the world to me. 🙂

  • Happyroses925 🌺

    As an INFJ, I can point out specific smell of about 10 people (in my family) without seeing, just by folding their clothes everyday. This is kinda creepy right? XXD

  • sugathesuperman

    As an INFJ, I can point out specific smell of about 10 people (in my family) without seeing, just by folding their clothes everyday. This is kinda creepy right? XXD

  • sugathesuperman

    As an INFJ, I can point out specific smells of about 7 people (in my family) without seeing. This is kinda creepy right? XXD