47 Things I Wish Other People Knew About Me as an INFJ

IntrovertDear.com INFJ knew about me

If you’re an INFJ, you probably know what it’s like to feel misunderstood. We INFJs make up just 1-2 percent of the population, after all. When I discovered that my Myers-Briggs personality type is INFJ, things that never made sense before started to click. I finally understood why I think so differently than other people, and that there’s nothing wrong with me. These are two of the great benefits of understanding your personality.

(What’s your personality type? We recommend this free personality test.)

Because I’m an INFJ — and INFJs are so rare — there are a number of things people don’t know about me that I wish they did. So I’ve decided to share a few of those particulars in this article. These 47 thoughts and observations are in random order. Furthermore, while many of these traits and characteristics are true of most INFJs, please keep in mind that some are unique to me.

  1. I’m hypersensitive to criticism. Most INFJs – myself included – are prone to taking feedback personally.
  2. I have a good idea what people are thinking and feeling before they tell me.
  3. I enjoy spending time with people in one-on-one settings and in small groups, but being in large groups is draining.
  4. I could spend my whole life on a quest to discover God’s unique purpose for me.
  5. I struggle to be in the moment and enjoy it. My mind either drifts to thoughts of the future or gets caught up analyzing social interactions I’ve had.
  6. I, like most INFJs, am a personal growth junkie.
  7. My idea of fun is working alone on a meaningful project for hours. In fact, I can get so caught up in research or in a project that I lose track of time and forget to eat.
  8. I crave depth in relationships.
  9. I need plenty of time alone to recharge my energy and feel like myself. Sometimes I “disappear” and talk to friends and family very little for a week or two.
  10. I have an insatiable appetite for learning.
  11. I struggle to share clear, concise thoughts in casual conversation because I tend to mull over a number of ideas simultaneously.
  12. After a long week, an exciting Friday is one I spend at home doing research into topics that interest me.
  13. Designing and implementing organizational systems that enhance my efficiency makes me happy inside.
  14. People think I’m an extrovert, but I just have decent people skills.
  15. I live in the future: I love to plan a year, 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years in advance.
  16. As an INFJ, I tend to think more like a 90-year-old than the 30-year-old I am: I ponder what impact my life will have and try to spend my time carefully, since I know it’s limited.
  17. I’m temperamental and prone to high highs and low lows.
  18. I have a hard time doing work that I’m not passionate about.
  19. I see other people’s points of view pretty easily. It really frustrates me when other people can only see their own perspective – and they think the rest of the world is broken.
  20. I love figuring out what makes other people tick.
  21. While sticking to one train of thought when speaking is difficult for me, writing is way more natural. The writing process gives me time to think and sort through my ideas. In fact, there’s a part of my brain that plays with words all day long.
  22. I’m reticent to share what I really think and feel because I’m so sensitive to criticism.
  23. I’m a perfectionist, and “good enough” is almost never good enough.
  24. I’m an intuitive, abstract thinker. When I’m talking with other people, I use a lot of metaphors and have to work hard to give concrete descriptions and explanations.
  25. I think about what my life will amount to when all is said and done on an almost daily basis.
  26. If it weren’t for my dad, I’d be horrible with money. As it is, I’m the spender in my marriage. While I don’t need a lot of material possessions, when I do buy something, I prefer to purchase the best product. My fascination with more efficient ways of doing things also makes me a sucker for new technology.
  27. Where I live doesn’t matter as much as what I do and why I do it. As an INFJ, I want to make a lasting difference in people’s lives and fulfill my ultimate potential.
  28. I get so caught up in my head that I’m prone to walk into doors. In fact, I’ve walked into several of them at night when the lights were off. Even though I should know the inside of my house like the back of my hand, I forget where things are and have poor depth perception.
  29. Words of affirmation and quality time with people who are close to me fill my love tank.
  30. I do enjoy having fun and acting ridiculously — but usually only around people who know me well.
  31. My primary school teachers worried that I couldn’t think logically. While I did well with elementary math, I struggled with high school geometry, algebra, and trigonometry. Thankfully, that part of my mind has developed over time.
  32. Until I married my ISTJ wife, I had a hard time being direct and telling it how it is. I was scared to death of hurting other people’s feelings.
  33. I create a goal log each week that helps me make progress toward my long-term goals. Also, I try to journal my top three daily priorities Monday through Friday.
  34. I love audiobooks and books in general. (I went through 85 last year.)
  35. Sharing my insights and helping other people better understand themselves excite me.
  36. I’m like an iceberg. What I say out loud is the tip. The goliath mass lurking below the surface represents the crazy thoughts and feelings swarming in my head. They’re always there, regardless of what you see and hear. This results in me generally looking calm and placid, although I rarely feel that way.
  37. My faith is extremely important to me; it makes my life worthwhile.
  38. I have super-high standards for myself and others. Those high standards can make me hard to be around, and I often get depressed when I fall short of my standards.
  39. I’m a dreamer and vision caster. But I’m also a doer. The judging part of me must put ideas into action and make progress.
  40. Working for hours on end isn’t really work if I’m making progress on a meaningful project.
  41. I don’t always do a good job releasing stress and, consequently, am prone to high blood pressure.
  42. Money doesn’t motivate me, but meaning and purpose do.
  43. If I don’t get up before 5 or 6 a.m. and do something productive – read a book, write, work on a creative project, etc. – I feel like a lazy bum, even on the weekends.
  44. I’ve always loved being an “expert.” When I was I kid, I learned everything I could about herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians) and ichthyology (the study of fish).
  45. I, as do most INFJs, love Myers-Briggs personality types. I love it so much that I’ve become a certified Myers-Briggs practitioner.
  46. As an INFJ, I depend on Introverted Intuition (Ni) to take in information and make sense of the world. Ni adds to my complexity as an INFJ because it’s a largely subconscious and, therefore, unobservable process.
  47. I’m concerned with the welfare of others. What most people notice about me first is my tendency to pick up on how other people are feeling. I include others and help everyone get along, which is my Extroverted Feeling function in action.

Want to learn more about being an INFJ? We recommend Personality Hacker’s INFJ personality development kit

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Read this: 21 Undeniable Signs That You’re an INFJs  retina_favicon1

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  • Jen says:

    All but one sentence fits me to a tee. The one thing I don’t relate to is in #26: being a sucker for new technology; but the reason for that is explained in #16: I try to spend my time carefully, because I know it’s limited. New technology becomes obsolete so quickly. My tendency is to view it as a waste of time. It’s difficult for me to justify the time needed to invest in learning the newest technology when it will be outdated tomorrow. I ignore the newest gadgets and tech developments until it’s absolutely necessary to deal with them.

    • Bo Miller says:

      Your rationale makes complete and absolute sense. I never thought about it that way before. The reason I enjoy technology so much is because I love learning new skills – I think most intuitives do – and the tech world is always evolving. I also love how technology helps me reduce my work load and avoid routine maintenance tasks. I automate everything possible. Great thoughts, Jen!

  • Natalie Muller (Feejeemermaid says:

    48) Music is more than entertainment it is fundamental to my well being.
    49) I see the world from such a unique angle that many people feel the ‘need’ to explain to me why what I just said or did is wrong. Big mistake, ‘correct’ me like a child and you will be dead to me.
    50) I can be extremely polite and work productively with people, while never showing more than 3% of who I really am. So when some one shows genuine interest in getting to know more about the 97% I don’t show, I am ecstatic.

    Though I would say that # 26 and #28 don’t apply to me I have excellent spacial intelligence and I am very good with money.

    • Bo Miller says:

      Great additions! I totally resonate with 50.

    • Abigail Jackson says:

      I agree with #50 too! I have a “work me,” which is the only me my coworkers see. I’m not being a different person, I’m just editing myself according to what the situation requires.
      And #48 is absolutely me… As a professional pianist, I literally get depressed when I can’t play for a while. The other day I realized that my other work had kept me from practicing for over a week, and I literally cried when I sat down at the piano. Making music intuitively with a group of other musicians is absolutely exhilarating to me!
      I would add a #51 too: Since I intuitively understand people before they even understand themselves, I end up always taking the “big sister” role. People innately trust me to give them advice, even if I’m not officially their mentor or authority. I kind of think of myself as Qui-Gon Jinn… A Jedi master who understands all beings and is not afraid to stand up to the establishment if they’re being ridiculous.
      #52) I can see two people in everyone… The façade they want people to see, and the terrified true them desperately wanting someone to understand them. I try to reach through to the true person, while being respectful to approach them from the façade side, because if I just cut right through it would terrify them more. I want them to know that I can see the real them and I love them as THAT person, not necessarily the person they pretend to be. But if they won’t let me through the façade I have to deal with them on a superficial level, which gets old really fast because I can’t stand dealing with lies. So I end up politely wishing them a good life in spite of their rotten decisions and firmly close the INFJ door.

  • njguy54 says:

    Once again, an article that I could have written about myself (though not as thorough and clear as this). The only points that don’t entirely fit me are #4 and #37; I’m fairly agnostic, so I don’t think about faith so much as I try to make sense of the universe.

  • Kevin Ventura says:

    Any experience with the Enneagram? If so, what are your thoughts?

    • Bo Miller says:

      I recently listened to The Road Back to You, a book on the Enneagram, by Ian Morgan Cron. I think I resonated somewhat with the 4 with a 5 wing, but I think it’s a better description of an INFP than an INFJ. For INFJs, I think Myers-Briggs gets closer to the mark. What are your thoughts?

  • Jamie Slaght says:

    Thank you. I relate to so much of that. My mind reels; it’s so good to have bits of definition where I can get them. 🙂

    • Bo Miller says:

      It’s nice to know there are other people like us! 🙂 Absolutely. Thanks for sharing, Jamie.

  • Júlia Roppa says:

    This is so great! Each topic I either nodded or said “yes” repeatedly haha
    Loved it 😉

  • sierra says:

    Bo, I loved the article and I can relate to almost every point. It’s funny, I married an ISTJ as well. 🙂 he is so grounded and logical, he’s my rock. I’m curious, what career field did you choose? I’m 30 as well and still not sure what field I want to go into. I’m like you, I need something really meaningful, I need to feel like I’m having an impact… Just don’t want to go to school for 7 years and rack up a bunch a student loan debt.

    • Bo Miller says:

      Hey, Sierra. That is so crazy! It’s the same for me with my wife, AND I just heard from two other INFJs this week who are also married to ISTJs. Definitely seeing a pattern here! As for my job, I’m currently an elementary teacher. I like parts of it, but I don’t see myself teaching in this way forever. Being a college professor always interested me, but I’d probably want to teach personality psychology and have to start from scratch, in terms of education. I love researching, problem solving, and working on creative projects by myself. I come to life. Write now, I’m just trying to write as much as possible, and I’m learning a lot about how people make money helping people through blogging. Is any of that helpful? What have you looked into?

      • sierra says:

        I think the current age of the internet has really helped INFJs everywhere to find their own niche in writing and interests.
        I love researching too. My interests are in health and fitness. I’d love to be a personal trainer but I’m not sure if I’m outgoing enough for that. I also would love to speak and teach on Jesus and the Bible.
        I think my perfectionistic (*sigh*) tendencies hold me back because if I can’t see my venture being a success (before even starting) I just don’t do anything.
        I do blog when I can as well.
        My youngest is going to kindergarten next year so I really need to figure this out!! lol… thanks for your response! 🙂

        • Bo Miller says:

          I can totally relate to the perfectionistic tendencies holding you back. Definitely struggle with that myself. Have you ever thought about blogging about health and fitness or Jesus and the Bible? It might be an ideal way to focus on your passion and help people but do it in a way that honors your needs for alone time and space to think. When I started looking into it a couple years ago, I was surprised by how people really were able to make a living writing, speaking, and teaching about something they love.

  • Michelle says:

    Reading these brought me such great joy and peace. I felt like I was connecting with me, and it was home. Most of these points resonated so loudly, that I erupted with laughter followed by tears. Thank you for sharing this. I appreciate you.

  • Kathy Kathy says:

    The mild perfectionist in me (a fellow INFJ) wants me to add 3 more items to your list to make it an even 50! :-). Great job. We are uncommon and often misunderstood. Thank you for helping to explain us to the rest of the world.

  • Tim says:

    I wrote this…or at least I feel like I did. Kidding, haha- it’s eerie how similar this is to me though, it’s somewhat validating.

    I’d love to read more work by you regarding how you dated and married as an HSP INFJ male and tips you learned along the way. I’d find that really interesting.

  • Constance Perkins says:

    In regards to 6 and 33, I’ve started bullet journaling. Not sure if that’s how you journal, but you have given me a case for setting up weekly goals in it. I’ll try it out!

  • Elisabeth Ivey says:

    #36 feels especially accurate. Only lately have I realized through feedback that I apparently don’t convey the chaos that swirls around in my head. It’s kind of odd to learn that the thoughts, worries, anxieties that are so real to you don’t come across to others.
    #37 Always.
    Thank you for articulating these thoughts and sharing them – I (because of reason 45) really find posts like these encouraging!

  • Carri Schutter says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I have only known I was an INFJ for a short time and it was such a relief to see that I wasn’t alone, even if it was just a tiny percentage of people just like me. I am grateful to be the way I am and only wish I would be less sensitive to criticism. 🙂 God is so good though and He will continue to work with me on that. I will continue my path of helping others and being there for them because that is how He made me and that is a wonderful feeling. I also appreciated when you wrote about how others think you are an extrovert, just because you have good people skills. I too have people who say they don’t believe I am an introvert because I enjoy my conversations with people and because I can get up and speak to women at conferences and seem like it isn’t a big deal. It is a big deal and I feel crazy scared when I speak just like everyone else. I just learned how to hide it. lol I look forward to reading more of your stuff. Blessings to you!

  • Bo Miller says:

    Thanks for sharing, Trent. I keep this in mind.

  • “I’m like an iceberg. What I say out loud is the tip. The goliath mass lurking below the surface represents the crazy thoughts and feelings swarming in my head. They’re always there, regardless of what you see and hear. This results in me generally looking calm and placid, although I rarely feel that way.” I love the way you wrote this. Perfect way to describe our inner complexity and our calm.


  • These were about 90% right on. (I once walked through the plate glass window in our office in the middle of the day onto the town square in a building I’ve owned for 15 years.) Since I’m about 70, does that make me still think like a 90 year old or a 130 year old? Thanks!

  • bloom_ss says:

    There’s only 4 that don’t quite fit me…
    26 I’m more of a saver than a spender although I do like quality things.
    29 My love language is gifts and gestures.
    32 I’m married to an INTP and I’m still afraid of hurting others’ feelings.
    43 I’m definitely a night owl, not an early bird.
    The rest I could have written myself. lol

  • Zoe hunter says:

    I love figuring out what makes other people tick. In number 20

    What does it mean?!