The Dark Side of the INFJ Personality Type INFJ dark side

No one likes to talk about the dark side of the INFJ personality type. INFJs are supposed to be gentle, thoughtful, and kind-hearted. Yes, we are those things, but when under stress, we may become perfectionistic and stubborn. Although we are usually reserved about our feelings, we are not immune to lashing out when we feel hurt. For our friends and loved ones, witnessing the dark side of the INFJ can be confusing.

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

Although not all INFJs will react the same way—it depends on the INFJ’s life experiences and maturity level–let’s take a look at some things INFJs typically struggle with.

1. Stubbornness

You see that letter J at the end of our acronym? It’s responsible for our obsessive planning and future-oriented thinking. INFJs are capable of being spontaneous, but there will be times when we cannot wrap our minds around a change of plans. If we have our minds set on something, it could take several attempts to change it. It may seem like we are being inflexible, but honestly we just need time to be okay with the new plan. We’ll come around.

2. High expectations

As much as we pretend we don’t have high expectations, they are still there. We not only hold ourselves to a brutally high standard, but we have high expectations for others as well (especially those closest to us, like our significant other, children, or best friend). If we are honest with ourselves, what we really want is the ideal romantic relationship. For example, we may feel discouraged when the intimacy and romance of a new relationship fades, so we wonder if we were right to get into the relationship in the first place. If an INFJ puts expectations on you, try to understand that it means they care about you and want you to care about them, too.

3. Moodiness

We know when to be on our best behavior, but we are prone to being swayed by how we feel in the moment. INFJs appear calm on the outside, but we are a bundle of emotions on the inside. It is usually apparent when something is bothering us, but that does not mean we will want to talk about it. INFJs can be guilty of pushing people away and throwing a pity party. We would like to have someone to confide in, but more often than not we feel that most people don’t understand us.

Sometimes INFJs can be just as confused about their moods as others are. Often INFJs need some time–alone–to sift through their emotions and understand why they are feeling the way they feel.

If an INFJ does open up to you, they will most likely apologize for talking about their feelings. We keep things to ourselves to spare you the burden. However, the best thing you can do for an INFJ is to let them talk about something if they need to. INFJs usually feel better just being able to express their feelings and concerns. Don’t judge, criticize, or offer solutions (unless the INFJ asks for your help or opinion). Just listen and try to understand their feelings. And maybe give them a hug.

4. Being too harsh

We love giving advice and we are able to see a situation from many sides. If you want to hear only what you want to hear, do not come to your INFJ friend. We give honest opinions and we try to do so gently to soften the blow. Our honesty comes from a well-intentioned place, but sometimes we come across as too blunt, judgmental, or harsh. We don’t mean to be cruel, though. Know that if your INFJ friend is telling you something you don’t want to hear, it’s because they are genuinely concerned about you and want only good things for you. INFJs may be brutally honest, but we are rarely malicious.

5. Bottling up negative emotions, then exploding

We are capable of adapting to the needs of others and love being a source of comfort. We will, however, lash out if we feel we are being wronged. It is usually after many minor hurts have piled up and our patience has been exhausted. We tend to bottle up negative emotions because we’d rather keep the peace than tell someone they’ve hurt us. However, like any other human, we can only take so much, so eventually the powder keg of frustration blows–and it’s usually nasty. INFJs can prevent this type of emotional explosion by addressing minor offenses as they happen, rather than letting the hurt simmer and grow.

Likewise, INFJs tend to express anger when sticking up for other people. INFJs are incredibly protective of the people close to them. If you want to see an INFJ’s claws come out, start by messing with someone they care about. Just don’t be surprised if you receive a verbal attack in the process. INFJs are highly perceptive and clever with their word selections. When we want to, we can throw words that cut deep. Chances are we will feel bad about it later, but our anger can get the best of us from time to time.

6. Cutting people out of our life

Have you heard of the notorious INFJ Door Slam? It’s when an INFJ cuts you out of their life because they are extremely hurt. They are not doing this because they hate you, rather it is because they have decided they can no longer deal with the pain you bring them. Remember that INFJs tend to be very sensitive.

If an INFJ slams the door on you, they may suddenly stop all communication with you. If this is not possible (because they see you every day at home, work, or school) they may simply close themselves off emotionally and refuse to allow you in. They may still talk to you when they have to, but they’ll seem cold and distant.

INFJs do not shut people out without intense contemplation. We are not exactly impulsive people. Other people can forget just how sensitive we are despite our “everything is fine” demeanor. Even the nicest people have their limits.

INFJs, if you feel yourself getting to the point of slamming the door on someone, ask yourself if you have expressed your hurt to the other person. Of course, as an INFJ, you’ll probably try to do this as diplomatically as possible, but remember to also be direct, so your message is clear (not everyone can read between the lines like INFJs can — some people need things bluntly spelled out). You may find that venting your feelings and talking through the offense is enough to repair the relationship and pull you back from the brink of door slamming.

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

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  • Jessica says:

    This is spot on! As an INFJ I feel it’s a blessing and a real curse very hard to deal with life most of the time …. Because most people don’t understand you. Relationships have been the HARDEST for me personally and I’ve been single for years bc it’s hard for me to relate or connect with men… They find me attractive yet odd… Lol… Sighs.. Being an INFJ is tough..

    • dennisflax says:

      Attractive yet Odd is what you are and what you are meant to be. Embrace it. People do not need to understand you to appreciate you and love you. Those who do, will try to understand, and that is enough, it is all they can do.
      We INFJs have impossible ideals. They are to be aimed for, used as guidance, but they can not be reached. We should remain vigilant to not set people up (who are doing all they can to love us) to fail by giving them unrealistic expectations. That same thing goes for expectations of ourselves.

    • Madlen says:

      I feel ya, especialy about the relationship part. Sometimes I feel it is impossible to really get to know someone. When the odd occasion comes up where I actually find a pontential match there is always some kind of obstacle or the guy communicates so seldom that I lose interest. *Sigh*

    • Amber says:

      I concurr. I don’t feel like I am really that hard to deal with. After all, if you are uncertian on how to handle me best, asking will afford the solution. It really is that simple. I have coined a cliche that nothing says I love you like psycho does. The fact that it takes a heck of alot more than most people have to rattle my composure is almost entirely perceived as not giving a fuck (sorry if the lanugage offends, but its the right word here) Why must I scream and throw objects at a person whom I cared and respected? At least until that point anyways…. I have always thought that the ability to stay rational even whern you’re ready to tear a new one was a sign of compassion and respect, not of ice queen frigidity.

  • Courtney says:

    The INFJ door slam. Absolutely. Other don’t understand it. I once had someone tell me that I couldn’t pretend that they never existed. I replied that I was not doing that. I was actively ignoring an existent person that I found toxic to my well being and those I cared about.

  • Laws – the door slam! So so true. I’ve had to DS three colleagues over the years. Life is too flippin’ short for that business.

  • I’ve never done the Door Slam on anyone myself, but I could see how it would happen. My dark side has manifested more as being moody and holding myself or others to ridiculously high expectations. It definitely doesn’t help when I’m trying to be social and I’m imagining all the scenarios where I’m being judged or criticized by total strangers whom I want to impress. What helps me cope is being realistic, learning to recognize how 95% of all those scenarios are in my head and nothing actually negative came from those experiences.

  • One of the better articles I’ve read lately on the INFJ personality. So many things to work on…

    Thanks for a great read!

    • Glad you found this! Yes, my aim is to shed light and hopefully inspire people to embrace their whole self while working on the things they maybe are not so proud of.

      • Jennifer says:

        This is exactly what I needed to read tonight. Thank you!!
        I’m at a crossroads right now where some of the people I love are abusing my kindness and it’s getting harder to not feel like a total doormat. Usually once I start feeling like a doormat I know a doorslam is becominga real possibility.

  • RaeMarie says:

    One thing that I experience that doesn’t seem typical of the INFJ type is brewing anger and bitterness. Many days, I just can’t stand people. I have no patience with them. Even though I may not lash out externally, I throw an unholy fit in my mind. If I have to wait in a long line at the store and the cashier is slow, all hell breaks loose.
    Another striking thing is the numbness I feel towards others who are hurting. It’s not out of malice, I just don’t want to deal with their pain. And when I do help someone, it usually blows up in my face. From this description of myself you probably think I’m a total jerk LOL. I usually see myself that way as well. Actually I often think I will end up in hell unless I can learn to love others.

    What helps me cope with life is playing with my pets, drawing, reading and prayer. Chanting the psalms and burning incense is immensely therapeutic and spiritually uplifting to me. If I can attend a church service with chant and incense, it melts off weeks worth of stress. Nature is also soothing.To go out on a cool day and hear the birds singing is truly heavenly.

    One day, I hope that enough prayer and nature walking will make me sweet, kind and patient. More than often it seems a fat chance.

    • I myself have experienced a great deal of anger and bitterness. I have had to work through those things, as it’s not a great way to feel. (Though there are still some days I cannot stand people… I think that might be normal. Who’s to say?) You don’t sound like a jerk. You sound human. I’ve also found that nature is the best medicine, at least for me. Thanks for commenting!! 🙂

    • Alli says:

      I think when you feel too much it’s easier to block everything out with general contempt and even anger. I know when I’m having a hard time processing emotions, or lots of emotional pressure and life stressed I start to resent the people I have to be around and I feel like everyone’s energy is grating against me or something. Edgy, pissy, and really just- even if only in my head 😛 It’s only when I’ve had a few days to recharge (gym, eating right, hiking, yoga etc) that I start to smile at the sun and genuinely enjoy being around other people again. You aren’t a bad person, just human 🙂

  • suresh says:

    Every single point listed here resonates with me. As an INFJ, I think we are creatures of the present with a strong bias from the past marching towards an unrealistic expectations of a future. How not to lose hope in humanity when all you see are idiots running through a railway tunnel, yelling at each other, without the knowledge of a speeding train in the opposite direction.

    • ebbs says:

      ‘How not to lose hope in humanity when all you see are idiots running through a railway tunnel, yelling at each other, without the knowledge of a speeding train in the opposite direction.’ oh wow, that explains it perfectly!

  • w.kier says:

    Awesome article. Though I must admit, I have never been aware of the “high expectations with others” part of the INFJ personality type. I have always had ridiculously high expectations of myself, but never expected others to hold to them. But I had to laugh when I came to expressing anger when someone else is picked on. I’ve wondered about that trait for years. I’m usually so calm and easy-does-it, and then someone says the wrong thing about someone else… and, bam!

  • Rachel says:

    I’m glad I’ve found another well written piece on our less attractive traits (I once found one and wished I’d saved the page). So many people talk about the good things we can do but rarely about the other side of the coin. As with anyone, there are two sides to us all, the good and the bad.
    I can easily relate to everything written here and even though I try my hardest to keep it in check, there are times when my volcano (as I call it) blows and the not so nice side shows.

    Thank you for once again explaining my inner workings in a way better than I ever can or will.

  • Danielle says:

    All of these apply to me, have helped me better understand myself and have given me some perspective on how to be a better person…Thanks for this, Amelia Brown!

  • Anna says:

    So accurate and insightful a description that it is almost uncanny. But a really good read.

    I have always been extremely reluctant and sceptical to all kinds of labelling, because we’re all complex individuals. At the same time I’ve pretty much held the belief that people are fundamentally similar at the core – that we think, feel and function pretty much in the same way, but that we’ve been shaped by circumstances such as environment and experiences etc. Still, I have never been able to fully reconcile this belief with the fact that I have often found myself baffled by people’s behaiviour (the selfishness, insensitivity, carelessness, irrationality, superficiality, immorality, demonstrativeness, downright stupidity that people sometimes display… in my eyes).

    Then, purely by accident, I came across the 16 Personalities website a few month ago… and all of a sudden a lot of things started to make sense. I still feel that personality typing should be taken with a healthy grain of salt; it’s a method of understanding yourself, not a prescription, but having said that I guess it can be a very useful tool for navigating the stormy waters around you, and hopefully make the sailing a bit smoother. Becoming aware of one’s own “weaknesses”, hard as it may be, makes it possible to deal with them. I think I have actually been guilty of all of the things on your list, in one way or another.

  • Kirsten says:

    Amilia, reading your article is like looking into a mirror! It is such an accurate description of me. I’ve had people look at me with concern when I’ve mentioned being so frustrated with people in general. I definitely hold people to high standards as I do for myself. I will have my husband read this. He’s been one of the few who have seen my ‘dark side’. Bless him…

  • Linda says:

    I am definitely stubborn, and I totally get the ‘high expectations’ bit. I like to call myself a reformed perfectionist, but I’m not sure there is such a thing, it’s always there lurking, I suspect. I’ve only ever done the ‘door slam’ on one person, and I basically had to, to save my sanity. I should have done it a lot earlier, it nearly drove me into the ground in more ways than one. I’ve learned to set better boundaries since then, and have become pretty darn good at ‘letting go’ of past occurrences.

  • Leah M says:

    Absolutely knocked my socks off with its accuracy. Guilty guilty guilty.

  • Joanna says:

    I struggle with not addressing things directly because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. And no, some people can’t read between the lines at all! Lol But I have to remember my feelings are as valid as the other person’s and I try to be respectful when I talk to them about it. My SO actually has helped encourage me to openly communicate. He makes me feel safe to say exactly what’s on my mind and he is extremely patient.. Bless his heart.

    I also have experience doing the door slam! I call it ‘napalming the bridge’ but I give soooo many chances. It’s always the principle of the thing for me. I’m sure I’m not alone.

    Love your articles, by the way! New fan!

  • Jkat says:

    You hit the nail on the head perfectly. I’ve always looked at others and their personalities and felt like a complete anomaly. Why am I freaking out over what seems like a nominal issue? Why can’t I quit obsessing over other’s perceptions of me and my performance? I’m an adult, who cares what they think. Thoughts that cycle through my brain on a daily basis. Loyal but detached. I need you but don’t get too close. There’s always a lot bubbling below the surface. Thank you for sharing this and identifying some lonely traits of INFJs.

  • MeMeMe says:

    I’ve an INFJ friend, whom I love and adore. He’s absolutely delicious with his sensitivity, depth, darkness, brutal honesty, intelligence, and even his needing to be alone. Endlessly fascinating.

    INFJs – you’re gems, love to find you!

    (and yeah, I’m an ENFP gal, go figure)

  • ReNo ∞ says:

    SO TRUE!!!
    the door slam!! i did it with my “cousin” (we’re sharing the same class+ group+friends for 6 yrs). she was so so so close to me, we were even setting next to each others for all of those 6 yrs.
    starting this year she met a girl i know too, typically an attention-seeker girl. after meeting her she CHANGED! after ONLY TWO WEEKS of this year i found out that they were sharing a secret that her friend mentioned “accidentally” in front of me (about someone having a crush on her) and i was acting normal asking “who is he? who is he?” but she boldly told me his first name. i know its not something to be annoyed about, but it hurts a little knowing you’ll be treated like that. after a month i started founding myself alone, usually we hang out after school together, but now.. she don’t even take me to the lockers. luckily i have a friend at another class, but i didn’t mention that to her. day by day i barely talk to my cousin. and when i chat with her and her NEW friends i don’t feel comfortable at all. at the end of the first semester i got suprised by her telling our group “i’ll do the final presentation with my friends”.
    at that moment i just start treating her boldly, i didn’t even knew that this was named a door slam.
    these days i barely talk with her at school because of the group work, at the family meetings we don’t talk just giving smiles and strangers-attitude.

  • Natalie says:

    Spot on. I do tend to hold back because I don’t want to be a burden. It’s bad enough people judge me as being awkward and anti-social (which is not the case). Because of that I don’t say a word, because there is no one I know who tries to understands, if no one understands or tries to then I can’t really trust them.

  • random says:

    Very nice article!
    I’m an INFJ and now I feel like I don’t deserve anybody, so I used that “Door Slam” thing…anybody else?

  • Number 2 . I don’t think I have to high expectations for other people, to much of a people pleased and a pushover, and 4 . Nobody’s ever told me I’m to harsh,I’m really good at smoothing things over and can say it in the most nicest possible way. Alot of times I will hold back so I don’t hurt there feelings. Other than that it’s a beautiful thing to see me naked for all to see. A metaphor about this article. I’ve spent my whole life feeling more different than the average person. And so much loneliness, searching for some one who’s like a mirror to me, but to no avail. I didn’t understand why god made me the way I am. So much suffering I had to endure and didn’t know why. I felt like I was cursed. Finding out first that I’m a highly sensitive person and then a INFJ. Has explained so much so many questions answered. I feel like I’m home, and that’s the greatest gift ever.

  • Mike H says:

    Great article! I been through so many struggles trying not to project my high expectations onto others, but it always comes out sooner or later and is really damaging to relationships. What do I do?!

  • jv says:

    Interesting to read re the door-slam, l’ve done it too. When protecting/standing up for someone, l’ve combined the door slam: gotten the culprit written out of the equation, by fx getting them fired. This is the strong sense of justice being awakened, and some ruthlessness in doing what everybody else was afraid to do. Would like to hear from others about this. I’m very peaceful and kind – really shocked myself. My only strategy each time, was reporting what was wrong; leaving it to others to investigate/confirm/decide the outcome.

  • MzAnneThrope says:

    Excellent article, Amelia. I think it’s extremely important for all of us to honestly acknowledge all aspects of ourselves, and not cling to an unrealistically idealized self-image (“I am an INFJ, therefore I should be a Ghandi-like paragon of peacefulness and unfailing love for humanity at all times”), which is a sure set-up for self-loathing and feeling like a fraud.
    I particularly appreciated RaeMarie’s courageously candid comments from January 13th, along with Suresh’s astute observation from the same date regarding frustration with humanity, because I can certainly resonate with both viewpoints at times (as my alias humorously implies). For myself, I have learned that stringently limiting the amount of media exposure (and being highly selective about the kinds of information that I do choose to take in), along with massive amounts of solitude and time spent in nature, are absolutely essential for my mental and emotional well-being, and I make no apologies for structuring my life accordingly, even though most people would find this freakishly odd. I simply prefer animals to people – I find their lack of ego wonderfully refreshing.

  • Pet Nurse says:

    I door slammed my parents over a year ago. My sister basically told them off, and suggested I do the same (because it was so liberating for her), but I just shut them out of my life completely. My in laws don’t understand the “why” of it, but my husband (who has seen a lot more of my dark side) does completely. He doesn’t necessarily like the fact of my introvertedness (is that even a word?) but he has come to understand me in a way that no one else, not even my immediate family can.

    I can also relate to RaeMarie’s statements…for a long time, I thought I was the only person who hated people. It’s very encouraging to know that I’m not, but it sometimes makes my job very difficult. As a veterinary technician, I have to deal with people all the time, and I can get very easily frustrated with them. I, too, prefer animals to people; unfortunately most of the animals I get to handle every day come with owners. Usually, a few moments and a couple of deep breaths can get me through the worst of it. Then I get to go home, and play with my dogs, or just watch the fish tanks. Very peaceful!

  • hgs says:

    Thank you for your article. I think what I find most difficult of all is balancing the need to take care of myself and taking care of others. I find it hard to deal with other people’s problems without making them my own. To protect myself my instinct is to avoid people, but that also makes me feel selfish and unkind. Compassion sometimes feels like a curse.

  • Susan says:

    I’ve door slammed, HOWEVER, the few people I have door slammed have been those who fall firmly into the narcissistic personality disorder category simply because they were liars and users of people. Those who utterly lacked empathy and operated on the highest level of selfishness… these are cardinal sins for most INFJs. I have a lot of empathy to give, but I won’t sacrifice myself for evil people.

  • mrskristyn says:

    Ditto to the comments by Alli: “Contempt… edgy… pissy… even if only in my head.” This. I feel this way more frequently than I’d like to admit, but it’s usually only my husband who can pick up on it. And God forbid I have PMS during it all. *** Great article. Thank you for articulating what seems to be the plight of us INFJs. I just wanted to add something a dear friend of mine asks regarding brutal honesty: “Is it the brutality or the honesty that you’re seeking?”

  • AVA says:

    I totally agree with Susan’s comment. I’ve door slammed a few times in the last few years, but only after intense contemplation and feelings of guilt. And like Susan commented, they all displayed narcissistic qualities. I’ve learned that I’m attracted to narcissists because they’re fun to be around and tend to ignore some of my darker qualities. However, I’ve learned to not get too close because it doesn’t end well.

    I have a question for other INFJs — what do you do to keep yourself from retreating from the world? I’ve been actively trying meditation, etc. but it hasn’t helped enough. Once I’ve had a certain amount of stimuli, I need to be by myself and do nothing, which isn’t always good. Since I have to work in a career field where I’m regularly criticized, I tend to spend too much free time hiding from the world to recharge and not living in it. Any advice?

  • Cheyenne says:

    I’ve definitely had all these traits at one time and still struggle with some like stubbornness. However, some of the others I’ve been able to really work on and almost fix. I still have the tendency to do all of these things, but with some, like the bottling up emotions and exploding one, I am able to stop myself mid bottle and force myself to either confront the issue or let it go. I tell myself those are the only options because bottling can be extremely unhealthy. The author was right though, this is just where I’m at and other infjs may be too or may be still struggling to get their dark side in check. Wherever you are, good for you because being an infj is really hard so don’t be too severe on yourselves, okay?

  • Jill Khoury says:

    As an INFJ, my biggest struggles are with 1) Perfectionism. I have a hard time really inhabiting the positive emotions that “should” come with my own successes and accomplishments. 2) I lose my sh*t when people change plans at the last minute. I wish it weren’t so, and honestly used to be more adaptable (in college I was an INFP but as I grew into my adult personality the P flipped to a J), but having a routine provides me an outer structure so my inner world can exist safely, if that makes sense. I’ve never door-slammed anyone, but I have definitely had the impulse to do so. Thank you so much, Amelia Brown, for writing this article.

  • Eda says:

    I’ve been going though tough times lately (for over a year to be specific), and my INFJ dark side is really coming out. I hate it. I know how hard I am to deal with when my dark side comes out, but there’s nothing I can do right now. It’s really a terrible feeling to know that no one understands you, or at least cares to try – especially when going through a tough time.

  • tomysshadow says:

    That last bit! I’ve done the “door slam” a couple times before, but both times I felt bad and opened the door again a week later. The advice to try and talk to the person first, instead of being polarized, was something I learned from those experiences.

  • richleen12 says:

    I almost laughed out loud when I read this as it describes me perfectly, even though I don’t like to be categorized. Years ago a close friend of mine described me a the most closed open person she had ever met. Because I am also a performer, people think I must be an extrovert, but that’s not how it is. After I perform I just want to go home and hide while I relax from the energy drain from the audience. The stage is the perfect place for an INFJ because there’s really no risk of getting too close–the people are out there and not in my face!

  • JS says:

    Everything you said here is me to a T. Thank you for one of the most accurate INFJ articles I have read in years.

  • Clayon Wilson says:

    This is so accurate. Like I wish when I met new people or just friends in general I could give them this and say here is the manual. omg thank you spelling it out so simply.

  • Josie Hinshaw says:

    This is crazy how spot on all of this is for me. Seriously I’m making a list of links for my future husband to read and this is for sure going on there! I couldn’t have put any of this into my own words, so thank you for that.

  • Merf says:

    I discovered the Meyers Briggs test not too long ago and came out strongly as a INFJ. Wow. I thought I just had a ‘bad personality’. Liking quiet, panicked snapping at people who popped balloons behind me trying to be funny, hating to be poked or tickled as it actually physically hurt me,needing to hide in the bathroom for as long as possible just to calm down the stimuli during social events – even ones I wanted to be at and so much more.
    But the ‘door slam’ was eye opening. I just thought I was a bad friend and too . I have done this 5 times in my life. The fact that at my age I can still remember them in vivid detail tells you how deeply I still feel it. I thought I just was angry but upon reading up I realize it was because I felt the friendship so deeply and then it became toxic. I couldn’t just pull back – I felt I had to close the door and never open it again to protect myself. For many years I have berated myself for not being perfect. This site and some of the books discussed have helped me tremendously. Family even has mentioned I seem more relaxed and comfortable though I have not told them anything about this.
    Thank you for a wonderful site.

  • My big problem: Remembering to express my feelings/acknowledge theirs before trying to fix the issue. My other big problem: Seeing detrimental patterns and being unable to express them to warn others who, quite frankly, are happy not knowing and being snuck up on by disaster. Yet, once I know a Truth (All you INFJs know what I mean), I feel I must share it.

    And because I cannot properly communicate what I see in a way others can process it, I simply learn that I cannot share it. Sometimes, even with my husband. And that… That is very lonely. I am so grateful I can share it with God, and that is so much more effective than sharing with a human being.

    I hope y’all can read between the lines here 🙂

  • Clare Arthur says:

    Number 5. Oh so true! My poor ESFJ husband still doesn’t know how to react (after nearly 19 years!) when I completely lose the plot over something seemingly insignificant 🙂 And as a peacemaker, he *really* doesn’t understand when I turn into an absolute dragon when someone is being treated badly, even more so if they are someone close to me, or if there is injustice. He always tells me to just let it go. As if! 😉

  • Christine says:

    Absolute truth…Just found out why I do what I do.
    It’s a relief to see this in words…

  • AR says:

    All of these are me, especially the one about bottling things up and then it all coming out at once. My poor husband… Sigh. I feel so horrible afterwards.
    Something I want to get better about is communicating how I feel on a regular basis. However, it’s really hard for me. Whenever I try to share if something bothered me, it tends to come out really awkwardly and I often end up hurting him accidentally. Does anyone else write down what they’re going to say before they say it? LOL. That does help!

  • How true is this, too: We’ve had entire debates and conversations… but only with the person in our mind, never the actual person. I’ll dwell on someone’s actions for days afterwards. When I get disappointed in someone, it always seems that it’s because they fail to live up to some value related to harmony, like not communicating adequately, or being too judgemental. When I see humans, I see them as animals gifted with higher-order intelligence, but that these things often compete and, when I’m disappointed with people, it’s often because the animal side has dominated their behaviour, making them more selfish, or self-centered, and failing to live up to the higher, egalitarian ideas of being human and caring for one another. Being an INFJ is a fun, interesting experience. 🙂 Do we imagine love as such a clean, pure thing and then get struck by how messy and imperfect it is? My dilemma these days is debating whether two people can ever truly connect in a relationship, or whether we’re both just getting what we individually want, and the only time we connect is those rare moments where we’re both so self-satisfied we feel inspired to care about each other. I tend to be a happy INFJ, I listen to music and enjoy the world around me, but the moodiness and frustration seeing people fail to live up to higher ideals definitely gets to me.

  • Allen says:

    I’ve done the “door slam” on many coworkers for one, single reason . . . whenever they ridicule me in public. And contrary to their assumptions, it’s not because they hurt my feelings . . . being mocked and ridiculed in public is something I’ll never endure twice, and a door slam sends a message without having to embarrass myself by creating my own public scene. Yes, it’s passive-aggressive, but if I were to respond in kind, my counter-punch would be unforgivable.

  • Mayur says:

    Thank you Amelia! I have done all the 6 things that you mentioned!! 😛 and not proud of it!! All these years I tried doing things not to feel misunderstood by the people who are ( and were ) dear to me. Some relationship worked and some didn’t. However what I have learned is to concentrate on doing those simple things for yourself that makes you happy. We should always listen to our feelings while making decision because irrespective of the outcome we will be always at peace for doing the stuff we believed in.

  • Kat R. says:

    To me it has been my born-again Catholicism which has got me progress on these and many other things. What else couldnt be more aligned to myself as an INFJ than the strive for sainthood or holiness by seeking to grow in virtues all the whole recognizing that each of those virtues are oh so limited in me but are readily available in a divine being, the only perfect being, such as God? Ive seen my progress only through relying not on myself-Im just a vapor in the wind who can only but look up for grace in prayer, and be merciful to othets and to myself, as I am called to do. Its such a humbling ordeal, but hey, it works! I see progress in me! And I say “Glory to you, Lord!!! You, beautiful, you, God, fountain of love and eternal life” because of it. I find it amazing as an INFJ not to be bound to myself, helpless, and limited to my own ability for growth, bc its so darn low compared to the divine being up high. Funny thing is we INFJs want to be up high, we want to meet the divine always, so to be born again Catholic is the most aligned thing to being INFJ, in my eyes lol (we strive for sainthood and holiness whether single, married, or religious with the help of God and a close, most intimate relationship you’d even have, with Jesus and Mary mother of grace and mercy and I can testify to this in my journey). Its like the Church says we ought to be like Christ and God wishes we imitated him..and this is exactly what an INFJ wishes to be, God-like and growing in perfect loving.
    I’m amazed also at how it humbles me as an INFJ: I’m still this special flake, but not as an INFJ but as a human being like ALL others. This makes me constatnly have to appreciate others for who they are, bc the way God made others was perfect in His own eyes, why should I be unhappy when their maker loves them and longs for them like he longs for me too?
    My two cents. I could share my testimonies as an INFJ and how I’ve gotten better about my dark side and how I’ve gotten over myself just a little more each time. Lolz. 😉
    When they say “believe in yourself”, I shake my head and reject Buddhism and every single belief that points the way to oneself. We’re just too poor alone, without the one they say overcame death and rose to sit by Gods right hand.
    Just sharing my experience.

  • M. says:

    I identify more as an INTJ but I have done the door slam a few times and it is like there literally are heavy doors slamming shut in my head cutting off all emotional ties (caring, respect, memories, valuing of opinions etc) with those persons. I was very sad about doing so and it was painful. However, the 2 times I let such people back in I deeply regretted it shortly afterwards. 2. High expectations fits extremely well too and is a difficult thing for others to understand, I’d say.

    Actually only 3 doesn’t fit me at all. That must be the F haha.

  • Ms. Monica says:

    Again! I feel like I am reading a book about myself. The door slam is a multi-defense mechanism. One that is very difficult to reverse, if ever. I had to door slam someone recently and I didn’t know that is what it was called until I read about it. The door slam comes when : 1. I don’t have time for your drama! 2. I’m an tired of dealing with your issues! I’m trying to help you and you are unappreciative of my time, efforts and help. 3. You’ve done this too many times for me to continually take this nonsense. 4. You’ve reached your limit of me giving you the benefit of the doubt for your behavior and I can’t take this anymore! So DOOR SLAM! Now I’ve shut you out and I am now stress free. We can speak and I will say hello but I will no longer be an active participate in your three ring circus!

  • For a compassionate INFJ, you have destroyed your friend! He felt deeply about you and you didn’t give him a chance to modify his behavior.
    Not a very favorable outlook for him.
    Consider what you will do to him if you cut him off and “Slam the Door”.

  • Minnie says:

    This is so accurate especially the door slam, the stubborness and the exploding moods! I have a tendency to bottle up and then just burst with all my feelings to someone who can give me the attention or pity…which I hate but it does make me feel better. The door slam is another, the number of people I’ve cut out because they’ve hurt me or I just can’t be dealing with their negativity! So glad I’m not alone 🙂

  • Linda says:

    I’m a professional door slammer!

  • Brandy says:

    My INFJ bf doorslammed me 2x already even though he is crazy in love with me and has never loved any of gis past gfs before. Is he just afraid of love? He keeps putting me down and pushing me away even though he is really hurting from his past. What do I do?

  • Nessie says:

    I’m a short tempted INFJ with a lot of bottled up anger and feelings. Despite me having a resting bitch/poker face on during most of the day and being one of the seemingly ”calmest” ones in my family, once someone crosses me or manages to upset me, we can never know how harsh I’ll react. It might be a 5 minute verbal explosion or I might keep that rage even for the rest of the day. Of course I’ll regret whatever I say during that time but the rage game is so strong…lol

  • Jen Tyler says:

    After years of feeling something was very off in my relationship with my partner ( put downs when we’re in company, gaslighting whenever issues are brought up, diminishing my work as a popular crochet designer, slowly invalidating my very good judgement, experiences and especially my instincts… the list is long ) , I am finally at the end of my rope after 13 years of this. I’m tapping into my dark side now, It’s time, and appropriate when your core values are slowly being eroded away from constantly have to deflect the onslaught of a manipulative, passive-aggresive, gaslighting partner. My health is suffering, I’m struggling with anxiety and panic attacks. I hate being angry because I know once it is unleashed it ends in the INFJ door slam, forever. INFJ’s will know that we give people the benefit of the doubt ad nauseum. Suddenly we see we’ve come full circle, to our original instincts about a person, the fog clears, and we are healthily on the rampage. He is in for a huge shock!

  • Tara says:

    Love this, especially “INFJs do not shut people out without intense contemplation.” So true.

  • Julia says:

    I’ve taken the test once a decade for the past 30 years, and it’s never wavered. Interestingly, as I read this article, I’m shaking my head. “No, I don’t do that. No, I never behaved that way.” But yes, yes I did. I’ve outgrown some of these things, but they all ring true, whether I want to admit it or not. Perhaps it’s the stubbornness? LOL! Great piece. Thanks.

  • Catherine says:

    How do we become a better INFJ? I know I can’t change myself but I don’t enjoy being an INFJ, I can’t see any benefit really, I just end up hurt and lonely most of the time.

    • Glad Munaiseche says:

      Same thought with me really 😟

    • Victor Rocha says:

      I feel the same… But just think with me: in nowadays (if not on the whole human history), the majority of the people cares just with themselves, and this have always carried us to destruction. If the people with altruistic thougts doesn’t help these ones, where we’ll be next? Where the minor will be in detriment of the major? I think that we have to be like this because the world need us more than we need the world, so I just keep trying in the hope that as the dreams of Luther King and others could be realized into real, mine will too.

    • 16Personalities has a really good Myers Briggs test and they also send random emails about your traits and how to grow (specifically to address your question). I ended up buying the full report they gave on my type (I fluctuate between INTJ/INFJ) and have found it quite accurate and very helpful in terms of how to continue growing personally.

      • Catherine says:

        Thanks Brett, I am subscribed to that. I must take more notice of it. I also fluctuate between INFJ and INTJ. I’ve decided that loneliness and misunderstanding means I should understand and love myself better, and treat myself to nice things more often. And stop worrying about what other people think and if I should try my best not to offend them. Who knows if I offend others? I’ve decided to do what I want for a change, never mind other people and what they think I *should* do.

    • LadySama says:

      Think of the personality test as the Hogwarts Sorting Hat. It’s not a horror-scope, it lets you know more about who you are. Hating yourself is easy because of that perfectionist side of being INFJ. But I’ve learned that accepting you’re human and will trip up sometimes is just part of life, and *everyone* trips up. Learn to love yourself. Allow yourself to make mistakes; experience is the best teacher, but wisdom is learning from experience and growing from who you were.

      And remember that we make things too complicated for ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with who you are. This isn’t some label that defines you. It’s a shortcut to explaining who you are to those you trust.

      • Catherine says:

        Haha Lady Sama I just wrote the bit about learning to love myself above to Brett! I came to this conclusion recently (I see my comment was 7 months ago now, wow!) Loneliness and misunderstanding are just hints to love and understand myself better.
        Thank you.

  • Glad Munaiseche says:

    “If an INFJ slams the door on you, they may suddenly stop all communication with you. If this is not possible (because they see you every day at home, work, or school) they may simply close themselves off emotionally and refuse to allow you in. They may still talk to you when they have to, but they’ll seem COLD and DISTANT.” Accurate though 😐

  • Mel says:

    I’ve been an introvert my entire life and have suffered from Major Depressive Disorder and both social and general anxiety since I was a teenager. For me, I thought it was all about my mental illness. That is until I took a personality test a couple years ago and learned I was an INFJ. Reading more about my personality type (both the good and the bad) has made me realize how truly different I am from other people in my life. Sometimes I think that’s a good thing. I’m one of a kind and I like that. A lot. Other times, I find it incredibly hard to relate to other people. Making true connections is beyond difficult and when I do, I tend to get attached.

    I’m guilty of all the things listed here as dark sides of the INFJ personality. I loathe conflict with a fiery passion and will keep stuff bottled up until I snap. I’m trying to be better and confront things as they happen, but when a situation turns negative, it’s like I feel it to the depths of my soul. I feel like being around negative people sucks the life out of me.

    As for the INFJ Door Slam, I have a sibling that it quite possibly the most negative person in the world. Just being in the same room with him is unbearable at times. Again, I thought this was all based on my mental illness. I now know that it isn’t. It’s just who I am and the mental illness adds to it. He’s my brother and I love him, but I do not like him. Because he’s my brother, I can’t completely shut him out of my life, but there have been numerous times I’ve wished I could.

    Speaking of, I had a very close friend that after going on a group trip to NOLA last September, I’ve basically cut out of my life. I was having a very difficult time with the MDD and anxiety and was put on new meds. Anyone who has been medicated for mental illness knows that changing and/or adding new meds is never an easy thing because it can make our thoughts even more irrational. It also makes me fell all wonky and I have difficulty concentrating until my brain adjusts. She’s known me for over two decades, but instead of helping me when I was anxiety ridden on our trip, she made me feel like she didn’t give a damn about my mental health and belittled how I felt. Needless to say, that ride home was very uncomfortable. I’ve talked to her via text a handful of times since then, but I haven’t seen her since we got back the first of October 2016. In all honesty, I miss her, but I don’t need that in my life, so I’ve kept my distance and will continue to do so.

    I’m moody, I’m stubborn, and I’m brutally honest. The moody thing I equated to being 31 flavors of crazy, my stubbornness also reflects the fact I’m a Taurus, so it’s like I got that portion of my personality from two sides, as for the brutal honesty? I value honesty over almost everything. I feel that honesty is the foundation for building trust and respect. I am honest about everything and while there are some people I’ve known that don’t like it, the people I’ve chosen to surround myself with value it. They know I’m never going to lie to them or sugar coat anything. If they want my opinion, I will be diplomatic about it, but I’ll speak my mind.

    I know that this post is long and believe me that wasn’t my intention when I started typing, but apparently I needed to vent to someone who gets it. I’ve thought there was something wrong with me, outside of the mental illness, my entire life. Finally learning after all of these years that it’s normal for my personality type, makes being the oddball a little easier to deal with. It’s also nice knowing that I’m not alone.

  • Jolene Marais says:

    I have learned being an INFJ myself, we are extraordinary people, so smart and open-minded, such an honour to belong to this rare group of people, silent observers, intuitive with soulful eyes. Founding out my type has lead me to understand myself and others so much better, using my skills in everyday situations have lead me to be extremely powerful. One thing I have worked on lately is to firstly to accept myself and others for who they are, to be less judgemental because we are in fact all only human. And then the thing I struggle with most, is being too sensitive to what others think or say about me. Belonging to this group comes with it’s struggles too. But still love being INFJ and love the fellow INFJ’s I have met so far.. Love to you all 🙂 xxx

  • Kevin Ventura says:

    This is so spot on, it hurts! Great article! I’d read it some time ago and was blown away, but this second time hit home even more than the first!

  • telac says:

    true. after giving my advice, my friends would say ” your words does hurt”.. but i didnt intend to hurt them.i was just being honest

    • LadySama says:

      My brother and I are very similar personality types: I’m INFJ, he’s ENFJ. We’ve both noticed that people tend to take even our jokes too seriously. Both of us have ended up in leadership positions, and in my case, it’s a reluctant leadership position. People see something that makes them want to take us seriously. So our jokes have to be more obvious, and our serious advice needs to be given with a splash of caramel or chocolate. I often use humorous metaphors when I explain stuff, so that they’re in a better state of mind to accept what I’m saying. INFJs are one of the diplomatic personalities. We’re the most logical of the introverts as well, so sometimes our logic makes us forget to inject heart into our advice.

      Before you dish out advice, think about how you want people to approach you. Reflection helps your inflection. You can call someone an idiot, but how you say the sentence is the difference between laughter and a hard smack in the face. 😉

  • Mt. says:

    I did so mess up my life just becaus I didn’t understand my life and myself. I thought I’m the only weird person torn between the extremes, never fitting never really balanced. I pushed away all my friends. I had my own problems but couldn’t tell them. I took all their problems on my got totally worn out. And then I just turned it off. From one day to the other. Than later I felt so bad I thought I am bad for everyone else. So better stay away from people. I want to be something positive for others, lifting them up, not being bad for them. And so on. I did everything on this list. And I did it to the extreme. — Now that I read some Jung Wittgenstein , Frankl and finally fount that I could be an INFJ I don’t feel as lonely as before.still lonesome but I know there are other people out there. And that not everything on me is weird and bad. In Fakt it could be good and positive. Well they say that the personality types this way are outdated, but I don’t think so. All this listings are like a mirror to me. It can’t be totally wrong.

  • Mt. says:

    What happens to the author of this article. No sign of life since end of 2016. twitter and Instagram not found? I just hope she decided to go for something else in her live…