Of the 16 personality types in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the rarest of them is the INFJ. Only 1% of the people who take the MBTI fall into this personality type, and if you happen to be one of these rare souls, you know how hard it can be for other people to understand you – or even to understand yourself. One of the defining characteristics of the INFJ is an almost constant internal contradiction.
16personalities.com describes the INJF as having a “very unique combination of traits: though soft-spoken, they have very strong opinions and will fight tirelessly for an idea they believe in. They are decisive and strong-willed, but will rarely use that energy for personal gain – INFJs will act with creativity, imagination, conviction and sensitivity not to create an advantage, but to create balance. Egalitarianism and karma are very attractive ideas to INFJs, and they tend to believe that nothing would help the world so much as using love and compassion to soften the hearts of tyrants.”
To get an idea of what I am talking about, here are 6 things that other INFJs will agree with me on (even if they don’t admit it).
1. Most of your favorite people are fictional. In fact, most of the time you feel a real connection to another INJF, it is typically in a book.
2. You find it easy to convince people that you’re an extrovert one minute, and an introvert the next. You understand that it confuses people when you shift gears, but you also know that sometimes you just want to be alone. You want relationships in your life and they make you happy, but you also need a lot of alone time to be happy. It’s a constant juggling act.
3. As much as you hate working for money, you’re realistic about needing money to pay bills, rent, etc. It’s a constant battle between being responsible and being free. You can, at the same time, imagine a utopian society – and know that it will never exist.
4. Your intuition will often times play out exactly how a situation is going to go for someone in your head. But, at the risk of offending someone, you just let it play out, and let them make the mistake that you saw coming all along. This is compounded by the fact self-destructive people are drawn to you like a moth to a flame, and you generally care about their problems more than they do. A lot of times, you create standards for other people in your heads based on how you would treat others (including yourself), or what you would do if you were them. You then find yourself severely disappointed when others don’t meet your made-up standards.
5. Sometimes you get a thought in your head that you can’t put into words that other people will understand. Typically, when you try to explain it – you end up confusing them even more. Most of the time, this situation revolves around telling someone how you feel. You either reveal as little about yourself as you possibly can or you reveal WAY too much and end up feeling like an idiot after the fact. After you’ve gone through this cycle enough times, you often end up apologizing for any expression of emotion at all. Social media doesn’t help at all with this one.
6. You have the ability to fit in everywhere, without feeling like you fit in anywhere. As gifted as you are as an intellectual, you can be miles away from the world around you. This usually leads to a realization that most of the world doesn’t live inside of their own head like you, and that seems weird to you. Often times this leaves you feeling like you are in tune with everyone else’s feelings except your own.