Overview

INFJ in a Nutshell

INFJs are creative nurturers with a strong sense of personal integrity and a drive to help others realize their potential. Creative and dedicated, they have a talent for helping others with original solutions to their personal challenges.

The Counselor has a unique ability to intuit others' emotions and motivations, and will often know how someone else is feeling before that person knows it himself. They trust their insights about others and have strong faith in their ability to read people. Although they are sensitive, they are also reserved; the INFJ is a private sort, and is selective about sharing intimate thoughts and feelings.

What Makes the INFJ Tick

INFJs are guided by a deeply considered set of personal values. They are intensely idealistic, and can clearly imagine a happier and more perfect future. They can become discouraged by the harsh realities of the present, but they are typically motivated and persistent in taking positive action nonetheless. The INFJ feels an intrinsic drive to do what they can to make the world a better place.

INFJs want a meaningful life and deep connections with other people. They do not tend to share themselves freely but appreciate emotional intimacy with a select, committed few. Although their rich inner life can sometimes make them seem mysterious or private to others, they profoundly value authentic connections with people they trust.

Recognizing an INFJ

INFJs often appear quiet, caring and sensitive, and may be found listening attentively to someone else’s ideas or concerns. They are highly perceptive about people and want to help others achieve understanding. INFJs are not afraid of complex personal problems; in fact, they are quite complex themselves, and have a rich inner life that few are privy to. They reflect at length on issues of ethics, and feel things deeply. Because Counselors initially appear so gentle and reserved, they may surprise others with their intensity when one of their values is threatened or called into question. Their calm exterior belies the complexity of their inner worlds.

Because INFJs are such complex people, they may be reluctant to engage with others who might not understand or appreciate them, and can thus be hard to get to know. Although they want to get along with others and support them in their goals, they are fiercely loyal to their own system of values and will not follow others down a path that does not feel authentic to them. When they sense that their values are not being respected, or when their intuition tells them that someone’s intentions are not pure, they are likely to withdraw.

For more information: The Art of SpeedReading People

INFJ in the Population

INFJ is the rarest type in the population. It is the least common type among men, and the third least common among women (after INTJ and ENTJ). INFJs make up:

  • 2% of the general population
  • 2% of women
  • 1% of men

Popular Hobbies

Popular hobbies for the INFJ include writing, art appreciation, cultural events, reading, socializing in small, intimate settings, and playing or listening to music.

Famous INFJs

Famous INFJs include Mohandas Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Emily Bronte, Carl Jung, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Florence Nightingale, Shirley MacLaine, and Jimmy Carter.

For more information: Famous INFJs

Research on INFJ

Interesting facts about the INFJ:

  • Least common type in the population
  • On personality trait scales, scored as Sincere, Sympathetic, Unassuming, Submissive, Easygoing, Reserved and Patient
  • Among highest of all types in college GPA
  • Among most likely to stay in college
  • Most likely of all types to cope with stress by seeing a therapist
  • Highest of all types in marital dissatisfaction
  • Personal values include Spirituality, Learning, and Community Service
  • Commonly found in careers in religion, counseling, teaching, and the arts

What the Experts Say

"The visions of the INFJs tend to concern human welfare, and their contributions are likely to be made independent of a mass movement."

- Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing

"These seclusive and friendly people are complicated themselves, and so can understand and deal with complex ethical issues and with deeply troubled individuals."

- David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II

"INFJs' nonstop search for learning, self-growth, and development—and wishing the same for everyone else—makes them very reassuring to others and people worth emulating."

- Otto Kroeger, Type Talk at Work

At Work

INFJ at Work

At work, the INFJ is focused on the task of bettering the human condition. INFJs are dedicated, helpful, and principled workers who can be relied on to envision, plan, and carry out complex projects for humanitarian causes.

Although they are typically driven by lofty ideals, Counselors gain the most satisfaction from their work when they can turn their ideas into reality, creating constructive change for other people.

INFJs are typically organized and prefer work that allows them to complete projects in an orderly manner. They are often independent and tend to prefer a quiet environment that allows them the opportunity to fully develop their own thoughts and ideas.

The ideal work environment for an INFJ is harmonious, industrious, and oriented to a humanitarian mission, with co-workers who are similarly committed to positive change. The ideal job for a Counselor allows them to use their creativity in an independent, organized environment to develop and implement a vision that is consistent with their personal values.

Least Popular Careers for INFJs

It is important to note that any personality type can be successful in any occupation. However, some occupations are well suited to the natural talents and preferred work style of the INFJ, while other occupations demand modes of thinking and behavior that do not come as naturally to this type. Occupations that require the INFJ to operate outside their natural preferences may prove stressful or draining, and often sound unappealing to Counselors who are choosing a career.

The following occupations have been found to be unpopular among INFJs, based on data gathered from surveys of the general population.

INFJs as Leaders

In leadership positions, INFJs motivate others by sharing a positive vision. Counselor leaders are often quiet and unassuming, but win other's dedication through their own hard work, strong principles, and inspiring ideas. They are at their best when guiding a team to commit to a common vision, and when creating organizational goals to benefit people. They are insightful and creative, and bring a sense of confidence and commitment to projects they believe in.

Because INFJ leaders are often motivated by personal values, they do best in organizations with a mission consistent with these values. Their challenge is to keep their ideas and initiatives realistic, and to consider practicalities as they plan for change.

INFJs on a Team

INFJs are creative solvers of people problems, and bring innovative ideas for fostering human potential. They are usually perceptive in observing the talents of others, and good at encouraging teammates to contribute their skills. They are mindful of group process, listening attentively to the opinions of others and synthesizing varied priorities to create a unified vision. Because they prefer to accommodate all points of view, Counselors may have trouble on very competitive or conflictual teams.

On a team, the INFJ acts as a source of quiet inspiration and vision, and provides clarity of purpose to the group. INFJs seek meaning and truth, and will reflect on ideas to create a deeper understanding. Although they don’t often call attention to themselves, they can provide insight into the ethical and humanitarian issues at hand, and can often elegantly articulate the group’s mission. Counselors work best on a supportive team where they can consider issues of ethics and values and act with integrity. Teams which move to act quickly without taking time to reflect may alienate the INFJ.

For more information: What's Your Type of Career?

Relationships

INFJ Communication Style

INFJs are reserved about communication, and often keep their most treasured ideas and insights private. They are oriented to values and connection, and will search for meaning in the information they take in. They think deeply and often need time to process and evaluate before they are ready to share their ideas. They seek validation and will take the time to appreciate others and their ideas. They are often talented at making connections to bring people together and integrate ideas, values, and human potential.

INFJs as Partners

In relationships, the INFJ is supportive and guided by a sense of integrity. The INFJ's interest in human development applies to their mates as well, and they are encouraging of their partner's dreams, aspirations, and achievements.

INFJs want to maintain harmony in their relationships and are highly motivated to resolve conflicts. They tend to be creative problem-solvers and look for the emotional core of an issue to create a meeting of the minds. Although they desire cooperation, they are not willing to go along with an idea that does not feel authentic to them. When it comes to their core values and ethics, they are unwilling to compromise.

INFJs want a high degree of intimacy and emotional engagement, and are happiest when they feel they are sharing their innermost thoughts and feelings with their mates. INFJs value a partner who respects their deeply held values and ethics, and one who appreciates their creativity and inspiration.

INFJs as Parents

As parents, INFJs are devoted and loving. They tend to form strong bonds with their children and are very closely tuned in to their emotional states. Counselor parents naturally see the possibilities in their children and encourage them to develop their potential.

Although they support their children in their individual interests, INFJ parents are firm disciplinarians, particularly when it comes to moral or ethical concerns. They are concerned with their children's emotional health and spiritual development, and want to create a nurturing atmosphere that promotes growth and well-being.

For more information: Please Understand Me II

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Comments

I took this test about 15 years ago and I was INTP. At that time, INTP made sense, and years later INFJ seems to fit. Very interesting.

It changes as you grow, and when u have more experiences in life, also u get to have different view of the world.

I don't really agree. As a person, you are who you are. Our perception of ourselves becomes truer through experiences, thus at an early age we don' t really know who we are. The INFJ is the rarest among personality types apparently, thus looking at other people around us, we find it very difficult to understand where the hell we exactly fit in!

I would agree that your result from this test could change over time. It is designed on the premise that questions are answered based on how the participant sees them self. This could most definitely change over time.

You can't expect the teenager who wishes to be a rockstar to see them self in the same light when they have grown older and decided to have a career or go to college or even just begin working.

make a social site for a community

I tend to disagree with your statement that "you are who you are" - this is an essentialist and deterministic viewpoint that assumes that things can be fixed in a universe where everything is changing all the time.

From that perspective stability - whilst temporarily providing a sense of comfort and safety - is an illusion after all.

....consider: what would be the point of any form of education or therapy if people couldn't change and were somehow fixed??

We do have a fixed, underlying nature though. Take language, for example: sure, people learn different languages depending on their upbringing, but you can't teach human language to a kitten or a chimpanzee, for example. Rather, you require some kind of cognitive structure to accommodate that experience.It's like Leibniz once said, ''nothing in the intellect if not first in the senses, except the intellect itself''. It's quite plausible to suppose the same to be true of other areas of cognition. Our personalities may change in some minimal or superficial sense, but it is basically shaped by more fundamental, underlying biological properties.

That's also my experience. I was also INTP and now am INFJ. I've read that people can and do move from "types" depending on where they are in life, which makes perfect sense.

I had the same result, and I do believe your perspective changes as you grow.

I too took the MBTI test about 15 years ago, when I was 14-15 years old, and at that time I was an INTP, which made sense to me then in all aspects, and now at 29, I am an INFJ, which seems to fit!

Hey! Me too, well actually first I got INFP, the INTP then INFJ, it seems my personality is gradually becoming more solid yey!

It's striking to me, really, how many other INFJ's were INTP's in their younger years! I, too, am in that boat, having just taken the test again at 29. I'm so fascinated by the idea that our small group of individuals seem to share these similar stories of growing wiser through experience, and that we seem to unanimously come to the same conclusions, ultimately landing us into the INFJ personality type. I find that being a rarity, oftentimes, means feeling misplaced, misunderstood, and alone, and just seeing all these comments, from those whom I definitely consider to be kindred souls, makes me feel so connected and, even more so, downright comforted!! : )

I agree that it's really surprising many INTPs have become INFJs in their later years. I was one of those myself. Now looking more into this personality type I feel like I can understand myself so much better. It fits perfectly and it really does feel nice to know there are kindred spirits. One of the greatest things was finding out a friend I was just introduced to was also an INFJ. It's no wonder we got along so well right from the beginning.

This same exact change happened to me.

I am definitely an INFJ in all senses except how I share my feelings. When I was younger I was more introverted about how I felt but as you get hurt and learn how to avoid making the same mistakes over and over again I have learned how to voice my opinions better. Maybe I have just evolved!

@Allmarkha: Try completing the test again, just this time more slowly and carefully.

Wow thats a lot like me. I'm definitely introverted and intuitive not completely sure about the others though. I do care alot about values.

I feel like there would never be a better description of me.

Ditto!

when i irst took a Myers Briggs test, years ago, I scored an ENFJ but ever since then I have been and INFJ which I feel is more authentic for me.

Very good test and inforamtive site.

This fits almost exactly how I think about and view myself - and I'm glad it acknowledges that INFJs are complex people because I've often drawn the same conclusion about myself! But, I'm happy to be who I am, even if it isn't always easy. I'm also not surprised to learn that this a rare personality type, as I often get the sense that I'm wired a little differently than other people. I get along well with almost anyone, but I don't come across people that I feel true kinship with very often. Though when I do, the resulting relationships are rich, long-lasting and much treasured.

I completely agree with you, I rarely meet people I can't get along with but I also rarely meet people that I feel I have a true connection with - but of course that makes it all the more special when I do :)

I know! I feel the same exact way!

I completed a similar "Personality Style Test" (Myers Briggs) during graduate school (as I was completing a Masters of Counseling degree). At that time, the test results indicated that I was an "ENFP". It has been several years since I took the Myers Briggs. I thought it would be rather interesting to retake a "Personality Style Test" to identify changes that may have occurred throughout the years. I found it rather interesting that Truity's assessment revealed an "INFJ" personality profile rather than an "ENFP". I attribute this difference to my educational training; professional experience as a psychotherapist; and most importantly to my personal journey of healing, growth, and change. I believe that the Myers Briggs "ENFP" test result was a correct assessment of my personality style "prior" to the recovery of my "authentic" self. However, through the process of psychotherapy, I have since reclaimed my "lost INFJ self". I found Truity's Test to be a helpful tool in identifying and substantiating personality style.

There's been a lot of comments on here about types changing. For the sake of discussion, I wonder if maybe INFJs struggle some from "type envy"--where we identify so closely with another person (my mom in my case) that we tend to label ourselves according to their personality (she is definitely a TP), but as we grow older, we learn that trying to be that kind of person doesn't really make us happy, and slowly we settle into our INFJ identity. Just a thought...

this fits, my husband and I perfectly, we got the same EXACT score on the test to the single digits, these descriptions fit us like a glove.

@SS I am also a former ENFP that is now an INFJ. I feel that as I've grown and learned and mellowed over the years, and honed in on the things I truly value, this change makes a lot of sense. When I realized that I was going to some concerts, parties and dinners simply for the sake of going and realized I would have preferred to stay home and read, write or spend time with my family, I knew that my extrovert flair was diminishing. I've always been good at seeing issues from all angles, but am quick to withdraw from any situation where my position and values don't mesh with the rest. It's why I sit alone at my desk working with headphones on, while my co-workers are chatting and drinking coffee or running off for lunch. I'm sure some would think that terribly boring and sad, but at this stage of life I prefer my solitude. Someday, I'll have my own Walden...

My wife wanted me to post this. I think now that she understands why I don't share all my inner most thoughts and feelings and why I don't just go along with her on whatever idea she has and why I don't jump when she does but follow behind closely, she can better appreciate the complexity of me. My hope is for a deeper understanding of each other. I love her, I want to love her more.

I am an INFJ female and felt overwhelmed and teared after reading this, not b/c I am sad but b/c I felt connected to what was said and also wish for my future partner to understand my lack of desire to share or follow willingly. I have no idea if all INFJs tend to easily connect emotionally with strangers or small details... but I do! :"(

I am interested in communicating with INFJs. I tested out initially as an INFJ but have also tested out as an INFP.

The same thing happened with me except reversed…a year ago I tested as an INFP but I recently tested as an INFJ…it's pretty interesting.

why would they say INFJ are highest in martial dissatisfaction?

I think because we have really high expectations of our partners.
We're so often misunderstood too; hard to find someone compatible with our personality that fulfills our needs.
And we have a difficult time forgiving, especially when it's something that goes against our core values.

It's not impossible though. Everyone has faults and you learn and grow wiser with life experience... Been married 11 years and I'm happy with my hubby. My mother was, I think, an INFJ too (passed away from brain tumour) but she was miserable with my father. My father and she were not compatible at all. If you find the right person, you can be very happy and fulfilled in marriage, I think.

Maybe it's because our differentness causes conflict in all areas.

My huge need for headspace is interpreted as being selfish, boring etc.
My privacy need provokes suspicion in my partner. I'm under surveillance 24/7.
The "frown" on my face when I'm thinking deeply, (I call it the screensaver look, lol) always trigger my partner to fight.
When I'm going to the deeply emotional connection way, my partner cuts the conversation and walks out of the room.
To keep my body healthy is priority. It results in conflict in meal choices, time for exercise, medication etc.
My creativity is being criticised for: taking up too much time (like drawing, guitar, writing), people will think you're bragging (meals for guests, interior decorating in my house - which is so simple anyways) etc.
My 'slowness' to answer on the spot, my partner interprets as I'm busy plotting a lie.
The list goes on and on...
Point is, there's no space for me as an INFJ to just be...

You might need a new partner

My guess also would be that we are "misunderstood" quite often. But I'd have to agree that a happy marriage is possible. Marriage works because the two people are willing to do the work of being married. If two people really want a marriage and learn about each other and try their best to understand the other (not necessarily agree) and there's a good level of respect, then TRUST is earned from both sides and this leads to marital satisfaction. I especially like the research Dr. Gottmann has done regarding relationships and factors that influence relationship satisfaction. My point being that at first my husband found me beguiling and mysterious but now as I've learned to trust him with my innermost thoughts and feelings he knows me better than anyone and still loves me and cherishes our time together. We've had to do a lot of growing and learning to communicate effectively, but it is possible. I also think that because we are such a small portion of the population, other types aren't exactly sure how to relate to us, they've never had to before or they've never met anyone quite like us, so there's a bit of a learning curve. I do attribute my relationship satisfaction with my desire to believe in our connection and wanting to continually better it. Being an INFJ can contribute to satisfaction, I would think, given we learn how to communicate our needs and understand the needs of our partner. I can, however, see the flipside where our ideals are never quite met by our partner because we set them too high.

I've taken this test as administered in a psych class and 3 other times over the last 15 years. I've scored INFJ every time.

My biggest fear in being a mother one day is being overprotective with my kids and having them reject me or suffer because of being overprotected all their lives.

Will need to get therapy to not let this happen.

If anyone has any comments on being overprotective, please let me know!

INFP = "The Protector" personality type.

Thanks,
Elisa

@ texas tea. I believe the reason they are the highest in marital dissatisfaction is because they have a really high standard of what it is to be in a committed marriage. If it seems like their partner isn't as enthusiastic about their perception of how deeply serious they are about the marriage, then it causes dissatisfaction. Just my take on it.

P.s. I'm an INFJ.

This was quite a fascinating read. I have been doing much research in regards to mbti and really, this is truly a great website for those just starting to get familiar with mbti.

I find it interesting how generally INFJs fit in a certain "stereotype," and I am somewhat excluded in the sense that it doesn't quite describe my persona in the least bit. This used to concern me, but my research pertaining to the cognitive functions aided me in understanding how it is all pieced together. It is okay to realize that the descriptions are merely generalities and really, I am uniquely myself such as everyone else in their own right.

I am not very kind nor am I sweet, affectionate person. If anything, I am described as a strong thinker with no patience for nonsense such as illogical and unreasonable statements, responses, and what not. I am very bad at connecting with other people as I tend to be quiet or a bit too honest when pointing out flaws. It would be nice to have an INFJ I can relate to at present as I have yet to personally meet one. If anything, the closest I could relate my views to is an Ni dom at the moment. Well, it's very good to see other INFJs here.

I wonder how you decided you were an INFJ when the description does not fit you? Have you considered whether INTJ is a better fit?

Or perhaps INTP?

I can really understand what you say about not connecting well with other people, not being affectionate or kind, and being really honest about flaws (often brutally honest). I think a huge part of it is that I'm a really extreme introvert and so I find it difficult to 'let people in' or to express any sympathy with people even if I people because I feel socially awkward in situations like that and I'm scared I'll do the wrong thing(e.g. when someone's upset). I also think my judgemental and critical part of my J trait is very strong and that I'm such a perfectionist and idealist that I see flaws in anything straight away and I highly value honesty so if someone asks me for my opinion I feel like it would unfair and dishonest to lie and say something was good when I thought it wasn't. Also, being unable to express sympathy or care about others doesn't mean that I genuinely don't care, because I do, it's just that I hate it when people, especially if they're not close to me, to know what I'm thinking or feeling. I love to be ambiguous and to keep people guessing, not really knowing what I'm thinking, and just generally being completely confused about me because it gives me complete privacy and secrecy.

Could it be that you simply have a Loop? It's when the secondary function (Fe) malfunctions and you have to fill in with the tetriary (Ti): this might be your case.

Yeah this test has given me a better understanding of myself, that it's okay to think a little differently than others. I'm in college right now and I get along with almost everyone but I never felt like I fit in to a certain group. I keep my deepest feelings to myself and only share them with those special few. I also worry that my expectations for a girl is too high. Very nice to see read what other INFJ's have to say and they have similar perspectives.

lol exactly, I never felt like I truly fit into a group even tho everyone easily becomes my friend, and my expectations for a guy is also too high but it's not worrying for me... well because I'd really like to find someone who meets all of my expectations and at the same time I also sadly believe I'll never find the perfect lover :(

I Know How You Feel

My experience too, I'm a girl and I thought that I won't find a guy anymore who could have it "all" :)) So, later on when I would find someone interesting enough, I was ready to compromise on some unimportant aspects if the core would be there.
Well, try an ENFJ and you won't regret it. One of my best (female) friends is an ENFJ. The connection is instant of course, but the communication on so many levels... you'll feel accomplished, understood and happy. She's 10 years older than me, and a few years ago I was joking saying that if I would have been a guy and older than her, I would have married her.
And guess what? I actually met an ENFJ guy myself :))) He truly has it ALL!!! And when finding out that they are the second most rare type among men, I understood why it was so hard to find him. :) I'm slowly falling in love with him and I know he already started to do so towards me. I'm happy and grateful that I waited, not panicked and didn't compromise up until now.
So do your best to be the best you can and follow your mind and heart. Find someone who can truly appreciate you fr who you are in all your complexity and beauty, and who is ready to show you this, and to share himself with you. And don't be afraid to let yourself be and to be discovered and loved! ^_^

I took a couple personality test's and all said INFJ. When I saw the least suited jobs for INFJ on this website I laughed out loud. I have been in the Military, been a Paramedic and currently a Peace Officer. Honestly I have not liked any of them, so I guess it makes sense now.

Anyhow, thank you Truity for the insight.

I am hearing you loud and clear. I had the same response. The very careers I am trying out for size, just don't fit.

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