Statistically the rarest of the 16 Myers and Briggs personality types, INFJs are famed for being private and reluctant to open up. At the same time, they’re capable of letting their guard down in the right environment and bringing true joy to the people they care about. They’re also really good at mirroring and adapting to different situations, and that makes it difficult for others to decipher an INFJ’s true motivations.
Wondering if someone close to you is an INFJ? Here are ten signs they might be.
1. They often look lost in deep thought
If the world inside my mind is so much more interesting, why should I interact with the outside world? This is a thought that can run through an INFJ’s head, countless times. So, if you spot a person in your group of friends who seems aloof and lost in thought, they could be an INFJ.
In reality, INFJs are social chameleons, meaning they can adapt their personality to suit the environment and moods of the people they’re with. Still, INFJ personalities lead with Introverted Intuition (Ni), their primary cognitive function. This means that INFJs are usually quiet on the outside, but their minds are always busy.
If an INFJ seems deep in thought, it is probably because they’re lost in their rich inner world, exploring different possibilities for life’s biggest mysteries. That, or they’re overthinking an argument they had with someone two years ago (wouldn’t be a first).
2. They’re tough to get to know
There’s being reserved and then there’s INFJ levels of secrecy. It’s no surprise that as Introverts—who recharge by spending time alone—INFJs can be tough to get to know. In fact, INFJ personalities are talkative and bubbly, but only around people they trust and know well.
In large and unknown social settings, they rarely take the lead and expect others to keep their end of the conversation. If you still haven’t conquered an INFJ’s trust, you may notice they rarely talk about themselves.
Eventually, they open up if they see you as someone loyal and in whom they can confide. Until then, you’ll have your work cut out for you getting to know them.
3. They love intellectual conversation
As an INFJ, I’d choose an engaging intellectual conversation over small talk any day of the week. Truth is, sometimes INFJs come across as pretentious due to their predisposition for philosophical talks, but this preference is usually rooted in a desire to learn and explore ideas.
Let’s recap: INFJs are Intuitive Feelers. They spend a lot of time in their heads analyzing, seeking patterns, and trying to make sense of things. Whenever they have a chance to share their insights with someone who cares and shows that same passion for knowledge, they’re content.
4. They have unflinching convictions
INFJ types care about authenticity and being loyal to their principles. If they believe in something, they will stand by it. So much so that they may struggle to accept different points of view.
When first meeting an INFJ, you may miss this personality trait. But try to change an INFJ’s mind on a topic they care deeply about and you’ll see how much confidence they have in their own convictions.
5. They’re very good listeners
Due to their empathic nature, INFJs are very good listeners. As Extraverted Feeling (Fe) users, INFJs feel fulfilled by supporting others and are capable of putting themselves in someone else’s shoes.
In addition, INFJs are Introverts, which means that, in a conversation, they often assume the role of listener by default, gently attending to your problem and offering you advice on what to do.
Yet, an INFJ might also experience fatigue from heavy listening. They can absorb people’s emotions like a sponge and struggle to differentiate their own feelings from those of people around them.
Therefore, if you’re an INFJ, make sure you establish healthy boundaries and give yourself time to recharge from draining social interactions.
6. They can take forever to make a decision
As Intuitive types, INFJs tend to trust their gut whenever making a decision. Nonetheless, they can come across as indecisive for those who don’t know them well. This happens for a couple of reasons.
As an INFJ myself, I can extensively weigh the pros and cons of a situation after forming an instinct about something. This happens most often when I feel critiqued or challenged by others. Maybe someone pointed out a minor fault in my reasoning. That’s enough for me to ignore my instincts and start dwelling in doubt.
And when an INFJ does not internally trust their judgment, they can take forever to make a decision. They’ll be measuring how their decision impacts others and wondering if it’s the right choice after all.
7. They avoid confrontation at all costs
If you know someone who avoids confrontation, they could be an INFJ. These personalities are primarily concerned with reading people’s emotions and maintaining group harmony. This means they thrive in peaceful environments and find any type of interpersonal conflict troubling and stressful.
Part of the challenge for the INFJ is detaching from what everyone else is experiencing during a heated debate. Instead of standing their ground, INFJs want to make sure everyone is okay, which often leads them to rush past conflict.
8. They tend to be perfectionists
Some personality types have a natural leaning towards perfectionism and INFJs are one of them. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with seeking excellence, perfectionism tends to be a struggle for INFJs.
INFJ personalities strive for perfection by setting impossibly high standards for themselves, and others. They want to be prepared for every scenario so they can minimize their chances of failure.
When those standards aren’t met, INFJs can feel truly disappointed and beat themselves up for not predicting how things would play out.
9. They strive to make people feel welcome
You know that person in whom even strangers confide their deepest secrets? Probably an INFJ. Truth is, INFJ types like to make people feel welcome and comfortable around them.
As empathetic types, they are the quiet cheerleaders who are genuinely excited to see their loved ones succeed, and often exude an air of tranquility and affection.
At its best, this affability helps INFJs form bonds. Still, INFJ personalities should be wary of people who try to take advantage of their compassionate nature so they can avoid succumbing to people pleasing.
10. They can make hasty judgments
They’ll never tell you when meeting you for the first time, but INFJs are sizing you up, trying to figure you out. This often leads them to make quick judgments about people they meet.
As INFJs generally trust their intuition, they don’t respond very well when others challenge their vision. When they become single-minded in their focus, it can take a while to convince them they might be wrong.