12 Ways INFJs are the Most Confusing People You’ll Ever Meet

Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on February 15, 2023

INFJs aren’t known for being straightforward personalities. In fact, they have a reputation for being walking paradoxes who confuse other personality types with their contradictory behaviors.

Here are 12 reasons why INFJS are the most confusing people you’ll ever meet. 

1. INFJs are not easy to read, but they can easily read others.

INFJs pick up on other people’s moods, energy or intentions and can read them like a book. But they hide their own feelings behind a poker face, so it’s tough for others to read them. It’s a baffling combination, and people often say they never know what an INFJ is thinking.

2. When they’re overwhelmed, they’ll mention it but won’t talk about it.

An INFJ may bustle into your home for a coffee and appear flustered. They’ll admit they’re overwhelmed, but they won’t be able to tell you why. When overstimulation sets in, awareness seems to shut down for an INFJ and they won’t be able to articulate why they’re feeling so stressed.

3. They’re opinionated but don’t always show it.

One day, an INFJ will tell you, with no shame, that they absolutely, 100% hate something. The next day, they’ll claim to have no opinion about something at all. This pick-and-choose nature comes down to an INFJ's comfort level. Sharing something as innocuous as “I hate mushrooms” is less intense than revealing their political opinions or even how they feel about a movie, because they feel like aliens when they (invariably) have a different opinion to everyone else. 

4. They love unpopular things and have niche knowledge.

So, an INFJ walks into a bar and starts talking about the evolution of dream pop or 17th-century literature? As unusual as that might sound, INFJs love to delve into niche interests — and it isn’t because they’re trying to be cool. They simply like what they like, and their interests can be as surprising and quirky as they are. It’s one of the many reasons why they often feel like odd ducks out.

5. INFJs are loyal, caring friends but are often disconnected in social situations.  

Despite their loyalty to their loved ones, INFJs sometimes pull away for days, ignoring all attempts at communication. It can be confusing or even alarming for someone who isn’t used to this behavior. If you wait long enough, the INFJ will contact you again as though nothing happened. Just know they were feeling overwhelmed with life and needed a break from the noise.

6. They reject many mainstream trends with little explanation. 

No, they aren’t trying to be hipsters. They just don’t follow the flow because their interests organically don’t align with the mainstream. Most of the time, they ignore what’s “trendy” and have difficulty relating to what’s popular. For example, I listen to a lot of classical, Renaissance and jazz music, and I can’t stand listening to most mainstream pop. INFJs have reasons for their niche passions but often feel misunderstood when explaining them, so their rejection of certain things may appear shallow or odd to others.

7. Despite their intuitive wisdom, they can be naïve.

To be an INFJ is to have a strange intuitive side that others find uncanny. But while INFJs might seem “psychic” because they seem to know things before others do, they can also miss obvious things and appear innocent, over-trusting or naȉve. This paradox concerns an INFJ’s mix of optimism and realism and their caring, empathetic nature. Sometimes, it’s hard for an INFJ to believe someone could do something unkind on purpose.

8. INFJs say they want closeness but rarely open up.

When an INFJ divulges something personal, it’s a momentous occasion. They don’t like revealing private thoughts or feelings unless they trust someone. But even with their most cherished loved ones, INFJs may struggle to open up because they struggle with vulnerability.

9. Despite their free-spirited nature, they’re very rigid. 

While INFJs sit near the top of the free-spirited list, they also have rigid standards and beliefs that keep them in check. INFJs might have impulsive moments, but they usually keep themselves in order, thanks to their Judging trait. They don’t always follow the rules but are practical beings who believe in balance, so odds are you won’t catch them breaking too many rules.

10. Their quietness can seem like a snub.

You might misjudge an INFJ because they don’t engage much in social situations. It’s confusing when INFJs — who may look bored or sad while lost in thought — don’t contribute to the conversation. Most of the time, this is because they are uncomfortable or daydreaming. It isn’t a slight or a snub of others. On the flip side, INFJs can over-contribute if the conversation delves into something they’re passionate about. Yes, it’s confusing. 

11. They say they “know” a person when they’ve met them once.

One dead giveaway that someone is an INFJ is if they claim to know a person’s type, intent or overall goodness based on one meeting. To onlookers, this can seem judgmental. But INFJs are often right about first impressions and it can be impossible to get them to shake their convictions the few times they get it wrong. 

12. Art means a lot to them, but only within their definition of what art should be.

Trying to convince INFJs that “all art is art” is like pulling teeth. When an INFJ believes something has no complex meaning, they don’t call it art. Good or bad, they want everything to mean something, so if they explore a work and find it shallow, they won’t consider it art at all. In fact, they view it as a betrayal of art. This view can confuse others who think INFJs can find inherent meaning in everything.  

Confused yet? Let’s sum it up.

INFJs are confusing personality types! If you aren’t an INFJ, then befriending one can feel like you’re decoding hieroglyphics. The good news is, once you get to know them better, you’ll begin to tally their quirks and differences and gain more understanding (or at least acceptance) of your INFJ’s everyday habits. If, like me, you are an INFJ, it’s beneficial to decode your actions because you’ll grow more if you can understand the “why” behind your quirks. It’s also helpful to remember every person varies, so no two INFJs are the same. Cheers to all the confusing INFJs out there!

Cianna Garrison

Cianna Garrison holds a B.A. in English from Arizona State University and works as a freelance writer. She fell in love with psychology and personality type theory back in 2011. Since then, she has enjoyed continually learning about the 16 personality types. As an INFJ, she lives for the creative arts, and even when she isn’t working, she’s probably still writing.

More from this author...
About the Clinical Reviewer

Steven Melendy, PsyD., is a Clinical Psychologist who received his doctorate from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. He specializes in using evidence-based approaches in his work with individuals and groups. Steve has worked with diverse populations and in variety of a settings, from community clinics to SF General Hospital. He believes strongly in the importance of self-care, good friendships, and humor whenever possible.


Richard W (not verified) says...

All of what is described here is consistent with being autistic (easily reading others' intentions is not, but reading their emotion/energy often is - but without being able to label it - it is felt instead).

aspiegurl (not verified) says...

I have an e-friend diagnosed with Asperger's when she was younger, back when it was a thing and she tested INFJ, but forced herself to present as INFP because people said she was "too serious", so she became more relaxed and playful.

Cianna Garrison says...

Hi Richard,


Thank you for this insightful comment. I do think, however, it is difficult to blanket or label all INFJs' experience as autism spectrum, as I highly doubt every INFJ is on the spectrum. I do think, as well, that there are plenty of other personality types, as all individuals are different, represented on the autism spectrum. Still, an interesting thing to point out. Thanks for reading!




Stacy Lee (not verified) says...

I am an INFJ and agreed with all parts except for the art one. Thank you for the insightful read! It helped me to feel understood. 

Cianna Garrison says...

Great to hear you identified with this, thanks Stacy for your comment!



Matilynn (not verified) says...

I agreed with it all. thanks for an educational read! I like this a lot. good to know I'm not the only one out there who feels this way. Thank you very much!

Gemma (not verified) says...

Same here I thought I was alone 

felicityfaith (not verified) says...

INFJ and I relate to all of these.

Sofi (not verified) says...

I took the test to find that I am an INFJ and this is the closest I feel any personality test I've taken has ever come to describing my true personality. I relate to almost everything in this article and in the INFJ overview. I feel happy to find something that finally describes me a little better. 

Canes R Cool says...

I think a lot of the confusion can be 'boiled down' to point 4, and perhaps 3. If people, generally, had discussions about important things like philosophy, history, art etc. then we would be the most outgoing, talkative people around. That is not the case, however, so, for better or worse, here we are.

Aislynn (not verified) says...

As an INFJ I agree with almost all of these. I get super talkative if the topic goes to something I love. I am most passionate with a unpopular game on roblox called Daybreak (300 players at most). I know intentions of people (even though I wish I didn't). After one meet with someone I can decide if they will be a good friend and I can make a pretty good guess on their type. I will only give a little info about it when I'm overwhelmed. Quite a few of my friends can describe me as naive (I am called strawberry nesquik powder by one of my newer friends due to it). I almost never say my opinions especially if I know the person I am talking to is passionate about the topic. I don't get the popular trends at all. My parents think they know me but they only know the section I show my family hey don't know 10% of me (I have different layers I show based on who they are and if they can relate.) Thank you for reading :D

Share your thoughts


Myers-Briggs® and MBTI® are registered trademarks of the MBTI Trust, Inc., which has no affiliation with this site. Truity offers a free personality test based on Myers and Briggs' types, but does not offer the official MBTI® assessment. For more information on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® assessment, please go here.

The Five Love Languages® is a registered trademark of The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, which has no affiliation with this site. You can find more information about the five love languages here.

Latest Tweets

Get Our Newsletter