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

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.