INFJ is the rarest personality type among Myers and Briggs' 16 personalities, making up only 2 percent of the population. Idealistic and dedicated, people with this personality type feel best when helping others realize their potential and live their own truth.
It comes as no surprise then, that many INFJs value community service and embrace humanitarian causes, seeking to make a real impact in the lives of those around them. Here are five famous INFJs who live to make the world a better place.
1. Lady Gaga
It might seem odd to type Lady Gaga as an Introvert. After all, she is famous for her extravagant looks and powerful performances, owning the stage when she sings like a trueborn entertainer.
This doesn’t mean that Gaga appreciates being a public figure or enjoys the attention that comes with it. In a 2011 interview, when asked about how she deals with fame, Gaga confesses, “she never gets used to it.” She explains how she uses her work to deviate the media’s attention from her personal life so she can keep a degree of privacy — something essential for the reserved INFJ. There’s a reason why Gaga decided to use a persona instead of her own name.
As an INFJ, Gaga’s Counselor nature shines, not only in her music and empowering lyrics but also in her work offstage. In 2011, the musician created the Born This Way Foundation, an association that aims to help the well-being and mental health of young people.
She also shows a strong sense of personal integrity and a need to connect at a deeper level. In a speech delivered at Yale University in 2015, Gaga explained how she feels uncomfortable in an industry that values appearance and superficiality: “I don't like wasting my days just shaking people's hands and smiling and taking selfies. It feels shallow to my existence. I have a lot more to offer than my image.” It's safe to say her integrity has paid off, as Lady Gaga is now a global superstar and a role model for many young people.
2. J.K. Rowling
Though it’s difficult to type strangers, J.K Rowling made the task easier by confirming she is an INFJ in Tweets from 2015 and 2016. Indeed, Rowling appears to be a classic Introvert, feeling energized by quiet time alone, and preferring meaningful conversations to small talk. In a 2015 interview for The Guardian, she states: “I’m a small-group person. My dream is a small group I know very well, then we have an intense conversation. I don’t want an argument, but I want a conversation about things that really matter.”
Like most INFJs, Rowling has an altruistic spirit and strives to improve people’s lives. In 2005, she co-founded Lumos, an association that’s dedicated to ending the institutionalization of children. She also supports charities and associations that defend causes she believes in: “I’ve tried hard to support things that burningly matter to me, or that I can speak about with some authority – I’m president of Gingerbread, the one-parent charity, which means a lot for obvious reasons. Multiple sclerosis research – that’s what my mother had.”
Rowling’s sense of integrity and humanity is also visible in her work. In fact, a study from the University of Módena e Reggio Emília in Italy suggests reading Harry Potter can increase your empathy, which is perhaps the greatest magic of JK Rowling’s work.
3. Melinda Gates
Melinda Gates, wife of Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates, is a quiet and introspective person who values her privacy. Since she started dating her husband Bill, she kept the relationship discreet and safe from gossip from both co-workers, family members and the wider public. "While I understand that your readers may find my story interesting because of the man I married,” she affirmed in a 1995 interview, “it is a personal decision for me not to share information about our relationship or my personal life with the world at large."
As an INFJ, Melinda’s service-oriented nature is most visible in her work as a co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, an association which aims to tackle complex problems such as extreme poverty, gender inequality and the failures of America’s education system. More generally, it seems clear that finding innovative solutions to help others and creating change is what drives Gates in every project she helms — a distinctive INFJ trait. When explaining what excited her about working at Microsoft, for example, she said: “We were changing the world; we were creating products that never existed before.”
4. Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall may be a quiet and private person, but her work as a primatologist was groundbreaking, revolutionizing how we think about wildlife.
Despite having no bachelor’s degree to qualify her for the job, Goodall pursued her childhood dream to work with chimps, staying true to herself and proving to everyone that she could do it. In an interview from 2019, Goodall explains how her plan as a child was to: “grow up, go to Africa, live with wild animals, and write books about them.” This, at a time when female primatologists were unheard of.
Goodall is also known for taking an unorthodox approach to her work, focusing on one macro concept — the idea that chimps could have personalities just as humans do — instead of losing herself in the tiny details.
As an INFJ, Goodall feels accomplished when helping others succeed. Besides her work with chimps, she created the Roots and Hoots program, an initiative that aims to empower young people so they can start creating change in their own communities. Throughout her life, Jane Goodall stayed true to her INFJ self — putting her shyness aside, speaking up about the causes that matter to her most deeply, and sharing her knowledge with the world.
5. Edward Snowden
If there’s someone who knows what it’s like to sacrifice everything in order to defend what you believe in, it’s Edward Snowden. The former Intelligence Community officer became famous in 2013 when he leaked high-classified information, revealing the US government’s system of mass surveillance that many say threatens our privacy. Snowden leaked the information because he believed the public needed to know the truth, demonstrating a deep moral code and strong sense of personal integrity.
In his memoir Permanent Record, Snowden explains how committed he is to fight for truth and freedom, and how it gives meaning to his life: “What makes a life? More than what we say; more, even, than what we do. A life is also, what we love, and what we believe in.”
Staying true to his principles, Edward Snowden continues to educate young people on the importance of advocacy and defending causes that are significant to them. The famous whistleblower admits he does not regret his decision, concluding: “You have to be ready to stand for something if you want it to change.”