INFJs are full of determination, empathy, and big dreams, but their behaviors and attitudes sometimes prevent them from reaching their full potential. But, like the other personality types of the 16-type system, INFJs have room to grow.
So why tackle the small stuff?
Because often, the most impactful changes result from minor habit adjustments. Taking care of little practices is sometimes the easiest way to help you learn about yourself, expand your personal growth journey, and get the quickest results.
Since INFJ personalities can be a bit perfectionistic, it’s also important to remember no one is perfect, and you’re probably your own toughest judge. But by incorporating little changes into your life, you might reap a whole slew of benefits. So whether you want to better yourself, improve your career, or feed your social life, these small ideas with huge effects are game-changers for INFJs.
1. Don’t just say you’re “doing well”
The INFJ is the “people-person” of introverts. You’re the first to offer a shoulder, listen to problems, and support others’ needs in both good and bad times—but what happens when you do more than listen and decide to speak up? While INFJs don’t lack in their contributions to relationships, you may get stuck in the habit of listening more than talking, not because you’re afraid to contribute, but because you’re concerned about others and their needs.
Other types may take advantage of an INFJ's habit of listening and assume they’re okay with being second in the conversation. But, in all honesty, INFJs enjoy talking about themselves once and a while, and it can be therapeutic, so it’s important to contribute to the discussion.
An easy way to avoid being neglected is to put yourself in the middle of the conversation first. Instead of saying “I’m doing well,” when your friend asks you how you are, expound on your day. Mention a quick snapshot of what’s going on to open up the conversation. When you initiate a conversation, your friends may realize they’ve talked about themselves a bit too much because of your caring attitude.
Of course, you can still listen and offer advice for your friends in your “Counselor” fashion, but don’t forget you’re entitled to the same attention, care, advice, and support, too. Often, people don’t ignore you on purpose, but rather, by putting them first, you’re setting aside your needs.
2. Say “thank you” instead of pointing out what could have been
Some people assume that an INFJ is being pretentiously or falsely humble when they have a hard time accepting compliments. However, it isn’t all a show, and the INFJ is not putting on—they really do prefer to keep the spotlight off their deeds, actions and career, even if they’ve done incomparable work.
Refusing a compliment by focusing on all the ways you fell short, and the things that (in your head) you should have done, may feel authentic to you. But it makes other people feel uncomfortable.
So, practice saying “thank you” to accept someone’s compliment instead of listing the faults you see in your own actions. Others feel good when you take their compliment, and you’ll feel better, too, when you remember that you should give yourself some credit where it’s due. When you set feelings of embarrassment aside, big things happen. You may experience growth in your confidence levels, improved relationships, or even a better appreciation in the workplace.
3. Make time for self-care and meditation
You might have a hard time unwinding or hitting the pause button, but if there’s something that helps an INFJ, it’s knowing when to slow down and meditate.
Pick something that helps you relieve stress and forget your day, and incorporate it into your routine. This action can be as easy as taking a bubble bath by candlelight or practicing yoga, going for a run, walk, or hike, reading a book, or allowing yourself the luxury of calling a friend to vent.
The great thing about stress-relief tools is you can personalize them to find a method that works for you and helps you detach from whatever stresses are in your day to feel refreshed.
4. Try a spontaneous adventure
You know you can accomplish incredible feats when you set a plan into action – but are you doing the same thing on repeat over and over again? INFJs tend to avoid risks, but when it’s been a while since you did anything outside of your comfort zone, it could be time to step outside the boundaries of your planner and do something spontaneous.
This doesn’t have to be a huge, scary event. For INFJs, being spontaneous could be as simple as going on an unplanned road trip or accepting your friend’s invitation for a tropical vacation you thought you’d say no to.
Although Perceiving types wouldn’t think a spontaneous trip is a big deal, INFJs spend hours weighing the pros and cons. When you set aside the structure of planning you’ll feel freer – and maybe get a confidence boost from taking a small leap of faith.
5. Pause before judging situations or others
INFJs are iNtuituve types, which gives us an internal knowledge about other people’s motives and character. Intuition is a great tool, but INFJs shouldn’t rely on it exclusively. If you have an overwhelming gut feeling, you may want to listen to it. But when it’s a little murkier, and you aren’t sure if you’re right, you may want to listen to a person’s side of the story and set aside your instinct for a minute. You might be surprised about what you’ve overlooked.
The same thinking applies to situations. While there’s something admirable about seeking answers to problems, sometimes life's issues fall in the gray area. If this sort of problem arises in your relationship or workplace, don’t let your brain run through ten solutions a day, hoping to find one. Sometimes you can’t solve a problem right away. So, when there’s a discussion about it, engage, offer an opinion, and let go of it until a mutual solution becomes clear.
6. Practice daily affirmations
Everyone can benefit from positive thinking and affirmations, but the open-minded INFJ is especially good at incorporating and using affirmations to center their desires, feelings, and goals because they’re so in tune with their inner world. The wonderful thing about practicing affirmations is it’s a daily process, so even if you forget, you’ll always have a chance with a new day.
Although you might be distracted by caring for others, think of affirmations as some needed “you” time to examine your own needs. By voicing your intentions and goals aloud, you may find your focus and inner motivation becomes sharper. The point of affirmations is to motivate you to stay focused on yourself, which is something INFJs need when they’re stuck in a rut or setting their needs aside for others too often.
7. Write down your thoughts
INFJs are passionate, near-constant thinkers, which means they experience many thoughts and emotions. However, although you may be good at self-evaluation, you probably don’t talk about those thoughts and feelings too often. Daily or weekly journaling habits are a quick and easy change to incorporate into your life that doesn’t need to take much time or effort.
Writing down your thoughts can help when you feel unable to open up to others, and it can also help you focus on how you feel. Try spending five to ten minutes writing down your thoughts about your day or practice freewriting. You may find journaling inspires you, relieves stress, and helps you clear your head.
Summing It Up
As an INFJ, you can make significant changes in your life when you set aside your usual thought patterns and nudge yourself out of your comfort zone and into the beautiful unknowns of life that stretch you into becoming the best version of you. Make an effort to change small habits – you may find the results surprising!