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The INFJ Personality Type

INFJs are creative nurturers with a strong sense of personal integrity and a drive to help others realize their potential. Creative and dedicated, they have a talent for helping others with original solutions to their personal challenges.

The Counselor has a unique ability to intuit others' emotions and motivations, and will often know how someone else is feeling before that person knows it himself. They trust their insights about others and have strong faith in their ability to read people. Although they are sensitive, they are also reserved; the INFJ is a private sort, and is selective about sharing intimate thoughts and feelings.

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What does INFJ stand for?

INFJ is one of the sixteen personality types created by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers. INFJ is an acronym for the personality traits of Introversion, iNtuition, Feeling, and Judging. The INFJ type is also called the "Counselor" and is described as idealistic, compassionate, and sensitive.

Each of the four letters of the INFJ code signifies a key personality trait of this type. INFJs are energized by time alone (Introverted), focus on ideas and concepts rather than facts and details (iNtuitive), make decisions based on feelings and values (Feeling) and prefer to be planned and organized rather than spontaneous and flexible (Judging).

How common is the INFJ personality type?

INFJ is the rarest type in the population. It is the least common type among men, and the third least common among women (after INTJ and ENTJ). INFJs make up:

  • 2% of the general population
  • 2% of women
  • 1% of men

Famous INFJs

Famous INFJs include Mohandas Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Emily Bronte, Carl Jung, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Florence Nightingale, Shirley MacLaine, Jimmy Carter, and Edward Snowden.

INFJ Values and Motivations

INFJs are guided by a deeply considered set of personal values. They are intensely idealistic, and can clearly imagine a happier and more perfect future. They can become discouraged by the harsh realities of the present, but they are typically motivated and persistent in taking positive action nonetheless. The INFJ feels an intrinsic drive to do what they can to make the world a better place.

INFJs want a meaningful life and deep connections with other people. They do not tend to share themselves freely but appreciate emotional intimacy with a select, committed few. Although their rich inner life can sometimes make them seem mysterious or private to others, they profoundly value authentic connections with people they trust.

How Others See the INFJ

INFJs often appear quiet, caring and sensitive, and may be found listening attentively to someone else’s ideas or concerns. They are highly perceptive about people and want to help others achieve understanding. INFJs are not afraid of complex personal problems; in fact, they are quite complex themselves, and have a rich inner life that few are privy to. They reflect at length on issues of ethics, and feel things deeply. Because Counselors initially appear so gentle and reserved, they may surprise others with their intensity when one of their values is threatened or called into question. Their calm exterior belies the complexity of their inner worlds.

Because INFJs are such complex people, they may be reluctant to engage with others who might not understand or appreciate them, and can thus be hard to get to know. Although they want to get along with others and support them in their goals, they are fiercely loyal to their own system of values and will not follow others down a path that does not feel authentic to them. When they sense that their values are not being respected, or when their intuition tells them that someone’s intentions are not pure, they are likely to withdraw.

INFJ Hobbies and Interests

Popular hobbies for the INFJ include writing, art appreciation, cultural events, reading, socializing in small, intimate settings, and playing or listening to music.

Facts about INFJs

Interesting facts about the INFJ:

  • Least common type in the population
  • On personality trait scales, scored as Sincere, Sympathetic, Unassuming, Submissive, Easygoing, Reserved and Patient
  • Among highest of all types in college GPA
  • Among most likely to stay in college
  • Most likely of all types to cope with stress by seeing a therapist
  • Highest of all types in marital dissatisfaction
  • Personal values include Spirituality, Learning, and Community Service
  • Commonly found in careers in religion, counseling, teaching, and the arts

Source: MBTI Manual

Quotes About INFJs

"The visions of the INFJs tend to concern human welfare, and their contributions are likely to be made independent of a mass movement."

- Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing

"These seclusive and friendly people are complicated themselves, and so can understand and deal with complex ethical issues and with deeply troubled individuals."

- David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II

"INFJs' nonstop search for learning, self-growth, and development—and wishing the same for everyone else—makes them very reassuring to others and people worth emulating."

- Otto Kroeger, Type Talk at Work

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LJanis (not verified) says...

Years ago when I took the test I thought I was an INFP. I began formally studying who I am at 15, and know myself better now that I've been with my husband for 27 yrs, raised my children, gone through my 1st Saturn Return, 1st Uranus Opposition (WOW!) and menopause.  Delivered in a torrid storm from the Universe during my Uranus O, I also actually understand the grand Game of life that we are all playing, and who is against who (it's probably not who you think because most people don't know). I deeply resonate with the INFJ archetype. "...wish I had more blind spots." I've spent some time in my life envying the ignorant bliss that comes with disorders like Down's Syndrome. But now I know enough to understand why all this deep insight is the best Gift I could have, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Shannon W. says...

I really enjoyed reading your comment, I felt I can really relate. I know I’m different, have been since I can remember. Besides being an INFJ;  I am a definite Empath, Senitive and very intuitive. For any interested in astrology I am also a Cancer and fit pretty perfectly as we are described, for what it’s worth anyway, if it’s all a bunch of hocus pocus, then it’s totally conciquence I fit the crab. It’s nice to find others that “ get you “ as many people think I’m pretty out there or a white witch , gypsy etc etc lol

Dvan (not verified) says...

I am also a Cancer as well as an INFJ.  I used to be an INFP when I was younger but as time went on and I experienced life, I switched to INFJ.  

Shannon W. says...

I really enjoyed reading your comment, I felt I can really relate. I know I’m different, have been since I can remember. Besides being an INFJ;  I am a definite Empath, Senitive and very intuitive. For any interested in astrology I am also a Cancer and fit pretty perfectly as we are described, for what it’s worth anyway, if it’s all a bunch of hocus pocus, then it’s totally conciquence I fit the crab. It’s nice to find others that “ get you “ as many people think I’m pretty out there or a white witch , gypsy etc etc lol

Jena (not verified) says...

I am a capricorn . With being a INFJ. I fit capriocrn very well. The Sign describes me prefectly. I love astrology and checking up on my horoscrope online.

Lapearce22 (not verified) says...

First off, It is Down Syndrome not Down's Syndrome or Downs, and they are not ignorant.

While I understand that you most likely meant no harm in saying that, as a mom of a child with Down Syndrome, I am an advocate of making sure that people are aware of how they say things. 

People with Down Syndrome are not always happy. They experience all the emotions as others do, but yes, there is a blissful, non judgmental quality to their personalities that is easily admired, but can also be abused by others. 

So maybe next time just refer to the bliss as wonderful and not ignorant, because their ability to be loving, non judging, and living in the moment is purely beautiful. 

kitcat1123 (not verified) says...

YASSS! Love this!!:D

Guest (not verified) says...

Lapearce22, the word ignorance does not mean unintelligent.  We are all ignorant to one thing or another, since we are unaware of it.  

Liinu (not verified) says...

hey Llanis, i've been really into working out the larger scheme of things etc. for a little while now.... also very much into astrology and have seen some crazy stuff with Neptune hitting my rising sign etc.... what you mentioned about the Game of Life sounds really interesting.... would you mind elaborating what you meant by the 'who is against who' thing...?  would love to hear your take on things.... thanks xx

Karen (not verified) says...

Yes! This is so accurate it hurts. I'm floundering a bit now though. What's your occupation now? Does it fit INFJs well?

ASelman (not verified) says...

I have one more semester left in nursing school and volunteer with hospice.  I have never been more fulfilled in my work.  There are tons of different types of nursing too from helping women have babies to pediatrics, general population, and long-term care or hospice.  And in all of these sects there are different layers of care intesity (medical-surgical/ immediate care/critical care,/transplant floors or cardiac).  It is very stimulating and those options are just the beginning!  I have truly found my calling in helping people as a nurse

Kay (not verified) says...

I agree with you. 

Guest (not verified) says...

I have taken that test multiple times over the course of eight years and I have changed as a person a lot over time, but my results are always the same. My hobbies, my interests, and my career has changed but the core of who I am has not. I am interested in helping people but I have become jaded over time and then I read a little INFJ carton with the caption that read, The words I do not care are not in my dictionary, except when I am lying to myself. That made me think about what matters most to me and how being jaded does not change how much I really am a sensitive empathetic person. I am now deciding to go into social work. Thanks for sharing this article and thanks for listening to my mini rant. =)

Guest (not verified) says...


infj girlie (not verified) says...

YOU GO! hehe

Guest (not verified) says...

When I first took this test 15-20 years ago I was an INFJ - but the N and S part were borderline (so I took it repeatedly to try to make sure and it was always Intuitive.) With this test they have me as an ISFJ and the list of occupation fits and unfits is perfectly me. I think I changed a bit.

GuestAly (not verified) says...

Me too. When I first took this test I was an INFJ, and that seemed to really fit me. Years later I've taken it again and test ISFJ. I've been at the same job for 14 years and it involves a lot of focus and attention to details. I think life has made me more "S" though back then I sure was an INFJ :)
I also realize there are other things about us that make us "us" - not every INFJ or ISFJ is the same, etc.
I've done Strength Finders and some of my top strengths (Connectedness, Developer, Individuation) tie in to the INFJ profile gifts.
We are all so fascinating!

Randal (not verified) says...

Conscientious social workers and honest cops get a free pass into heaven.

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