INFJ
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What is an INFJ?

INFJ is an acronym used to describe one of the sixteen personality types created by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers. It stands for Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging. INFJ indicates a person who is energized by time alone (Introverted), who focuses on ideas and concepts rather than facts and details (iNtuitive), who makes decisions based on feelings and values (Feeling) and who prefers to be planned and organized rather than spontaneous and flexible (Judging). INFJs are sometimes referred to as Counselor personalities.

What are INFJs like?

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.

What are the core values of the INFJ?

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 can I recognize an 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.

Who are some famous INFJs?

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

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

What do INFJs like to do?

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

What the experts say

"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

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

Are you an INFJ?

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Check out the INFJ Discussion Forum

Want to have a more in-depth conversation about being an INFJ? Head on over to our discussion forum and post your questions, comments, and/or general musings!

Comments

HeyyItsAJ (not verified) says...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Id,_ego_and_super-ego

I think we have 3 distinct types. I'm well aware of which personality type my id, ego, and super-ego are. Once I realized what was what I had a much better understanding of myself :)

And in case anyone is curious I'm id: INFJ, ego: ENFJ, super: ENFP

Hope it's useful!

MatteBlack says...

There are many I know who take the personality test, idealizing themselves to be something they wish they could be, but certainly are not. Through my life I have met far TOO many "INFJ" or those who obviously claim to be. Upon further discovery of their lives and in comparison to my own I have always come to realize that they are not INFJ but have some sort of respect for the personality type and attempt to exemplify it. I don't know why this is. I have been taking this test since I was 15 and for over a decade at various times throughout every year. Sometimes I would take the test drunk. Sometimes depressed, sometimes at complete ease. Always INFJ. Never anything else. Whereas I have friends who take it and get different answers every time. Does this mean they are all these things? Possibly. As someone who takes his convictions very seriously, and life in general very seriously, I would say they are none of these things. Who cares? Stop trying to be something you are not. These personality tests are designed to help cure your confusion about careers, relationships, etc. Not to make you feel proud of who you are as a lonely 1 or 2 percent. There's no compliments for the rare, only the original. So be true to yourself. Next time you take the test, be honest. Don't answer who you think you are, or what you would like to be. Be entirely Y O U

LOL (not verified) says...

While I agree with the core message of your rant, I have to say ... chill out my friend. Like I said I agree with you, and I believe most others do as well. However I must say you seem overly "serious" about preaching authenticity to others and very proud about your consistent INFJ results over the years. My simple suggestion my friend, being also INFJ,is that you use your insight to build more so than to rebuke. Your understanding will go farther with a delivery of compassion and consideration.

Guest (not verified) says...

Please consider that, as with all aspects of oneself, some people live permanently at the far ends of a continuum, so fluctuations in their mood or perspective do not register as a different "type." Others' set points, however, may be closer to the middle of the scale, so fluctuations for them do push them over the magic "0" point to register them as a different type. Your consistent type may not prove that your personality is any more stable than anyone else's, but only more extreme than many others.

GuestV (not verified) says...

Hmmm...if you take the test and come out as this type, why should it not be true for others? Why do you think others are not being honest?
I remember attending an MTBI training in which the presenter cautioned us against assigning types to other people - the tests are for us to figure out ourselves, not others. And since we really don't know what's inside another, it seems very arrogant to declare that those many people you refer to are not INFJ.

Or do you just want to keep that lonely 1-2% all for yourself? ;)

Guest (not verified) says...

If you read after the quiz..closely.. there are fluctuations in each INFJ; you are a percentage of introversion.. And so on.. Each percentage will vary in each INFJ.. So not too often you even meet an INFJ that is fully similar. I'm only 6% judging over perceiving.. So naturally depending on any life scenario I may lean towards the latter.. No two people are EXACTLY the same so everyone is their own original.. Some just may not know themselves well enough to interpret every question on all these "tests" the same way.. They may not be able to outwardly look upon themselves to know how they would truly react. I do love interacting and helping people so much I feel I could walk into a room and stand in the "middle" but I know when I do, in real life, I'll move to the edge of the room and watch. Those who know themselves can accurately evaluate themselves. Your passion is wonderful but with all respect.. Everyone is an original. Entirely "YOU"

Guest (not verified) says...

Wow I'm only 13 I wonder if that happens to me

Guest (not verified) says...

Another person on the same train here. I think it makes sense though, because an INTP tends to analyze situations around them and attempt to find a solution for a problem. If an INTP pick human behaviors and conflicts as their subject, there might be a big chance that they will come to appreciate deep counseling as the powerful tool.

Guest (not verified) says...

I usually get ISFJ but I have also gotten INFJ.

CL (not verified) says...

If you tested INTP in the past yet test INFJ now, my first question is, "do you identify with INFJ? Is it a better fit for you?" You might switch your individual letters , on a test, under stress. Perhaps you found yourself acting "P" because you needed to act P under social pressure, or P was more expedient. Of course this assumes you answered the questions of the test in a way that wasn't quite true to yourself. Carrying that thought forward, maybe you were a "P" wanabe, and answered the quiz to reflect the way you wished you were. Look at the gestalt of INFJ-ness and INTP-ness. Look to INFJ preferences: introverted intuition, then extroverted feeling, THEN introverted thinking. INTP is quite different. You can not mistake one for the other and they don't just switch. You messed up the test somehow or had a real sea change in 15 years. Is intuition alive and well in you? is it your mysterious friend? then INFJ. I could go on, lots to this. Just spend time considering the preferences and how the prefs work together. If INFJ, your gut will tell you. If INTP, your intellect will decide.

Guest (not verified) says...

So strange, the same thing happened to me!!!

Guest (not verified) says...

Yes! I have gotten Infp and Infj and I believe Intj and intp...hmm existential crisis much?

Guest (not verified) says...

Wow same thing with me!!! I was about 18-19 when I took the test and got INTP and it made sense. I am now 21 and took the test again and this makes even more sense to me.

Guest (not verified) says...

I did too, about 20 years ago and was also INTP. Just did the test again with a therapist and am now INFJ. Therapist says it is common to change over time.

Guest (not verified) says...

Its because you are developing your cognitive functions, maybe at that stage in your life introverted thinking was the function you were using the most(yur dominant function), if your are INTP your secondary function is extroverted intuition, you could possibly be using that more now that your older and mistaken it for introverted intuition (dom INFJ function).

janey (not verified) says...

People sometimes change a bit over time. I used to be an ESTP when I was younger but now I'm an INTJ for some reason.

LilaJames (not verified) says...

I changed a lot. It's normal. I used to be an INFJ and now I'm this

miranda1651 says...

I too took this test around twenty years ago and was scored as an INTJ. However, unexpected suffering in life either personally or seen/heard in others I've met along the way has changed my type to an INFJ. Interesting....

Guest (not verified) says...

Just took the MB test (twice) just to be sure. INFJ. So, this is where all my people are! Hello! Now I understand why no one wants to watch movies with me. I cannot count how many times people have told me, stop saying what you think is going to happen. LOL!

bih17529 says...

I fail to see how INFJ's are rare. There can't be so few of us in the world. It's just not possible.

Guest (not verified) says...

We do change as our life evolves and our life situations changes, and our social life goes through test after test after test. You can call it learning curves, or taking account of what happened to us.

Guest (not verified) says...

The same has happened to me. I took the test in 1999, and thought 'Yes!' when told I heard the description of the INTP, but now INFJ feels right.

Oliver (not verified) says...

Same

I was an INTJ for 6 years. Never understood why I was so lost until I found out I was an INFJ 6 years later! Now everything makes sense...

Guest (not verified) says...

Mine has changed with age as well. When I took the test my first year of university (early 20's), I was an INTJ. The administrator was surprised by this because of its rarity and because I was female. In my mid 40's, I score as an INFJ and reading about this personality type, it certainly hits home on every mark, though parts of the descriptions for INTJ still fit with me as well. Interesting.

The Dreamer (not verified) says...

Exactly the same with me, except I took the test a second time only six months later to find I had changed from INTP to INFJ.

Kathleen Jacque (not verified) says...

For years I thought I was an ISFP. But now I Find that INFJ fits just as well. Curious!

somebody stalking the forums (not verified) says...

yeah I've changed too, used to be INFP, not ISFP though I get ESFP sometimes too 

Guest (not verified) says...

Try looking into the chameleon effect 

Prasad (not verified) says...

similarly,

2014, i was INTP.

2015, i was INFP.

today in 2017, i am INFJ.

 

VB (not verified) says...

I am not sure if I am doing the test wrong, I am usually an INTJ but sometimes I switch to an INFJ

guest (not verified) says...

same!

Guest (not verified) says...

The same thing happened to me! I always redid the test to see if there were any changes regarding being intp and there were not. After a couple of years in therapy I've decided to do it again and I get infj everytime. 

Guest (not verified) says...

I am definitely an INFJ in all senses except how I share my feelings. When I was younger I was more introverted about how I felt but as you get hurt and learn how to avoid making the same mistakes over and over again I have learned how to voice my opinions better. Maybe I have just evolved!

Aitokea says...

@Allmarkha: Try completing the test again, just this time more slowly and carefully.

Allmarkha says...

Wow thats a lot like me. I'm definitely introverted and intuitive not completely sure about the others though. I do care alot about values.

Guest (not verified) says...

I feel like there would never be a better description of me.

Guest (not verified) says...

Ditto!

samantha (not verified) says...

when i irst took a Myers Briggs test, years ago, I scored an ENFJ but ever since then I have been and INFJ which I feel is more authentic for me.

Very good test and inforamtive site.

Guest (not verified) says...

When I was younger in my mid 20's I too was am ENFJ (extrovert) now that I am older I am an INFJ (intorvert), which makes sense to me since the Extroverts get most of thier data, values ect from the external world around them, and the introverts get it from the internal within. Who says aging is bad, its not. I am happy with who I am and this test is helpful in helping yu to better understand yourself and others. My husband took it and he is a ESFP, which is the complete opposite of me. Now I know why we struggle so much sometimes. I have decided to let him be him, and me be me. But it was a comfort to me to know that I already figures these things out about him long before the test.

Vanight says...

The misconception that ones MB type changes based on age, mood, or whatever...seems to be more and more common. I have been following the online Myers-Briggs fad since it started. I too had the same misconceptions until I read more and more about what this test really shows, and how reliable these free online tests are. Not all of the online test are 100% terrible, however, much the accuracy 'fail' has to do with how the individual takes the tests. Without being administered by a professional that can weed through improper testing and complement the test with other evaluations to come up with a holistic accurate profile determination, its kind of a gamble as to how reliable it is. The alleged profile changing illustrates this. Also, Mental & psychological conditions could affect The efficacy of these tests which arguably are questionable in quality to begin with. The other problem is how folks interpret interpret those 4 letters even if correct. I would suggest spending some time reading about cognitive functioning, so that you understand what these letters mean. It isn't a situation like, my N must have been activated, or, wow, must've been my S, or that day I was in a good mood so I guess my "I" turned into an E.

I would encourage you to also take other types of assessments like the old school 4 temperaments, the DiSC, Keirsey temperament sorter, etc... some are better suited for career context. I cant stress enough how important becoming familiar with cognitive functioning is, to correctly understand what the Myers-Briggs indicates.

MissusNemm (not verified) says...

This fits almost exactly how I think about and view myself - and I'm glad it acknowledges that INFJs are complex people because I've often drawn the same conclusion about myself! But, I'm happy to be who I am, even if it isn't always easy. I'm also not surprised to learn that this a rare personality type, as I often get the sense that I'm wired a little differently than other people. I get along well with almost anyone, but I don't come across people that I feel true kinship with very often. Though when I do, the resulting relationships are rich, long-lasting and much treasured.

Guest (not verified) says...

I completely agree with you, I rarely meet people I can't get along with but I also rarely meet people that I feel I have a true connection with - but of course that makes it all the more special when I do :)

Guest (not verified) says...

I know! I feel the same exact way!

Guest (not verified) says...

This is EXACTLY how I feel, and something my boyfriend doesn't seem to quite understand. He's always telling me how much everyone likes me and how I always connect to so many people and doesn't understand why I feel lonely sometimes when it's so hard to find a person that can truly understand me! It can be nice to know there are other people like me out there, I just need to keep searching!

SS (not verified) says...

I completed a similar "Personality Style Test" (Myers Briggs) during graduate school (as I was completing a Masters of Counseling degree). At that time, the test results indicated that I was an "ENFP". It has been several years since I took the Myers Briggs. I thought it would be rather interesting to retake a "Personality Style Test" to identify changes that may have occurred throughout the years. I found it rather interesting that Truity's assessment revealed an "INFJ" personality profile rather than an "ENFP". I attribute this difference to my educational training; professional experience as a psychotherapist; and most importantly to my personal journey of healing, growth, and change. I believe that the Myers Briggs "ENFP" test result was a correct assessment of my personality style "prior" to the recovery of my "authentic" self. However, through the process of psychotherapy, I have since reclaimed my "lost INFJ self". I found Truity's Test to be a helpful tool in identifying and substantiating personality style.

Guest (not verified) says...

There's been a lot of comments on here about types changing. For the sake of discussion, I wonder if maybe INFJs struggle some from "type envy"--where we identify so closely with another person (my mom in my case) that we tend to label ourselves according to their personality (she is definitely a TP), but as we grow older, we learn that trying to be that kind of person doesn't really make us happy, and slowly we settle into our INFJ identity. Just a thought...

Mike S (not verified) says...

That definitely resonates. Nicely articulated.

Guest (not verified) says...

this fits, my husband and I perfectly, we got the same EXACT score on the test to the single digits, these descriptions fit us like a glove.

Guest (not verified) says...

@SS I am also a former ENFP that is now an INFJ. I feel that as I've grown and learned and mellowed over the years, and honed in on the things I truly value, this change makes a lot of sense. When I realized that I was going to some concerts, parties and dinners simply for the sake of going and realized I would have preferred to stay home and read, write or spend time with my family, I knew that my extrovert flair was diminishing. I've always been good at seeing issues from all angles, but am quick to withdraw from any situation where my position and values don't mesh with the rest. It's why I sit alone at my desk working with headphones on, while my co-workers are chatting and drinking coffee or running off for lunch. I'm sure some would think that terribly boring and sad, but at this stage of life I prefer my solitude. Someday, I'll have my own Walden...

ryan.steffany.johnson says...

My wife wanted me to post this. I think now that she understands why I don't share all my inner most thoughts and feelings and why I don't just go along with her on whatever idea she has and why I don't jump when she does but follow behind closely, she can better appreciate the complexity of me. My hope is for a deeper understanding of each other. I love her, I want to love her more.

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