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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

person who is a grill (not verified) says...

hey i just found out that i have mild autism and being that i have this personality type maybe you all have it too(tendency towards sensory overload, alienation from peers etc.) this would make sense because the majority of us are girls and girls with autism typically go undignosed because unlike autistic boys we are more in touch with our emotions and empathy for others, so check if you have some autisic traits and get back to me because i want to know if im the only weird one this time :I

Naveed (not verified) says...

I am 38 years old, an electrical engineer. I took this test multiple times and came out to be either an INFJ or INFP. I am trying to figure out yet. Anyways, both personality types are misfit for an engineer, and I also strongly feel that. What is really missing in my profession is a human kind of touch which I would prefer. Humans are more interesting to me than machines. 

Finally Awake (not verified) says...

Hi INFJs! 

I've always tested as an INFP, and the last few years as an INTP, but neither seemed completely me (I usually have scores very close to the mid-point of T/F, and P/J). So forgetting all that, I decided to read through most of the profiles and when I read INFJ, a light bulb went off! Now reading all your comments here, I am absolutely sure this is my Type. I have the same issues with morality, money borrowing, people not wanting my advice, isolating to protect myself, etc, that you've all mentioned here.

But in my readings on this type, I came across this page, which really explains that sometimes we might be jumping the gun (I am definitely guilty of this!) and making snap judgements about people and situations.

<http://www.personalitypage.com/html/INFJ_per.html>

As I get older, I am beginning to see that I am not always right, that I do tend to judge too quickly, and thus reject people and situations, when in fact, a little perspective on where they are coming from might actually help me see things differently. In our idealism, we want everyone and everything to be perfect, as if that were actually possible. Humans are very complicated beings (as I am learning, including myself), and perhaps we can do with some reworking on how we approach other people and situations where our snap judgements might be creating problems and causing us to isolate more than we really need to. 

I feel you guys and your anguish; it's something I've dealt with all my life too. I think we deserve to be happy and laugh a little, instead of taking everything so damn seriously, don't you agree? 

I hope that link helps in some way. It's certainly helping me look at myself and my life through different (non-judgey eyes ;-) ). I'd love to see if anyone else resonates with what I've said, as well as what the link describes. 

INFJedi (not verified) says...

I took the MBTI test without any knowledge of the 16 personalities and got INFJ.  I've been a physical therapist for almost 15 years, which is the first occupation listed here.  I'd say this is pretty accurate!

Edward (not verified) says...

I have consistently tested positive as INFJ since I was 12. All I can say is most of the articles I read, and yes, this one included, are quite positive about all the qualities but lack better explanation of the downsides of the personality type. Nonetheless, it's still a pretty intersting read.

Seraphina (INFJ) (not verified) says...

I agree with many of the views in the description, and I appreciate how in-depth the analysis is. However, I would also like to point out that instead of painting every INFJ as actually 'fitting' into that model, the description could be phrased in such a way as to remind us that some traits are better seen as 'tendencies'. For instance, I have never felt a strong drive to better the conditions of the human race, or have any inclination to make this world a  better place. Quite the opposite. I have little patience for overly idealistic people, and community service is something I would never willingly do. That doesn't mean, of course, that I'm cold-hearted; it's just that my heart is filled to the brim with love for my family, myself, and my passions to receive much of anyone else. I feel much more strongly for fictional characters than real-life people, most of which I frankly don't give a damn for. Their own foolishness and irrationality result in their pathetic problems, and I have little patience for that, although I force myself to pretend to care.
No, I am not mistyped. Though my results vary between INFJ and INTJ, I have no doubt that I'm an F. Also, I am rarely 'quiet' or 'reserved', and none of my friends believe I'm introverted. They, apparently, think I'm extremely extroverted and dominant, which is perfectly fine by me as long as I continue to control how others see me.

Miss Typed (not verified) says...

I tested INTP in high school while living under a controlling parent. A close family member therapist pegged me an INFP as a young adult, and I ran with it. At 50, I keep testing INFJ and 1w2, both of which I strongly identify with. I've always felt like an INFP that was much more organized, driven and socially adept than the stereotype. INFJ makes more sense, and better explains my happy marriage to an ISFJ.

Yamila Perdomo (not verified) says...

Thanks. Seemed like fun. Funny with the test, where it seem almost creepy like, as if; Dude, how did you know! Insightful indeed, with the kind of personally overall what I'm like as a person. Thanks. What truth and insightful information. Thanks.

AmVat (not verified) says...

I don't understand why speech-pathologist is even on here. This is a profession that involves working with and speaking to many people especially of different professions such as doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, psychologists, etc. if you're planning to go into medical speech pathology. I majored in speech pathology and the grad clinicians I observed during my undergrad had bubbly and outgoing personalities especially if they were planning to work with children. I've heard of introverted grad SLPs who've shared that it was always a "fake it till you make it" fiasco where they had to fake their "bubbliness." You can choose to work with the adult population but that's mainly in the medical setting and hospitals are hectic, noisy, busy environments that I don't think INFJ types can truly thrive and be successful in. This is just my opinion, but I've heard of introverted INFJ SLPs who said they've are doing OK in this profession. 

staceyS (not verified) says...

Its ironic and humorous for me now that I know I am an INFJ- my older sister always jabbed at me being diffferent and "something wrong with me".... I am proud I am one. Explains a lot. I have always been this way. Need to find a group of folk who are the same. Feel the same.

rubina369 (not verified) says...

Omg ... Its so heartwarming to read about people having the Same mindset like i am ... yes i Definitely can relate to the lonesome catlady at the mountaintop beeing satisfied by a cozy fireplace inside a wooden cabinhatch while just beeing surrounded by a few animals and a good selection of some interesting Books or at least a reasonably Internet excess ... Converting Loneliness into a peaceful lonesome excursion into your innerself by experiencing the past present and Future friendships by asking oneself if everything was is will be worth it ... And yes for sure it was is and will be because of our nature for helping each other with pure confident and understanding oneanother ... Even So may be the outcome might be disappointing at First sight but therefore the income from another person might be worth the try again and again having faith and Trust in the universe to put everything into ones favor if needed the Most ... Expect the worst so there is always enough room for the better to come ...

LivingToo! (not verified) says...

wow who’d have thought that I’d find others like myself after all these years of being isolated and misunderstood (even by my own family!)... I sometimes feel like an alien, or something. Lonely? No but there are those times when I wish I had someone to share with- I have somewhat given up on that tho. It’s not that important unless God sees fit to provide. I have made too many mistakes trying to make something out of nothing. I have recently decided that I will no longer allow myself to become bitter towards other people because they don’t get me. Who cares! No one gets to hurt me or deceive me unless I allow it and I won’t. I am still searching for whatever it is that God wants me to do in this life with this personality and all of its flaws- or gifts... people are going to continue to be people no matter what. If I am in the one percentile then that just means that I have to be more understanding of the majority. I like being different anyway:)!! Eccentric. Weird. Crazy. Judgmental. Mental. Psycho. Scary. Too deep. Over-thinker. Oh there’s more but I just laugh now at the scoffers because I know that there is something better out there for me if I just keep plugging away and do what I do best- be me and live life to the best of my ability with what I’ve been given. I must be special or I wouldn’t be in the one percentile (of every freakin test I take lol!!)... I am enjoying the postings on here but I hope that we can encourage and lift each other up rather than commiserate and turn it into pity party. We are better than that... (not saying anyone is doing that either- just saying)!

Doejoe (not verified) says...

It feels nice to have people who feel as I do. I have been told that I'm an old soul and I completely agree. 

TheINFJsoul (not verified) says...

In my experience INFJ’s are the best at being like Mary Poppins. They come into peoples lives when they need it most, teach the people how to view life in a magical and productive way, then fly off to help someone else in need. She doesn’t  maintain  intimate relationships with them because if she did they would rely on her and not each other and also she couldn’t effectively help other people that need her.

I think that when INFJ’s need deep relationships their best bet is to turn inward.  Understand yourself. Listen to and solve your own problems. We have the ability to do that because we understand other people’s lives and can learn from them and teach ourselves. Also, having surface “friends” can be good because you can have a good time with them and they won’t wear you out.

Mysterious_Girl (not verified) says...

Wow. I cannot believe there are people out there just like me...I always thought I was a misunderstood freak. Reading your comments made me feel normal, Draco. Being an "INFJ" explains everything now. I always used to wonder why I never fit in, no matter how hard I tried. I am a loner at heart too. As I got older, I learned to accept that. I am glad to have learned such amazing thing about myself. 

MJI says...

For a while I thought I was an INFP/INTP, but then I looked into what the J really means and realized I had it misunderstood. (My visual mental image of a "Judger" was someone who always kept to a schedule, wrote out extensive lists, had a neat and orderly home.)  I ruled that as a posiblity, since I tend to neglect chores and clean-up to a point (until I can't stand it and have to take corrective action). Other tests are skewed in such a way that it can put me in INFP territory.

Once I realized that my planning system and organization is more subconsious than consious then it helped sort out a few inconsistancies I noticed with my behavior vs, the INFP description. 

The differences between Fe and Fi are rather confusing too until I did further reading.

What made it hard for me to understand emotions is that they behave like the "weather". I feel them indirectly but they effect me. They are part of the atmosphere of my consciousness, but they don't become me (unless they reach a crisis level). If people around me are upset, then it will effect the "weather" too.  If I'm not in self analyzing mode I'll miss this important detail and end up wondering why my mood is the way it is, or more specifically why I acted out of character. Usually it is the thoughts and actions I notice first before I notice the emotion.

My emotions tend to get expressed through action. When people come to me with problems, I'll listen, but my focus tends to be what can I do to help them to move on. If they just want to dwell in their upset, then I get drained and start looking for an exit. But if it requires action, then I'll try to help. One real life example was with a lady who was visibly cold (it can be brutal here in the upper midwest), so I directed her to the closest indoor waiting space near the bus stop.  She came out and tried to catch the bus. The driver turned her down and she returned to the bus stop bewildered, and upset with how to get to her destination. She had a few issues understanding the driver and interpreted what he said to her as an insult against herself, her accent, and her identity. She felt discriminated against. At least that was the read I got off her as she expressed how upset she was about the driver sending her away.

I could have listen to her and sympathized with her, but my thoughts quickly turned to action. (The real problem is that she needs to get somewhere and to make sure she makes whatever connection it takes to get there is the best solution.) After expressing how rude that was of the driver, I asked her questions relating to her destination. She's upset at the bus service, so I called the bus service and expressed her complaint and stated the intersection she needed to be.  I found out from the bus service she needed to wait across the street in a different stop. I directed her to where she needs to wait to catch the next bus. She left feeling much happier knowing where to go. That is more less my style of helping someone. If I can't put it to positive action, then I'll feel a bit lost.
 

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