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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.

Are you an INFJ?

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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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Guest (not verified) says...

The results show that I'm INFJ/INFP. People often ask me why can't I get a boyfriend. Little do they know, I like spending time alone. Of course, I dream about meeting my loved one someday, but right now I feel like a relationship is going to collide with my private life. And on top of that I'm afraid of many other things, like being heartbroken or rejected, because I know how much I will suffer. Guys in my age group seem to take relationships very lightly, but for me it's a serious thing.

I love myself! Honestly, I really do - I like the way I want myself to improve - even if it costs time I'd spend going out, or how I can stand up for what I belive in. But at the same time I know OTHER people will have trouble accepting me. I lost my best friend recently - I just can't bring myself to forgive her after hearing that I'm boring, insecure loner. I've stood by her side for 3 years and now I'm having hard time trusting anyone. Time is passing by, but I'm completly stuck when it comes to relationships.

Sorry for my english and about all that wailing, I just wanted to get it off my chest.

Guest (not verified) says...

I had taken another personality test on another site, and I got the exact same thing. I think it's pretty awesome, I do want to be a teacher, and I like helping people and being organized and everything this and the other test had said. I don't believe in having everything about me set out on a platter and "that's-that, nothing else", but it makes sense. and I like it.

Michellepwrs says...

Hello everyone. I have spent much introspective time trying to figure out who I am and how I fit into these personality type parameters. I have taken 3 different Meyers-Briggs tests on 3 unrelated websites. Each time I take them I try to force myself to answer as honestly as possible. Not trying to sway my results to fit any mold other than how I truly feel. Time and time again I test to be on the border of 4 personality types; ENFJ, INFJ, ENFP & INFP. I identify with all four in areas of my life. I feel that I am a 50/50 introvert extrovert split. I often feel like a bubbly introvert. My conclusion (for now) is that we all certainly do have personality tendencies. However, science is continually making new discoveries and expanding its scope on humanity. I believe that these types are good general guides to help us, but we should not let them limit or define us as individuals. There has only ever been one you. As humans, we like to feel we have mastered something by putting things into orderly categories. If something doesn't fit in the current parameters, typically we try to force it into one before we are willing to accept and try to create a new category. One hundred years from now we may have 2x as many "personality types" as our understanding of humanity grows. I feel this process of exploration through the tests and studying definitions on numerous websites has helped me become more self aware and sure of myself, my individuality, and how I relate to and view the world. Please use the test as a tool to help you in self discovery rather than an identity to cling to or limit yourself with.

Emily (not verified) says...

It is so great to find out why I feel different to a lot of people my age. This personality type is definitely mine :)

danieli.garza19 says...

I know exactly how you feel

Guest (not verified) says...

I know! This is awesome! I just found about this. I took a test, and this is definitely me! Most of my life I have felt like "an outsider". I have thought something wrong me, until I eventually just gave up and accepted myself. Then, I found about the Myers-Briggs personality test, and I learned my personality type, and things make even more sense now. Yay!

Guest (not verified) says...

This is so accurate it's scary...

Guest (not verified) says...

This beautiful psychology was the mastermind of Carl Gustav Jung. Please research him as he was a true genius. Myers-Briggs only added to his work. Check out all of his works if you want to expand your reality. Peace!

Teenage Intronerd (not verified) says...

I completely agree, I found out I was an infj 2 years ago and I think I've had all of my friends take the test so I could better understand them and they could me.

Daniel_swe (not verified) says...

Is there a community for people like us? Im very new to this, its not common knowledge in Sweden the way it seems to be in other countries. I've always felt different. But the last couple of years ive begun feeling special instead of different. But are we INFJ's really _that_ special? Are we unique in a bad or a good way?

I want to find a place where i can discuss these thoughts with other INFJ's. A forum where u can share ur lifestories or anecdotes. To see what binds this possible community together. Together there are no problems we cant solve.

Ill gladly help organize this if it doesnt exist. So if theres a few of u out there that wanna make something bigger drop me an email and ill gladly help out in any way i can.

Ella Swe (not verified) says...

Hey Daniel! Feels a bit strange sending a reply in English when it would be much more easier to just write in Swedish. ;) Anyway, I live in Stockholm, INFJ as well and I'd really be interested in being a part of organizing INFJ, Sweden. Hur kommer jag i kontakt med dig?

Best regards,

Daniel_swe (not verified) says...

Hey Ella!
I'll stick to english, i dont know if theres a policy about only writing in english or not.
Anyway, my e-mail is abo.swe (at) I also live in Stockholm. Send me an e-mail and we'll take it from there.

Parham (not verified) says...

Hej Daniel och Ella! I'm an INFJ living in Stockholm too :-) If you don't mind I want to join in. Great minds like ours in a group can only be a positive experience :D

Guest (not verified) says...

I have read ME. No wonder I people don't get me...and I don't get them!! Hahaha

isaiah (not verified) says...

Me neither! =-)

Guest (not verified) says...

I am 15 years old and an INFJ. I was kind of shocked to see that it is the rarest personality but it confirms how many people do not know how to deal with me I guess. I play an instrument and I am planning on becoming a psychologist. I am pleasantly surprised with how well the description fits me.

Guest (not verified) says...

i took the test and there was a couple questions i was going back and forth on and the first time i got infp and some of it made sense but when i took it again i got infj when reading this it fit me so much better and my advice to anyone taking the test is to take it a couple times and get the results and compare what they are and know what truly fits you better one or the other

Guest (not verified) says...

I'm just a teen and I got INFJ. Makes a lot of sense, since I always have a feeling of disconnect and isolation because no one ever seems to truly understand me. I feel very much over everyone's head when I talk to them about inner feelings and things. So accurate it's scary...

Guest (not verified) says...

I am just a teen too , and I also got INFJ , and the way you explained it is exactly how I feel .

Guest (not verified) says...

Yeah, I agree with you. I am also a teen and its just way to hard to express myself to people, 'cause they don't seem to understand me, so I just kept it to myself. Basically INFJ is pretty much the perfect definition for ourselfs and we should embrace it. Whether we grow, I dont think I'll change of type, atleast not right now.

cgriff337 says...

Yeah, I don't know about any of the rest of you guys, but I sure didn't start as an INFJ. I had the great pleasure of becoming one. I used to be an INTJ, and before that, some type of Extravert, but I wouldn't know because I never took the test back then. I became one very close to the same time that I truly got serious about my Faith. But being an INFJ is awesome, and you guys are kind of putting a negative mood of isolation on it, which is a bit wierd to me. Sure, I don't have any friends who are INFJs, or really even very many NF types in the first place, but you will find that Sentinel (SJ) types are really awesome people to be around. This life isn't about helping yourself, that would be selfish; no, this life is about what you can do for others. That is how you make the most intimate friends. Trust me, you will never feel isolated again if you commit yourself to the good of others. Obviously I still struggle with it, it's an impossible goal to do perfectly, but it sure does pay off when you focus on it. My point is, we can't just sit here talking to each other all day about how isolated we are; we are the freaking super-soldiers of what is morally right and we need to start showing it.

cgriff337 says...

And yes I'm 15 too. ;)

Guest (not verified) says...

i am 15 years old and i am an INFJ. i find this article really helpful and it is all true. great article!

Hassan Mahmood (not verified) says...

I think it changes as you grow, and when u have more experiences in life, also u get to have different view of the world.
i just took this, and it is very itresting and healpful. it is also very accurate and match with my personality.

Guest (not verified) says...

I took this test when I was a little bit younger... maybe 15/16 years old, and was an INTJ at the time, very introverted, and believed I was destined for technology and behind a computer, and not dealing people. But now, 6 years later, as a college student, I took the test again and now I'm an INFJ. And I firmly believe this slight change was for the better because I love interacting with and helping people, and feel I can make a greater difference in the world through helping people and actually interacting with and learning about society. Because of the 'feeling' part of the personality, where I quite often sense people's emotions and thoughts before they even admit to them or realize them.

It may have just been when I was younger that feeling and intuitive side had not yet developed and I was not comfortable interacting with many people, but it surely has developed now, and I can't wait to see what the future holds.

Guest (not verified) says...

INFJs very often test as INTJ. We're similar in many ways, and testers have a hard time finding the right questions for the Extraverted feeling secondary function that is driven by an INFJ's values. They ask very general questions when our function is best shown in isolated scenarios, and we're more likely to select the thinking answer because our feeling function isn't triggered by vague questions.

Guest (not verified) says...

I go back and forth between this and INFP--I think they both define me pretty well!

Guest (not verified) says...

You're an INFP ;-) My INFP friend never likes to settle on one type or another. She's always, "Are you sure...?" Seriously, though, I can't make that call about you. Just putting my two cents in.

Guest (not verified) says...

I have taken the personality test, a coworker shared it with me, and found out that I fall in a rare category. I had found out I am an Idealist Counselor. I researched the subject and found every aspect of myself in the description of this category. finding myself very intuitive with people's feelings and emotional states, I am proud to know where I fall in this world, it's very difficult at times to place one's self in the environment I grew up in, but it's definitely easily to pinpoint exactly why I have been feeling kind of displaced but connected. I am eager to know more about this side of myself.

Guest (not verified) says...

Changes from E it I or vice versa can be attributed to the fact that most people are ambiverts, i.e. somewhere between E and I. It depends on the scores you get on the test, your E and I scores may be really close or even exactly the same... It's normal to grow and change to some extent during life. I took the test before and was an INFP and after 2 years or so, I re-took it and found out that I'm an INFJ...

Guest (not verified) says...

I recently took this test and found out I was an INFJ, after taking the test I looked at this and saw that I really matched the personality description. I do have a question, do many of you feel that you are often not understood (especially by your parents, I'm a teen) and people often want you to be more open and less reserved, which isn't how you are at all...?

Sorry for my English (not verified) says...

I think it's normal that people don't understand things as they actually are so I don't feel anything particularly.
I think my parents misunderstood me because they grew up in a different time from mine so they're sometimes conservative.
I'm open and show others just what they expect me to. However, I reserve the everything else.
And no one can nag me about it because they don't know!
I surprise others often though. :)

Guest (not verified) says...

I'm only 14, and right now, INFJ feels right. This may change, as according to the test I took I have nearly no preference of feeling over thinking and only a slight preference of Intuition over sensing. I'll grow. I'll probably always be introverted and judgmental. I don't these tests too seriously. Knowing that my personality is rare, I've always known that. These descriptions fit me. They explain my childhood quite a bit.

Guest (not verified) says...

I am definitely an infj. Before I thought I was an infp..but as times goes by I realized an unstructured life drove me crazy. I need some kind of daily routine in my life ( which is where the 'j' comes). So I figure 100percent now that I am an infj and all the descriptions 100 percent fits me well. This website is pretty outstanding in its accuracy, I'm impressed.

Guest (not verified) says...

I have been taking personality tests for years because I knew I was an introvert, but now that I have read this I think I know who I truly am, and I understand myself more than I used too. Many people don't understand the things that I do, or how I act, but they don't know me. When I read this article I found that everything was scary true, my feelings, emotins, how I talk, act, and feel, what I like to do, what I want to do as a job, everything was true. Thank you for making me realize who I am, and not being someone I don't want to be, I may be just 2%, but, I am me, a writer, a lover, not nearly a fighter, but a person who cares.

Please go to my blog if you like poetry:

Dvgnntny says...

It's amazing the realize that I'm not a freak that I don't date casually. I'm a total INFJ who married her first boyfriend, and it was a nightmare, almost destroyed me. He said I was cold and close minded. I know it was just me protecting myself from him. We've been divorced 5 years now. He is in a new relationship that I predicted over a year ago, they didn't even know each other when I predicted it. It freaked several people out when it came to realization. I just have this ability, it's nice to know I'm just unique. :) I hope someday to find a guy who truly gets it and loves me for me.

Guest (not verified) says...

Wow! That is my story, word for word. The only difference being I am a male and I didn't marry her (lucky me!) but came very close to getting married. We were together for four years, and those were the worst years of my life. I had never felt so lonely and misunderstood; there was nothing common between us, every moment was a torture. I'm now 28, and it has been five years since we broke up, but my bitter experience keeps me from looking for a partner. Most people I come across are like empty vessels; full of pretense, ego and absolutely everything they say is devoid of substance. Its frustrating and I have practically stopped looking.

DesDanae (not verified) says...

Everything I read basically fit me to a T. I am learning to embrace my uniqueness as an INFJ. There was a time that, in my love for people and emotional harmony with loved ones, I wanted to be more like them. But I was always different. Now knowing that I have one of the rarest personality types in the population, I understand why I was always different. I used to dislike being complex and highly intuitive, understanding things that others did not, and having an altogether different perspective than others around me. But I now embrace it and am continuing to do so! I love being an INFJ and wouldn't have it any other way. #ToThineOwnSelfBeTrue

Guest (not verified) says...

I've always been more in the middle of a few different types so I love that Truity takes into consideration modern personality research.

I recognize now that I've always been an INFJ but outside influences, family, expectations, life experiences, etc diminished my ability to recognize this and it's only in the last 3-5 years, as I've started accepting myself and pledging to live as authentically as possible while harming no one, including myself, that I recognize my inherent INFJ nature.

It's also nice to know, more certainly, why the rest of the population frustrate the crap out of me and why I never seem to fully "fit in" anywhere and am a seeming anomaly. :)

Ichiban2365 says...

Wow, this is me, dead on! This is a great personal assessment for me.

Guest (not verified) says...

I'm the same as the top commenter: took the test like six years ago, and was an INTP, and now I'm pretty firmly in the INFJ camp.

I read something that said INFJ is the most uncommon of all personality types - like 2% of the population. On the upside, Wikipedia describes us as "mysterious" which I can only consider a plus.

MLA (not verified) says...

I've recently been going through some struggles in my personal life, a lot of which stems from my personal feelings. While I don't recall what I was a long while back, I notice now that an INFJ fits incredibly well.

The struggle for me has not been the common notion of no one understanding me, but as I go through life wanting to do more and service the people in my life I find myself with a different set of "heightened" feelings than I had before. I feel constantly worn down and it's a "vicious circle" of wanting to do more to help people and get myself out there and use creativity but then I feel held back in some respects and my harboring of feelings and not letting people in creates difficulties which wear me down.

I think the feeling of understanding more of who I am (or at least having it confirmed ;-) ) is an incredible relief.

Guest (not verified) says...

I strongly understand other's needs and feelings, but I feel like they never even try to understand me. Do you have the same problem as an INFJ and how are you dealing with it? Thanks in advance, if u need help you will have it as well :)

Guest (not verified) says...

Yes and I let it go. No use worrying about depressing things.
But I'm lucky. I always find friends who understand me.
But if there's a time I don't have them, I'll have to stand by myself. I think I'm grown-up enough to rely on just myself.

Guest (not verified) says...

I really have a hard time finding people who truly care about me and understand me
I deal with it by reminding myself never to put expectations on people and to love them freely expecting nothing in return. I personally do not think INFJ's are easy to read and understand. Sometimes i don't even understand myself. I find writing down my feelings,or painting as a good way to release negative emotions hope it helps

Guest (not verified) says...

I am definetely an INFJ, and I agree people change their type while growing, and not only once, of course. I was and INFP long ago (don't really remember exactly how long, but whatever), and now an INFJ - it fits in all of its meaning I read. Btw, I wanted to share that my largest problem is the following:

I understand people needs and feelings, but I also feel they can't understand me.

Please, could all of you, INFJs like me, tell me do you have the same problem and how to deal with it? Thanks a lot, if any1 needs a consultation I'll never get you left in the dust.

Guest (not verified) says...

Thanks to all for sharing - camaraderie is comforting. Also "started out" as E/ISTJ and evolved -- now consistently test out INFJ. Was a military officer (11 years active, 16 reserves) and enjoyed it immensely. Have worked in civil service for past 15 years...after short stint in private sector... how predictable was that shift? That anger thing - when my sense of doing what's right is challenged -- gets me into trouble frequently, and I am often charged with "being a bulldog" and just "not letting it go." Latest endeavor: academic program in Library and Information Sciences. Conclusion: test results and lists of likes are almost creepy in their accuracy!

To my fellow INFJ above on the concern of being single: If I turned the clock back starting out in high school 35 years ago...I would learn how to express my very real and deep feelings verbally, early, and often, in relationships, and not watch many of them wither in their bud because I was too reserved to engage.

Guest (not verified) says...

I have been reading through the comments and am not sure I agree completely with the concept of personality evolving over time. I think perhaps it is more a case of as you get older you have had more time to get to know yourself and therefore are better equipped to answer the questions honestly. Such self awareness has no set time line and for some of us comes early in life. I have always tested out as an INFJ female since I first took the test at 15 and would be interested to know if this constancy has ocurred for anyone else.

Guest (not verified) says...

I completely agree. A person's personality is their entire essence, or what makes them unique. I think that rather than a personality evolving into something completely different, it is instead influenced by circumstances (e.g. age, people, relationships, experiences, tragedies). However, I see these influences more like... adaptations. Personalities adapt, not evolve.

Your situation is very similar to mine, actually. I took the test for the first time at 16 and tested an INFJ female. I've taken the test many other times, typically testing INFJ, and while occasionally I test something different, I always feel the strongest connection to the INFJ result. As such, I would file that under consistent. The result never does 100% define me, and I do exhibit traits of other types as well, but I find INFJ to be very close to my personality. A perfect test does not exist, anyway.

I agree with your comment about self-awareness. It does not have a set time. It can come early. But only with time and the right experiences can people encounter more of their true self. There are those of us privy to an ability that allows us such self-awareness at a younger age. My grandmother calls us "old souls". Even so, we can still become more self-aware, and some people just need time.

Still, I am glad to know I am not alone in my consistency.

Guest (not verified) says...

I'm a fellow INFJ... I've been trying to focus on myself and personal growth before I look too hard into dating. My sister has always pressured me into putting myself out there to date since I'm so reserved. After finding out my personality type, this makes more sense at least. I'm a very talkative person, and friendly, but I really don't share much about my true self when it comes down to it. I don't like being single, but I don't want to settle either. I would never date someone who wasn't as serious as I about our relationship.

It is very helpful to read this information and try to better understand how others see me. I normally trust my insight into others' lives, but I never think trust my opinion on how others see me.

Does anyone have advice on INFJ's starting relationships? Dating online or should I simply try harder to put myself out there? It's not like I'm not trying already, but I also can't stand to hurt myself too much with rejection so I don't give it my best like I do everything else. Am I doomed to be single? Do I really have to make myself uncomfortable to meet someone? Is it wrong to just wait for something or someone to feel right and hope something comes up naturally? I'm only a college student, so I try not to worry too much yet. But I am tired of always being judged for it. So what if I haven't even kissed someone!

I guess I really do just want some validation in my relationships. I am an INFJ afterall.

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