Andrea has a background in Myers-Briggs and Western astrology. She mostly writes about relationships.
Finding the Introverted Counselor Type
In the personality typology, Myers Briggs, INFJs are the rarest type to find out of 16 different options. INFJ is dominated by introverted intuition, a rare function indeed, because the other personality dominated by this function — INTJ — is also pretty rare. So what is introverted intuition, and why is it the core of the INFJ? Introverted intuition means that the INFJ primarily makes sense of the world through patterns and analogies rather than through collecting information through their five senses. INFJs are internal processors who think a lot before speaking. People often describe them as quiet.
INFJ personalities are constantly taking in new information, whether people realize this or the INFJ realizes it. They connect information to a global whole. INFJ adults show a high proclivity toward intelligence, but it often goes unnoticed in childhood due to a glossing over of how they take in information and back it by empathetic reasoning.
Some have called INFJs psychics because of their unreal way of connecting information and without much explanation. This can also be a hindrance for INFJs who don't understand that other people don’t typically possess this same gift. The INFJ needs to slow down, and remember that others do not live inside their vivid, wonderful minds.
INFJ stands for: introverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging. What do those words mean? Myers Briggs identifies people’s personalities based on where they gravitate toward on four different spectrums. Those four spectrums are as follows:
- Introversion to extroversion — how you get your energy, whether spending time by yourself (I) or around people (E).
- Sensing to intuition — how you collect information whether through your five senses (S) or patterns and metaphors (N). Sensing types do well with what is tangible. Intuitive types do well with abstract thoughts and theories.
- Thinking to feeling —this spectrum could be worded better, but it has to do with how you make decisions. You either look at raw data to make decisions (T) or you look around and get input from other people (F).
- Perceiving to judging — how much value you put on deadlines, having a clean environment, and the way you dress. Perceivers tend to be laid back and judgers tend to be more uptight.
The INFJ personality is part of a unique family — the idealists. This also includes the ENFP champion; ENFJ confidante; and INFP dreamer. The INFJ is a counselor type. They can generally see and understand people extremely well, but that doesn’t mean that others instantly understand them. INFJ is considered one of the smartest types, usually in the league of the INTP (the smartest, according to MBTI theory) and the INTJ.
Myers Briggs really favors intuition and thinking, but of course, that’s a generalized way of looking at people — and genius isn’t held down by personality theory. You can find geniuses among all the personalities.
Where Do INFJ Souls Hide?
INFJ personalities are constant thinkers, daydreamers, and dabblers in the arts. They comprise English departments, religious circles, counseling circles, nonprofits, and the music scene. If you are wanting to find someone of this personality to see if you can connect with them, whether as a friend or romantic interest, try taking classes in writing, music, or high-level humanities classes. You’ll also find several at a left-leaning church or something spiritually progressive.
This personality isn’t always warm on a first encounter. They may be friendly, but to get rolling on a solid connection it might take a moment. Sometimes they instantly connect with people and move from there. INFJs are charismatic because they have profound insight into others, but they can play their cards in a weird way that others don’t comprehend or connect well with.
They know they are odd ducks, and they will often admit to that. They also can be ambivalent to dating. INFJs struggle in this department because they have too many expectations for a relationship — they often seek an ideal that can’t be easily found. Also, INFJs are sensitive, so everything in a relationship feels much more vivid and powerful to them. They both emotionally and sexually can connect deeply, and this can also scare them.
INFJ personalities typically like:
- Places known for great thinking: museums, higher-level education, art shows, libraries, symphonies, Ted Talks, coffee shops, concerts, new trendy spots, churches, and culturally-diverse hangouts.
- Coffee, tea, and similar beverages.
- Connecting with people one on one. This is one of the more social introverts — both INFP and INFJ are odd ducks because they are socially intuitive, but they also deeply crave alone time. What’s the difference between an INFJ and INFP? Quite a lot actually. Where INFJ is dominated by intuition, INFP is dominated by emotion.
- Trying new things that have to do with culture, the humanities, the unique and absurd, Luna Lovegood-like interests, and places that make them laugh and feel good.
- Yoga, dancing, and non-competitive sports.
- Wicca, the new age, spiritist movements.
- Libraries where they can think, read, and study.
- Possibly protests, but these might come off anxiety-inducing.
- Staying at home, it means a lot when they invite you over to their cave.
- Reading! They generally like a good book.
- Playing an instrument.
- Keeping up with family and friends.
- Going on big adventures: Peace Corps, missionary work in other countries, living abroad to write poetry, and spending a semester at sea.
- Helping others feel empowered, encouraged, and involved.
- Standing not quite at the center of social interactions but to the side. They may inch closer to the center with an ENFP nearby.
- Having a special innate quality with animals and children.
- Getting fussy over issues most people are not considering, like Hermione Granger would in Harry Potter.
- They seek out ways to create beauty and harmony.
- Their Facebook statuses are usually eloquent, passionate, witty, and original.
Spotting an INFJ
An INFJ personality will be a mix of modesty and volume. They tend to hold themselves back, especially around new people. They can be normal one day… and a brilliant shade of weird the next. An INFJ will have a messy desk but will be dressed well. They like to match their clothes, like earrings that match shoes.
Read More From Pairedlife
An INFJ could be carrying around a pen and pad taking scrupulous notes. Think glasses, a giant cup of coffee, and sitting in a corner, but also with a friend. Yes, INFJs do travel in hipster-like circles.
Your friend who really likes to post pictures of themselves online with their cat or dog. They might also only post pictures of their pets. That could be an INFJ.
The introverted intuitive personality is often single, independent, and mayor-like. They know everybody, and they mix well with others. They are private about their relationships, so it can be hard to know if they are taken.
Something about them seems different than other people. They don’t look like they belong in a sorority, they usually dress in imaginative or distinctive clothes, and they enjoy witty conversations.
INFJs often have an expansive vocabulary. They’re funny and clever. If you hear something oddly clairvoyant yet funny, you probably are in the realm of an INFJ.
Think Galadriel from Lord of the Rings. She is psychic, deadly, and still graceful. People could feel simultaneously comfortable and threatened in her presence.
If you feel like someone has ESP, they are likely an INFJ... the personality is the most likely one to be psychic. They collect information from the world via introverted intuition, so it is difficult to see how they get information, and they're also inclined toward their emotions — making them outstanding people readers.
Why INFJ Makes a Good Worker
An army of INFJ workers would be fantastic, but don’t get greedy. It’s not that easy to find them. INFJ workers are diligent, hard-working, and highly creative. They are eager to please, and really strive to have a good relationship with their boss.
Now here’s the thing about an INFJ — they can do great work while also not caring. They have other priorities that are more important to them than their job. They're not as ambitious as others and have a strong radar for rubbish. They do have a cool, calm edge over others. Of course, that coolness can break and be… earth-shattering for those who witness it.
Big Pros: They have the appearance of staying calm under pressure, having quick and necessary answers, and they generally get along with most people. They also stick to deadlines and rules.
Caution: They mostly need to watch their practical self, since they are so whimsical and delightful they can forget their five senses and be… accident-prone. An INFJ should work to be more conscious in present, physical reality.
In a Nutshell: They are strong workers, but they do need reassurance. A genuine compliment can go a long way for them. Don’t take advantage of their eager to please tendencies. It may be a paradox to be "eager to please" and "less ambitious" — but that’s the quirk of a strong INFJ.
How to Make Friends With an INFJ
Keep it simple and keep it genuine. They’ll read right through you if you’re phony. The good news: INFJs are really easy to befriend.
Here are ten tips to win over an INFJ:
- Be yourself. They like people who are unique and do things differently.
- Offer up strange information about yourself, like your paperclip collection you’ve had since you were five. Something to pique their curiosity.
- Work with their interests. Try planning events that you know work with their creativity — go to an art museum, watch movies, attend Shakespeare in the park, or bake cupcakes together. Most INFJs like baking.
- Don’t crowd them. If you bombard them with friendship right from the top — calling and texting too much — you’ll overwhelm them. They’ll eventually hope that you’ll leave them alone forever.
- Offer them chocolate or other goods. Who the heck turns down chocolate?
- Invite them to something really unusual — larpers at the park, scuba diving with otters, and going on a limousine ride with Power Rangers? They might not take you up on this, but INFJs like things that are different. It’s like a new texture to explore.
- Talk to them about your personal problems, especially your love life. INFJs like to offer personal advice. It’s their kryptonite.
- Support them when they accomplish something. Celebrate the book they wrote. AND READ IT. And may the gods be ever in your favor to legit like it.
- Go out to dinner with them.
- Present to them a unique idea to explore, something that the mind will find fascinating.
© 2016 Andrea Lawrence