As I’ve explained here, this personality type is rare, and comes with great strengths, such as empathy and insightfulness. However, just like all other types, INFJs do have disadvantages.
The main negative traits of INFJ personality include being extremely private, to the point where they come off as cold, and all-or-nothing thinking, which can easily lead to burnout and stubbornness. INFJs also tend to be perfectionists who find it hard to accept criticism and avoid conflict at all costs.
Let’s have a look at the ten main weaknesses of INFJs, as well as how they can upset or even shock those they interact with…
Carl Jung once said: “if the intuitive introvert spoke what he really perceives, then practically nobody would understand him; he would be misunderstood. So they learn to keep things to themselves, and you hardly ever hear them talk of these things”.
Though INFJs value honesty, they do tend to be extremely private. They are aware that their thoughts and ideas are unique, and may be misunderstood by most people. As a defence mechanism, they also choose to share very little about their personal life.
Because of their secretiveness, the INFJ type often appears enigmatic, or mysterious — not only to strangers, but to close friends, partners, and family members as well. This can make it really hard for some of them to interact with them and hold conversations spontaneously. Though being extremely private isn’t necessarily a weakness, it can lead to misunderstandings or even conflict if the other person perceives their attitude as aloof or arrogant.
As I’ve explained in this article, when INFJs learn to use their high standards to their advantage, they are able to achieve great results in their career as well as in their personal life; they can excel at practically anything they do, especially art, as they tend to be creative and original.
However, when their idealism and perfectionism turn into a negative trait — one that prevents them from taking action or feeling fulfilled by their work — they can easily become depressed and unmotivated. They can end up having standards (including moral values) that are simply impossible to achieve, which can create frustration and disappointment.
So for the INFJ type, perfectionism can be both a strength and a weakness. If you belong to this personality type, it is essential that you identify whether your high standards are actually healthy. If they aren’t, they will probably affect your life, as well as the life of those you interact with, in a negative way.
3. Abstract thinking
INFJs are creative: they love to use their unique ideas to create beauty and inspire others. They are also good at abstract thinking — understanding or developing concepts that are not directly related to the physical world, which is essential in many disciplines including philosophy and mathematics.
Unfortunately, their abstract thinking can sometimes go too far. When the INFJ’s introverted intuition becomes too detached from the outer world, it can generate ideas that are too abstract, too subjective, or simply irrational.
It can also make them lose perspective: at times, the INFJ type will start obsessing over tiny, trivial details and completely miss the bigger picture, thus making poor evaluations and decisions. Excessive abstract thinking can make them live “in their own world” and lose touch with reality.
Being too sensitive to other people’s criticism is rarely a good thing. The fourth main weakness of the INFJ type is that, way too often, they take things personally; they are easily offended by others, including friends, even when they are genuinely trying to help them out.
I have already mentioned that this personality type tends to be secretive, and share very little about their life, and being vulnerable to criticism could be one of the causes: when you are too sensitive, you keep things to yourself in order not to be vulnerable.
When INFJs learn to accept criticism, on the other hand, they have the opportunity to grow, and understand some of their other weaknesses. When they don’t take things too personally, they are also able to avoid unnecessary arguments or conflict, which they hate (more on this in a minute).
5. Low energy
INFJs have very good empathy, which is why they make good psychologists and counselors. While this is undoubtedly a positive trait, INFJs must learn to protect their energy before other people drain it excessively.
Just like any introvert who is able to tune in to other people’s feelings, the INFJ type can feel drained and exhausted after interacting with others. They genuinely like to solve the problems of those they care about, and when they do it for too long, they can become immersed in those problems and suffer emotionally.
Energy vampires, those who live off drama and gossip, and fake friends are the absolute worst. Thankfully, the INFJ’s intuition allows them to spot these kinds of people almost instantly, and protect themselves. INFJs hate drama and small talk, so most energy vampires won’t be able to grab their attention.
6. All-or-nothing attitude
Motivated by beauty and “perfection”, this personality type takes their goals and dreams very seriously. But when they go too far, and push themselves too hard, their all or nothing thinking makes them sacrifice everything else, including their own health.
Because of this, INFJs are particularly prone to burnout. When they are working on a project, they may end up obsessing over it and forget about all other areas of their life — health, relationships, and social interactions. This may be fine if it lasts for a week or so, but once it becomes a long term thing, it can turn into self destructive behavior.
It’s important that INFJs, particularly those inclined toward perfectionism and a strong work ethic, become aware of their limits and take care of their own physical, mental, and spiritual health — regardless of what they are working on, or how passionate they are about a particular project.
INFJs tend to be misfits whose looks or behavior can be unconventional. This, paired with the fact that they are often enigmatic and mysterious (as we’ve seen at the beginning), can make them look eccentric; strangers will often regard them as odd. This isn’t necessarily a weakness, but something they have to keep in mind.
In some cases, INFJs show eccentricity in the way they speak and use words: they will deliberately change their tone of voice or use complex, unusual words or metaphors to express their abstract thoughts.
Other times, it’s about the way they dress, or even the way they look at you. If they are the creative type, they can create art that is surreal, or grotesque. Not all INFJs are eccentric, however the vast majority of them will somehow look unusual; and most people will be able to tell that their personality type is rare.
INFJs are intuitive, curious, and insightful, and love to spend time thinking about a certain problem or situation. But precisely because they are deep thinkers, they also tend to overthink quite often.
For example, while the average person may look at a certain problem and quickly find a solution that’s good enough, and be done with it — some INFJs will analyze the problem, find the same exact solution, and then spend hours or days trying to elaborate a better plan, which may not even exist.
It’s essential that the INFJ type learns to turn off their mind as soon as they realize they are overthinking, otherwise they will likely end up being consumed by their own thoughts, and develop depression and anxiety as a result.
9. The INFJ door slam
Most INFJs hate arguing and conflict more than anything else, and will do anything they can to avoid it. Typically, when they reach the point where they can’t tolerate someone anymore, they won’t spend time trying to change them — they’ll just cut them out of their life without saying anything.
Interestingly enough, the INFJ type isn’t afraid to do the same with their partners, close friends, and family members. This is commonly referred to as the INFJ’s “door slam” and it can be quite shocking for those who don’t understand their personality.
While some door slams are caused by conflict (and the INFJ burns bridges to avoid the negative energy that comes from arguing and shouting), in some cases it happens simply because the INFJ needs to isolate, recharge, and disappear for a while; it has nothing to do with the other person.
But regardless of the reason, it can definitely hurt those who love them. Door slams are sudden, cold, harsh; not something you would expect from a gentle, caring type.
The tenth and final weakness of the INFJ type is their stubbornness. This is partly caused by their all-or-nothing thinking as well as their passionate idealism. When INFJs believe in something and have strong feelings about it, they’re unstoppable — sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad way.
Though they are definitely open minded and value other people’s thoughts and feelings, it can be very hard to convince them or persuade them. As a judging type, they tend to reject things they have no control over and that aren’t 100 percent aligned to their own values.
At their best, the INFJs are determined and willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals. At their worst, they are inflexible, and if you’re trying to change their mind — good luck with that.
Thanks for reading this article — make sure to check out my collection of INFJ quotes as well!