Introversion. Intuition. Feeling and judging.
Apparently, these four combined can look a bit weird.
I’m an INFJ myself, and in this article I’ll share my thoughts about why people with this personality type are often seen as misfits.
If you’d like to share your own thoughts, please do so by leaving a comment at the end!
INFJ personality type in a nutshell
INFJs are often misunderstood; their thoughts and behavior often seem strange to others. Driven by their strong intuition (N), and a tendency to prioritize emotions (F) over logic, INFJs see meaning in everything. They are dreamers, and they are intense.
For those who don’t know, here’s what the acronym stands for, and a brief explanation of each term:
- Introverted. Those who are predominantly introverted tend to focus their psychic energy on the inner world (rather than on objects and the external world).
- Intuitive. Whereas “sensing” types prefer to gather information through their five senses and objective data, intuitive types tend to see the bigger picture; they are interested in what’s possible rather than what’s objective.
- Feeling. When making decisions and interacting with others, the feeling function prioritizes emotions and empathy. The opposite would be the thinking function, which is a more rational, “colder” way to look at things.
- Judging. Judging types value order and are very organized. They like to plan things, and take deadlines very seriously. Perceiving types would be those who just “go with the flow”.
Why the INFJ type seems strange or weird
1. INFJs are dreamers
In a way, the INFJ personality type lives in his/her own world. They like to immerse themselves in their own ideas and abstract thought, and are very creative.
Introverts in general focus their energy and attention predominantly on the inner world, rather than objects. But this trait seems to be especially strong in INFJs because of their intuitive and feeling abilities.
INFJs are often dreamers and visionaries. They are not afraid to reject or challenge preexisting ideas to create new ones, no matter how weird, strange, or absurd they may seem.
2. INFJs are intense
Perfectionism. All-or-nothing attitude. Love or hate. Going all-in, going all the way, or doing absolutely nothing. Going through phases that are the complete opposite of each other.
Most INFJs go through all of this. Why? Because they are intense. In relationships, in friendships, in their career, and so on. At times even the most trivial things may seem important to the INFJ.
INFJs see meaning in everything they see and do. So in a way, things aren’t just… things, but their own interpretation of them. To the INFJ, everything and anything can be very intense. And if it’s not, they’ll probably lose interest in it.
3. INFJs see events subjectively
For the INFJ type, the focus is often on the meaning of events. Events and the outside world in general cannot be seen objectively — there is always a strong subjective factor.
This may be why many INFJs tend to be interested in spirituality, mysticism, and even psychology itself. For INFJs, the world is their own meaning of the world, their interpretation of it.
Even the INFJ’s language tends to be very subjective. Think of metaphors, made-up words, and deliberately using phrases that sound weird (to convey ideas that are equally weird).
4. INFJs are secretive
Here is another trait that makes this type seem quite strange (even when they’re not) — secretiveness.
Introverts in general are reserved, and take a long time to open up, if they ever do. But because INFJs in particular tend to be creative and use their intuition a lot, they are usually even more secretive.
They are fully aware that if they were to share all their ideas with the world, people would not (and could not) understand them. So over time they learn to keep things to themselves, often to the point where even close friends don’t know much about them.
5. INFJs ghost others
Don’t get me wrong — ghosting isn’t exclusive to any personality type. Anyone can ghost (end all contact with another person without an official warning), and for any reason.
But… there is this thing called the INFJ door slam where the INFJ will decide to just brutally cut someone out of their life, temporarily or for good, for seemingly no reason.
INFJs are gentle and caring, and this sort of behavior can be a bit of a shock for the person who’s being ghosted. You can read my thoughts about it here.
INFJ may also be the rarest type
A quick Google search will tell you that the INFJ type is the rarest personality type (especially INFJ males). Now, not all studies and statistics are completely accurate.
So we actually don’t know whether INFJs make up the smallest percentage of the population. But even if not, there is no doubt that INFJs are quite rare compared to other types.
And rare doesn’t necessarily mean weird, or strange. However, it certainly makes it harder to understand INFJs’ thoughts and behavior.
And while you may have met quite a few, say, ESFPs, or ISTJs in your life, chances are you haven’t met that many INFJs. This alone can make them look weird at first.
Other “weird” personality types
IN types (intuitive introverts) in general tend to be quite detached from the objective reality around them.
As a result, they love abstract ideas, and perceive the world in ways that may seem strange; their behavior may also look “odd”. IN types are imaginative, and often cultivate creative hobbies such as the arts.
Another personality type that is often seen as unconventional, or just plain strange, is the ENFP type.
ENFPs tend to have big, unconventional ideas, and see potential in everyone around them. For ENFPs, unique traits of others are seen as strengths, not weaknesses.
They’re predominantly extroverted, and perceiving. This means they are naturally friendly and good with people; they tend to make people feel at ease.
Because they’re incredibly enthusiastic and energetic, they aren’t afraid to share their passions and views with those around them (basically the opposite of what INFJs do), even if it means being exposed or vulnerable.
Not only that, their enthusiasm often translates to a tendency to always look for new things, and eventually lose focus or perspective.
ENFPs are also incredibly spontaneous (this has to do with their perceiving preference); they don’t necessarily hide their feelings; they express themselves freely.
One thing is for certain, though — no ENFP will ever be boring. At their best, ENFPs truly add color to life — their own, and everyone else’s.
If you’re an INFJ yourself, be proud of being “weird”. Whatever that means.
If you ever interact with an INFJ, expect them to be mysterious and secretive, but don’t interpret that as a sign of arrogance.
Know that INFJs have all these weird thoughts and ideas, and that they may not want to share them, because even if they did, they probably wouldn’t make sense to you anyway.
All personality types contribute to the world. To think that, say, intuitive types, or perceiving types, are “useless”, would be a big mistake.
From a professional point of view, INFJs can become excellent psychologists, designers, writers, and teachers.
In terms of bringing value to the world in general — INFJs are the ones who brighten the world with their genuine empathy, passionate idealism, and creative imagination.
Thanks for reading, feel free to leave a reply below 👇