Every year 2 million people take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to recognize their personalities out of the 16 different types. Created by Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother, Katharine Cook Briggs — where they were influenced by the Swiss Psychiatrist Carl Jung’s 1921 book Psychological Types — MBTI has been criticized for its validity of the test and the scientific evidence to support the studies.
Although it has divided many experts on the value of the test, MBTI has made its way in to fortune 500 companies, government agencies and to universities. Addition to this popularity, many are being registered as a MBTI practitioner to administrate the assessment where the MBTI industry became an imposing multi million dollar business.
Setting aside the debated issue, the test as mentioned produces 16 types. Out of all the 16 types, only one makes up less than two percent of the world, the INFJ: Introversion (I), Intuition (N), Feeling (F), Judging (J).
INFJ personality types are widely known as the counselor or the advocate. They pour out their hidden feelings behind closed doors to salvage anything deemed worthy. Their rarity might be attention worthy and attractive, instead they endure the silent suffering. Their solitude is perceived as a barrier, their behaviors are too erratic, their creativity is peculiar and their thoughts are misunderstood.
Whether you are an INFJ or know someone of this type, here are the five fine points to keep in mind of the INFJs and their struggles within the harsh reality.
1. They are the silent contributors
INFJs live in a world of solitude. Group discussions and activities are their weakness for they are the introverts of the introverts. INFJs are complicated indeed, but do not resemble them as a mere statue in a room. Instead perceive them as a perceptive think-tank ready to explode with ideas which you will thank them later for their perspicacity.
INFJs love to contribute and strive for moral value for the benefit of everyone. But their process of taking information is based on their intuition and to make it more complicated they are structured to formulate a decision in an orderly process.
INFJs are sensitive individuals and they do not want to offend others since they naturally empathize with pain and woes. INFJs need time to think and whatever they have to say must be full of meaning with realms of viable discussions. If you need insightful opinions, listen to the INFJ, and prepare for waves of information and question nobody else bothered to ask.
2. “Leaders are supposed to be outspoken and articulate. Sorry INFJs” – Non INFJs
INFJs prefer to be behind the group, but a leadership role is a dream they hope. However in reality they hesitate to bluntly seize the opportunity. They are weary of criticisms and are drowned in the thoughts of self-doubt. INFJs have reverence for roles with responsibilities and they are shrewd on what depicts a good leader, which is why they think twice before accepting such position. However in a society where leaders are perceived as extroverts, INFJs are immediately shelved.
Do not fool yourself because INFJs make inspiring leaders. It’s no surprise many careers linked to INFJs are clergy work, art, writing, entrepreneurship and counseling. The natural inclination toward human emotions and the ability to sincerely listen makes them aware and skilled at gently touching the human affection.
3. They want to achieve the impossible: Creativity and Originality of INFJs
Their spoken words can be extremely persuasive and their ideas are all about hitting the blue ocean strategy. Because of their natural inclination to connect symbols, meanings, events and feelings, it can be an eye opener when they offer ideas. INFJs think before they speak, although their ideas may be latent, they lay out their ideas to build upon. Their visions are their expressions, but when it gets touched or misinterpreted they can sometimes present precipitous manner or be defensive.
Often times their ideas are too idealistic or highly unlikely to make a product of their vision. For INFJs, ideas are carried by emotions, for others pragmatism carries ideas. this is what irritates the INFJs. In their minds they have mapped out many situation and scenarios, but when it get rejected by someone without much thought, INFJs will record this individual negatively in their books. Anything is possible because they have imagined it with probable reactions and emotions in direct relations to their ideas. All it needs is to get it done, but there’s the common saying, “It’s easier said than done.” Which an INFJ might respond, “It’s easier if you know how to think.”
4. They are serious for True Love, but too Serious for 21st Century Love
With media portraying casual flings or straight to bed scene transitions, the pervasive casual dating to love has left INFJs bitter and dazed.Although considered as introverts, they are often seen as extroverts, affable to connect and build rapport.. However the ultimate goal of an INFJ in a relationship is exploring their partner’s potentials and interest. Unfortunately this serious exploring can be seen too serious for others.
INFJs will invest everything they have into a healthy relationship, assuming they find the perfect mate, but if for some reason their loved ones leave the relationship, it is as if detaching a part of their soul. Losing a partner is one less person they will be able to help which is a problem. INFJs always seek improvement and change which might come off finicky and an invasion of privacy. But this is all done with good intentions.
5. “Your standards are low. Bring it up.” – INFJ
An INFJ would not say this directly, but if there were a device to listen to inner feelings, an INFJ’s mind can be terribly shocking and crude. They believe in perfection, dedication, passion, altruism, conviction and are high achievers in their life and goals. Shortcuts are perceived as a virus and they will pursue their goals with ambition and zeal.
Some say work harder, others say work smarter. INFJs will say work harder and smarter. This mentality culminates to physical and mental burnout, but only to come back again to the same routine. Close individuals admire the ethics of INFJs, but they have a hard time understanding the cause and reasons for working endlessly. A perfect world for an INFJ is to have everyone be like them. INFJs believe anything is possible if thoughtfully done with strong passion and if someone is incapable, INFJs will scrape into that person’s intrinsic motivation and values. Their erratic lifestyles pursue greatness instead of self-indulgences. They will test you and tear you apart just so you can be stronger.
Think of INFJs as an upside down pyramid. They are willing to accept meaningful burden if it leads to harmony and improvement. They indeed are complex and unpredictable, but they are out there with a yen to make a difference, silently and impatiently.
Featured photo credit: Jason Taellious via flickr.com