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5 Insightful Dilemmas Of The Obscure INFJs

5 Insightful Dilemmas Of The Obscure INFJs

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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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