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16 Reasons Why INFJs Are Very Likely To Be Highly Successful

16 Reasons Why INFJs Are Very Likely To Be Highly Successful

Learning I was an INFJ (the personality type—introverted intuitive feeling judging) was one of the biggest lessons I learned about myself last year. As the Greek saying goes: Know thyself. I found being aware of my personality type (and the specific traits that come with it) made a huge difference in terms of how I approached life, work, and relationships.

Did you recently find out you’re an INFJ, too? Or have you known all along? Either way, chances are that your very rare and special personality type will get you far in life.

Here are 16 reasons why INFJs are very likely to go on to be highly successful people.

1. They are great thinkers

I’m pretty sure most of the ancient Greek philosophers, like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, were INFJs. They are great at contemplating and really think through everything from start to finish, considering every possible angle. In their mind, they leave no stone unturned before making a decision. Since they are great at thinking, they naturally spend a lot of time doing it (which probably explains the long discussions about the meaning of life I have every other day with my roommate), which puts them at an advantage in business as well.

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2. They are innovators

Their intuition is directed inwards, which means their mind makes a lot of mental connections and recognizes patterns and trends, even when they don’t realize it. This helps INFJs come up with new ideas and solutions to problems just by trusting their instinct of what applies in the real world, because they’re usually right.

3. They love helping people change

INFJs are a rare kind of personality type, which is sad, because they are always looking for ways to help the greater good. They want to see their work make real impacts and transform other people’s lives, which is also the reason why this personality type is often nicknamed counselor or confidant. Since INFJs are able to create an environment that supports sharing one’s feelings and have a knack for helping others through tough times by listening and offering advice, they encourage others to change for the better wherever they can.

4. They can settle disputes easily

Their diplomatic nature makes them shy away from conflicts and try to avoid them as much as possible. That doesn’t stop them from taking initiative though. INFJs shine when it comes to mediating between different parties and when they’re part of the equation, disputes are usually solved very quickly (and to the satisfaction of all parties involved).

5. They build strong connections with people

While they don’t like having lots of people around them, INFJs build much deeper connections than most of their peers. Since they are really picky when it comes to choosing friends and partners, they make sure they really get to know a person. Once they find someone who’s trustworthy and just as good of a confidant as they are, they form strong bonds  which usually last for a lifetime. As the old boy scout saying goes: Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold.

6. They like to share their insights

INFJs have a strong desire to be heard. Ever since I started digital coaching, I noticed I get chills when one of my clients reports back to me that they implemented my advice and it worked. I love giving advice, but only to those I trust, sharing what I’ve learned and then seeing my lessons being applied by others. If you’re an INFJ, you’re probably addicted to this feeling too. This is surely one of the better addictions to have if you want to be successful.

7. They consider all possible options

They make decisions quickly, but never lightheartedly. Since INFJs are very strategic and tend to plan ahead a lot, they make sure to consider all possibilities and think of unconventional solutions before picking a path to move on with. This is crucial for success in life, because this helps them avoid opportunity cost (time lost due to choosing one option over the other) and pick better options than most people.

8. They do well at evaluating risks

INFJs do a tremendous job at evaluating risks beforehand. They are decision-makers, and therefore need to minimize risks wherever possible. Lucky for them, they gauge risks well, which means they neither underestimate big changes, nor blow tiny risks out of proportion. This helps them take enough risks to move forward and be innovative, but they don’t leap at every opportunity that might turn into the next horror story in the news.

9. They trust their gut

There is something about INFJs that lets them subconsciously pick up symbols, signs, and the forces at play. So when a time comes to instinctively decide what to do, they have already made up their mind — without even knowing it. Their gut tells what to do, to trust those signs and, good for them, they listen! A somewhat unfortunate side effect of this trait is that they often feel like they don’t belong in the corporate world, since they are always striving to follow their hearts.

10. They plan ahead

Whatever an INFJ takes into his or her hands, while it might not go perfectly, it’ll never fall flat on its face. Why? Planning. They always plan ahead. It makes perfect sense for INFJs to do so, since it lets them play out some of their other core strengths: creativity, considering options, thinking, and then making a decision.

11. Their working style is very structured

The desk is cluttered, the closet looks like a war zone, and the cat went right next to the litter box again? Nope, no way, not with an INFJ. They keep things organized, both at home and at work. They love to use to-do lists, some form of project management system, milestones, deadlines and other productivity tools, to make sure they focus on what matters.

12. They are creative

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying: “Think outside the box.” Well, INFJs think like there is no box. The sky’s the limit and when they dream, they dream big. They are not inhibited by limiting beliefs about what’s possible and that’s why they are able to challenge the status quo.

13. They love to read

Being introverts, most INFJs can think back to a childhood where they were surrounded by books. Packed bookshelves, Kindles, and several library passes are the norm rather than the exception. Have you ever met a successful person who didn’t read a lot? I haven’t. INFJs are definitely on the right track here.

14. They show empathy

Why do INFJs like books so much? Because they can really put themselves into the author’s shoes. Their empathy allows them to not only tolerate, but to really understand other peoples’ emotions and reactions, which is a trait known to be an important quality of successful people.

15. They finish what they start

INFJs are great at planning, but they also don’t fall short when it comes to executing that plan. When they believe what they are doing is the right thing to do, nothing can stop them from accomplishing it.

16. They defy the odds

Did you know that only 1% of the population are INFJs? With 1.5% of all women and 0.5% of all men being INFJs, this is by far the rarest personality type. This means they defy the odds in everything — and isn’t that something all of the world’s most successful people do?

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via 666a658c624a3c03a6b2-25cda059d975d2f318c03e90bcf17c40.r92.cf1.rackcdn.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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