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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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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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