INFJ = Introvert, Intuitive, Feeling, Judgemental
As an INFJ, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you take things in primarily via intuition. Your secondary mode is external, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit with your personal value system.
INFJs are gentle, caring, complex and highly intuitive individuals. Artistic and creative, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. Only one percent of the population has an INFJ Personality Type, making it the most rare of all the types.
INFJs place great importance on havings things orderly and systematic in their outer world. They put a lot of energy into identifying the best system for getting things done, and constantly define and re-define the priorities in their lives. On the other hand, INFJs operate within themselves on an intuitive basis which is entirely spontaneous. They know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. They are usually right, and they usually know it. Consequently, INFJs put a tremendous amount of faith into their instincts and intuitions. This is something of a conflict between the inner and outer worlds, and may result in the INFJ not being as organized as other Judging types tend to be. Or we may see some signs of disarray in an otherwise orderly tendency, such as a consistently messy desk.
INFJs have uncanny insight into people and situations. They get "feelings" about things and intuitively understand them. As an extreme example, some INFJs report experiences of a psychic nature, such as getting strong feelings about there being a problem with a loved one, and discovering later that they were in a car accident. This is the sort of thing that other types may scorn and scoff at, and the INFJ themself does not really understand their intuition at a level which can be verbalized. Consequently, most INFJs are protective of their inner selves, sharing only what they choose to share when they choose to share it. They are deep, complex individuals, who are quite private and typically difficult to understand. INFJs hold back part of themselves, and can be secretive.
But the INFJ is as genuinely warm as they are complex. INFJs hold a special place in the heart of people who they are close to, who are able to see their special gifts and depth of caring. INFJs are concerned for people's feelings, and try to be gentle to avoid hurting anyone. They are very sensitive to conflict, and cannot tolerate it very well. Situations which are charged with conflict may drive the normally peaceful INFJ into a state of agitation or charged anger. They may tend to internalize conflict into their bodies, and experience health problems when under a lot of stress.
Because the INFJ has such strong intuitive capabilities, they trust their own instincts above all else. This may result in an INFJ stubborness and tendency to ignore other people's opinions. They believe that they're right. On the other hand, INFJ is a perfectionist who doubts that they are living up to their full potential. INFJs are rarely at complete peace with themselves - there's always something else they should be doing to improve themselves and the world around them. They believe in constant growth, and don't often take time to revel in their accomplishments. They have strong value systems, and need to live their lives in accordance with what they feel is right. In deference to the Feeling aspect of their personalities, INFJs are in some ways gentle and easy going. Conversely, they have very high expectations of themselves, and frequently of their families. They don't believe in compromising their ideals.
INFJ is a natural nurturer; patient, devoted and protective. They make loving parents and usually have strong bonds with their offspring. They have high expectations of their children, and push them to be the best that they can be. This can sometimes manifest itself in the INFJ being hard-nosed and stubborn. But generally, children of an INFJ get devoted and sincere parental guidance, combined with deep caring.
In the workplace, the INFJ usually shows up in areas where they can be creative and somewhat independent. They have a natural affinity for art, and many excel in the sciences, where they make use of their intuition. INFJs can also be found in service-oriented professions. They are not good at dealing with minutia or very detailed tasks. The INFJ will either avoid such things, or else go to the other extreme and become enveloped in the details to the extent that they can no longer see the big picture. An INFJ who has gone the route of becoming meticulous about details may be highly critical of other individuals who are not.
The INFJ individual is gifted in ways that other types are not. Life is not necessarily easy for the INFJ, but they are capable of great depth of feeling and personal achievement.
creative, smart, focus on fantasy more than reality, attracted to sad things, fears doing the wrong thing, observer, avoidant, fears drawing attention to self, anxious, cautious, somewhat easily frightened, easily offended, private, easily hurt, socially uncomfortable, emotionally moody, does not like to be looked at, fearful, perfectionist, can sabotage self, can be wounded at the core, values solitude, guarded, does not like crowds, organized, second guesses self, more likely to support marijuana legalization, focuses on peoples hidden motives, prone to crying, not competitive, prone to feelings of loneliness, not spontaneous, prone to sadness, longs for a stabilizing relationship, fears rejection in relationships, frequently worried, can feel victimized, prone to intimidation, lower energy, strict with self
psychotherapist, artist, art curator, bookstore owner, freelance writer, poet, teacher (art, drama, english), library assistant, professor of english, painter, novelist, book editor, copywriter, philosopher, environmentalist, bookseller, museum curator, opera singer, magazine editor, archivist, music therapist, screenwriter, film director, creative director, librarian, social services worker, art historian, sign language interpreter, makeup artist, photo journalist, homemaker
Beneath the quiet exterior, INFJs hold deep convictions about the weightier matters of life. Those who are activists -- INFJs gravitate toward such a role -- are there for the cause, not for personal glory or political power.
INFJs are champions of the oppressed and downtrodden. They often are found in the wake of an emergency, rescuing those who are in acute distress. INFJs may fantasize about getting revenge on those who victimize the defenseless. The concept of 'poetic justice' is appealing to the INFJ.
"There's something rotten in Denmark." Accurately suspicious about others' motives, INFJs are not easily led. These are the people that you can rarely fool any of the time. Though affable and sympathetic to most, INFJs are selective about their friends. Such a friendship is a symbiotic bond that transcends mere words.
INFJs have a knack for fluency in language and facility in communication. In addition, nonverbal sensitivity enables the INFJ to know and be known by others intimately.
Writing, counseling, public service and even politics are areas where INFJs frequently find their niche.
Introverted intuitives, INFJs enjoy a greater clarity of perception of inner, unconscious processes than all but their INTJ cousins. Just as SP types commune with the object and "live in the here and now" of the physical world, INFJs readily grasp the hidden psychological stimuli behind the more observable dynamics of behavior and affect. Their amazing ability to deduce the inner workings of the mind, will and emotions of others gives INFJs their reputation as prophets and seers. Unlike the confining, routinizing nature of introverted sensing, introverted intuition frees this type to act insightfully and spontaneously as unique solutions arise on an event by event basis.
Extraverted feeling, the auxiliary deciding function, expresses a range of emotion and opinions of, for and about people. INFJs, like many other FJ types, find themselves caught between the desire to express their wealth of feelings and moral conclusions about the actions and attitudes of others, and the awareness of the consequences of unbridled candor. Some vent the attending emotions in private, to trusted allies. Such confidants are chosen with care, for INFJs are well aware of the treachery that can reside in the hearts of mortals. This particular combination of introverted intuition and extraverted feeling provides INFJs with the raw material from which perceptive counselors are shaped.
The INFJ's thinking is introverted, turned toward the subject. Perhaps it is when the INFJ's thinking function is operative that he is most aloof. A comrade might surmise that such detachment signals a disillusionment, that she has also been found lacking by the sardonic eye of this one who plumbs the depths of the human spirit. Experience suggests that such distancing is merely an indication that the seer is hard at work and focusing energy into this less efficient tertiary function.
INFJs are twice blessed with clarity of vision, both internal and external. Just as they possess inner vision which is drawn to the forms of the unconscious, they also have external sensing perception which readily takes hold of worldly objects. Sensing, however, is the weakest of the INFJ's arsenal and the most vulnerable. INFJs, like their fellow intuitives, may be so absorbed in intuitive perceiving that they become oblivious to physical reality. The INFJ under stress may fall prey to various forms of immediate gratification. Awareness of extraverted sensing is probably the source of the "SP wannabe" side of INFJs. Many yearn to live spontaneously; it's not uncommon for INFJ actors to take on an SP (often ESTP) role.
Nathan, prophet of Israel
Robert Burns, Scottish poet
Martin Van Buren
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter
Fanny Crosby, (blind) hymnist
Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Fred McMurray (My Three Sons)
Shirley Temple Black, child actor, ambassador
Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights leader, martyr
James Reston, newspaper reporter
Shirley MacLaine(Sweet Charity, ...)
Piers Anthony, author ("Xanth" series)
Michael Landon (Little House on the Prairie)
John Katz, critic, author
Paul Stookey (Peter, Paul and Mary)
U. S. Senator Carol Moseley-Braun (D-IL)
Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury)
Introverted iNtuiting Feeling Judging
by Marina Margaret Heiss
INFJs are distinguished by both their complexity of character and the unusual range and depth of their talents. Strongly humanitarian in outlook, INFJs tend to be idealists, and because of their J preference for closure and completion, they are generally "doers" as well as dreamers. This rare combination of vision and practicality often results in INFJs taking a disproportionate amount of responsibility in the various causes to which so many of them seem to be drawn.
INFJs are deeply concerned about their relations with individuals as well as the state of humanity at large. They are, in fact, sometimes mistaken for extroverts because they appear so outgoing and are so genuinely interested in people -- a product of the Feeling function they most readily show to the world. On the contrary, INFJs are true introverts, who can only be emotionally intimate and fulfilled with a chosen few from among their long-term friends, family, or obvious "soul mates." While instinctively courting the personal and organizational demands continually made upon them by others, at intervals INFJs will suddenly withdraw into themselves, sometimes shutting out even their intimates. This apparent paradox is a necessary escape valve for them, providing both time to rebuild their depleted resources and a filter to prevent the emotional overload to which they are so susceptible as inherent "givers." As a pattern of behavior, it is perhaps the most confusing aspect of the enigmatic INFJ character to outsiders, and hence the most often misunderstood -- particularly by those who have little experience with this rare type.
Due in part to the unique perspective produced by this alternation between detachment and involvement in the lives of the people around them, INFJs may well have the clearest insights of all the types into the motivations of others, for good and for evil. The most important contributing factor to this uncanny gift, however, are the empathic abilities often found in Fs, which seem to be especially heightened in the INFJ type (possibly by the dominance of the introverted N function).
This empathy can serve as a classic example of the two-edged nature of certain INFJ talents, as it can be strong enough to cause discomfort or pain in negative or stressful situations. More explicit inner conflicts are also not uncommon in INFJs; it is possible to speculate that the causes for some of these may lie in the specific combinations of preferences which define this complex type. For instance, there can sometimes be a "tug-of-war" between NF vision and idealism and the J practicality that urges compromise for the sake of achieving the highest priority goals. And the I and J combination, while perhaps enhancing self-awareness, may make it difficult for INFJs to articulate their deepest and most convoluted feelings.
Usually self-expression comes more easily to INFJs on paper, as they tend to have strong writing skills. Since in addition they often possess a strong personal charisma, INFJs are generally well-suited to the "inspirational" professions such as teaching (especially in higher education) and religious leadership. Psychology and counseling are other obvious choices, but overall, INFJs can be exceptionally difficult to pigeonhole by their career paths. Perhaps the best example of this occurs in the technical fields. Many INFJs perceive themselves at a disadvantage when dealing with the mystique and formality of "hard logic", and in academic terms this may cause a tendency to gravitate towards the liberal arts rather than the sciences. However, the significant minority of INFJs who do pursue studies and careers in the latter areas tend to be as successful as their T counterparts, as it is *iNtuition* -- the dominant function for the INFJ type -- which governs the ability to understand abstract theory and implement it creatively.
In their own way, INFJs are just as much "systems builders" as are INTJs; the difference lies in that most INFJ "systems" are founded on human beings and human values, rather than information and technology. Their systems may for these reasons be conceptually "blurrier" than analogous NT ones, harder to measure in strict numerical terms, and easier to take for granted -- yet it is these same underlying reasons which make the resulting contributions to society so vital and profound.
Type Relationships for INFJs:
Identity Pal Complement Contrast
Supplement Anima Suitemate Cohort
Companion Tribesman Advisor Pedagogue
Enigma Novelty Neighbor Counterpart
- are gentle, compassionate & accepting, and their quiet strength is felt by others
- excellent students & find school rewarding
- adept at helping others realize their goals and are eager to actualize their own; lead quietly & by example (but may expend too much time on others' priorities & lose sight of own needs)
- at their best in situations that encourage personal enhancement
- can feel guilty & "at odds" with themselves for not perfectly realizing their aspirations(perfectionistic)
- enjoy & want harmony in their environment; adept at harmonizing their own individualism with their environment; are good mediators
- daydreaming & theorizing help them decide what "star to follow" & give form to their goals
- stimulated by difficulties, and most ingenious in solving problems
- willing to concede the impossible takes a little longerbut not much longer
- more interested in pioneering a new road than in anything to be found along the beaten path
- motivated by inspiration; determined & loyal; constantly in search of meaning
- too much bureaucracy can be frustrating
- gifted, with a fine insight into the deeper meanings of things & with a great deal of drive
- generally eager to meet an instructor's demands/expectations
- a positive relationship with the instructor is as important as the integrity of the instructor
- often private & complex, yet bring a quiet enthusiasm to projects & assignments that are part of their vision & source of inspiration; tend to see good & potential in everyone & everything
- strives & supports the highest & best use of human potential
- vulnerable to taking on the concerns of others (have great empathy)
- patient with complicated situations & have good concentration skills
- value the ethical & the moral; carefully selects what to value
- have difficulty with anyone who approaches a situation without a genuine desire to support/assist others
- can live with ambiguity and the paradoxes of life
- prefer one-on-one relationships (although work well in organizations)
- adept communicators, sensitive to nuances & unspoken aspects of communication
- when they devote themselves to technical fields (over the more people-oriented) can bring great ingenuity & problem solving abilities to tasks
- learn through interaction, in dialogue with others or with the written word
- make good use of their ability to see relationships & to synthesize in order to simplify the learning process
- learn easily from lectures & written work that they consider valuable & important
- enjoy expanding their horizons in grasping new ideas & concepts, esp. in humanities & causes of events both past & present
- may focus so much on the human element that they get off task & lose perspective
Strongly motivated by curiosity.
Idealistic: wants to make the world a better place and the people in it happier.
Happily obsessed with one or more hobbies.
Aware from early childhood that he or she is different.
Opinionated and outspoken, convinced that he or she is right and that the rest of the world is out of step.
Noncompetitive, not in need of reassurance or reinforcement from society.
Unusual in his or her eating habits and living arrangements.
Not particularly interested in the opinions or company of other people, except in order to persuade them to his or her point of view.
Possessed of a mischievous sense of humor.
Usually the eldest or an only child.
Careers for INFJ Personality Types
Whether you're a young adult trying to find your place in the world, or a not-so-young adult trying to find out if you're moving along the right path, it's important to understand yourself and the personality traits which will impact your likeliness to succeed or fail at various careers. It's equally important to understand what is really important to you. When armed with an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, and an awareness of what you truly value, you are in an excellent position to pick a career which you will find rewarding.
INFJs generally have the following traits:
Intuitively understand people and situations
Complex and deep
Sensitive and compassionate towards people
Value deep, authentic relationships
Reserved about expressing their true selves
Dislike dealing with details unless they enhance or promote their vision
Constantly seeking meaning and purpose in everything
Creative and visionary
Intense and tightly-wound
Can work logically and rationally - use their intuition to understand the goal and work backwards towards it
The INFJ is a special individual who needs more out of a career than a job. They need to feel as if everything they do in their lives is in sync with their strong value systems - with what they believe to be right. Accordingly, the INFJ should choose a career in which they're able to live their daily lives in accordance with their deeply-held principles, and which supports them in their life quest to be doing something meaningful. Since INFJs have such strong value systems, and persistent intuitive visions which lend them a sense of "knowing", they do best in positions in which they are leaders, rather than followers. Although they can happily follow individuals who are leading in a direction which the INFJ fully supports, they will very unhappy following in any other situation.
The following list of professions is built on our impressions of careers which would be especially suitable for an INFJ. It is meant to be a starting place, rather than an exhaustive list. There are no guarantees that any or all of the careers listed here would be appropriate for you, or that your best career match is among those listed.
Possible Career Paths for the INFJ:
Clergy / Religious Work
Medical Doctors / Dentists
Alternative Health Care Practitioners, i.e. Chiropractor, Reflexologist
Counselors and Social Workers
Musicians and Artists
Child Care / Early Childhood Development
What makes an INFJ tick?
The Dominant function is the perceptive one of iNtuition. Characteristics associated with this function include:
Likes looking at information from a global viewpoint, spotting patterns and relationships, that lead to an understanding of the key issues
Focuses more on possibilities for the future than the here-and-now
Enjoys change, challenge, and variety
The perceptive iNtuition function is introverted. That is, iNtuition is used primarily to govern the inner world of thoughts and emotions. The INFJ will therefore:
Seek to develop a understanding of how the world is, or can be
Seek to understand the patterns underlying his/her observations
Be strategic in nature, wanting to establish a clear vision towards which the INFJ is working
Not involve others in the development of that vision
The iNtuition function is primarily supported by extraverted Feeling judgement, That is, Feeling judgement is used primarily to manage the outer world of actions and spoken words. This will modify the way that the iNtuition is directed, by:
focusing the (inner world) iNtuition on ideas and possibilities that relate to people
expressing appreciation for the contributions of others, particularly where they have done or said something that supports the INFJ's ideals
making decisions on the basis of values that support the INFJ's understanding of the world, and conform to his/her vision.
The classic temperament of an INFJ is Apollonian, or Choleric, for whom a basic driving force is the search for meaning or purpose.
Contributions to the team of an INFJ
In a team environment, the INFJ can contribute by:
observing and understanding the team dynamics, and encouraging the team to recognise them and take appropriate action
listening carefully to various viewpoints, and being able to identify potential areas of agreement to be used as a basis to move forward
being trustworthy, meeting commitments to a consistent standard
contributing creative ideas, particularly those involving people
bringing the team to make decisions about important issues
promoting harmony and co-operation
The potential ways in which an INFJ can irritate others include:
not including others in the INFJ's process of developing ideas and vision
not giving criticism or expressing disagreement when it is appropriate
ignoring current reality in pursuit of insight and meaning - perhaps overlooking some tasks that need to be done
making errors of fact
not promoting their ideas in the group
wanting to pursue ideas without fully thinking through the consequences in, say, cost terms
As with all types, the INFJ can achieve personal growth by developing all functions that are not fully developed, through actions such as:
being prepared to declare the INFJ's own personal vision or goals
investigating and recognising the facts before interpreting what they mean
changing his/her vision to fit more closely with what is possible
allowing others to participate in the process of development of the INFJ's vision or ideas, in order to gain their commitment or get a realistic, objective assessment
learning to promote the INFJ's ideas to others, recognising that others may well find them valuable
listing options and undertaking a formal process of evaluation against criteria, including a cost benefit analysis
As stress increases, 'learned behaviour' tends to give way to the natural style, so the INFJ will behave more according to type when under greater stress. For example, in a crisis, the INFJ might:
find a place of solitude in which to think and work
tell everyone else how well they are coping
try to solve the long term problem, and neglect the short term
make errors of fact, or ignore routine matters that might nevertheless be essential
Under extreme stress, fatigue or illness, the INFJ's shadow may appear - a negative form of ESTP. Example characteristics are:
acting very impulsively, making decisions without thinking them through
doing things to excess - e.g.: eating, drinking or exercising
being critical of others, and finding fault with almost everything
being preoccupied about unimportant details and doing things that have no meaning
acting in a very materialistic and selfish way
cutting corners, breaking the rules, and even contradicting the INFJ's own values
The shadow is part of the unconscious that is often visible to others, onto whom the shadow is projected. The INFJ may therefore readily see these faults in others without recognising it in him/her self.
The Counselor Idealists are abstract in thought and speech, cooperative in reaching their goals, and directive and introverted in their interpersonal roles. Counselors focus on human potentials, think in terms of ethical values, and come easily to decisions. The small number of this type (little more than 2 percent) is regrettable, since Counselors have an unusually strong desire to contribute to the welfare of others and genuinely enjoy helping their companions. Although Counsleors tend to be private, sensitive people, and are not generally visible leaders, they nevertheless work quite intensely with those close to them, quietly exerting their influence behind the scenes with their families, friends, and colleagues. This type has great depth of personality; they are themselves complicated, and can understand and deal with complex issues and people.
Counselors can be hard to get to know. They have an unusually rich inner life, but they are reserved and tend not to share their reactions except with those they trust. With their loved ones, certainly, Counselors are not reluctant to express their feelings, their face lighting up with the positive emotions, but darkening like a thunderhead with the negative. Indeed, because of their strong ability to take into themselves the feelings of others, Counselors can be hurt rather easily by those around them, which, perhaps, is one reason why they tend to be private people, mutely withdrawing from human contact. At the same time, friends who have known a Counselor for years may find sides emerging which come as a surprise. Not that they are inconsistent; Counselors value their integrity a great deal, but they have intricately woven, mysterious personalities which sometimes puzzle even them.
Counselors have strong empathic abilities and can become aware of another's emotions or intentions -- good or evil -- even before that person is conscious of them. This "mind-reading" can take the form of feeling the hidden distress or illnesses of others to an extent which is difficult for other types to comprehend. Even Counselors can seldom tell how they came to penetrate others' feelings so keenly. Furthermore, the Counselor is most likely of all the types to demonstrate an ability to understand psychic phenomena and to have visions of human events, past, present, or future. What is known as ESP may well be exceptional intuitive ability-in both its forms, projection and introjection. Such supernormal intuition is found frequently in the Counselor, and can extend to people, things, and often events, taking the form of visions, episodes of foreknowledge, premonitions, auditory and visual images of things to come, as well as uncanny communications with certain individuals at a distance.
Portrait of the Counselor (INFJ)
Taken from David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates' Please Understand Me
INFJs focus on possibilities, think in terms of values and come easily to decisions. The small number of this type (1 percent) is regrettable, since INFJs have an unusually strong drive to contribute to the welfare of others and genuinely enjoy helping their fellow men. This type has great depth of personality; they are themselves complicated, and can understand and deal with complex issues and people.
It is an INFJ who is likely to have visions of human events past, present, or future. If a person demonstrates an ability to understand psychic phenomenon better than most others, this person is apt to be an INFJ. Characteristically, INFJs have strong empathic abilities and can be aware of another's emotions or intents even before that person is conscious of these. This can take the form of feeling the distress or illnesses of others to an extent which is difficult for other types. INFJs can intuit good and evil in others, although they seldom can tell how they came to know. Subsequent events tend to bear them out, however.
INFJs are usually good students, achievers who exhibit an unostentacious creativity. They take their work seriously and enjoy academic activity. They can exhibit qualities of overperfectionism and put more into a task than perhaps is justified by the nature of the task. They generally will not be visible leaders, but will quietly exert influence behind the scenes.
INFJs are hard to get to know. They have an unusually rich inner life, but they are reserved and tend not to share their reactions except with those they trust. Because of their vulnerability through a strong facility to introject, INFJs can be hurt rather easily by others, which, perhaps, is at least one reason they tend to be private people. People who have known an INFJ for years may find sides emerging which come as a surprise. Not that INFJs are inconsistent; they are very consistent and value integrity. But they have convoluted, complex personalities which sometimes puzzle even them.
INFJs like to please others and tend to contribute their own best efforts in all situations. They prefer and enjoy agreeing with others, and find conflict disagreeable and destructive. What is known as ESP is likely found in an INFJ more than in any other types, although other types are capable of such phenomena. INFJs have vivid imaginations exercised both as memory and intuition, and this can amount to genius, resulting at times in an INFJ's being seen as mystical. This unfettered imagination often will enable this person to compose complex and often aesthetic works of art such as music, mathematical systems, poems, plays and novels. In a sense, the INFJ is the most poetic of all the types. Just as an ENTJ cannot not lead, so must an INFJ intuit; this capability extends to people, things, and often events, taking the form of visions, episodes of foreknowledge, premonitions, auditory and visual images of things to come. INFJs can have uncanny communications with certain individuals at a distance.
INFJs often select liberal arts as a college major and opt for occupations which involve interacting with people, but on a one-to-one basis. For example, the general practitioner in medicine might be an INFJ, or the psychiatrist or psychologist. As with all NFs, the ministry holds attraction, although the INFJ must develop an extraverted role here which requires a great deal of energy. INFJs may be attracted to writing as a profession, and often they use language which contains an unusual degree of imagery. They are masters of the metaphor, and both their verbal and written communications tend to be elegant and complex. Their great talent for language usually is directed toward people, describing people and writing to communicate with people in a personalized way. INFJs who write comment often that they write with a particular person in mind; writing to a faceless, abstract audience leaves them uninspired.
INFJs make outstanding individual therapists who have the ability to get in touch with the archetypes of their patients in a way some other types do not. The INFJs are also the most vulnerable of all the types to the eruption of their own archetypal material. As therapists, INFJs may choose counseling, clinical psychology, or psychiatry, or may choose to teach in these fields. Writing about these professions often intrigues an INFJ. Whatever their choice, they generally are successful in these fields because their great personal warmth, their enthusiasm, their insight, their depth of concentration, their originality, and their organizational skills can all be brought into play.
At work as well as socially, INFJs are highly sensitive in their handling of others and tend to work well in an organizational structure. They have a capacity for working at jobs which require solitude and concentration, but also do well when in contact with people, providing the human interaction is not superficial. INFJs enjoy problem-solving and can understand and use human systems creatively and humanistically. As employees or employers, INFJs are concerned with people's feelings and are able to provide in themselves a barometer of the feelings of individuals and groups within the organization. INFJs listen well and are willing and able to consult and cooperate with others. Once a decision is made, they work to implement it.
INFJs are generally good at public relations and themselves have good interpersonal relations. They value staff harmony and want an organization to run smoothly and pleasantly, themselves making every effort to contribute to that end. They are crushed by too much criticism and can have their feelings hurt rather easily. They respond to praise and use approval as a means of motivating others, just as they, the INFJs, are motivated by approval. If they are subject to a hostile, unfriendly working condition or to constant criticism, they tend to lose confidence, become unhappy and immobilized, and finally become physically ill.
As mates, INFJs are usually devoted to their spouses, but may not always be open to physical approaches. They tend to be physically demonstrative at times, but wish to choose when, which is when they are in the mood. This may be quite confusing to an extraverted mate. Often an INFJ's expressions of affection will be subtle, taking a humorous, unexpected turn. INFJs need and want harmony in their homes and find constant conflict, overt or covert, extremely destructive to their psyches. Their friendship circle is likely to be small, deep, and long-standing.
As parents, INFJs usually are fiercely devoted. A female INFJ, particularly, is linked to her children in a way different from the other types: with almost a psychic symbiosis. This deep bond can create an overdependency that can be unhealthy for both mother and child. At the same time, INFJs tend to be good friends with their children, while firm in discipline. They usually are concerned about the comfort of a home and most especially the comfort, physical health, and emotional well-being of both mates and children.
Nathan, prophet of Israel
Robert Burns, Scottish poet
U.S. Presidents: Martin Van Buren, James Earl "Jimmy" Carter
Nathaniel Hawthorne, author, poet
Fanny Crosby, (blind) hymnist
Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Fred McMurray ("My Three Sons", various movies)
Shirley Temple Black, child actress, ambassador
Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights leader, martyr
James Reston, newspaper reporter
Shirley McClain, actress ("Sweet Charity", ...)
Piers Anthony, author ("Xanth" series)
Michael Landon, actor ("Highway to Heaven," "Little House on the Prairie")
Tom Selleck, actor ("Magnum, P. I.," "Mr. Baseball")
Oprah Winfrey, talk show host
John Katz, critic, author
Paul Stookey, folk singer (Peter, Paul and Mary)
Angela Lansbury, actress ("Murder, She Wrote")
U. S. Senator Carol Moseley-Braun (D-IL)
Richard Gere, actor ("Pretty Woman", "Sommersby")
Billy Crystal, actor, comedian
Carrie Fisher, actress ("Star Wars")
A Brief Guide to the Personality Types
The Source of Energy (E vs. I)
Sociability, Interaction, External, Breadth, Extensive, Multiple relationships, Energy expenditure, External events, Gregarious, Speak, then think.
Territoriality, Concentration, Internal, Depth, Intensive, Limited relationships, Energy conservation, Internal reactions, Reflective, Think, then speak.
The Information-Gathering Function (S vs. N)
Sequential, Present, Realistic, Perspiration, Actual, Down-to-earth, Fact, Practicality, Specific.
Random, Future, Conceptual, Inspiration, Theoretical, Head-in-clouds, Fantasy, Ingenuity, General.
The Decision-making Function (T vs. F)
Objective, Firm-minded, Laws, Firmness, Just, Clarity, Critique, Policy, Detached.
Subjective, Fair-hearted, Circumstances, Persuasion, Humane, Harmony, Appreciate, Social values, Involved.
The Life-style Orientation (J vs. P)
Resolved, Decided, Fixed, Control, Closure, Planned, Structure, Definite, Scheduled, Deadline.
Pending, Wait and see, Flexible, Adapt, Openness, Open-ended, Flow, Tentative, Spontaneous, What deadline?
What is an INFJ?
INFJ (referred to by Keirsey as the "Counsellor") is one of the 16 basic personality types in the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) personality model. The letters I,N,F and J stand for Introverted INtuitive Feeling Judging, which indicate our preferences in each of the four areas of function.
Here is a list of INFJ character traits; these may not necessarily apply to all INFJs.
- value personal integrity and "being true to yourself"
- are on a lifelong search for a unique identity and meaning; spirituality is important to us
- can be hard to get to know, depending on the other person (reciprocity)
- are sometimes seen by others as cold and hard on the outside
- can be difficult to "peg"; sometimes INFJs may not even recognise fellow members of their own type
- may find it easier to express their deepest feelings and sentiments non-verbally or in writing
- abhor evil or injustice, especially that directed towards the innocent or helpless
- are sometimes looked upon by others as naive, mostly due to our idealism
- can be quite gullible; many INFJs build up a protective armour over the years to protect against this and being "used" by others
- enjoy thoughtful discussion but dislike arguing for argument's sake, as this often degenerates into ugly conflict
- are bookworms, love bookstores and libraries
- are affiliative; get stressed and cannot survive for extended periods without company
- rarely get into conflict, but when it erupts, can be very bitter
- aren't terribly career-minded
- love personality tests and other self-improvement tools
- love quotes/quotations and are often "philosophers" or "theologists" ;)
- need to confide in others and express opinions and feelings about others: Fe-ing (Feeling extraverted)
- are "Directors" who give advice, though usually more subtly than most other Directors.
- are interested in ESP, paranormal, "new age," or psychic experiences
- "Mute withdrawal is a major INFJ defense."
- often have "oceanic" memories where details are recalled through intuitive leaps and thought association
See this article on INFJ Characteristics by Aisys.
Be sure to visit the Member Quotes page for some interesting, sometimes humorous views on the INFJ perspective.
David Keirsey proposes the Dolphin as the totem animal for NFs. INFJs are dolphins. Dolphins use their powerful and complex sonar system to navigate and feel their way through this world. Their sonar is very dependable, but sometimes interference - from both outside and within - plays havoc with their sensors, and they receive scrambled signals. Sonar is the dolphin's life-force.
Dolphins are affiliative creatures, and mate for life.
Sharks are the dolphin's natural enemies. But dolphins can take out the sharks by swimming underneath them and knocking them out.
Warm fuzzy teddybear theory
This is a theory devised by some INFJs on the "warm fuzzy teddybear" feel that surrounds some of the introverted intuitives. This is how others see the INs:
INFJ - cold on outside, warm and fuzzy on the inside INFP - warm and fuzzy inside and out INTP - warm on the outside, hard as a rock inside INTJ - cold and hard inside and out
It's worth mentioning since these observations seem to carry merit, but of course you have to remember that this theory doesn't necessarily apply to all or even most INs.
"Come to the edge, he said,
They said: We are afraid
Come to the edge, he said.
He pushed them,
and they flew."
Yeah...I don't think I've even read all of this yet...but holy smokes, right?
God, this has to be my 10,000th post for today...so bored...