Hello everyone and welcome to Insights of an INFJ!
I am starting this blog to document the inner thoughts and struggles of a tried-and-true, tested (multiple times on multiple testing websites) INFJ woman. For those of you who know absolutely nothing about INFJs and this is your starting place, I despise describing our personality type because it feels weird and unnatural. So if you don’t know the basics of the INFJ, click here to get an overview. Now, for the rest of you who are MBTI-obsessed (like me) and are well aware of the ‘mysterious’ nature of the rare INFJ personality type, I’m writing this blog to lift the veil for other personality types, and to offer up some thoughts and feelings for my fellow INFJs so we don’t feel so alone in the world. I know I always find it so fascinating to read other INFJs’ writing and spot the similarities in choice of words, feelings in particular situations, and sometimes even morals and ideals.
When I was attempting to conjure up a topic to begin my blog from my whirlwind of a brain, I decided to start with what intrigues me the most. One of the things that really resonates with me as an INFJ is the fact that I am a walking contradiction and I feel like I’m constantly having to explain myself to people so I don’t feel so strange. There is only one person in this whole world that I feel understands me completely (sometimes even better than I understand myself), and that is my father whom I’m pretty positive is an ENFJ. However, when it comes to everyone else, I feel like I’m always apologizing for who I am, whether it’s because I am outgoing/talkative one day and quiet/introspective the next or because I don’t text them for several days because I’m in my mega-introvert state. People seem to think I’m inconsistent, cold and disconnected, or just a crappy friend. If I find a friend who understands or doesn’t seem bothered by my lapses in communication, I hold on to them forever.
As a walking contradiction, I sometimes don’t even understand myself or why I act the way that I do. It wasn’t until I was introduced to MBTI that the lightbulb came on for me. I never understood why there were some people I could be loud and outgoing with and others that I just couldn’t. As I’ve come to realize through my MBTI research, it’s not that I can’t be myself around some people, it’s that I’m a social chameleon; that is to say, I reflect or mirror the energy of others. The loud, goofy, spontaneous ‘me’ is just as much a part of me as the quiet, analytical, careful ‘me’. I adapt myself to my friend’s, family’s, husband’s needs and energy.
It’s also difficult for me to understand myself because of the way that we strange INFJs think. 1) I don’t think in words, I think in pictures or mini-movies or sometimes I simply think in emotions or feelings 2) I may have subconsciously picked up on some small detail that doesn’t come to my conscious mind, and, therefore, have no idea why I feel the way that I do. We have heightened subconscious senses that allow us to pick up on the smallest alteration in mood, tone of voice, or body language without even realizing we’ve picked up on it. For example, if my husband has closed off body language and a slightly irritated tone of voice, instead of my brain registering the body language and tone of voice, it jumps straight to ‘my husband is in a bad mood’. I don’t know why I think he’s in a bad mood, but I know he is. I have been wondering, all my other INFJs, do you think that way as well? It’s like my brain, instead of focusing on ‘1+1=?’, it just says ‘2’ and I’m not sure where I got that answer. It can make me seem less credible because I can’t ‘show my work’, so to speak, or explain why, I can only give my answer.
And full disclosure: I don’t have premonitions and I can’t read your future or your mind. I do have feelings about situations or people and don’t understand why, but I think that’s mostly because of the small perceptions my subconscious makes without letting my conscious mind know. I am extremely empathetic and will even feel ill if someone I care about is ill. I am empathetic to the point where extreme emotions make me immensely uncomfortable. That’s probably where I differ from most INFJs: I make a horrid counselor because I can’t seem to tolerate the emotions of others. If someone is crying, I focus too much on the empathy and I will cry too. So I do the opposite and emotionally detach so I won’t be overwhelmed. At that point, I can still feel sympathy toward the person, but I think I come off as a little cold. Emotions are also extremely intimate to me, so I can really only share those emotions with people I am the closest to.
MBTI was like a beacon of light and hope to me (as it is for a lot of INFJs). I feel like I have a better understanding of myself and others because of this test. I hope that, despite my scattered thought processes, this first post helped to shed some light on the inner thought processes and mechanics of INFJs and it helped my fellow INFJs feel at least a small sense of connectedness. Or maybe I’m just a different breed altogether :).
Thanks for reading! Happy Holidays!