INFJ: Introversion, iNtuition, Feeling, Judging

At your best

People with INFJ preferences have a gift for intuitively understanding complex meanings and human relationships. They have faith in their insights and find that they often empathically understand the feelings and motivations of people before the others themselves are aware of them. They combine this empathic understanding with the drive and organisation to implement global plans for enhancing people’s lives.

INFJs have a visionary grasp of human relationships and possibilities, which, when articulated, can elevate and inspire others.

How others may see you

INFJs readily show compassion and caring for others, but they share their internal intuitions only with those they trust. Because they keep this most valued, important part private, others may find them difficult to know. When they try to communicate their internal sense of “knowing” they often express it metaphorically and with complexity.

They especially value authenticity and commitment in relationships. Though INFJs are usually reserved, they don’t hesitate to assert themselves when their values are violated. Then they can be persistent and insistent. Others usually experience INFJs as private, even mysterious, intense and individualistic

Characteristics of INFJs

INFJs seek meaning and connection in their lives and have little use for details unless they fit with their inner vision. They use their Intuition primarily internally, where they develop complex pictures and understandings. INFJs are likely to be:

  • Insightful, creative, and visionary
  • Conceptual, symbolic, and metaphorical
  • Idealistic, complex, and deep

INFJs apply personal values and empathise to understand others and make decisions. They are loyal to people and institutions that exemplify their values but have little interest in those that do not. INFJs prefer to lead persuasively by sharing their vision. They are likely to be:

  • Sensitive, compassionate, and empathic
  • Deeply committed to their values

INFJs want meaning and purpose in their work, their relationships, even their material possessions. They are invested in growth and development for themselves and significant others and are willing to consider unconventional paths to achieve these.

They value the depth and complexity of their insights and creative gifts as well as those of others. They want to see these insights realised in the world.

Potential areas for growth

Sometimes life circumstances have not supported INFJs in the development and expression of their Feeling and Intuitive preferences.

  • If they have not developed their Feeling, INFJs ‘may not have reliable ways of making decisions and accomplishing their goals. Then, their valuable insights and creativity stay locked inside.
  • If they have not developed their Intuition, they may not take in enough information or take in only what fits with their internal pictures. Then they will make ill-founded decisions based on distorted or limited information.

If INFJs do not find a place where they can use their gifts and be appreciated for their contributions, they usually feel frustrated and may:

  • Not give others the information they used to arrive at a decision, and thus seem arbitrary
  • Base their judgments on little data, on a sense of “knowing” that has little basis in reality
  • Withdraw their energy and insight
  • Become resentful and critical

It is natural for INFJs to give less attention to their non-preferred Sensing and Thinking parts. If they neglect these too much, however, they may:

  • Be unable to verbalise their inner insights in a way that others can understand
  • Fail to check their insights against reason and practicality, and end up following a vision that has little possibility of being realised
  • Become single minded in pursuit of a vision

Under great stress, INFJs may become obsessed with data they normally would consider irrelevant or overindulge in Sensing activities such as watching TV reruns, overeating, or buying things that have little meaning for them

Where you focus your attention: Introversion

People who prefer Introversion tend to focus on their own inner world and experiences. They direct their attention inward and receive energy from their internal thoughts, feelings and reflections.

Characteristics of most people who prefer Introversion:

  • Drawn to their inner worlds
  • Prefer to communicate by writing
  • Learn best by reflection, mental “practice”
  • Depth of interest
  • Tend to reflect before acting or speaking
  • Private and contained
  • Focus readily

Effects of preferences in work situations

  • Like quiet for concentration.
  • Tend to be careful with details, dislike sweeping statements.
  • Have trouble remembering names and faces, tend not to mind working on one project for a long time uninterruptedly.
  • Are interested in the idea behind their job.
  • Dislike telephone intrusions and interruptions.
  • Like to think a lot before they act, sometimes without acting.
  • Work contentedly alone.
  • Have some problems communicating.

How you take in information: iNtuition

People who prefer Intuition like to take in information by seeing the big picture, focusing on the relationship and connections between facts. They want to grasp patterns and are especially good at seeing new possibilities and different ways of doing things.

Characteristics of most people who prefer Intuition:

  • Focus on “big picture” possibilities
  • Value imaginative insight
  • Abstract and theoretical
  • See patterns and meaning in facts
  • Look to the future
  • Jump around, leap in anywhere
  • Trust inspiration

Effects of preferences in work situations

  • Like solving new problems.
  • Dislike doing the same thing repeatedly.
  • Enjoy learning a new skill more than using it.
  • Work in bursts of energy powered by enthusiasm, with slack periods in between.
  • Reach a conclusion quickly.
  • Are impatient with routine details.
  • Are patient with complicated situations.
  • Follow their inspirations, good or bad.
  • Frequently make errors of fact.
  • Dislike taking time for precision.

How you make decisions: Feeling

People who prefer to use Feeling in decision making tend to consider what is important to them and to other people. They mentally place themselves in a situation and identify with the people involved so that they can make decisions based on person-centred values. Their goal is harmony and recognition of individuals, and their strengths include understanding, appreciating and supporting others.

Characteristics of most people who prefer Feeling:

  • Sympathetic
  • Assess impact on people
  • Guided by personal values
  • “Tender-hearted”
  • Strive for harmony and individual recognition
  • Compassionate
  • Accepting

Effects of preferences in work situations

  • Tend to be very aware of other people and their feelings.
  • Enjoy pleasing people, even in unimportant things.
  • Efficiency may be badly disturbed by office feuds.
  • Often let decisions be influenced by their own or other people’s personal likes and wishes.
  • Need occasional praise.
  • Dislike telling people unpleasant things.
  • Are more people-oriented, respond more easily to people’s values.
  • Tend to be sympathetic.

How you orient toward the outer world: Judging

People who prefer to use their Judging process in the outer world tend to live in a planned, orderly way, wanting to regulate and control life. They make decisions, implement them, and move on. Their lifestyle as structured and organised and they like to have things settled. Sticking to a plan and schedule is very important to them and they enjoy their ability to get things done.

Characteristics of most people who prefer Judging:

  • Scheduled
  • Organised
  • Systematic
  • Methodical
  • Like to Plan
  • Like completion – to have things decided
  • Avoid last minute stresses

Effects of preferences in work situations

  • Work best when they can plan their work and follow the plan.
  • Like to get things settled and finished.
  • May decide things too quickly.
  • May dislike to interrupt the project they are on for a more urgent one.
  • May not notice new things that need to be done.
  • Want only the essentials needed to begin their work.
  • Tend to be satisfied once they reach a judgment on a thing, situation, or person.