INFJ: The counselor personality

  • To be

In the quest of learning more about myself, I’ve taken the Myers-Briggs and other personality type assessments several times. I am greatly convinced to say that I’m an INFJ Personality Type.

Remember, this describes the personality type – meaning how the person perceives and receives data and how it is processed. For the record, you are much more than your personality.

We may seem quiet at times, but this is due to our ability to internally process a great deal of information about people, circumstances and their environment. We can tell when someone is lying when someone’s character or integrity is questionable, and especially when people are disingenuous.

We make excellent managers. INFJ’s bring with them to the workplace the unique combination of their ability to get things done with their ability to create a fulfilling environment for their staff. INFJ’s cannot tolerate working in a noisy, disorganized work environment and have even less patience for lack of follow through and poor performance by co-workers and management.

An INFJ’s inner world is referred to as playful, imaginative, vibrant, mischievous, as well as bold. They love having fun with ideas, viewpoint, concepts, images, symbols, and metaphors. INFJ’s become extremely sensitive when someone challenges their principles or values. A very powerful internal alarm goes off when this happens.  INFJ’s are highly vulnerable to criticism and conflict and questioning their motives is the quickest way to get on their wrong side.

One of the rare traits of the INFJ is the ability to use both sides of the brain equally. We are intuitive and analytical, spiritual and scientific, artistic and logical, creative and responsible. INFJ’s get stressed when they have to deal with too many unexpected events and especially get worn down when they have to be extroverted for too long. We love to connect with people on a soul level genuinely, but generally, find this hard to accomplish in this ego-driven world.

This often leaves us feeling alone and isolated on a planet full of 7 billion people. To alleviate the stress of aloneness, INFJ’s have a rich inner world where their imagination and creativity is paralleled by none. Besides using our vision, INFJ’s can often be found in nature where life is quiet, less hurried, less pretentious and more natural.

Other favourite places to find INFJ’s are bookstores, museums, historic sites, coffee shops, at home, yard sales, flea markets, and consignment shops, visiting small towns, hiking in the woods, being around water as in at the beach, a bay, a river or even a stream will do. INFJs do not like loud, high energy, crowded places period…. It’s just too overwhelming for the complex perceptions and senses that INFJs exudes. An INFJ being in a noisy, raucous place would be similar to what happens to your computer when you press all the keys at once – It either freezes up, shuts down, or breaks.

This doesn’t mean INFJs will always avoid these kinds of places, but as far as preferences go, we don’t like them. As an INFJ I am very independent and rarely ask for help from others. If I do, and you help me, I am forever grateful and do not take it lightly. Also, I rarely go to others for advice; sometimes when I am “venting” to others, I am using them as a sounding board as opposed to someone to offer me advice. When I do vent, I am allowing my internal thoughts and feelings to bounce off another and come back to me granting a more realistic viewpoint to my situation that I need to either accept or change.

My favourite people are those I can vent to that do not offer me advice back, nor do they share my venting with anyone else, because we are private by nature. Being an INFJ, I can tell you we generally despise unnecessary social interactions unless we are bored or lonely. I often find myself retreating inside my head when the social stuff starts boring me to tears. Things like parties, weddings, hanging at a bar and any other activities where there is nothing to do but talk to other people not only bores us after the first hour but also leaves us feeling drained, in need of fresh air and a shower and about a day or week to recharge.

INFJ’s are the true definition of a paradox. We hate attention but need attention 24/7, we like to keep personal space from people, but we need physical contact, we prefer to be alone, yet we need social interaction to survive, we want to make people feel happy and comfortable, yet this places a great deal of stress on us. Being an INFJ can feel like being two different people at once, so we often have a hard time balancing these different personas wants, needs and desires. No, INFJs do not have multiple personalities, just one person that is very, very complicated.

INFJ’s make outstanding leaders, not because they like to be in charge of people, but to the contrary, they don’t want to. Because of our sensitive feeling nature and strong intuitive abilities, and love for organization and order, people and institutions benefit greatly when an INFJ is in charge. INFJ’s struggle the most with their feelings and what to do about them, yet when it comes to other people, we can feel their emotions, empathize with them and offer them the best solution to deal with them.

We tend to get overwhelmed easily, and many immature INFJ’s may act out negatively when emotional overload happens. The best thing to do is to give us our space and let us be because we will beat ourselves up over our lousy behavior anyway. We make very excellent counselors to those in need of help. We have an uncanny ability to see through your problems and direct you in the nest direction or choice possible.

This isn’t to say that we INFJ’s have our lives together all across the board, it’s just that we are much better than most to be able to look externally at a person or situation, see the problem and fix the problem. INFJs have a unique tendency to externalize on their faces the thoughts and mental functions that they are carrying on within. From the outside, it appears they have gone mad. The “Chucky from Child’s Play facial expressions” really shows how strong a connection INFJs have with their inner world by responding and reacting as if it were real. – INFJs

“Like the INFP personality type, INFJs can struggle with depression. This may stem from feeling chronically unheard, useless, or misunderstood, as well as from dissatisfaction with the INFJ’s careers or the INFJ’s relationships. Because Ni perceives the world so differently and profoundly, INFJs often experience a sense of loneliness and isolation, even when they are with other people.

Depression may also arise from feeling that their ideas and insights are not being recognized or actualized in the world. They may see the world as deaf to, or unconcerned with, the truths they espouse. INFJs may, therefore, question their value in a world that seems indifferent to their insights.”

What Is Myers-Briggs?

Myers-Briggs according to Wikipedia says this:

“The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is an introspective self-report questionnaire designed to indicate psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.

The MBTI was constructed by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers. It is based on the typological theory proposed by Carl Jung who had speculated that there are four principal psychological functions by which humans experience the world – sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking – and that one of these four functions is dominant for a person most of the time.

The MBTI was constructed for normal populations and emphasizes the value of naturally occurring differences. “The underlying assumption of the MBTI is that we all have specific preferences in the way we construe our experiences, and these preferences underlie our interests, needs, values, and motivation.”


What Is An INFJ?

INFJ (Introversion, iNtuition, Feeling, Judging) – Cognitive Functions

INFJ is the smallest of Carl Jung & MBTI’s 16 personality types (just 1-2% of the population are INFJs), and stands for a preference for (I)ntroversion over extroversion, principles and perspectives (i{N}tuition) over experiences (sensing), meaning (Feeling) over logic (thinking), and taking action (Judging) over contemplating options (perceiving). INFJs are dominantly introverted intuits (Ni), auxiliary extroverted feelers (Fe), tertiary introverted thinkers (Ti), and inferior extroverted sensors (Se).

Jungian functional preference ordering for INFJs:                          

  1. Dominant (Most influential): Introverted Intuition
  2. Auxiliary (Providing additional support): Extraverted Feeling
  3. Tertiary (Third in order): Introverted Thinking
  4. Inferior (Last in rank): Extraverted Sensing

I – Gets their mental energy from being alone.

N – Takes information via patterns, impressions and possibilities.

F – Makes decisions based on how they feel.

J – Prefers to have control and plans.

INFJ Traits & Characteristics

  • Naturally inclined to help others
  • Natural diplomats because of the ability to see both sides
  • Egalitarianism and karma are attractive ideas to INFJs
  • INFJs find it easy to make connections with others
  • INFJs need time alone to decompress and recharge
  • We can’t stop reading people even if we try
  • Champions for the oppressed and downtrodden
  • Often neglects to take care of themselves – putting others first
  • Prone to exhaustion due to the passion of their convictions
  • Gentle, caring, sophisticated, and highly intuitive
  • Self-Expression comes more natural on paper than face to face
  • Artistic and creative
  • Struggle to express ourselves adequately
  • Has a deep need to help people “sort out their stuff.”
  • INFJs are inclined to create order and practical systems in their outer world
  • INFJs operate within themselves on an intuitive basis
  • Knows things intuitively without knowing how
  • INFJs are easily affected by other people’s emotions
  • Have uncanny insight into people and situations
  • Prefer deep conversations to surface topics
  • Are protective of their inner selves
  • Geared to improve themselves through personal growth
  • Are rarely at complete peace with themselves
  • Has “little use” for social norms and routines
  • Always improving themselves and their surroundings
  • Always testing people to see if we can talk about things that matter (usually can’t)
  • Can hold grudges for long periods.
  • We are information addicts, INFJs are the most well-read of all the personality types
  • Love’s variety in our romantic relationships
  • We rebel but also want to be accepted
  • Losing/ Ending relationships is extremely painful
  • The whole INFJ existence is bound up in hiding and concealing our true nature
  • Have very high expectations of themselves
  • A tendency to take care of others needs while neglecting our own
  • Most likely of all types to cope with stress by seeing a therapist
  • Is a naturally nurturing, patient, devoted and protective
  • Hyper-aware of their surroundings
  • Are the least able of all the personality types to be in a long-term relationship
  • If the person we are talking to is too active, they will take a passive role; if the person we are talking to is too passive, we will take an active part.
  • Mysterious nature
  • INFJs know we are unique and we revel in our rarity
  • Highly reserved, quiet, thoughtful, and almost above all else – introspective.
  • They make loving parents and usually have strong bonds with their children
  • Prefers careers where they can be creative and somewhat independent
  • Are very hard on themselves
  • It’s common for INFJs to assess their vicinity, and modify their behaviour accordingly intuitively
  • To get an INFJ to open up, you must have some degree of depth about you and show that your view of things is not that dissimilar from their own
  • Always looking for something new, rarely satisfied with the mundane or routine
  • Not good at dealing with minutia or very detailed tasks in careers
  • Are highly cerebral and reflective
  • Wants to be alone about 75% of the time
  • Very sexual in private, but respectful and dignified in public
  • INFJs are quiet around you if; they don’t trust you, or they are entirely comfortable with you.
  • Have a natural affinity for art, and may excel in the sciences, using their intuition
  • Are complex characters with a range of talents and abilities
  • Has a limited amount of social energy
  • INFJs are often mistaken for extroverts
  • Would rather spend time with our creations than with people
  • Keeps the majority of people in their lives at arm’s length
  • Because of the high demands of people close to them, INFJs frequently withdraw into themselves shutting out the world for a few days
  • Loyal to those they trust
  • Wonders why most people are idiots
  • Does not take kindly to being ignored or interrupted
  • Natural activists for causes but not for political gain or power
  • Suffers from emotional overload because of their inherent nature to be “givers.”
  • Has clear insights into the motivations of others, for good and evil
  • Highly empathic – Can feel and sense what others are feeling
  • Are natural counselors and healers
  • Hates liars
  • INFJs are the Archetypal “Loner” by choice
  • Are moved to champion causes and activities that serve the greater good
  • Has a strong sense of personal integrity
  • Natural Healers
  • Are private and selective about sharing intimate thoughts and feelings
  • INFJs are far less serious inwardly than they appear outwardly
  • We like to have things orderly and systematic
  • Use both sides of the brain equally

The Infamous INFJ Door Slam = You’re Dead To ME!

Where they once had patience, they will now be blatantly intolerant.” INFJ Door Slam

This is what happens when we get burned out by unresolved emotions, so we resolve the issue by deciding that the relationship is over. We are tolerant, understanding and patient with those close to us, but we are also very sensitive. The door slam is not meant to hurt the other person; instead, it is an act of self-preservation. Ending a relationship is hugely upsetting to an INFJ. We will do everything in our power to repair a relationship, even going as far as to help the person who is abusing or misusing us. When all attempts fail, we will mentally and sometimes physically detach from the relationship. Once we’ve gone through this process the next step is to slam the door on the relationship abruptly.

Possibly way down the road, we can once again have a relationship with this person, but only if they have taken steps to grow and change and become a more mature person. For the INFJ, it is crucial to “air our grievances” when others have crossed a boundary. Most, but not all people will adjust their approach when dealing with us. The ones that refuse to acknowledge their lack of boundaries will eventually get the door slammed on them. If someone does not respect my space and boundaries, and continuously sucks energy off me without reciprocation, then the door will slam shut. There is also the more subtle slam which means we don’t remove the person from our lives physically, but internally, we are completely detached from them even in their presence.

We mentally filter them out in our minds and have very little, if any interactions with them. This can happen with relatives, co-workers, neighbor’s and so on – situations where we can’t entirely avoid these people. Usually, before a door slam occurs, An INFJ will ‘Ghost’ the person whom they feel they need some distance from. Ghosting is when a person cuts off all communication with their friends or the person, they’re dating, with zero warning or notice beforehand. You’ll mostly see them avoiding friend’s phone calls, social media, and avoiding them in public. This is done as an act of self-preservation.


Behaviours That Cause An INFJ To Doorslam

  • Lying to us
  • Mistreating us
  • Not having personal integrity
  • Emotional roller coaster behaviour
  • Constantly repeating mistakes and not learning from them
  • Not valuing our time
  • Drama Kings or Queens
  • Exceptionally needy people
  • Control freaks
  • Not respecting boundaries (People who think we are an extension of them)
  • Not appreciating our need for alone time
  • Projecting their fears, pain, and suffering onto us

The best thing for an INFJ is to learn how to Have an Uncompromised Life!


INFJs Aberrant Hyper-iNtuition

INFJ’s have this uncanny ability to see patterns in people’s behaviours, and from this ability, we can predict with almost complete accuracy what this person’s future will be like. It’s just the way our mind’s work. When walking into a room or new environment, INFJ’s read the situation with an uncanny ability. We take an emotional temperature of the room, we hear every word spoken, every movement made, we notice patterns in people and situations, and we notice the way the environment is laid out.

This is all being picked up, sorted and processed internally by an INFJ. This makes being in noisy, crowded environments completely overwhelming for us because our senses are picking up everything all at once. Once we have been at a location several times, we will filter out non-essential information making it much easier to feel more settled in.

Being an INFJ is much like being an intuitive detective. When we meet someone or go to a new place, we get feelings from them. I can walk into a house or see a person and get an accurate assessment of the vibrational tone or mood that person or place is emitting. As far as homes go, I can feel if it is a happy or sad place, an angry or loving place. When it comes to people, I can tell if someone is “shady” or not.  I get these feelings or vibes from people all the time.

Back in the early 2000s, I worked for a fashionable, high-end retail store. There was a guy there that I knew but wasn’t friends with. He was someone I would make small talk with occasionally, but nothing too deep or personal. The weird thing I noticed was that I would get a bizarre, shocking vibe from him every time I talked to him. I couldn’t logically figure out why though. He seemed like a nice guy, and no one ever said anything wrong about him. A week later he was caught stealing by the Loss Prevention Department. He worked the night shift and had been stealing merchandise for months. My introverted intuition works autonomously even though my conscious mind has no idea why I’m getting these vibes or feelings around people.

Dario Nardi explains it well in his book – The Neuroscience of Personality

The Ni types often show a whole-brain, zen-like pattern. This pattern occurs when all regions of the neocortex are in sync and dominated by brain waves that are medium-low frequency and very high-amplitude….What is this Zen state like?

When presented with a problem, the Ni types seek to harness all neocortex regions in order to “realize” an answer. Imagine a troop of blind men trying to identify a secret object by touch. One man feels a trunk and says, “Tree”; another detects four legs and says “table”; a third feels tusks and says “boar”. Like the blind men, each region offers a different perspective, and a Zen-like synchronous state allows the person to reconcile various perspectives to arrive at a best-fit answer (an elephant).”


I Feel; Therefore I AM

We are ‘feelers,’ at our core. Unlike most other types, INFJ’s feel-out people, places, surrounding and situations. We can think, but the way we feel at any given moment is how we perceive our reality. If someone we are around is in a bad mood and ‘snaps’ at us, it hurts deeply. We don’t have that layer of protection around our hearts like other types, and we are ‘heart-centered beings at our core, whereas the majority of humanity lives life primarily in their head. The best course of action for INFJ’s is to know when we are feeling tired, or in a low-mood and be honest about it, so we don’t let other’s unconscious negative behaviors affect us.

It’s also wise to rest and recharge ourselves before and after dealing with stressful people or circumstances.

INFJ Quotes & Mannerisms

“You ever been so disappointed in someone that you forgive them and don’t say anything but in your head, you detach yourself from them completely.”

“You know that you’re an INFJ when you feel everything and nothing at all.”

“It’s hard for the sensitive to live in a world that is continuously losing its humanity.”

“Just because I can connect with everyone doesn’t mean I want to.”

“I notice everything, even when it appears I’m oblivious.”

“I’m tired of fighting for other people, for once I want to be fought for.”

“What can I say, I swear like a sailor and use please and thank you like a saint… I’m complicated.”

“No, no, no, I’m not insulting you, I’m just describing you.”

“I like to be of service to others but don’t ever, ever treat me like a servant.”

“Half of my feelings are doubts about the other half of my feelings.”

“Even when I’m quiet, my mind constantly talks.”

“Yeah you’re cute, but do you like nature, the stars, holistic health, evolution, psychology, philosophy, the universe, peace, compassion and raising consciousness?”

“INFJ-We’re caught between a sensitive heart and a rational mind.”

“INFJs – Being everyone’s unpaid therapist but needing one your damn self.”

“I want to be alone with other people who want to be left alone.”

“Strangers think I’m private and shy, my friends like that I’m warm and amicable, my best friends believe I’m certifiably insane.”

“INFJ – The Ultimate Square Peg.”

“We hate when people see us cry because we want to be the strong one, but at the same time we hate how nobody notices our darker moments.”

“Constantly torn between wanting to be a badass who takes shit from no one and being quite possibly the most sensitive human within a 100-mile radius.”

“I’ve got so many things on my mind, yet I have not one thing I want to say.”

“It isn’t that I don’t like people, it’s just that it takes a lot of energy to be around people. Once my energy level is depleted I need to be by myself to recharge.”

“I have a limit, and when you reach it I dismiss you from my life, it’s that simple.”

“INFJs are usually not looking to others to solve their problem, but only to offer support, empathy, and reassurance. Without such an outlet, INFJs can begin to feel isolated and depressed, turning to their inner fantasy world as a means of escape. And while fantasizing may seem helpful in the short-term, it usually makes the real world seem less tolerable and can exacerbate existing frustrations toward life.” Dr. A.J. Drenth

Best INFJ Careers

  • Blogger
  • Librarian
  • Humanitarian
  • Copywriter
  • Spiritual Teacher
  • Philanthropist
  • Writer/Author
  • Scientist
  • Designer
  • Park Ranger
  • Online Marketer
  • Song Composer
  • Non-Profit
  • Sculptor
  • Psychologist
  • Nutritionist
  • Photographer
  • Nature Guide
  • Work from home opportunities
  • Massage Therapist
  • Herbalist

INFJ Careers To Avoid

INFJ’s are more prone to stress and burnout than other personality types. As a precaution, I recommend avoiding the jobs below. Most INFJ’s do not enjoy careers that involve working with people and prefer working alone.

  • Police Officer/Security
  • Head Chef/ Restaurant Work
  • Sales Representative
  • Lawyer
  • Military
  • Customer Service
  • Counter check-out person
  • Retail
  • Assembly line/ repetitive work
  • Politician
  • Accountant
  • Administrative

INFJ Characters In Movies & Television

  • Sam Winchester- Supernatural
  • Gandalf – Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit
  • Galadriel – Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit
  • Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader – Star Wars
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi – Star Wars
  • Luke Skywalker – Star Wars
  • Yoda – Star Wars
  • All Jedi’s in Star Wars are INFJs
  • Captain Picard – Star Trek
  • Albus Dumbledore – Harry Potter
  • Captain America – The Avengers
  • Aragorn – Lord of the Rings
  • Bruce Banner – The Incredible Hulk
  • Bruce Wayne – Batman

INFJ Celebrities 

  • Carl Jung
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Adam Sandler
  • Plato
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Noam Chomsky
  • Bob Dylan
  • JK Rowling
  • Prince
  • Jane Goodall
  • Al Pacino
  • Roger Waters
  • Cate Blanchett
  • Edward Norton
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Daniel Day-Lewis
  • Jennifer Connelly
  • Jesus Christ/ Yeshua Christos


Take the Meyers-Briggs test to discover your personality type



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