I – Introversion preferred to extraversion: INFJs tend to be quiet and reserved. They generally prefer interacting with a few close friends rather than a wide circle of acquaintances, and they expend energy in social situations (whereas extraverts gain energy).
N – Intuition preferred to sensing: INFJs tend to be more abstract than concrete. They focus on the big picture rather than the details, and on future possibilities rather than immediate realities.
F – Feeling preferred to thinking: INFJs tend to value personal considerations above objective criteria. When making decisions, they often give more weight to social implications than to logic.
J – Judgment preferred to perception: INFJs tend to plan their activities and make decisions early. They derive a sense of control through predictability.
Functional Stack: Introverted iNtuition, extroverted Feeling, introverted Thinking
My mother says I was “born 40.” Friends call me an “old soul.” My husband calls me “digital woman.” My son says I would be one of “the wise women, if we lived in a matriarchically minded world.” These things set me apart, put me on a road less traveled, and can make life either interesting or scary as hell.
I am a Christian by conviction, a life/health coach by trade, an autism advocate by passion, and the woman most blessed by the two greatest kids this world has ever seen.
Images, Symbols, and Metaphors . . . I primarly think in terms of images, symbols and metaphors. As a child I had a rich imaginiation and my “play life” occasionally spilled out into my “real life.” But the real life didn’t feel any more real than the life I created in my mind. Even today movies and books become very real to me. I once saw a movie that gave me nightmares for months. It became too real and it infected my sleep like maggots in a dying deer. Hmmm . . . see there is another good example. When I am trying to explain something I almost always resort to the phrase “it’s like . . .” It always seems so clear in my mind, but words are often to concrete. Maybe that is why I like foreign languages. It gives me a wider vocabulary to pull from. Good music and realistic art move me. Sometimes to tears. The music needs to be good music: pleasant melodies, soothing harmonies, and complex lyrics. None of these so-called “praise choruses” for me. Give me Bach! Give me Crazy Horses! Rembrandt not Picasso. Picasso gives me a headache. Van Gogh is about as abstract as my mind can go. I get him though. He’s painting feelings not thoughts, metaphors not literal.
Serious and in control or mischieveous and implusive . . . Yes! I like my outward world to be orderly. I disdain clutter and chaos. I regulate my routine, meals, and exercise. But inside is a swirling mass of irreverant thoughts, impulsive purchases, a longing to chuck it all and see the world. If my outward world wasn’t orderly I’d likely forget to eat or do other necessary things. I’d fly off on the wings of adventure, or escape into a beloved book only to be surprised when Kelly walks in the door at night. Gadgets literally jump into my life of their own accord. I love gadgets: my iPhone, iPad, fitbit, and Kindle are my most prized possessions. If there was a fire, I’d grab them and run. Then I’d remember clothes and documents. That is why I have an emergency bag. It holds those things I wouldn’t normally think about in an emergency. No fear, my gadgets would never be forgotten.
All-or-Nothing . . . or as Kelly says “digital woman.” Either on or off. People–I love you one-on-one, I do not love you in masses. In fact, in masses you give me a headache and I require hours of quiet after being amongst you. One-on-one is where I shine. I can talk to anyone; I am a superb listener, and I empathesize with all you are going through. For the few who are my true friends, who have earned my trust (and that takes time) I am loyal, deeply invested, protective, and supportive. The real problem I have is that I tend to expect that same level of devotion back. My greatest heartaches are those who I let in and had them disappoint or betray me. Once hurt I can forgive quickly. Learning to trust again, that is my real weakness. I struggle with this every day. Sometimes with more success than others. Sometimes I simply have to accept that I can never be invested in that person again. They become one of the “people” to me. I can still talk, listen and empathize, but the depth is gone.
1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by S. Cain
2. 16 Personality Types by Drenth
3. I’m Not Crazy, I’m Just Not You
4. INFJ: The In-Depth Profile
5. INFJ: Portrait of a Counselor