personalityhacker.com_INFJ-survey

Otto Kroeger once said, “INFJs nonstop search for learning, self-growth, and development—and wishing the same for everyone else—makes them very reassuring to others and people worth emulating.”

INFJs are sincere, sympathetic, unassuming, easygoing and reserved. Their personal values include spirituality, learning, and community service. They can often be found in careers that involve religion, counseling, teaching, healing, or the arts.

They represent only 1.5% of the population, with females outnumbering males only slightly. This makes them the least common type in the human population.

They are known for their high GPAs in college and they usually stay in college, unlike some of the other Intuitive types.

INFJs are the most likely of any type to seek therapy and they rank highest of all types in marital dissatisfaction.

In a recent survey of INFJs we asked four questions:

  • What are the top 3 challenges you face as an INFJ?
  • What 3 things do you wish others knew about you as an INFJ?
  • What 3 books/movies/courses/events have most impacted your life?
  • What do you wish you could have told your 15 year old self
?

Almost 500 INFJs opened up and shared their complicated inner world with us! In this article, I would like to focus on the last of the four survey questions –What do you wish you could have told your 15 year old self
?

Many of the answers shared some common themes. So, I have broken them all down to 5 items INFJs wish they had known when they were 15 years old, in order of frequency.

#1 Don’t Allow Others to Define Who You Are

This was by far the most common thing INFJs reported as something they wished they could change. As an INFJ myself, I found this extremely enlightening. I looked back on a life of service to the beliefs of others and wondered if it was cowardice or love that forced me to succumb. I have a paralyzing fear of hurting or disappointing those I love. And because of that, I’ve only just begun living life on my terms. This seems to be a theme for Extraverted Feelers.

18% of INFJs said they wished they hadn’t given so much power to others.

Direct Quotes:

  • “Others perspectives do not define who you are. Make your own decisions. There are no right answers, only different circumstances and values.”
  • “I would have told myself to keep dreaming and not focus on the beaten paths that the world has laid out – college, 9-5 job, etc. Think creatively about what I can offer and bring that to the world.”
  • It’s okay to be who you are and feel what you feel. You don’t have to live up to other people’s expectations.
  • “You do not have to please everyone else all the time and at your own expense. You should not feel guilty for spending time alone. Try to be mindful and follow your own feelings about your life’s decisions rather than getting caught up doing what others think is best for you.”
  • “No one – no friend, no family member, no boyfriend – is worth you giving up all of your private time. If someone demands that much of you, you probably don’t need him/her in your life. It will drain you.”
  • “”Don’t worry about trying to find, fix, or befriend someone who will love you the way you think you ought to be loved. Work on developing your talents and genius. Don’t try to accommodate others to the point where you have no identity of your own or self-confidence.”
  • “Trust yourself and stop trying to appease others. No one can ever approve of you enough to make everything okay. You have to approve of you, and if you’re the only one, that’s okay. (If I had embraced that ideology when I was 15, I would have saved myself a lot of stress and heartache.)”
  • “You are not stupid. Other people do not define your worth. You are your own person, you don’t have to have someone else’s qualities to be valid, you actually exist. And I love you.”
  • “Pay more attention to bettering yourself, and stop worrying about what others think. You can be your very best when you learn to assess yourself as you do others. Never, ever, compromise your values, morals or feelings for the sake of someone else.”

#2 Take More Calculated Risks

INFJs dominant mental process is Introverted Intuition (“Perspectives” in the Genius system). This process feels great when it is given lots of time to drift, all alone, in peace and quiet. My favorite place in the world is a graveyard in the middle of the night. It’s dark, so there is no sensory stimulation. I don’t have to worry about anybody interrupting me. And there is profound stillness and awe in a place dedicated to the dead. I’ve often spent entire nights just letting my mind drift from one thing to another. I never get bored.

It may be due to this love of our inner world that INFJs struggle with motivation. 11% of INFJs surveyed wish they had tested the boundaries more.

Direct Quote:

  • “It’s okay to feel the things you feel. Your opinions are just as important as everyone else’s. If you want to be “seen” as you really are you have to be brave and show yourself; it’s okay that not everyone is going to “get” you, as long as you can live as freely as you can. People can hurt you only if you give them the power to do so. Live more in the moment! Seriously, you live in your head too much. Travel, feel, taste, take in everything and feel it without trying to figure out what it all means.”
  • “You have the potential to be a hero, to be anything you want to be. I know this to be true – although beware of the trap of arrogance and conceit. You just have to accept yourself and remove the masks. You know what I mean.”
  • “Yes, you do in fact move through the world differently…you are not crazy. Just remember to get out of your head and try something that scares you. And most of all, you are enough just as you are.”
  • “Keep calm and channel your over thinking energies into constructive change.”
  • “Stop procrastinating and just do it! You can’t waste your life worrying about a future you’ll never get to create if you’re too busy worrying. Take a chance and have a bit more fun, always put your problems into perspective.”

#3 Everything is Going To Be Okay

The third most common piece of advice INFJs would offer themselves was some much needed insight into the future. Teenagers are notoriously myopic. Perspectives is a future focused process and in its undeveloped state it can become paranoid and fearful of the future. So, although most of the surveys thus far have had this piece of advice, it means something extra special to INFJs.

9% of INFJs would tell themselves the future is bright. An additional 5% would tell their younger selves to stay present and stop obsessing over what may never happen.

Direct Quotes:

  • *Go your own path! No one but you determines your success or happiness. If you’re going through hard times, remember that you’re changing – you’re growing! Sooner or later you will start to see the gifts you’ve been blessed with due to the struggles you have been through. It will be worth it!”
  • “You’re hurt now and you’re bleeding, but someday you will realize that this pain gave you something you can’t get any other way. You just need to let yourself live.”
  • “It gets much, much better. There are others out there who are more like you. You can heal the pain to a large extent. It will be okay. Follow your desires to be an artist, and push yourself.”
  • “Everything unfolds perfectly.”
  • “Not everything is the end of the world and it’s okay to be emotional. Love yourself. You’re going to grow up and have a cool apartment right down the road from that record store you love with the cool zines and it’s going to have a BALCONY (!!!!) and you’ll be published and happy and skinny. Everything you’re going through now is so the adult you will challenge herself harder. I think you would be proud.”
  • “Take the time to enjoy your life. Slow down, you’ll get to the future quickly enough. Enjoy what you have in front of you. You need to find your passions to become truly happy. Start doing the things you love. Stop focusing so much on other people and how much you want to be like them. You CANT be anybody but yourself; it’s impossible and it will never make you happy.”

#4 Stop Being So Hard On Yourself

INFJs auxiliary cognitive function is Extraverted Feeling (“Harmony” in the Genius system). This function concerns itself with getting the needs of everyone around it met. INFJs are particularly good at this because they lead with Perspectives, which gives them special insight into people’s motivations and desires. The dream team combination of Harmony and Perspectives is not perfect, however. Every now and then, an INFJ will say or do something that receives negative feedback from the outside world. This cuts the INFJ to the core because they honestly expect better of themselves. I have been known to torture myself for decades over the thoughtless things I have said or done.

8% of INFJs wish they could tell their younger selves to ease up on the self-criticism. An additional 4% would like their adolescent self to stop obsessing over being perfect.

Direct Quotes:

  • “I’d tell myself to stop trying to fit into some sort of stereotype and use all the bad things that happened to me as a reason to be a better person. There’s also something I try to make myself understand even now, but it’s hard – ‘Stop taking things so personally.’ It would’ve been easier if I had learned this at the age of 15.”  
  • “You are special. You are not strange or weird or crazy. Just a beautiful, rare gem. Go with your gut in spite of what other people tell you. Listen to yourself. Love yourself!! (I have always struggled with this. If I’m not perfect then I’m not worth loving.) Cut yourself some slack. Not everything has to be perfect! Sometimes it’s best to let go and just enjoy. Cut others slack. They aren’t perfect either. (Also a hard one for me. I hold others to an impossible standard.) Let go of what you can’t control.”
  • “”Don’t be so self-conscious. Don’t put yourself down so much, you are fine! ACT, ACT, ACT on your thoughts. Calm your anxiety and center yourself. Working on yourself is GREAT, keep at it. Please be kind to yourself. Let go of the idealism, moral conscience and responsibility. Don’t over-analyze, just enjoy the ride.”
  • “Pleasing everyone is impossible so say ‘no’ and accept your decision. There’s no such thing as perfect so your best is enough. Care for yourself along with everyone else because it will catch up with you someday if you don’t.”
  • “You CAN do this on your own. You’re smart enough. You’re intuition WILL guide you. Love yourself and never be afraid of failing. A man will never complete you. YOU complete you.”

#5 There is Nothing Wrong With You

As is true with all the Intuitive surveys thus far, INFJs acknowledge their differences and the pain which comes along with being a Fruit Loop in a world of Cheerios.  

7% of INFJs would tell their younger selves that there is absolutely nothing wrong with them. Another  6% wish they could have been more comfortable with who they were.

Direct Quotes:

  • “Everyone is different, and that’s not only OK but necessary. You are the way you are by design. And it’s good. You can give to the world in quiet ways, via depth of conversation, and interacting in your way. You need to be you and not someone else. Do what you love.”
  • “This is clichéd and cheesy but that’s because it’s a universally acknowledged virtue – Be Yourself. Be true to who you are; you’ll be happier that way. Also, before I go, I’d like to share something with you. I know you’re a pretentious little fuck, so you’ll enjoy this. To quote John Keats, ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty- that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'”
  • “If I could go back in time, I would tell the younger me to slow down. I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish that was miles long and I got it all done before my 30s… slow down, kid. Take it all in. Live in the moment, appreciate and savor everything you have right now. Stop trying to please everyone and make yourself more of a priority, because in the end the only relationship you have that you can trust, that is eternal, the only true love is the love you develop for yourself. Stop being so critical. You are wonderful, perfect and unique in your own way. Appreciate yourself.”
  • “There is nothing wrong with you. You are worthy of love from yourself and from others. You deserve to be treated with respect and kindness no matter what. Once you learn to love yourself then make self-care your number one priority and everything else in life will be experienced with a sense of joy, even the painful times.”
  • “You are beautiful. You are smart. You are worthy. You are enough.”

Never Stop Caring

I have a vivid memory that has defined my life. At the age of 13, I remember making the choice to never feel again. I was sitting on the floor of my bedroom, my back against the door, and I was sobbing for the hundredth time over injustices I thought my family was experiencing. I knew to the very marrow of my bones that life was never going to get any better. The pain would never stop. My only apparent option was to become a robot.

And it worked. I never shed another tear. Not even at my mother’s funeral when I was 19. My voice flattened and became emotionless. My face became a permanent mask of controlled expression. My body hardened to reflect the shell I was hiding behind.

Now at the age of 43 I am trying to regain my connection to myself and the world. But what did I lose along the way? What connections were never made and what lessons were never learned? I may be a lot further along in my development if I hadn’t shut it all down 30 years ago.

Apparently, I am not alone. 5.5% of INFJs would tell their younger selves to hold onto their humanity, no matter the cost. An additional 3% would plead with themselves to always remember kindness when dealing with others.

Direct Quotes:

  • “I wish you didn’t try to cover your genuine feelings and love for people with cynicism and unnecessary judgments.”
  • “Focus on your emotions, try and understand them as much as you can – you’ll want them later.”
  • “Nothing will ever feel okay inside, until you learn to see yourself through the lens of love and gratitude and learn to be as kind to your vulnerable self as you are to your vulnerable friends.”
  • “Don’t try to give up your heart. Don’t try to be the best at everything because it’s not gonna happen. You can’t stop wars, you can’t stop injustice, you can’t stop hate, you can’t stop greed, you can’t make everyone happy and that’s okay, it doesn’t make you a bad person. You don’t need to punish yourself and you don’t deserve to die. You can’t make your scars disappear but you can fill them with gold, like in kintsukuroi. And I’m not gonna say that it’ll get better because it won’t – you’ll just become tougher.”

 

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We would love to hear more about the advice INFJs would give to their teenage selves. Please share them in the comments below.

 

Showing 37 comments
  • Eva
    Reply

    I think I am INFJ but not entirely sure. I know I’m intuitive and prefer feeling over thinking and sensing, but becase I have a hard time understanding just what the two intuitive functions really are as distinct from each other, it’s hard for me to decide. I took part in this survey because your tests have consistently indicated INFJ, which means you contacted me to take part in the survey!

    I would tell my 15 year old self that things will be better, in the long run. When we are so young, life seems so haaaard. I was wracked with an extremely poor self image and had no idea that what I really sought deep down was just to be happy. To be content and satisfied and even thrilled with the irreplaceable gifts of existence, life and the unique experience of my one journey. Simple, yes? But I just wanted to be ok, to measure up. What a disaster! For me, it was misery.

    But this misery was a blessing in disguise. It led me to obsessively pursue spiritual solutions, even though I didn’t think I was doing that at that time. This slowly evolved my view of life, the world, myself and others. Now, in my early thirties, it seems quite obvious that the shallowness I was mired in was quite obviously false. Of course my own worth is much more than how well I fit into socially imposed ideals! It was always easy and obvious to see the worth of others beyond the judgments of others, to love them even if they “failed” the social tests imposed on them and to even oppose these tests on their behalf. But not in my case! How strange. Somehow, when it came to my own self, this tendency vanished and I just judged myself so harshly.

    Learning to be my own friendly parent/best-friend to my frightened, vulnerable, insecure inner child is one of the most important, most trans-formative lessons I have had to learn. My little inner me needs just as much unconditional love from myself as do those others whom I always found easier to accept as they were or to experience sympathy for. Moreover, now that I’ve learned this and put it into practice, it is way better for others too!

    Another thing, before, while I felt the sympathy and practiced empathy I also had harsh criticism, especially for close loved ones when I witnessed certain faults in what I would call their “motivations” or lack of sincerity or even lack of good will toward others. Learning to chill with my vulnerabilities, inside, has helped tone done that critical voice as well.

    I would tell my 15 year old self to keep on keeping on searching, sooner or later she would stumble onto the hidden inner truth of her own life/being and that things would be so much better in the long run. It may not end up necessarily as the life she imagined, but a profoundly meaningful and rich life is hers nonetheless, filled with genuine happiness, because its based in what’s real!

  • Esther
    Reply

    Thank you for this article! As for my 15 year old self, I would tell her to “Trust your instincts, your gut feeling is your superpower. Nobody else has to understand it and you don’t need to explain why so do not be swayed by the crowd just to fit it. Choose your path ahead with both logic and emotion in the right portions – you will know what to do. You are an INFJ – just like Ghandi! you are capable of great things, you are a rare and precious gem”.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks Esther! That is lovely.

  • Averie
    Reply

    This is a great list. I would know. I am a 14 year old INFJ. I felt so different from everyone else and only understood why after I took the test. It is so great to feel understood by a few others who have had similar experiences as me.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for the comment Averie! I wish I had known these things at 14.

  • Patricia
    Reply

    I would tell my fifteen-year-old self that:

    “You are not responsible for other people’s feelings and you can’t fix them even if the answers are obvious to you.”

    “This is the time you should be focused on yourself and not trying to unravel generations of family dysfunction.”

    “Just because you feel guilty, it doesn’t mean you ARE guilty.”

    “Don’t try to squeeze yourself into other people’s boxes – it will never be right for you. You may as well focus on blazing your own trail, it’s what you came here to do.”

    “Consider that you may in fact, be more than and not less than the people to whom you unfavorably compare yourself.”

    “When all is said and done, life is a privilege and a gift as long as you are willing to see it that way.”

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks Patricia! I completely resonate with all of these!

    • Kris
      Reply

      Patricia,
      Although I rarely reply in forums(cause I think I sound stupid!), I just had to laugh when I read some of your quotes. It’s like you mined my brain and came up with these gems. Two resonated so strongly that it prompted me to reply. ( “This is the time you should be focused on yourself and not trying to unravel generations of family dysfunction.” and “Just because you feel guilty, it doesn’t mean you ARE guilty”). Hand clap. You nailed it!

      • Charis Branson
        Reply

        Thanks for the comment, Kris! I am reading a book right now called The Four Agreements. The first agreement is to remember the power of our words and use them for good rather than evil. I am working on not using such words as fat, ugly, and stupid when talking about myself. It is going to be a slow process, because I have done it my whole life, but I think it is worth it.

        You aren’t stupid. Nothing you say is stupid. What you say has value. Please remember that.

  • Bre
    Reply

    This is something I’m struggling with. I’m only 18 years old, but I’ve felt like a full grown adult shoved into a child’s body from the tender age of 8. Whenever I think about how different I am from, not only my family, friends and peers, but also from most of the world, I become immensely depressed. I realize somewhere deep down that I have a lot to be grateful for, but right now being so rare doesn’t make me feel like a gem, it makes me feel like an alien on a foreign planet. Being different feels more like a curse than a blessing

    • Sara
      Reply

      I’m 19 and have felt this so deeply for a lot of my life. We just have to remember that our differences make us absolutely, strangely, curiously beautiful. And at the end of the day, we’re all just human, and life is hard!! Many things can be both a curse and a blessing, but it’s up to us how to look at it. It gets better, even if it doesn’t feel that way now. I believe in you <3

    • KRS
      Reply

      I am a 39-year-old INFJ. I will try to offer a little perspective for you…I know exactly what you are describing, because it is easy for me to drift down that lonely road as well. I have found that when I start feeling depressed and cynical, it is because I have quit using my extroverted functions (Fe and Se) to relate with “the world”. As INFJs, it is easy to get so wrapped up inside our “heart-mind”, that the outside world and interaction feels unnatural. But, being involved with people and experiencing new things are part of what keeps our heart-mind satisfied with new experiences to absorb, process, and assimilate into becoming the beautiful, authentic person that we so desperately want to become. I often remind myself, “be the person that you want to be.” Being able to “be the person I want to be” involves intentionally and proactively using the extroverted functions of our personality type – reaching out to others, offering to help, speaking encouragement, going for walks, keeping up with chores, etc. If we don’t intentionally use those functions, we will forever feel like grumpy, misunderstood aliens 🙂 . People will truly come to appreciate and love the unique gifts you have for them when you start to use your more extroverted functions to relate with them. (I know…I’m exhausted just thinking of it too). We’ve all been there…I hope you feel better soon! 🙂

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for the comment Bre! I read all of the Intuitive surveys and there was one common theme – Life gets better!

      Everyone admitted to hating life as a child and teenager when they were forced to submit to their family dynamic or public school. Once they were able to get out and find other Intuitives they realized how awesome life could be and how much value they could bring to the world.

      You are on the verge of an amazing journey. Don’t judge the future by the past.

      Have you read this article: http://www.personalityhacker.com/how-to-make-intuitive-friends-in-college/

  • JaseR75
    Reply

    Such a great read. I have so many things I’d tell myself but mostly I’d say.
    1. Don’t be afraid to be different.
    2. You don’t have to take everyone’s problems on yourself. You can’t fix everyone. Sure you can see what the very fibers of who they are, but it’s not your job to fix them.
    3. Take time to understand who you are. Don’t worry about who people think you should be.
    4. Don’t feel guilty for being you.
    5. Use your gifts wisely. Don’t overextend yourself. You won’t be any good to anyone.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for the comment! Those are all very good. 🙂

  • Melissa
    Reply

    I would tell myself that you do not have to be perfect to be loved and to look at the people that are already loved for proof. I would tell myself that I have to have the alone time to be ok and balanced in my emotions so that I know which emotions are mine. and i would tell myself to quit trying to complete every goal at one time, how do you eat an elephant, one bite at a tkme.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks Melissa! Your first point is spot on for me too.

  • Enrique
    Reply

    This is so .. Dont have the words because it implies years and years of missunderstanding struggle and pain.. I am 52 and just learned a year ago I am Infj .. Such a milestone in my life .. Everything fit into place . Not easier but instead of carrying the gear I started using it… Thanks

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for the comment, Enrique! I was in my 40s when I realized my personality type. I really like how you said you are now using the things you considered burdens. That’s a great way of looking at it!

  • Kelly
    Reply

    I can really relate to these. I am 40 years old now, but when I was age 15 I developed an eating disorder in my quest to be “perfect”. I recovered but still have serious issues with my self image to this day. I also spent time engaging in destructive behaviors in order to feel like i fit in somewhere. The teen and young adult years were not so much fun for me.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for the comment, Kelly! That time of life was pretty rough for me too. It would have been nice to have some of these tools then .

  • Raghav
    Reply

    Thank you for such a wonderful post! I am 21 and recently gave the mbti test to find out that I have the INFJ personality. It’s very encouraging to find that there are people like me out there, facing and dealing with similar situations. I am certain that the points you so nicely put will help many of us out in difficult conditions. 🙂

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for the feedback, Raghav! I hope you can find some of the points of use. 🙂

  • J D
    Reply

    1) Don’t let your perfectionism sabotage you into procrastination. Never think you’re not good enough to try and keep on trying.

    2) Belonging should never require you to compromise your morality–if it feels wrong, walk away.

    3) Cultivate patience. Not just tolerance, but patience. Learn the difference. And grow from that understanding.

    4) Your self-worth does not lie solely in your accomplishments and what you can do for others. You are worth more than outside opinions.

    5) Don’t let self-doubt destroy the good in your life, and don’t talk yourself out of something simply because you feel insecure about it.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks JD! Those are all priceless. I see so much of myself in those words.

  • Artisan
    Reply

    I’d like to participate in surveys like these that have some actual meaning to them…

    Here are mine:

    1) Doing your best for grades is good, but at the end of the day, no one will know when you score higher than a 6. Put your time into THE things that YOU want to do specifically. Getting high grades isn’t everything. It will make absolutely no difference and it will only rob you of valuable time to further develop yourself.

    2) Your feelings and thoughts are right, your intuition is spot on. Listen to it and make arrangements and influence things accordingly.

    3) Planning ahead is good, but don’t buy stuff you know you will need way before you REALLY need it so you will have the best your budget can get at that point in time.

    4) Focus on feeling free and exploring yourself, you are worth something, live! Do NOT drown yourself, your pain, your stress your fears, your emotions, your entire being in solitary escapist activities. It’s not worth it. Express it. Be creative, it’s what you’ll end up doing anyway :p

    5) Dare to dream and do, Act upon it, make a huge list, save up and work it through.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for sharing Artisan!

  • Stuti
    Reply

    I am a 16-year-old INFJ girl and I really appreciate your writing this article. I can relate to so many things you’ve said that it’s like someone just summarized what goes on inside my head. It’s very encouraging to know there are others like me out there, and I am perfectly normal the way I am. It’s true that life seems a bit harder for us, probably because we observe too much and feel even more. My friends often ask me not to think so much and simply enjoy events as they happen. Of course, it’s easier said than done.
    Even though I am very sensitive, I rarely appreciate any public display of emotions and tend to bottle up my feelings, to the point that it suffocates myself. I wish I could stop doing that. I am also a perfectionist, and even though others praise me for my mental aptitudes, I am seldom satisfied with myself. My brain is like a whirlpool of thoughts that never ceases. It’s comforting at times but equally annoying.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for the comment, Stuti! The greatest gift you can give yourself is awareness. You are aware of your tendency to be overly perfectionistic and bottle up your emotions. So, now you can identify when those things are happening and choose to do something different. It really is that simple.

      Take one of the suggestions listed above that you would like to implement in your life and repeat it as a mantra every time you find yourself doing the reverse. For instance, “Stop Being So Hard On Yourself.” Every time your self-talk becomes overly critical remind yourself not to be so hard on you. At first, it will seem like you are saying that over and over again and it won’t feel like it is sinking in, but trust me when I say, It is sinking in. You will find yourself needing to say it less and less as time passes.

      Once you master one technique, pick another one. I envy your self-awareness and ability to start this journey at such a young age. I was in my 40s before this awareness could begin to sink in.

  • Jessamine
    Reply

    I would say:

    1. Don’t try to be anything but what you are, don’t diminish yourself trying to be “cool”. You’re not average enough and not aggressive enough to be “cool” by high school standards.
    2. Enjoy your sensitivities, take time alone to read or watch films or make art and be quiet, don’t feel you always have to be doing something productive or extroverted.
    3. Focus on what you are good at and develop those skills, follow your joy. There are many career pathways we can access that will be fulfilling.
    4. Don’t use drink or drugs to feel more extroverted in crowded social situations because those skills you learn wont transfer across to being confident when you’re not drinking or using drugs and you could end up surrounded by people who drink or use other substances too much, or develop that problem yourself.

  • Wuruhi
    Reply

    ” I never shed another tear. Not even at my mother’s funeral when I was 19.”

    I made the same choice when I was 20. Never have shed a tear at ever since. Not even in several funerals where I participated or was one of the bearers of the deceased relative, including my father and mother. Will likely never do tat in future. I have been asked why I am so in control, hard or insensitive. My only reply has been ‘I will mourn but in my own way’.

  • Katie
    Reply

    Jessamine, your #2 really hits home. For the longest time I always thought I needed to be doing “something”, I rarely took a break (and by something I mean I would go to the gym first thing in the morning, class, work, gym, and study and “plan and prepare” for the next day. I was mentally (not to mention physically) exhausted. I had that “all or nothing” approach, I still do today but it’s improving! I just liked how you said “you don’t always need to be doing something productive or extroverted”. AMEN. (Except when I don’t or when I finally breakdown from being “on” so much it’s a whole weekend of nothing but ice cream, pjs, my thoughts, and Netflix in small doses!
    🙂

  • Anna
    Reply

    I am an INFJ and although the advice given in the articles and comments was useful, I noticed that it never mentioned how often I feel like I am being judged. I feel like everyone in the world is looking at me, trying to find my flawless, and talking about me behind my back. Sometimes I hear my name whispered in the halls at school. I see people pointing from across the classroom. I pretend not to notice or care, but inside, I’m dying. I feel like the whole world is against me, that every little mistake I make is written down in the record of my reputation. I feel like everyone is watching every move I make, and judging me for the littlest things. If any of you feel this way, PLEASE REPLY. I need to know that I am not alone in this. Thank you.

  • Wuruhi
    Reply

    Anna,

    I spent all my youth at school and pretty much everywhere else just like you descibe. Things remained so until I learned to hide my true self – must have been something like at 16 years. After that I gradually and even fairly quickly learned to deal with people of the formerly negative environment. Did I learn to lie? No. I learned how to adapt to various people to an acceptable level (no brownnosing, not ever). That led to a point where former enemies first turned neutral, then after some time I even a few friends from them. Naturally, all of us were much older.

    In time I could give up most of the defensive constructs and live what we can call a normal life, got married, had three kids and so on.

    Today – many decades after that painful era being young – I am pretty much in balance dealing with outer and inner factors. Can’t say that anyone truly knows me, though even if they might think so. Not even my spouse.

    Generally speaking, I have learned to accept, to recognize, to evaluate and to act accordingly – *if* deemed worthwhile per situation. An expensive way to live, true enough. But it has worked and still works for me.

    That was my brief story. I know every INFJ will have their own unique story to tell if they so choose. I wish you well in your journey.

  • Anna
    Reply

    Thank you so much!! I really needed to hear that. You have no idea how much that helped me. I hope you have a great day!

  • Wuruhi
    Reply

    Anna,

    It was my pleasure to provide you with at least some relief. Do I need to add that I mean it? Hardly so.

    Just keep your cool, yourself as well as together as you can, and in time things will settle at their pace.

    All the best! –Wuruhi

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