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INFJ-Personality-type In this episode Joel and Antonia dive deep into the needs and desires of the INFJ personality type.

In this podcast on the INFJ Personality Type you’ll find:

  • This podcast episode talks about the INFJ personality type
  • We have an unusually high number of INFJs represented in Personality Hacker
  • INFJs have the tendency to feel very misunderstood.
  • 2 important components to understand INFJs:
  1. Their mental process is called ‘Perspectives’. They’re actually watching their own mind work and form patterns. Because this isn’t something verifiable, other people just don’t believe them or reject what they radiate.
  2. INFJs pair Perspectives with Harmony. When a person with the INFJ personality type tries to figure out what to do, the first thing that pops in their mind is, “how do we make sure everybody’s needs are met?” This process is in tuned with unspoken social contracts that we accept.
  • INFJs are very sensitive to the emotions of other people that they end up absorbing them.
  • The more sensitive they are, the more they have the tendency hiding. The less expressive they get, the more pain they experience.
  • It’s difficult for the INFJ personality type to build intimacy with another person.
  • INFJs who are developed and growth oriented don’t retreat to coldness. They’ve taken the harmony process in order to understand and create healthy boundaries.
  • INFJs are also able to see how things will play out in the future and this is one of the reasons why they are hesitant to build intimacy with other people.
  • Because they are so aware of what’s going on with the other person, they end up having one-sided relationships.
  • Jesus of Nazareth, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr were probably INFJs.
  • INFJs are not in the receiving end in victimization. They have extraordinary capabilities within them.
  • If you are an INFJ personality type or know someone who is, here are a few things you need to note:
    • You don’t have to absorb other people’s emotions and have it stay there. You need to develop techniques to let it go.
    • Words have power and the way you describe yourself will become your reality. Change the way you talk about yourself and think of ways of being a co-creator. Create a reality that’s positive to you. If you change the word use, you can change reality.
    • When getting everybody’s needs met, you’re basically part of everybody. Getting your needs met means you take care of yourself. Get sensitive to what those needs are in real time.
    • Honor what you need in the moment and be willing to take care of it. This will help you get other’s needs met.
    • Continue to look for people who understand you. Allow yourself to be understood and form the relationships you’ve been desiring.
    • You can’t change that you’re going to absorb people’s emotions. Manage and learn strategies that will help you figure out a way to let the energy come in and go out.
    • Do what you can to see yourself as a person who has positive things to contribute to the world. Focus what you got as gift and not as a burden to others.

Helpful resources for the INFJ personality type:

Developing Your INFJ Personality Type (by Donna Dunning)

The INFJ Personality Type (by Dr. A.J. Drenth)

 

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Showing 223 comments
  • Peggy
    Reply

    You guys are awesome! Thank you so much for putting your insights out there for us.

    I am 58 and a meditator, so I have kinda rolled through much of the INFJ experiences you mentioned.

    Some realizations in retrospect: I chose jobs which were more data-driven than public; I live in the country away from alot of people and traffic, I am a freelance writer (17 years) so spend alot of time at home and I like to limit my social interactions to small groups or 1 or 2 people.

    I think all of those are good ways to “cope” with sensitivity.

    Some of those choices I have made without knowing I was INFJ, per se….I have always listened to my inner self and I can tell the difference between a difference of opinion and disrespect for who I am at the soul level.

    If I can sense that I am not respected as a person (at that soul level), I have no reason to stay in that place. I think that level of discernment has helped me to make changes without really knowing myself as “INFJ.”

    I cannot tell you how much I have longed for a person who can really mentor me, so you hit that nail on the head.

    Thanks again, for the great podcasts!

    I have a natural intrigue with psychology and spirituality and I hope to use some of your wisdom in my meditation and contemplative groups….our personalities really dictate the way we come to our spirituality…so very helpful! thanks!

    • Joel Mark Witt
      Reply

      Great comment. Thanks Peggy.

    • Artisan
      Reply

      I wish I had friends that had this much insight into me.

    • Kelly H
      Reply

      As an INFJ and listening to this podcast as a budding learner of personality types, this has been quite informative and validating. As a social worker who recently went to get help for panic attacks, generalized Anxiety, and depression, I find this podcast as a very validating, insightful, and hopeful response to how I feel and react to life. I know that in the past, DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) has been incredibly helpful for me as a way to manage my emotional responses, particularly in accepting and letting go of the absorbing emotions I feel on a daily basis.

      Thank you and I am hopeful in finding a way to continue to manage my emotions, responses, and life-long practices in being able to continue to help others.

  • Julian lee
    Reply

    Another great podcast! This one was particularly interesting to me as I’m also using Perspectives as my leading function, but paired with Effectiveness, in one word; INTJ.

    So I sure could relate to what you guys were saying about Introverted Intuition, and the way it works and manifests itself. The most interesting part of this particular podcast for me though was learning what I didn’t quite know; since my second function is Effectiveness, and the third is Authenticity, I have a hard time relating to Harmony and the deep pain that can come from it.

    So this podcast was very interesting to me, it helpful to see how my primary function is working when paired with a different auxiliary function. Will you do a podcast next on INTJs to explain how Perspectives works when paired with Effectiveness?

    And would you consider ENTJs to be Perspectives users as well, even though it is their auxiliary function?

    • Joel Mark Witt
      Reply

      Thanks for the comment Julian. Yes – we should probably do a podcast on INTJs at some point. And yes ENTJs do use “Perspectives” (technical name: Introverted Intuition) as their preferred learning style.

  • Thomas
    Reply

    Great podcast. I am INTJ, sometimes INTF and a few other variants.

    My story is the classic ugly duckling turnes swan but with a twist. While I have been able to adapt, and not only be an ugly duckling, my swan moment came, when I became a mystic, and joined a formal spiritual training program that is.

    Of course I had always been a mystic, but now saw myself in a new light.

    To comment on the podcast: the process of understanding people and being able to meet them in their home, only to find that they won’t visit your “home” has been horrible for me, and it took years for me to take this seriously. I am not finished with the process. I guess its the classical dilemma of love: to love someone, to give love unconditionally, does not mean you can’t set boundaries AND ASK FOR RECIPROCITY. I think someone once said, love thy neighbour AND thyself.

  • Kelly Crowther
    Reply

    You guys articulate the INFJ experience like no others. As an INFJ, from the inside looking out, it’s often hard to know whether my inner world is unique to me, or if there are others out there who have the same experience. Like you said in the podcast, it’s hard to find words to express that unique inner INFJ experience until you have heard someone on the “outside looking in” describe it. That opened up a new world for me, for which I’ll be forever grateful to you and Personality Hacker.

    One of the strategies that has helped me over the years is not to take things personally. It has helped to recognize that there is a certain “nature” to each personality type, as well as each personality. It’s much easier to forgive behavior that might be offensive to me when I remember, “Oh, that’s just the nature of ESTP (or whatever type); they’re *supposed* to do that.” Or, “That’s just the nature of Jack (or whoever); he wouldn’t be Jack if he didn’t do that.”

    The realization that it’s not about “them,” but rather my reaction to them, has helped enormously. I think this is where the gift of Perspectives (or Introverted Intuition) really helps an INFJ. You (we) can actually turn what would otherwise be animosity into full acceptance of behaviors that we can choose to engage with, or not. A corollary to that realization is another: “they” may find something I do, as an INFJ or as any other part of my personality, offensive. But that it’s just my nature (at least it is at this point in time!).

    I strive each day to improve upon that nature, but it’s helpful to realize I can’t be all things to all people, and never will be. It’s harder for me to accept being disliked by someone than it is for me to dislike them…but even that’s getting easier in this lifetime-long process of total self acceptance.

    Thanks for an exceptionally brilliant podcast…on an exceptional group of people! 🙂

    • Joel Mark Witt
      Reply

      Thank you Kelly for the feedback and sharing your experience.

  • Rose
    Reply

    Wow. This podcast is shared on an Infj group in Facebook and I really loved it I had to comment you know!

    What resonated me the most is your advice on how not to be a jar of other people’s emotions and just be a conduit.

    I also loved ur advice about pampering yourself on a daily basis, working on your needs because as an InFJ, i think ive been thinking about other people’s needs all my life that I am forgetting myself… Feeling that it is fine for me to feel it when it’s not. Really.

    Thank you for this. Keep up the good work! ^_^

    • Antonia Dodge
      Reply

      Awesome – thanks for leaving the feedback, and I’m glad you felt understood!

      I picked up the ‘jar versus conduit’ piece from watching my mother. She’s a wonderful person who has turned herself in a ‘jar’. It’s painful to watch, must be worse to experience. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. 🙂

      -A-

  • Sean
    Reply

    Thank you to you, both, for articulating my suffering. This particular podcast helped me take a few steps back from the edge of the cliff.

    The description of giving until depletion is my greatest obstacle to achieving my OWN personal dreams. I am coming on 45 years of living and no matter what I have tried I can’t seem to stop hitting the bottom of the pool. I allow people to suck me dry. Morever, the “victim” role moves in and I am fully depressed for days. Sometimes weeks. Then the cycle repeats itself. It is nonstop: everyone wants something from me. I can feel and identify when I am sinking with the emotional sandbags of others tied to my ankles, but I am AFRAID to remove myself and invest in me. Probably has to do with my childhood traumas.

    Anyway, thank you, again. I really appreciate your work.

    • Antonia Dodge
      Reply

      So, SO important to get your needs met. Personality Hacker focuses more on personal development than personality types, though it’s the primary tool we use for personal development. If you’re interested, stick with our podcasts and other programs. We have a lot to say on the subject of making sure you’re living your best possible life as an INFJ (or any other type).

      Childhood trauma can definitely create a heavy burden, but it’s absolutely not a nail in the coffin. Invest in yourself in whatever capacity you can. You’re worth it. 🙂

      -A-

  • Violet
    Reply

    What you’re missing is that the majority of so-called INFJs online actually have preferences for INFP, are mis-typed, and drown out those with true INFJ preferences. 🙁

    C.G. Jung wrote, “[Introverted feeling] manifests itself for the most part negatively.… It comes out with negative judgments or assumes an air of profound indifference as a means of defense.… Their temperament is inclined to melancholy.”
    “Psychological Types,” p. 387

    When somebody is incessantly whining or griping about how misunderstood they are, or talking about how depressed they are, it’s a sign that INFJ is not a fit for their personality.

    • Antonia Dodge
      Reply

      Thanks for your comment.

      I’d agree that many people are mis-typed, especially if they’re only starting to understand the system. Many people who are close to the INFJ type (like you mentioned, INFPs) can see themselves in the INFJ profiles.

      Our podcast wasn’t about gripers or incessant complainers, but rather those with legitimate issues of feeling misunderstood and dealing with the ‘psychic garbage’ of others, which is very much an INFJ issue. Feeling like a victim isn’t the same as advertising that feeling.

      It’s extremely important to honor people’s experience while not encouraging them to stay in a place that doesn’t serve their best interests or happiness.

  • Aaron
    Reply

    I have REAllY appreciated these most recent podcasts. I am currently going to school for counseling and have taken at least 3 classes which addressed the MBTI but have never heard anyone discuss the types in this level of detail.

    I am pretty sure I am an INFJ but when I took the test I scored about in the middle on the J/P scale. Not really sure how that affects it. I always had a knack for helping/listening but also have a clear understanding of how draining it can be. It wasn’t until I was in a bunch of classes which pushed me to be “open” (a terrifying word at the time)that I realized just how much I had shut off my emotions in my day to day. I then set out learning to be more mindful of my experience. It felt almost completely foreign and out of control(see the first episode of 3rd rock from the sun). I hadn’t allowed my self to be vulnerable for a very long time, instead I just figured people out from a distance because I still wanted to help but didn’t want to let anyone in. Now walking into a room with an anxious person at times is like being tasered it just freezes me in place. Definitely still a work in progress but meditation and jogging work really well to help me reset. Also biofeedback is a fantastic shortcut if you are interested in meditation but want quick results. Learning about the intuitive needs from Antonia and Joel has also has helped a lot. It has been amazing how many like minded people are out there once you know what to look for.

    • Joel Mark Witt
      Reply

      Thanks Aaron for sharing this feedback. It keeps us going to hear kind and encouraging words.

    • Dennis
      Reply

      Many INFJs test out middling on the J/P scale because the Driver Function is Ni (Perspectives), a perceiving function.

      With my clients, I like to address the difference between either Fe (Harmony) and Fi (Authenticity) OR Ni (Perspectives) and Ne (Exploration) when distinguishing between INFJs and INFPs.

  • Marcy
    Reply

    Thanks so much for discussing this. I found the link to this podcast in an INFJ FB group. I rarely leave my home. I’m very functional with my family, and feel safe, although they don’t really understand how hard it is for me to go into social settings. My adult daughter recently told me that if I let someone in, who is not a part of my inner circle, it only lasts about a week. Finding a balance is extremely difficult. We are so open and then can quickly cut people off out of self preservation or preservation of our inner circle. Understanding how to gain an ability to keep relationships on different levels is so complex for us. When I started trying to figure out how to release the garbage I took up painting. The amount of paint brushes that were mangled was just sad. lol Thanks again. I got a lot out of your discussion.

    • Marcy
      Reply

      I also wanted to add that my jobs have all been health care related, or manufacturing jobs where I don’t have to have contact with people.

    • Antonia Dodge
      Reply

      It IS a tough balance. Getting your needs met is almost always the first step. You can’t give from a place of scarcity, so make sure to keep your finger on the pulse of what you need.

      And sometimes, the paint brushes are asking for it.

      -A-

  • charles
    Reply

    thank you

  • Billie Barnett
    Reply

    Your restaurant example describes my husband so accurately it’s uncanny. We had this exact experience when going out to a family dinner just a few weeks ago.

    I’ve actually been really working on ways to support my beloved INFJ. He’s going through a lot of the things you’ve described and I’d really like to help him break out of some of the unhealthy patterns occurring (like neglecting his own needs, letting things get to the point of being unable to be around even people you love, getting table-flipping frustrated, becoming physically ill from the stress of picking up everyone’s bullshit). I think self-care/self-permission is kind of a weakness of INFJs – maybe because of the judging, they can’t take care of themselves until ‘business’ is handled?

    Any ideas for how an INFP can help an INFJ and not drive them crazy would really be appreciated! Great podcast, this really resonated.

    • Antonia Dodge
      Reply

      Hey, Billie! Thanks for the comment. 🙂

      INFPs actually have an easier time of mapping and managing their emotions in real-time. Since they lead with Authenticity, a feeling process, they’re more comfortable in the space of “is this my emotion, or someone else’s?” INFPs are also more ‘go with the flow’ and have a tendency to ‘shake things off’ easier. (That is, as long as it doesn’t impact a conviction of theirs – then they can be crazy attached to an outcome!)

      Since you’re going to be more laid back and more directly monitoring your emotional experience, the most important thing is to not indicate that the INFJ should just ‘let it go’ and ‘it’s no big deal’, even if it appears that way to you. You CAN, however, be a great guide to helping them get to their authentic emotion. Sometimes just guiding them through the territory of emotional experience – mapping, if you will, what’s theirs and what’s being absorbed from someone else – can be a big help. You’re imminently qualified for this.

      Also – Authenticity is GREAT at helping another person replicate an emotion. Once the experience the INFJ is going through has been validated, ask your husband if he’d like for you to help him feel better, and guide him to a more pleasant experience. It could be that just holding space for him and letting him lean on your emotional stability will be enough. (That is, if you’re in a strong stable space. Again, if you’ve had a conviction crossed, you will be in no position to help anyone stay emotionally stable since you’ll be hyperfocused on whatever has affronted your conviction, or taken away the thing you ‘really, REALLY want’.)

      Let me know if that’s helpful. 🙂

      -A-

  • Michael
    Reply

    ENTP podcast!? Please!? Pretty please with cherries on top!

  • Carol
    Reply

    Recently found out I was an INFJ. Made a lot of sense. I always thought that I was this way because it helped me survive childhood abuse. I had to be “in tuned” to others feelings and emotions in order to stay out of the way, hide, or tread carefully.
    I eventually became a nurse, initially worked on a psych unit. Had an uncanny ability to tell when things were about to go bad. I would pick up a feeling upon walking into the unit, even if the patients were not there. I could sense a tension left in the room (may have been emminating from my co-workers ready to leave.) I would tell my techs that if they thought something was wrong, even if they couldn’t explain it, to tell me. I always thought of it like the deer who just knew the lion wanted to eat them. They didn’t have to think about it, it just knew. Sometimes certain people (or situations) just put the hair up on the back of my neck.
    I later worked in hospice. I was good at it too. You pick up on subtle clues from the patient, pain, body language, eyes, demeanor. The little things form the big picture. It is more than vital signs and facts. You can also understand the family too. See conflict before it happens. But both can be draining.
    I have tended to deny my feeling, my needs, my desire to relate to others. Not many other people get satisfaction from a meaningful, deep discussion. They don’t ponder life or people or situations. It just never crosses their mind. When you try to talk about it, you can see their mind start to smoke.
    For awhile, I let some influential people in my life tell me I was wrong, I gave them too much sway.. They told me I mis-interpreted things. I worked outside of nursing for awhile and had a conflict with a boss. I never could please them. I felt picked at and micromanaged. When questioned by their superior (one of my influential people), I was told I was “mis-interpreting things and taking things to personally”. One day, the boss in question was “correcting” something I had done when she realized I had actually done it correctly. She then, I think in a Freudian slip said, “I should stop thinking everything you do is wrong.” Couldn’t believe she actually said it out loud but finally what I had been sensing was validated. This is just one example of the things I picked up on. Hindsight, I realise I did percieve things accurately, the influential people just can’t see things and even when they can, they don’t admit it.
    Mostly I’ve been very lonely. Depressed most of my life. Meds do help. The podcast mentioned recieving disapproval a lot. I did as a kid. I internalized I was bad, worthless, etc. Recently through counseling, I have come to “disapprove” of what was done and said to me. It wasn’t right and just because they said it about me, doesn’t make it true. Just because they weren’t able to give love doesn’t mean I wasn’t worthy of it.
    I have to make a conscious effort to let people in. I keep waiting for rejection / disapproval to flash across their face when I open up. I’m learning though. I go to counseling once a week now. Sometimes its just a relief to let out what goes on inside my mind, my feelings. Sometimes its just observations, other times discoveries of patterns or behavior (mine or others).(For a long time I had trouble trusting someone enough to share my feelings. My mind would “go white” with anxiety when someone asked my how I felt about something painful. The best I could answer was “not good”.)
    And sensing others pain is especially tough when it is my kids. I tend to attract single parents (women) as friends. Sometimes it feels like I am a dumping ground. Often I find these relationships one sided as they say. They dump emotion and leave. I long to connect and have real discussions. I’ve been described as socially awkward because often time I just listen and don’t say much. Everybody is busy talking about themselves, they rarely ask about me, and when they do, they usually don’t mean it—they really don’t want to know, it was just a social nicety.

    • Joel Mark Witt
      Reply

      Thank you Carol for sharing with us.

    • Lynne Fox
      Reply

      Thank you for explaining this. I totally relate but have never been able to verbalize.

  • Michael Storch
    Reply

    I, an INTJ, listened to this with my INFJ girlfriend. She seemed to appreciate being able to learn about herself and I was happy to understand her better. I would love to have the same experience with her in reverse so an INTJ podcast as referenced in a previous comment at some point would be great. In the mean time, we’re very much enjoying your other podcasts. 🙂

  • Gary T
    Reply

    I have to say, having just found your site and Podcasts a few days ago, I’m addicted. I literally don’t have the words to describe how amazing your work is. It’s even better than discovering I’m INFJ.

    I’m working my way through all your Podcasts. Can’t get enough 🙂

    Thank you so much! And keep the podcasts coming. <3

    • Joel Mark Witt
      Reply

      Gary! We love addicts of the podcast. Thanks for being apart of the community.

  • JayJay
    Reply

    It’s extremely fitting to have an ENTP & ENFP presenting an INFJ podcast. It has been my experience that ENxPs were somehow imbibed with a magic ability to “get” the INFJ (or at least this INFJ). When navigating unfamiliar social situations, finding an ENxP in the group makes me feel a bit like a five-year-old on Christmas Morning.
    I find I have an easy, natural chemistry with both Ne Dominant types.

    Your insights were spot-on. I don’t know that I’ve heard a discussion of the INFJs over-reliance on our tertiary introverted thinking stated more eloquently. My introverted thinking is admittedly a bit clunky and it can bring my life to a grinding halt when I’m caught up in it.

    You noted the INFJs struggle with establishing intimacy and totally hit the bulls-eye for the reason why (at least, in my case).
    It truly does often feel like we can see the end of a potential relationship right at the beginning stages. This sense of “knowing” sets in and acting against it or trying to ignore it begins to feel inauthentic. I have often said my best relationships (especially romantic ones) were those when I wasn’t able to read the last page first.

    Your description of how INFJs often put up a wall with new people as a defense mechanism because of how vulnerable we are to those we let in our hearts? That concept, along with how we are naturally inclined to put ourselves into the position of seeking approval, rather than granting it- cut right into the heart of a great deal of type-based problems I have faced in the past. I have never seen this element of the INFJ nailed the way your podcast did.

    Most profiles of the INFJ focus on our need for closure and ability to “walk away once we are sure a relationship is over.” While certainly true that once a door is closed, I don’t pine over what might have been…I think the agony INFJs endure prior to reaching the point of giving up on someone they love is omitted from the picture.

    So, um, I didn’t intend for this to turn into a rambling, gushy essay- oops. My intention was to let the both of you know how much I enjoyed your podcast, I wouldn’t have minded if it had been another hour longer. I found a lot of value in your insights about INFJness. Thank you both for sharing them!

    • Joel Mark Witt
      Reply

      Thank you Jayjay. We appreciate the kind words and support.

  • Elizabeth
    Reply

    Thanks for posting this. My INFJ partner linked me to this because she though I would find it interesting and helpful, and I really have. I went back and listened to some other podcasts too, and in combination they’ve helped me articulate some of the problems I was noticing in our relationship.

    I’m an INTJ, and so I don’t really like to talk about my emotions. I actively try to hide them. But being an INFJ, she knows about them anyway. This can feel like a boundary violation to an INTJ, especially when I say “never mind” and she ignores it, and insists on talking about my feelings anyway. Sometimes she decides that I’m being “passive aggressive” if I change my mind about wanting to talk to her about what I’m feeling.

    Actually, I’m not being passive aggressive, but I’m trying to judge whether or not she can deal with talking about what I’m feeling, or if she’s in a place where she’s too overwhelmed and going to resent me for it (because she feels it too), view it as something being “inflicted” on her and lash out at me for it. If she does that, then everything will just get much worse. I’ll feel worse, and then she’ll feel worse, and it’ll just spiral.

    I have PTSD, and for some reason she has felt that in the past I’ve “solely” relied on her to “fix” it… even though I’ve been actively working on it for years on my own both with and without therapy (therapists who are actually competent to treat my particular issues are extremely hard to find, and those who try but aren’t tend to be harmful instead–fortunately I have recently found one who may actually help), and I’ve tried to keep her from trying to fix my problems. She has tended to perceive herself as a reluctant hero whose duty it is to fix people… and on the worst days, projected that onto me as if *I* am inflicting that perception onto her. It takes away my own power while also casting me as a “villain.” That she accuses me of just creating drama also denies/minimizes the trauma, and comes across as very victim-blaming.

    Those are only the very worst days, of course. But unfortunately, because she is so strongly affected by my feelings, I get a persistent sense that I really can’t or shouldn’t try to share (as in TALK about) any sort of negative feeling with her. Sometimes I even feel like it would really be better if I didn’t have any feelings. If I’m honest about that, she tends to feel insulted. I don’t really understand why she’s so insulted by that, truly. I’m only expressing my own feelings about the situation. But I suppose I really SHOULDN’T have said it after all. I know from prior experience that she tends not to react well if I express any honest insecurities… so why would I not have serious reservations about sharing them?

    I feel very rejected by her lately. She’s moved away to the forest to get away from everything, but I have a hard time convincing myself it’s not in large part because she doesn’t want to deal with me anymore. I can’t help that I have PTSD, and I know she can’t help being so affected by my emotions… but even so. The only time I get to see her these days is when she comes back into town to take care of taxes and stressful things like that. I know even being in town is stressful for her. Understandably, she gets too overwhelmed… But it’s just really hard to convince myself that I’m not the problem, when so much of the time when we interact these days (including when she’s physically far away from me), she almost seems to be allergic to me expressing any really honest feelings about what’s going on. What evidence do I really have that I’m NOT a big part of the problem?

    I wish I knew what to do about it. It’s just incredibly sad. We connected so well when we first met that we talked for hours, and could barely bring ourselves to part… it wasn’t even supposed to be a date, but it sort of accidentally turned into one. How am I supposed to try to mend the relationship if any time I articulate a feeling I’m getting about it, she takes it as an accusation or worse, as some sort of manipulation? How can something be fixed if the problem is never named?

    • Antonia Dodge
      Reply

      Thanks for the comment, Elizabeth. Sounds like you guys are at a sensitive time period in your relationship, and I wish you both luck navigating it. I also hope you’re able to come out the other side of PTSD. I have confidence in your ability to do so.

      It’s not a podcast, but I just posted an article on INTJs. Hope it’s helpful:

      http://www.personalityhacker.com/intj-personality-type

      -A-

  • Eric
    Reply

    Forget an “Intuitive Awakening”, we need an “Intuitive Revolution” or “Intuitive Civil Rights Movement”. The fact that Intuitives have to live in this hegemony put on us by these backwards and unimaginative Sensors is just pathetic and wrong. Sure the problem isn’t as easy to spot as say someone’s skin color, sexual orientation, or political beliefs (worldview), but it’s just as important none-the-less. Why do we have to change who we are to satisfy the shallow Sensors’ view of the world? It’s time to stand up Intuitives and FIGHT BACK. That’s what I do. I’ve learned how to blend in (as it were) over the years, but that just now puts me in a position to sneak in there and then strike out/lash out when no-one expects it! Get’s those judgmental Sensors scratching their heads every time. Get’s them thinking too (which is unusual for them, as we all know). That’s what we need to do, get them thinking a bit and using those dormant frontal lobes of theirs!

    Sorry for being all militant here, but as an INFJ I went through enough of that “whoa is me” stuff and eventually found my way out of it. And now I’m probably just as aggressive and obnoxious as the best ESTP out there. Although, I use my newly acquired powers for good and fight for the Intuitive cause. Just like all of us should. It’s time to stand up and fight back Intuitives! Down with those silly Sensors and their silly norms! Who’s with me! We are Intuitive, hear us RROOOOOOAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRR.

    Note: This post was brought to you tongue-in-cheek…. or was it??

  • Kimber
    Reply

    excellent podcast!!!! so validating and confirming!!! i’m 46 and INFJ.

    I’ve had some depression issues in remote past (20 years ago). I learned to get off my ‘pity pot’ (victim mentality) BEFORE i end up in full blown depression. I’m a physician, i’ve also learned to guard myself energetically from the ‘energy suckers.’

    I give myself ‘5-10 minute vacations’ periodically through the day, just to recharge. I’m also a single mom ( daughter is 5) and that has been a challenge- meeting her needs and also honoring my own need for private time and personal space. I run and do yoga, both solitary activities that give me a physical outlet for some of the pent up stuff i can carry around.

    In addition I practice Tibetan Buddhism, which has helped give me a sense of purpose and ‘mission’ to my life. it’s all still a work in progress. I loved what you guys said about sharing my gifts!!!! i enjoy helping people as a physician, but frequently feel that i could be doing more, reaching more people… still working on that one!!!

    thank you again!!!!

    • Joel Mark Witt
      Reply

      Thanks for sharing Kimber. I love the idea of “mini vacations” throughout the day. Great idea.

  • Kyle
    Reply

    Thank you very much for this podcast, being an INFJ male I agree greatly with your sentiments. This helped me in a time of need.

  • Sascha
    Reply

    Thank you for that extremely valuable podcast. I found it very encouraging.

  • Anastasia
    Reply

    The description of being misunderstood & deciding not to talk about it is fairly accurate,but I personally disagree with how you’ve described “just knowing.” It IS ESP….. Not that I don’t utilize the pattern thing you discussed, but the Intuition is running the show, which is connected to ESP, when it comes to reading people and situations, absorbing other’s moods & emotions….

  • Liz
    Reply

    This was wonderful. I greatly appreciate it. I felt understood and you were able to articulate something I haven’t been able to. I will take your advice to change my language and realize I can disapprove as well. It’s hard because it’s feels like I’m disapproving my own feelings…but I like the challenge.
    Your podcast was posted in a infj fb page – I am now subscribed to your podcast. Thank you, again

    As for barrier building:
    I have returned to the religion I was raised in (Christianity) after years of taking bits of truth from all religions. I think subconsciously trying to find a way to eliminate some people. I am a people magnet. I do hair, I counsel all day long. I go to the store or ride the bus and ppl start talking to me. In the past when I was younger I had a ton of facial piercings and funky hair. I realize now it was a “costume”, a shield.
    I’m older now and am more “natural” looking but I’ve let myself gain weight. Another shield.
    I’m in the process of pampering myself again. Losing weight and dressing up a little but I’ve taken to only intellectual pursuits or relationships. There are only 2 close friends that I’ve know at least 14 years and my 7 yr old son.

    It’s a struggle to keep a balance.

    Challenges help too.
    I’m trying to volunteer. I volunteered to be the den leader for my son’s troop and the PTA president at the school. I like to help, I know I can. These groups might help me develop barriers and use my “gifts” for more than just cutting hair.

    Thanks again
    I hope my input helps you and hopefully other INFJ’s

    • Joel Mark Witt
      Reply

      Liz. We appreciate your input.

      It fuels us to know that the stuff we teach is resonating with you and others.

      Thank you for subscribing. Happy to have you here as part of this community.

  • Mark8v29
    Reply

    I’m an INTP and I really like INFJs ! 🙂

  • Mark8v29
    Reply

    PS. No surprise that I come out as using Accuracy/Exploration in the quiz.

  • Gary T
    Reply

    Some great responses here 🙂

    Patiently looking forward to any future podcasts or articles on the other types <3

    To be quite honest, I'd probably listen to anything you had to say, whether or not it concerned personality Everything just clicks when dealing with other dominant intuitives, I think 🙂

  • john danzer
    Reply

    Both in the notes to this podcast and in the podcast itself there was a reference to Ghandi as being an infj.

    Because of my understanding of body type and personality it raised red flag.
    Ghandi was an ectomorphic (skinny) lawyer. This was not just from his diet habits. Even as a young man he was clearly lacking in “gut”. Endomorphs are generally “feeling” people and infj’s tend to be on the chubby side.

    The claim that Ghandi was an infj is the result of people making that determination strictly on the information Ghandi’s publicity agents promoted. It certainly wasn’t based on Myers giving him a personality test.
    This highlights the danger of asserting you know someone’s personality based on here say or your own bias.

    Knowing that Ghandi’s somatotype was in the ENTJ area I did a little research and it became clear he was not the saint that is usually portrayed.
    Do some research on the REAL GHANDI. Then decide whether he was ENTJ or INFJ.

    Describing Ghandi as an INFJ is not a compliment to INFJ’s.

  • Ronald
    Reply

    Wow this podcast was very accurate! As a male INFJ, i have been fascinated with the MBTI for a while to add more data in my pattern identification =p

    Here are some points i want to add from what has been said.

    “The more sensitive they are, the more they have the tendency hiding. The less expressive they get, the more pain they experience.”
    Very true, if i don’t master my emotion i can litterally fuck up my life.
    The more emotional maturity you have, the more you can deal with it.
    I have developped it in my life through sales and personnal developpement (Making the distinction between personnal rejection and the rejection of what you offer(idea/product/PERSPECTIVE)
    I have experienced emotional maturity as a kind of “numbing” my emotion.

    About intimacy.
    We tend to immediately know people not just how they are, but how the relation will unfold in our life. You described it perfectly, here is some complement.

    A Healthy INFJ, will choose consciously relationship that are beneficial for him, with the proper boundaries. Attracting people is also part of their belief system, if they believe there are so unique or special, and ultimatly impossible to get, there is a high chance they won’t attract any of those healthy relationship.

    A less healthy INFJ, can fall for relationship that will lead to very previsible disapointement, codependancy, where he will be likely to distract himself from his own priority/life/real perspective(i like this term). The relationship act like a drug to numb the INFJ from his real feeling/mission.
    That’s also when you can see INFJ interested into short term relationship, kind of brainless relationship, that are actually his own addiction with his inferior function (Se) and acting like an ESTP.
    I call it the INFJ dementia( yeah we like inventing term for pattern)

    Communication style.

    INFJ natural langage is woo-hoo, yes. They can have another problem building intimacy too, is that, their Harmony, mixed with Perspective, can force them to be extremely adaptative, but not in a way that create for exemple “sexual tension” or build up authentic relationship, but force people to go unconsciously into counselling mode! Futhermore adaptation consume a lot of energy, so they can’t sustain this, and can become resentful because their need are not meet at all.

    On being satisfied.

    I have learn to really focus on myself, and instead of saving everyone, learn to act like a leader, meaning, raising as a person, and helping people who wants to be helped. (Very important)
    The conselling mode, is a easy, non-energy consuming mode, but it’s a passive mode. Putting your distance and being connected toward your goal need a specific focus. So you can practice a real active counselling, with a specific goal, you can really help yourself and grow and being happy by progress.

    The best way to keep a healthy emotional distance, is to mix your rational mode with your Harmony, meaning, knowing where you are going, having the right perspective of what helping people truly mean, and becoming the person who wants to become.

    Leadership Jesus or nothing.

    I truly think INFJ are Raw, from-the-heart Leaders that rise from necessity and can forcast the future and give the greater good,However that can also become kind of evil if they don’t know how to manage their emotion(and don’t forget that you can’t change our Perspective externally…)

    I will even go further, the reason why most INFJ suffer so much(Rationalised depression(i am too sensitive,unique, misunderstood,ADD,ADHD, Too much childhood stuff) is mainly because they ignore their leadership abilities and usually their idealism is Schrinking, therefore all their power is put into an anti-idealism of life that become their ideal.

    INFJ are pursuing an invisible God (Ni) and they are all the time redefining what this mean, and this meaning give the whole sense of reality to INFJ. If they are not currently pursuing a fanatic ideal, they are living in an addicted state, depressive state, or whatever, but this is not their true life.

    The struggle is to survive the Concession of your Harmony (Fe), keeping your ideal alive after (Ti) and then not feeling to awkward saving the world (Se). This is what the developpement of INFJ looks like.

    (Sorry for the english i am french x))

    • Jess
      Reply

      Hey Ronald,

      Are you from Quebec – Montreal?

      • Ronald
        Reply

        Nope, i am from france why?

    • Joel Mark Witt
      Reply

      Thanks Ronald for the comments.

    • Cherie
      Reply

      Ronald, don’t know if you’ll ever be back to read this, but your comments are really meaningful to me as an INFJ. really helpful. Thanks!

    • Derick Butler
      Reply

      Ronald,
      Thank you for sharing your insight you are truly mentoring and coaching me for a far.

      “mainly because they ignore their leadership abilities and usually their idealism is Schrinking, therefore all their power is put into an anti-idealism of life that become their ideal.”

      My number one focus in life is maturing my leadership ability and shirking my anti-idealism.

  • Mateo
    Reply

    Now at 32 having rediscovered my INFJ score and while I remember taking a test before I don’t remember such valid and enlightening information on the subject. Bravo
    I kept hearing an internal mantra in my head while listening… “waters coming, find where your going to put it” This would explain how I have learned to cope with my internal discoveries that would put me in precarious situations socially.
    Its also insightful to see so many people in the “spiritual field” as INFJ’s. I personally have a strong aversion to the “pseudo sciences” and as such find deep solace in the scientific method, first principals and philosophy to understand the moral and ethical universal truths. Stefan Molyneux has some very popular podcasts on this subject and has helped me put a rational empirical matrix to the feelings I know “deeply” are valid.
    I also use medicinal cannabis daily and work for a collective providing not just herbal healing but emotional. As a Cab driver for three years, 3rd shift gas station attendant and bouncer for many years I’ve always had 10 minute life changing conversations. Sounds pompous but in truth people will tell me their deepest problems in less than 5 minutes once they understand their body and tones are telling me more than the usual person. Its an intuitive relationship that takes place in a very natural way. Also I do use “magic mushrooms” more commonly than most rock stars. Its a amazing form of personal therapy coupled with professional help over the years. CAUTION on the drugs people! I think mushrooms let normal people feel how a INFJ feels all the time.
    The total of these life experiences have me at 32 living north of San Francisco, a very “spiritual” place but to me empathetic.. which I value deeply. I live in the woods never in a town with more than 20,000. I have my brothers and their friends living with me rent free for the most part with the best food and cannabis that life can offer. We make music daily and express to each other feelings of love, war, race, creeds, losses and successes. The legal cannabis trade has me at the brink of purchasing land to build a private school so I can put my education and unique form of facilitating knowledge to the test. The worst part is all the ideas and concepts that make so much sense to me with education.. have never been done.
    All along the way there was no support except ‘thank dawkins’ my brothers and father a fellow “strong mirror” as my mom called us. Achieving your inner genius will not always be understood and nor should people just get it like we do, it is our job to show them in the real world what we know to be true… with Grace.

    • Joel Mark Witt
      Reply

      Thanks Mateo for sharing.

      I’ve know several INFJs and INTJs who have benefited greatly from using magic mushrooms and cannabis as a personal development tool. It seems to be very special for those people.

      I would agree with your word of caution. Any substance can be abused and unless proper intention and care is taken – I would steer most people away from mind altering substance.

      Good luck on building your private school Keep us informed on how it goes. Glad to have you part of the community.

  • Kecke Hel
    Reply

    Thank you for an enlightening pod cast. I quite recently found out that I’m an INFJ. I was quite down and start finding information about self-development on the net. I found loads, but most of it just wasn’t for me. Just too shallow I think. On one of this shallow sites I took a mbti test and found out I am an INFJ, started to read about it. ( I took a test when I was 27 but didn’t put any effort to find out more) Then I got in to some communities on facebook where I meet some INFJ friends, and that was like finding my tribe who I can discuss al sort of deep things about being an INFJ and life with. One of my new friend is a great women who really has deep knowledge about the mbti system and she also into organisation and leadership as me. Talking to another INFJ as her is so disburden, because I don’t have to explain how I just know, and she has gone through this process herself. Right now she guides and coach me to understand more of the system and she gave me a tip about this podcast. She also coach me how to use my abilities at my work. I’ve been so lucky. I just found out about you guys and what you do is fantastic for an INFJ as me. I’m looking forward to listen to more of your pod cast.

    So my recommendation for a INFJ is to get in contact whit other INFJs in a facebook INFJ community, and have in mind that there is load of this communities and some are better than others. And search for more knowledge about mbti and other personal types.

    • Joel Mark Witt
      Reply

      Great advice Kecke. Thanks for sharing. I would love to know who your friend is that is sending people to our podcast.

  • Ian Felp
    Reply

    I loved this podcast. it was shown to me by an INFJ friend of mine & I showed it to my mother who is an INFJ & I think it gave her some insight into herself (not that she doesn’t know herself too well). Im glad that you guys came together and made this.

    I was wondering if you guys could do an advice podcast for INFP’s?

    • Joel Mark Witt
      Reply

      Hey Ian.

      We are going to try and get some more advice podcasts done for other types and INFP is on the list.

      In the meantime you can watch a quick 10 minute video on the INFP here if you want: http://youtu.be/jjbAaclxDwI

  • Liz
    Reply

    I’ve been sharing this with my brother and two sisters that I haven’t spoken to in a while. It had been very helpful. I am so grateful to you. The lines of communication are slowly opening.
    They didn’t believe me, they thought I was weird. They are now understanding. Thank you ☺

    • Antonia Dodge
      Reply

      Oh, that’s awesome! That is EXACTLY what we love to hear! Opening lines of communication (in relationships that were strained) from greater understanding makes us feel warm and squishy inside. Thanks for sharing!

      -A-

  • Zack
    Reply

    First of all, I’m so appreciate that you did this podcast. It really means a lot that you two took the time to understand, in depth, the INFJ type (I am an INFJ myself). I’ve always had a hard time putting into words the way I can “feel” another person’s feelings — like, literally feel them. You guys hit the nail on the head. Especially when you spoke of our need to help others help themselves. I get great pleasure out of doing this. There’s just something beautiful about seeing another person improve, whether it’s physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. With that being said, I have a tendency to take it overboard and let it take time away from other parts of my life (but helping people is what’s it’s all about, right?) I also loved the Perspective concept you guys brought up. It’s the first time I’ve ever heard it, but it makes sense. My friends and family are in awe — and sometimes weirded out — that I’m able to look at a situation from many different perspectives. I think they get weirded out sometimes because to them, I come off a little apathetic. I understand why they would feel this way, though. I like to look at things long-term, and here are some of my favorite ways of doing that: financially, relationally, and growth-oriented. Again, thank you guys. I’m looking forward to more podcasts.

    • Joel Mark Witt
      Reply

      Thanks Zack. Your kind words fuel us to greatness. Stick around. We want to continue hearing from you here and on Facebook.

  • Liv
    Reply

    (INFJ) Thank you so much for this! 🙂

    Demystifying nF dominants (INFJ)
    1. May come across as intimidating
    2. May become socially isolated through fixating on meaning which is mostly not obvious to others
    3. Mostly concerned with formally perfect idealisation of human existence
    4. Potential stressors are when their ideas aren’t effectively communicated, recognised or accepted
    5. Need support to find their own way of communicating ideas
    6. May become resigned to never being understood owing to previous experience of constant miscommunication on their part or misunderstandings on others’ part
    7. Helpful to remember the connections they make between the consequences of different ideas aren’t necessarily obvious to others
    8. Helpful to remember the meaning they attach to different ideas or words aren’t necessarily obvious to others, either.
    9. Amass large amounts of inference, meanings and potential metaphysical causes in their heads
    10. May come across as operating on a different, mostly inaccessible plane
    11. Helpful for others to remember they’re not psychic
    12. Some difficulties in communication arise when their language is obscure to others: this is mostly when they don’t spell out what is obvious to them, though not obvious to others.
    13. Maybe deeply insecure through being treated as other to everyone else (because of others’ reactionary fear to their coming across as operating on a different, mostly inaccessible plane)
    14. Maybe also deeply insecure through being discredited as irrelevant because of the highly abstracted nature of their thinking patterns
    15. In conclusion helpful for others to remember they have emotional needs like everyone else and they’re not completely emotionally independent howsoever they may come across.
    16. Introverted intuiting means their intuiting may come across as a kind of thinking, however they are equally as sensitive to suggested meaning, tone, and motivation in others as other intuiting-feeling types.

    Development of the types
    1. In reality each of the types need their two least dominant neurological functions as much as they need to operate freely in their first two dominant neurological functions.

    2. For example, as an nF dominant I will feel constricted if I can’t operate freely in my first two dominant neurological functions, introverted intuiting (n) and extraverted feeling (F).

    3. However, my two least dominant neurological functions are introverted sensing (s) and extraverted thinking (T). This means I am least confident operating in something which requires especial attentiveness or tactical thinking from me.

    4. This also means I may easily come across to others as especially, awkwardly inattentive or untactical.

    5. An awareness of one another’s first two dominant neurological functions and two least dominant neurological functions can help us become more sensitive towards one another’s perspective.

    6. I know this has helped me come to terms with my experience of growing up with people whose perspective I didn’t completely understand.

  • Stephanie
    Reply

    This is fantastic. I’m INFJ and a lot of the issues raised really resonate with me. Within the first 1/4 of the podcast I decided this would be fantastic for my INFP dad to listen to. We are similar in a lot of ways, however boundaries and expectations can be an issue that I personally find very hard to communicate with him, especially since many of the boundaries I often think about implementing concern his ESTJ partner and my miscommunication with her.

    As I’ve grown older, receiving the same space for emotional support FROM him as I provide TO him has become a challenge but my way of dealing with this was to understand that this is not as fundamental to his personality as it is to mine, and luckily I have an INFJ friend and INFJ partner, both of whom can accommodate this need that I have.

    Thanks for this, I think it will be extremely useful.

    • Joel Mark Witt
      Reply

      Stephanie – thanks for stopping by to listen and comment. Happy that the podcast resonated with you.

      In my experience I’ve found great power coming from the INFP perspective. They are very different in how they connect etc – and it’s such a great compliment to an INFJ. I think as a general rule I’d say INFPs have a little less “awareness” in life.

      Not to say they aren’t aware of the people, emotions, thoughts, feelings and circumstances of others.

      I mean that INFPs are checking in with how things impact THEM emotionally. INFJs seem to have a better grasp of how things are impacting others. This has been my observation.

      That said – INFPs may be less talented at respecting externally constructed boundaries set by others. It’s just simply not on their radar. Their boundaries are internal based on how they feel right now.

      Thanks for sharing. Be sure to hang out here and on the Facebook page. We would love to hear more as you progress in your personal development journey.

  • Ryan
    Reply

    I’ve always wondered what role being left-handed has played in my development as an INFJ.

    I am a left-handed, male, INFJ. That’s got to be pretty rare, right?

    • Antonia Dodge
      Reply

      Definitely rare! Being left handed most likely helps you tap into your creative side easier, but most likely contributes to feeling even more ‘different’ and misunderstood. Fortunately, there are ways to understand the complete ‘you’ including your personality type, brain hemisphere preference, your experiences, values and interests. You don’t have to feel perpetually misunderstood, even if you are truly unique.

      -A-

  • Federica
    Reply

    This was very useful and interesting, as an INFJ. I will be trying out some of these strategies. I think I’ve become pretty good at dealing with other people’s feelings and not letting everything soak in for too long, and I am also more accepting about the way I am with my intuition. Being understood “as a type” really helped ne because I still feel misunderstood on a one to one basis, but I know how I am and I feel good about it just enough to be cool with it.
    What I’m terrible at and I really need to work on is creating intimacy, as you said, because I am always the counselor and I very rarely get to open up and dump my problems on other people. I’ve started texting my problems to people more recently and it’s not bad so far. I am not as good with words as I am in writing, so I feel more confident there I guess. Also if you sense a barrier or a refusal from the other end, it’s not as strong or immediate as if you were with the other person. Aka: not as heartwrenching 🙂
    I will also try to take more chances and put myself out there, try to do some good with what I have. Thanks guys!

    • Joel Mark Witt
      Reply

      Thank you Federica for sharing.

      I love that you are working on being more accepting of yourself.

      Hope you continue to hang around the Personality Hacker community here and on Facebook so you can share more as you continue to grow into the authentic person you know you are.

  • Owillie (Thinker of All People)
    Reply

    I just wanted to say, listening to this podcast is going to be a turning point in my life. I’m a 19 year old INFJ female. I’ve been chronically ill for more than 6 years. Just recently I’ve started to get better and I think a big part of that was because I “decided” to get better one night. I understood and related to a lot of what you said, so thank you. Thank you for putting into words, and choosing the right words, what INFJs are experiencing. Thank you for speaking for us. It’s very relieving to have that acceptance from another type. Not only have acceptance, but for another type speak on our behalf. Keeping in mind how you talked about not being ONLY being on the receiving end. Having one (or in this case two) talk about the struggles of the INFJ and that although it may seem to be “woo-hoo”….it’s real. For quite some time I honestly thought I was crazy, as in mentally ill. I BELIEVED I was mentally ill because I felt as if I was experiencing the world in a way that others weren’t (my mother is an ENTJ…dictator Jehanne of the Edwards clan, very hard to live with). Since I’ve been recovering from illness(slow and steady) my brain has opened up more(literally has the nutrients it needs to work). Since my brain has been opening up more I’ve been able to watch my brain work at an increasingly large amount. I couldn’t find the “right” words to describe that action of watching my brain work. In fact, I’m doing as we speak. Watching my brain think and work. I’m thinking about what I’m thinking about. Since my goal for the past 6 years has been to get better (and now that I’m achieving it) I’ve felt lost. Looking for something to occupy my mind. To make me feel as if I’m worth not only being here for others, but being here for myself (something EXTREMELY DIFFICULT for me to grasp). I’ve been searching and searching, finding myself going in circles, for something to connect the dots, to connect the person I’m turning into (now that I’m not sick, and I’m coming to appreciate myself more) and the person I want to be. Not souly what I want to do with my life, but who I want to be. I feel a great desire within me to become a doctor and help people, therapist, artist, research doctor and invent a machine to fix all DNA mutations, give up a life for me and focus on others who need help(turn myself invisible).. I have more, but there are so many. I have also started to dream and contemplate how I could change the world. I see the problems with the world and have never thought of myself as the person to change it, but it makes sense for the person seeing the problems to fix it.

    After hearing your podcast, and digesting everything said while I’ve been writing this comment, I’ve decided that I AM going to change the world. My heart is very large and I feel it in my very soul(woo-hoo) that I am capable and confident to be to change it. Not just in a small way, but in a large global way. Listening to this podcast gave the right words(ideas) to be able to make those connections I was looking for. On a somewhat side-note, I really enjoyed that this is a podcast and not a video. Just listening to words and not having to actually see you speak was very relaxing. It was much more effective to get what you were saying into my head without causing a distraction(the visual image of you speaking). I believe I’m a very visual person, with some above average auditory skills, so being to just listen to you speak gave me the chance to visualize what you were saying (kind of like a movie). For me, learning or taking in new knowledge or thinking of a new idea is like creating a movie in my mind that only I would understand the full meaning of. Words turn into ideas which turn into images for me. So thank you for doing this as a podcast. It made it so much easier to take in what you were saying.

    Again, I just wanted say thank you for putting in the time and effort to make this. This podcast (and the other ones you’ve made) is changing the world. Sparking new ideas and perspectives. Changing people’s lives. So thank you, for changing my life 🙂

    • Joel Mark Witt
      Reply

      Owillie.

      Wow.

      What kind words and we honored to be a part of your “life shift.”

      I was going to joke with you and say something about you not wanting to see our faces on video… or that we have “faces for radio” – but then the jokes just weren’t working.

      Anyway – this is all big stuff for you. You sound very sharp and as your health gets better I can’t wait to see the growth you do for yourself and the change you bring to the world.

      How are you thinking you want to change the world? Do you have ideas for the direction you are heading? Excited that you are now a part of the Personality Hacker community of like minds.

  • Helen
    Reply

    Wow, thank you for your very clear explanations and descriptions of my INFJ life. I find it very hard to explain to others what it is like to be an INFJ, to the point where I gave up explaining. I wonder about something: I know I do think in images, and I like the word perspectives you use, I think ( how to be sure) I have been able to switch perspectives from the age of three. Maybe even younger. Anyway, I digress as usual, but I would like to know if Ni is about thinking in images, or is it a non related-thing.
    Also I noticed, that when Antonia speeks about her mother INFJ depressed and incapable oftentimes, I hear sadness in her voice and anger. If she were coaching me and this sadness and anger comes through, it would make it hard for me te be coached by Antonia. i would want to hear more about the sadness and I would feel guilty for being INFH again, that may disapoint her. Hope you do not mind that I comment on this, it is a small but for INFJ sensitive point in a very helpfull podcast. Thank you for that

    • Joel Mark Witt
      Reply

      Hey Helen,

      Thanks for your comment. It’s can sometimes be a challenge to be truly oneself and also express that to others.

      It’s hard for me to answer about Ni thinking in images – because I am Ne (Exploration in the Genius System).

      Feel free to head over to the Facebook page (http://facebook.com/personalityhacker) and pose an Ni question to the community. Someone who is Ni may have a more direct experience.

    • Scott
      Reply

      Hi Helen,

      I’m an INFJ so I can give you my 2 cents on how I try and explain Ni to other people.

      First off, it’s the most unconscious of all the functions. You need to mentally detach from the present time and space to really use it. You essentially need to go inside your head. This can explain why a lot of INxJs will often be asked things like ‘are you ok?’ or ‘are you upset?’ when we’re really just thinking. We can kind of have a blank, zoned-out look, which other people might not understand.

      I think of it like the brain trying to solve a rubik’s cube. We’re trying to unconsciously shift data in our minds until the connections between things kind of snap into place. This relates to how Joel and Antonia use the label ‘Perspectives’. We’re shifting perspectives to perceive connections.

      Another thing that can be helpful to explain to others is that it’s a fragile state. It helps to eliminate interruptions when possible and it helps when people you’re working with understand this.

      I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Dario Nardi, but he’s done research using EEG that shows activity in the brain and how that correlates to the functions. Ni tends to show up as a low amplitude vibration that’s synchronized across every region of the neocortex. If any of those regions are pulled out of that pattern by distraction then it will essentially collapse the state.

      I, personally, am not a very visual person. Visual images in my mind are usually more abstract and impressionistic – so I wouldn’t say that Ni, by definition, equates to thinking in images, except for maybe in a very abstract way.

      Finally, there’s one quote that I really like to help explain Ni vs. Ne. I think it was from Lenore Thomson. To paraphrase:

      “Ne thinks outside the box. Ni thinks about the box itself.”

      Hope that helps.

    • Rikka
      Reply

      I listened to this podcast tonight. Perfect timing. I just came across this comment and question. I do have a pictographic and videographic mind. Can be overwhelming when distressing memories take hold. Not sure if INFJ is a correlation. I am also an Enneagram 4. Again, just wanted to respond to your question. And Joel, I would like to send this podcast to parents, siblings and a love. “Here! This is me! This is why you I just know and why if you ever asked, I could never explain fully before you tune out” and go back to harmonizing the world or painting.

  • Bryan Wilson
    Reply

    I think it’s incredibly funny that most the INFJ’s that post anything, anywhere…. start with a string of thoughts and end up writing 15 paragraphs because of our desire/need for the reader understand the whole picture as we see it in our heads! With that being said, you couldn’t have explained these pieces any better – especially from another types view! I always enjoy walking through INFJ posts because no matter the topic, the person, the website….I walk through that string of thoughts with them and you just sort of connect with them or their idea/line of thinking.

    I just discovered these 4 little letters a month ago and felt so relieved and in the moment. I begin to find every piece of information which included my type, and then I began to explore everyone else’s….I had my friends take it, my family…I began to build this web of types from people in my life and people from my past. Finally, I understand how things played out in my relationships. Then, I began exploring all the meanings behind the functions and where my weaknesses were. I wanted to understand how to get my dominant traits to work in harmony with my weaker traits. I must have taught myself an entire year of a psych program before I realized what I was doing. I jumped in, so enamored with the discovery that I got lost in the details. I had such a desire to interact with my family in a better way that they got sick of hearing about it. They weren’t interested in learning or improving our lines of communication.

    I did that with creating art and music before this, construction, soaking up anything and everything that I could to “change” my situation because I need to align my passion with an obtainable goal. Then I hit a road bump…I set unrealistic expectations and combined that with impatience… I needed to make it all mean something so I pursued my art on a crazy passionate level creating 130 pieces in a few months, getting into a gallery…same with music…running wild with creation. I ended up turning my natural ways of letting out the air in my proverbial tire (conduit reference) and turned a therapeutic sensory type activity into more emotional stress that drained my energy and sent me deeper into thought as I was creating. The words of affirmation from the outside world made me feel talented for the first time in my life and it’s something I had been missing. I have no intuitive friends, my entire family is ESTJ/ESFJ – which shut down my abstract thinking, growing up.

    I know there are all sorts of tests, and coaching, and resources for INFJ’s….but the affirmation, for most underdeveloped INFJ’s, need to continue to come in throughout life. I would describe my last two years (been divorced for 4 and have two daughters 5 and 6) as a discovery period. I’ve read so much about the maturity milestones of an INFJ. I look back and I am beyond proud of myself for recognizing and changing all of these things on my own without understanding personality types and how all of this works…..However, the trade off was a lot of heartache, a lot of mistakes, a lot of lost friends, distant family, failed relationships and the biggest two – continued low self esteem and lack of self confidence.

    I see two needs:
    INFJ’s (and all types) but particularly INFJ’s need a roadmap. Where it educates about the different preferences…Not knowing is has been my biggest barrier. One with examples from other INFJ’s – explanations from other type views like your podcasts, and testimonials/stories from places like personality cafe. They need “soft” resources and material to give to others without it looking like they were promoting their own personality or seeming invasive, rather as a tool to educate what the other types might misconstrue for selfishness, or flakiness, etc…

    The other is a resource to find and be around other INFJ’s. I live in Indianapolis, Indiana and I’m having difficulty. I just met an ENFP and felt understood immediately. Just being around other NF types would help I believe. I have to hold back my thoughts with most people because they just don’t see what I see. I can’t tell them, they’ll get offended, but our relationship won’t work if I don’t. Just being around an INFJ would probably change a lot of the things I have chosen to think about myself. If you take the statistics and apply the numbers per population and state…I think it’s fair to say the pool of INFJ’s around me are probably pretty low. I just learned about this at 31 so I imagine there are a lot of people who don’t even know this all exists, and are probably hiding out somewhere, haha. I feel like the ones that feel misunderstood are probably the ones like me…We feel misunderstood because we speak a different language and see a different picture. I feel like people get mad at INFJ’s like we self loathe – no it’s like growing up in France, speaking english when everyone else is speaking French. We pick up very easily and learn their language so we can function in society – and we constantly get mad at ourselves for trying to get others to try and speak English every once and a while…worse, we don’t understand why we don’t speak French.

    Can be an INFJ without including a metaphor 🙂

    • Joel Mark Witt
      Reply

      Hey Bryan.

      Thanks for the comments and feedback. You gave me a great idea for a bonus that should come with our personality profile… A guide you give to friends and family that helps them relate to your type. So thanks. We will be working on this very soon.

      Also – YES you need to find other NFs. But ANY Intuitive will be good for you. As an ENFP (Exploration/Authenticity in the Genius System) I have found that NTs have been really good for my growth in the past five years.

      Sometimes I need a break from the data dumping – but overall it’s been really good for me to surround myself with other Intuitives.

      You might really like this episode: http://www.personalityhacker.com/podcast-episode-0033-developing-intuition-action-plan

      Thanks again for the comments and for being a part of the Personality Hacker community.

      • Derick
        Reply

        Bryan Wilson , you comment blew my mind away. I don’t have time to go into details but you are a true word smith with getting you point across.

  • Aparna
    Reply

    Thank you so much for this! I was moved to the point of tears when I was listening to this. It’s almost like you guys know exactly what I’m going through. This podcast was more helpful than any therapy that I had been through.

    I’m an INFJ and I’ve been told that I’m strange, weird and kind of creepy. A while back, a girl I barely knew in my college committed suicide and I got depressed for that. It was painful for me to listen to people spread rumors about her and I even started defending her. That made one of my friends advice me against suicide, as if I’d do it. I was really shocked that people thought that way of me. At least it’s good to know that I’m not alone in this. Thanks a lot.

    Please continue to make such awesome podcasts! You guys solved a lot of problems.

    • Joel Mark Witt
      Reply

      Thanks Aparna. Glad the show resonated with you.

      Isn’t it funny how – just because you are able to shift perspectives and see things from another person’s point of view – people think that it’s YOUR true perspective.

      Hang in there.

      Our Personality Hacker community is growing and I’m glad you are a part of it.

  • Michael
    Reply

    Hey guys! Amazing video. Am just wondering whether you could please make a video on compatability. I think it is sad that there is so much conflicting information out there. For example. Socionics believing that any type within their own ‘quadrant’ which basically just means someone who shares the same functions, only in a different order, is an ideal match.
    I must admit my dad is an ISTP, and i certainly feel this on a intuitive level.
    However, others theories such as Kierseys believe that all intuitives should stick together, and so should sensors.

    I feel like they are both right. I naturally gravitate toward intuitives, and it can be a real breath of fresh air to know that there are others that think like me. However, I feel most understood and a part of the same whole when I am with ENFJ’s, ISTP’s and ESTP’s. ESTP’s particularlly for me hold the most natural attraction and gravity. ENFJ’s whilst getting off to great starts,do not always end well unfortunately.

    Anyway, it’d be great to hear your thoughts.

    Sincerely, Michael

    • Joel Mark Witt
      Reply

      Thanks Michael.

      We are working on some of these compatible type ideas. Of course there are courses to teach, customer service emails, videos to shoot etc. So we may take a little while to get to all of them…

      But we are working on it.

      Thanks for being a part of the Personality Hacker community here. Stay tuned for some great stuff about types that are great matches.

  • Nora
    Reply

    Thank you for this podcast, it had me near tears a few times. I’m an INFJ- found out about 6-7 years ago, when I was 40. Always thought there was something wrong with me, so learning that I was normal for my personality type was a revelation. My mother is very extroverted, and simply did not understand her very differently-oriented daughter. But that’s not why I’m commenting, I’m commenting because of what you’ve said about one-sided relationships and closing oneself off to new ones. When I moved in with my stepmother for 2 months (she’s extremely empathic, like me), and I was picking up on her physical health issues — unbeknownst to me, she had sciatica. It was hellish physical pain when she was around; went away when she went on vacation, but then came back when she came home. After I moved out, the pain went away, but as soon as I came back to get something from her house, BAM, there it was again.

    Another thing that recently happened was that a man I knew via a website I run (he was a major supporter of the site, sharing posts, commenting, etc), and whom I’d met a year before, suddenly became a little more… communicative. He’s an attractive man, and when I physically met him the year before, I asked my spirit guides if there was “anything there”, and the sense I got was that he was a friend- just that. I was cool with him being a friend. We talked via messages for quite a while, then he revealed to that he was in love with me. Suddenly, BAM (again), I was “in love” with him. Long story short, after about a month of messaging, not sleeping, headaches, feeling like I was behaving compulsively, rather that with my heart, I told him I needed to have serious alone time, and cut off contact with him. Using that solitude made me realize that it was an almost… parasitic relationship– that’s how it felt to me. I’d told him before that I’m an INFJ, and he claimed to understand that, and said what he didn’t understand he’d try to learn. Um, no, he didn’t have a clue. It was weeks of soul searching and detaching from him, but in the end I knew I didn’t love him; it was like a compensatory compulsive parasitic sharing that felt horrid instead of mutual love. It was draining the life from me, physically, mentally, and spritually. I had to break it to him that no, I didn’t feel the same way– again my empathic un-superpowers had again tripped me up. The backlash I got was disheartening– “you never liked me” (not true), “you lied to me” (not true), “you don’t really feel this way; you’re wrong; you’ll be back” (no, no, and no), “I’ll never find anyone now!” (NOT my problem) — manipulation and gaslighting, and the realization that I may never be able to trust my feeling again. This week I realized that maybe the only reason he was interested in me was because he was lonely, and something in my energy attracted him like a parasite/host. It’s a very isolating feeling, knowing very few (as you said, 1 or 2 of us in 100) people are like this, or understand this.

    But I can also see how my behavior– I tend to avoid people/crowds, and am around just a few people I trust, so my shields were down, thus allowing the ickiness to happen. I took it as a learning experience, and am trying to shield again, although I still felt psychic remnants of the guy for months afterward. Boundaries are essential for INFJs.

    • Joel Mark Witt
      Reply

      Nora,

      Thank you for sharing your heart about this. It seems deeply personal and we feel honored that you feel safe enough here to share.

      You are so right. As an INFJ – having clear boundaries is imperative for you.

      It also sounds like you did the right thing by pulling away and examining your REAL emotions about this man – so you didn’t get caught up in a synthetic relationship. You should feel really great about that. That’s a positive move you made for yourself.

      As I grow and develop in my personal journey – I am much easier on myself these days. I look for the positive choices and actions I take and try to relish in them and “amp up” the emotions around those good choices. It has served me well and has also helped me make better choices for myself.

      Thanks again Nora. So happy that you are a part of the Personality Hacker community 🙂

      • Nora
        Reply

        Many thanks to you for the warm welcome! INFJ is both a blessing and a curse. Blessing for the wonderful people who’ve come into my life, (and mostly blessings in the midst of curse) the not so wonderful folks who’ve come into my life who’ve taught me life lessons. Hopefully others will learn from my experience– maybe they’re trapped in toxic relationships where they thought they were in love, but have only absorbed the other person’s feelings. Part of me knows it would have turned violent and emotionally abusive had I not ended it and actually relocated — it got ugly and manipulative when I asserted my needs and set some boundaries. He didn’t like the real me; he was in love with his idea of me. Never knew what that meant until this experience. I know I’ll definitely be more cautious in the future. It all seems like a strange dream now. I do feel happy that I was able to see what was happening so quickly, and several times a week (I try not to dwell on it other than to analyse the dynamics to learn from) I just go: “Phew!! That was close!” 😀

  • Derick
    Reply

    I am extremely thankful for this podcast it deeply energizes my enthusiasm about life and emotionally sooths my soul(Tears). I listened to it in the past but am reviewing it today after maturing my ability to control my emotional boundaries and seeing more clearly my mission in life. Which is to become a man that delivers hope, love and joy tangibly making the complex simple to entire cultures, ecosystems and societies world wide to help all achieve their own dreams more easily and quickly, thus creating a legacy that forever changes the world. (I can’t almost believe that those words just poured out of my heart like that…but I will do this or die in the process) Thank you for fueling this INFJ fire you may never know I truly appreciative I am. God bless personality Hackers-

  • Michelle
    Reply

    Thank you so much for taking the time to study and understand us INFJs 🙂

  • Micah
    Reply

    Oh man!!! You guys SO get it!!! This is the most ridiculously accurate, on point, detailed explication of my life experience I’ve ever come across. I had no idea there were people in this world who could understand this. Thank you. Seriously. Thank you. This is so valuable it’s untrue.

  • Veronica
    Reply

    Thanks so much for this podcast. I found out I was an INFJ due to my ENTP boss making us all do the MBTI last year. And it is this same person who has pushed me to the limit last year forcing me to realise I need to draw boundaries this year and take care of myself before she chews up all my energy and leaves me broken. I see so much of the polarity Antonia alluded to in this relationship and I am on the verge of quitting because of it. But even deeper, drawing on all the experiences I’ve had in this workplace I’ve been in for over 15 years, I can see how it has left me feeling very misunderstood and undervalued because I am so different from almost all the other senior managers I’ve had in the past. My current boss is just another in the long line. Not being a certain personality type has definitely thwarted my advancement quite often. Your podcast has given me hope that I have a lot to offer. What company to be in – Jesus, Ghandi, etc.!

  • Rikka
    Reply

    I just listened to this for a 2nd time. I find it interesting that you made comment elsewhere how INFJ and INFP types have in your experience been the types that delve in to understanding themselves the most. I met Linda Goodman (Astrologist/Author) 20+ years ago while in college working in Nordstrom shoe dept. She guessed me as an Aries, introduced herself and when I told her I would look for her books, she warned me that Aries and Leos are her most inquisitive readers. I have heard this is the same for Enneagram 4s. The trifecta I presume.

    I found this podcast comforting and enlightening. I made a tearful revelation 2 years ago that no one seems “invested” in me. That it is so easy for me to see-through and feel so deeply connected to another yet when they disappear, I am left holding little. They did not have to invest. I was already theirs. I have also been frustrated all my life with the feelings inside that throw me in to confusion and silent turmoil because I can feel so intensely another anxiety, pain, depression, confusion and despair. I tend to leap for them to pull them back. I have tried to explain this to a couple people but I can see their eyes glaze over. It’s exhausting but since I have felt and seen through others since my first memories, I learned to stay the quiet observer and find my own outlets through writing, painting and exercise. I would call my runs as “running out my demons”.

    Friends have always recognized my “knowing” or “seeing” (to the point of knowing when someone I have not spoken with in 3 years will be calling or gathering my strength and composure before opening my door knowing the ex-love is calling that very second after disappearing for 3 months). Friends and family have relied on me for strength, insight, perspective and fairness most of my life. The problem is that very few have ventured to know me as deeply. I seem to be almost a refreshing light or sometimes a fun, fascinating friend they are in awe of. Several just believe I am psychic or have ESP gifts. I would never claim such things. And yes, I do wish I could just flip an ‘off’ switch. The last few years have been incredibly trying and unsettling for me. Because I have been the centered, advice giver to friends, I had not utilized friendships to ask for help in return. When I needed it, the responses seemed shallowly supportive and fleeting. They just assumed I would find the right fit professionally and that I was too talented to ever fall to the wayside. They move through life much less weighted and intuitive. If I finally speak of concerns, you can bet they are very real otherwise I stay quiet until I have it all sorted out. If I throw the white flag, we have a problem.

    I want to send this to a few people. My parents (mother says she doesn’t understand my eyes upwards describing ceilings and feelings nor does she understand my politics as she is extremely opposite), one girlfriend (for safe-keeping), one love that I wished I could have let see me, even if he ran and my younger sister so that she can translate with parents if need be. I have a very active mind, visually and with thoughts and constant organization going on – the mapping. I can read people from very far away and yes, strangers find me every where I go. Those ‘beach psychics’ used to stop me as a child and tell me I had gifts. They never stopped others though I never put weight behind it. I do see things. I viscerally feel things. I used to think it was because I have a general belief that we are all born connected to the supernatural world until society socializes us out of it. My thinking was that childhood trauma forced me in to my inner world for protection before I was fully socialized out of it. Your descriptions make more sense.

    How does one describe what they see, feel and know without sounding crazy? Especially when others see you as centered and highly analytical? Too risky. It throws everyone off and they are incapable of understanding this other side. I went too far inward this last time. First time experiencing anxiety and depression. Melancholy and deep feelings yes, this no. My mind was always too sharp, too perceptive, too understanding of people and situations to ever make it personal. This time it felt personal. And this time, no one came after me. In summation, thank you. I will share though I already know only 3 will hit play. Two will play it through and the other will stop after 10 minutes. You have done a great service here. Spot on too.

  • andrea
    Reply

    Just listened and loved it. Just wondering if you have ever heard of an infj like me. I completely related to the story you told about the person feeling sad at the same time the neighbor came home every day, except in my case, and this has been a lifetime scenario I tend to have high emotions and connect with people that are near death. Which is fine, I find death peaceful, except for the fact that when I meet them, the are unaware of the fact that they are near the end of there life. It was so bad that a few years after high school my friends start calling me death bi#*c.I just have such a strong sense of urgency to be near these people and give them a little joy and comfort, I can’t stop myself from connecting. Although very rewarding it does make me leary of getting close to people because I always fear they will not be around very long.

  • Roberta
    Reply

    Thanks for the insightful podcast! I’ve always been “different” and not necessarily in a bad way but, until I stumbled upon the Myers-Briggs research and your podcast, I never had a context to put it in. A lot of my personality “quirks” I chalked up to living through a painful childhood. Raised by a loving alcoholic mother, I thought checking “the weather report” as I opened the front door after school was completely logical. Later in life, married to a difficult person and a part of a difficult extended family, I could check “the weather report” at family parties. I could tell, within a window of about 15 minutes, when the fight would begin. So I’d gather up my small children and politely say my goodbys and leave. I never realized that anyone noticed until my two younger sister-in-laws began following me out the door. They had seen the pattern 🙂 At 61, I’ve learned a lot … and your information helps to clarify a lot more. My suggestion to others struggling is to be grateful for what you have (sometimes it is simply that the traffic light stayed green or you could breathe in after you breathed out) but the thought accumulates and builds a positive nature. And find a study/habit that grounds you in the “moment”. Photography has been a godsend … when there is too much static around me, I can analyze the light for future photo sessions or focus on how I would frame a shot of whatever is in front of me. Thank you for your work.

  • O. Roberts
    Reply

    I really enjoyed listening to this episode! Though, I have always thought of myself as a strange INFJ: I don’t really absorb people’s emotions! I can feel a vibe in a room and meet and talk to people and guess how they feel about me, how they feel about others, and will relatively quickly conclude whether I want to continue to get to know someone based on whether I see us being a longer-term, fulfilling/fruitful relationship, but as far as absorbing emotions to the point that I feel them that acutely, that’s an INFJ trait that I don’t possess.

    I am much more likely to identify what someone is feeling (and perhaps can guess why), but I don’t feel what their emotions. Rather, knowing that another person is uncomfortable might make me uncomfortable, but then I just distance me feelings from theirs. I identify what they are feeling, but I don’t take it on so much that I can’t escape their/my feeling, and I do not mistake it for my own feeling (meaning, I don’t mistake me feeling uncomfortable as either ME suddenly feeling uncomfortable nor as me feeling someone else’s discomfort). Rather, I understand the exchange specifically as someone else’s discomfort causes me to become uncomfortable, not that I’m suddenly taking on their emotion by proximity. Because I don’t identify this as me feeling other people’s emotions (which then places control of my emotions in someone else’s hands, basically), and instead I look at as me allowing myself to merely be influenced by other people emotions, it’s easier for me to distance the influence that other people’s emotions can have on me. I more or less choose to not be influenced by how other people feel.

    I understand that for most INFJs, it is impossible to NOT absorb other people’s emotions as your own, and therefore, this strategy wouldn’t work for them. Sometimes I feel like I am really missing out on a very interesting (albeit, frustrating and exhausting) INFJ trait by not having the innate ability to absorb other people’s emotions so accurately, completely, and quickly.

    • Antonia Dodge
      Reply

      Thanks for the comment!

      I’m not sure how certain you feel about your type, but just food for thought… I wrote an article on some of the lesser known differences between INFPs and INFJs. It’s possible that you’re more proficient at ‘mirroring’ emotions than absorbing them. Take a gander:

      http://www.personalityhacker.com/infp-vs-infj/

      Of course, no one knows you as well as you know yourself, and only can you determine your best-fit type. 🙂

      -A-

      • O. Roberts
        Reply

        Thanks! Hmmm, it seems that perhaps I mirror more than absorb emotions. But everything else that exemplifies an INFJ is spot on for me! Great article.

  • Cynthia Choufani
    Reply

    Thank you so much for existing on earth, for relieving the pain and solitude I feel in my everyday life. I feel like my family isn’t much my family sometimes. I know they love me. I know a lot of things but feel differently. They’re such concrete and methodic persons who go on in life in a certain path and I took a different one. I felt they were pointing me as the weaker one in the family. I will have 23 years old in April 12th and my brother is 20 and still goes to school and works while I’m not. My parents blame me for that. They blame me for having a depression and for being hurt. It’s incredibly lonely in my heart sometimes. I have a few friends but nothing deep. I had a friend once with whom I connected a lot and rejected me from feeling so much. I began to send messages to his inbox uncontrollably. Felt powerless and as if I had knives in my heart. He did not cared like I cared. He did not understand who I was. Still I feel this energy towards him that I cannot control and I hate myself for it. The cool part is… acknowledging the power I have to change and affect things in my everyday life. I feel that everything I put work and soul into turns to gold. But I have to say I don’t really care about this gift if I’m not feeling loved for who I am. In this society I’ve been crushed. I’ve been around people who really took me as a nobody. And when I took my guitar and sang then I was somebody to seek. And when I stopped, it’s like nobody ever knew I existed.. I wanted to be loved for the good reasons. But they only loved me for how I had so much to say, and feel and improvise. And what’s ironic is the other parts of me who were seeking understanding in my worst times were not taking in consideration. So they saw this shiny giving figure drop down and they did nothing to help me like I helped them. I think I needed love and help. I guess that’s why I isolated myself at home doing nothing but laying in my bed. Having no friends to comfort me and my parents who found my habits repetitive. If you knew how many times I had to say ”no it’s not that, you don’t understand”. I know this seems as a pretty negative text.. but the pain is so deep today, i guess I felt like sharing. I just want to love and be loved.. I have so much to give. I know I will get better. I meditate, I try to breath and walk. But I still suffer and feel I am not respected as I should be. Sorry everybody Im not feeling so well today. Sorry again. Thank you for this broadcast tho.

    • Kathy
      Reply

      Hey Cynthia, I can identify with much of what you’re going through and my heart really does go out to you. I’m 19 years and I realized only this year about my personality type and why I am this way. Previously I have struggled with depression practically all my life and it heightened when I got to high school where I even got to the point of feeling suicidal because I felt that no one understood me and my family was even estranged to me. It was years of being alone, hidden away and just feeling like a mistake of some sort, a disappointment even. When I finally came out with it I felt like my dad took it like some disease that would just go away upon two to three days of “medication” which was therapy. Just these last three weeks I felt awful and trust me, just the way your message is particularly melancholic and you appear low, I can totally relate. It sucks all the more that there seems to be no one who understands and your parents are not all too supportive to your sensitivity. Well from someone who knows exactly what you’re going through I can tell you that for me low moments such as yours became my breaking point and I’d want to hurt myself cause I felt I didn’t matter. I don’t think I’ve ever really had friends who truly understand hence I guess I just developed mechanisms through writing a lot. Also, my mum would tell me that they were lies from the devil about myself, I thank God that she is compassionate even if she doesn’t quite fully understand. I couldn’t see past that and I struggled all the more until an elder cousin of mine who is just like me told me that I needed to change what I told myself and how I viewed myself.
      Our type makes us look vulnerable and too feely hence we may try to even push it aside to avoid the feelings and what not but then we get to a breaking point where feelings are all what show. Where people around you don’t understand you it makes it all the more sickening. As for the guy whom you kept sending messaeges to, I can relate cause my “bestie” would wanna know what’s going on with me but when I share my experiences through my writing with him, it’s like he just reads and ignores or probably thinks I’m too complicated. What sucks even more is that overtime I even thought I actually really loved him and so I thought my “complex” nature scared him away so I stuck around trying to convince him otherwise alongside trying to make him understand. Here’s the thing, no one should make you explain yourselves to them in such a manner, real friends will find and love you just the way you are. I do still talk to him but I know now I don’t need to tell him some stuff and I feel so strong for finally overcoming that needyiness. Also, I realized that even if situations around me aren’t so supportive, I can actually start on my own within myself. It isn’t easy for sure but believe me, you, we can do this. I’ve actually just started this myself. My mum bought me this book titled “Lies that young women believe” by Dannah Gresh, you should get it. It’ll make you realize there’s a lot of good in you and that there many others like you.
      You’re an amazing and wonderful person, you just don’t know it yet. One thing I’ve realized with our type is that we have the potential to be so darn great when we rise above all the negative perceptions we feed our systems as well the potential to destroy ourselves by accepting the garbage that comes through.
      Let’s say I connected with you almost immediately once I read your message (I’m INFJ aren’t I?). We should talk more and I wish you the best, you can do this!

      • Cynthia Choufani
        Reply

        Kathy..I cried. I understand everything you said and said it better than me (by the way I’m more comfortable expressing myself in frenchI come from Quebec in Canada). I really have no words to express what I feel right now. I feel lucky to have you…experiencing the same battles as I. I will really look for that book you suggested me. I love you already. Please be well and through all you’re going thru’ think of me and I’ll do the same. We have each other. E-mail me anytime you want: cynthiaachoufanii@hotmail.CA not .COM

      • Charis Branson
        Reply

        Kathy-
        I’m so glad you have found some coping mechanisms through writing. I have also found it very cathartic.
        You’re right, INFJs can be amazing if they give themselves the opportunity. I have found a great deal of love and healing in the simple act of reaching out and helping people. Just like you did here in reaching out to Cynthia.
        I do massage and I love interacting with the Personality Hacker community. I have a friend who volunteers at shelters. And another who has developed a blog intended to help others like her.
        Have you found something that feeds your soul?

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thank you for your comment, Cynthia. I’m so sorry for the pain you are experiencing. Do you keep a journal? Sometimes writing down the feelings we don’t think we can express to others is incredibly cathartic. Since English isn’t your native language, you may find it more helpful to write in the language of your heart – which is usually the language you express yourself the best in.

      If journaling isn’t powerful enough, maybe consider blogging. When I was going through a very painful time a few years back I started blogging. It was scary sending my feelings out into the worldwide web, but it was also thrilling. The best part about it is you can bare your soul and feel like you are doing it to an audience rather than a piece of paper. If people resonate with it, and they will, they can share with you and by being understood you may find a place of healing.

      Be kind to yourself. Don’t throw your love after people who don’t value it. Learn to value yourself more than you do and surround yourself with people who treat you with the honor you deserve.

  • Sam
    Reply

    I enjoyed and appreciated the podcast on INFJs. I myself am an INFJ…female, and I go through all of the things you mentioned.
    I wanted to share with you how I personally release the emotions I absorb from others. I am an artist, I have found many INFJs tend to be artistic. That is because it is an expression and or release of emotions. I also write. This is great for my type.
    I have also developed the ability to turn off absorbing emotions from people that only cause me pain and are negative and harmful towards me and my gifts.
    It has taken me YEARS to be able to do this. I trained myself I should say…that is a painful process in itself.
    Just notes from an INFJ continually developing and training oneself.
    Hope this helps someone.

    • Antonia Dodge
      Reply

      Thank you for the suggestion! I hope it helps other INFJs with energy management. 🙂

      -A-

  • An INFJ
    Reply

    My INFP wife introduced me to this podcast because upon hearing it she recognized that this was my type. The importance for her was in the fact that my inheritance of this type actually explained my life.

    Let me say this from the start: Being this type was tortuous for me. The environment of my upbringing and the interactions of my childhood and teen years were profoundly affected by the differences between myself and others brought on by the disposition into which my abilities placed me.

    From the inside, I can report that the tendency to “know” the emotional state and motivations of others resulted in the assumption at an early age that everyone knew the world as I did, also seeing what I saw in interpersonal interactions. As a result of not realizing that I was different and therefore capable of deep observations and insights, by the time of my early 20s I had come to believe that everyone was simply intentionally fabricating a lie and refusing to accept reality. I did not realize that they were not like me. I did not know that the ability to see the underlying patterns were a unique ability of mine. So essentially the world was full of liars deceiving themselves and everyone else.

    This was an incredibly powerful impetus and life course changer. I found myself feeling alone in a hostile world of artificial constructs. I was not merely embittered by this experience, but rather fundamentally scarred and transformed. I feel looking back today that the original trajectory and purpose of my life was altered by simply not being aware that my own perspective of social and human systems was not shared by others.

    I am sharing this because I want to encourage you to continue in the study and management of the type. I believe that there are possibly thousands of people who need to know, to be informed, about what they are because they, like myself all those years ago, do not realize that they are different. This ignorance not only impacts their own perceptions of self, but also of others. In fact, in my case, it created an illusory veil of negative intent over the collective face of the human realm.

    Part 2 of this is that in recent years, I learned to harness the love of data crunching which has always represented a respite from heavy world interaction. And I mean I have literally harnessed a well of energy which had unleashed a set of capabilities which I never knew I had. I have been deeply involved in a research project intended to “unearth” the original trajectory of American Archaeology which I pour hundreds of hours into without even breaking a sweat. I spend 4-5 hours a day compiling reports, data, books-and then another few hours writing, writing, writing. And it feels like relaxation! In fact, before I go to bed, I find myself taking a book with me just to read a few pages to remind myself that “data is still there” so I can go to sleep!!

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thank you for sharing your very personal story! As an INFJ myself, I was raised in a very torturous environment and I developed the same cynical view of humanity as you did. After separating myself from a harmful paradigm, and deciding to change the way I looked at the world, I can now look upon in general with greater affection and empathy…in most cases 😉

      Part 2: It sounds like you have found your flow state! Congratulations!! I love archaeology and what you are doing sounds fascinating.

  • Paulina
    Reply

    Thank you so much for this podcast!
    I’m a 22 year old girl who just recently discovered that I’m an INFJ (I didn’t even know about these types!)
    I’ve felt misunderstood my whole life and been dealing with depression. I couldn’t watch some movies growing up and i couldn’t stand people fighting close to me. I felt physically sick from it. I could always feel other peoples feelings and was highly sensitive. And I always got picked on for it and people told me there was something wrong with me, especially my family. I was forced to distance myself from that part, had to learn how to be a different person. Distant, thinking, extroverted and everything i was not, and I’m so unhappy.
    Now i understand that i should’ve just grown and developed my gifts, my sensitivity. Accepted who i was and used it. And I am going to, because thats who i truly am.
    I loved the jar concept.
    Thank you, I finally feel understood!

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for your comment, Paulina! You remind me a lot of myself. I remember being in high school when fights would break out and I would feel like I was going to vomit. I couldn’t figure out why others could cheer while I was bent over in agony.

      You are so fortunate to be recognizing your gifts and sensitivities at such a young age! Please, make sure and give yourself plenty of permission to follow your instincts and do what is best for you. Don’t let others force you to do what feels wrong. Be kind to yourself!

  • Nora
    Reply

    Listened to the podcast for the third time… each time it’s been super-helpful. Over the last few months, one of the helpful things I’ve done to feel less like a total alien is to just google INFJ musicians. Some of my most-listened to musicians happen to be INFJs (and I think Ann Wilson of Heart is one too? Listen to Dreamboat Annie or Little Queen and say she isn’t!), and sort of ‘aligning’ myself with them makes the world feel less icky. Knowing some of the people I admire are of the same type makes things less difficult, at least in some ways.

    What I wanted to post about was what you spoke about at the beginning of the podcast, the “woo woo” factor, and in my case how it applies to therapy. During the winter, when I was playing mental hopscotch with my INFJ musician think-fests, and reading a bit more on INFJs and how the intuition thing is something that is part of me, I realized just that: trying to overthink and try to put my round-peg intuitiveness into a square-hole think process is a losing battle. Trying to find all the words to describe all the feels is neigh on impossible. Accepting the intuitiveness, and just going with that is when I’ve soared. When I don’t listen to my intuition, I fall.

    In therapy, my therapist is always trying to get me to describe how I ‘feel’, and recently I’m hitting the wall with her. I was married for almost 20 years to an emotionally abusive alcoholic. He did things during our divorce that cost me a lot of $$$ – and I recently confronted him on this. It took me YEARS to get the confidence up enough to do this, and afterward, while the confrontation did not result in him repaying what he’d stolen from me financially, I felt AWESOME. I avoided his red-herring blaming behavior, and stuck to the topic. In my next therapy session, my therapist said, “Maybe it’d be helpful to look at how YOU contributed to the marriage.” WHA?? I was shocked beyond words to hear her say that. When I got home, I went through marriage counseling records, my old posts on a web forum (that I’d luckily printed out), documents from the court-appointed GAL, documents from my lawyer/s, recalled conversations from various professionals working with us during that time, talked with my children about what the therapist said, and came to the conclusion that my therapist just doesn’t understand me. Funny thing is, she administered the original INFJ 120 question test many years ago. One minute she’s telling me I’m this rare intuitive type, the next minute she’s saying that it has no place in therapy. “Look at my role in the marriage?” That’s all I did for all those years. Years of getting services for my children and myself, who were all suffering; years of trying to work on the marriage. So I took what she said VERY seriously: After going over all the documents, I made a timeline of the ‘marital events’. Then I journal-ed on it for days. I looked up codependency, which was brought up many years ago as well (which I feel is more ‘victim-blaming’ – what about the person who is the actual addict?). Dammit, I was struggling, not knowing I was an INFJ during my marriage, OR until I was 40 years old.

    After that, I happened to have jury duty, and was a potential juror for a murder case. The judge spoke to each potential juror separately, and asked me if the fact that the victim was pregnant at the time of her death would affect my ability to be impartial. I replied that I’d been pregnant before. He rephrased the question: If my gut was saying one thing, and the facts were saying another thing, would I be able to be impartial. That’s when I instantaneously realized that my gut IS factual for me, and that I cannot ignore it. I answered that I couldn’t separate the two, and he excused me from service. BTW, I could sense that that defendant was guilty; I could tell (and only saw them from the rear) that his lawyer didn’t like the guy at ALL. Guilty verdict came this week.

    What I’m trying to get across is that sometimes a person like a therapist, who means well, will totally upset an INFJ and try to make us conform into what we aren’t. Another BTW: for years I thought my husband was undermining me; he told me I was paranoid. I even started to believe I was the crazy one. During the divorce, we had in-home family therapy centered around my youngest child’s acting-out behavior. When my hubs tried to go for custody, making horrible claims about me, I was extremely upset, and spoke about my fears to the social workers. They said the most amazing thing to me: “You don’t think he’ll succeed, do you? We can see right through him, and his alcoholic ‘affect’. We see how he uses the kids to gang up on you so he can undermine you and align them to his side. Let us know who we need to speak to, and we absolutely will.” The scales fell from my eyes in that moment, and I remember it vividly, even 9 years later. That was a gut thing that I’d ignored, and they so succinctly made it truth.

    So, maybe the therapist hassling me was the Universe reminding me that I need to revisit the past sometimes, because I go back to what the social worker ladies said to me that day in 2006: That I wasn’t crazy; they witnessed first-hand what he was doing (and he was actually behaving himself for them!! It was much worse behind closed doors, and I didn’t realize THAT until I just typed it.). In other words, I think therapy is over for me.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Wow. Thanks for your engaging story Nora. Maybe those social workers were INFJs.

      I think psychiatry needs to stick to a formula – “what works for the vast majority of people?” As an intuitive, your needs are going to be very different from the majority of people. I think psychiatry can be very beneficial to help us get through some tough situations, but I also think it is self-limiting. At some point, if you are growing and evolving, you should have the tools to get yourself to the next level.

      It sounds like you are ready to take control of your own personal growth. Bravo! I’m glad your therapist was able to help you heal enough from past trauma to be able to take control of your life again.

  • Allyse
    Reply

    Being an ENFJ I listened to so many of the other types before coming here to listen to my “cousin” INFJ. I knew that what I heard would resonate with me because we do share many similarities. I found myself nodding and saying “tell me something I don’t know” and yet I still feel something is missing because as close as you came to explaining me (strangers talking to me (prob even more so as I’m an extrovert…taking on pain of others, just knowing) there are parts. Feeling as if it’s my fault that others just don’t get me..maybe if I just stopped…everything they’d have the chance…wanting that connection and not feeling it returned…and on and on) I relish the opportunity to hear some good positive and constructive critical feedback on my personality. I connected to a bit of each the Idealist information, but none is quite me…Search high and low and you’ll seldom find good hardcore info on ENFJs. I get likened to Oprah who I can appreciate but who truly can get on my nerves sometimes ha…and all of these people who have put themselves forward and enjoy the crowds/fans… I’d love to be asked what it’s truly like when you’re not an ENFJ searching to change the world in a large way…but perhaps quietly making an impact. BTW I’m a teacher, almost a sterotypical ENFJ but I still want to hear about ME not just find pieces in other type descriptions. Just want to say…I’m not complaining..I LOVE hearing about people I know and I even love relating to things I do relate to, but I long to hear a story closer to my own experience. Can you make that happen…(soon than later) 🙂 Thanks Mark and Antonia.

  • Jessa
    Reply

    Hi guys! Great podcast. I just had an “aha!” Moment while I was listening.

    I’ve struggled to understand introverted intuition FOREVER. I think something just clicked in my head.

    One thing I find I am great at is helping people in work meetings to understand each other. Its easy to get confused in meetings because my work involves liaising between policy writers and web developers. So technical information and business requirements sometimes get people confused.

    When listening to conversations, I can sense when someone has misunderstood what another person has said. Not only do I know that they misunderstand, I’m usually bang on about HOW they’ve misinterpreted. So I always jump in with paraphrasing and clarifying questions. Tell me if I’m wrong, but I think I’m picking up on thought patterns and processes of others by using my perspectives function.

    Then I jump into harmony mode to smooth it out for them without making anyone feel bad about the miscommunication..Ie. “So what you’re saying is that a+b=c?”

    Would love to hear your thoughts.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      That is exactly how the perspectives process works! As an INFJ myself, I do the exact same thing. I’m always offering clarification to make sure everything is well understood.

      Sometimes I take it a bit overboard when trying to clarify my own words, however. I have a tendency to think I’m not explaining myself well enough, so I reiterate in hopes of clarification. It drives my INTJ husband insane because it’s ineffective communication – saying the same thing more than once – and he will usually check out. When I get upset that he isn’t listening to me, he says, “I understood you the first time you said it.” 🙂

  • Stephen
    Reply

    For the past couple months I’ve been sharpening my Perspectives process and strengthening my own Harmony process (I already have a really strong Accuracy process from studying math) through the help of this site. The thing is though, I’ve gotten so much more sensitive. For example, when I wake up to go to class, I get ready, take a shower, etc. Eventually I start to feel weighed down, like more lethargic and unmotivated. Eventually it gets difficult to leave my apartment because I decide to sit down and get on my phone, computer, etc. Eventually I get to work or class (especially class) and I start to feel better. Anyway I think I have a depressed neighbor. Here’s to personal growth!

  • Stephen
    Reply

    Anybody here familiar dealing with the psychic garbage of IxTP types? My dad is an ISTP and my younger brother may also be an ISTP as well. When I’m around them, they sometimes get very angry and frustrated at whatever they are doing and have really bad tempers. Unfortunately I am often on the receiving end of these tantrums and I don’t know what to do. I recently took a huge hit from both of them. I am very confused as to how to help them in these times. It’s just so painful, and the only thing I can think of is to move out because currently I live with my mom (ENFJ) and brother. Any insight would be very helpful

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      In the car model, the ISTPs driver is Accuracy – copilot is Sensation – 10 year old is Perspectives – and 3 year old is Harmony.

      In a recent podcast by Joel and Antonia (http://www.personalityhacker.com/podcast-episode-0068-developed-vs-undeveloped-decisions/), they revealed that underdeveloped accuracy can come off argumentative and condescending. Their 10 year old (Perspectives) can show up as paranoid and fearful of the future. Your brother and father may be dwelling in their underdeveloped, introverted cognitive functions. For them to find some happiness and growth, they need to focus more on their copilot (sensation). They need to engage somehow in their external environment. Cooking, dancing, running, hiking – anything as long as it gets them outside and engaging with the world. If you can get them to do this, it will bring them happiness and growth and the rest may take care of itself.

      I hope that helps.

  • Amanda
    Reply

    This is great. Thanks so much for trying to understand and help. I’m currently in quite a state disassociation due to quite a number of things that have happened, and I have shut out some people in my life because I am completely unable to deal or live with them, but I feel ill at ease everyday and just in a state of disequilibrium. How do we deal with situations that we are unable to change? Is it always irresponsible to walk away if we know on a subjective feeling level we cannot and do not want to deal with it.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Hello Amanda,

      Thank you for reaching out to us. Everybody’s situation is so different it is hard to tell someone what to do and not do. Sometimes, the best thing we can do is focus on growing ourselves to a healthier place so that our path becomes more clear.

      I’m not sure if you have explored our website very much but we have many tools to help with personal growth. Feel free to explore our many podcasts and blog articles.

      You can begin by taking the free personality test (http://www.personalityhacker.com/genius-personality-test).

      Then explore the cognitive functions of your personality type. By delving into those functions, especially your co-pilot function, you can fast-track your growth potential. If you are an INFJ, your co-pilot is Harmony. Here is an article on developing that process: http://www.personalityhacker.com/developing-the-harmony-process-as-an-infj

      We also offer coaching sessions for anyone who needs a more personal approach.

      Be kind to yourself!

      Charis

  • Lisa
    Reply

    I typed myself through a link on FB posted by a friend. I came out as an INFJ. I have been typed before through work, but never delved deeply. You know the expression – when the pupil is ready, the teacher will present himself.

    This was two months ago, and my life has not been the sam since. I have devoured podcasts, articles, books, YouTube videos, blogs, audiobooks, etc. to try to gain more information. I have also taken more typing tests because on INFJ forums, everyone accuses you of being mistyped (you really are an INFP masquerading), so you doubt yourself even more.

    I feel like I’ve found a missing piece of the puzzle of me. I actually wept when I read A Look Inside A Rare Mind: An INFJ’s Journal Through Personal Development. Before this, I thought, at various times, I was losing my mind, I was self-sabotaging and all sorts of other negative things about myself.

    There are two INFJ traits which I truly didn’t understand – a) emotionally retreating from the world and especially loved ones at regular intervals when “nothing was wrong” and b) the absorption of others’ emotions (I thought everyone felt this way). Regarding point b, I coach a team of 15 people, and never understood why I was emotionally exhausted after these sessions and for weeks following the sessions. These two are linked, and there is so much more.

    What I find on forum are lots of unhealthy INFJs (and mistypes, but their mistyping sometimes muddies the waters and the tone of the forums). I used to be unhealthy because of my marriage. When I divorced, I was so depressed having to raise two young boys in a country where I had no parental or in-law support because they live in other countries. Through that depression, hope lived deep within me. I have always felt I was destined to something more (still don’t know what that is), and a deep hunger to understand myself. It breaks my heart to see people online who will not come out of their comfort zones because they have been hurt or damaged by people, consciously or unconsciously. People who say I have not or will never date because they are afraid that their hearts will be broken, INFJ heart “ache”, not heartache, is so real and so painful, I do understand, but I have so much love to give that I cannot contemplate the alone option..

    Once I typed, ramp that up by 1,000%. Couple that when a brain that never, ever stops churning, and you have someone undergoing violent change, seeing my patterns and becoming more healthy. I have started looking at the cognitive functions, to understand how I think and feel, and how I can use my knowledge of myself to make the lives of others better, and help them on their self-discovery journeys. This is my passion. I’d love to turn this into a career.

    I have found out so much about myself, and have become so much more confident because I am beginning to understand my strengths.

    The first podcast I listened to of yours was this one. I now listen and am trying to catch up. I want to thank you for speaking
    sense on your podcasts. Your relationship with each other shines through, and I have used many of the links and books you’ve recommended. You are a big part of my personal support network.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Wow, Lisa. Thank you for that moving comment. As an INFJ myself, I really resonated with a lot of what you said. I am so happy that you are finding a better place to live and grow. We have a very large INFJ audience here with Personality Hacker. Please feel free to enter INFJ in the search area of the website and explore as much as you like.

      We have a training program for people interested in Profiling as a career. Here is a link to that program: http://www.personalityhacker.com/profilertraining/.

      Thank you for being a part of the Personality Hacker family!

      Be Kind To Yourself,
      Charis

  • comet
    Reply

    Hi
    Thank you!
    Sometimes we all need help and for me often the Universe guides me to this help. I’ll try to briefly explain my situation, even though part of me wants to shy away from this notion of something special.

    I work in conservation, mostly volunteering. For money i have just started a new job in disability care, which is both rewarding and super draining.

    My conservation work is where i love to be, maybe because its helping all life; i’ve been told by someone who was extremely close that i have a very strong empathy towards animals, but also experience those human interaction you mention. people open up to me and tell me their secrets.

    I also am now involved as trainee producer/coordinator/presenter of an environmental current affairs show on our local community radio station, when i say community it is very well known and loved station and our show is one of the oldest shows on the station. i’ve been really struggling with confidence and totally messed up an interview i did this week that i was so excited about. One of my friends, fellow activists was one of the 6 Greenpeace activists that climbed the shell oil rig, i really felt like i’d let her down…

    Anyway thats a little of my story. i would so love to help the Earth more and if i do have some way of engaging some hidden talent more i would so love to find out more how i can foster and nurture this within myself.
    Thank you
    Peace love and respect
    comet
    Am looking you up on facebook now

    Heres what posted on your youtube channel also>>

    Hello
    I discovered im INFJ recently. It kinda disturbed me, it makes 100% sense to me, but it made me feel lonely, especially as it told me there are not that many of us and that male versions even less. i then read more about this personality and the loneliness we experienced is part of it, which in turn made me feel even lonelier. I pondered if some people would be happy that their sort or rare in the way think, interestingly i didn’t feel this way. It does explain why i get many weird comments like, you have the purest heart i’ve met, you’re the kindest person i know, the world needs more of you comet. This has always made me feel uncomfortable wondering what they are seeing. I’ve always shied away from personality test, though i have read Jung; i discovered him when i did my degree in graphic design. Which by the way i only do for free now for conservation orgs as the putrid mess that is the advertising world i want no part of!

    It has been good to learn about myself and understand myself more, in turn becoming gentler on myself and better at what i would hope to leave to this world. But my work for conservation groups and on the radio show that is conservation and environmentally based is very tiring at times.

    So thank you so much for sharing what you know and allowing me to learn more about myself.

    L*

    AND

    oh btw this the first time i’ve ever posted a message on youtube.

    I would like to ask other INFJ’s a question.

    I recently noticed things about AMSR online.
    Been reluctant to ask anyone about this as i asked our drummer and he looked at me as if i’d lost it, we”re very good friends so i tried to explain it to him and he said he’d never felt it before.

    I’ve experienced this all my life, though it does feel beautiful, and sensual, but not sexual, which is exactly how its described and i agree, it disturbed me because i didn’t understand it, and i think now most of the time i subconsciously block it out.

    Do any other INFJ’s experience ASMR?

    Ha feel kinda scared exposing myself and fear isn’t really me
    Anyway thank you c:

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thank you for your comment, Comet! And Bravo! for your conservation efforts. Don’t be too hard on yourself regarding your interview. As an INFJ myself, I find my perception of my own failures is usually harsher than the reality.

      I had never heard of AMSR until you mentioned it. I did some research, though, and was fascinated! I always assumed everyone experienced that in one way or another. I remember looking forward to going home from school when I was a kid just so I could clean my ears out with a Q-Tip because it was so pleasurable. Lol! I get a similar sensation when I use my neti-pot. There are also whisper videos on YouTube that can bring on the head tingling sensation. Fascinating!

      Thanks for introducing me to this term and giving me another rabbit hole to explore. 😉

  • comet
    Reply

    Hi
    Aww you bought me tears of joy thank so much for replying c:

    For me ASMR is usually triggered by closeness of someone else; a teacher i was in love with at young age triggered it all the time. Its like their energy or aura somehow connects with mine and mine sort of celebrates. So happy to know you found something new and of interest c: Yes i have seen and listened to the youtube videos on this, i can feel it trying to be set free, actually i can feel a really deep part of me on many levels trying to come to the surface but i’m unsure how to help it. But this is all helping so much, so deeply with much respect
    Thank you c:
    L*

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      INFJs, based upon my experience, protect their vulnerable, squishy interior. This is usually due to experiencing too much pain in life. Vulnerability becomes an extreme liability to them.

      Once someone acknowledges this to themselves, and starts to value themselves for their squishy centers, it’s almost like a long dormant part of ourselves starts to awaken. Love for everyone and everything warms our hearts. I imagine it as slowly allowing myself to be turned inside-out.

      It requires trust and safety. So, you need to feel you are in a safe place and you need to be with people you can trust. Toni and Joel talk, again and again, about the importance of giving one another space to be their authentic selves. Make sure you are in a safe place where others are allowing you freedom of expression without judgment. Show yourself love and acceptance. Let the tears come when necessary, and your squishy interior will feel safe enough to show itself more and more.

  • comet
    Reply

    hi
    i just did your test here and got Perspectives/Harmony (INFJ)
    Yes its like you know me inside out…

    its a pity im a poor conservationist/musician and i can barely afford to eat.
    But it has all helped so much!

    Thank you
    c:
    L*

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Glad it has helped Comet! We have a lot of free content on our website regarding INFJs, so please feel free to explore. Thank you for bringing music into the world!

  • Carolyn
    Reply

    This was a great podcast and I’m grateful to have found it almost by accident. I had taken the MBTI when I was young (about 20 years ago now) and came up as INFP, but never felt it was completely accurate somehow. I took a new test a couple of weeks ago and was floored to find myself an INFJ, and even more so that the description was so accurate as I sought out more information and how to understand the nuances of it.

    To answer the question about how do you deal with being an INFJ, I have found recently that I can maintain compassion and interest in others, without absorbing all their negative unacknowledged crap, by considering them as in a state of personal evolution, with some old stuff they have chosen to have as lessons, and some gifts that will help them immensely to balance it out. And I mentally say, “May you be blessed with peace and joy” or whatever qualities I intuit they may most need. I started doing that do help keep myself calm and nonjudgmental, but it seems to make a difference to the other person too.

    What’s funny is that I started doing things like that before discovering my real type. And the last year has been a nonstop process of releasing everything in my life that no longer fits. The ultimate end goal is find a way to use all I know about writing, coaching, teaching and business to work for myself helping people to put their thoughts/messages/ideas into words. It’s so easy for me to “see” what they’re trying to express, and to organize it and polish it just so, but I had no idea that this was unusual. Or valuable until a few days ago when it was pointed out to me. This feels like my INFJ mission, even though it’s not terribly big or ground breaking.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thank you for your insightful comment, Carolyn! I think you undervalue what you accomplish. The positive vibes you put out into the universe, as well as the space you give others to grow, is incredibly ground breaking. Thank you for taking the lead in making the world a better place for growth and compassion!

      • Carolyn
        Reply

        Thank you Charis. You’ve made my day!

  • Dianna
    Reply

    Thank you for this podcast. When I took your test I came out as into but when I read the PDFs on Infj I knew it wasn’t spot on. But listening to this podcast. I recognize I had went to my ti to handle the pain I’m in.. I do now know how to defuse the data coming at me in a very positive way.your program on intuitive awakening has given me lots of ways of dealing and impacting others. Dianna

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thank you for that heartfelt comment, Dianna. I really resonated with it because I thought I was INTP for years, for the very same reason you did. It was easier to turn off emotion and go to cold, calculating data. Data and metrics aren’t vulnerable. They can’t be hurt. They just are.

      Congratulations on finally discovering your strengths. Now it’s time to give yourself the space to explore your feelings and heal. Value your emotions and realize that your emotional interaction with the world is a gift you bring to everyone.

  • Dianna
    Reply

    Charis, what will it take to get a personality profile on Infj. Have the one on intj but I now know I’m a Infj. Thanks for your thoughtful words they meant a lot to me dianna

    • Antonia Dodge
      Reply

      Hey, Dianna! I just set you up. Check your email for confirmation. 🙂

      Cheers!

      -A-

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Dianna – Welcome to the INFJ family! I hope you were able to access your content and it resonates with you more. Keep exploring and keep growing!

  • Jessica
    Reply

    Just found your podcast, just listened to this episode…it was great!

    I discovered I was an INFJ about a year ago and it has been life altering for me. I have terrible anxiety from my upbringing. Letting myself be okay with self care and not feel guilty for needing alone time has been one of the best things ever.

    I would say in your tips – and it doesn’t surprise me coming from extroverts, haha – this is almost exactly what my fiance would have said before I explained this to him…that your suggestions of like, “I need 3 hours and then I’ll be okay.”…at least for me it’s never as easy as that. I honestly never know exactly how much time I need to recover. It’s easier now that I know to take care of myself, but it’s hard to set boundaries if you’re unsure if they’re the right boundaries – if that makes sense. That in itself causes me anxiety. So I’ve learned that I really have to try my hardest to make the people that love me understand that sometimes I’m just not okay – sometimes I’ll have to cancel plans, or I won’t want to do anything besides watch tv. That it’s because I have these sensitivities that they love me for that I need time to recover.

    Anyway, it’s been an interesting transition. I feel like I’ve come to see the ones I love in a new light – some of them really want to understand and accomodate me because they love me, and others, like my mom – I can’t even get her to read a paragraph about INFJs. :/

    I just try to remind myself that friends are family that you choose!

    Anyway sorry if this comment is a little scattered – but loved the episode and looking forward to listening to more!

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      So glad the INFJ information resonated with you Jessica! I’m an INFJ too, and you are so right. Sometimes it takes me a few days to recover from something that may have been too taxing. I think Antonia and Joel may have been speaking more metaphorically than anything. They have a high-energy toddler and three hours of alone time probably sounded incredibly decadent. Lol!

      It sounds like you have set up some good boundaries for yourself, though, and that is important. As for your mom, be patient with her. I used to have wars with my dad because I couldn’t understand why he never wanted to change and grow beyond his deeply held paradigms. Now that he is gone, I realize I should have been more patient with him. He carried around profound pain and was never in a place where he could heal. Such luxury was unheard of, and usually demonized, by older generations. I comfort myself with the belief that wherever he is the pain has stopped.

  • Melissa
    Reply

    Dear Joel and Antonia,

    Thanx for sharing this very helpfull podcast. As an INFJ, my whole life – I’m 49 years old now – I’ve been feeling like a jar, filled up with the pain of others. Carrying this pain around with me for days, weeks, sometimes years and not being able to let it go. Complete strangers telling me their lifestories. Often I wonder in frustration, hey I’m I pain magnet or what? Is there a sign written on my forehead saying:dump you emotional garbage right here, right now?

    Leading to: me being completely excausted, overstimulated, out of contact with my own needs or worse: depressed. The metaphor of a conduit really resonates to me. It’s a bit zen, like the methaphor of humans being like a cane through wich emotions just flow naturally.

    Don’t know yet which technique will help me practice this much healthier attitude. But now that I’m aware I don’t have to be a victim of other peoples garbage, some solution will come up.
    Also looking forward finding ways to turn this burden into a gift!

    Thanks again, for your insights and positive approach.
    All the best from the Netherlands, Melissa

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thank you for the comment Melissa. Have you had a chance to peruse our blog?

      This article has some helpful hints on how to unload other people’s garbage and protect yourself from picking up more:

      http://www.personalityhacker.com/chakra-exercises/

      I hope it helps. Check in and let us know how you proceed. It’s very important you realize you don’t have to take on other people’s garbage. It’s not part of your mission.

  • Alex
    Reply

    Hi, I recently found out about PersonalityHacker when a friend referred me to your podcast, and I wanted to say what you’re doing is fantastic. I resonated with many of the things you mentioned during your podcast, particularly the parts where you talked about how INFJs try to maximize everyone’s happiness but sometimes end up retreating into apathy to escape the pain. I’ve struggled with depression for many years thinking I was simply fated to live a pain-filled live. But after spending a long time like that, I realized that I focus on the wrong things, and if I ever want to be happier, I need to act to change my situation—not just ponder and hope for a better tomorrow. So now I am carving my own path, trying to understand why things are the way they are, and finding out how I will be happy.

    I wanted to share my thoughts, so I decided to write a blog called “Honesty. Empathy. Connection.” The idea is that being the social creatures we are, everybody desires love. The first stage, honesty with others and with ourselves, helps us to understand the world and communicate with other people; open communication and empathy leads to understanding; and understanding others and being fully understood leads us to the connection and love we so crave. I believe this is vital to living a happy, fulfilled life. If you think this may be useful or interesting, please check out the blog at . Keep fighting the good fight!

    • Alex
      Reply
    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts here, Alex. I think the blog is a great idea! As an INFJ myself I have used blogging extensively to help me process thoughts and emotions. I think it has really helped.

  • Hannah
    Reply

    THANK YOU! I’ve sent this to all the people in my inner sanctum 😉

    I so appreciate the compassion inside of the reminder to not totally lock ourselves away — too often it’s a disgusted or frustrated place where people are coming from when I’ve been told this, rather than a truly kind request from a place of understanding. That was wonderful to hear, the whole thing was.

    I don’t know if this has been mentioned, but I would just like to point out that almost all of the famous INFJ’s mentioned in the podcast were famously assassinated/crucified. I don’t mean that in a victim-y way, but just as a reminder to make peace with the fact that harnessing the energy of public will for public good will also stir up public defensiveness. Food for thought. If that’s the case, why wouldn’t that be true interpersonally as well?

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Great observation, Hannah! You actually gave me chills when I read your statement: “make peace with the fact that harnessing the energy of public will for public good will also stir up public defensiveness.” Very profound observation!

      Have you heard this week’s podcast on the challenges personal growth brings? Here’s the link: http://www.personalityhacker.com/podcast-episode-0074-sharing-your-personal-growth-with-others/

    • Taylor
      Reply

      After listening to this podcast, I wanted to make the same comment Hannah–Jesus, Martin Luther King, (we could add Nelson Mandela to this list)–when INFJs do bring their gifts to the world, the price is often self sacrifice (also trying not to sound victim-y here). I see dom. Intuitive types like pathogens (in the most loving way)–we infect the world with our ideas, sometimes through love (Jesus, MLK), sometimes through hate (Hitler). The people then react like antibodies–it’s unknown, it’s untrusted, get rid of it. What’s the solution? Inoculation? Introduce ideas slowly through deadened down, less threatening strains so the antibodies can incorporate it’s code? Not the best metaphor as inoculation still means the antibodies can get rid of the pathogen when it enters, but, perhaps you catch my drift.

      Socrates (likely an ENTP) predicting his own death as a result of corrupting the minds of Athens with his new ideas comes to mind.

      One point of INFJ pain I’ve been grappling with is recognizing sacrifice as not only the price of creation, but necessary for phase changes. This doesn’t mean literal human sacrifice, that is, ideally partial self sacrifice of ones own ego in order to incorporate and validate the egos of others, as well as self sacrifice of ones own desires if they hinder group survival. Podcasts like these are wonderful, they’re the inoculation, slowly teaching others how to appreciate and see perspectives different from their own.

      The pain point is when I lose hope that we can achieve such self sacrifice on a wide scale, and worry that in the end, its always sacrifice with life. The pain point is knowing I’m hard wired to bring my Ni insights to Se reality in a way that affects positive Fe change, and knowing the bigger the insight, the greater the cost. Ignoring that “role” leads to pain, but stepping into the role also comes with the knowledge what kind of price tag that role can come with. Granted we are not all destined to be (and don’t need to be) MLK’s or Jesus, still, the small scale chastisement within our own tribes for the trouble our ideas sometimes stir can be crushing.

      INFJ’s as fiction writers is no surprise–it’s a way to introduce ideas to the world in a non threatening manner, and hope the reader can interpret your lessons without you directly saying it. Stories and love are the only solutions I’ve found to that pain point–learning how to package the insight so it is helpful and non threatening. (which yes, sounds like adopting the copilot process of Fe. The way out is through)

  • Luke
    Reply

    Hello 🙂

    I just wanted to say thank you for this podcast. It has been so helpful to me (I’ve actually listened to it three or four times now!). To be able to experience your insights into my personality type was wonderful: It was so refreshing to get an outside perspective on the INFJ experience and to be understood! You have given me some very constructive tools with which to deal with some of the challenges I have been facing in my life.

    Thank you again!

    Best wishes from the UK

    Luke

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thank you for your excellent feedback Luke! This is why we do what we do. We love to hear when it makes a difference in people’s lives. 🙂

  • Mark Dante Troiano
    Reply

    Antonia and Joel Mark-

    Can you please EMail me this Episode: INFJ Personality Type Advice. I am REALLY enjoying your Podcast. I am an INFJ and this Episode is not available on iTunes. I really want to keep a copy to listen to on my iPod this week while I’m driving to teach. I am a Music Teacher in New England. I was so happy to discover last night that both of your Moms were INFJ’s and that you have a Special Place in your hearts for people with my personality type. You’re both doing great work with your Personality Hacker Podcast. Thank you for helping all of us on our Paths.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Hi Mark! I emailed the episode to your comcast address this morning? Did you get it?

  • Patricia
    Reply

    I really enjoyed this podcast – especially the tips on dealing with the issues that often come with being an INFJ.
    My own experience as an INFJ being the youngest (12 years younger than my closest sibling) in a very dysfunctional family where a great deal of trauma and tragedy occurred was my undoing. I feel as though I “carried” the pain of the whole family. My super sensitive “antenna” picked up nothing but wounded-ness and broken people around me. I remember “counseling” my mother as a seven-year-old!
    My childhood overwhelmed me before I even got out into the world. Even then, I remember “knowing” what kind of mood my mother would be in as soon I put my foot on the curb of our block!
    Of course, I spent the rest of my life being attracted to “fixer-upper” people much to my own detriment.
    I don’t say this as “victimology” – only that it’s taken me a long, long time to figure out what was going on. At this stage in my life I’m still struggling to find a way to use my gifts for the greater good which I have always felt compelled to do.
    I appreciate your podcast because it has given me some insight as well as some things to contemplate on this journey. Many thanks!

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for your feedback, Patricia. I’m glad you are finding a better way to live your life.

      Your comment about carrying the pain of your family really resonated with me. As an INFJ myself, I recently became aware that I have always felt I needed to protect my family against the world. As I child, I couldn’t really do that effectively so I felt powerless and angry when someone on the outside hurt my family. I’m still working through those feelings too.

  • Natalie
    Reply

    Omgosh i was listening and i was nodding the hole time thanks a lot for making podcast.:)

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Glad it resonated with you, Natalie. Thanks for the feedback!

  • Emily
    Reply

    http://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Spiritual-Sensitivity-Carol-Brown/dp/0768425921/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 http://ciestess84.deviantart.com/art/Understanding-forever-No-cure-485843103

    As an INFJ, I believe this book (first link) connects perfectly (through a christian perspective) with the INFJ’s ability to absorb others’ emotions. I don’t beleive all “natural burden bearers” are INFJs, but it is possible/ probable that all INFJs are natural burden bearers.

    (p.s. The second link is just to a poem I wrote about some of the difficulties INFJs face.)

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thank you for sharing the links, Emily! The book looks very interesting. I really enjoyed the poem too. I think you are right that not all “Burden Bearers” are INFJs.

  • Shonique Benu
    Reply

    First… THANK YOU. Just three days ago I stumbled across “what is wrong with me”. After listening to and reading what I view as “a bunch of malarkey” by people saying how everyone wants to be like us then rejecting that because obviously they are not INFJ or they would not say that, I found this pod cast.

    WOW! Now I understand why! It was the why that “got to me”. It was not the event itself but the why of it. I mean was I just this bad person that people felt I was disposable yet when disposed of it was obviously my fault because after all they had shared so much with me? Was I deficient because I could not understand? Didn’t everyone feel like me? We are all human beings so there must be something very wrong with me because I am doing this human thing all wrong. OK so that is where I was just 3 days ago and this is like WOW! I am not special, I am just different and being different is perfectly ok as long as I allow myself to be as different/unique as I give space for others to be.

    As for Ghandi, Jesus and Martin Luther King Jr. Why would any of us want to be that? It didn’t work out so well for them now did it? For this reason, I believe that true INFJ’s withhold themselves from the world (our true thoughts and “knowings”) because we don’t want to be the savior of humanity, we know that humanity is capable of saving itself and yeah they really do kill the messenger in this world.

    Gave up going to therapists after the 6th one (normally it happened about session 3 or 4) began utilizing me as their therapist. It was much more natural for me to encourage this than to tell a complete stranger what I was feeling and knowing that they could not understand how deeply things emotionally. It only took about 2 sessions to come to the realization that they did not understand so we might as well listen to them, right? It was interaction after all, right?

    Due to the empathy (extreme) thing that all INFJ’s do people could not “get” what happened when my teenage daughter died as the result of an auto accident. I tried to explain it but people could not understand even though they said they did. I literally (it was a literal statement and not metaphorical) felt that I died that morning with her. I could not understand or resolve this but now with beginning to understand the INFJ that I am, this makes complete sense. I did die that morning. I was no longer connected to being her Mother and all of that died (the future) with her. This was experienced on such a deep level that it was impossible to explain to people who do not feel this deeply. I knew I was not using it for attention (simply who would want attention from this thing?) but needed to comprehend what just happened to me? I often said, “She is just fine now but I am wrecked”. Sounds narcissistic doesn’t it? It wasn’t or isn’t but being an introvert I had to understand why I felt as if I had just died and no one could explain it to me. Everyone just kept saying, time is the healer and well days, weeks, months, years went by and I still waited for this magic thing that would make the pain of her absence go away. Now I get it, only another INFJ could possibly understand the cutting away of another that we are “connected” to be it our child or any other in our life that we have chosen to “connect” to.

    Thank you so very much. Now I understand the one way relationships through out my life and how I treasure beyond any wealth imaginable the few two way relationships I am gifted with.

    Am getting ready to listen to this again and again until I feel strong enough to come out of my four year retreat from society.

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you and still the words are not sufficient to describe the deep gratitude that is within my soul.

    Wishing you all the very best.

    Sho

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Wow Sho. The tears are brimming as I read this.

      As an INFJ myself, one of the things I appreciated learning about our type is the profound depth of our attachments. When I was in my 20s and a relationship would end, I never could figure out why I grieved like someone had died, and why it took years to recover from it. When I lost ones in death (I’ve never lost a child. I can’t imagine how that feels.), I continue to grieve them years later.

      I have created an alter to my dead loved ones. I put their pictures and mementos on a table with a couple of candles. When I am feeling particularly sad, or miss them, or it happens to be the anniversary of their death or birth, I will sit before this table, light the candles, and talk to them. I usually cry a lot and I share the memories and regrets that sometimes plague me.

      Don’t ever let anyone tell you how to grieve. Grief is a very personal, private thing. Grieve your daughter in whatever way you see fit. As you said, you lost your future. I have heard of parents who grieve the rest of their lives over the death of a child. That is your right as a parent.

  • Emily B.
    Reply

    I’ve found all of this to be true. I often listen to many people’s thoughts and problems and try to talk to them about mine, and the next second they are talking to a completely different person. I also keep to myself a lot and don’t share many parts of myself because of my complexity. I feel that since I don’t understand a lot about myself and am incapable of explaining myself and how I know things that that is too much to ask of any other human being. I have come across people in my life who instantly want to know everything about me and become my best friend. There are others who consider me to be a very close friend (often calling me their best friend because they know that they can always turn to me and I will forever be loyal to them), but in reality they know nothing about me. I have often been called “too nice” because I feel that helping people, showing compassion towards them, understanding them, and never asking anything in return. Even my father has told me to always feel free to ask for help and that you always help me, now let me help you. I also have absorbed many people’s emotions. If one of my peers is upset the rest of the day I will feel that emotion with them. I recall coming home from a great day at school when my mom was at home sick, and the moment I walk into the house I was tired, somewhat depressed and felt as if I might as well have been sick. Also if I am in a restaurant and a strong emotion is there I will feel it. I have developed a weird way of knowing what a person likes in people and if I can become that I will, and if I am incapable I will back away from having any form of relationship with them. I am different with every single person that I have met in my life and have about 100 different identities with others. One of my friends made a comment to one of my past teachers stating, “Emily is everybody’s best friend.” My teacher agreed with her. I have been called to serious, but yet nobody takes me seriously. I somehow have become the person that everybody wants to be, but if they were to take a walk in my shoes for a day they would be so freak out that it would probably take them years to even come close to comprehending it. I also am able to know instinctively how a relationship is going to turn out. I am my worst critic and have always looked at what I did wrong. I have a very hard time separating the physical and emotional because my emotions have such an impact on how I am in my physical state. I’ve found that if I have been around people for a long time that I as well not be there because I draw myself back so much. I have been called ” that old mind inside a young body” because how much I can relate to people of all ages. I appreciate musicals very much. I am able to understand everybody’s perspective on things ( if of course I feel that they don’t directly attack my belief system). I’ve thought about trying to develope the mindset that if I need help and others can and offer to help me and I don’t take it, that is offensive to them.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for sharing your personal experiences, Emily! I like musicals too! I sit and cry as people long-dead break into some amazingly epic song. (I like the musicals I grew up with. Sound of Music, Showboat, Unsinkable Molly Brown, etc.) I didn’t get into stage musicals until I got older, although the music in Les Miserables always tears me up.

  • Cherie
    Reply

    Great podcast. No cloistering. Ouch! People have been telling me to get out more for awhile now. Too much same and safety. It happened over time and is not good, I agree!

    And the second link also rocks! Everyone check out the links under the podcast.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for the feedback, Cherie! I have the same tendency to hide.

  • amy
    Reply

    hey! this was an awesome podcast but are you going to recycle it for this weeks INFJ themed week?

    I am going to be completely selfish and say that I was really hoping to get some new perspectives and advice since we filled out the INFJ form things. To be completely honest, I felt like this podcast talked a lot about INFJ’s in depression, and I’d like to hear more inspirational and educational thoughts, stories, and theories about our type and what we are capable of.

    Anyways, hope to hear a new podcast on our type!

    Thanks, and no pressure. lol.

    An INFJ

    • Antonia Dodge
      Reply

      Hey, Amy!

      Since we’ve already recorded a long form podcast for the INFJ type we won’t be doing another one for this week. Your survey results are helping inform a long form article and the series of shorter INFJ Mind Wiring podcasts / slide share that will be coming out this week.

      Cheers!

      -A-

  • Nicholas
    Reply

    So tough to get a girlfriend! As a male INFJ i’m just waiting to release all this love and emotion into someone! A soul mate some might say.
    The truth is I cannot put depression and all those negative feelings into a basket and label it as “….”. It’s just a part of who I am and I don’t know why I feel the way I do sometimes.
    Everything inside this podcast resonates with me and I wish people understood and didn’t take me as some useless crying 5 year old. Although as you guy kinda said, we bring it on ourselves and its our job to get the needs of ourselves met! Really awesome podcast i’m glad people like you go to the extent you do in rationalizing this personality for people to understand.
    Peace

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for the comment, Nicholas. It sounds like you would benefit from some empowering habits. You aren’t a victim of your type or anything else. There are a lot of Thinker females out there who love Feeler males. The best thing you can do is focus on your personal growth. The more you grow and gain confidence, the more you will exude that confidence and people will be drawn to it.

      Developing the Harmony process is your best path to growth. Have you read this article: http://www.personalityhacker.com/developing-the-harmony-process-as-an-infj/

  • Jes Belkov Gordon
    Reply

    I think the one thing that you are missing is that power isn’t one way. Yes, I can walk into a room and pick up on just about everything that is going on in the room. I believe that many INFJs do have victim talk and allow “in” all that emotion, and like you said we use a stopper because it is so overwhelming. We get afraid of the emotions and that (the fear) is the stopper of the conduit as you call it. However, we have JUST AS MUCH POWER to turn that outward. It doesn’t take long or much effort to uncork the stopper and send that energy back out into the world. I actually see us as converters. The negative energy comes in, and somehow our compassion or whatever, can clean it and turn it into positive. The INFJ isn’t a victim… We are powerful! And I believe the most important thing we can do once we have experienced a ton of psychic clutter, is to find pleasure and fill up on that which brings joy. That is how we keep from getting sick. I’m learning to do this, but I believe that this is the key!
    Thanks for your podcasts! I really enjoy them!
    Warmly,
    Jes

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Great comment, Jes! I totally agree! INFJs are powerful. It drives me crazy when I hear INFJs claiming they are victims of their gifts and other people’s manipulations of them. Nobody is a victim who doesn’t want to be.

      I have always imagined myself deflecting negative energy coming my way. Similar to the “I’m rubber you’re glue…” saying. I love your idea of cleansing it and returning it to the world. That is even more empowering! To imagine that we have the power to filter the negative energy of the world and make everything lighter in return is so incredible…. I feel a shift coming on. Do you have some sort of a ritual for doing this?

  • Stephen Bickel
    Reply

    I’m an INFJ and hearing this podcast really put a lot of things in perspective! Thanks so much for your hard work!

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for the feedback, Stephen! I’m glad you enjoyed the podcast. 🙂

  • solallein
    Reply

    intj here. I know that what im about to suggest can only be modified and accounted for to a certain degree and probably this suggestion may only be used for youre own financial gain, but maybe not…
    In my experience infjs need information presented in a way that is palpable for them to really get into what is going on. If not it may be spit out and then regardless of how valid an argument or some information may be it can be ignored or the main point in alot of important ways lost to them. You two don’t seem to be taking this into account. An important example of this would be when you say “psychic garbage”. Maybe ask yourself would a some lovey pain filled infj call something related to another person “garbage”??? I kinda doubt it.

    Now before some other infjs blast back some nonsense refuting this id like to point out that the infjs that do have an issue with this may be so reserved that they wouldn’t risk the chance of conflict or being uncomfortable by directly pointing out a flaw, although me pointing this out may even open a door to those in this category.

    • Antonia Dodge
      Reply

      Thanks for the comment. My experience with INFJs has made me see them as heartier folk. Maybe that Ti tertiary which gives them an appreciation of radical honesty. We’re always open to suggestion, though. 🙂

      -A-

      p.s. Clever calling any refutation nonsence. 😛

  • Luke
    Reply

    I have a random question from any INFJs or anyone with experience. Would INFJs have any history with Social Anxiety Disorder? Would this avoidant behavior of social groups and the fear of others’ judgements feed into such? I’ve always wonder if dominant Perspectives users had this issue more so than any of the other types. I’ve personally have always cared too much what others have thought; thus, I had to work hard to love myself and allow myself space to be. I’d love to hear other viewpoints! I’m obsessed with Personality Hacker podcasts! Lol. I study this very often. Do INFJs have people attaching to them also? Like, due to being nurturers? As a sensitive male, I find so often that my guy friends attach to me wanting to automatically share their problems. I love helping and understanding (a future counselor), but I struggle so much with absorbing emotions that it’s SO overwhelming. I don’t want to run and hide anymore. Is this just part of Perspectives? I love it, but it’s intense. Lol. I love you guys. Thanks

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for the comment, Luke. There is a great deal of social anxiety among INFJs. It doesn’t necessarily need to be the case though. I have battled with social anxiety off and on over the years and the only thing that makes me better is when I force myself out into the world where I can interact with people and get their needs met. INFJs copilot, Harmony, is their path to growth and development. We can’t practice Harmony if we refuse to leave the house or talk to people.

      Loving oneself is also important and making sure you are in mutually beneficial relationships. I’ve never had too much trouble with people latching on to me, but I am a little more prickly than your average INFJ (due to spending way more time in Ti than Fe). Make sure you set boundaries. You don’t HAVE to be everyone’s counselor. Protect yourself from people who may try and drain your energy. Have you read this article: http://www.personalityhacker.com/chakra-exercises/. I’ve heard it said that when energy vampires run up against an impenetrable wall of resistance, they move on.

  • Bethany
    Reply

    This was a wonderful episode! I am a MBTI newbie, but it has become my latest fascination (obsession?). So here’s my question: As an INFJ with 4 small children (currently ages 7, 5, 3, & 1) who is also a full-time stay-at-home mom AND a homeschool mom AND a youth group leader (and therefore a mentor to teenage girls), just how does it look practically for me to get that “pamper time” that I need to just keep functioning as a helpful human being? I feel like I am needed 24/7, and I love being the one to fill those needs for my family, but I am also very aware of my own need for down time — time AWAY from people to recharge and reflect. I find that when I try to squeeze this time into a regular day, even if it’s just a coffee in the morning by myself or listening to a podcast while I’m cleaning the kitchen or preparing a meal, it’s almost invariably interrupted which causes tremendous frustration and shortness with the interrupter. The last thing I want is for my needs to get in the way of my service to my family’s needs. It just doesn’t seem possible.
    My husband is an ISTP (though I would consider him an “ambivert” or extraverted introvert), so almost my polar opposite, and it can be difficult to express just how important it is for me to have this disconnect time. He’s very supportive and kind towards me, but I’d love for him to really UNDERSTAND my needs. Perhaps, that’s a pie in the sky hope and I just need to come to grips with the fact that I’m going to have to always verbally request the time before I burn out? I don’t know.
    Anyway, thanks for the advice! I have loved listening to all the personality type advice podcasts, especially, and gaining insight to the thought processes and behaviors of the people in my spheres of influence. It’s been a perspective changer!

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for the comment, Bethany! It sounds like you have your hands full. We are all responsible for our own mental healthy, so always make sure and ask when you need some alone time. Harmony users are notorious for making sure everyone else is getting their needs met, and those around them sometimes take this for granted. Set certain boundaries early and your family will adapt. In time, you will have a well-oiled machine in which everyone knows when Mommy needs to “Walk the Garden of her Mind.” 😉

  • Gem
    Reply

    Thank you so much for your podcast! I’ll have to take a few more listens for it to really sink in.

    I’m an INFJ, and at first some of the things you were talking about didn’t really resonate with me — primarily, the “just not talking about your feelings at all” part. On the contrary, I feel like I’m constantly talking, like I won’t shut up about the things that are bothering me, or the observations I make. The only way I can make any sense of the swirling cloud of information inside my head is to translate it into words and get someone else’s opinion on it.

    But I realized a few minutes in that there are only a few people who I allow myself to do this to. I do form unbelievably strong connections with people, and I strongly value deep, emotional, meaningful, intense relationships, but most people have given me a reason not to trust them for some reason. My best friend is an INTJ (and, as we both share Ni as our dominant, we’re literally *never not talking* about the people around us) and my partner is an INTP, and between the two of them I get their needs met pretty well. I can help them synthesize their emotions (from which they are pretty removed) without the fear that they will shove their emotions on me and leave me feeling spent. I think the combination of I-types and T-types in my life has worked really well for me.

    As for the others, it’s certainly not the case that I completely shut myself off from people who don’t 100% meet my needs. But I do keep a bit of distance. In times of stress, I find that I straight up don’t talk to some of my closest friends or family members at all, because they won’t get it, and even their attempts to help me will seem frustrating because it demonstrates how little they understand about what I need. Since I like to filter my Perspectives through other people by talking incessantly to them, I need to trust that the person I’m talking to has a trustworthy filter. Both my INTJ friend and my INTP partner have a trustworthy filter, but so many other people are clouded by either (a) ridiculous judgments that aren’t actually based in anything useful and that they clearly haven’t thought through but they’re holding onto because Society Tells Them To, or (b) being so painfully unintrospective that there’s no way that speaking to them could ever give me any kind of deeper enlightenment.

    I think I got lucky by having my small network around me that I don’t experience a lot of the pain points that you speak of in your podcast. Some of that comes from me choosing my network carefully, pruning out the people who don’t help and holding fast to the ones that do. Some of it comes from experiencing trauma in the past that forced my to make a choice between my own needs and a loved one’s (and, in choosing myself, taught me that I actually am worth something and that I can have agency over my life). And some of it comes from chance, or from my job (which leads me to a lot of introverts and a lot of thinkers). I don’t really have any advice, it turns out — I suppose my best advice is to use your resources when you have them. Use the people who you trust to be a good filter for your thoughts, and just talk and talk and talk until the cloud in your head makes sense. If you don’t have anyone like that, write. Get it out into words somehow. Think it over and talk it over and write it over until you have that a-ha moment that clears it all up. Because you will get it. Eventually.

    • Gem
      Reply

      “between the two of them I get their needs met pretty well” — oops, I think I meant “get my needs met”. Freudian Fe slip, perhaps? ^_^

      • Charis Branson
        Reply

        Thanks for the comment, Gem! Journaling is a great way to get your ideas out if you don’t have anyone to share them with. I used to blog my thoughts as well. I never got famous and nobody really read my blog, but there was a sort of vulnerability that came with sending my authentic thoughts and feelings out into the digital world. I couldn’t run from them. I couldn’t hide them. I had to own them. It helped me learn to express myself. In fact, my first blog was called Forsaking Restraint because I was trying to force myself out of my shell.

  • Heather Wells
    Reply

    Amazing podcast! This really helped me to understand the way I perceive and interact in the world, and opened my eyes to ways I seem to interpret scenarios throughout life. I am currently a real estate agent, and have been licensed for almost a year now. At times, it feels that I can get strung out on trying to make sure that all parties involved with my side of the transaction are in harmony, and can be overwhelmed when I feel like I haven’t done things perfectly to make them feel closure. It’s a struggle to make constant phone calls to fix an issue at times, but I find peace in knowing that with each phone call I am helping the client get closer to their goal of owning a home. When misconceptions or misunderstandings arise in the overall scope of the transaction, it throws me horribly off course for a short period of time but I feel the beauty of a fixed scenario the ultimate goal in those aspects of time.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for the comment, Heather! Interesting that you find some contentment in sales. I would have thought it would be way too stressful managing everyone’s emotions. Buying and selling a house can be very stressful for the people involved. Make sure you are practicing healthy habits at home to eliminate whatever negative energy you pick up. Have you read this article? http://www.personalityhacker.com/chakra-exercises/

  • Denise
    Reply

    Just stumbled upon this…..loved it! It all sounded so familiar / spot-on. Thanks for understanding!

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks Denise! I’m glad it resonated with you so strongly. 🙂

  • Elle
    Reply

    Thank you. This REALLY resonated with me.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for the feedback, Elle!

  • julia
    Reply

    Very cool. When I find myself explaining things I’ve never realized I’d integrated before (and also once I’ve realized what has just come out of my mouth and face blank stares) there’s usually an awkward post-harangue disclaimer along the lines of “well that’s at least what makes sense to me…” 🙂

    Helpful for me regarding appreciating the value vs. the potential for hopelessness – The nice and heartfelt things I say to people I truly mean, and so it’s more likely that those words people say to you are true too! It is far more challenging to deliberately construct insincere sincerity than to say nothing at all. Believe the good, and don’t assume the bad!
    Also – a lecturer once told this to a class of mine when speaking on his work with homeless youth (which was advice also included here) – hold what others give you but know it is not yours and release it before you internalize it. In other words – take it because you can, but do not keep it. It truly can be your greatest gift and offers invaluable joy. Easier said than done but I like to visualize softly catching a basketball before lightly tossing it away.

    First comment on any type of blog, but hopefully useful!

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Very useful! Thank you Julia for participating in the discussion. I think visualizations are surprisingly effective! 🙂

  • Carrie
    Reply

    Listening to this brings me to tears, I am forever grateful. I am at an all time low, but your words have brought me encouragement, hope, and tools to change my situation. I am an INFJ, along with that I have Multiple Sclerosis with cognitive issues being where it has decided to hit me the worst (ie: memory, losing the ability to find words to express thoughts- google and the thesaurus are my best friends- depression).. those coupled together is beyond frustrating and your podcast took this incredible burden and put it into words that could have flowed directly from my mouth and I felt this massive weight being lifted from my shoulders. Now that I have found this almost magical tool to explain about ‘me’, all I need are the people in my life to care enough to take the 49 minutes and really listen. Considering I had no takers with the 19 minute video explaining my MS cognitive issues, its looking bleak, lol… but at least now i have that tool if i ever find someone to care. Most people in todays world are too wrapped up in themselves and their social media wanting to find out about everything going on in everybodys life but yet not really caring about what it is that others are going through. Those same people then want all attention directed on their problems. Lucky for them though that they have me, right? 😉

    Thank You Again & Much <3 <3 <3

  • brandon
    Reply

    Thank you for having this episode and keeping the conversation fresh almost 2 years running. I am a 26 yr old male who until about the age of 21 lived with much of the suffering you spoke of. I come from a good background, as an only child, with two polar opposite parents who If I could estimate would be about an INFJ (dad) and ESTP (mom). Needless to say my childhood was very tough emotionally. I am 100% poster child INFJ, and Cancer born July 11th.

    I was lucky enough to have my eyes widened in my college years, when I happened to naturally start working down the path of self-value, noticing the patterns of patterns, and most importantly becoming aware of how my energy and that of others co-create our reality. I harnessed this self-knowledge and formed and maintained some lasting relationships.

    Today I work on the corporate side of large-box retailer and my unique abilities are naturally excelling me in the workplace. I started in the stores as a part time associate 2 years ago, and over the past year I was promoted to corporate, and received an additional promotion after 9 months. I have noticed my INFJ tendencies allowing me to form fast, deep, and discerning bonds with colleagues ranging from VP’s to associates. I have noticed my ability to see patterns of patterns and re-apply them in separate contexts has been incredibly useful in strategy setting and sales forecasting. I have noticed OTHER feeling based leaders naturally glob onto me and value my opinions, which are typically excellently nuanced with insight. The workplace has been an EXCELLENT place to hone my energies and get quick fire practice at managing the energies of others’. I am lucky enough that my workplace has invested in my personal development as well, allowing me to take leadership and coaching training typically reserved for managers with direct reports; and I have also been lucky enough to take Insights Discovery as well.

    The combination of Insights, MBTI, and help from sources like you has all but assured me I will be the leader I want to be, developing others and making an impact wherever possible.

    Thanks again!

    p.s. I noticed an exact correlation between Insights, MBTI, and my NATAL HOROSCOPE facilitated by Astro.com. I find it very interesting that 3 frameworks, 2 based on CG Jung and 1 based on star mappings, yield almost identical results in terms of personal insights.

    • brandon
      Reply

      Conscious Wheel Position
      50: Helping Supporter (Accommodating)

      Less Conscious Wheel Position
      10: Helping Supporter (Focused)

  • Melisa
    Reply

    Excellent podcast!! I really would like to reiterate some of the points this podcast made about INFJ individuals. Yes, it can be a very lonely place and tough road to travel alone at times. Not only do INFJ’s absorb an incredible amount of emotion, I would say for me, I absorb an equally large or even larger amount of data on any given day and IN EVERY WAKING HOUR. I would say the greatest struggle for me is to just not think. I want to enjoy a shower where I don’t have to analyze information. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that an INFJ learn to set boundaries. I am talking about mental, emotional and even intellectual boundaries. I have learned to pace and structure my day in a way that limits how much information I will allow myself to chew on and how much interpersonal interplay I am going to experience. I take time to re-charge every day. The podcast is right. Take care of yourself first.

    Secondly, the point of mission is spot on. I don’t always feel that I have adequate language to express my ideas. In my profession, verbal communication is a fundamental. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I have to communicate pretty significant life-changing concepts to people all day long. Here is how I compensate for my perceived verbal weakness. I remind myself that my mission is more important than my perceived inadequacies. Take time to discover your mission. Once you do, you will be a powerful force. Embrace your inadequacies…they are a part of the human experience that helps you join with people.

    I have other compensatory strategies. I process information visually and work collaboratively. So I approach my work with more of a teaching style that offers invitation and challenge. I rely on my dry erase board to help me externalize my thoughts and ideas. I unpack things as a concept. I trust processes which help me release other people’s emotions like the dialysis machine metaphor. People give me their emotions. I give them a process. I can then quickly release the emotion and it’s up to them to take the process. Because of this, I never carry emotion that is not mine home with me. “I will hold this for you safely while I show you a better way. After that, it’s up to you to hold it or let it go.”

    Thanks for podcast!

  • Willow
    Reply

    I cried through most of this podcast, this really hit home. Especially the part about just knowing things, I find it so exactingly terrible to try and explain to people, especially people I love how I know things and they rarely understand how I could possibly just know things and yes, it also creeps people out sometimes, for that reasons I really/ rarely share my insights with others. If it is really important… say I want to convince my ENTJ husband (yes…..he is a ENTJ….. but a very well developed, strong Ni type) of something, I will actually employ my third function (Ti) to do lots and lots of research to be able to go to him with facts about my insight, to validate my insight in some quantifiable manner. I have actually enjoyed doing this, but it is not always a challenge I am up for all the time. Thank you so much for an awesome website!!!!

  • Carolyn
    Reply

    I’ve been following your podcasts and articles for a while and thought this would be the moment to say thank you and can we be friends? Like, can I come hang out with you and pick your brains? I’ve gotten so much out of your analyses and your focus on the cognitive functions, as well as a sort of…secular view on the INFJ. We’re not psychic or floaty lofty hippies, persay (as so many have stereotyped us); we just walk around seeing everybody’s psyches everywhere and forgetting about the embodied world beyond psychological energy! My particular sense of being an INFJ is that I’m like a ball of psychological/emotional/spiritual energy that’s just bumping up against others all the time. I just put up my own little explanation of what it feels like to be an INFJ here, if anyone’s looking for more subjective insight about this kind of life…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7xkSkOVSR4

    One of my biggest problems is being out of touch with my body and living almost completely in my head and emotional energy. I think more than any other type, INFJs might struggle with this. One of my biggest ways of growing has been to consciously counter this; for example, by doing physical things I never related to when I was younger and thought I “couldn’t do” (running, very physical exercise). Also forcing myself to be outside in nature, elements, and different types of weather to get really back into my physical, felt sense. Also, it might go without saying for most types, but I need to remember to eat, drink water, rest. The struggle against living 200% in the mind/heart is real!!!

  • Joshua
    Reply

    I love this podcast. It explains everything so clearly. Except for one tiny part: I’ve never picked up on the feelings of some distant person that I don’t know (like a neighbor or in a restaurant) and people don’t come up to me and tell me their life stories. Everything else is great, though. Thank you so much for validating and understanding the INFJ.

  • Kay
    Reply

    Hi

    Not sure if i am an infj. straddle between infj and infp but more towards infj. However i relate to most of what was said on the podcast, at least I used to. About 10 years ago, I got tired of carrying around everyone’s emotional baggage as well as having nowhere to place my own, that i kind of shut off from the world and became ‘prickly’ as you described it. decided to put myself first and became fiercely dedicated to meeting my own needs above others. Shortly after, i met my best friend, who is also an infj so we finally felt like we had someone who understood us. So finally having this, i kind of shut off from everyone else and kept everyone else out because i was sick of dealing with everything. and sometimes you hear about terrible problems and you realise you cant do anything, which leads to this feeling of absolute helplessness which i came to resent, so again, i avoided emotional situations and worked hard to put my guard up, so people would stop sharing their issues with me (that strangers thing is so real). Yh so now i feel great, i put myself first and i keep everyone at a distance, hearing you speak so highly of an infj’s gifts made me miss the way i used to be but ultimately, i am happier and more stable this way so …yh. maybe dont be like me (im quite cold now) but putting yourself first may help an infj cope more

    thank you!

  • Dingen
    Reply

    Thanks for an interesting podcast. I would like to use a podcast like this to get stuff across to friends/family/… However, one thing that bothers me in almost all descriptions of the INFJ is the omg SUPERRARE personality = special and the Jesus/Mandela/Gandhi/etc thing. As soon as this is in a description, the more skeptical people (like all of the many intjs in my environment that I love) will pretty much immediately tune out, and rightly so. As soon as I share this it makes it seem like I kind of think that I am (or have the potential to be/ should want to be like) Jesus/Gandhi/etc, and makes people not take this stuff seriously at all, and that – as you rightly discuss – is incredibly frustrating.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Haha! You are so right, Dingen. I am surrounded by INTJs too. I never bring up the Jesus/Gandhi thing. Mostly because there’s really no way to prove it. Maybe you can just talk really loudly over that particular part of the podcast. 😉

  • Dingen
    Reply

    Also, I think it is possible for INFJ to ‘see’ or learn ‘how’ they know things, and actually explain where the `intuition’ came from. I think for this it is probably necessary to really train the thinking part and apply it to what here is referred to as the ‘perspective’ process. As you say we see the patterns of patterns of patterns – but if you can SEE the patterns, you can identify many of them and eventually explain them (e.g., “I think/feel this and that and it is based at least in part on these and these signals and this and this prior knowledge/experiences”.)

  • Shoshana
    Reply

    Towards the end of the podcast when you were talking about being a conduit for emotions etc while being misunderstood… I feel that is very much related to the enneagram four personality type . I know an infj enneagram one and she is much more inclined to give herself space and etc… What do you think?

  • KRS
    Reply

    One comment I have about the “victim mentality”… As an INFJ, part of the depression that comes with the emotional energy I collect and don’t always release (particularly from my family…I have 6 children) is that my desire to help and “fix” people becomes frustrating when others do not take my advice or accept my counsel…which makes my personality feel like it is failing the people I love. So, I keep those emotions in the “think tank” until I can come up with a better way to communicate what will most definitely help them… If I stop that process, it feels a little like “giving up” on someone, even though what I am really doing is setting boundaries. And yes, I get bogged down and depressed from the emotional energy that it takes. But, when you feel the pain another is feeling, and when you live with that person….ARG! It is difficult to differentiate between how they are feeling and how I am feeling. Definitely continuing to learn to set healthy emotional boundaries is something that I need to continue to work on.

    I really enjoyed listening! The whole part about collecting emotional baggage from others…SO TRUE. It feels like I have a constant radar on, collecting feelings and other information about people all of the time. I wish I could turn it off sometimes LOL . Anyhow, although no huge aha moments, it felt great to hear from people who understand my type.

  • Nancy
    Reply

    I’ve been learning a lot about myself over the last year or so. I’ve taken numerous personality test, including myers-briggs, and gotten incorrect results. I am a natural chameleon and was always trying to give the answers I thought I was supposed to give. I had been so wired to read others and be who I thought they should due to an abusive childhood that I didn’t know who I was. This podcast was really helpful in understanding more about myself. Thank you!
    I totally related with the people sharing thing. When I was younger, I remember listening to people sharing stuff with me and thinking, “Wow, I don’t know if I’d share this with my best friend much less a stranger/acquaintance.” As I’ve gotten older, I don’t think much about it because it’s so commonplace.
    One of my biggest struggles is the sensitivity to others emotions. I’ve been trying to learn to let go of emotions and become a conduit like you were mentioning, but I’m having a hard time with that. I was wondering if you could explain a little more what you meant about the option of disapproval. I definitely feel others disapproval toward me but don’t quite know how to use that myself to keep from absorbing other’s emotions.
    Thanks again for a really helpful podcast!

  • LeeAnn
    Reply

    Seriously, your podcasts have been nothing short of enlightenment! I’m in need of this kind of k owl edge and understanding right now too. I have three INFJ friends who are by far the most amazing, considerate people I know and I love the deep conversations we can have. I really learn from them too. I actually think I have four INFJ’s friends, as one types as INTJ and is in academia. She is killer smart and accurate about social/cultural issues and she talks to me like she is focused on fixing/changing systems a lot. However, she is good at keeping harmony around groups of people and focusing on morale and can she feel for people In a very deep way that I can’t help but believe she is an INFJ who has had a lot success living in her accuracy function. The verdict is still out though. If she were using authenticity as her tertiary function would it keep the peace, would she have been a sensitive child as she describes herself to be, would she feel all the feelings that she can express in private conversations with me? She also places large boundaries up from people or situations that would zap her “feeling energy” and when I do kind favors for her it is appreciated in the most genuine and thankful way. So why do I care? Well, I think of INFJ’s as seers and I, an INFP, am a seeker. So it makes so much sense that we would cross our paths. Who else would want to understand their feelings and unique perspective in life. I am guilty of the charge I read in an above post of secretly wanting my INFJ friends to let things go and just not focus so much on these super hyper-vigilant feelings that others are sharing and I can talk a lot about my self and I recognize that it’s annoying to many types, and although this type genuinely cares, it’s draining and somewhat not understood. As they themselves don’t put themselves in the equation. My take is that they appreciate my ability to meet my needs and would like to have a little more of that for themselves. Since becoming familiar with personality types and specifically our cognitive processes I am beyond ecstatic at my ability to accumulate a wealth of new knowledge about the loved ones in my life!! I have many friends who need support and I have always wanted to offer it. I know the unique ways I can now. Or at least, I’m learning. I now recognize the inability of my INFJ friends to turn a blind eye to the intentions and feelings of those around them. I as an INFP can notice when others don’t have good intent and I can see that I don’t like it, but I can connect some dots BECAUSE I have the choice to turn away from the feelings they are expressing or showing unconsciously. I also am not one to create harmony although I want goodwill all around. I can be in a disharmonious situation as long as my tribe is in harmony. Or I am in harmony with people one-on-one. Anyhow, I digress! I have a lot of similarities to an INFJ, like people wanting to talk to me on buses about their problems -even if I am reading a book. Ahh! Headphones were my defense. So with all this said….I know how it feels for myself to live in this world as an INFP, and I know how much pain I experience from the sad state of affairs and it’s taken me a long time to get to a healthy, positive place in my life due to truama and seperation from loved ones who manipulated me and made me feel guilty for lots of stuff I couldn’t hold. But, I’m here and I am resilient with a sensitive heart that I held on to as well. So this understanding of the INFJ struggle is hard to hear. And now as a parent who is highly sensitive to her daughter-I am pretty convinced that she is an INFJ and as proud as that makes me, wow, is my mommy heart heavy. Her nana, an INFJ herself, also intuited this to be accurate. So I’m pretty convinced! How do I embrace her? How do I help her to hold all the strong emotions that she is a conduit for, how do I channel all my self focused emotions so she doesn’t have to be a conduit to them?? (I grew up with a mom who I believe was an unhealthy ISTJ and had an unhealthy ESTP step father and as I hope you guys can understand this led to an emotional climate that could have taken all the good things from inside me away, had I not recognized my need for self care). So you see, I see the weightiness of the challenge before me. And so I write all this, in an untypical INFP fashion, as I am deeply private about this stuff. However, I would love the resources to create coping strategies for my daughter and I would love to figure out how I can honor her and keep her true to her self.

  • LeeAnn
    Reply

    I just want to address that ISTJ and ESTP types are amazing people. And my problem is not with the type, and not even with the person of the type-anymore. However when they get stuck in “grips” with their tertiary functions and create a home in a situation like this it can be caustic to an INFP. There was all sorts of behaviors that I recognized as not being of good intent. Like fights and confrontations set to create power dynamics and counter act boredom and bad feelings and lots of blaming and unhealthy reliance on me to listen to this negative talking. So much more but this is just an example of the unhealthy dynamic I lived in. And no consideration of NF traits as worthy

  • Amie
    Reply

    To be able to hear the inner workings of the infj mind described so accurately and to have the emotional roller-coaster that we live on acknowledged in a sane manner was relieving to say the least. Thank you for taking the time to expand on that specific topic.
    I still struggle with finding a healthy balance between how much I can offer of myself at any given time and the polar opposite problem of when I’ve taken to my hobbit hole for too long. Both can be equally as damaging. The one thing I have began to manage fairly well is keeping that victimized mindset at bay. The comment, “…your thoughts create your reality” perfectly sums up what I began to practice. We know that we have the ability to piece together why a person is feeling the way they are and exuding this kind of energy, so I began to focus more on the reason and logic behind the emotion than what the emotion was making me personally feel in that moment. I will recognize the physical discomfort of the absorbed emotion but I don’t let it bleed into my psyche. It’s almost like I switch on my introverted feeling to mask the unwanted emotion but don’t let it block how I personally feel about the person or situation. To put it simply, If I can give reason as to why they feel, or are behaving in a certain way, then I can can replace the empathy (if it is unwanted) with sympathy. This doesn’t mean I make excuses for bad behavior or allow the ‘dementors’, as I like to call them, into my personal bubble, it just means that I choose to recognize the pain they have endured to make them feel like this over the discomfort it brings me. That way it gives me more energy to focus on neutralizing this emotion for the both of us rather than shielding myself and doing nothing about it. “Fine tuning” was a perfect way to put it. Every INFJ will handle things differently, but if you can figure out your personal emotional triggers then it gets easier to use your logic to figure out when you’ve soaked up emotion that doesn’t correspond with anything in your physical environment, pinpoint the source, and give yourself a minute to focus more on the reason than the feeling. Another thing I do if I feel myself turning into a troll is to watch either an inspiring or very eye-opening, and usually depressing, documentary. As counter-productive as it may sound, it helps to either get my mind thinking about how I can help and inspire others also, or it reminds that me that the weight that I bare could always be worse. This can wipe away some of the selfish habits that begin to resurface when I let my brain spiral for too long and it helps distract my thoughts enough to redirect my focus on the positives in life and my main goals.
    I hope that at least a few sentences of that made sense and thanks again for the topic. I quite literally would not be capable of explaining it better myself.

  • Sara
    Reply

    I am an infj. I have spent many years cloistered off from the world after several painful experiences with others at work and within my family. I didn’t have words for what was happening so no one really understood. My husband kept trying to ” get me back out there”. He hated seeing me depressed like that but could not understand why I couldn’t just let go of my hurt. He also had a hard time because he married a loving sweet person and ended up with someone who was hateful and critical of others. I tried to explain that it was not that I hated people that I acted this way; it was that I loved them so much and had allowed them to get close enough to hurt me. Now we both know what’s happened after listening to this podcast so that’s a relief that it’s not just me. The issue is that I have been living in this Accuracy part of my personality for so many years now that I feel like I have neglected my driver, Perspectives, and my copilot, Harmony. How do I get out of this accuracy space? I don’t want to live like this anymore. Where do I begin to heal and open up again when a lot of days I’m even afraid to leave my house? Any compassionate but truthful, thoughtful advice would be appreciated. Anyone else who has become an agoraphobe? Thanks

  • Anthony
    Reply

    Almost my greatest struggle at the moment, is not knowing for sure if I’m an INFJ or not. I am having quite a lot of struggles in life concerning with not being able to express, connect and be understood as much I want it to be. I gravitate between knowing that I have extraordinary gifts and yea I have them but so what, I don’t even know if they are really gifts as I don’t really have the chances to give them to people. So what does it have to do with my greatest trouble is not knowing for sure if I’m INFJ? There are tons of websites that are about INFJs, analysing them and giving advises to them, a lot more so than other types. Seems like INFJs’ are the celebrities among the types as it’s so ‘rare’ and ‘psychologically fascinating’, oh and they are ‘angelic’ or ‘fallen angels’. I just feel good that my type has all these attentions, communities and information for me to dig into and wrap myself with. But what if I am not an INFJ? I got INTP, then I thought I was an INTJ, then I suddenly got a test result of INFJ, then I got frustrated by “INFJ vs INFP” articles, where “both types are the most interested in typology more so than other types”. And it just turns out that typing myself is one of my weakness, well I want it to be, as I guess that relates to Ni-Ti loop and that’s what INFJs get into and found hell. So yea, I know I need to express more, get into art, writing and stuff but as a male INFJ, I have some issue with getting the connections I want easily and what’s more I’m so inexperienced and fearful. One of the things you can help me is tell me who I am and somehow convince me to believe it.

  • Rn
    Reply

    Victim talk? I get that people think they understand me but they don’t. I actually found out that I was an INFJ a couple of weeks ago I only took your test yesterday to confirm if it was really true because I told my mom and she laughed in my face, I was devastated and angry she thinks she knows me better than I know myself I don’t know if that’s because she’s an INTP or something else but she doesn’t believe that I am an INFJ I tried talking to her to make her understand me a bit but she can’t. She thinks she does but she doesn’t. I’m trying to explain how I feel but it’s hard to find the correct words so that she can understand and she keeps interrupting me saying that she gets it and tells me some example or whatever which of course is wrong and it just ticks me off I tell her it’s not it and continue to explain and when I finish she still comes to the same conclusion and when I tell her it’s not it she says that it is and that she knows me better than myself. So how can I make people understand me when even my own mother can’t. I mean you guys get me a bit but not all people are like you.

  • Kayla
    Reply

    Hi INFJ here. I was wondering if any else has the same issue that I have and how they handle it. For the reasons mentioned in the podcast I have have this crazy ability to understand people but I run it to this problem building a relationship with individuals thereafter. It is like I was on the outside looking in or that I Facebook stalked someones soul. It gets challenging to then build relationships with the intimacy and connection that comes with the interpersonal level because it feels like I know too much and it is not an authentic progression. This is difficult because I really long for meaningful relationships. Sometimes I just don’t know where to start in order for these interpersonal relationships to be realized. I end up hiding out instead and come of standoffish in public. The only way I can think to get around this is beat myself to the punch and initiate conversions before I pick up to much on my own. I think this flips my first and second function though so it doesn’t really work. Be it surface level or deep, whats the best way for the reserved INFJ to get past that and get to know people in a way that feels natural?

  • Olive
    Reply

    Great podcast! It’s good to listen to this and see that there are people who actually get it. I stumbled upon this site while searching for ways to lower the stress – at first, sports was good at it and I joined an Ultimate Frisbee team and it felt great to get out of the house, do something, hang out with different people – even though they don’t get me. And this is sort of weird as I really need my time alone with books after a long week at work, but at the same time I got addicted to going to tournaments and spending this time with my new friends, but at the same time, there’s no time to recharge the batteries.

    As I got more involved in the managing stuff of our sports club I got this feeling and need to solve all the problems and be the best at everything (especially when I was the only one female handler on the team for a while). There’s this need to prove myself all the time and when there’s a problem between my teammates I feel like I need to solve this. Recently, it just was too much for me and I pretty much got a major emotional meltdown. I have no idea how to deal with this as spending some time alone helps for a moment…

    So, I did identify three things that got me to the point where I can’t take this and I’m pretty much going off like a bomb, but I’m struggling with finding a solution. I kind of fear that when we go on national championships I’ll sort of get into the team mood (which at some point is going really down) and it will make things unbearable. Perhaps team sports is not exactly good for introverts, but it gives purpose and my team sort of understands at some level the introvert thing. We are sort of nerdy introverts among other teams. I don’t know if it makes sense 🙂

  • Rita
    Reply

    Reading the headline of the first advice made me crumble and cry. It was the hardest lesson I had to learn and it took me all my life to understand the profound difference between the projections that had been put on me and the feeling of self. Since then I learned to hold on to my perception and do not allow others to tell me how I feel and who I am. I got lost many times in empathizing with others more than with myself. Hurting other people is the same as hurting myself. Nevertheless, it opened the door for people to instrumentalise me for satisfying their needs. The want to see themselves in you and they treat you accoding to the ideas they have about a) who you should be or should not be and b) who are or are not. If you have the tendency to adjust to others, since it feels like it costs so little and the other person is so “poor” while you yourself feel so strong, what can happen is that you loose your own identity up to the point that you loose every sense of yourself. The confusion, the devastation, the pain. A lot of this could have been prevented if my 15 year old self would have understood the difference between what others tell it is and who it actually is. Ripping of projections is such a freeing and wonderful feeling. I am not questioning who I am anymore and it helps me a lot to deal with manipulative attempts. I know now that my intuition is right – well within limits of course, everybody errs 😉 – and I will not ever again let anybody else determine how a situation should be perceived by me. Listen to yourself, learn to understand the difference between what you want for yourself and what you want for others. If you do something for somebody else, it should be clear to you, that you are doing it for them. They don’t need to know, but YOU should know. Listen to your “no” even if you want to ignore it for making somebody else happy, sometimes you can, but each time it should be a decision, it should not beome your nature to please or help others irrespective of the consequences for yourself. Disregard this “no” if you think it is really a minor thing for you and/or the cause is worth it, but make it a CONSCIOUS decision, not an intuitive action. Don’t do it out of love, it will rarely be reciprocal and most likely you won’t save lost souls. But you could be devastated to learn that you have been used.

    There are people that are searching for guidance and support. People that long for it. There are people that enjoy giving things back and that will at least try to respect you.

    Everything becomes som much easier if you learn to disentangle the emotions from others in you from the ones that arise in yourself. Consciousness for yourself is a powerful tool. Try to understand your own emotions better before you start action.

    Never stop learning. Never forget that what is good is context-dependent and what you think is best for the world might not be regared best by everyone. Don’t forget that some “friends” might use your sympathy against a) yourself and/or b) against everybody whom they want you to dislike. Don’t allow yourself and your empathy to be instrumentalized.

    Apart from that, the world is a beautiful place. It can be cherished most by sensing it. Feel the wind, feel the sun, feel the cities and the countries around you. It is rich and wonderful. Enjoy!

  • Nalini
    Reply

    Thank you guys for this I’m INFJ and really struggling at the moment I think I needed to hear some that right now

  • Cindy
    Reply

    You described me completely..Thank you guys it really does explain a lot. I have always been so good at reading other people and giving advice but i am so terrible at understanding myself

  • JMR
    Reply

    I just want to say that due in part to this podcast, I have been able to rediscover my true identity.
    Growing up I was surrounded by an ISTJ and an ENTJ who both had untreated emotional wounds, resulting in a childhood filled with emotional abandonment and abuse. When I left that environment I finally was able to unravel and acknowledge that the little girl who had empathy, emotional awareness, and compassion wasn’t wrong. In fact a lot of times she was right…people need to be seen, understood, and validated. There was nothing wrong with that. Now I am married to an ESFP (sometimes an ESTP) and while he struggles to understand my rapid changes in emotions at times, he has helped me so much.

    Question for the audience though… I really do not get along well with ENTJs and INTJS. They really drive me crazy…they have no heart. Anyone else experience that?

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for the comment! I’m glad you are finally finding the understanding you need. Everyone has a sensitive inner layer. Have you had a chance to listen to the podcasts on ENTJ and INTJ? It might give you some insight into why they come across a certain way. Also, I happen to be married to an INTJ who is very sensitive. I used to think he was the Feeler of the family. INTJs can be profoundly hurt, so they seek protection by creating a wall of invulnerability. It takes time, trust, and effort to tear down that wall. ENTJs are motivated by different things. They show their love by creating security for their loved ones.

      That said, any type can show up obnoxious if they are in a bad place. As you mentioned about your parents, untreated emotional wounding can create all sorts of havoc. They usually require more compassion to see past the wounds to their true potential.

      • JMR
        Reply

        I am very glad to have my husband in my life… (And correction, he fluctuates between ESFP and ENFP.) I find that pretty much all of my “friends” are extroverted and feeling types which I love because they compensate for the outstanding enthusiasm I lack at times, but they get the “feeling” aspect of things. Now if only I could have a bestie that is also an INFJ so that I dont feel crazy most of the time, that would be fantastic. LOL

        I will look into the ENTJ/INTJ Podcasts. I believe that they are sensitive and perceptive…. To me they represent the stereotypical “bull in the china shop” with other people’s feelings at times. Thank you for your insight 🙂

  • Jen
    Reply

    Loved this podcast. Two tactics I use for coping:

    1) After a long string of “friendships” that left me drained and lonely, I determined that I needed to do a much better job of distinguishing the “one-way streets” (takers) from the “two-way streets” (those who were willing to give). While I continue to treat the one-way streets with kindness and respect, I absolutely do not invest myself into relationships with them. I keep them as acquaintances only. I invest with the two-way streets! How do I determine? I learned to pay attention to my gut. It took a long time for me to learn that it was okay to do that. At first it felt rude or even cruel to turn my attention away from others toward myself, but I quickly learned that I had been rude and cruel to myself for years by not tending to my own wants and needs. And opinions! I was naturally so other-focused that I’d written myself entirely out of the equation. I suffered terribly and needlessly for it. I’m so thankful to have gained important ground in setting these sorts of boundaries. (What about the one-way streets that I have to interface with regularly? I stopped expecting anything from them, and I learned that it’s okay to portion my heart. They only get the fluff at the edges. 🙂 )

    2) As for learning to express disapproval, I picked up a phrase from a co-worker many years ago. I’d hear him comfortably announce, “I was not pleased” about something that he (obviously) didn’t like. That stuck with me. It’s a short, polite phrase that can be delivered respectfully but that still definitively states my position. Of course, it’s just a starting point, but I thought it sounded fairly non-threatening and was somehow easy to deliver as I began asserting myself all those years ago. “I find that a bit troublesome,” and “I don’t really love that,” are others I use too. (Soft phrases, I know, but baby steps, right? They do work!)

    Thank you for the fantastic podcast. I was a little taken aback (in a good way) to hear you put into words some of the most profoundly painful things I’ve experienced for a long time. It can get better, and I totally agree – it takes hard work outside of the comfort zone! Thanks for that encouragement too.

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