INFJ Survey: 5 Things INFJs Wish They Had Known as Teens



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

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

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

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

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

In a recent survey of INFJs we asked four questions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Direct Quotes:

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

#2 Take More Calculated Risks

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

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

Direct Quote:

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

#3 Everything is Going To Be Okay

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

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

Direct Quotes:

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

#4 Stop Being So Hard On Yourself

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

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

Direct Quotes:

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

#5 There is Nothing Wrong With You

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

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

Direct Quotes:

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

Never Stop Caring

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

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

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

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

Direct Quotes:

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


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


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Showing 69 comments
  • Daniel Yang

    I absolutely love this article. It helps me to understand myself. I’m just 13 years old, and will only be 14 months away again, but I can still feel myself stuck in the past because our elast time always haunt me. It makes me to trust more myself, and do not need to be always as the other people want, it helps me to be myself whatever it is, and keep trying to help others by my own way, not by being another person, but by being my own self.

  • Esther

    So I’m 19 now. I’m still a young, I know. I would tell my younger self to let it go. Do you. You’re not like everyone else,so stop trying to be. Don’t beat yourself up so much, it might be hard to love yourself, accept all your flaws, but try. We can’t all be the same, someone has to turn the heads?. Just Live, Baby and follow your dream. Be unapologetically yourself. I’ve had a bit of a dark time, but I’ve learnt to love myself and understand being me is a blessing. You’re strong, girl❤

  • Wayne

    I am not sure if I am a dominant thinker or feeler. I used to care a lot about how others view me but only recently I started to care more about my needs. Not sure if that is good if I am an INFJ. Any thoughts?

  • Alex Marie

    I am 17 years old about to turn 18, I’ve been going through hardships, I kept noticing and noticing something isn’t right. Everyone in my household always tried telling me, “be yourself, don’t try to hard to make friends”, I’ve been trying to make them, and in the end I keep failing. I’ll be graduating in 2020 sadly, but anyway. Two days ago I found out I am an definitely an absolute TRUE INTJ, my childhood was the best, but wasn’t. I developed depression in early kindergarten and I was taken away at a young age over false accusations. I came back to my home, and things were good…but I changed for the worst due to being abused at a foster home which I didn’t belong in. I obeyed my parents, and I remember how I never felt comfortable cussing etc. I just remember all these years everyone’s telling me “I’m just different” I knew I was and still am. I always say “sorry”a lot because it’s my soft side. I’m a writer and a artist, Ive been drawn to modern things especially books..and I had a near death experience at a younger on age, which god brought me back. Here I am thinking of doing an autobiography. But anyways..

    When I talk, everyone never seems to understand me, they always look at me funny and I remember how I have a tendency to stare into people’s souls always thought I was awfully creepy everyone even thinks that..but sometimes it’s good for eye contact, but also seeing through their soul to figure them out, and when something is wrong in always telling my sister’s “There’s something fishy about this person..I can’t seem to put my finger on it, but he’s not interested, he’s here for something..” later on I am right.

    But everyday at school I sit alone, not like I choose to, but.. I trust myself…I trust my thoughts. Every time I’m friends with someone or dating someone. My thoughts distract me. “This isn’t right if this person really likes me why have me to go see him outside of class when I can get in trouble?”

    My left brain tells me; “Oh just do it! He’s not that bad go lie to the teacher about leaving something.” So I did and walked out of the class, finds out he’s not there.

    Then I see students running up to me. “Your bf is with another girl did you know that?” I shrugged and I no longer cared. Later on I felt regret doing such a thing to make someone happy by trying to please them, instead isn’t interested.

    All my relationships weren’t real, immature, lasted for three days. That’s it.

    When I do make my own “friends” they never call me, text me, or talk to me, just shove me out. And if I’m friends with an adult about two years older than me. They still act like they didn’t graduate.

    All my life….it’s been like that. I kept thinking. Am I cursed? Ugly? Etc.

    Now it’s like I regret and absolutely wish, when I was 12 and 13, I didn’t become friends with some idiot of a female, I tried to impress to become my friend by pretending to be something I’m not. I feel so fake, everyday I still can’t help, but think about it.

    My grandmother must still be disappointed in me. I watched her die at age 4.. so as growing up everyone wonders why I hardly smile, not take jokes, how can I tell if someone is joking to me if they sound so sarcastic? Every joke I hear is the same thing..

    But yeah… It feels amazing to figure something out about me, almost like god wanted me to know. Being an INFJ is amazing, or at least (Trying to be optimistic about myself) I am unique, someone no one can copy..but what sucks is..I’m always distant..I’ll be sitting here and everyone sees me as the bad person, it’s like I intimidate them with my “mysterious” energy.

    And..I remember last summer how I changed my new path because I realized I had to become something really makes me feel blessed that I found this missing part of me, but yet I still don’t know who I am, I feel invisible..detached, even at my school.. no one notices me and I remember this student in class blurt it for no reason at all.. it’s confusing. “Your just a pigment of a picture.”

    I feel constantly paranoid walking into the doors, nobody sits alone trust me, I sit alone at lunch everyday. I’m unwanted in their groups. I tried everything to approach. When I look into their eyes I see their blank expressions as they talk, they shut me out when I speak and ignore me. I have to yell l reeeally loud for then to hear, when they do they gawk and laugh at me. It’s that unwanted and uncomfortable energy you get when you know your not a part of their groups.

    And the introverts at my school all have friends. I’m the only INTJ…

    I’m still working on myself, but it’s hard to accept something about yourself when you live in a town and a state you don’t belong in.

    I miss Illinois… and I miss the old younger me when I was happy, I remember I always thought I was beautiful, I didn’t care how different I was..and now it all changed due to realization. I stopped smiling in 5th grade when I really realized no one wanted to be my friend, I was the only one who would draw. Its hard to let go of the past, it’s hard to keep telling yourself you have everything no one has and I should be happy. My family is alive, but why am I not happy? These are the thoughts I still have before reaching my adulthood. I’ll regret it later on.. I have so much to learn for and discover yet. Least I’m not alone, it feels great that I’m not just a invisible pigment.

    My mom is also an INFJ, my dad he’s the opposite of that, but he can relate to some. That must also explain why I’m so much like my mother, and what I changed into as a child. My mom had childhood problems as fear is that..I don’t want to lose someone who understands me.

    • Claudia Roderick-Gilbert

      Alex, you’re not alone. And I’m sorry for the way your life has been, I truly am. I’m a 15 (almost 16) year old INFJ, discovered by my mum who is a proud ENFP, who also found out that my dad is an ENTP. The two personality types we’re supposed to get along with the best. Funnily enough, I don’t get along with my mum at all, and my dad tries so hard but simply can’t understand me. I used to feel, so much… Until college started, I learned that panic runs in my family after experiencing a dose of it the first term into year 9. I disappeared as a person, succumbed to the darkness, to panic and anxiety. Bullied after ‘they’ started recognising my discomfort, teased it, and they never got any wiser. For two years, year 9 and 10 I was completely lost. I prayed dark things to happen to me because I couldn’t do the dark things myself… not because I cared, the only thing stopping me was the physical pain… but they never came true. Likely because my father and his family are full christian and my nanna prays for us all every night, my dad being dedicated to loving God and his returning love, I suppose he prayed for my protection once, so it wasn’t God who stayed me alive. Not by choice, anyway. I believe in God, but I don’t agree to his ways, and to this day I’ll still believe his sparing me not a mercy. In fact, anything but. I lived in what seemed like infinite fear of everyone, everyday for two years. I prayed to God, but my struggles only worsened. During year 10 I found the strength somewhere to change, and I’m fully proud to say that it wasn’t God who got me here. No no, it was all me. All the suffering, and the pain… I had to believe that I could believe in myself. And I did. By myself, no matter what anyone says. Or started to. Today, I’ve hidden my feelings, somehow. My creativity requires me to pull them out again but it’s only followed by panic so I’m still in the turmoil. It’s my 3rd year at college now, and burying my feelings got me most of the way here. I don’t want to go back for fear, but I do because I need my feelings. But now I can’t remember what inspiration feels like, I’m starting to forget feelings, intuition. I think. Intentionally and unintentionally. All I’m trying to do is make it better. Know I’m trying, we all are.
      I was gone for too long, I screwed myself over thinking I was counselling myself, which technically I was, what with becoming tired of waiting for the help to come and asking my parents for a psychologist or doctor to help me. They never listened, but then again I never really knew how to speak to them. They’re not wealthy, paying for a doctor would be a burden on their shoulders. I didn’t care, I just wanted to fix myself. I lost my great passion for creative writing, sketching and songwriting. I didn’t follow my passions in school. That’s all I know. Does this mean it’s the end of all that that I am?
      Does any of this deem me unworthy of being an INFJ? I think I’m trailing off slightly it’s almost past midnight and my day starts at 7. Believe me this isn’t my daily routine. I wish you luck on on your future endeavours, Alex. Now I know what you shared about you and you can know a bit about me. I can promise you this, though, I will continue to fight if you do, I will try to find myself in all of this that the world dumps on us, as long as you find your place. ?

      • Jon Thomas

        Claudia and Alex,
        You will probably never see this, but for what it’s worth, I’m so sorry for what both of you have been through. I really am. I hurt to the depths of my soul reading these accounts. I cannot help you, but I wish I could. I’m 15 years old, an INFJ (I feel I can safely claim this, I’ve done a lot of soul searching), and while my experiences are nowhere near as terrible as yours, I feel that I can understand some of your pain. I, too, have struggled greatly for friends. From elementary school I was the outsider and bullied, and then in 5th grade my parents divorced and all I can remember from then was crying…crying…crying. It was as if my soul was torn in two. Then, I remember, kind of like in the article above, telling myself to stop feeling, to forget, forever. While I’ve regained some of that sensitivity and emotional vulnerability, I still cannot understand what I truly lost then. Moving into Jr. High School, I was alone. Totally alone. It wasn’t until one precious person reached out to me and helped me to feel, to grow, to love. But since then, I’ve realized that the problem was within me. I’d lost the motivation to make friends, because I’d stopped believing that I could. So I gave up. I submitted to the darkness. Until one light lit up my world and changed it forever. And I believe that is what so many people need, especially at this age. One light, one person, someone to help and offer pure kindness and love. I wish I could be that person to both of you, that I could show you love, but I can’t. So, I pray that you find that person, both of you, or that they find you. I know you’ve both been through incredibly hard times, and so young, and it may seem beyond hope, but God is still watching over you, He still loves you. I know, I’ve been there before. When all you can see is darkness, and it seems impossible that He is still there. But I assure you He is. You may be angry at Him, for giving you this pain, for not interceding, in your time of greatest pain. And I cannot give an explanation, other than this: He loves you, greatly, eternally, more than you could ever understand. And He’s waiting to take you back into His arms.
        I know it may seem that the darkness is closing in, that all is lost, that it’s without hope, but I’m here to tell you there is always hope. Because self-love and God’s love are everything. It will get better. I promise.

        Wishing you luck, love, and happiness,

        Alex, here’s something you might find useful: I know this is absolutely TERRIFYING, but if someone you thought loved you walks away, or abandons you, or doesn’t support you when you need it, then you were better off without them. I know, it’s so hard to hear, but it’s true. And this probably won’t be very helpful either, but I promise someone sees you, someone admires you, you ARE NOT ALONE. So, while it may be hard, reach out, meet people’s suspicions and meanness with empathy, for as the old saying goes, “hurt people hurt people”, and those who’ve been taught to fear vulnerability or unusuality won’t change at the drop of a hat. The most important thing is to not compromise yourself, but to bring empathy and love, for that is what they really need, even if they’d never admit it. Good luck!
        Claudia, just because you feel broken beyond repair does not mean that you are unworthy of being an INFJ. On the contrary, I would say that because you have experienced so much, that you now have a profound worthiness of being an INFJ, because we are the healers, the counselors. You’ve experienced so much hurt, now you know how to go to other when they are in that space and help them, give them what you needed when you were there. I’m in no way downplaying what you’ve been through. I wish you could have been spared of it. But you weren’t, and while you will carry those scars with you for the rest of your life, you have a profound gift given to you in it. I would challenge you not to fall into the trap of self-pity and despair. This world will knock you down, but it is your decision to stay there. You are worthy of yourself, of love, of care, of all your needs being fulfilled. Never let anything or anyone convince you otherwise. Good luck!

      • Me

        Claudia, Alex, I feel that my problems are probably not as bad as yours, but I just wanted to share them to see what you think. I’m going to start with the problems I have and then go to the comments, so stick with me. (It might take me a bit long to get to the point)

        From 0-10 years old, I was a very healthy INFJ. I knew everything about people. I remember once I told my friend why I thought this person was doing something, she believed me, and it turned out I was right! A few more times after I tried this though, I tried it on another friend, this time she didn’t believe me, and I was wrong. It was the first time I was wrong about things like that, but it was bad enough to make me stop. Despite knowing why other people did certain things, I also knew who hated me.

        Nearly everyone in our homeschool group has some type of clique. My family thought that the homeschool group is one of the greatest things that happened to them (it probably is), but everything has a downside. Yes, there was no bullying. Yes, no one was obviously mocked at or gawked at. But the problem was the girls. I’ve been homeschooled since 2nd grade, and my family has 3 boys (excluding parents), so I’m the only girl. The problem with the girls in our homeschool group is that they wanted drama ever since they were young, because they thought the boys didn’t have enough. Now, it’s just casual lifestyle of drama. They’ve had cliques since birth. The painful thing is that I’d know when they were gossiping and who they were gossiping about. Most of the time it would be me or anyone else that didn’t have a clique. I still often say: “If you want a friend in the homeschool group, you either need a clique or your a loner.”

        One-sentence: There were so many cliques I knew which people hated me.

        Another thing is that these people would try to hide it. They’d try to act friendly, and the parents thought they were “little angels” but I was the only one that knew the kids didn’t want us there. I knew no one wanted me near them, but they had siblings that were friends of my brothers. So I decided not to tell anyone about this, especially not my dad, because I never wanted to disappoint him.

        One-sentence: Everyone thinks they’re “angels” (maybe they’re not the type they’re thinking of)

        The problem with my dad is that he thought everything was going all right for me, so my parents would arrange ‘play-dates’, and such, therefore making me hangout with the people that hated me. I was basically being forced to hang around people who I know didn’t want me there, which made me sorry for….. well I don’t know, whatever the reason they hated me for. I was sorry for them, which made me a little too sorry for myself.

        Once-sentence: Basically forced to hang-out with people I hate, making me sorry for them.

        At 12, I was starting to complicate things just a little too much, and I thought: Maybe these people do realize that they’re being gossiped about, but just choose to ignore it. (I had a much more complicated explanation at that time). A lot of things happened to me at this age: I’d see my older brother a lot more, and he’d yell at me right in front of a group of literally 22 people (including us). I was yelled at a lot during volleyball. My mom was starting to loose it and started yelling at me too. This made me, like a lot of INFJs, stop feeling. I toughened up too much for my friends, and they saw me as the type of person that’d start screaming random songs I didn’t know the words too at the top of my head. Some even saw me basically as a hoodlum. From 11-13 I basically started to loose it, which is how everyone saw me as because I was acting too extroverted then. If they had known me when I was -10, they would’ve known the real me, but they don’t.

        One-sentence: I lost my sense of feeling (now I’m gaining it back up).

        12 and 13 are the two ages I never want to act like again. 13 has brought me lots of problems today. At this age, I loved to argue about everything. It’s not like I’d disagree with whatever the other person says, but if I had a different opinion against them, I’d say it. They all liked this one book they read, Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger, and I told them I hated it, and we’d argue for hours about that book (I’d argue about other interesting things, not just books, so don’t worry). My closest friend (I’m not really hers) hated when I talked about books, or debated, but now, that’s all she does. The problem is, she and her new best friend (now becoming a clique), make me feel like the only person in the world who thinks how I do, while simultaneously trying to keep friends with me. They keep trying to start an argument with me, and I keep trying to avoid it, but it always ends up with them saying: “You just want to leave this conversation to make yourself feel good about yourself, because you know your wrong.” One time, their argument became too personal, I hid it from them then, but when I came home, I couldn’t stop shaking because they made me feel so alone. All the time they say: “I think your the only one that thinks that.”
        I shared my weaknesses with my ex-closest friend, and now all she does is use them against me.

        One-sentence: When I’m around other people, they make me feel alone.

        Currently, at 14 years old, it hasn’t been so bad, but no one will want to text me or talk to me. I go to this school, Cardinal Kung Academy, which allows people to go part time, meaning that homeschoolars are also able to go because they have biology, history, literature, and religion all in two days, that way you can homeschool the rest of your classes. There, however, wasn’t so bad the first few days, and this boy I really liked who was probably an ENFP was the only one to actually understand me, but then who used to be my friend, told me I liked him, and now he won’t talk to me anymore. I’m just a creep to everyone in that school now, and no one my age wants to talk to me. I started talking to the 7th and 8th graders instead, but even they don’t seem to want me and don’t understand that they’re the only people that will listen.

        One-sentence: Now no one wants me near them because I’m just a creep.

        Ask yourself sometimes: Is it better to live alone, or live in a society that makes you feel alone? With you, it might be different because you wanted to be heard, but couldn’t. Think again. If you were heard by all your friends, would it be worth it? Would they still hate you the same and only talk to you to make you feel better? Even if it was worth it, would you still be the same? Did you change anything about yourself to make the others like you more? I always try to remind myself: Other people have there own problems, we all think they’re worse than the others,but are they? Maybe yes, but it depends on how we chose to act on them. We all want the other one’s problem, but if we did, would we want ours back? My brother’s an INTJ and he suffered the same basic issue, but eventually he found his group of friends, maybe a little earlier than you (he’s nearly 17 now), and he’s doing all right.

        I asked myself the same question, and no, you are not unworthy of being an INFJ. Maybe you took a little back route, to figure this out, but you are still whoever you say you are. I also quit my daily routine pretty recently and thought there was something wrong with me, and I’ve never been stressed. I figured out sooner or later that I was stressing out about nothing. Don’t try to be an INFJ if you feel like your losing it. Try to be yourself. If your not sure what that’s like, try to be your old self, start with the biggest thing you had in common with young you.
        You sound just like my brother when you say: “I believe in God, but I don’t agree to his ways, and to this day I’ll still believe his sparing me not a mercy.” I believe you when you say that God didn’t grant me out of this situation. I did. I actually applaud you for that. I know a lot of people that think the opposite. Remember though, God is still watching over us, but he wants us to figure these things out on our own. He’s still watching over us. He still cares for us, but he will let us find out how to cope with our own problems. He has a plan for us. He wants us to figure this out on our own. Possibly for some reason we need for the future…… (I don’t mean to sound like a free-mason)

        I hope this’ll help!

        PS My problems seem so lame. I think a lot of INFJs struggle with relatively the same issue. I’m sorry if you think I’m being a little too over dramatic.

        PPS Don’t take this the wrong way. I did not intend to write this for attention and drama. I just wanted to let it out for once….

        • Me

          lol. I just realized how bad my grammar is. And how old that comment was, you probably have it figured out by now 😉

    • Eric Côté

      I’m 46 now. I’m INFJ too. Reading your comment was like reading something I may have written at your age.

      You’re blessed to have resources like this site, the Web, YouTube, etc. to educate yourself and help you know yourself better.

      It *does* get better. Develop trusting yourself, develop your feelings, start working on getting out a bit more, even if it’s just to go a natural setting, push your boundaries bit by bit. Take your time, and don’t push yourself. That secret feeling of mission you feel inside will pop out when you’re ready (you’ll be ready even if you think you’re not, you will, hehe).

      Follow that, do your dreams. Don’t let negative people get in your way, and let people in that you feel are OK, because they are. They love you. They may not be blood, but they’ll feel like family.

    • Dustin

      Alex, I understand you. I travel alone literally everywhere. I feel like I can’t relate to very many people around me. And honestly, I’m probably way too antisocial, but I’m okay with that. This is because of many thinks. I’m not willing to go into all of it on here. Bullying, insecurity, troubled childhood, and a lack of identity until my Sophomore year in high school are just a few things. I’m now a college Freshman who is very content with himself. Sadly, I’m crossing that fine border of harmless aloneness to loneliness. That combined with my other stresses is just an interesting blend of thick haze just waiting to mislead me eventually.

      Simply put, I’m longing for intimacy that I’m barely willing to make happen. I don’t like talking to people, not usually, anyway.

      For what it’s worth, I would be willing to be your friend, wherever in the world that you happen to be. Good luck, and I hope that you haven’t shut yourself down too much.

      P.S. I’m supposedly an INFJ.

  • xristina

    #1 “No one – no friend, no family member, no boyfriend – is worth you giving up all of your private time. If someone demands that much of you, you probably don’t need him/her in your life. It will drain you.”

    #3 “You’re hurt now and you’re bleeding, but someday you will realize that this pain gave you something you can’t get any other way. You just need to let yourself live.”

    #4 ”Don’t be so self-conscious. Don’t put yourself down so much, you are fine! ACT, ACT, ACT on your thoughts. Calm your anxiety and center yourself. Working on yourself is GREAT, keep at it. Please be kind to yourself. Let go of the idealism, moral conscience and responsibility. Don’t over-analyze, just enjoy the ride.”

    #5 “There is nothing wrong with you. You are worthy of love from yourself and from others. You deserve to be treated with respect and kindness no matter what…”

    those are the quotes I relate the most. and I am thankful for everyone of it.

  • Enzo

    I’m 17 years old INFJ and i just found this out 4 hours ago I’ve always tough i was special and i can change the world with my genius ideas but i wasn’t sure how to start but now i know im still not 100% sure but i have a clue!

  • Abbey

    “Don’t try to give up your heart. Don’t try to be the best at everything because it’s not gonna happen. You can’t stop wars, you can’t stop injustice, you can’t stop hate, you can’t stop greed, you can’t make everyone happy and that’s okay, it doesn’t make you a bad person. You don’t need to punish yourself and you don’t deserve to die. You can’t make your scars disappear but you can fill them with gold, like in kintsukuroi. And I’m not gonna say that it’ll get better because it won’t – you’ll just become tougher.”

    THIS THOUGH. I want to put this on my bedroom wall. I wish someone had told me this when I was 8, not even 15.

  • Olivia Manalani

    I learned that I am an INFJ when I was 55. I took the Personality tests from 2 different websites. Both have similar results. After reading and listening to the descriptions, I realize the tests were quite accurate. I wish I knew all of this when I was younger. I spent most of my young adult life trying to make others happy…in other words…people pleasing. Back then, I tried to fit in my family and community. I got a Bachelors Degree in Business major in Accounting and an MBA. I was able to own things and live the so called American dream. My romantic relationships lasted for about 4 years. I learned a lot from each one. I had my share of love and companionship. I didnt want to be lonely. I would suck in my dissatisfaction until I decide its over. I would leave the person i have the relationship shocked by how I closed the door for good.

    What I really wanted to study was Psychology. I am also multitalented in the arts…painting, crafts, dance and music. I was supersensitive and caring about people, animals and even plants. I can feel what they feel. Somehow, I can tell whats in their mind. From age 28 and on…I explored spirituality …this helped me a lot in my journey of soul seaching. My life took a detour. From being an employee…I became a business owner. I devoted my time and energy building my business. From the revenues… I am grateful that I was able to travel the world and do what I love. I have this entertainment business for 20 years now where I have my time and decisions in my hands. Miraculously, my business support and prosper me and the people I employ.

    I am happier, more self aware now than when I was younger. I look back and think, what if i have known what I know now…I think i will have less struggles, loved and accepted myself more. I tell myself…theres still time for this lifetime.

    I will tell my 15 year old self…be yourself…love and accept yourself . Relax. Take good care of yourself. Everything will work out for the best.

  • Shelby Nicholson

    I would tell myself at 15 years old to stop following the crowd; do what you want to do, which is to stay home, read, write, be yourself. I’d also say, ‘force yourself to speak up in class and press yourself really hard to say something in social settings, because it’s really important to break the self-consciousness struggle; it’s really important to say what’s on your mind. You will be very happy for it! And pursue creative hobbies.

  • Chad

    I kind of gave up on trying to grow through MBTI and it wasn’t until yesterday I found myself interested again. For the longest time I thought I was an INFP, but doing more research and being totally stressed out at work and reading this post again; it’s clear to me I was an INFJ the whole time.

    Just reading that #1 listed thing in the survey is so eerie, in a good way! I’ve been realizing that my entire life I’ve been doing what others have expected me to do. I didn’t want to let them down. Now I’m realizing that I couldn’t have let those people down, so long as I was happy.

    Anyway, thanks for doing this almost a year and a half ago!

  • Rebecca Trocki

    I have a mantra now, Never Give Up. Tell your 15 year old self that it does get better. Life is a what you make of it. I still say that “there is something wrong with me” but the more I learn. There is really is nothing wrong with me. I am just different and appreciate who you and help the people you can. If they don’t want to learn, that is their problem. If they are jealous, let them be. Just be yourself. There is only one you. if you need to take some quiet time, read a book, do meditation. You need that time to recharge. I also hate crowds, always have. I get cranky if I am out late. You only have a few friends and that is okay. There is only one you. This is very important, you need a support system. You need someone to say that you are okay because you are special, remember that. Just breathe and go on. Do not compare yourself to others. I still have tell myself everyday that it will be a great day and you are here for a reason. Don’t forget that. You have a purpose, even if you don’t know it. Just do your best and know that whatever you do or do not do. You are special.

  • Ron

    I am 50 years old, a man, an INFJ and I have been inspired by all here today, to share as I have just read and took notes from one of your article’s Charis, followed by reading this article.
    I am always developing my Fe side its kind of sensitive and hard to ignore. I have been in a Te function for a long time because as a man with feelings it was hard to be accepted as anything but a manly type, unemotional, cold, calculated, accurate the list goes on… but to be so sensitive and called out by my peers as anything less than a man… I would shrug and push my self forward. Tears and feelings came easy for me.
    So looking back I always had the Fe part of me on and attentive it just was Fi/Te …afraid to embarrass my wife or family… hiding my strongest decision process in dealing with others! But because of the field I was in I had the strong Te functions.
    I could not through out my life do just one thing so I became more, at the same time for 25 years or so, a process engineer one week , a massage therapist the next, shift work made it possible, a father, and a husband every day… etc. and if my age gives me any wisdom at this time in my life, I measured success by my financial gain… but the real measure of the success factor in my happiness is, my mental health, my physical health, and yes the mental and physical health of those I love.
    If I were to say anything to my self growing up it would be ” keep your chin up, be who you are, and grow each and every day” the only problem with this is I didn’t know “who I was” (an INFJ) and did not have the information to really develop myself, I was always searching but could never find the answers. Always pleasing others and forgetting about myself, being selfish for the needs I did not give myself for personal growth, and slipping into a mental place of great stress otherwise known as swimming against the current (by not fully developing my Fe side)…What’s interesting is now I have found me, and I did exactly what I said… I kept my chin up I grew but it took me some time to find out who I was and why I did and felt the way I did.
    For those who “know who they are” please embrace this knowledge of who you are to grow and develop with ease and great success.
    “Keep your chin up”

    • Charis Branson

      Thanks for your comment, Ron! My experience is similar to yours. I didn’t find out I was an INFJ until I was 40. It would have been nice info to have when I was a kid, but I wouldn’t change my present for anything. I am who I am because of who I was back then. I am thoroughly enjoying middle age and my personal tagline is: “Better late than never.” 😉

  • Sbilko

    “If I could go back in time, I would tell the younger me to slow down. I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish that was miles long and I got it all done before my 30s… slow down, kid. Take it all in. Live in the moment, appreciate and savor everything you have right now. Stop trying to please everyone and make yourself more of a priority, because in the end the only relationship you have that you can trust, that is eternal, the only true love is the love you develop for yourself. Stop being so critical. You are wonderful, perfect and unique in your own way. Appreciate yourself.”

    Sorry, I’m not an INFJ; I’m a 17-year-old ENFJ guy. The above quote sparked my interest and made me think twice about my future. I would be really interested to know how the author of said quote came to this conclusion, and why is it important to live in the moment.

    I identify with the author of this quote: I constantly put myself objectives, and I have my future planned for up to 10 years from now. I have a long list of things to do, some of which require very hard work and years of dedication, in order to be achieved. I’m constantly adding new things to do, and erasing the met objectives.

    I do this because I feel a deep satisfaction in achieving what I have always wanted, or atleast knowing a rational answer to why I can’t achieve it. The thing is that I don’t see anything wrong with that, so I’d be really interested to know what’s wrong with putting yourself objectives and how to live in the moment, if you don’t mind answering of course. 🙂

    • Charis Branson

      Thanks for the comment, Sbilko! I’m not the one who you quoted, but as an INFJ I may be able to help you with an answer. You say you feel a deep satisfaction when you achieve something on your objectives list. How long do you allow yourself to enjoy that satisfaction? When you have achieved something, do you enjoy that time and space enough to fully integrate the lessons you learned before moving on to the next objective? If you are constantly focused on achieving and striving for each pinnacle, you never get to enjoy the present. Can you think back to times when things were really good, and instead of being present and enjoying them you pushed through and strived for the next objective?

      INFJs have a tendency to forget to notice when things are really good in our pursuit for what we consider to be better. We never stop to smell the roses because we are too busy trying to create a hybrid rose that can survive a drought. (I’m not sure if that illustration made any sense, but hopefully, you get the point.)

      Extraverts also have a tendency to plow through life and forget to slow down. In fact, an extravert’s path to growth is usually found in slowing down and exploring their inner world. Hopefully, you make time to exercise your copilot, introverted intuition, which requires alone time, quiet, and stillness. cheers! 🙂

  • Ash

    This article is absolutely beautiful. I’m 17 and it truly reached my core and even made me cry when the quote read:

    “It gets much, much better. There are others out there who are more like you. You can heal the pain to a large extent. It will be okay. Follow your desires to be an artist, and push yourself.”

    I need to learn to trust myself and take some risk to become what I dream to be

    • Charis Branson

      Thanks, Ash! I’m glad the article resonated with you so strongly. I thought it was interesting that a large majority of all the intuitive surveys said life got much better after they reached adulthood. I’m sure you have amazing things ahead of you. 🙂

  • Peter

    I am currently at the age of 15, when I read the robot section, it hit me hard, I know exactly what you meant, I can only hope it’s not too late to win back the kindness I lost

    • Charis Branson

      If it is not too late for me at 40, it is definitely not too late for you at 15. Whenever you want to hide behind the robot, try and get into the head of whoever is pushing you into that place. Imagine what it is like to be them. See if you can find some compassion for them. Always make sure your thinking process is serving your extraverted feeling process. Thanks for the comment! 🙂

  • Wuruhi


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

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

    All the best! –Wuruhi

  • Anna

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

  • Wuruhi


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

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

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

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

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

  • Anna

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

    • Jill

      I felt the same way through school and was bullied constantly. I also felt that by my own standards I was never good enough – never quite doing what I should be to contribute and earn my place in the world. When I got older a several people told me something that changed my life – that what I didn’t understand was that by doing nothing more than being my own weird strange beautiful self, I was opening a door and giving all the other people who don’t have INFJ gifts the opportunity to get a glimpse of some of the things we can see and also giving them permission to start becoming more of who they might be. Some of the people who told me this were some of the ones who had been the most judgemental and dismissive of me through school! Keep your head high, know you’re important and unleash your epicness into the world – It needs you. I hope this helps.

    • Yuri

      Anna, yes, I also feel perpetually judged by EVERYONE, all the time. I tend to stay out of sight, and I do my best work when I am alone. I live alone, and keep the shades always drawn; I don’t like curtains open. I rarely go outside to do yard work because others may see and judge. I rarely go shopping, and would much rather communicate by texting or on social media than face-to-face. I take walks at night or in poor weather when there are fewer “norms” about.

      I have always felt this way. I’m hyper aware of others’ judgements, even if they are not, or they are only in my head. This takes up some of my mind, limiting what I am able to accomplish and manifests itself as a strong distaste for accommodating myself into society’s boxes. The feeling of being judged attunes to my perfectionistic side and I get very hard on myself, self-critical, and start second (or 50th)-guessing myself on everything. I know myself… I am most creative and alive when I can be fully free to express myself.

  • Katie

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

  • Wuruhi

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

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

  • Jessamine

    I would say:

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

  • Stuti

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

    • Charis Branson

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

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

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

  • Artisan

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

    Here are mine:

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

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

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

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

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

    • Charis Branson

      Thanks for sharing Artisan!

  • J D

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

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

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

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

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

    • Charis Branson

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

    • Karan BG

      Nice One Said(especially 1st line)…….Thank J D

  • Raghav

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

    • Charis Branson

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

  • Kelly

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

    • Charis Branson

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

  • Enrique

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

    • Charis Branson

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

  • Melissa

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

    • Charis Branson

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

  • JaseR75

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

    • Charis Branson

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

  • Bre

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

    • Sara

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

    • KRS

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

    • Charis Branson

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

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

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

      Have you read this article:

  • Patricia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Charis Branson

      Thanks Patricia! I completely resonate with all of these!

    • Kris

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

      • Charis Branson

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

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

    • Yuri

      I love these Patricia, it’s like you pulled them right out of my head! I’m a 40 year old INFJ and think every one of these quite often nowadays. I could have saved a lot of heartache if I believed these at 15 though.

  • Averie

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

    • Charis Branson

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

    • Heather

      It’s great that you are even aware of the part personality type plays in your life!
      I hope you can really accept and even enjoy the things that make you one-of-kind – that will make life a lot more fun and satisfying for you!

  • Esther

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

    • Charis Branson

      Thanks Esther! That is lovely.

  • Eva

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Charis Branson

      Thanks for your comment Eva! You mentioned you struggle with the two Intuitive styles. Have you had a chance to listen to this podcast:

    • Paul Cook

      I would tell my teen INFJ self to listen to my instincts. You are smarter than 90% of those around you and that is why no one gets you. You see things they do not. You understand things they do not. Believe in yourself and continue to create. Don’t settle. Continue to learn. You will make an incredible psychologist, captivating author, renown artist, you will perfect molecular engineering an heal the world. Be tenacious and believe that you have the power to make it happen.

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