I recently came across a line that arrested my attention:
INFJs “prefer to focus in great depth on one thing at a time, which can result in periods of single-mindedness.”
It stopped me in my tracks and made me think about the kind of work I really love. And when I say “work I love,” I’m referring to the thinking and doing that bring me to life – researching, synthesizing, and creating – not necessarily what I do to pay the bills.
The thinking I love allows me to focus deeply on one thing at a time, as the quote suggests, and it’s usually project-based in nature. I’m guessing you also enjoy projects for the focus they afford you.
Check out these five reasons why project-based work fires an INFJ up.
Jane was overwhelmed. She was wasting hours on her computer getting sucked down YouTube rabbit trails every day after work while spending almost no time with friends and family. Deep down inside, she was entertaining dark, discouraging thoughts but let no one know about them. Jane wondered if the world really even needed her at all. Though she didn’t realize it, she was stressed out – big time.
Fellow INFJ, how can you tell when you’re stressed out and what can you do about it?
What are the best ways for an INFJ to make and keep great friends?
One of the challenges of being an INFJ is that you love to help others, particularly through nonjudgemental listening, open acceptance, and thoughtful advice, but you seldom open up and allow your true self to be known. Though you long for that very thing and crave the support and encouragement of others, the trust-building process can be slow and difficult.
But you, like every INFJ, need quality friendships. There’s no doubt about it. Still, how do you make and keep awesome friends as an INFJ? Consider the following 21 ideas.
Fellow INFJ, do you long for meaning?
I know that I did and do every day. I have a hard time just existing. I’ve got to know that I’m living my life purposefully and that I’m making a difference in the world, directly in individual people’s lives and indirectly for the betterment of the whole world.
This is one of the reasons that I struggle to do work that just pays the bills and puts food on the table. I know that covering expenses and eating are important, but I long to positively influence others, to inspire them to reach their potential, and to do it in an original, authentic way.
I don’t know if that’s your specific longing, but I bet you want the world to make sense, to understand it on a deep level, and to make a difference with your life. Most INFJs do.
But why is that? Why the intense longing for meaning?
One of the biggest frustrations plaguing INFJs is the fact that other people don’t “get” them. A little over 70 percent of all people on this planet are sensors, folks who are tuned into either the “here and now” or the past.
Sensors care about the practical details of life – chores, bills, and neighborhood happenings. They trust what they can observe with their senses and take it at face value. Most don’t normally go below the surface to search for implications and deeper meaning or think about what could be and future possibilities.
In contrast, we INFJs love to look for meaning. We want to know how the world works and why, and we look for patterns, make connections, and dream about what could be.
We’re far more removed from the present and the past than the average person. That’s not to say that we don’t think about either. It’s just that we tend to prefer thinking about future possibilities and a better future for ourselves and others.
The difference between us and the rest of the world is stark. Many people don’t understand that our way of thinking is both legitimate and important because it’s so rare and misunderstood. The INFJ personality type is the rarest of all 16 Myers-Briggs types, after all, making up only 1.5 percent of the population.
This wouldn’t be so big a problem except for the fact that we INFJs need other people and long for peaceful, fulfilling interpersonal relationships. We want other people to validate, understand, and appreciate us, but we seldom experience those things outside of relationships with other intuitive types.
But what if there were a way for you to enjoy better relationships with the sensors in your life, on that helped them understand you better? In this post, I’ll share a proven strategy that I’ve used to help other people understand and appreciate my INFJ personality.
One of the biggest challenges for an INFJ is finding a satisfying career.
We’re not content to do just any work. We want to do work that we’re passionate about and that makes a difference in the world.
It doesn’t help that suitable INFJ careers are hard to come by. The world doesn’t have our gifts in mind when it creates job write ups, which is no surprise, considering we’re the rarest personality type.
While well-meaning people will try to give you helpful advice, most of the time their advice ends up being more harmful than it is helpful, especially for INFJs who don’t know themselves well yet.
This begs the question: Why do most people have a hard time thinking of good INFJ careers for you? Let’s look at three reasons.
Do you remember the day you found out you were an INFJ?
The day I learned I was an INFJ was a turning point for me. I started to feel less like a messed-up, broken outsider and more like a valid human being with unique perspectives and gifts to contribute to the world. I started moving down the path of self-discovery, and the further I went, the more my life started to make sense.
Do you ever get the INFJ blues? I do routinely. One day, I’ll be feeling encouraged and motivated and the next I’ll be down in the dumps. I’m learning that it’s part of being an INFJ.
Just tonight, the dark side of my personality confronted me again. A family member gave me some constructive criticism that I wasn’t expecting, and as he did, the sun disappeared from my proverbial sky.
I hate when I get depressed. I feel trapped and start to question whether or not any of my hopes and dreams will ever come true. Sometimes I just don’t know how to shake the heavy feelings or change my mood.
Have you been there?
While I’m not a counselor and I don’t have it all figured out, I have found several strategies that help me.
Do you, fellow INFJ, long to be validated?
If you’re like most of us, your answer to that question is a resounding yes. While some disagree, arguing that INFJ logic can eliminate this need, it’s safe to say that most INFJs seek validation from others – especially those closest to them. They want the world to approve of their thoughts and feelings and appreciate them for who they are. But why is this the case? Why do INFJs long to be validated?
Perfectionism has stopped me in my tracks more times than I care to remember. I’ve had numerous brilliant ideas and exciting dreams that I’ve given up on before ever starting because I’m afraid of subpar results. This is a challenge that all INFJs wrestle with at some point.
Your INFJ ability to see the future and vivid possibilities gets you all-kinds-of-excited about an idea, while your idealism weighs you down like an anchor, forbidding you to make a move.
The predicament is that you’ll never be happy until you begin to take action and realize your dreams.
If you’re tired of letting perfectionism hold you back from your potential, here are a few suggestions that may help you overcome your perfectionism and take more action.