“How can I be so outgoing one minute and private the next?”
I love being with my closest friends. I need them in my life. I can go for a couple weeks or even a month getting together fairly frequently, as long as I have enough alone time.
But when my schedule starts to fill up with long workdays, church commitments, family gatherings, and other responsibilities, the last thing I want to do on a Friday night is “hang out.”
Feeling overwhelmed, I hole up inside my house with a stack of books, my computer, and a guitar and introvert like it’s my only hope for survival. (And it sort of is…)
Can you relate?
What causes seemingly extroverted INFJs to change in an instant? And how can you balance relationships and downtime?
Do interruptions stress you out, fellow INFJ?
Have you ever been working on something and getting to the point of optimal focus and productivity only to be unexpectedly interrupted by someone or something? Your focus shatters and falls to the ground like shards of glass, while you’re left feeling angry, frustrated, anxious, and a whole slew of other negative feelings.
It’s especially tough for us INFJs because we require quiet to do our best work and to employ our greatest strength, introverted intuition. In The INFJ: Understanding the Mystic, Susan Storm writes:
“When using Introverted Intuition, INFJs enter a nearly meditative state, where they consider how various insights could lead to a future outcome. Noise, bright lights, and any type of interruption can all unsettle the INFJ and make them lose focus and composure.”
Once you’ve been interrupted, it often takes 20 to 30 minutes to get back to a state of flow, assuming you’re able to quickly fight off the emotions. Then, you’ll need to do the work of remembering and piecing together what you were working on before.
The good news is that you can make some minor tweaks that’ll make a big difference for you. Try any one of these 4 strategies, and it’ll almost instantly lead to more quiet, fewer interruptions, and increased happiness for your INFJ brain.
What’s the best way to find a spouse as an INFJ?
When I was single, I got tired of waiting for the love of my life to show up on my doorstep. Looking back, I guess I’d expected to bump into her. I didn’t anticipate any effort on my part, at least when it came to searching.
But then I read a Proverb that changed my perspective: “He who finds a wife finds what is good.” The word that hit me in that statement was “find.” I realized could find a wife like finding a penny on the sidewalk, without any effort. Or I could find her like finding my lost iPhone when I’m intentionally looking for it.
Armed with this new perspective and motivated by a healthy discontentment, I took the first step I could think of.
What do most INFJs long for? Answer: Real, authentic friendships.
They want to be known and appreciated for who they are. They want someone to empathize with and understand them in the way they do other people. The challenge is finding someone who appreciates what you do and the way you think in a world where the vast majority of people operate so differently.
The more I reflect on my own life and relationships, the more I realize how important friendships with other intuitives are. Some of the friendships that I enjoy most are with INTPs, INFPs, ENFPs, and the like. The way we approach life and things we care about are similar.
Today, let’s take a brief look at why relationships with other intuitives can be both refreshing and rewarding for you as an INFJ.
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.
Would you like to improve your small talk skills?
Many introverts don’t enjoy talking with people they don’t know well about topics they’re not interested in. They’d rather spend time with someone familiar talking about their passion.
No matter how much you dislike small talk, there are times you’ll have to engage in it. It’s a social custom and a good one in that it allows you and an acquaintance to build trust.
I’ve discovered that many of my own problems with small talk have to do with my thoughts. They’re often self-critical, or my focus is misdirected. Changing the way I think about my interactions with other people quickly and significantly improves my small talk. Changing the way you think about yours will do the same for you.
Try these quick hacks to improve your small talk in seconds.
Jon flopped on the sofa and reached for the remote. He was looking forward to a night of nothing, after staying late at the office all week. He pressed the power button and flipped the foot rest up on his La-Z-Boy. That’s when Jane marched in.
“You remember that we have dinner plans with the McCoy’s, don’t you? There’s absolutely no way I’m staying in this stuffy, old house any longer. We stayed home last weekend, and I am NOT doing it again!”
Have you ever found yourself in this situation or one like it? If you’re an introvert married to an extrovert, your answer is probably “Yes.”
While introverts and extroverts complement each other and make a great team, their differences can also drive each other nuts, so what can you do to keep the tone of your marriage positive and work through your differences? Consider these six suggestions.
What do you do when you don’t want to be around extroverts? More specifically, how can you live happily with the extroverts in your life with out getting overly drained or frustrated?
In this episode of the I Speak People show, we discuss those questions and explore the biological differences between introverts and extroverts. We also talk about three common situations where introverts and extroverts butt heads as well as some possible solutions that can help you through those circumstances when they arise.
Picture this. You’re sitting on your porch, enjoying a novel and a cup of coffee, basking in the sunlight. Robins are singing, and there’s a pleasant chill lingering in the air. It’s the perfect morning.
Suddenly, unannounced and uninvited, your rowdy neighbor rolls up in his Mustang. Windows down and “Stones” blaring, he yells from the street up to your porch, startling you and ruining the moment. For no good reason, he tries to start a conversation from 50 feet away, eliminating all but the memory of your peace and quiet. This is your plight, an introvert in an extroverted world.
While you may never have experienced the above scenario, I’ll bet you’ve been…
- Interrupted when trying to concentrate
- Talked over while getting your thoughts together
- Put down for needing more alone time
Your struggle is real, so you wonder: Why are extroverts so draining?
Let’s take a look at a possible explanation, specific circumstances where extroverts frustrate you, and some potential solutions.
How do you stay in touch with friends as an introvert?
As an introvert, you probably prefer staying home to going out and love alone time. After all, it’s hard to beat peace and quiet: Every introvert needs both to recharge.
There’s just one problem with being alone all the time. You can’t do it AND have friends. Friendships, like all relationships, take time and energy.
And all introverts do need friends. So there’s a tension to be managed here.
We need to stay sufficiently connected while ensuring we have adequate downtime.
So how do you do that? In today’s show, I share my simple 5-part system. (If you want to read the post version of the podcast, CLICK HERE.)