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.
What’s the perfect INFJ career?
Recently, I’ve corresponded with INFJ…
- Landscape architects
- Furniture designers
- Graphic designers
- Art instructors
- Child development specialists
And that’s by no means an exhaustive list. It just gives you an idea of the scope of opportunities available to INFJs seeking meaningful work. Almost every INFJ I’ve ever met has struggled at some point to find work that excites her. She wants a job she’s passionate about that makes a difference in the world, and she wants to be able to express her creativity, original thought, and uniqueness. But given the above list, there’s clearly no one-size-fits-all job for the INFJ.
There are, however, several guiding principles you should keep in mind as you pursue fulfilling work.
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.
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.
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.
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 does it feel like to be an introvert?”
I’m glad you asked. I applaud your healthy curiosity and willingness to learn more about the quiet people around you. While I can’t speak for all introverts, I can give you a glimpse of what being an introvert is like for me.
Allow me to take you inside my head for a quick look at what it’s like to be an introvert.
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.