I’m an INFJ, which means…

1. When I’m feeling uncharacteristically social, I’ll optimistically make future plans. Then, when the day arrives and I’m feeling anything but social, I’ll cancel the plans 50% of the time. Yes, I’ll feel ashamed, but it’s better than when I accept and spend the whole time feeling like I’m sticking out like a sore thumb and then spend the rest of the day – and the few days after – kicking myself for not being different and not being able to have enjoyed the event.

2. I believe the little voice in my head, my intuition. I instinctively just know things. I can’t explain how or why but the fact that I know them is a certainty for me. As sure as night follows day. I can look at someone and know how they feel. It’s not that I can empathise with them or am sympathising with them, I just feel what they’re feeling. Even if they’ve not spoken. I’ll just see it in their smallest movements. It’s frightening in its accuracy. I’ve found myself predicting future events – even quite distant future events – with an accuracy that’s quite scary.

3. I hate making phone calls. Avoid it as much as possible. Email is my friend. Other social networks scare me, even though they’re ‘socially remote’. If I have to make a call, I spend the first six rings squinting my eyes going, “Please don’t pick up, please don’t pick up, please don’t pick up” then breathe a sigh of relief when it goes to voicemail and I can leave a message telling them I’ll send them an email. I also hate leaving voicemails. Before calling someone, I’ll have rehearsed what I’m going to say a) if they answer (and heaven help me if we veer off the topics I’ve rehearsed) and b) if it goes to voicemail (victory! No interaction, I can just leave the message I’ve rehearsed!). I then mess up when I leave voicemails…I’ll have rehearsed the message I’m going to leave. I’ll have gone over it in my head. When it comes to the point I have to leave the message? I get tongue-tied. I stumble. Totally embarrassing.

4. I find it difficult to see in ‘black and white’. I have to see, and to understand, everyone’s point of view, so it’s fair on everyone. This means that I’m a very compassionate person and that I will, always give everyone the benefit of the doubt, even when that leads to me being taken advantage of.

5. I’m OK with having a few very good friends. I’ve got a stable friendship base, all of them long-term friends. I like it that way because I can give them each all of the attention they deserve. I’d feel really bad if I had more friends and wasn’t able to commit to maintaining that deep connection with each of them. Fewer but deeper is my happy balance on the friendship front. [Blogging does present me with time management problems, as I feel compelled to leave meaningful comments on blog posts that have touched me!].

6. When I’ve planned a meeting with a friend and I’m feeling great on the day, I’ll be all, “OK! I can do this! I will enjoy myself!”. Then I arrive and my friend arrives with another friend I don’t know. Heaven help me. It’s difficult to manage: what I feel I can say with my friend is not what I can say with the other person I don’t know. I end up totally confused, a little hurt and deflated. I’d been feeling great and just wanted a nice chat with my friend! “Uurrgh!”

7. If someone’s rude to me, it really affects me. I don’t understand it and find it really difficult to get over. I’ll be pondering for days why they were rude, what made them like that, whether there’s anything I can do to help them, how I can prevent a similar situation in future. The constant ‘taking everything to heart’ is tiring. I have learnt to be disciplined about how much I allow myself to stew on things like this.

8. Whenever I’ve been in gatherings – a party, a meeting, a dinner – and people have drawn attention to me – singing me ‘Happy Birthday’ or telling me I’ve done good, baby – unless I’m on one of my good days (= socially competent days), it’s excruciating. When this happens, I end up kicking myself for not being more able to just go with the flow and enjoy the moment.

9. I’ll say the most inappropriate things at really weird times. “Here’s your change” the shop assistant tells me, “Oh, thanks…I’m just on my way to the Drs so that’ll come in handy when I get on the number 3 bus la la la…”. Or I’m at a gathering, with a million people I don’t know, and I get paralysed because I simply cannot do small talk. At moments like this, I simply cannot think of anything to say. This chronic under-responding or over-responding is tiring. Why can’t I just learn to be, to relax in to real-life social interactions? So what if small talk is useless, it’s a social convention – get over yourself, Helen (I wish I could think to myself!)…

10. I agree with Flannery O’Connor when he said, “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say”. I write for many reasons but one of the main ones is that! I’ve got so many ideas floating around my head, such a global perspective on everything that comes in my radar, and I think so much, that it’s difficult for me to express myself verbally. When I write, I can channel the noise into something vaguely ‘sensical’ and find, through this, that I can make sense out of all the stuff.

11. I have difficulty expressing myself in social situations as I’m always doing a mental balancing act, asking whether I should express myself totally or respect the other person and do all I can to not offend them. Most of the time, I end up being quiet which fuels the inner dialogues which fuels my social incompetence and on and on and on!

12. That the day I found out I’m INFJ, I sat and cried tears of joy as I read the descriptions of this personality type. I suddenly understood everything about myself. Like in the scene in Tangled when Rapunzel puts on the crown. I just saw all the pieces fitting in to place and wept, because I could finally explain all my weirdness. I began to understand so many things about myself and why I act the way I do. After 40 years of feeling I didn’t fit in anywhere, I finally felt myself fit in, feel comfortable, in my body.

[The INFJ in me, who doesn’t like to be seen as ‘showing off’ or drawing attention to herself, asked for the following caveat: Helen wrote this in order to help any currently unclassified and confused INFJs who might find it helpful to hear a fellow INFJ ‘coming to terms’ with life as an INFJ]

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18 thoughts on “I’m an INFJ, which means…

  1. Chelsea says:

    No wonder we became blogging friends so quickly, you basically just wrote a post describing me exactly.

    Like

  2. I’m not a huge fan of talking on the phone, either. Especially with so many others way to communicate!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marissa says:

    Oh my! I’m an INFP, but so much of what you just said applies to me. I too don’t care for phone conversations and I frequently find that myself putting my foot in my mouth after an inappropriate comment. And because of it I tend to simply observe before offering up my opinion. Thanks for sharing all of these Helen!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Britney says:

    1. i do the exact same thing! except i just never make plans because i know that i will regret cancelling them or not really want t go later…but then there are the times when i actually want to do something and then i am running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off trying to find something to do!

    2. I TOTALLY KNOW THINGS TOO! i will go by what i think is right. no doubt in my mind. don’t ask me to explain it! plus i feel like i have a knack for knowing things not just about life and such but i swear every time i start liking some sort of fashion trend or hair color trend or i have a new favorite color, it gets SUPER popular. i would make a brilliant designer.

    3. i hate making phone calls too!! this is honestly the reason i was so scared to say yes to skyping with you…it’s so nerve-racking! i wouldn’t be able to just type and edit, i would have to speak to you and get to know you (even though i feel like i know you) maybe we should just skype anyway…even though it’s scary!

    4. yes yes yes! i think about how others feel and what they were thinking when they do things. even if they did something mean or not helpful i am always thinking “well they must have had a bad day” or that “there has to be a reason for why that person was in such a rush that they had to cut me off! it must be that they are driving their spouse to the hospital to deliver a baby” i think about that stuff so so much.

    5. i feel the same with blogging. i feel like i want to have a genuine connection with anyone that comes accross my blog or if i come across theirs! i want to have a nice long conversation that’s meaningful with everyone…but that’s not realistic. i feel like such a fake if i follow someone’s blog and i haven’t read a few of their posts and liked them.

    6. it feel so awkward! and it throws your whole plan off…i totally know what you are saying.

    7. yup…i have been trying to get better so that it doesn’t kill me. i have to with my career…if someone doesn’t like the way i have done their hair or is acting very rude to me about price or something then i think about it for days and it makes me feel like crap. like i am not a good hairdresser which is not the case…just people have different opinions on things…and even though i am perfectly pleasant, not everyone will like me.

    8. ok this one i don’t like, but i’m good at handling it. i can act normal but i feel like my face is on fire! and it probably looks like it too haha

    9. i’m actually pretty good at small talk…i have to be for my job. but i like to ask questions and talk about whats going on in life rather than the weather or something. but i find that knowing what to ask helps it get past small talk and into a really good conversation. it just takes practice!

    10. YES. this is so me! that is why i really love writing! i can edit what i say and what order i say it in. i have gotten better at speaking though, i feel because i am thinking more about what i say before i say it, like with writing. (at least i hope i am getting better haha)

    11. i feel i express myself more than not. i know that i will regret it so i usually do and try to say it in the nicest way possible. but i know if i don’t say it it will be worse than saying it and it being uncomfortable to talk about. closed mouths don’t get fed.

    12. YES YES YES. and i am a weirdo like you!! but i totally agree. it was like “so this is why i am the way i am?!” when i discovered that i am INFJ it helped me feel more normal too…so nice 🙂

    thanks for writing this helen! i (obviously) agree!

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Hia! Wow, thoughtful comment (even your comments are thoughtfully considered and written!)….laughed at number 2 – I’m like that with trends too! Laughed even harder at the Skype thing – I was being really really brave suggesting it!!!!! (Email is so totally fine with me!)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my gosh I agree with I surprisingly large amount of these! Yikes! Nice to know I am not the only one ☺

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  6. Zoe Rose says:

    Ah! This is me! I have tried to work all this out for ages but I think I’ve finally got it, and done a test thingy which makes it make sense. I HATE the phone too, and urrghh small talk just makes my brain stuck. I really need to know someone well to be able to have a decent, non-awkward conversation. The problem is when you move to a new place it takes so much time to establish those kinds of friendships, and you have to wade through a lot of small talk first. Breathing a sigh of relief over here, anyway. I’m just catching up on all your posts after the madness of write31days, sorry if you get lots of comments from me at once!

    Like

    • iwillbloom says:

      Hia Zoe, yes, it was so similar for me: once I’d found out, everything just clicked in to place. And I feel so much more comfortable in my own skin now. And – perhaps more importantly – I’m learning just to go with the flow, and not get stressed when I just don’t want to do small talk or talk on the phone etc…I’m learning not to beat myself up about it….

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  7. Jenny says:

    We are very much alike! INFJs unite! The three things you mentioned that stick out to me the most are #2, #7, & #10. I strongly believe in my intuition, and it tends to be right. I also have a really hard time getting over someone being mean to me…I want to just “get over it” but it still stays in my head all day, if not longer. I just can’t understand why some people need to be so rude! And writing has always been my friend…I’m awful at expressing myself verbally, but I can easily write whatever comes to my mind. Loved reading this! Makes me feel like I’m not alone 🙂

    Like

    • iwillbloom says:

      Hia….glad you popped over! It’s so weird when we you start to find other INFJs as you suddenly realise you’re not so ‘strange’ and that, actually, you should be proud of all you are. We are special in our own way, with so many gifts to offer…..[and, yes, I’m totally with you on the ‘writing’ front…..I don’t like to speak but can write like a demon!!!!!!]

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  8. Jane says:

    I hate it so much when you try to connect with poeple only to be burned or burn yourself for saying something stupid! I think living in a world full of Sensors we are always going to struggle to connect on the level that truly makes us happy. If I don’t connect with poeple Im unhappy but when I do and get misunderstood I’m devastated! I tell myself why try? But then the loop starts again and I’m off on my mission. I try again and attempt to have a deep conversation then realise the other person is looking back at me blankly, then I kick myself for not realising there not like me, I should have no known no one is!
    I think I live in hope that one day maybe, just maybe, a person who is giving me change at a shop and I tell them I’m going to use it to catch a bus to the doctors will respond by saying “I’m glad it will be useful” instead of looking at me like I have two heads!
    In the mean time I’m going to have to remember (and I hate feeling “superior”) that other poeple enjoy small, light, BORING, small talk and are not able to understand me like I do them. We are givers and need to stop expecting poeple give back, they just carnt. Maybe another intuitive will fall on my lap one day….you never know!
    P.S your post made me cry too. Thank you

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Hi Jane,

      I’m sooooo sorry it’s taken me soooo long to reply….I’ve literally just had a moment to use my laptop for something other than work…(and the holidays got in the way, of course!)…

      Loved that you related to my post. Yes, it’s so true about connecting isn’t it? It takes an awful lot of courage to put ourselves out there and then to have all that effort rebuked, it’s awful. (I’m making it a goal of mine to ‘put myself out there’ in person more often this year)….

      And, yes, totally agree about the ‘no-one’s like me’ feeling….but it’s great when we ‘meet’ (find) people who do understand us…..

      Hah…..I always make comments like that to people I don’t know (the catching the bus to the Drs)….but I decided a while ago that I’m not going to change just because other people don’t consider that normal.

      (This is my year of deciding not to continue to try to ‘fit in’ in the real world and seeing where that takes me…)

      There are others around like us – but because of the way we are, it’s not easy to find them IRL…..

      So glad your post made you cry (if you know what I mean): it must have meant it resonated with you and made you feel understood.

      Only sorry that it’s taken me one whole month to reply to you….

      Here’s to a 2016 filled with breaking out of our shells and becoming more comfortable with ourselves when we are forced to retreat back in to them!

      Helen xx

      Like

    • iwillbloom says:

      Hi Jane, I’m sooooo sorry it’s taken me soooo long to reply….I’ve literally just had a moment to use my laptop for something other than work…(and the holidays got in the way, of course!)…

      Loved that you related to my post. Yes, it’s so true about connecting isn’t it? It takes an awful lot of courage to put ourselves out there and then to have all that effort rebuked, it’s awful. (I’m making it a goal of mine to ‘put myself out there’ in person more often this year)….

      And, yes, totally agree about the ‘no-one’s like me’ feeling….but it’s great when we ‘meet’ (find) people who do understand us…..

      Hah…..I always make comments like that to people I don’t know (the catching the bus to the Drs)….but I decided a while ago that I’m not going to change just because other people don’t consider that normal.

      (This is my year of deciding not to continue to try to ‘fit in’ in the real world and seeing where that takes me…)

      There are others around like us – but because of the way we are, it’s not easy to find them IRL…..

      So glad your post made you cry (if you know what I mean): it must have meant it resonated with you and made you feel understood.

      Only sorry that it’s taken me one whole month to reply to you….

      Here’s to a 2016 filled with breaking out of our shells and becoming more comfortable with ourselves when we are forced to retreat back in to them!

      Helen xx

      Like

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