Portrait of an INFJ - Introverted
iNtuitive Feeling Judging
(Introverted Intuition with Extraverted Feeling)
As an INFJ, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you take
things in primarily via intuition. Your secondary mode is external, where you
deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit with your
personal value system.
INFJs are gentle, caring, complex and highly intuitive individuals. Artistic
and creative, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. Only
one percent of the population has an INFJ Personality Type, making it the most
rare of all the types.
INFJs place great importance on havings things orderly and systematic in
their outer world. They put a lot of energy into identifying the best system for
getting things done, and constantly define and re-define the priorities in their
lives. On the other hand, INFJs operate within themselves on an intuitive basis
which is entirely spontaneous. They know things intuitively, without being able
to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. They are
usually right, and they usually know it. Consequently, INFJs put a tremendous
amount of faith into their instincts and intuitions. This is something of a
conflict between the inner and outer worlds, and may result in the INFJ not
being as organized as other Judging types tend to be. Or we may see some signs
of disarray in an otherwise orderly tendency, such as a consistently messy desk.
INFJs have uncanny insight into people and situations. They get
"feelings" about things and intuitively understand them. As an extreme
example, some INFJs report experiences of a psychic nature, such as getting
strong feelings about there being a problem with a loved one, and discovering
later that they were in a car accident. This is the sort of thing that other
types may scorn and scoff at, and the INFJ themself does not really understand
their intuition at a level which can be verbalized. Consequently, most INFJs are
protective of their inner selves, sharing only what they choose to share when
they choose to share it. They are deep, complex individuals, who are quite
private and typically difficult to understand. INFJs hold back part of
themselves, and can be secretive.
But the INFJ is as genuinely warm as they are complex. INFJs hold a special
place in the heart of people who they are close to, who are able to see their
special gifts and depth of caring. INFJs are concerned for people's feelings,
and try to be gentle to avoid hurting anyone. They are very sensitive to
conflict, and cannot tolerate it very well. Situations which are charged with
conflict may drive the normally peaceful INFJ into a state of agitation or
charged anger. They may tend to internalize conflict into their bodies, and
experience health problems when under a lot of stress.
Because the INFJ has such strong intuitive capabilities, they trust their own
instincts above all else. This may result in an INFJ stubborness and tendency to
ignore other people's opinions. They believe that they're right. On the other
hand, INFJ is a perfectionist who doubts that they are living up to their full
potential. INFJs are rarely at complete peace with themselves - there's always
something else they should be doing to improve themselves and the world around
them. They believe in constant growth, and don't often take time to revel in
their accomplishments. They have strong value systems, and need to live their
lives in accordance with what they feel is right. In deference to the Feeling
aspect of their personalities, INFJs are in some ways gentle and easy going.
Conversely, they have very high expectations of themselves, and frequently of
their families. They don't believe in compromising their ideals.
INFJ is a natural nurturer; patient, devoted and protective. They make loving
parents and usually have strong bonds with their offspring. They have high
expectations of their children, and push them to be the best that they can be.
This can sometimes manifest itself in the INFJ being hard-nosed and stubborn.
But generally, children of an INFJ get devoted and sincere parental guidance,
combined with deep caring.
In the workplace, the INFJ usually shows up in areas where they can be
creative and somewhat independent. They have a natural affinity for art, and
many excel in the sciences, where they make use of their intuition. INFJs can
also be found in service-oriented professions. They are not good at dealing with
minutia or very detailed tasks. The INFJ will either avoid such things, or else
go to the other extreme and become enveloped in the details to the extent that
they can no longer see the big picture. An INFJ who has gone the route of
becoming meticulous about details may be highly critical of other individuals
who are not.
The INFJ individual is gifted in ways that other types are not. Life is not
necessarily easy for the INFJ, but they are capable of great depth of feeling
and personal achievement.
INFJs are warm and affirming people who are usually also deep and complex.
They're likely to seek out and promote relationships that are intense and
meaningful. They tend to be perfectionists, and are always striving for the
Ultimate Relationship. For the most part, this is a positive feature, but
sometimes works against the INFJ if they fall into the habit of moving from
relationship to relationship, always in search of a more perfect partner. In
general, the INFJ is a deeply warm and caring person who is highly invested in
the health of their close relationships, and puts forth a lot of effort to make
them positive. They are valued by those close to them for these special
qualities. They seek long-term, lifelong relationships, although they don't
always find them.
- Warm and affirming by nature
- Dedicated to achieving the ultimate relationship
- Sensitive and concerned for others' feelings
- Usually have good communication skills, especially written
- Take their commitments very seriously, and seek lifelong relationships
- Have very high expectations for themselves and others (both a strength and
- Good listeners
- Are able to move on after a relationship has ended (once they're sure it's
- Tendency to hold back part of themselves
- Not good with money or practical day-to-day life necessities
- Extreme dislike of conflict and criticism
- Have very high expectations for themselves and others (both a strength and
- Have difficulty leaving a bad relationship
INFJs as Lovers
"To love means to open ourselves to the negative as well as the
positive - to grief, sorrow, and disappointment as well as to joy, fulfillment,
and an intensity of consciousness we did not know was possible before." --
INFJs are warm, considerate partners who feel great depth of love for their
partners. They enjoy showing this love, and want to receive affirmation back
from their mates.
They are perfectionists, constantly striving to achieve the Perfect
Relationship. This can sometimes be frustrating to their mates, who may feel put
upon by the INFJs demanding perfectionism. However, it may also be greatly
appreciated, because it indicates a sincere commitment to the relationship, and
a depth of caring which is not usually present in other types.
Sexually, INFJs view intimacy as a nearly spiritual experience. They embrace
the opportunity to bond heart and soul with their mates. As service-oriented
individuals, it's very important to them that their mates are happy. Intimacy is
an opportunity for the INFJ to selflessly give their love, and experience it in
a tangible way.
Although two well-developed individuals of any type can enjoy a healthy
relationship, INFJ's natural partner is the ENTP,
or the ENFP. INFJ's dominant
function of Introverted Intuition is best matched with a personality type that
is dominated by Extraverted Intuition. How
did we arrive at this?
INFJs as Parents
"You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable." -- Kahlil Gibran
INFJs usually make warm and caring parents. Their goal is to help their
children become adults who know the difference between right and wrong, and who
are independent, growth-oriented individuals.
Along the path to that goal they are generally very warm and caring, and are
likely to treat their children as individuals who have a voice in family
decisions. They want their children to be able to think for themselves, and make
the right decisions. They also can be quite demanding on their children, and may
have very high expectations for their behavior. Although they are generally
soft-spoken and gentle, they may become stubborn and sharp-tongued at times when
their expectations aren't met, or when under a lot of stress.
INFJs take their parenting role with ultimate seriousness. They will make
sacrifices for the sake of their children without a second thought, and without
remorse. Passing on their values to their children is a serious priority in
their lives. Children of INFJs remember their parents fondly as warm, patient,
INFJs as Friends
Although the INFJ is likely to put friends behind their God and their
families in terms of importance, they do value their friendships. As idealists
who have strong value systems, INFJs seek authenticity and depth in their close
relationships, and especially value people who can see and appreciate the INFJ
for who they are and what they stand for.
The INFJ is likely to spend a lot of time socialing with family members. If
they are religious, they probably are social with members of their religious
community. After that, the INFJ may have friends represented from any of the
personality types. They are usually extremely intuitive individuals, who will
have no patience for anyone they feel is dishonest or corrupt. They'll have no
interest in being around these kinds of people.
All kinds of people are drawn towards the INFJ. They are usually quite
popular, although they may be unaware of it themselves, because they don't place
a lot of importance on it.
The INFJ is valued by their close friends for their warmth and consideration,
their new and interesting ways of looking at things, and for their ability to
inspire and motivate others to be the best that they can be. genuine article
that they are.
Careers for INFJ Personality Types
Whether you're a young adult trying to find your place in the world, or a
not-so-young adult trying to find out if you're moving along the right path,
it's important to understand yourself and the personality traits which will
impact your likeliness to succeed or fail at various careers. It's equally
important to understand what is really important to you. When armed with an
understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, and an awareness of what you
truly value, you are in an excellent position to pick a career which you will
INFJs generally have the following traits:
- Intuitively understand people and situations
- Highly principled
- Complex and deep
- Natural leaders
- Sensitive and compassionate towards people
- Value deep, authentic relationships
- Reserved about expressing their true selves
- Dislike dealing with details unless they enhance or promote their vision
- Constantly seeking meaning and purpose in everything
- Creative and visionary
- Intense and tightly-wound
- Can work logically and rationally - use their intuition to understand the
goal and work backwards towards it
The INFJ is a special individual who needs more out of a career than a job.
They need to feel as if everything they do in their lives is in sync with their
strong value systems - with what they believe to be right. Accordingly, the INFJ
should choose a career in which they're able to live their daily lives in
accordance with their deeply-held principles, and which supports them in their
life quest to be doing something meaningful. Since INFJs have such strong value
systems, and persistent intuitive visions which lend them a sense of
"knowing", they do best in positions in which they are leaders, rather
than followers. Although they can happily follow individuals who are leading in
a direction which the INFJ fully supports, they will very unhappy following in
any other situation.
The following list of professions is built on our impressions of careers
which would be especially suitable for an INFJ. It is meant to be a starting
place, rather than an exhaustive list. There are no guarantees that any or all
of the careers listed here would be appropriate for you, or that your best
career match is among those listed.
Possible Career Paths for the INFJ:
- Clergy / Religious Work
- Medical Doctors / Dentists
- Alternative Health Care Practitioners, i.e. Chiropractor, Reflexologist
- Counselors and Social Workers
- Musicians and Artists
- Child Care / Early Childhood Development