The Mysterious INFJ has been one of the most visited posts on this website (I know this because a writer can access this information on Google Analytics). I have received many emails from readers who share this personality type or believe that they may share the INFJ preferences (Introverted Intuition/Extraverted Feeling) but have not verified it yet. Usually an MBTI assessment and a dialogue with a certified practitioner will settle the matter. I asked a client of mine to share a few reflections on what it’s like to be an INFJ and he graciously offered these reflections (although in true INFJ style, he felt he could have done a better job!):
My Life As An INFJ (NOTE: The client is a highly accomplished individual in many areas of life) :
I have always been very imaginative and creative . I want to see what I imagine turned into reality, if possible.The adage 1% Inspiration 99% perspiration rings true for me. I like to think I am good at the 1% inspiration but can also follow through with the necessary perspiration to make it. I want to please people and usually finish tasks well ahead of time.
I prefer one on one conversations and even when there are three people, I find myself trying to instigate a conversation between the other two so I can wait on the side lines. I have always got on best with extrovert types. Although I have learned to participate in group conversations, this does not come naturally to me Also,I know exactly what people think of me. I come across as naïve and at times I probably am but I can see what is going on probably more than people realise. I am to a fault very concerned at what others think of me. I wish I wasn’t but that’s how I am. Also,I can see people and tell what they will be like, even without speaking to them. I do like to support people I think are being unfairly treated or picked on. I hate hurting or upsetting people. It’s probably THE single thing I hate most. If I think I have hurt someone then I am mortified. I hate bullying.
Somehow I just know some things even when I have no evidence to support these hunches. Time and again my initial hunches are borne out. I constantly worry I have offended people so I find myself constantly apologizing. Usually this is met with bemused looks as they wander what I am apologizing for. My brain is constantly on the go buzzing around. I have always been a poor sleeper as I just can’t turn off when I go to bed. I have learnt that strenuous exercise helps me relax and sleep better.
Some of the greatest public servants have been purported to share the INFJ personality type including Eleanor Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King, Jr. There is no way of knowing for sure although many who are familiar with type theory agree that this is probably the case. What is clear though is that because of the depth and complexity of this personality type, it has the potential to shine brightly like the most dazzling diamond but if unsupported, the INFJ can leave this brilliance untapped. No INFJ probably escapes without some degree of self-doubt but many can learn to push through that feeling. The INFJ brings rare gifts to the world but like cutting a diamond, it’s necessary to know how to draw out those qualities without disrupting the integrity of the gem itself. Patience and an appreciation for the finer but potentially hidden qualities of this type is required to bring out it’s most desirable features.