INFJs focus on possibilities, think in terms of values and come easily to decisions. The small number of this type (1 percent) is regrettable, since INFJs have unusually strong drive to contribute to the welfare of others and genuinely enjoy helping their fellow men. This type has great depth of personality; they are themselves complicated, and can understand and deal with complex issues and people.
It is an INFJ who is likely to have visions of human events past, present, or future. If a person demonstrates an ability to understand psychic phenomena better than most others, this person is apt to be an INFJ. Characteristically, INFJs have strong empathic abilities and can be aware of another’s emotions or intents even before that person is conscious of these. This can take the form of feeling the distress of illnesses of others to an extent which is difficult for other types. INFJs can intuit good and evil in others, although they seldom can tell how they came to know. Subsequent events tend to bear them out, however.
INFJs have a strong love of learning, and they tend to do well academically. Through persistence, diligence, and conscientiousness, they complete their assignments on time. They are likely to enjoy research and will go great lengths to find answers. They enjoy investigating the possibilities and meanings beyond the actual facts and realities. Reading holds a particular fascination for them because it allows them to have quiet reflection time and engages their imagination. They also like the written word (and rely on it more than the spoken word) since it is usually better structured and more coherent with a ready-made framework. INFJs write and communicate well because they want to formulate their ideas clearly. They place high regard on their reader and audience. They seek to communicate their ideals to others. When their ideals need to be championed, they speak up in an enthusiastic and impassioned way. As students, INFJs prefer learning from teachers whom they both like and admire, and who give them personal attention. INFJs are often ‘model’ students. They are quiet and orderly, reflective and thoughtful, and sincerely want to please their teachers and learn the right thing. They learn best from others but want time to assimilate material by themselves. They generally will not be visible leaders, but will quietly exert influence behind the scenes.
INFJs are hard to get to know. They have an unusually rich inner life, but they are reserved and tend not to share their reactions except with those they trust. Because of their vulnerability, INFJs can be hurt rather easily by others, which, perhaps, is at least one reason they tend to be private people. People who have known an INFJ for years may find sides emerging which come as a surprise. Not that INFJs are inconsistent; they are very consistent and value integrity. But they have convoluted, complex personalities which sometimes puzzle even them.
INFJs like to please others and tend to contribute their own best efforts in all situations. They prefer and enjoy agreeing with others, and find conflict disagreeable and destructive. INFJs have vivid imaginations exercised both as memory and intuition, and this can amount to genius, resulting at times in an INFJs being seen as mystical. This unfettered imagination often will enable this person to compose complex and often aesthetic works of art such as music, mathematical systems, poems, plays, and novels. In a sense, the INFJ is the most poetic of all the types. Just as the ENTJ cannot not lead, so must an INFJ intuit; this capability extends to people, things, and often events, taking the form of visions, episodes of foreknowledge, premonitions, auditory and visual images of things to come. INFJs can have uncanny communications with certain individuals at a distance.
INFJs orient themselves toward their goals using a personal, values-based framework. They do not ‘advertise’ their values and priorities because they believe in harmony and positive relationships. However, one would do well not to underestimate the amount of perseverance, energy, and time INFJs give to their priorities. What they do, they do with an almost religious intensity. The INFJ external environment may be only partially organized. Their internal environment, by contrast, is anything but haphazard. Their ideas need to fit into a coherent whole that has the pieces in place. Organization of the internal world takes precedence over organization of external world. INFJs prefer occupations that focus on the big picture, involve conceptual awareness, and lead to a better understanding of the spiritual, emotional, or future needs of people. They want their work to have impact and meaning and for it to bring them admiration and respect. While INFJs can and do enter all occupations, some are more appealing to them than others. These include clergy, education consultant, English teacher, fine arts teacher, librarian, psychiatrist, psychologist, scientist, social worker, and other occupations that allow INFJs an opportunity to make their own creative contribution.
Leisure-time pursuits for INFJs are often solitary or involve the company of others who are particularly important to them. Sitting around with dear friends discussing feelings can be very special to INFJs. INFJs are likely to have friends of long standing rather than make many new acquaintances. They may meet with their friends fairly consistently to share what is happening in their lives. It is sometimes difficult for others to break into this circle. These deep friendships are important, even though INFJs may not share much directly about themselves.
For INFJs, ‘still waters run deep.’ They tend to become attracted to someone special and prefer this one deep relationship over many superficial ones. The depth of involvement and feeling that the INFJ has toward loved ones is only partially communicated outward. At times, when alone, INFJs become truly in touch with the depth of the love they have for their partner. They may not openly demonstrate or even verbalize their intense feelings. INFJs often have an ideal standard of what love is. They hold to their ideal and are disappointed when, inevitably, their relationship and/or mate reveals flaws. INFJs enjoy sharing activities like a regular ‘date,’ revisiting the place where they first met their mates, or doing other symbolic things that help to continue and confirm the existence of the bond that they feel for their partner. INFJs want to give love and to be loved. They enter into relationships just to be cared for, even when the person is not right for them and they suspect it. However, when they meet that special person, they are quick to get into the relationship and make it a serious one. They will end their other relationships in order to pursue their loved one. They become very focused, intense, and direct in that pursuit.
INFJs, when scorned, take it personally and retreat inward. They may obsess about the relationship and their role in its failure. One INFJ explained, ‘people can do the most outrageous things, yet I blame myself for triggering their behavior or not recognizing it. I see myself as responsible for relationships. Other people can dismiss them — I’m not able to.’ INFJs may blame themselves and experience a period of mourning. If they do not marshal their resources, externalize their feelings, and take risks to move on, they may experience a long periods of self-examination.