What is an INFJ?
INFJ (referred to by Keirsey as the "Counsellor") is one of the 16 basic personality types in the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) personality model. The letters I,N,F and J stand for I
Here is a list of INFJ character traits; these may not necessarily apply to all INFJs.
- value personal integrity and "being true to yourself"
- are on a lifelong search for a unique identity and meaning; spirituality is important to us
- can be hard to get to know, depending on the other person (reciprocity)
- are sometimes seen by others as cold and hard on the outside
- can be difficult to "peg"; sometimes INFJs may not even recognise fellow members of their own type
- may find it easier to express their deepest feelings and sentiments non-verbally or in writing
- abhor evil or injustice, especially that directed towards the innocent or helpless
- are sometimes looked upon by others as naive, mostly due to our idealism
- can be quite gullible; many INFJs build up a protective armour over the years to protect against this and being "used" by others
- enjoy thoughtful discussion but dislike arguing for argument's sake, as this often degenerates into ugly conflict
- are bookworms, love bookstores and libraries
- are affiliative; get stressed and cannot survive for extended periods without company
- rarely get into conflict, but when it erupts, can be very bitter
- aren't terribly career-minded
- love personality tests and other self-improvement tools
- love quotes/quotations and are often "philosophers" or "theologists" ;)
- need to confide in others and express opinions and feelings about others: Fe-ing (Feeling extraverted)
- are "Directors" who give advice, though usually more subtly than most other Directors.
- are interested in ESP, paranormal, "new age," or psychic experiences
- "Mute withdrawal is a major INFJ defense."
- often have "oceanic" memories where details are recalled through intuitive leaps and thought association
See this article on INFJ Characteristics by Aisys.
Be sure to visit the Member Quotes page for some interesting, sometimes humorous views on the INFJ perspective.
David Keirsey proposes the Dolphin as the totem animal for NFs. INFJs are dolphins. Dolphins use their powerful and complex sonar system to navigate and feel their way through this world. Their sonar is very dependable, but sometimes interference - from both outside and within - plays havoc with their sensors, and they receive scrambled signals. Sonar is the dolphin's life-force.
Dolphins are affiliative creatures, and mate for life.
Sharks are the dolphin's natural enemies. But dolphins can take out the sharks by swimming underneath them and knocking them out.
Warm fuzzy teddybear theory
This is a theory devised by some INFJs on the "warm fuzzy teddybear" feel that surrounds some of the introverted intuitives. This is how others see the INs:
- INFJ - cold on outside, warm and fuzzy on the inside
- INFP - warm and fuzzy inside and out
- INTP - warm on the outside, hard as a rock inside
- INTJ - cold and hard inside and out
It's worth mentioning since these observations seem to carry merit, but of course you have to remember that this theory doesn't necessarily apply to all or even most INs.
"Come to the edge, he said,
They said: We are afraid
Come to the edge, he said.
He pushed them,
and they flew."