Monday, February 25, 2013

how to recognize an INFj

There are many excellent descriptions of the INFj (Ethical Intuitive Introvert) out there, so I'll try to refrain from a rehash of all of those articles. But I'd like to take this opportunity to provide some of my personal observations of the type and how to know if you're in the presence of one.
  1. The INFj is a great listener. INFj's are probably the best listeners among all of the 16 types, always willing to share your miseries or your joys (or dumb ramblings). Even if what you say horrifies them, they'll calmly hear you out and, if they think it's relevant, they'll offer you some kindly advice--after you're done talking of course. It's hard for INFj's to interrupt people unless they are particularly upset with something that has been said.
  2. The INFj hesitates because they are self-conscious. While they crave companionship, they generally do not take initiative, socially, preferring to have an understanding of potential friends/relationships beforehand. As a rule, they are very self-conscious about the impression they make on other people and can get lost in their heads thinking about potential ramifications of their actions (that's the Extraverted Intuition combined with Introverted Feeling at work).
  3. The INFj is kind of a pushover, up to a point. Unfortunately (I say "unfortunate" because I'm INFj), they find it hard to refuse other people's requests. They have a mentality where they'll accept other people's troubles at least the one time (often this turns into many times). However, they will build up a quiet resentment towards those who have unreasonable demands, eventually reaching a breaking point where they will quite abruptly cut off contact or have an outburst.
  4. The INFj quietly judges everything. A natural observer, especially of people and relationships, the INFj spends a fair amount of time thinking about how everything fits into their personal moral framework (religious or otherwise). While they are not obvious about their emotions and prefer not to directly state their strong opinions, their faces will betray how they feel--a subtle smile if positive or a hard look if negative.
  5. The INFj has the appearance of being proper, in everything. Outwardly, they strive to appear put-together and well-prepared for everything but in private they can be disorganized and messy. They can initially come across as serious-minded, even cold, but in fact they love to make jokes and are playful when they are comfortable with their surroundings.
  6. The INFj [generally] has a delicate build and [usually] has a longer face. This is true of both males and females. They tend to dress conservatively but will often have a single distinguishing feature in their style (e.g. flashy belt or tie, fancy haircut, eye-catching jewelry, etc).


  1. this sounds like the MBTI infj and the IEI/INFp in socionics (Ni and Fe, not Fi and Ne)

    (btw, i'm speaking from the perspective of INFJ/IEI so all of this is completely me as opposed to your description of INFp which is most definitely Fi and Ne aka i did not relate to it at all)

  2. hi anonymous - it's my understanding that EII's capacity for listening and more subdued socializing behaviors are a product of Fi, as opposed to Fe. The quiet judging, self-concioussness, and properness are also an expression of their J tendencies. Meanwhile the IEI will be more dramatic/romantic (Fe) and more frivolous (Fe and P). Let me know what you think, if you ever come back :'(

  3. "(that's the Extraverted Intuition combined with Introverted Feeling at work)"

    Don't you mean the Introverted Intuition and the Extraverted Feeling?

    1. hi brent -> i use a socionics-based approach to typing, wherein the J/P preference applies to the dominant function in both extroverts and introverts. so an INFj in socionics has extraverted intuition paired with introverted feeling.

    2. Not the same Anonymous as above:

      I am a very definite INFJ by MBTI standards and this article is confusing. Mostly because the description of INFJ that you have given correlates with the MBTI understanding of INFJ (which I very much resonate with!) while at the same time it appears you are aligning the description with the functions of the INFJ characterized by Socionics (which I would understand as being the MBTI equivalent of the INFP). In other words - it seems you have confused the functions and the descriptions. I am very definitely an Fe user but very definitely do not relate to your description of INFP.

    3. Ok - just re-read both articles and I realised my misunderstanding was unfounded. Please ignore my above comment. :)

  4. This was on point. Describes me perfectly as an INFJ