Relationships: INFJ

Saturday, September 21, 2013 17 Comments A+ a-



Morning, guys! I'm camped out here in the library on a day that's begging me to be outside, lol. Sunny, crisp fall weather beckons me to take a walk, sit in the park, or find a horse and gallop away! With limited time for writing and blogging, however, I've plugged in the earbuds and will try to be content sitting beside the window and enjoying the view.

Due to yesterday's post, I'd like to take a moment to remind everyone that this relationship series is for information and entertainment. Most of what I'm producing comes from research, unless I have personal experience with a particular personality type. But no amount of research or study of the MBTI can measure the personal success of a relationship. So take these posts for what they're worth and feel free to disagree (politely).

Today's review is one I think all of us will enjoy: the mysterious and compassionate INFJ! Get ready to take a look in the mirror, people!


Hmm. I'm not sure I like being categorized as Lisa Simpson. Though she was usually the voice of reason, as well the most intelligent and mature member of her family, her perfectionist tendencies kind of annoyed me. Is this how others see us?!?

Let's use another example from this Harry Potter MBTI Chart (thanks, Cheri, for sending me a link to this!):
Click here to view the article

Sorry this graphic is so small...blowing it up messes with the resolution. But the INFJ in Harry Potter's world is Remus Lupin. Now this is more to my liking: the quiet, intellectual professor with a mysterious past, cursed with the ability to shapeshift and armed with a secret resolve to protect Harry at all costs.

Oh, yeah. Much better.

Okay, let's look at our strengths and weakness from Personality Page and Mass Match:
  • Warm and affirming by nature
  • Deep concern for people and relationships
  • Good listeners
  • Have a love of learning and intellectual pursuits
  • Idealists at heart; value trust in relationships
  • Perfectionists - have high expectations of themselves and others
  • Can be seen as stubborn about their own correctness
  • Tendency to hold back part of themselves
  • Not usually good with money or practical day-to-day issues
  • Extreme dislike of conflict and criticism
  • Have difficult leaving a bad relationship (but can move on once they know it's ended)
  • Intense, critical, and self-absorbed when under stress

Here's our functional break down:
  • Dominant: Introverted Intuition
  • Auxiliary: Extraverted Feeling
  • Tertiary: Introverted Thinking
  • Inferior: Extraverted Sensing

Personality Page tells us that our 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."

My Mass Match hard copy lays it out like this:
  • Best: ENTP, ENFP, INFJ, INFP, ENFJ
  • Possible: ISFJ, ESFP, ISFP, ENTJ, INTJ, INTP, ISTJ
  • Least Likely: ESTJ, ESFJ, ESTP, ISTP

So what does this mean for a friend/lover relationship between an INFJ and another INFJ?

First, the PROs: obviously two INFJs would have much in common due to our shared functionality stack. In spite of personality quirks and baggage from childhood, both would still view the world primarily through intuition. They'd probably be tuned in well to each other's needs and share a desire for peace and comfort in their home. They would understand the desire for alone time, and they'd listen carefully during conversations. Both would value authenticity in people and material goods.

How about some CONs? Well, we tend to keep bits and pieces of ourselves hidden away, like buried treasure. We can be stubborn as mules, ignore conventional wisdom, and run from conflict like it's the plague (which could leave important topics unaddressed). And we can be really intense and passionate about our ideas and needs. So an INFJ couple, living in apparent harmony, might end up discovering issues that bring out hidden facets that cause them to dig their heels in on opposite sides of the fence. I'm picturing Mr. & Mrs. Smith...hiding their true spy identities and then trying to take each other out. Even if the INFJ couple survived the battle, they might be fighting tons of debt due to their flighty spending habits.
The INFJ Duo
Best of friends? Worst of enemies?
Either way, don't piss this couple off.

Overall, I think two INFJs would get along beautifully. I'm basing this on the two INFJ relationships I currently have. One is with my friend Darla. We met in college and forged a friendship that has lasted for years. Outside of family, she's my longest-running relationship. Though we're miles apart and don't spend time together, I hold her firmly in my heart and always will.

The other is with my son, Caleb. Living in the same household has its challenges, but we actually get along really well and often seem to read each other's thoughts. One evening our family was playing "Catch Phrase" (a game where you rapidly give clues until your teammate guesses a word correctly). As a duo, Caleb and I were nearly unbeatable. We joke that we share the same brain, and while we say it with humor, it rings with uncanny truth. There are times when we're both stressed, and we've had some intense debates (mostly because as a parent, I have to enforce rules). But our relationship is unique, and I wish I had others like it.

In my opinion, the INFJ-to-INFJ bond, once formed, runs very deep...if you can locate one. Being such rare creatures, we have a hard time finding one another in this busy world. We hide quietly behind the scenes, slipping into other personality types as needed, aiding humanity and offering encouragement and compassion whenever possible...like spies. Or Professor Lupin :-)

So what do you think, friends? Anyone else have INFJ/INFJ stories to share...?

Image Credit: Simpsons INFJ, Harry Potter MBTI, Hiding

17 comments

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Anonymous
AUTHOR
September 24, 2013 at 12:49 PM delete

Heya!
I've never posted on your blog before, but I try to read all of your posts. It's really nice how I can relate to most things you write :) Knowing I'm not alone in some things really gives me courage.

I really want to comment on this post, because I've also had an INFJ friend. However, strangely enough, this wasn't a perfectly harmonious friendship. We got to know each other very quickly, and we both sensed we could trust each other. We grew very close in a very short amount of time, which was absolutely great. Then, however, we started to notice differences. It was mostly our different opinions about right and wrong, and also about religion. We were both adamant in our own opinions - so even though we both hated the conflict, we were fighting all the time, trying to convince each other that we were right. This is what drove us apart.

I find this very peculiar - we always want to avoid conflict, and I do absolutely hate conflict! But when he told me my opinions were not right, and that HE was right, I just felt the need to confront him and defend myself. I don't really understand this...

I like the comparison with Professor Lupin. I've always liked that guy :)

Every INFJ is different of course, but for me, a friendship with one did not work. A friend with the same amount of stubbornness as myself is something I could not stand, hehe...

Thanks for your awesome posts!

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Meridian
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September 24, 2013 at 4:57 PM delete

Hi - thanks for responding! Glad you're enjoying the blog!

I believe you're right in that every INFJ is different. We all are very stubborn, but there may be some aspects of our personality type that go undeveloped. For instance, if you're raised in environment that punishes compassion or ridicules creativity, you might end up a little short in those areas, carrying the deficiencies on into adulthood without realizing it. We all have baggage from our youth, and we adjust however it seems comfortable to us.

And religion is a very touchy subject, regardless of personality type. Over the years I've discovered that some people hold on REALLY tight to their religion and get nervous/angry when you discuss topics outside of their theological comfort zone. I joke with my husband that a lot of folks walk around with religious "bubbles" and don't like it when I poke sharp things (like a different opinion or a deep question) at them. Another reason this INFJ often walks alone!!

So perhaps it wasn't the "same stubbornness" you were running into, but an unwillingness to see things from your perspective? Which I find odd, because INFJs can usually put their own opinions aside in order to sympathize with someone else's. At any rate, I hope the negative aspects of the experience don't keep you from seeking out another INFJ!

But now I'm wondering...would I be friends with ME if I met myself? LOL!! Something to think about :^)

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Cheri Marks
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November 12, 2013 at 1:45 PM delete

You're welcome! Great post. I much prefer identifying with Professor Lupin too.

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November 14, 2013 at 10:01 AM delete

I am INFJ and my husband is also. It definitely provides a lot of common ground. We do our best to keep our life peaceful and calm, which often means we shut out our families and friends to keep it that way. On the other hand, I am a little more social than he is and understand healthy conflict whereas he turns tail and runs! haha But it works for us!

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INFJgirl
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November 16, 2013 at 10:43 PM delete

Hey, nice to have found this page :) just wanted to add that with conflicts it really depends on how strongly we feel about the subject also.nif it's something not worth arguing about - I avoid conflict at all costs, but if someone starts trampling on my values, I will give as good as I get :P

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Mags Chan
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December 12, 2013 at 4:31 PM delete

I did think about that question - if I met myself, would I be friends with me? Sadly I thought no..maybe because of the fact that I am so reserved. Which is funny because I know I'm reserved and I'm trying to change that...slowly, but of course, sometimes I withdraw because that is how I recharge and make sense of the world and attach meaning to this thing called life...

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Anonymous
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December 12, 2013 at 9:40 PM delete

Hi! I recently took a class with a professor who is INFJ like me. It was so weird, we had the same handwriting, same laugh, similar conversation tactics. I even thought our eyes looked similar. Anyway, I know what you mean about bonding. I would catch his eye sometimes in class, and it was electric, like someone had just shocked me. I trusted him instantly and knew that he "got me," and based on how often he stared at me (he tried not to, but he couldn't help it), I think he felt the same way. If he wasn't my professor I would have totally asked him out, or at least flirted shamelessly. XD Anyway, I love him and I wish him well.

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Anonymous
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January 18, 2014 at 12:52 PM delete

Thank you for this post

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Anonymous
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March 27, 2014 at 8:59 PM delete

My partner and I are both INFJ. We have a fantastic and very unusual relationship. We've been together 5 years, long distance. We're taking steps to be closer, but we don't feel the pressure to rush. Many people have commented on how is it possible that we can keep this up...I think it has something to do with our personalities!

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Anonymous
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April 16, 2014 at 3:48 AM delete

I have an INFJ friend and we literally have the same brain. I love her to bits and we're well aware of our flaws so we always push each other to make better decisions. I trust her because I know she's not judging me and our dynamic hasn't changed even when I reveal some of the darker parts of my personality, which is HUGE because I don't show that part to anyone. Overall as friends, if you know your boundaries, this could be a lifelong relationship. Just don't expect them to change overnight. You don't, so why would they?

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Anonymous
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May 6, 2014 at 7:45 AM delete

My twin brother and I are both INFJ's. We understand each other on a level that no one else can, which I truly believe has more to do with our personalities than us being twins. My mom loves to tell stories about how we developed our own language as kids and how we stood by each others opinions no matter what. We still tell each other "you and me against the world."

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Anonymous
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May 15, 2014 at 1:17 AM delete

I'm an INFJ too ^_^ Thanks for this blog post. I really agree with you on not being too fond of the perfectionist thing- I think of myself as anything but a perfectionist but I don't know, maybe I am. I really fit into the other characteristics though. One of the main things is that we're complex, hard to understand and it takes a lot for us to be able to have a relationship where we can fully trust the other person and be able to express ourselves because we do hide a lot.

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Anonymous
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May 28, 2015 at 2:45 AM delete

I've Never found anyone to relate to, and it presses hard on me. I'm stuck and worried how to stop this spiral and I keep on sinking lower each day.

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Anonymous
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June 20, 2016 at 4:43 PM delete

That is one of the sweetest things I've heard! I'm happy you have such a close relationship with your twin- from an infj

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Anonymous
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November 22, 2016 at 10:26 PM delete

I know how you feel. I've gone through many years of my life without having a good friend or someone to relate to. In fact, on the very day you posted that comment, I had zero friends myself, and I felt even my family could not relate to me. Sometimes, even when I do have good friends, I feel strangely lonely, sad, and isolated. But don't sink lower. You have to believe in yourself. You're special. We all are, being INFJs :). It is perfectly normal to feel different, out of sync, isolated, hopeless, or depressed, depending on the day. Maybe the fact that that's normal doesn't make things easier, but at least, if you see this post, you can rest assured that many other people are going through the same exact thing, that nothing is wrong with you. You're just too good for the world :). And of course, if many people feel or have felt the same way, myself included - you will ultimately find someone to relate to.

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Anonymous
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November 23, 2016 at 12:15 PM delete

Speaking of INFJ relationship stories, I have an interesting, coincidental one to tell. For most of my high school career, I was quite shy, and although I did not exhibit any antisocial or unappealing behaviors, I was often excluded by others, in particular by stereotypical ES or ENTJ types (has anyone else clashed with those types before, or is it just me?). Anyway, after I moved to a new school junior year, at least I had a group of peers with whom I could eat lunch, although I didn’t go to their birthday parties, etc. or know them that well. Around this time, I had recently become interested in mbti typing as a way of explaining the world and the complex social dynamics around me.

Well, towards the beginning of my senior year, things changed. A girl arrived to my school from Africa, where she had gone to schools with like 9 people in her class, and she tried to get in with a group that, although she at first thought they were nice, they soon excluded her and ignored her as the “quiet”, “nerdy” girl (Mean Girls, anyone? :)). Every day, she would sit at their lunch table, and I could see her, lonely-looking, texting on her phone or doing her homework. Although I didn’t talk much with my lunchmates, I finally mentioned something to one of them, saying hey, let’s invite this new girl over to sit with us, because those girls aren’t being nice to her. My lunchmates accepted her with open arms, and she quickly bonded with them. Jealous, I snapped out of my indifferent behavior towards my lunchmates, and to their surprise as well as mine, I quickly joined their movie/mall/party gatherings, getting to know all of them better as well as this new girl.

Long story short, I made all of my new friends take mbti tests, and the new girl turned out to be an INFJ like me. We shared tons of common interests and felt literally like the same person. It was an amazing experience, almost miraculous, that through my inviting her to sit with us, both of our lives were transformed and we could both spend our last year of high school with a bunch of friends and developing our confidence. We talked about our experiences with bullying/exclusion, the meaning of life, and had the funnest conversations and bonding sessions possible. I am so happy that I made the decision to ask one simple question: Why don’t we invite her to sit with us? I am sure we will continue to stay in touch for a long time.

Whew, deep breaths. That was a lot of writing. Sorry if this is repetitive or long, but I’m in a rush and feel the urge to tell someone this story!

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Unknown
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December 18, 2016 at 11:03 PM delete

Hi , I am infj and my fiancé infj ... We were friends at 16 he moved away and we never saw each other till we were 57 and 58 and became online friends which over 2 years turned to love ... Always in a daily text one of us would say TWINS because we shared same thoughts , same ideas , even same jokes ...one time we sent each other same song links on tube ... One day I showed him a picture he gave me when we were 16 that had been in my jewelry box for over 40 years and 10 min later he sent me same picture ....he has one kidney and I have 3 ....he calls my kidney his homing device and finally 7 months ago he moved here and we got engaged.. I can't get over the perfect engagement ring .. I could not have picked better ... It's me exactly ..ok ok .. Well it's not all roses either ... I see clouds on the horizon ... We nit pick each other ...our perfectionism means we're always trying to better each other , not to mention we are both needy in the same areas so we don't have that strength in another person to bounce against and fortify .. When we fall apart we do so quite spectacularly ... We are so much weaker together when it comes to temptations ...no matter how strong we feel separate once together we undermine each other's weakness and on this count I'm talking food because we both recently lost 50 pounds each and are trying to keep it off.... I would say he is a more immature infj ....he gets stressed easier and resorts to being babyish more than I, but even though his introversion was higher percent than mine he seems to make me braver when it comes to group meetings or large gatherings , he has a litany of things that work to help get over the stomach aches and difficulty breathing we both get when called upon to entertain ..he is more of a dreamer and fantasy dweller where I am more pragmatic having been a single widow mother of 3 .and being an artist my fantasy life is rich in a place that is more appropriate then in our private lives where I just know we're not going to some grotto in Africa and make wild passionate love under a waterfall yikes we both hate flying as it is ....Well just some peeks into the good and bad so far... I have been single a long time just choosing to be on my own then deal with men drama so I am super leery of the future ... I hope it is better and better

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