Are INFJs Androgynous?

Monday, January 23, 2017 12 Comments A+ a-


Hey, guys! As many of you may know, the Cafe has a corresponding Facebook page. I use it to reach people visually, through graphics and tweets, and also for posting articles. So I spend a lot of time scouring the internet for images that relate to my understanding of the INFJ condition.

A few weeks ago, I came across this one:




My first thought was...where the heck do people come up with this stuff? I mean, seriously, is there a secret organization somewhere that studies INFJs and then stashes their findings in a popular meme-generating database for personality theorists to find and distribute across the web?

And my second thought was...hmm, this is kind of interesting.

I was pretty tomboyish as a kid. I had tons of energy and loved to run, swing, and climb on things--which totally sabotaged my mom's efforts to frill me up for school. She'd dress me in ruffles and secure my hair with pink barrettes, only to have me come home covered in dirt, one barrette swinging from a lock of hair and the other in my pocket (or lost on the playground). In the summertime, I practically lived outdoors. Messiness was my daily outfit. I was also thin as a rail and had short hair, so it was probably easy to mistake me for a boy.

Later--sometime around junior high, I think--my boyish tendencies started to wane. This was partly circumstantial (school became more about studying than exercising), partly biological (unmanly curves showed up), and partly societal (people expected me to "act like a girl"). I still had a lot of physical energy, so I got involved in cheerleading and funneled the rest into anything creative I could find. Band, choir, drawing, writing, reading...whatever it took to soothe my inner restlessness.



I still enjoy being creative. That's never stopped. But I'm not really what society would call a girly-girl. My energy level is high. I detest pastels. I lift weights, wear earthy colors, and there's not one high heel in my closet. Make-up is more about artistic expression than cosmetic enhancement; same goes for my long hair. I have intense drive and focus. And I usually keep my emotions under wraps.

Does this make me more masculine than feminine? Or an equal blend? I don't know. I hadn't really thought about it until I saw the image. I do recall a counselor giving me some sort of test in my 20s and telling me that I had a lot of male emotional characteristics. But I don't think about my feminine/masculine dominant traits that much...except, of course, when I'm out shopping and gaze longingly at the men's department because they get all the awesome colors.

Basically, I'm happy just being me. :) 

As far as the meme goes, I can't say for sure if "prone to" and "rather androgynous" means that it represents the majority of INFJs. This is the first time I've seen anything like it. Given our chameleon-like nature, it does seem to hold some relevance. We're good at blending in and masquerading as other types. Maybe this is part of the reason why.

What do you think? Did the meme hit home for you? Is this another facet of our INFJ chameleon superpower, or a secret organization's attempt at analyzation gone wrong?

Let me know,
M.

Image Credit: Androgynous INFJ, Divided


12 comments

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Anonymous
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January 24, 2017 at 1:52 PM delete

I'm not sure androgenous is the best description, but as a male INFJ I have found that I am indeed "softer and sensitive" than most other males. Could be coincidence, but it certainly strikes with me.

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Stephanie
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January 24, 2017 at 2:03 PM delete

I posted a long comment first thing this morning and then clicked on the wrong button before actually posting it (grrrrrrrrrrrrrr). So trying my best to re-type what I said earlier:

I don't know if androgynous is the right word either, necessarily. I agree with much of what you've said here about yourself. I was fairly tom-boy-ish as a child. I didn't care much for the "girlie" pursuits like playing with dolls, fashion, make-up and hair, etc. What I think I attribute this to however, is my complete disregard or concern for what culture tells me I'm supposed to care about. Since I care little for surfacy things, being able to see through into the heart, anything artificial is meaningless. As such, I feel like I've been able to live out a more authentic femininity. I don't feel the need to pour over women's magazines and allow the culture to define for me what it means to be a woman. Wearing heels and the right makeup doesn't help me be a better wife or mother. So I guess for me, it's the difference between acting out a cultural norm on the surface vs seeing through to the authentic and living that out instead. Not sure if that makes sense or not.

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Meridian
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January 24, 2017 at 2:11 PM delete

I'm not sure, either. I don't usually see that word associated with INFJ stuff. But it struck a chord with me as well. I wonder how many of us just naturally deviate from society's definition of male/female nature.

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Meridian
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January 24, 2017 at 2:39 PM delete

That makes perfect sense. I also like the phrase "authentic femininity" and what it means to you. My own sense of femininity is based on the same thing--what's authentic for me--and it's usually a very natural, independent radiance that strongly defies cultural norms. I think this confidence is sometimes viewed as more masculine than feminine, and I'm curious how many INFJ females feel the same way.

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J.C. Rede
AUTHOR
January 24, 2017 at 4:29 PM delete

This definitely resonates with me. As a male INFJ, I am the emotional half of my marriage. I cry during emotional moments like weddings, romantic or dramatic movies, Hallmark card commercials, etc. And while you look longingly at the men's department because "they have all the cool colors", I do the same with the women's clothes feeling a bit jealous that you have such a wide selection of colors and styles while the men's department seems to have been put in the store as an afterthought. Androgynous? I think the phrase that suits us best is gender-fluid.
Namaste

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Meridian
AUTHOR
January 24, 2017 at 4:38 PM delete

Gender-fluid...lol, that's awesome. Thanks for such honest and insightful feedback! :)

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kathairoo
AUTHOR
January 24, 2017 at 4:47 PM delete

I can relate to what your describing. I was not very tomboyish as a child, but as i grew older, I became less and less girly-like. Nowadays I do heavy weightlifting, and my body looks like a male with some female features. I like it that way, it suits me.
I'm very emotional, but can be rather harsh and very strong. I never wear pastels, but clothes in grey's and dark colors.
Sometime ago I concluded that I'm an equal blend of femenine ans masculine. From behind people think I'm a guy, but when they see my face they can see I'm female.

So, this conclusion sounds acurate for me. Like that.

greetz from the Netherlands
Carry

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Meridian
AUTHOR
January 24, 2017 at 5:27 PM delete

Greets to you, too! I am sooo envious of your strength and fitness level (my ectomorphic body limits me). Your blend is both amazing and authentic...love it! Thanks for sharing. :)

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jes gam
AUTHOR
February 7, 2017 at 12:13 PM delete

I love this so nuch i can very much relate to what everyone has said here. I feel compared to societal standards im not very much feminine at all. I use to act and look like a tomboy when i was alot younger but as i grew up like another said i somehow just changed slowly and surely became more of the normal looking girl though i still wear alot of dark neutral colours and dress conservatively...i cant say much about my attitude tho lol xD (i can come across as cold and logical most often but im still sensitive and emotional it just doesnt show well or as much ehehe) i just dont care much if i dont come across as super girly. And as others have mentioned bcuz of our ability to be both logical and still be very enpathetic feeler types...its like a perfect blend of right and left brain usage is how i see it hence there's a balance of feminine and masculine energy within. i cant say for all infjs though but thats how i see it and feel within me :D

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Meridian
AUTHOR
February 7, 2017 at 1:08 PM delete

So glad you related to the post. I think you're right about the blend of our left and right brains, and how that helps balance our feminine and masculine energy. INFJs are equally adept in our left/right thinking and a lot of people don't get that. Excellent point!

Looking back, I can see that the pressure to 'act like a girl' was an attempt to squash masculine traits that others didn't want to accept. I wanted to please, so I conformed rather than being too much of a rebel (though I had my moments). But now I'm much more comfortable with expressing myself, in whatever way I choose. Artistic one day, sporty the next. I like my balance. It keeps people on their toes, lol.

Thanks for commenting. You hit the nail on the head. Don't ever change, cuz you're awesome and perfectly INFJish just the way you are. :)

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Nina Reyes
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April 12, 2017 at 7:46 AM delete

I do that know that I am necessarily androgynous but I've noticed I speak to people as if they are; I've never put much stock in either someone is male or female, it something I had to learn socially because of stereotypes and social norms. But my natural instinct is that I don't care and have great about to not sexualize anyone.

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JL
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August 1, 2017 at 11:40 PM delete

Just now seeing this post. I enjoyed everyone's comments and I most def identify with this. As a woman, I've found it equally and vividly thrilling and difficult to balance both masculine and feminine energy in a female body. Mind, soul, and spirit feels like a direct 50/50 split. I eventually got over the societal norms thing awhile ago, and I've found that the people around admire my "courage" to go against the grain. The funny thing is I don't know how else to be. I'm unapologetic about who I am, and actively explore both energies. It's only then I feel like I'm fully myself. Living this way is equally empowering and frustrating, but I get it. For example, my occupation and most of my hobbies are in male-dominated areas, or things that men are typically interested in disproportionate to women. On the other hand I love building deep relationships and I'm married to a man. The androgynous struggle is real. In given week, I shift between feeling more female or male a few times. Never a dull moment!

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