The INFJ personality type produces some of the warmest yet most intense relationships; it is also the rarest personality type you can have. While the Myers-Briggs foundation claims that all personality types are created equal, there’s no hiding the fact that some personalities interact better with others. We’ll look at what it means to be an INFJ, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and how they fare in emotional, love-based relationships. But even in the best of circumstances, love is never straightforward. Expand your understanding of your deepest emotions with this love, peace and stillness meditation retreat.
Who Are INFJs?
I’ve written several posts on the Myers-Briggs personality types and I always find is useful to begin with a brief review of who INFJs are, at least to the extent that generalization is possible. I also find it irresistible to note that the Myers-Briggs tests sort personalities into 16 types, which is quite small considering a world population of seven billion. So I just want to be clear that there are limits as to the accuracy of these assumptions for any given individual.
Introversion: INFJs show introverted qualities, making them quieter and more contemplative than other personality types. They like to think through their decisions and tend to have a smaller number of relationships; however, the relationships they do have are often exceptionally strong.
Intuition: INFJs are not mind-readers, but they are intuitive when it comes to wrapping their minds around abstract ideas. They can take a piece of the picture and see the entire structure. While adept at detailing, they prefer to use creative means to solve problems. For more information on INFJs and their creative faculties, read this blog post on the two most important fields for INFJ careers.
Feeling: In this case, feeling does not mean emotional (although INFJs are quite emotional). It means that they are more likely to use their feelings and intuition to guide their choices on important decisions rather than relying on what the numbers say.
Judging: This attribute re-enforces the idea that INFJs are contemplative. They judge situations through forethought and, while they might ultimately follow their emotions, make decisions founded on an abundance of thought and evidence.
INFJ Emotional Strengths
Let’s look at how the qualities listed above translate into emotional strengths for INFJs:
- Because of their tendency to think deeply and feel deeply, INFJs are usually good communicators and listeners. Sometimes they struggle with opening-up, but once they do they are able to articulate their feelings accurately and concisely.
- INFJs are most famous for being warm to others. They are reassuring and a desirable presence for anyone close to them.
- Sensitivity comes with the territory, which can be great when things are going smoothly.
- INFJs are not usually the kind to seek out short-term relationships. They want lasting, serious relationships, which is generally considered a good thing.
- They take themselves and the people with whom they have relationships very seriously.
INFJ Emotional Weaknesses
And now for the weaknesses:
- Whereas sensitivity can be good, and it can also turn sour when times are tough. Being over-sensitive can cloud their otherwise sound judgement.
- Deep thinkers have a tendency to withhold deep thoughts. They do not always expose themselves at the same level as their partners. If you’re confused about certain choices you or others have made, gain some intuition with this video textbook on the psychology of personality and learn the theoretical and empirical approached to understanding personalities.
- Sensitivity also hurts them when it comes to conflict. They will resist conflict at the expense of smothering their true emotions. For example, they would rather weather the storm of jealousy than instigate a discussion on the subject.
- Sometimes they expect too much of their partners, which, naturally, can be exhausting and over-bearing.
- Interestingly, INFJs can be well aware that a relationship is failing, yet unable to detach themselves.
This is arguably one of the topics people are most interested in, so let’s talk about how INFJs handle sexual intimacy.
As I already mentioned, INFJs are not prone to short-term relationships (i.e. one-night stands). Their justifications for this would be a lack of emotion. They would not get anything emotionally out of such an encounter, except perhaps self-retribution.
Therefore, it is not hard to see why INFJs take sexual intimacy very seriously. They use these encounters to demonstrate their deep emotions, to connect spiritually, to please the person they love and to show their generosity and willingness to share their love.
Because INFJs are one of the rarest personality types, there are a lot of misconceptions about how they react in relationships. First of all, INFJs place the vast majority of their emphasis on the day-to-day events. This means that they live for an authentic experience and are not satisfied by relationships founded on gifts or non-emotional benefits.
While INFJs can be sensitive and expect a lot of their partners, they are not dominating or unyielding. On the contrary, their thoughtfulness allows them to understand and appreciate the differences in their partners. Still, because of sometimes withholding their deepest thoughts, they can appear to want too much. Avoid clashing over useless issues with this class on living with differing personality styles.
Best And Worst Matches
While nothing is absolute, there is a general agreement that INFJs get along best with ENTPs and ENFPs. As you can tell just by looking at the letters involved, INFJs share Intuition with both of these types, which match well because they do not share the introverted tendencies. They need a little extrovert to counter-balance themselves. For the record, INFJs and INTJs are also promising suitors.
When it comes to the worst matches, those personalities that combine extroversion with sensing, perceiving and judicial qualities do not bode well for INFJs. The most infamously ill-suited personalities are ESTPs and ESFPs, as they mis-match INFJs in terms of being extroverted and sensing. But ENTJs and ESTJs are also poor matches, mostly because of the combination of being extroverted and “thinking.”
At this pint, we should know enough about INFJs to know that they don’t mess around with aimless relationships; anyone who feels similarly should check out this great course on the magic of dating with purpose.