Everything or Nothing: An Ode to the INFJ

On days like today, when I wake up at 3:30 am with whorly brain, running something through my mind to find all the ways I was stupid and wrong and a fool, while intellectually understanding that I’m being completely illogical and unreasonable, I can usually trace my distress to my particular brand of insanity, that of being INFJ.

For those of you who are not into personality tests or typing, INFJ is one of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types (you can taken an online test here to find your type).

Now I don’t believe that Myers-Briggs gives all the answers (nor hand analysis or finding your words or any of the interesting explorations into which we can define ourselves), but whenever I am freaking out & I share it with another INFJ, unlike most people, they understand.

I’m not going to go into the full explanation of personality types, especially since I’ve known my type for 20 years and I’m still learning and don’t consider myself the expert of all things psychological.

But I’ll give you the short version of what it means to be an INFJ, at least for what I’m talking about here.

INFJ stands for Introvert (as opposed to Extrovert), Intuitive (as opposed to Sensing), Feeling (as opposed to Thinking) and Judging (as opposed to Perceiving).

INFJs are known as the Confident, the Protector, the Mystic, the Counselor.

“INFJs are gentle, caring, complex and highly intuitive individuals. Artistic and creative, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. Only one percent of the population has an INFJ Personality Type, making it the most rare of all the types.” (source: INFJ personality page)

We are regularly mistaken as extroverts.

Probably because we are so interested in people and concerned with the state of the world, we seek connection and interaction with others, unlike many other introverted types. We love learning about people, we love figuring them out.

That’s one of the reasons I became an entrepreneur, a writer, a coach. Because mathematics, chemistry, law, finance … all of those were pretty easy to get after a while. But people, their complexities are never ending. I will be able to spend my entire life trying to figure people out, and will never be done, never be board.

Another INFJ trait – we listen.

I can’t tell you how many times people I barely know have chosen to share their secrets with me. Speak truths they have never spoken. I don’t know what it is that I do, but there is something about me that invites confidences.

But regardless of how outgoing we seem, we are true introverts.

While we love people, we are sensitive.

You freak us out when we are exposed to you in mass quantities. We need alone time to find ourselves, to reenergize, to fill ourselves back up so we can give to you from our overflowing.

Yes, I hide in the bathroom at networking events. Yes, I’ve taken off early from parties without saying goodbye to anyone. Yes, I must have time alone every day. Yes, I’ve even spent entire weekends away from the company of other humans … well, except for a bit of texting and social media.

And it’s not because I don’t love you.

It’s because I can feel your energy, I can see into your souls.

It’s because I care about your problems, where you are not in resonance with your truth. It’s because I can’t fix everything and feel that I may have failed you in some way.

And while we INFJs may know lots of people, we will only share our souls with a chosen few.

The thing is, I’m everything or nothing with the people I love.

With most of you that I love, I keep you at a distance to protect myself. This may be a physical distance, where I break off most connections to keep negativity at bay. Or, we may spend time together, have fun, do projects together, go on adventures … but that’s only a part of me.

On a rare occasion, after much research and consideration and an intuitive hit that the person has integrity and caring, I decide to let someone in. To trust them with my soul. But I don’t know how to let someone in a little bit. If I let them in, it’s all the way.

So to most of you, those in my outer circle, my followers, friends, clients, readers:

Even when am hiding at the networking event, when I can’t talk to you, when I don’t reply to your email or @ reply or comment or DM, that does not mean I don’t care about you. On the contrary, I do care. Perhaps too much. But I have to protect myself, reenergize myself, keep a certain part of myself safe behind a wall, to have anything left to give to you tomorrow.

We can have fun, go on adventures, tweetup. We can have amazing conversations, debate controversial issues, gossip about the latest mistakes by the big gurus. I can help you with your business, share resources, give advice. I’ll speak my truth in videos, write my truth on my blog and twitter, tell the whole story.

But there is a certain part of me you may never get access to. You may see it, read about it, resonate with it, but there’s only so much of me that I can give.

To my inner circle, my best friends, my confidants, to anyone I trust with my soul:

You’ve got my everything, an unlimited amount of listening and insight and help, of fun and laughter and adventure, of caring and creativity and courage.

I accept and love you as you are, I support you in your insanity, I believe in your vision, I stand by you equally in your greatest triumphs and when I think you are making colossal mistakes.

And I will be brutally honest. Tell you all of my insanities. Speak the whole story, even the parts where I am embarrassed and worried about what you will think of me and scared that you may be upset or hurt by what I have to say.

I’ll call you on your bullsh*t. Hold you accountable to what you say you are going to do. Hold up a mirror so you can see who who you truly are.

I’ll protect you from the world. Create a sanctuary, a safe place for you to be 100% yourself.

All I ask is the same in return.

Which is a freaking big deal, actually. I get that.

And if it ends up that you can’t do that, then I’m pulling back.

Not because I don’t love you. Not because you did anything objectively wrong. Not because there has been some grand betrayal.

But because I can only be everything or nothing.

If I let you in, it must be all the way. And the only way I have anything to give is if I keep myself from constantly falling apart.

So let’s get back to what I was thinking about at 3:30 am.

Well, I’m not going to tell that story yet, because it has not played out. And I don’t even know what the freaking story is yet. Maybe it’s nothing. Maybe it’s everything. I’m probably being an idiot.

Either way, it will make a great paragraph or page or chapter in the yet unwritten Live Your Truth book.

I wrote this post as therapy.

To understand where I’m drawing the line and how my truth fits into the equation and what it all means.

I feel better after writing this.

But I don’t have an answer.

To those of you who are also sensitive, and/or to those of you who are also INFJs, you know exactly what I mean. I’m not sure if we are blessed, or cursed, or called to be how we are, but you understand my particular brand of insanity, and I thank the powers that be and the social media gods for bringing us together.

#thatisall

If you are also an INFJ and/or a sensitive person, let me know. I get you.

Next Steps:

  • Watch the free streaming video class called “How INFJs Think” where I debunked myths about Myers-Briggs and INFJs, explained why INFJs are sometimes seen as extroverts and were our blind spots are hurting us, and shared how to develop your preferences over your life, including turning blind spots into strengths –> How INFJs Think
  • Leave a comment below or contact me directly with your thoughts, feedback, or questions.

I’m so happy we are all finding each other.

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Comments

  1. I love this for many reasons.
    I love that you took something that's giving you whorly head and figured it out a little bit based on some real info.
    I also love that you taught me more about myself, a fellow INFJ.
    I love that you move fast and take honest and real calling you out on your sh*t stuff.
    I also love, of course, that we discussed all of this via text 12 hours prior to any public posting.
    I also love that you explained to me why I often leave events w/o saying bye to anyone.
    Oh, and I also love you.
    xo ~ Alli

  2. ElizabethPW says:

    Thank you for all of your support via skype/text. That's what I'm talking about. As you know. #iloveyoutoo

  3. I get the all or nothing. I know a lot happens in the grey zone, but black and white are where I can deal.

  4. timbrownson says:

    How many times have you done the test EP? I have done my own a few times and I always get different results. Ok, not totally true, I'm always an 'E', but I have had variations on all the others and that makes me a tad suspicious.

    I dunno about these types of tests because they shoe horn people intro one particular pigeon hole (mixed metaphor anybody?). In fact, I hate when clients kick off by telling me what 'type' they are because I know I'm very often going to get over get over that hurdle i.e. the beliefs that they they hold about the restrictions of their personality, before I can help them move forward.

  5. sarahrobinson says:

    I am totally up for the inner circle – because you are in mine. :-)

    What an incredibly brave and transparent post. You speak for all of us INFJ's when you talk about what we need and how we recharge and mostly how we are in the world – all or nothing.

    Awesome stuff. But of course it is.

    Love you!
    S.

  6. Laura Scholz says:

    I'm so glad to have found so many like-minded souls on Twitter. The “everything or nothing” statement is extremely powerful. I fall hard for people because of the ability to see souls, but if they can't give me everything, I back away. Thanks for explaining me better than I can explain myself!

  7. ElizabethPW says:

    I've taken the test a dozen times, same result when I was age 14 or age 35. :)

    I agree, it's not something to let us define ourselves by, or to give power or excuses to, as I alluded to in the first part of the post. But, it can help us understand our strengths and why we get upset about things that others may not understand.

  8. ElizabethPW says:

    You're welcome Laura, and I'm so glad I found you, another like minded soul. :)

  9. ElizabethPW says:

    #innercircle #loveyou

  10. jhaubein says:

    This post is amazing Elizabeth. Whatever happened at 3:30 inspired some great writing. When I was reading more about INFJs it says you usually like to write alone so it seems this is another great trait of INFJs.

    I myself didn't get into personality types until I met a friend of mine last year. What's weird is he knew my personality type before I even took the test. I'm not an INFJ but an ESFJ or ISFJ. Everytime I take the test it says Extrovert, but then my friends always say I'm an introvert. But I just think I tend to be quiet sometimes but I love being around people and their energy.

    Anyway as an ESFJ totally get the sensitive thing to other people. I pick up on how everyone else is feeling and it then can get easily passed along to me. So if you're in a crappy mood my mood will probably shift to crappy.

    This description right here of an ESFJ totally sums me up “extremely sensitive to the feelings of others, which makes them perhaps the most sympathetic of all the types, but which also leaves them somewhat self-conscious, that is, highly sensitive to what others think of them”.

    So even though I'm not a fellow INFJ I get you on the sensitivity part. Again thanks for sharing this post I know it's probably not easy sharing everything with the world.

  11. lorilatimer says:

    You explained so many of us so well! I've always said that I have a lot of acquaintances, but I let very few inside my walls to know the real me. And if someone betrays me, all bets are off! Like Alli said, things just tend to be black or white.

    It took me a long time to realize that why I need time to myself everyday – for a long time I thought that was selfish of me. Now it's a necessity and part of my self-care. If I don't do that, then I don't have enough to give to other people and things in my life.

    I think most, if not all, of us who are INFJs are also what I've recently learned are “highly sensitive people.” And it's so nice to find people with the same awareness about themselves.

    I think this is a really nice group of INFJs to be in!

    Hugs, Lori

  12. Ken Moorhead says:

    Beautiful post. Your words could easily be the same I've used trying to express and explain myself to others at various times.

    *high five* You're awesome.

  13. ElizabethPW says:

    Yes, being introvert/extrovert is not about being quiet or outgoing, it's about energy. So you may need people to reenergize you (extrovert), while I need to be alone to energize myself (introvert).

    Yes, all of us who are sensitive have these issues, so awesome that you see yourself here! :)

  14. ElizabethPW says:

    Lori – yes, it's so important for us to give ourselves private time, and many people just don't get that it's a required part of our sanity & we need it to be able to give to others. Hard to explain to people who don't need that. :)

  15. Insightful and helpful! Especially the idea of the inner & outer circles of friends–that idea adds some context around an issue I'm going through right now (and as a fellow INFJ, I'm sure you understand why I'm being vague). Thank you for writing this!

  16. Well my fellow INFJ you have totally and pretty thoroughly encapsulated the mindset of an INFJ. It's interesting that we hate goodbyes…I find for me it's like I don't HOW to end the connection gracefully, so I just don't…I'm the same way on the phone..I hate goodbyes on the phone…

    I also have a difficult time letting people in…there are rare occasions when I “recognize” someone and let that imaginary wall down, but it's not often. On the other hand, I FEEL very intensely other's nuances, the invisible vibe that others give off and it can be draining to try to control the “firehose” of sensations.

    I admit, I used to try…by trying to be everything to everyone I came in contact with, because at the core, I do care, I want to help, I want everyone I meet to be living the best life that she can and if she's not, I want to know why.

    I think the alone time is critical for an INFJ (I used to think it was because I was raised as an only child)…but it's also good advice for anyone, to take some time to reflect thoughts and experiences, if only to be more proactive in life, rather than continually reactive….

    Thank you for an insightful and honest post~

  17. I love this for many reasons.
    I love that you took something that’s giving you whorly head and figured it out a little bit based on some real info.
    I also love that you taught me more about myself, a fellow INFJ.
    I love that you move fast and take honest and real calling you out on your sh*t stuff.
    I also love, of course, that we discussed all of this via text 12 hours prior to any public posting.
    I also love that you explained to me why I often leave events w/o saying bye to anyone.
    Oh, and I also love you.
    xo ~ Alli

    1. ElizabethPW says:

      Thank you for all of your support via skype/text. That’s what I’m talking about. As you know. #iloveyoutoo

      1. I get the all or nothing. I know a lot happens in the grey zone, but black and white are where I can deal.

        1. ElizabethPW says:

          we are freaking hilarious. #youknowwhy

  18. timbrownson says:

    How many times have you done the test EP? I have done my own a few times and I always get different results. Ok, not totally true, I’m always an ‘E’, but I have had variations on all the others and that makes me a tad suspicious.

    I dunno about these types of tests because they shoe horn people intro one particular pigeon hole (mixed metaphor anybody?). In fact, I hate when clients kick off by telling me what ‘type’ they are because I know I’m very often going to get over get over that hurdle i.e. the beliefs that they they hold about the restrictions of their personality, before I can help them move forward.

    1. ElizabethPW says:

      I’ve taken the test a dozen times, same result when I was age 14 or age 35. :)

      I agree, it’s not something to let us define ourselves by, or to give power or excuses to, as I alluded to in the first part of the post. But, it can help us understand our strengths and why we get upset about things that others may not understand.

    2. jenny kim says:

      i have a feeling you may be an estp

    3. Tracy says:

      I get the same result even why I purposely try to tweek it!

    4. hmm, usually the more you do MBTI the more the results become firm for you. Did you ever have any feedback from someone to talk you through what the axes mean and where you *think* you are without actually taking the test? Sometimes that can be a better introduction?

      I guess you’ve got to have some faith in all that Jung stuff tho’ as a starting point! My experience is that the more people understand their type the less resistance they have to how they behave – doesn’t mean we are pigeon-holed at all….

  19. sarahrobinson says:

    I am totally up for the inner circle – because you are in mine. :-)

    What an incredibly brave and transparent post. You speak for all of us INFJ’s when you talk about what we need and how we recharge and mostly how we are in the world – all or nothing.

    Awesome stuff. But of course it is.

    Love you!
    S.

    1. ElizabethPW says:

      #innercircle #loveyou

  20. Laura Scholz says:

    I’m so glad to have found so many like-minded souls on Twitter. The “everything or nothing” statement is extremely powerful. I fall hard for people because of the ability to see souls, but if they can’t give me everything, I back away. Thanks for explaining me better than I can explain myself!

    1. ElizabethPW says:

      You’re welcome Laura, and I’m so glad I found you, another like minded soul. :)

  21. Melani Ward says:

    Hi Elizabeth,

    As one INFJ to another everything you have said here is true for me too. I have studied Myers Briggs and administered it to others for years and it never ceases to amaze me. There is no one thing that could possibly define us – not a line on our hands, a number, an acronym or a degree but all of these tools often just make understanding ourselves far less overwhelming. They are windows only but are accurate as far as they go. And, if you have ever been to a Myers Briggs party where everyone's name tag says their type rather than their name, you know how incredibly funny and telling each group is.

    Thanks for putting this so well. I always like reading about myself:)

    Melani

  22. jhaubein says:

    This post is amazing Elizabeth. Whatever happened at 3:30 inspired some great writing. When I was reading more about INFJs it says you usually like to write alone so it seems this is another great trait of INFJs.

    I myself didn’t get into personality types until I met a friend of mine last year. What’s weird is he knew my personality type before I even took the test. I’m not an INFJ but an ESFJ or ISFJ. Everytime I take the test it says Extrovert, but then my friends always say I’m an introvert. But I just think I tend to be quiet sometimes but I love being around people and their energy.

    Anyway as an ESFJ totally get the sensitive thing to other people. I pick up on how everyone else is feeling and it then can get easily passed along to me. So if you’re in a crappy mood my mood will probably shift to crappy.

    This description right here of an ESFJ totally sums me up “extremely sensitive to the feelings of others, which makes them perhaps the most sympathetic of all the types, but which also leaves them somewhat self-conscious, that is, highly sensitive to what others think of them”.

    So even though I’m not a fellow INFJ I get you on the sensitivity part. Again thanks for sharing this post I know it’s probably not easy sharing everything with the world.

    1. ElizabethPW says:

      Yes, being introvert/extrovert is not about being quiet or outgoing, it’s about energy. So you may need people to reenergize you (extrovert), while I need to be alone to energize myself (introvert).

      Yes, all of us who are sensitive have these issues, so awesome that you see yourself here! :)

      1. Dave Doolin says:

        Yes!

        So many people *don’t* get this.

        I describe myself as a highly gregarious introvert. Which I am.

        I get blank looks.

        INTJ. But you probably already felt that.

  23. lorilatimer says:

    You explained so many of us so well! I’ve always said that I have a lot of acquaintances, but I let very few inside my walls to know the real me. And if someone betrays me, all bets are off! Like Alli said, things just tend to be black or white.

    It took me a long time to realize that why I need time to myself everyday – for a long time I thought that was selfish of me. Now it’s a necessity and part of my self-care. If I don’t do that, then I don’t have enough to give to other people and things in my life.

    I think most, if not all, of us who are INFJs are also what I’ve recently learned are “highly sensitive people.” And it’s so nice to find people with the same awareness about themselves.

    I think this is a really nice group of INFJs to be in!

    Hugs, Lori

    1. ElizabethPW says:

      Lori – yes, it’s so important for us to give ourselves private time, and many people just don’t get that it’s a required part of our sanity & we need it to be able to give to others. Hard to explain to people who don’t need that. :)

  24. Ken Moorhead says:

    Beautiful post. Your words could easily be the same I’ve used trying to express and explain myself to others at various times.

    *high five* You’re awesome.

  25. Insightful and helpful! Especially the idea of the inner & outer circles of friends–that idea adds some context around an issue I’m going through right now (and as a fellow INFJ, I’m sure you understand why I’m being vague). Thank you for writing this!

    1. ElizabethPW says:

      Yes, and I actually write it down, I have a little chart of who is in my inner most circle, and then a inner circle, and then my outer circle. And then people (categories, really) who are not in any circle of mine. :)

  26. Well my fellow INFJ you have totally and pretty thoroughly encapsulated the mindset of an INFJ. It’s interesting that we hate goodbyes…I find for me it’s like I don’t HOW to end the connection gracefully, so I just don’t…I’m the same way on the phone..I hate goodbyes on the phone…

    I also have a difficult time letting people in…there are rare occasions when I “recognize” someone and let that imaginary wall down, but it’s not often. On the other hand, I FEEL very intensely other’s nuances, the invisible vibe that others give off and it can be draining to try to control the “firehose” of sensations.

    I admit, I used to try…by trying to be everything to everyone I came in contact with, because at the core, I do care, I want to help, I want everyone I meet to be living the best life that she can and if she’s not, I want to know why.

    I think the alone time is critical for an INFJ (I used to think it was because I was raised as an only child)…but it’s also good advice for anyone, to take some time to reflect thoughts and experiences, if only to be more proactive in life, rather than continually reactive….

    Thank you for an insightful and honest post~

    1. ElizabethPW says:

      Exactly, I have no idea how to say goodbye. Am I supposed to say goodbye to everyone there, just the host, the people I talked to? I don’t know, sounds exhausting, and usually at that time of the night I’m falling apart anyway.

      I’m so glad this resonated with you!

      1. patrobeck1ofhis says:

        That is kind of funny, I like to be sure to say goodbye to everyone before I leave a group. I took that some years ago, but, don’t remember the letters I had. I am pretty sure I am not an INFJ, from the description you have given. I am like you in that I am highly interested in people. I just remember that God created everyone of use for a certain purpose, and when we are working in that purpose, we will be the most fulfilled.

      2. ed says:

        For the first time someone who writes my truth, I’ve never met another INFJ, and I certainly couldn’t articulate this.

        The goodbye – I always struggle with who and how to say goodbye and thank you to.It’s so weird.  People think i’m introverted, and when we talk about something I’m passionate about I often try to find ways to withdraw from the conversation, because for me I could talk about a subject deeply for ages when you’re being real, yet I know when the other person is just expousing something just to get a reaction or to sound good, if you’re not being authentic I don’t want to hear you and waste our time and believe me I know.As a fellow INFJ.. I’ve just been through a time where I’ve witnessed (and experienced a little) human suffering. The struggle for me has been the faith that everything happens for a reason.  I’ve just read your post about your daughter, and agree with your conclusion.  Bad things happen to good people, we can’t do anything about it but we can choose our interpretation, attitude and perception.  We’re still here and it would be a waste to get lost in anger. The only reality is perception. I don’t think those who have left would want to see us waste a single moment.Here’s my lastest thought.  i will not live with fear, the opposite of fear is faith.  What is faith if not religious (I do not believe in god)  I can only say at this stage I have faith that the majority of human intention is good. And with each year I become a little more understanding and aware of myselfWill keep readingAgain great to see you’re using your talents BTW I’ve changed careers too, I will not waste my time with people who don’t know what they’re doing, and just tow the line.  people have told me I can create visions for the future is this an INFJ trait? 

  27. Melani Ward says:

    Hi Elizabeth,

    As one INFJ to another everything you have said here is true for me too. I have studied Myers Briggs and administered it to others for years and it never ceases to amaze me. There is no one thing that could possibly define us – not a line on our hands, a number, an acronym or a degree but all of these tools often just make understanding ourselves far less overwhelming. They are windows only but are accurate as far as they go. And, if you have ever been to a Myers Briggs party where everyone’s name tag says their type rather than their name, you know how incredibly funny and telling each group is.

    Thanks for putting this so well. I always like reading about myself:)

    Melani

    1. ElizabethPW says:

      Wow, that would be so interesting & full to do a myers briggs party! :)

      Thanks Melani, and, yes, I agree, there is no one tool, they are all interesting insights into ourselves, but are only tools.

  28. Amy Miyamoto says:

    Hi Elizabeth – Another great post – and thank you so much for the link to the online test. I took the M-B's almost 20 years ago as well – and had forgotten my 4 letter designation. So I just went back and took it again and immediately recognized the familar traits of ENFJ (The Teacher). And although the type holds truth 20 years later it is nice to revisit the descriptions from the perspective of a fresh set of “more seasoned” eyes. I can now see how my “teacher” fits into a much bigger vision for my life aligned with a purpose I am deeply passionate about. This vision was something I was not yet aware of when I was originlly introduced to myself as ENFJ back in my early college days. Thank you for providing me with the opportunity of this clarity moment!
    ;)
    Amy

  29. Amy Miyamoto says:

    Hi Elizabeth – Another great post – and thank you so much for the link to the online test. I took the M-B’s almost 20 years ago as well – and had forgotten my 4 letter designation. So I just went back and took it again and immediately recognized the familar traits of ENFJ (The Teacher). And although the type holds truth 20 years later it is nice to revisit the descriptions from the perspective of a fresh set of “more seasoned” eyes. I can now see how my “teacher” fits into a much bigger vision for my life aligned with a purpose I am deeply passionate about. This vision was something I was not yet aware of when I was originlly introduced to myself as ENFJ back in my early college days. Thank you for providing me with the opportunity of this clarity moment!
    ;)
    Amy

    1. ElizabethPW says:

      Amy – I’m so glad I could get you back to that! And I can totally see you as the teacher. Awesome.

  30. ElizabethPW says:

    we are freaking hilarious. #youknowwhy

  31. ElizabethPW says:

    Yes, and I actually write it down, I have a little chart of who is in my inner most circle, and then a inner circle, and then my outer circle. And then people (categories, really) who are not in any circle of mine. :)

  32. ElizabethPW says:

    Exactly, I have no idea how to say goodbye. Am I supposed to say goodbye to everyone there, just the host, the people I talked to? I don't know, sounds exhausting, and usually at that time of the night I'm falling apart anyway.

    I'm so glad this resonated with you!

  33. ElizabethPW says:

    Exactly, I have no idea how to say goodbye. Am I supposed to say goodbye to everyone there, just the host, the people I talked to? I don't know, sounds exhausting, and usually at that time of the night I'm falling apart anyway.

    I'm so glad this resonated with you!

  34. ElizabethPW says:

    Wow, that would be so interesting & full to do a myers briggs party! :)

    Thanks Melani, and, yes, I agree, there is no one tool, they are all interesting insights into ourselves, but are only tools.

  35. ElizabethPW says:

    Amy – I'm so glad I could get you back to that! And I can totally see you as the teacher. Awesome.

  36. Dave Doolin says:

    Yes!

    So many people *don't* get this.

    I describe myself as a highly gregarious introvert. Which I am.

    I get blank looks.

    INTJ. But you probably already felt that.

  37. I wish I could be in the inner circle. What's weird is that I *was* an INFJ until the last year or two when I have been testing as INFP. As I have been saying, I think age just sort of slid me across the line. But I sooo relate to what you are saying! Especially the part about leaving the party and hiding in bathrooms and being overwhelmed by other people's energies. The only thing you said that I'm not sure I agree with is your promise to be emotionally available. It seemed endless to me, which works in theory but for me, both my energy and my words run out. Even for the people I am closest to, at some point, I just have to stop and go decompress. You are younger than I am, though, so that may not happen nearly as often for you as it does for me! And I love your offer of sharing your truth and telling it like it is. Great post, it felt good to read so much that resonated for me.

  38. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by SarahRobinson, TimBrownson, Elizabeth Weinstein, Elizabeth Weinstein, Elizabeth Weinstein and others. Elizabeth Weinstein said: New Post: "Everything or Nothing: An Ode to the INFJ" http://epw.me/infj […]

  39. I wish I could be in the inner circle. What’s weird is that I *was* an INFJ until the last year or two when I have been testing as INFP. As I have been saying, I think age just sort of slid me across the line. But I sooo relate to what you are saying! Especially the part about leaving the party and hiding in bathrooms and being overwhelmed by other people’s energies. The only thing you said that I’m not sure I agree with is your promise to be emotionally available. It seemed endless to me, which works in theory but for me, both my energy and my words run out. Even for the people I am closest to, at some point, I just have to stop and go decompress. You are younger than I am, though, so that may not happen nearly as often for you as it does for me! And I love your offer of sharing your truth and telling it like it is. Great post, it felt good to read so much that resonated for me.

    1. ElizabethPW says:

      You know, one interesting thing is that I don’t have anyone I spend all my time with, face to face. I share custody of my daughter, so I’m away from her a few days every week. And my other inner circle members are out of state, so while I may skype/text/twitter/facebook/phone them all day long, there is an inherent separation built into the relationships.

      1. Peggie says:

        I like that take on this Elizabeth — the inherent separation built in — because I need that too. I went and took the test again (I’m a junkie for self-assessment tools) after reading this post through twice (and a few others too) because it resonated so deeply. The last time I took a Myers-Briggs was when I was in a corporate environment, the young int’l VP and all about my career. Then I was an ENTJ. Today, INFJ.

        Like you, I don’t think there’s one REAL answer to residing with and being ourselves, but it is in accepting the facets and then taking action to BE ourselves that makes a big difference

  40. meganmatthieson says:

    Ok- so that lead me right to the test. (I did come back and finish!) Whenever I take those I always want to yell to the result….”But I'm so much more then that!” hahahah. I love that your bravery for getting out there- inspiring me to be ever more honest in my own posts. Thank U EPW.

  41. Taru Fisher says:

    As an INFJ, I know exactly what you mean, especially the part “It’s because I can’t fix everything and feel that I may have failed you in some way.” This particular aspect of my INFJ'ness is what held me back from doing what I love to do, and what I actually do very well. I feel such an obligation to do no harm, that I can get in my head about it and stop the creative flow. That's probably why I haven't done my first video; I'll have to expose myself and what if my warts show. OK – I don't have real warts.

    I've always admired and respected you, Elizabeth. And felt like you were a kindred spirit–now I know why. Your sharing really helped me feel OK again.

  42. meganmatthieson says:

    Ok- so that lead me right to the test. (I did come back and finish!) Whenever I take those I always want to yell to the result….”But I’m so much more then that!” hahahah. I love that your bravery for getting out there- inspiring me to be ever more honest in my own posts. Thank U EPW.

    1. ElizabethPW says:

      And of course, we are all so much more than any of these tests. They are just clues.

  43. Taru Fisher says:

    As an INFJ, I know exactly what you mean, especially the part “It’s because I can’t fix everything and feel that I may have failed you in some way.” This particular aspect of my INFJ’ness is what held me back from doing what I love to do, and what I actually do very well. I feel such an obligation to do no harm, that I can get in my head about it and stop the creative flow. That’s probably why I haven’t done my first video; I’ll have to expose myself and what if my warts show. OK – I don’t have real warts.

    I’ve always admired and respected you, Elizabeth. And felt like you were a kindred spirit–now I know why. Your sharing really helped me feel OK again.

    1. ElizabethPW says:

      Thank you so much Taru, and I’m so honored.

      And my life lesson (from hand analysis) is self-worth, so I have a blind-spot of feeling like there is no way I could fix what the problems are that I can see … so it would be so easy to not do anything and hide behind that.

  44. Ha… so I knew I had the sensitive (HSP) type of thing going on… but I just took the test and I'm also an INFJ. I guess it explains why you always seem to be talking exactly to me and about what's going on my head/heart. ;)

    Very cool explanation, I mean I totally get your whole all-or-nothingness. I have very close friends I am very open with and then other “acquaintances” that don't get it all. Very interesting, now I get it a lot more!

    Thanks Elizabeth!

  45. Chris_Harmon says:

    Now I know what I am! I have always called my personality the light switch. I'm ether off or on. There is no in between.

  46. Thank you Elizabeth. I absolutely get what you wrote. I share the INF part of your profile, but have P instead of J. I'm energized and nourished by alone time, often need to flee social events to re-connect with myself, and the only way I want to connect with others is deeply. “Nothing or everything” sums it up perfectly. Bless you for your extroverted introvertedness!

  47. Ha… so I knew I had the sensitive (HSP) type of thing going on… but I just took the test and I’m also an INFJ. I guess it explains why you always seem to be talking exactly to me and about what’s going on my head/heart. ;)

    Very cool explanation, I mean I totally get your whole all-or-nothingness. I have very close friends I am very open with and then other “acquaintances” that don’t get it all. Very interesting, now I get it a lot more!

    Thanks Elizabeth!

    1. ElizabethPW says:

      That’s awesome (added you to the twitter list).

  48. Your truth and brilliance shines through once again, Elizabeth. This ENFJ totally gets it and respects your openness and courage. Thanks for sharing with us.

  49. ElizabethPW says:

    You know, one interesting thing is that I don't have anyone I spend all my time with, face to face. I share custody of my daughter, so I'm away from her a few days every week. And my other inner circle members are out of state, so while I may skype/text/twitter/facebook/phone them all day long, there is an inherent separation built into the relationships.

  50. ElizabethPW says:

    And of course, we are all so much more than any of these tests. They are just clues.

  51. ElizabethPW says:

    Thank you so much Taru, and I'm so honored.

    And my life lesson (from hand analysis) is self-worth, so I have a blind-spot of feeling like there is no way I could fix what the problems are that I can see … so it would be so easy to not do anything and hide behind that.

  52. ElizabethPW says:

    That's awesome (added you to the twitter list).

  53. ElizabethPW says:

    Interesting, and I can totally see your INFJ-ness after knowing you for these years! :)

  54. ElizabethPW says:

    Thank you so much Lori!

  55. spinhead says:

    While I totally get the antipathy to 'pigeon-holing' ourselves, reading descriptions of the struggles INFJs face and the paradoxes we live with has really helped me stop worrying that I'm insane, and realise that it's something much more dangerous. I like learning to accept a life with dark lights and bright shadows, impassioned calm and outgoing introversion.

  56. ElizabethPW says:

    beautiful imagery, Joel.

  57. Chris_Harmon says:

    Now I know what I am! I have always called my personality the light switch. I’m ether off or on. There is no in between.

  58. Pat Robeck says:

    That is kind of funny, I like to be sure to say goodbye to everyone before I leave a group. I took that some years ago, but, don't remember the letters I had. I am pretty sure I am not an INFJ, from the description you have given. I am like you in that I am highly interested in people. I just remember that God created everyone of use for a certain purpose, and when we are working in that purpose, we will be the most fulfilled.

  59. Thank you Elizabeth. I absolutely get what you wrote. I share the INF part of your profile, but have P instead of J. I’m energized and nourished by alone time, often need to flee social events to re-connect with myself, and the only way I want to connect with others is deeply. “Nothing or everything” sums it up perfectly. Bless you for your extroverted introvertedness!

    1. ElizabethPW says:

      Interesting, and I can totally see your INFJ-ness after knowing you for these years! :)

  60. Your truth and brilliance shines through once again, Elizabeth. This ENFJ totally gets it and respects your openness and courage. Thanks for sharing with us.

    1. ElizabethPW says:

      Thank you so much Lori!

  61. Brilliant as always. I love that you understand yourself so well. I believe there is much power in understanding ourselves.

    I'm an ENFP:
    “outgoing, social, disorganized, easily talked into doing silly things, spontaneous, wild and crazy, acts without thinking…”
    - ENFP Jung Type Descriptions (similarminds.com)

    ).

  62. While I totally get the antipathy to ‘pigeon-holing’ ourselves, reading descriptions of the struggles INFJs face and the paradoxes we live with has really helped me stop worrying that I’m insane, and realise that it’s something much more dangerous. I like learning to accept a life with dark lights and bright shadows, impassioned calm and outgoing introversion.

    1. ElizabethPW says:

      beautiful imagery, Joel.

  63. Beatriz Alemar says:

    I'm so happy to have discovered you're an INFJ too! You've managed to perfectly put into words what all INFJ's feel. That overwhelming feeling of resonance with other people that actually drives you to detach yourself a little from the very people that fascinate you. Like you said, that feeling of all or nothing. To actually see it in words…it's a comforting feeling. Someone out there understands. Thanks for sharing!

  64. Brilliant as always. I love that you understand yourself so well. I believe there is much power in understanding ourselves.

    I’m an ENFP:
    “outgoing, social, disorganized, easily talked into doing silly things, spontaneous, wild and crazy, acts without thinking…”
    – ENFP Jung Type Descriptions (similarminds.com)

    ).

  65. Rebekah says:

    I love this post. I'm an INTJ, so there is a lot of this I don't “get” because I'm thinking vs. feeling, but I LOVE that you wrote it to explain yourself to people. I often feel like I need to explain myself to people, but because (unlike you) I'm not as good at making connections, I often don't take that time. Just wanted you to know someone you DON'T know enjoyed your therapy! :-)

  66. Naomi Niles says:

    Wow. I am another INFJ and that was like reading an auto-biography.

    I, like you, am also very choosy about who I share the most intimate parts of my life with and am demanding in return. I am way too sensitive to do otherwise. Just as you say.

    I've also found that I identify highly with the “highly sensitive person”. Labels are dangerous and I don't like to put them on myself in particular. But, I can see how certain traits from both could be intermixed.

  67. I’m so happy to have discovered you’re an INFJ too! You’ve managed to perfectly put into words what all INFJ’s feel. That overwhelming feeling of resonance with other people that actually drives you to detach yourself a little from the very people that fascinate you. Like you said, that feeling of all or nothing. To actually see it in words…it’s a comforting feeling. Someone out there understands. Thanks for sharing!

  68. Naomi Niles says:

    Ok, I should real all comments before commenting first. I see other people have already made the connection between INFJ's and HSP's. That's interesting…

    Also, I think this is the first time I've commented here. So, hi! :)

  69. Rebekah says:

    I love this post. I’m an INTJ, so there is a lot of this I don’t “get” because I’m thinking vs. feeling, but I LOVE that you wrote it to explain yourself to people. I often feel like I need to explain myself to people, but because (unlike you) I’m not as good at making connections, I often don’t take that time. Just wanted you to know someone you DON’T know enjoyed your therapy! :-)

  70. Naomi Niles says:

    Wow. I am another INFJ and that was like reading an auto-biography.

    I, like you, am also very choosy about who I share the most intimate parts of my life with and am demanding in return. I am way too sensitive to do otherwise. Just as you say.

    I’ve also found that I identify highly with the “highly sensitive person”. Labels are dangerous and I don’t like to put them on myself in particular. But, I can see how certain traits from both could be intermixed.

    1. Daniel Fuentes says:

      I love it. I feel so happy to know im not alone.

  71. Naomi Niles says:

    Ok, I should real all comments before commenting first. I see other people have already made the connection between INFJ’s and HSP’s. That’s interesting…

    Also, I think this is the first time I’ve commented here. So, hi! :)

  72. Writergrrl says:

    I totally get where you are coming from – maybe that's why tonight (despite previously always getting INFP) it actually said I am an INFJ! Whether I did change over time or whether my own foibles are easily categorized, the thing that hit me most while reading your post was the strange combination of being too connected, yet needing to disconnect, the ability to be deeply vulnerable and open, yet needing to close off the softest parts to all but a few. Yep. Me, too. And I can say that, even for those who are in your outer circle, the Truth Living that you do out loud for all to see is enough. It's awesome.

  73. AnjWrites says:

    I totally get where you are coming from – maybe that’s why tonight (despite previously always getting INFP) it actually said I am an INFJ! Whether I did change over time or whether my own foibles are easily categorized, the thing that hit me most while reading your post was the strange combination of being too connected, yet needing to disconnect, the ability to be deeply vulnerable and open, yet needing to close off the softest parts to all but a few. Yep. Me, too. And I can say that, even for those who are in your outer circle, the Truth Living that you do out loud for all to see is enough. It’s awesome.

  74. NatalieServant says:

    Thanks for the reminder of what I know but forget.*That's* why I can't not care about certain things.

    Oh, and the networking thing – I find that I either have a fantastic time & leave filled with energy and ideas or (more frequently) feel awkward most of the time & leave quietly. Can't quite figure out what the magic ingredients are for the good kind of event.

  75. NatalieServant says:

    Thanks for the reminder of what I know but forget.*That’s* why I can’t not care about certain things.

    Oh, and the networking thing – I find that I either have a fantastic time & leave filled with energy and ideas or (more frequently) feel awkward most of the time & leave quietly. Can’t quite figure out what the magic ingredients are for the good kind of event.

  76. Stevie says:

    One of the best descriptions of INFJ's characteristic intense need for quiet and reflection time that I've seen. Especially how it can be confusing to others who the INFJ has seemed so outgoing and warm to previously and how that all just shuts down sometimes and why. Thanks Elizabeth!

    The MBTI assessment process can help people discover and appreciate personal strengths and those of others. Just want to make an additional point about the MBTI. It is only an indicator which can point to where to look to choose your the best-fitting description for yourself. The results are not meant to be taken without reflection so that you verify the accuracy of the result for yourself. For example, my assessment result points to INFP but I choose INFJ which I know is more like what is going on with me. Hope that helps some who may feel pigeon-holed by assessments. As Elizabeth pointed out, we are, of course, way more complex than any assessment can sum up but the process can be eye-opening and helpful for living your truth.

  77. One of the best descriptions of INFJ’s characteristic intense need for quiet and reflection time that I’ve seen. Especially how it can be confusing to others who the INFJ has seemed so outgoing and warm to previously and how that all just shuts down sometimes and why. Thanks Elizabeth!

    The MBTI assessment process can help people discover and appreciate personal strengths and those of others. Just want to make an additional point about the MBTI. It is only an indicator which can point to where to look to choose your the best-fitting description for yourself. The results are not meant to be taken without reflection so that you verify the accuracy of the result for yourself. For example, my assessment result points to INFP but I choose INFJ which I know is more like what is going on with me. Hope that helps some who may feel pigeon-holed by assessments. As Elizabeth pointed out, we are, of course, way more complex than any assessment can sum up but the process can be eye-opening and helpful for living your truth.

  78. […] Continue to do what I’m doing. Not a very exciting proposition. ElizabethPW wrote an interesting article on INFJs this week and as a fellow INFJr I could relate to almost everything she talked about. However, […]

  79. I like that take on this Elizabeth — the inherent separation built in — because I need that too. I went and took the test again (I'm a junkie for self-assessment tools) after reading this post through twice (and a few others too) because it resonated so deeply. The last time I took a Myers-Briggs was when I was in a corporate environment, the young int'l VP and all about my career. Then I was an ENTJ. Today, INFJ.

    Like you, I don't think there's one REAL answer to residing with and being ourselves, but it is in accepting the facets and then taking action to BE ourselves that makes a big difference

  80. […] 9, 2010 by Peggie ElizabethPW, someone I know “only” from social networking sent me on a journey today and it feels good because somehow it gave me a chance to see myself as […]

  81. I appreciate your transparency and clear cut explanation about INFJ. I've always needed alone time to re-energize and I'm definitely an all or nothing type. Up until now, I explained my INFJ tendency to spend time alone (not sure I am a total INFJ) as the result of growing up an only child. Your insightful post has certainly answered a big “why” for me. Thank you!

  82. Elizabeth, I am so grateful I came across your post. It puts into words exactly how I've felt for years and clarifies what I know to be true about me. Up until recently I always thought my need for alone time was because I was an only child. And I thought that I had an invisible sign on my forehead that said “tell me all” because perfect strangers would just walk up to me and start pouring out their deepest fears, secrets and innermost thoughts. I realize now what a gift I have for listening without judging.

    I'm not sure if I'm a true INFJ but I do know that I MUST have alone time on a regular basis to feel energized. I also have definitely have an inner and outer circle – it's not easy for me to invite people into my inner circle.

    Your transparency, clarity and insight is like a breath of fresh air. Thank you for sharing.

  83. I appreciate your transparency and clear cut explanation about INFJ. I’ve always needed alone time to re-energize and I’m definitely an all or nothing type. Up until now, I explained my INFJ tendency to spend time alone (not sure I am a total INFJ) as the result of growing up an only child. Your insightful post has certainly answered a big “why” for me. Thank you!

  84. Elizabeth, I am so grateful I came across your post. It puts into words exactly how I’ve felt for years and clarifies what I know to be true about me. Up until recently I always thought my need for alone time was because I was an only child. And I thought that I had an invisible sign on my forehead that said “tell me all” because perfect strangers would just walk up to me and start pouring out their deepest fears, secrets and innermost thoughts. I realize now what a gift I have for listening without judging.

    I’m not sure if I’m a true INFJ but I do know that I MUST have alone time on a regular basis to feel energized. I also have definitely have an inner and outer circle – it’s not easy for me to invite people into my inner circle.

    Your transparency, clarity and insight is like a breath of fresh air. Thank you for sharing.

  85. Nate says:

    Hi, Elizabeth. My INFJ partner forwarded me this post and I have to say it was enlightening. Many of the feelings you expressed have been explained to me in the past but as an engineer it's nice to see it on “paper”. :)

    The 'all or nothing' aspect (and their desire for 'all or nothing' in return) is intriguing, as well as the deep (sometimes distressingly deep) empathy for other people's problems, and a desire to fix them.
    I fall somewhere in the realm of ISTP myself. I love to fix things, and I take pride in doing so.

    Perhaps my biggest challenge in our relationship is that I try to find solutions to the multitude of anxieties, worries and challenges that crop up in a given day, and it frustrates me when those solutions are shot down or seemingly ignored. It seems my partner feels the same way when they try their hardest to fix -me- as well.

    I'll do my best to understand that this is just part of the “all or nothing”, the “whole story”, and the spice of life :)

    Thanks much for a thought provoking post.

  86. Nate says:

    Hi, Elizabeth. My INFJ partner forwarded me this post and I have to say it was enlightening. Many of the feelings you expressed have been explained to me in the past but as an engineer it’s nice to see it on “paper”. :)

    The ‘all or nothing’ aspect (and their desire for ‘all or nothing’ in return) is intriguing, as well as the deep (sometimes distressingly deep) empathy for other people’s problems, and a desire to fix them.
    I fall somewhere in the realm of ISTP myself. I love to fix things, and I take pride in doing so.

    Perhaps my biggest challenge in our relationship is that I try to find solutions to the multitude of anxieties, worries and challenges that crop up in a given day, and it frustrates me when those solutions are shot down or seemingly ignored. It seems my partner feels the same way when they try their hardest to fix -me- as well.

    I’ll do my best to understand that this is just part of the “all or nothing”, the “whole story”, and the spice of life :)

    Thanks much for a thought provoking post.

  87. Thank you for all the great posts from last year! I look forward to reading your blog, because they are always full of information that I can put to use. Thank you again, and God bless you in 2010.

  88. Thank you for all the great posts from last year! I look forward to reading your blog, because they are always full of information that I can put to use. Thank you again, and God bless you in 2010.

  89. anNas says:

    true story……
    i mean what is the point of giving your entire self to a person who doesn't appreciate your depth and versatility….being an INFJ is a burden people will never have the ability to understand….
    i think the best option for an INFJ to lead a happy life is to always seek internal ways to stay balanced and never expect anything significant from any external source…i guess it is the best way to avoid the disappointments that will literally tear your life as an INFJ apart..
    speaking for my self…people were and will always be my bless and my curse….i guess keeping them at a distance is the safest option i could come up with….i'll give my everything to you…everything i have..everything you need….willingly…..no strings attached…..but i want to remain a stranger to you…believe me….i'm happier this way..and my relationship with you will linger more and more this way…let me be your friend ..let me see that look of satisfaction in your eyes every time you ask for my advice..but please….try not to understand me..try not to analyze me…it will only get me disappointed and a lone…………………………………………………………………………….
    just a thought from an INFJ
    regards

  90. anNas says:

    true story……
    i mean what is the point of giving your entire self to a person who doesn’t appreciate your depth and versatility….being an INFJ is a burden people will never have the ability to understand….
    i think the best option for an INFJ to lead a happy life is to always seek internal ways to stay balanced and never expect anything significant from any external source…i guess it is the best way to avoid the disappointments that will literally tear your life as an INFJ apart..
    speaking for my self…people were and will always be my bless and my curse….i guess keeping them at a distance is the safest option i could come up with….i’ll give my everything to you…everything i have..everything you need….willingly…..no strings attached…..but i want to remain a stranger to you…believe me….i’m happier this way..and my relationship with you will linger more and more this way…let me be your friend ..let me see that look of satisfaction in your eyes every time you ask for my advice..but please….try not to understand me..try not to analyze me…it will only get me disappointed and a lone…………………………………………………………………………….
    just a thought from an INFJ
    regards

  91. Tanya Smith says:

    Wow, I just took the MB test and it was uncannily accurate. Now I understand why I've often mimicked (is that spelt right!) people's accents – it's not taking the mickey, but an unconscious connection/empathy thing!! I came up as ENFJ with only mild on the E – altho I think that's because I was an only child, so used to seek company!!
    I do have a sometimes unwelcome ability to 'read' people, and also love to help people get more out of themselves (and me too of course :-)
    Have enjoyed reading all the comments on this!
    Also I think it's a shame that being Introverted has such negative connotations in modern society – like it's some sort of failing to not want to be in company all the time.
    Here's to us borderline (me) and full on introverts I say!!!

    Cheers
    Tanya

  92. Tanya Smith says:

    Wow, I just took the MB test and it was uncannily accurate. Now I understand why I’ve often mimicked (is that spelt right!) people’s accents – it’s not taking the mickey, but an unconscious connection/empathy thing!! I came up as ENFJ with only mild on the E – altho I think that’s because I was an only child, so used to seek company!!
    I do have a sometimes unwelcome ability to ‘read’ people, and also love to help people get more out of themselves (and me too of course :-)
    Have enjoyed reading all the comments on this!
    Also I think it’s a shame that being Introverted has such negative connotations in modern society – like it’s some sort of failing to not want to be in company all the time.
    Here’s to us borderline (me) and full on introverts I say!!!

    Cheers
    Tanya

  93. Wow! Yes, I know about the personality types, and, rationally, I understand them. I know why I am how I am, but to read about someone else that truly gets it, who understands the overwhelmingness of our personality type, is so what I needed. Thanks, Elizabeth!

  94. Wow! Yes, I know about the personality types, and, rationally, I understand them. I know why I am how I am, but to read about someone else that truly gets it, who understands the overwhelmingness of our personality type, is so what I needed. Thanks, Elizabeth!

  95. AH says:

    You do get me. You put into words what I've tried, with little success, to communicate to others. This post is amazing… It's nice to know there is someone who understands.

  96. AH says:

    You do get me. You put into words what I’ve tried, with little success, to communicate to others. This post is amazing… It’s nice to know there is someone who understands.

  97. arjaie says:

    Thank you very much for this. I found it by googling. English is not my first language, but it is the only one most people I know speak and I have been struggling to explain myself for years to my “friends”. This post has helped me in a tremendous way. Thank you again. With metta, Arjaie

  98. arjaie says:

    Thank you very much for this. I found it by googling. English is not my first language, but it is the only one most people I know speak and I have been struggling to explain myself for years to my “friends”. This post has helped me in a tremendous way. Thank you again. With metta, Arjaie

  99. Great post!

    While I'm an INFP, I've been struggling with the whole '100%' for a number of years. Finally, this weekend, I was able to verbalize it and voila -your post! I heard myself saying, “Man, can we just be friends so that I can tell you everything and then we can move on?” Ugh.

    @ecstewart

  100. Lisa Stewart says:

    Great post!

    While I’m an INFP, I’ve been struggling with the whole ‘100%’ for a number of years. Finally, this weekend, I was able to verbalize it and voila -your post! I heard myself saying, “Man, can we just be friends so that I can tell you everything and then we can move on?” Ugh.

    @ecstewart

  101. Great post!

    While I'm an INFP, I've been struggling with the whole '100%' for a number of years. Finally, this weekend, I was able to verbalize it and voila -your post! I heard myself saying, “Man, can we just be friends so that I can tell you everything and then we can move on?” Ugh.

    @ecstewart

  102. jenny kim says:

    i loved reading this. and i get you.

    fellow infj

  103. jenny kim says:

    i loved reading this. and i get you.

    fellow infj

  104. jenny kim says:

    i have a feeling you may be an estp

  105. Yes, I love this post. I’ve retaken the Meyers Briggs–mostly at others’ insistence that I could not be an introvert–only to have it come out the same way each time: INFJ. Thanks for the great post. I get you.

  106. carolstephen says:

    Yes, I love this post. I've retaken the Meyers Briggs–mostly at others' insistence that I could not be an introvert–only to have it come out the same way each time: INFJ. Thanks for the great post. I get you.

  107. Tracy says:

    Thank you. For explaining so beautifully what I have not been able to most of my life, and so, I fear that I come off as a bit of an oddball to many people! I’m in my forties and only recently learned my INFJ type and now, in retrospect, I see how it has affected every area of my life. Had I known earlier I would not have made some huge mistakes…and would not have thought I was just crazy. That whole seeing people’s souls thing…..how that has made me feel nuts. I have spent much energy in my life trying to block that out trying to deny who I am. Thank you.

  108. Tracy says:

    Thank you. For explaining so beautifully what I have not been able to most of my life, and so, I fear that I come off as a bit of an oddball to many people! I'm in my forties and only recently learned my INFJ type and now, in retrospect, I see how it has affected every area of my life. Had I known earlier I would not have made some huge mistakes…and would not have thought I was just crazy. That whole seeing people's souls thing…..how that has made me feel nuts. I have spent much energy in my life trying to block that out trying to deny who I am. Thank you.

  109. Tracy says:

    I get the same result even why I purposely try to tweek it!

  110. I’m an INFJ! My mom is an ENTJ & so I have been basically suppressing my true self for years because I have always tried to deny how sensitive I am, thinking that my mother wouldn’t accept me. (I could always pick up on the fact that she saw feelings as a weakness.) Anyway, since I took the test, SO MANY pieces of my psychological puzzle fell into place. (I made everyone important to me take it, too, in true INFJ style, just so I could understand and relate to them better lol!)

    I also hate dealing with important stuff face to face or in real time. I like the distance of e-mail and being able to say what I am going to say without distraction or hesitation because I feel it is the only way I can truly and clearly communicate the full truth. I communicate much better via text than on phone calls. Is this normal for INTJ? I feel like our normal characteristics explain why I do this.

  111. I'm an INFJ! My mom is an ENTJ & so I have been basically suppressing my true self for years because I have always tried to deny how sensitive I am, thinking that my mother wouldn't accept me. (I could always pick up on the fact that she saw feelings as a weakness.) Anyway, since I took the test, SO MANY pieces of my psychological puzzle fell into place. (I made everyone important to me take it, too, in true INFJ style, just so I could understand and relate to them better lol!)

    I also hate dealing with important stuff face to face or in real time. I like the distance of e-mail and being able to say what I am going to say without distraction or hesitation because I feel it is the only way I can truly and clearly communicate the full truth. I communicate much better via text than on phone calls. Is this normal for INTJ? I feel like our normal characteristics explain why I do this.

  112. […] Here’s an example. An interesting discovery has been found on Twitter by @elizabethpw (a prolific social media enthusiast & authentic human being) in the past week. I happen to be in the very rare 1% population that claims the INFJ (introverted, sensing, feeling, judging) personality descriptor through Myers-Briggs. And so are some of the women who I enjoy tweeting with. While we may make up only 1% of the global population, I suspect our volume of tweeting occupies more than 1% of the webspace. Learn more about INFJ in Elizabeth’s blog “Ode to INFJ.” […]

  113. autumngivant says:

    I don’t know if there is an actual answer to how and why INFJs are what they are.
    Either way, I applaud you for writing this. It is one of the most truthful things I have read about what it is to be an INFJ; and I doubt it was easy for you to put this in an arena that tons of people will see. Good for you. And I get you, too.
    As an INFJ myself, I have been searching to understand why I have such an issue with telling my closest friends the secrets of my past. It’s something that I just haven’t been able to do.
    And yes, while one should never use being an INFJ as an excuse, it does the mental process.
    If you ever write something on how to bring out your inner INFJ, I’ll be reading.
    May your inner circle bring you happiness and comfort.
    Autumn

  114. autumngivant says:

    I don't know if there is an actual answer to how and why INFJs are what they are.
    Either way, I applaud you for writing this. It is one of the most truthful things I have read about what it is to be an INFJ; and I doubt it was easy for you to put this in an arena that tons of people will see. Good for you. And I get you, too.
    As an INFJ myself, I have been searching to understand why I have such an issue with telling my closest friends the secrets of my past. It's something that I just haven't been able to do.
    And yes, while one should never use being an INFJ as an excuse, it does the mental process.
    If you ever write something on how to bring out your inner INFJ, I'll be reading.
    May your inner circle bring you happiness and comfort.
    Autumn

  115. jkelly7 says:

    right on

  116. jkelly7 says:

    right on

  117. joeralt says:

    Hi Elizabeth
    thanks for this post..I actually came our as the ENFP hahaha
    interesting

  118. joeralt says:

    Hi Elizabeth
    thanks for this post..I actually came our as the ENFP hahaha
    interesting

  119. joecheray says:

    Holy smokes your post just described me to a tee. WOW. Thanks for tweeting this again. I am proud to be part of a very small unique group of the population. :)

  120. joecheray says:

    Holy smokes your post just described me to a tee. WOW. Thanks for tweeting this again. I am proud to be part of a very small unique group of the population. :)

  121. Halicon says:

    awesome post – so true and as an INFJ i can only sit nodding my head in agreement in almost every sentence.

    we are a special bunch and because of that we need our time

  122. Halicon says:

    awesome post – so true and as an INFJ i can only sit nodding my head in agreement in almost every sentence.

    we are a special bunch and because of that we need our time

  123. Caractacus says:

    iNxP here, but love INFJ.
    She often holds extended eye contact (10sec.s) hugs passionately when greeting or parting, and we have many projects developed in common for over 9 months, but she does not respond to any verbal cues I give in conversation, email etc. She is rather cold, in fact, to these feelers. I spent a lot of emotional energy writing a heartfelt poem. Should I send? It will sting if there is no response.
    I think I understand the INFJ complexity, but then again…?

  124. Caractacus says:

    iNxP here, but love INFJ.
    She often holds extended eye contact (10sec.s) hugs passionately when greeting or parting, and we have many projects developed in common for over 9 months, but she does not respond to any verbal cues I give in conversation, email etc. She is rather cold, in fact, to these feelers. I spent a lot of emotional energy writing a heartfelt poem. Should I send? It will sting if there is no response.
    I think I understand the INFJ complexity, but then again…?

  125. Lola5888 says:

    I could have written this word for word. Unreal. I am made fun of at work during Halloween because when I hear the other co-workers come by with their little kids I go lock myself in an office and don’t come out until they are all gone. At that moment nothing in the world seems worse than baby-talking to some kids and humoring the parents with how cute they are.

  126. Lola5888 says:

    I could have written this word for word. Unreal. I am made fun of at work during Halloween because when I hear the other co-workers come by with their little kids I go lock myself in an office and don't come out until they are all gone. At that moment nothing in the world seems worse than baby-talking to some kids and humoring the parents with how cute they are.

  127. Steph says:

    I just found out I’m a INFJ, of all I have read about it, your post is the most meaningful to me. Thank you so much for your words

  128. Steph says:

    I just found out I'm a INFJ, of all I have read about it, your post is the most meaningful to me. Thank you so much for your words

  129. Tim says:

    A few years ago, I ran into an alternative to the Myers-Briggs classification system. It’s called the Enneagram. Its insights are also very interesting but somewhat different. There are also free Enneagram tests on the internet. Here’s one http://similarminds.com/test.html

  130. Tim says:

    A few years ago, I ran into an alternative to the Myers-Briggs classification system. It's called the Enneagram. Its insights are also very interesting but somewhat different. There are also free Enneagram tests on the internet. Here's one http://similarminds.com/test.html

  131. Nina Cremer says:

    I am an INFJ as well.
    And I love what I just read.
    What you have written.
    Beautiful.
    And I wish more people who aren’t like us would read it.
    To maybe understand.
    A little better.

    :)
    I don’t know what you get from my reply- probably nothing.
    It is totally pointless.
    But if you are interested in dropping me a line/your thoughts, here is my email address:
    nina.cremer@ymail.com

  132. Nina Cremer says:

    I am an INFJ as well.
    And I love what I just read.
    What you have written.
    Beautiful.
    And I wish more people who aren't like us would read it.
    To maybe understand.
    A little better.

    :)
    I don't know what you get from my reply- probably nothing.
    It is totally pointless.
    But if you are interested in dropping me a line/your thoughts, here is my email address:
    nina.cremer@ymail.com

  133. shoe says:

    hey thanks this post helped me understand a lot more about myself. thanks for showing me that it’s not betrayal when my friends are not able to give me what I give to them.
    -another INFJ (as rare as we are, there are alot of us)

  134. shoe says:

    hey thanks this post helped me understand a lot more about myself. thanks for showing me that it's not betrayal when my friends are not able to give me what I give to them.

    -another INFJ (as rare as we are, there are alot of us)

  135. Guest says:

    I am also an INFJ and yes, I totally got it :) Thank you for posting this.

  136. Jo says:

    I am also an INFJ and yes, I totally got it :) Thank you for posting this.

  137. Signaak says:

    Thank you for putting your thoughts out there. As a Native American (Odawa) INFJ I could relate to all that you posted. However, I wake up at 3:33 a.m. often in the morning from having a dream or a panic attack.

    I am not sure if being an INFJ is either a blessing or a curse for men. I am often feel victimized by my emotions or feelings. It seems to me the tyranny of being unique has often left me socially isolated. Only 2 percent of Americans can identify themselves a American-Indians. To be an adult-child of a mother who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia is about 2 percent. To suffer from total anejaculation is less than 1 percent of the total population of the world. So, it doesn’t surprise me that as an INFJ we comprise of less than 1 percent and are rare.

    I have been asexual for 10 years and how many men in their 40s can say that! I hate it when I dream about something or someone before it comes true or can tell what a person is going to say before they say it.

    Though, it is comforting to know I am not alone, there are times I feel I wish I could be more like others. Holding back and building a fortress behind walls can be distressing at times. My best female friends has nicknamed me the Tin Man and she prays everyday I find my heart and express it and open up and let her in. She doesn’t believe that I do not ejaculate during sex. I don’t know why I won’t let anyone in. I should see a therapist, proabably.

    Thanks for your post and taking time to read me vent.

  138. Signaak says:

    Thank you for putting your thoughts out there. As a Native American (Odawa) INFJ I could relate to all that you posted. However, I wake up at 3:33 a.m. often in the morning from having a dream or a panic attack.

    I am not sure if being an INFJ is either a blessing or a curse for men. I am often feel victimized by my emotions or feelings. It seems to me the tyranny of being unique has often left me socially isolated. Only 2 percent of Americans can identify themselves a American-Indians. To be an adult-child of a mother who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia is about 2 percent. To suffer from total anejaculation is less than 1 percent of the total population of the world. So, it doesn't surprise me that as an INFJ we comprise of less than 1 percent and are rare.

    I have been asexual for 10 years and how many men in their 40s can say that! I hate it when I dream about something or someone before it comes true or can tell what a person is going to say before they say it.

    Though, it is comforting to know I am not alone, there are times I feel I wish I could be more like others. Holding back and building a fortress behind walls can be distressing at times. My best female friends has nicknamed me the Tin Man and she prays everyday I find my heart and express it and open up and let her in. She doesn't believe that I do not ejaculate during sex. I don't know why I won't let anyone in. I should see a therapist, proabably.

    Thanks for your post and taking time to read me vent.

  139. Love MBTI ;-)

    I see loads of INFJ’s in the coaching world (don’t want to generalise but…). I wonder if it’s that F empathy and then the J ability to move on that makes it so appealing to you to seek out that contact and to others to be at the receiviing end of it??

    So enjoy your type and continue to help the rest of us out!

    Cathy, ENTJ

  140. Love MBTI ;-)

    I see loads of INFJ's in the coaching world (don't want to generalise but…). I wonder if it's that F empathy and then the J ability to move on that makes it so appealing to you to seek out that contact and to others to be at the receiviing end of it??

    So enjoy your type and continue to help the rest of us out!

    Cathy, ENTJ

  141. hmm, usually the more you do MBTI the more the results become firm for you. Did you ever have any feedback from someone to talk you through what the axes mean and where you *think* you are without actually taking the test? Sometimes that can be a better introduction?

    I guess you've got to have some faith in all that Jung stuff tho' as a starting point! My experience is that the more people understand their type the less resistance they have to how they behave – doesn't mean we are pigeon-holed at all….

  142. Ashley says:

    YES YES YES YES YES. And more yes. It makes me feel so warm knowing there is someone out there that gets it. Now we must clone you.

  143. Ashley says:

    YES YES YES YES YES. And more yes. It makes me feel so warm knowing there is someone out there that gets it. Now we must clone you.

  144. Being an INFJ is to be confused about yourself in the first place and let me tell you that being an INFJ myself makes all the above so much easy to understand. We are complicated beyond any doubts. And that’s precisely why we are so special!

  145. Being an INFJ is to be confused about yourself in the first place and let me tell you that being an INFJ myself makes all the above so much easy to understand. We are complicated beyond any doubts. And that's precisely why we are so special!

  146. Mistyl1234 says:

    This post is so scary! I am an infj as well ! I thought this was me writting this! sometimes i do feel like im cursed as well! I feel everyone emotions and it can be very intense sometimes! As you said it well: we give EVERYTHING OR NOTHING!

  147. Mistyl1234 says:

    This post is so scary! I am an infj as well ! I thought this was me writting this! sometimes i do feel like im cursed as well! I feel everyone emotions and it can be very intense sometimes! As you said it well: we give EVERYTHING OR NOTHING!

  148. Ldfeeney says:

    I used to test as INFP, and I just took the test from your link and INFJ was my result. Interesting.

    1. Ldfeeney says:

      I’m replying to myself. :) I read this after I retested and it was as though I could have written this myself ~ and certain parts felt true, yet scary to read because I didn’t want them to be true. Thank you for sharing your therapy.

  149. Ldfeeney says:

    I used to test as INFP, and I just took the test from your link and INFJ was my result. Interesting.

  150. Ldfeeney says:

    I'm replying to myself. :) I read this after I retested and it was as though I could have written this myself ~ and certain parts felt true, yet scary to read because I didn't want them to be true. Thank you for sharing your therapy.

  151. Louiselane05 says:

    Whoa. I’m an INFJ too, and I love this post!

    I understand. I get it. I agree that what we ask is really big thing/deal for other people because… we’re different. But being different doesn’t mean you’re whatsoever they call us. We’re special in our own different reasons and different ways.

  152. Louiselane05 says:

    Whoa. I'm an INFJ too, and I love this post!

    I understand. I get it. I agree that what we ask is really big thing/deal for other people because… we're different. But being different doesn't mean you're whatsoever they call us. We're special in our own different reasons and different ways.

  153. Eunice says:

    Wow. This is the first time I have really identified with a description of my personality.
    Thank you for the post… :)

  154. Eunice says:

    Wow. This is the first time I have really identified with a description of my personality.
    Thank you for the post… :)

  155. […] personality type and, going from the above story, a cranky pants. Welcome to my life. Firstly, read this wonderful post at Live Your Truth about the complexity that is an INFJ, which explains it far better than I ever […]

  156. Brandi says:

     I have never been able to express my need for alone time as well as this. Turns out, I’m an INFJ, too – that explains so much. Thanks for writing this; it absolutely resonated.

  157. Brandi says:

    I have never been able to express my need for alone time as well as this. Turns out, I'm an INFJ, too – that explains so much. Thanks for writing this; it absolutely resonated.

  158. JC says:

    I can’t believe I’m reading this. 
    How could you know?
    No one has ever spoken “my” mind so clearly.
    Not even me.

  159. JC says:

    I can't believe I'm reading this. 
    How could you know?
    No one has ever spoken “my” mind so clearly.
    Not even me.

  160. Guest says:

    This has moved me to tears. Thank you

  161. Guest says:

    This has moved me to tears. Thank you

  162. ahthatsthespot says:

    I stumbled upon this on Google just looking up random information on INFJ-ness.  I had just recently discovered that I was an INFJ (I’m about to turn 26, so I didn’t really pay attention until now) and it explained so much about me that it was disturbingly accurate and creepily awesome.  I actually laughed about how we’re mistaken for extroverts because we most certainly are and I’ve heard so many deep, dark confessions that we should probably compare notes.

    To read this though, it’s amazing to see how much a fellow INFJ understands giving everything or nothing.  So hard to explain.  I love the power of the internet and how it brings people together in this way.    

    Thank you for writing this… makes me feel a little less out of place.

    – Nicole

  163. ahthatsthespot says:

    I stumbled upon this on Google just looking up random information on INFJ-ness.  I had just recently discovered that I was an INFJ (I'm about to turn 26, so I didn't really pay attention until now) and it explained so much about me that it was disturbingly accurate and creepily awesome.  I actually laughed about how we're mistaken for extroverts because we most certainly are and I've heard so many deep, dark confessions that we should probably compare notes.

    To read this though, it's amazing to see how much a fellow INFJ understands giving everything or nothing.  So hard to explain.  I love the power of the internet and how it brings people together in this way.    

    Thank you for writing this… makes me feel a little less out of place.

    - Nicole

  164. This is me >> INFP << now you know. My cave is very important to me. I hate when you yell at me, as someone did last night on the Internet, it makes me climb in deeper. "See this is why I don't come out", I holler! Thank you for sharing it helps me and us all.

  165. This is me >> INFP << now you know. My cave is very important to me. I hate when you yell at me, as someone did last night on the Internet, it makes me climb in deeper. “See this is why I don't come out”, I holler! Thank you for sharing it helps me and us all.

  166. Teresa says:

    Yes. This is me, as well. INFJ, sensitive, type 4 enneagram, libra, for the most part feeling like I’m wearing every nerve ending on my skin. Sometimes I celebrate this, sometimes I just want a cuddly blanket to surround myself in. Or butterfly wings.

    And so I send you butterflies right now, for you in this story, in this situation that you have not figured out completely, to help you feel comfort and peace through to the end. You’re not alone.Hugs and butterflies,
    ~T~

  167. Adambailey4 says:

    I’m an INFJ, and I identified with every single word of your post!

  168. Teresa says:

    Yes. This is me, as well. INFJ, sensitive, type 4 enneagram, libra, for the most part feeling like I'm wearing every nerve ending on my skin. Sometimes I celebrate this, sometimes I just want a cuddly blanket to surround myself in. Or butterfly wings.

    And so I send you butterflies right now, for you in this story, in this situation that you have not figured out completely, to help you feel comfort and peace through to the end. You're not alone.Hugs and butterflies,
    ~T~

  169. Adambailey4 says:

    I'm an INFJ, and I identified with every single word of your post!

  170. Nick says:

    Love it!

  171. Nick says:

    Love it!

  172. Halicon says:

    i have read this before and even commented before but i felt compelled to read this again. 

    I think you forget to mention the personal suffering we endure sometimes completely on our own because we know very few people will understand our suffering but in the same token we are strong. very strong.

    thanks again for sharing your insights. it echoes with so many of us. 

  173. Halicon says:

    i have read this before and even commented before but i felt compelled to read this again. 

    I think you forget to mention the personal suffering we endure sometimes completely on our own because we know very few people will understand our suffering but in the same token we are strong. very strong.

    thanks again for sharing your insights. it echoes with so many of us.

  174. David says:

    As a fellow INFJ, I feel this also.  Having known my type for almost 30 years, still on the journey and still learning.  I’ve Never read it articulated this way before, having thought of boundaries, but this makes much better sense. Thank you.  

  175. David says:

    As a fellow INFJ, I feel this also.  Having known my type for almost 30 years, still on the journey and still learning.  I've Never read it articulated this way before, having thought of boundaries, but this makes much better sense. Thank you.

  176. Heather says:

    This was beautiful. True. Pertinent. Thank you. I have been feeling so alone, so pulle d in so many directions, with so many “S” and “T” types around. No one gets me. My mom and my grandma both passed away in the past few weeks. And you’ll all appreciate my feelings on this front–none of my cousins even called me with condolences when my mom passed. But when my grandma passed, they all wanted to lean on me. I was the only one (with my dad and grandpa) who was anywhere within 5 hours of the end of both of their lives. Sigh.

    And then there’s this guy, who I let in and ask in then push away. I do it and do it and do it, and now, I don’t know if there’s anything left, and the only people I’m close enough to talk about it with don’t get the feelings at all. They say I’m trying to fill a hole in my heart with anyone. But I don’t love just anyone like that.

    I’m ranting and rambling, but I suppose I can write like I would write a journal entry because I suppose that I wouldn’t write this at all if I didn’t have faith that one of you would read it and understand what I mean. Is it so crazy to want to be understood. To be known and appreciated. Everything or nothing. I get it. I am it. So much hurt and apathy in one body can’t be good…can it?

    1. ElizabethPW says:

      yes Heather, we know what you mean. *hugs*

    2. Sam says:

      Heather, I’m so sorry to read about your difficult losses.  I see that it has been 10 months since you posted here, but if you do end up reading this, I thought it might be somewhat reassuring to know that I know *exactly* what you mean by “so much hurt and apathy in one body.”  My family members’ struggles are so painful for me, having such a high degree of empathy for others, that I have to distance myself from them in order to keep from falling apart.  I have to crawl into my little apathy shell for protection, because I want so desperately to fix all of their problems and cannot bear my inevitable failure to do so.  I know it must seem to them that I retreat because I don’t care, but actually I am retreating because I care too much.  If only all of the non-INFJ’s of the world could understand why we do this!

    3. Robert says:

      Ive tested as an infj and can relate to this. I think shyness and introversion is down to being able to feel and absorb people’s energies.
      I’ve never been religious but in the last few years I’ve become quite “spiritual”, even though I have felt there was something else and had weird coincidences which literally have saved me in times of crisis. I hate labels and this includes labeling oneself by MBTI Type, nationality, religion , star sign, career. In fact anything.

      Maybe it’s because my personality has tested as this infj but I started researching energy as I do occasionally literally feel certain peoples feelings and somehow know what theyre thinking.

      I discovered Eckhart Tolle and I honestly say The Power of Now changed my life. I meditate an hour a day and feel incredible. I am trying to loose my ego and realize it is so SO limiting. People don’t be a stereotype and just run on habitual conditioning. You are really far more than what you think you are.

      Try your best NOT to think and just BE. I know it’s trendy to be “Zen” but I sincerely get this stuff. Everything is Nothing and Nothing is EVERYTHING.

      The World is ruled by letting things take their course.

  177. Heather says:

    This was beautiful. True. Pertinent. Thank you. I have been feeling so alone, so pulle d in so many directions, with so many “S” and “T” types around. No one gets me. My mom and my grandma both passed away in the past few weeks. And you'll all appreciate my feelings on this front–none of my cousins even called me with condolences when my mom passed. But when my grandma passed, they all wanted to lean on me. I was the only one (with my dad and grandpa) who was anywhere within 5 hours of the end of both of their lives. Sigh.

    And then there's this guy, who I let in and ask in then push away. I do it and do it and do it, and now, I don't know if there's anything left, and the only people I'm close enough to talk about it with don't get the feelings at all. They say I'm trying to fill a hole in my heart with anyone. But I don't love just anyone like that.

    I'm ranting and rambling, but I suppose I can write like I would write a journal entry because I suppose that I wouldn't write this at all if I didn't have faith that one of you would read it and understand what I mean. Is it so crazy to want to be understood. To be known and appreciated. Everything or nothing. I get it. I am it. So much hurt and apathy in one body can't be good…can it?

  178. ElizabethPW says:

    yes Heather, we know what you mean. *hugs*

  179. Susan says:

    Oh Lord, I am so happy to fall upon this post from you, a fellow INFJ.  I understand and get your “insanity” and, yes, indeed, it is everything or nothing for me when it comes to those I truly love and care about.  I also do care about people in general, and I feel at the deepest core, which is why I need time to recuperate, reassess, review, and just find calm and relaxation.  I absorb and feel other people’s vibes, whether I like it or not.  I pick up on nuances from people.  I find people and their quirks and psyches ever so interesting, and it’s true: we won’t ever get to pin down anyone because humans are so complex and dynamic.  Despite my outgoing and effervescent ways when I choose to be, I am also an introvert deep down.  Thank you for this post as it truly resonated with me.  –Signed, Susan a fellow INFJ gal. 

  180. Susan says:

    Oh Lord, I am so happy to fall upon this post from you, a fellow INFJ.  I understand and get your “insanity” and, yes, indeed, it is everything or nothing for me when it comes to those I truly love and care about.  I also do care about people in general, and I feel at the deepest core, which is why I need time to recuperate, reassess, review, and just find calm and relaxation.  I absorb and feel other people's vibes, whether I like it or not.  I pick up on nuances from people.  I find people and their quirks and psyches ever so interesting, and it's true: we won't ever get to pin down anyone because humans are so complex and dynamic.  Despite my outgoing and effervescent ways when I choose to be, I am also an introvert deep down.  Thank you for this post as it truly resonated with me.  –Signed, Susan a fellow INFJ gal.

  181. Ellie Di says:

    Right into my heart, this one.  You made me cry, darn you.  I’ve so often wanted to explain to people why I am the way I am – why I leave parties and seem extroverted when I’m not – and you’ve put it all right here for me.  Thank you a thousand times over.

  182. Ellie Di says:

    Right into my heart, this one.  You made me cry, darn you.  I've so often wanted to explain to people why I am the way I am – why I leave parties and seem extroverted when I'm not – and you've put it all right here for me.  Thank you a thousand times over.

  183. Boa Blackrain says:

    amen.

  184. Boa Blackrain says:

    amen.

  185. INFJ here. yeah. good post!

  186. INFJ here. yeah, good post!

  187. INFJ here. yeah. good post!

  188. INFJ here. yeah, good post!

  189. Kathryn Libbey says:

    Yeah, I know exactly how you feel.  I’ve actually observed people on twitter who have bravely tried to give all of themselves just to get to know me.  The more you talk about being introverted, and especially INFJ, certain really great people will work up the urge to give all of themselves so you can be your INFJ self.  I hope you tweet, ’cause it’s helped me a lot.

  190. Kathryn Libbey says:

    Yeah, I know exactly how you feel.  I've actually observed people on twitter who have bravely tried to give all of themselves just to get to know me.  The more you talk about being introverted, and especially INFJ, certain really great people will work up the urge to give all of themselves so you can be your INFJ self.  I hope you tweet, 'cause it's helped me a lot.

  191. Elizabeth says:

    Dear Elizabeth, Thank you so much for mirroring my relationship experiences as an INFJ. Where I falter is that I expect that 100% in return. Thank you for helping me understand that that is unreasonable and not possible. It was great to read this post. I stumble through life feeling alone most of the time, even though I don’t always appear that way to others. Elizabeth

  192. Elizabeth says:

    Dear Elizabeth, Thank you so much for mirroring my relationship experiences as an INFJ. Where I falter is that I expect that 100% in return. Thank you for helping me understand that that is unreasonable and not possible. It was great to read this post. I stumble through life feeling alone most of the time, even though I don't always appear that way to others. Elizabeth

  193. jchance says:

    My feelings reflect your own, thank you for writing this.

  194. jchance says:

    My feelings reflect your own, thank you for writing this.

  195. Phillip says:

    Thank you for this. It is both frightening and wonderful to see someone else so eloquently put to words things that I have difficulty conveying to even those I hold most dear. Please pardon me if I borrow your words while trying to express myself to them.

  196. Phillip says:

    Thank you for this. It is both frightening and wonderful to see someone else so eloquently put to words things that I have difficulty conveying to even those I hold most dear. Please pardon me if I borrow your words while trying to express myself to them.

  197. Aimee B says:

    I just read this and it’s so like me.  I also woke up at 3:30am this morning, mind racing, unable to sleep.  Reading this post gave me some comfort.

  198. Aimee B says:

    I just read this and it's so like me.  I also woke up at 3:30am this morning, mind racing, unable to sleep.  Reading this post gave me some comfort.

  199. Avril says:

    I’m an INFJ and Yes, I hide in the bathroom at networking events. Yes, I’ve taken off early from parties without saying goodbye to anyone. Yes, I must have time alone every day. Yes, I’ve even spent entire weekends away from the company of other humans … well, except for a bit of texting and social media.

  200. Avril says:

    I'm an INFJ and Yes, I hide in the bathroom at networking events. Yes, I’ve taken off early from parties without saying goodbye to anyone. Yes, I must have time alone every day. Yes, I’ve even spent entire weekends away from the company of other humans … well, except for a bit of texting and social media.

  201. Dianecrain38 says:

    All or nothing. I recently said this to someone I opened up to. amazing how those words can characterize ones lifetime. Sometimes I wish I was not an INFJ. But, then that starts an internal battle of thought on who/what I would be and the consequences of each path.If we are that rare, how can we ever hope to find the companionship we all instinctivly seek in every encounter?

  202. Dianecrain38 says:

    All or nothing. I recently said this to someone I opened up to. amazing how those words can characterize ones lifetime. Sometimes I wish I was not an INFJ. But, then that starts an internal battle of thought on who/what I would be and the consequences of each path.If we are that rare, how can we ever hope to find the companionship we all instinctivly seek in every encounter?

  203. An INFJ says:

    Yikes! I read this post at 3:30am. Thank you.

  204. An INFJ says:

    Yikes! I read this post at 3:30am. Thank you.

  205. Sazyja says:

    I read this just now and I figured out I am an INFJ myself for idk. I know it just for a few weeks, and everything I find on the internet I understand completely. It’s like all these websites have been in my head. But yeh, what you wrote is true. And thank you, even though you may have written this a few years ago idk. But its good to read about *me* ahah. Finding out I am an INFJ made me feel much better about myself. I didnt know why I am so extremely emotional all the time and why I act with whatever emotion I feel even though its not logical. and that gives me some kind of peace I guess. i dont know. just wanted to say I really liked this piece and that I feeel the same. about evertyhing aha.

  206. I am an INFJ too, and I get all of this. Wonderful writing. :)

  207. Matta5295 says:

    Thank you for sharing with us. Most people don’t get us and it can be a little lonely at times. My advice when its 3:30 am and you can’t sleep, is to think about all the people and things in your life that you love.

  208. Jon Vik says:

    It’s so good to know you’re not alone. Thank you so much. All the best from an Asian-Norwegian INFJ.

  209. pawn says:

    Ever since I discovered that I was an INFJ, I have found a degree of solace. Reading this helps me immensely because I sometime feel like such a freak. The paradox of our personality can be very unpleasant. Now I feel better since I know I’m not alone in my feelings and actions.

  210. Sanity says:

    I cry reading this. I am an INFJ

  211. Jenn says:

    All I can say right now is this…I cried all the while reading this.  The wording feels like it came straight out of my brain and my heart and maybe a little bit of my soul…..3:30 am  on occasion can be a beautiful time….or a time where I wish i could take the batteries out of my head and shut my brain off!  Thank you for posting this.

  212. […] here.Have you ever done a Myers Briggs profile?Famous INFJ’sUPDATED: I’ve done this hiding in the bathroom to recharge thing. Even when I’m hosting the party!Instapundit links! Thanks, Glenn! Posted in […]

  213. Brad Garbus says:

    Elizabeth,  I just read this entry and it brought tears to my eyes…  YOU ARE NOT ALONE!   I am also an INFJ and completely understand and have the same processes.   Amazing.   Love your blog!    www.BradGarbus.com   (www.INFJ.BradGarbus.com)

  214. Aishaladon says:

    Took the words right from my lips. I have all this to give but I expect it back.

  215. Kjata says:

    I fell apart where u have stated about are we blessed or cursed! I most certainly know what u are saying. I have been asking myself that same question for years. . I am just learn about hsp & infj.. I still don’t know how to feel about it all! Happy that it is a gift but sad that I still get EVERYTHING! Thank you for writing about it so I can still learn & feel some what normal.

  216. Thank you so much for writing this. It’s like balm to my soul to hear of others who feel/act the way I do. Loved this line especially: ”
    We are regularly mistaken as extroverts.” 
     I have a hard time getting people to understand this about me. I think saying it like that might help.

  217. Vanix says:

    Oh how you hit the nail squarely on the head.  And here I’ve been feeling as if I don’t belong anywhere.  The whole way I found this was by googling can INFJs ever belong…funny, possibly ironic…and quite interesting….

  218. Halle says:

    I love this :)! Sometimes it can get kinda lonely being an INFJ, but this pretty much summed up who I am. It’s so nice to feel understood for a change :).

  219. misfit says:

    Hi. You must get this a lot but reading your post felt like
    looking into a mirror. Never before had I felt like someone really understood
    what I was feeling. It nice to know that I’m not alone, that there are others
    like me, that I’m not some kind of a freak because there were times when I thought
    that there was something wrong with me, that I should go see a  psychiatrist and get into therapy. Funny thing
    is.. I am in med school and I do want to become one. I like talking to people
    and comforting them and many have told me they feel better after talking to me.
    Problem is I can’t really separate my life and my problems from theirs. There are
    certain people who seem to drain me of my energy after talking to them. What should
    I do? Should I stop talking to/seeing them or is there any way I can learn to
    feel less afected by their problems? I don’t like it when my world seems to
    fall into pieces after just one conversation, and neither does it seem fair to
    me  that I should feel so down and they
    get to leave so light hearted. It’s like they come to me and drop a sackful of
    problems on my shoulders and I get to carry their burden. I do want to become a
    psychiatrist and there’s nothing else I’d rather do, but am I strong enough for
    it? I’d really apreciate it if you could spare some advice…

  220. Eliza2607 says:

    I read this and thought I wrote it – unbelievable! I am NOT alone! :-)

  221. Eliza2607 says:

    Wow, it was as though I had written this – amazing – I am not alone!  :-)

  222. Eliza2607 says:

    My apologies for the double post – I did not see the first one go through  :-(

  223. Azul Fukai says:

    OMG, this is awesome. There are tears in my eyes… I’m joining the FB group…

  224. Elsa says:

    I AM A TRUE defination of INFJ and Enneagram # 4. I can relate to Every single word in the above posting. I choose being a therapist as a career which enables me to see through people, beyond their mask and help them to reach to self awareness and self love. Its is a curse because it is a challenge finding a romantic partner who can endure feeling exposed by us…it is a gift because our being , is made out of LOVE….I feel blessed…..

  225. ms.orange says:

    Hi! :) I just ended up here googling, I don’t know how, really, I guess, just trying to find some knowledge about how other INFJs cope through harder and tougher times. I feel like – I know at the moment how I will find inner peace and calmness, and ultimately freedom, by having compassion and caring for other people, but I constantly find myself turning away from other people, because I feel like I don’t care… Like, I want to be a better person, and I care, but I don’t know if I care enough. I care so much I’m afraid I don’t care enough. During reading your post, thoughts just started to fill my mind, some great lines, and I just had to open a Notepad and write lots of crazy things in it, just what came to my mind. Then, when I finished, I came back here and read you writing to the end. And there’s your plea to comment, so I have to, because I’m all for getting all INFJs together. :)) You say you wrote it as a therapy, and I just did the same thing, I wrote whatever I wrote in that notepad as a therapy, and you kind of got it to happen with your energy, that I got from your text, although it wasn’t around the same themes. :) I wrote lots of strange things but it helped to clear my mind a lot. It revealed lots of the things that were going on in my head, which I knew, but hadn’t really paid attention to. 
    So I get it. Nice to meet you. :) Although my original questions still remain unanswered, so I wander on…

  226. J Alfred says:

    Ahh…..my darling, delighful (tortured) soul!  I would NEVER ordinarily post a peep.  Compelled….out of respect and appreciation.  Just as I was working myself up into yet another lovers quarrel with the world… there you came with that damn mirror! (grinning sheepishly) Outrage in check….self conciousness on hold. Thank you for your words…from the bottom of my heart. Even the secret parts!
    A fellow all or nothing

  227. Karatetrey says:

    Thank you SO MUCH!!!!!. I too am an INFJ and thought I was the only one who hid in the bathroom at parties or HUGE social gatherings where everyone stands clustered in little cliquish circles leaving people like me on the outside alost as voyeurs. It’s good to know there’s someone else out their who gets me… Thanks.

  228. I’m an INFJ and everything you said I agree with.  I’d love to associate with some of you on this page if you guys ever want to speak about INFJying it up lol. :)

  229. Melissa Ridley Elmes says:

    Oh, wow. It’s like you got into my head and then cut-and-pasted everything you found there. May I reblog this so everybody I know can understand me?

  230. […] Here’s a (brief and truncated, but effective) description of what it’s like to be an INFJ trying to function in the world, from Elizabeth Potts Weinstein – who may actually have read my mind and then cut-and-pasted what she saw there when she wrote this post: […]

  231. Thank you for this – I really needed it.  I’ve been in a recharge period for a few days, withdrawing from friends and loved ones, and feeling miserable for doing it because most don’t understand, or think I’m exaggerating my need for solitude.

    This reminds me that there are people out there, like me, who understand.  

  232. LP says:

    I have recently taken this personality test for one of my courses at school, now I remember taking it in junior high school but I did not remember my results. Also being an INFJ (and I have taken it multiple times from different websites all ending in the same result) I am finally able to explain things about myself that I never really understood. I have to say this is truly mind opening- and I encourage anyone who hasn’t taken this test to at least try it, you will be surprised!

    All or Nothing. I never realized this until you mentioned it. Thank you.

    One thing that I have found is that many of our personality characteristics can be looked at both positively and negatively. So much of our personality is warm and caring to others but we also need to be warm and caring towards ourselves. It feels like I need to reassure myself every once in a while that it will be okay.. everything will always wind up okay.

    As I continue to research more and more about INFJ’s, I am truly learning so much about myself. Explanations on why I am the way I am, I tend to go through phases where I push people away to be by myself, but then other times I feel a need to be around people..

    Regardless, thank you for your insight it truly helped me out.

  233. […] of you with whorlybrain. Those of you who take comfort in your control of everything in your […]

  234. Megs says:

    Couldn’t have put it better.  Love you <3

  235. Wow, wow, wow.  Great post.  Amazingly written.  Every word you have spoken resonates so deeply within me as I am sure it does for so many other INFJs.  We are rare and special.  Our brains continue to fascinate me day in and day out.

  236. Pdclar02 says:

    When I read this it felt as though I wrote this… I know exactly how you feel… Growing up I never fit in, I was not really shy but I was just serious and distant. I felt drained after school days for no apparent reason. I avoided close friendships in fear of conflict. I felt as if I didn’t belong in this world. Like any second some mythical being would transcend and tell me I am a supernatural being… But obviously that never happened… lol Feels good to know I am not the only one that sits up at night constantly pondering life and the future… :)

  237. Infojo says:

    ‘I can’t tell you how many times people I barely know have chosen to share their secrets with me…’It’s just so strange, isn’t it? I honestly don’t know why people trust us so. Well, actually they’re quite right to do so; I’d take a secret somebody told me to the grave, but how do they know that, even after meeting me for only a few minutes? :-)

  238. FeistyWoman says:

    I am INFJ through and through. Everything you said is 100% accurate it’s eery.

    I asked to join the Facebook Group. I look forward to getting to know you!

    Love,

    Melissa 

  239. Ginger says:

    I’ve just not only been exposed to my first INFJ, but allowed “into (her) soul”, as you say.  After reading more about her, and reading your post, I must say that it’s such an honor!  I’m glad she’s invested in me & now I’m really excited to be able to take the test myself and allow her to learn more about me, too.  :)

  240. Sam says:

    Thank you for sharing this post, Elizabeth.  I’ve only become familiar with the MBTI and my INFJ type within the past year, but already feel that I have learned so much!  I have always felt indescribably different from everyone around me, which has often been a lonely feeling, but one that is complemented by a sense of being destined for some special purpose.  Your comments about inner and outer circles of friends were very relevant for me.  I only have two very close friends with whom I connected almost instantly.  Generally, I must spend a great deal of time with another person before I feel close to him/her.  Ironically, most people would swear that I am an extrovert and find me very personable.  My question to any other INFJs reading this is: How do I cultivate close friendships when my current circumstances do not allow me to spend extensive amounts of time with others?  My close friends have all moved away, and I feel a need to bring others into my inner circle.  I would appreciate any suggestions.

  241. OMG you it’s not just me? LOL  I took the Myers-Briggs test a long while ago, but didn’t really investigate what an INFJ is like. Now that I’ve started to read more about it.. I’m so … relieved. There’s a reason I’m so “odd”?!!  YESYESYES! :-)  Your blog just about made me cry. Thank you and I’ve submitted a request to join the FB page. :-)

  242. THIS. I don’t even have words for it. All I could do was nod and try not to let out loud squeals of delight interspersed with tears of something or other because someone finally articulated what I’ve been feeling forever.

  243. Tonyacorbin07 says:

    hi im tonya, im 23 and am INFJ to the core. Problem is, since my sister and I were robbed and attacked on Aug 31, 2009. I have been suffering PTSD, panic attacks, and sleep paralysis…not to mention losing first time love, and my father. I have never met another infj that I know of, nor do I have many friends. *by choice*. but I am scared that I can’t bounce back. I feel like my heart is broken. Its like my mind and heart are two seperate entitys, I help one but hurt the other. Can a fellow personality help me :(.

    1. ElizabethPW says:

       Have you joined the Facebook group? You may want to ask your question there: http://www.facebook.com/groups/infjs

  244. Adrianna says:

    I’m an INFJ and I related so much to this. I’ve recently started to be interested in MBTI and it’s fascinating how much deeper it is than just the letters that make up your “type”. Reading this is showing me that there are other people who think the same way as me.  

  245. Danielsinger says:

    Its like u live inside my head! So glad im able to find others like me :) Thank you

  246. Katielonsdale25 says:

    Only yesterday I discovered that I was an INFJ.
    From a very early age I’ve constantly battled with myself and never understood my personality.
    I’ve always been very sensitive and not let people in but always help others and don’t want them to help me. During the past two years I’ve become more introverted and need time away from people.
    Knowing that I’m an INFJ gives me a new understanding of myself. I’m not totally crazy, or at least I’m not the only one out there. Your article has given me a sense of belonging, thanks so much for being awesome.
    Katie.

  247. Guest says:

    I always explain the all or nothing concept as “I have friends and then I have everyone else.” If you are my friend than that means a lot to me. I will do anything for you and I expect you to care for me too. Everyone else is great. I love them all too, but I can’t open up with them. I will help them, but I expect nothing from them. They are just people passing through. I get a lot of blank looks for this. No one really understands it. I just happened to make friends with two fellow INFJs recently, and it has been the best thing in my life. There are actually people who get me! Thanks for sharing such a great post. I hope some people can read it and understand a little better what it’s like to be an INFJ.

    1. Independentwmn says:

      This really resonates with me, in addition to the blog post above. I know I have friends who consider me a close friend, but whom I have not allowed “in.” I am happy to be their close friend, to be their shoulder to cry upon and to help them as good friends do — but have not allowed them access. Frankly, I don’t think any of them are aware of this. They’ve bared their souls to me and feel like I’ve done the same with them. I think it’s part of the same INFJ ability to interact in an extroverted fashion despite being an introvert. Long ago, as part of my job, I learned how to project extroversion, and how to “open up” without opening up. For instance, I learned that telling funny stories about my siblings or my family were always seen as opening up to others. So, I do things like that, but it doesn’t mean that people are actually coming any closer to that close friend point for me.

      It’s not that they are defective or anything. They are good people (I am not friends with people in whom I can’t find good). I have an extensive group of people who fit this category; people whose good news I celebrate, whom I help as much as I can, and for whom I am willing to be that good friend (but who aren’t let any further into MY safe spaces). There is just something missing which means they aren’t coming any closer. And like I said, I don’t think (m)any of them are really aware of that boundary and the hidden land beyond. They don’t know it exists. If I were to invite them over that boundary, I think most of them would take it for granted and not realize what a Big Deal it was – or, worse, some would be befuddled by it. I’m not inviting them places where they can’t understand the terrain. It’s a bit like mountain climbing. Some people are fine for day hikes, but they shouldn’t go try to climb K9.

      I do have one friend who I had let all the way in and who has now been kicked out. I’m not sure she realizes she’s been kicked out; our kids are good friends, our families do things together, I wouldn’t have let her that far in if I didn’t think she was legit. And then she betrayed that and showed that not only did she not understand me, she wasn’t willing/able to work it out when I tried to talk to her about it (after she’d initiated it). It’s not her fault, she just didn’t understand. So. We still do things together, but the walls are back up, and I don’t think I’ll ever let her back in. I feel obligated to maintain what we had (outside those walls) and I think she doesn’t even realize that things have changed, which in itself ratifies my decision to put the walls back up. It is an incredibly draining situation for me.

      I’m really blessed with my INTJ husband, who totally gets me and values me. He, in combination with my few true heart friends, mean that I am very happy with my support network (and I’ll acknowledge, those friends I haven’t let further in are a part of that network too, they just don’t “get” me).

  248. Fred says:

    OMG, Thanks so much for this post! As a fellow INFJ, I totally relate.

  249. Sierra says:

    Hi!  :)  I found out about the INFJ profile when my sister kept telling me to check it out- that she knew I was an INFJ.  After awhile I did take a test and lo and behold, I am an INFJ.  She told me that it is the rarest type (I can believe that!) and that many other types want to be an INJF.  That threw me for a loop!  All my life I have struggled with my super sensitivy, intense feelings, introversion and sense of isolation because I was SO different from all the people around me.  Why would anyone want that?   But I realize that I am special because most people don’t have my depth of though, feelings, and empathy.  God created me just the way I am.  I have tried to change it so many times but, alas, I believe I am a lifelong INFJ and I am learning to love and accept that.  So far for the most part I have let my weaknesses hold me back… I never went to college, I was a teen mom, it is hard for me to muster up confidence in most situations, etc.  Though through the love of my wonderful husband of five years and my faith I am growing into my potential.  I realize He created me for a reason.  I am pleasing to Him.  He has a good plan for me within which all my gifts and oddities will be fully utilized!
    God Bless,
    Sierra

  250. Sam says:

    My eyes were teary after reading this. It was like a mirror of myself. Throughout my life I was always think I’m the only person with this personality; but although we are rare, it’s comforting to know i’m not alone.

  251. Elle says:

    I found this by accident and seriously felt as if I wrote it myself. Such a great illustration of an INFJ.

  252. Laura J says:

    I’ve only recently discovered the Myers-Briggs test and found that I am an INFJ but it’s honestly been one of the most affirming things I’ve discovered. I’ve been reading everything I can on INFJ and it feels like someone peeked inside my head and pulled out everything I’ve ever thought or experienced or felt.
    I used to think everyone thought and felt the way I do when I was a child and then, when I got older, I felt like a bit of a freak because I realised no-one seemed to be like me and I’ve always thought I was a bit wrong or sliding into madness because my emotions and my mind were always on overdrive and I could never explain it.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this post, it’s nice to know I’m perhaps not as different as I thought.

  253. Li says:

    Thank you so much. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

  254. Shari says:

    I just found this. I am relieved that you could put into words my mind and heart. This is why I can sob uncontrollably when I see an old person walking alone through a supermarket. This is why I have left most gatherings suddenly, without ever saying goodbye to anyone. This is why I feel safe alone. This is why my job as a high school teacher is both rewarding and exhausting, and I cry over the broken kids…I just know. Thanks for telling me about myself.

  255. Megan Dukett says:

    Wow, I could have written this myself, but probably not as eloquently. Thanks!

  256. […] feel like I’m going against the grain. But as you investigate you discover, hooray, there are other people like you.  Your case is not as oddball, unique or solitary as you once suspected. Really – Do the […]

  257. Meg says:

    Reading this post makes my heart burst. Reading this makes me want to hug you. You’ve explained me so well. And all the lovely commenters have done the same. Thank you.

  258. kinsi says:

    This is just so me. Thank you for your post and sharing it. This helped cleared up a few points in my mind of why things weren’t working when I wanted them to work – I JUST WANT TO FIX THE PROBLEM DARN IT NOW LET ME.

  259. Karen Belton says:

    Like Kristen, I took the Myers-Briggs test several times, when tired, energized, quiet, quieter (!), and the test result always indicated INFJ. I love your Ode, Elizabeth, as it embraces who we are, and openly so. Thank you. We have all been blessed.

  260. Gina Moore says:

    Like the others here, I completely relate. I feel like I’m on the outside, the freak. I’m glad to know I am not alone.

  261. RyanneElizabeth says:

    Wow!! I have no idea HOW I have never taken this test…I am now 30. It is so surreal to read so many posts by people who just get me and all of the strange weird things I have just *known* all of my life. I tried to shut it down because society taught me not to trust myself. This was my favorite: If I let you in, it must be all the way. And the only way I have anything to give is if I keep myself from constantly falling apart. I really don’t even know what it means I just know it is true. Kind of like the rest of my life. Lol.

  262. I love that I am reading this today as it’s making me feel a bit less insane. Thank you for this … You are awesome <3

  263. Hi, I am an INFJ myself and I know what you are talking about here. :-)

    We are regularly mistaken as extroverts. –> yep. knowing most of my secrets doesnt really mean that you re my friend (i like telling people about my life–after all, i am a teacher and i want my students to learn a lot from my experience and my mistakes), knowing how my mind works, that is.

    While we love people, we are sensitive. –> yep. extremely. sometimes I like to think that I have some kind of talent to look at people’s souls…which freaks me, but also kinda useful…especially for my jobs. i always “know” what kind of problems they are in without having them telling me at the first place. As when I deal with a stranger, I know instantly what kind of person he/she is.

    I can’t tell you how many times people I barely know have chosen to share their secrets with me. –> they love being with me. I freak out being with them. None understands me anyway…Not even my own mother…

    Besides, INFJs tend to follow their intuition and do something before thinking…That was what happen to me when I decided to pursue my MBA. It cost me around 15.500 EUR and I didnt even know how to earn that sum as I applied for it. I just knew I WANTED to do it so badly and I didnt care how and where from, but I was sure I could afford it…and I was right. I got many job offers and did it without any debts.

    So, is this a bless or a curse?

    Definitely a bless! I could not think of being an ESTJ whatsoever. I like being an INFJ. I like being myself.

  264. For a moment, I needed to force myself to realize this is your writing, your experience of the truth and life purpose, whatever that may look like at this moment, and not my own thoughts. Your words echo a multitude of my sentiments hesitantly articulated with a special few when the “me” longed so much to have someone “see” me, that for a moment I let them. Hi, I’m Jen…and if not instantly felt..an INFJ :)

  265. […] A great look into the head of an INFJ (which I am). (via Kelly […]

  266. Someone says:

    It’s funny. I’m pretty a pretty right on INFJ. All the way through, all I thought was, “Wow. This must have been so therapeutic and cleansing for the writer! How freeing! How intertwining!” And then the last think you spoke of was this being a form of therapy for you. : ) Cool. Much love.

  267. […] Everything or Nothing: An Ode to the INFJ Probably because we are so interested in people and concerned with the state of the world, we seek connection and interaction with others, unlike many other introverted types. We love learning about people, we love figuring them out. […]

  268. […] provide further insight in your quest to understand the infj experience and discover your type. Everything or Nothing: An Ode to the INFJ. Remember, it's just food for thought. As DeepDownImShallow so eloquently said previously, […]

  269. […] is one article about INFJs that I really love: Everything or Nothing: An Ode to the INFJ – EPW Small Business Law PC It kind of makes sense on this topic. Originally Posted by Mickie You'll have to remind […]

  270. Richie Zeits says:

    Thank you. Finally someone who understands me.

  271. […] read – http://www.elizabethpottsweinstein.com/infj/ Share this:TwitterFacebookGoogle +1Like this:Like Loading… Bookmark the […]

  272. […] I could talk to them about anything and only expect the best of support and advice, and jokes :). Everything or Nothing: An Ode to the INFJ – EPW Small Business Law PC especially the ending about everything or nothing, in order to hold best friend rank in my book we […]

  273. space2live says:

    I’m an INFJ too. At this point in my life I have many close relationships – the people I let in all the way. Trying to be there 100% for them is proving difficult and even more difficult to receive in return. We do have to protect ourselves or save ourselves in order to give again later. So difficult to be mindful of that energy all the time. It is a blessing in a curse. I do think we are called to mirror humanity, compassion and sensitivity to others.

  274. Ebi says:

    “hiding at the networking event” – sounds so about right :)

  275. Sandra Widmer says:

    You are my people. You just articulated everything I’ve been trying to explain to everyone I know for as long as I can remember. BOOKMARKED. Forever. Thank you. Love, another INFJ.

  276. […] Here’s an example. An interesting discovery has been found on Twitter by @elizabethpw (a prolific social media enthusiast & authentic human being) in the past week. I happen to be in the very rare 1% population that claims the INFJ (introverted, sensing, feeling, judging) personality descriptor through Myers-Briggs. And so are some of the women who I enjoy tweeting with. While we may make up only 1% of the global population, I suspect our volume of tweeting occupies more than 1% of the webspace. Learn more about INFJ in Elizabeth’s blog “Ode to INFJ.” […]

  277. […] as an INFJ. I know I have posted this before, but it definitely rings true, for me at least. Everything or Nothing: An Ode to the INFJ – Elizabeth Potts Weinstein However, I find that in the past year or so, I have learned to balance. In order to go to this […]