Monday, October 11, 2004

Guide to Understanding an INFJ

Reflecting upon my experiences, I think what could hurt me deep enough is to be misunderstood. And I suspect that when I feel misunderstood, I get so upset that I needed time-out to work through and process internally. At times of feeling misunderstood, my first instinct is to cut off with the external world.

At the same time, one thing that could make me pissed off is when I sense that someone is not making any attempt at all to try to understand me. I tend to have an instinctive reaction not to wish to communicate further. I think I needed time-out to process and wait for the time when I feel it is worth the effort to communicate again. Well, admittedly, I must say I ain't someone who can be understand easily.

My MBTI profile states that I am an INFJ. Of course, there is some slight chance of error, but until evidence points otherwise, it does appear quite an accurate profile.

This is a humble attempt to list down some resources which discuss the characteristics of an INFJ. While I don't necessary agree with all of the things that have been stated, the general characteristics of INFJ do appear to be a good start to understand an INFJ. I don't necessary possess all the characteristics in full degree, I suppose that is what MBTI terms as uniqueness within the same MBTI type.

Meantime, thank you for bearing with the technicalities on this post. Hope you could gain some insight to the personality of an INFJ like me.

And for your convenience, here some characteristics of INFJ taken from:

  • private
  • sensitive
  • quiet leaders
  • great depth of personality - intricately and deeply woven, mysterious, and highly complex, sometimes puzzling even themselves
  • introverted
  • abstract in communicating
  • live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities - part of an unusually rich inner life
  • artistic (and natural affinity for art), creative, and easily inspired
  • very independent
  • orderly view towards the world but within themself arranged in a chaotic, complex way only they could understand

For those who know me personally, please do give me your comments as to how far you think the INFJ profile fits me. Thanks.


Seraphic22 said...

I may not know you personally but through reading previous posts it does seem likely that your an INFJ, I also have some of the characteristics but I don't believe in putting people in catagories.

Many people hate to be misunderstood, I don't know why people would dislike this, i'm misunderstood by almost everybody who meets me but that doesn't affect me at all. You really shouldn't let it bother you, if you do all you are doing is adding unnessecary stress into your life, and this world has enough stress in it already.

oceanskies79 said...

Seraphic22: Thanks for your kind comments. Similar to what you have suggested, I have been learning not to take it too seriously when I am being misunderstood. I suppose many of the times it isn't personal when people misunderstood me. It certainly is less stressful on myself when I don't take everything too seriously (lighten up is the key, I suppose?).

Yet again, I must admit I have a first instinct to cut off when I feel misunderstood. I suppose this knowledge is a kind of self-awareness, and knowing this does help me keep myself in check from becoming too reactive after being misunderstood.

I don't believe in putting people categories too. In fact people with "_NF_" preferences will tell you this is a "no, no". Well, the MBTI profile is just a guide to start one through the journey of gaining self-awareness. MBTI states everyone is unique even if two person were to share the very same MBTI profile.
Have a good day. Thank you for your contribution.

The.Samurai.Princess. said...

Wow. It is indeed very good to know another INFJ exists in Singapore! I have been searching for one for so long! I can identify with this post totally. :) Thanks for writing.

oceanskies79 said...

The.Samurai.Princess: You are welcome. It's nice meeting a fellow INFJ.

safura said...

hi! i've just taken a test and read the result that i am INFJ. and i feel that it's so badly me! same as you, the mis-understood part, i feel very often to be in that situation. and i never think that this kind of personality (infj) is exist until last night i taje the test.
so, i'm really glad to meet INFJs. :) i thought i was alone :)
now i have more positive feeling to find out any information about infj, and get to know how we can survive and live happier! hehe...seems like being infj so miserable eh, lol :D

oceanskies79 said...

Hi Safura, each of us have our strengths and some pitfalls.
Cheers to knowing yourself better, and it's nice knowing you've found relief and pleasure to know other INFJs.
I read today in a book that says this and I think I somehow could share it with you: "What I focus on, I energise. Whatever I appreciate - in myself or others - grows stronger and flourishes".

May you feel energised to be more aware of your gifts as an INFJ.

Anonymous said...

Hope you're still checking this thread for feedback. I too have INFJ preferences. I'm in my 40's and have put myself through a lot of crap in that time. While it stands to reason that no one necessarily likes to be misunderstood, it also stands to reason that since INFJ preference is rare, most people have little experience with it. Since most people are experience driven (S preferences), they cannot be expected to "get" the INFJ on many fronts.

For what it's worth, what I've learned about being misunderstood.....
1. If you are craving to be understood on a specific issue, write down your thoughts and share those writings with whomever you need understanding from. INFJ articulates much better in written form usually.
2. If you are craving to be understood in general, you may just have to let go of the craving.... move past it. Even an insistence to be heard by those around us gets misunderstood as a desire to control or manipulate others, and that probably is the last thing on your mind when you're simply frustrated at being misinterpreted.
3. Be a person of consistent action. "Essence reflected by substance," is powerful. What you do, how you treat others, what you say, etc..... these are the reflections of the essence of who you are. Others may misunderstand, may superimpose their own motivations onto your actions once or twice, but if you'really consistent, eventually others who misunderstood you at some point will be baffled, maybe even intrigued, maybe even begin to respect you. (Even if they still don't fully understand you)

oceanskies79 said...

Thanks Anonymous for your sharing.