One of the core talents of INFJs is our interpersonal skills. We are good at getting people to like us and at keeping harmony in the social environment around us. I never realized these things about myself until discovering my personality type and reading about it. I simply thought that most people function like I do. A perfect example of my INFJness in practice is when sitting around a table talking to people. In this situation I want to have eye contact and at some point address everybody around the table personally, in order to make them feel important and included. If somebody is silent to long and I sense that they might feel excluded, I always find a way to address them to push them back in to the conversation. This even happens unconsciously for me and I just do it without thinking. Another thing is that sometimes I let people be wrong in order for them to feel good about themselves. Like when somebody wants to tell you a story which it turns out you have already heard. I don’t want to tell them that, since people get excited entertaining each other. They might tell it to you wrong or inaccurate and instead of pointing it out to them I let it go since there is no reason to argue or give remarks on such minor things.
One of the reasons we focus on keeping harmony in the social realm around us has to do with the nature of our auxiliary function Fe (Extroverted feeling). The nature of Fe is to express our emotions outward, applying what’s inside us to the outside world. This is the reason why INFJs occasionally can get very irritated, angry and complaining when we don’t feel harmony on the inside. Or the opposite when people around us are very happy, which in turn feeds our Fe and makes us even happier. I read an article awhile ago and in it they mentioned this as the ‘oil on fire’ effect. Whatever feelings burns inside us gets intensified from equal feelings from the outside world, i.e. pouring oil on the fire ignites it more. Of course this is both a good and a bad thing for an INFJ as it can be a source of anxiety and overloading us with feelings.
A problem with being and INFJ sometimes is that I can doubt that other people like me or enjoy my company. This in turn make me try even harder and give more to people around me. Often however we can end up being taken advantage of when we put ourselves in such situations. It all has to do with self confidence and being highly idealistic often comes with having a not very balanced self esteem. It is not that we don’t value ourselves, it is that we often value others higher because we care about them. The reality in it all is that even though we feel so different and are different, people often tend to like us even though we think that they don’t. Sometimes after interacting with a lot of people, I can realize that I did better then I felt I did at the time. I can remember so many times people and even complete strangers, opened up to me and talked about things most would not without knowing each other better. How mentally unstable, mentally ill and people that are hurting tend to be drawn to me in some magical way. Among a group they often feel most comfortable talking to me because I never judge them like other people do.
It is because people are insecure about themselves and even though they might not understand it consciously, unconsciously they feel that you can see past their imperfections and understand them and who they really are on the inside. Sometimes this might have the opposite effect with shallow people, maybe they sense that we see past their persona and know that there actually is nothing else there besides fear and insecurities
The core of it all is that we want to bring social harmony to our outside world and the people in it because it also fuels us and makes us feel better about ourselves in the end. However, when other people feel bad, we feel bad. I would go so far as to say that we have one of the purest forms of empathy. We can feel exactly what other people feel and therefore we can relate and understand people, even at times better than they can understand themselves. INFJs are deep, caring and kind people at heart. We see and feel so much of the world and it affects us in such a way that it’s highly unlikely for us to ever want to hurt other people. We want to help them because helping them is in turn also helping ourselves.