One of the greater challenges of being an INFJ is social interaction and bounding with other people. Since INFJs are very rare the feeling of not fitting in is common until you manage to find the right people that are more like you. To put it into the right words, I often feel like I am from a different planet then other people. You often get misunderstood and that might give you the feeling of wanting to change yourself in order to fit it. Which in the end will only drain your energy even more since you can’t be something you’re not, and you shouldn’t. I think we are all biologically wired in different ways psychologically just as we all have different appearances and features.
As far as INFJs go I think we struggle even more with fitting in because of or inferior sensing function. Sensing type personalities are more common among people and intuitives less so. Since INFJs sensing functions can sometimes be almost non existent (most other personalities, following the MBTI model have these functions higher in their stacks), I think we see the world very differently from other people and therefore have a harder time bounding with people on a deeper level. My differences has always been a struggle for me and I still occasionally do stuff that is not me or I do not want to do, just in order to be a part of some activities with my friends and fit in with them better. I think that changing yourself is not a solution since staying true and accepting yourself is the only way to be truly happy. Still it is a challenge and sometimes you have to adapt to make it work in life.
I am always true to my values and when I say something I really mean it. Some people talk a lot and don’t really do what they say they will which annoys me. I find this is often the case with ES** types. I have few sensing type friends, and always feel I fit better with N types. People that are genuine and themselves is the people I like the most. People who are original or individualistic. From experience these are the people that for me are good people and people I want to be around. I find that introverted people are easier for me to get a long with since they often share the same scope and interested about deep and meaningful things.
One questions that I have yet to find the answer for is why people time after time open up to me about their feelings, even when I sometimes do not want them to. A good example of this is a colleague of mine that I didn’t really know at my new workplace. Suddenly one day I was talking to him in the kitchen and he started talking about his parents that passed away a year ago and how he has been coping with it. He is one of those guys that usually don’t talk a lot and definitely not about feelings. I think we barely talked about anything before this conversation and he just opened up to me from nowhere. From what I understand this is something that is often happen to INFJs and makes totally sense when you consider our natural talent of being empaths. They call our type the ‘Counselor’ for a reason.
People often mistake me for an extrovert, but the reality is that I am a true introvert. I do find people very interesting and when it comes to conversation I prefer to listen and ask questions. I can act extroverted when needed but only for some time in short bursts. Having extroverted feeling as auxiliary function can be confusing at times since you thrive on the emotions of people around you. However, being a introvert I still need a lot of social interaction in my life even though it can be draining at the same time. When I was young this was very difficult for me to understand since my mind did not always want to interact but I felt great when I was there doing it. I got depressed from being away from people to long and my health also suffered from this, loss of energy and motivation.
When it comes to interaction in pubs, bars and clubs, I do go there with friends but it is not really the environment for me. I find it hard to approach and just talk to complete strangers. I always feel alone in crowds and even when with friends. Noisy environments are hard for me since I can’t filter peoples voices good and after a couple of beers or wine it’s even harder. These places are very draining to be in and without some drinks I would not stand it for long. I’m more of a person who likes smaller gatherings or dinners with friends.
All in all I find social interaction and balancing it in your life as an INFJ a great challenge, it’s something you want but something you can not always handle. A constant wrestle of opposite feelings and trying to make sense of them. Still I feel that I have a lot to give to people and the people that know me cherishes me a great deal, and in the end I would not want it any other way.
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´´ Having extroverted feeling as auxiliary function can be confusing at times ´´
it´s really funny reading these things because suddenly behaviours of one make sense. i think i was very confused for a long time by these seemingly opposite things introverted intuition and extraverted feeling. how to balance these things. on a good site where a lot if written about infj they said infj´s also look a bit down on extraverted feeling but it is what actually resolves issues.
i still hvae to tackle that.
this could have been written by me. :-)
I confused myself for a couple of decades thinking I was an extrovert because I did feel charged in social situation. I became animated and witty. Only later after years of reflection I realized I was using a great deal of energy to be social. It drained me terribly to try to fit in during my 20’s and 30’s because people are supposed to be “socially at ease”.
I also don’t deal well with SE types. My exhusband is ESFP, my complete opposite. I didn’t feel right but I was emotionally very weak at the moment (my dad just passed away) therefore I agreed to marry. Big mistake. Thank God it was short and no kids.
You are also right that the world has a lot more S types. Most of my exes are S type. Only one is N type. I liked him and had invested emotionally the most thus taking years to recover. I wish I’d meet more introverted intuitive type. I truly feel more at ease right from the get go. Life is too short to deal with people who speak a foreign language.
For me as well it took years to recover from a long term relationship with one of the few N types I’ve been with. Relationships with many S types always felt like a project to me, working hard to keep it going and mostly a one way street. The same connection is not there and it kinda makes you feel isolated in the end. It caused me much stress when I was younger because I thought it was because of me that I felt this way, boy was I wrong eh :P