As an INFJ I think one of our greatest talents is our intuition when it comes to reading other peoples emotional states. I’ve been called a psychic at a number of occasions because I manage to understand what people will do before they actually do it. I could never explain how I draw my conclusions, to me they just feel obvious when I think about them and surprisingly they are right most of the time. I often experience a profound feeling about people when I meet them for the first time, like a vibe they give off at what kind of person they are. Usually I know in less then 30 seconds if I like or will like them or not. I guess you could say it’s an insight that penetrates the public persona and gets straight to the core of the person.
When I watch peoples expressions and body language, the insight I get from my intuition could almost be described like an ’cause and effect’. I can tell from the expression on their face or their body posture what they are feeling or might be thinking about. I sometimes notice if people are going to get angry or sad even before they feel it themselves. I always wondered if I as an INFJ see things differently through my eyes then other people do. I think having introverted intuition as your primary function and extroverted sensing as your inferior gives you a sixth sense when focusing in on what’s happening in the external world. Compared to most people, I tend to skip the details at first and instead I gather a whole impression of what I am viewing and then afterwards look at the details. I think viewing things in it’s whole, forming a impression is the way we take it in via our intuition. We process it all as one whole and then bring forward a single result from all that data. This is why we also drain faster then most personalities since we are always gathering so much data to calculate situations.
I consider my intuition when handling people highly useful but at times it can also be hard especially when it comes to forming relationships. You don’t feel like giving people a chance when your intuition tells you that it might not be worth it. I find it quite ironic that a lot of INFJs are so talented at reading people, when they themselves as extroverted feelers, might have a hard time hiding their own feelings in facial expressions and body language. I for one, always found it really hard to fake smiles for photographs when I’m not really happy about something. Maybe this is natures way of making sure we are still balanced in our talents.
just found your blog.
I never quite understood my intuition until recently (will be 50 soon). It’s hard to analyze intuition about people. You are right about tiring, after gathering a huge amount of data subconsciously.
Looking at the positive side, I have never got involved with “bad” people because I intuitively knew to stay away quietly or keep a safe social distance.
Socially I always feel not myself but I put on an act and actually fool people into thinking I was an extrovert. This was done at a great deal of spending my own energy. On the other hand, I love observing strangers if I don’t need to socialize. I make up stories in my head about people based on what I read from them. It’s great fun and gives me energy.
You will get wise as you get older, if you never stop strengthening weaknesses and managing strengthes in a more productive way. I was terribly bipolar and always chiding self for being weird in my 20’s and 30’s. My 40’s was a period of tremendous growth. Each year I learned something about me.
You will, too. Have hope and hold on to the few friends you are close to. Close friendship is such a vital part of INFJ’s life. I cherish my close friends more than anything in the world. They get me and they appreciate me for who I am.
As for dating. It’s touchy because how selective we are and how good we are at terminating a bad relationship (even if it puts us in a funk). All we can do is to pray for a good match. Just because we are good people doesn’t mean that we will be blessed with a great life long partner. To take a close friendship into the romantic level is so rare for us INFJs.
Thanks a lot for your input, sorry it took me so long to reply, I’ve been out traveling. I really value hearing other INFJs experiences. I totally agree friendships are extremely important, it is a shame it is so hard to find good ones though. I try to take it for what it is and not demand to much of others. What I do long for though is somebody to share my diverse interests with which has always been difficult to find even since I was a kid. Your always twice your age on a mental level which makes it hard to find people of substance among your peers.
I have never liked crowds. I do anything I can get out of them. Even though I know deep down they are not all focused on me, I feel like they are all watching me. Over the years I wondered why I sit and stare at people. I felt like I size everyone up. Not until I hit about 42 did things start to heat up.
I could look at people and feel things.
This only happens to very close people whom I love. But it’s like I can tell people and their intentions of those not too close.
My marriage has suffered from me over the years. Kinda hard to know your Partner better then you.
I agree. I’m very good at understanding what makes people tick and figure out their intentions. So good that to a degree I find it hard to make lasting friendships that matter to me because I value it more then most people and when it is not mutual I lose interest. I guess what it boils down to is that I care a lot about other people and I want them to do that as well or they are not worth my time.