It’s dangerous for INFJs to talk about our weaknesses. We like to fix things so when we talk about things that we’re not good at we immediately start thinking about how to fix them. Do our weaknesses really need to be fixed? Is that something we should focus on and obsess about?
Working on our weaknesses can be a healthy and important part of self-improvement. But it’s not something that should consume us or take up all our energy. There are some things that are just not our strong points. It’s perfectly ok to accept those parts of yourself, without feeling a need to alter them.
With that being said, let’s talk about INFJ weaknesses. There are quite a few weaknesses that are common to INFJs. This blog post (and the next one) is an extensive list of our weaknesses and how we can reasonably improve them.
Our first weaknesses come from our two lesser used functions: Introverted Thinking (Ti) and Extraverted Sensing (Se).
The following is an excerpt from my book The INFJ User Guide.
Introverted Thinking (Ti) – looks to make their own personal decisions logical and standardized. They are more focused on the individual rather than the whole experience.
Extraverted Sensing (Se) – looks for exciting experiences outside of themselves, things that appeal to the senses (taste, sounds, sights, experiences).
Eventually, we also start to notice our Introverted Thinking (Ti) function as well. We use this function to stop the fighting between our Introverted Intuition (Ni) (our desire to live in the fantasy world that exists only in our minds) and our Extraverted Sensing (Se) (the need to experience things with our hands, eyes, taste, smell and vision). It helps us to find balance and make better judgments.
A lot of INFJs only develop their personalities to this point. They are satisfied with what they know and have no desire to move forward or understand more.
Some INFJs, however, are constantly searching to know more about themselves and how they operate. They learn continuously until they can no longer. With learning comes awareness and the ability to improve the less noticed functions, to bring them to light and know how to use them to our advantage. This type of personal growth will lead us to that purpose we long for and that feeling of being whole.
——————– End excerpt. Learn more about INFJ functions here.
Shadow functions are the dark side of our personality, especially for INFJs. These are the things that we typically avoid, but are somehow instinctively drawn to. They come out in the worst of times, leaving us guessing about the way that we act and why it doesn’t match up with the rest of our behaviors.
The father of personality theory, Carl Jung, believed that shadow functions make up the dark side of our personalities. They are instinctive and irrational, the things that we have the least control over and know the least about. Shadow functions are the opposite of our primary functions. Learn more about INFJ Shadow Functions here.
I’m really good at procrastination. I know exactly how much time I have to procrastinate because I calculate how much time it will take me to do the thing I’m avoiding and then I wait until it absolutely has to be done in order to do it.
I have to tell you this embarrassing story about me and how I’m learning to get better at this. I’ve always been really bad at doing adult things, like getting the tags on my car. Well, now I live in Massachusetts and they require an inspection every year too, before you can get the new tags. OMG, it’s too much. I had to schedule an inspection and take my car to the dealership. Thanks to Covid, I didn’t get a fine when I was 9 months late doing this. I literally did it on the last day that I could do it without getting a fine. Yay me!! That’s progress! I’m used to paying the fines.
I even paid for my new tags and got the sticker on my car BEFORE the old one expired.
Now, you may be thinking, that’s not really something to brag about. Let me tell you, it is for me! I’ve gotten tickets before for having expired tags. I’ve paid some outrageous fines for being late. I’m not proud of that. But I am going to celebrate the hell out of the fact that I did it right this year. YAY ME!!!
I procrastinate everything for work too. I hate work, so I put it off until it just absolutely has to be done. I always think, “I’ll be in a better mood tomorrow. I’ll feel like doing it then.” Never happens. There just comes a time where I literally force myself to do it.
Then there are things that are an icky combination of procrastination and perfectionism. Like… I want to run, but I don’t want to look like a hot mess while I’m learning to run. So I’ve been putting it off until I can figure out how to be perfect at it BEFORE I actually learn how to do it. Maybe if I read another book about it, I’ll figure it out. Maybe.
Blogging was another icky combination of procrastination and perfectionism. I wanted to write. I felt like I had a message to share with someone (I didn’t know who, but someone), but I didn’t know how to write. I felt like an idiot every time I tried to type a word and spell check was like, “YO, I have NO IDEA what word that is!! It’s nothing!! You can’t make a word with those letters! What are you doing?!? OMG WOMAN.”
I literally started like 12 blogs before I actually made a commitment to one. I would start a blog and write one or two posts. Then I’d get really mad and embarrassed because I poured my heart and soul into that ONE POST and not one person could bring themselves to read it. Like what?!? Aren’t people supposed to read it? I went through all that mess to get it written and put it out there and no one wanted it.
I’d delete it after it had been up for a week or so, slinking back to the couch, all embarrassed and rejected, wondering what I did wrong this time. I’d vow to never do it again… until the next time.
I seriously can’t remember why I wanted to start writing a blog the last time. I guess I’ve always just felt like a writer. Intuition I suppose. I didn’t want to quit this time. I just decided to write regardless of who read it or not. I decided to write for me. That’s what changed and that’s what worked.
I made a commitment to myself to write one blog post a week. There was still some serious procrastination going on. I set a deadline for Monday evening and I’d wait until Monday to write the post. Sometimes I’d be in bed before I remembered. In the past, I would have said, “Oh, forget it.” But this time I did something different. I forced myself to get up out of bed and get it done.
This also helped me to get over the perfectionism. I wanted my blog posts to be really good, perfect even. But I knew that I lacked a lot in spelling and sentence structure, so I just went with what I had. I wrote from the heart and hit post without even re-reading it. It’s not a great plan for catching mistakes, but it’s a great plan for getting out of second guessing yourself. Don’t re-read it. Just post it and forget about it. If you’ve misspelled something everyone who reads it will message you. But hey, at least they’re reading it! I like to think they care about me and that’s why they message me. I hope so anyway.
Take action, any kind of action
The best way to get out of the procrastination/perfectionism trap is to take action. Whatever you’re putting off, do something about it. Know that it won’t be perfect and do it anyway. Do it scared. Do it messy. You’re not going to be perfect the first time you do it. You just won’t. There’s no way. You can’t read enough books. You can’t watch enough videos. You’re going to make mistakes. But the sooner you make the mistakes, the sooner you’ll know what you’re actually doing and get better.
If you’re putting something off because you hate doing it, find a way to get around that. Make a schedule. Write a to do list. Set a deadline. Push yourself to get it done sooner rather than later.
If it’s a job you hate – this one hits close to home because I’ve had a LOT of jobs I’ve hated. The best thing you can do is to make a plan to get out of there. If you can quit, FREAKING QUIT! Don’t waste one more second in a place that you hate!
If you can’t, well that’s a bit harder. Make a plan and start looking for a new job. Or start a side hustle! I’ve turned my blog into a full-time business. It’s way easier than you think and it’s so rewarding. I absolutely love doing work that I love. It doesn’t even feel like work. I get to help people all day long and the days just fly by.
Shameless plug – if you want to learn more about starting your own blog, check out my blog that’s all about starting a blog. It’s here: http://introvertblogschool.com/.
Expecting too much of others
I have this terrible habit of expecting people to be like me. I know what I would do if I were in their shoes. I know what I would do for them. So, I just feel like they should do what I would do. I spent a lot of time being disappointed by this thought process.
I recently got into a bit of a squabble with one of my friends. I was trying to help him and was going about it the way that I would want to be helped. He responded with straight facts and logic, with zero emotion. Plus his way of reasoning things out was backwards and upside down from mine. I spent days going over and over it in my head trying to figure it out.
I finally realized that he was irritated because he assumed I was nagging him about something that he feels 100% different about than I do. He didn’t realize that I was trying to help him and I didn’t realize that he didn’t see my efforts as help. He saw me as an annoyance.
I just expected him to see the bigger picture like I do. I expected him to see the tangled web that’s in my head and to make the same connections that I had made. But he didn’t. Maybe he just didn’t want to see it. Maybe his brain works differently than mine, so he’s not even capable of seeing it.
Show more understanding
I like to think that if I can do something then anyone should be able to do that thing. If I can read a few things and make a bunch of connections that bring me to a solid conclusion, then why can’t everyone else do that?
It’s not that simple though. Not everyone has the same thought process that we, as INFJs, have. Not everyone has intuition. Not everyone can see things in pictures and can predict what’s going to happen. So how do we deal with the people who can’t keep up?
First, we have to actively recognize that their thought process is different from ours. Then we have to show more understanding and less impatience. We have to take a step back and understand the problem. Understand that my friend and I were both arguing valid points, but from different perspectives. Understand that one person’s way of helping may not be another person’s way to receive help. A little bit of understanding goes a long way.