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How to Survive a Quarantine as an INFJ

There’s a terrible pandemic that’s all over the world right now. We’ve all been affected by it, some of us more than others. For some, the worst part is yet to come. 

Most recently it’s shown up in the United States. The powers that be are preaching social distancing and isolation. “Stay home to save the world!” they keep telling us. The government is advising and in some cases requiring the  postponing of any large events, closing restaurants and banning anyone from gathering in groups larger than 10 people here in Boston. And those of us that have day jobs are working from home for the foreseeable future. 

Some people are required to stay in their homes at all times except for absolute necessities, like going to get groceries and medications. 

This is a very scary situation, especially if you watch the news, which I suggest you don’t. More on that later. It’s hard to wrap your mind around it because the smartest people in the world don’t have any answers for us. They are doing the best that they can, but there are still a lot of unknowns. 

It’s hard to know how to handle something like this. There is no precedent, no set of guidelines to go by, nothing really to compare it to. We’ll all just figuring it out as we go along. 

Feeling overwhelmed is normal

It’s easy to be overwhelmed right now. A lot of people are. It’s completely normal and totally ok. As INFJs, we like to feel like we have a plan and a goal. Right now there are no long-term plans because we don’t know how long this will last. That’s the hardest part for me. But it’s important to remember that this will pass. There will be life after this situation. It will come to an end and things will go back to being normal, though you might still stockpile toilet paper for a while because we all know that the trauma of not having any will not wear off soon. 

It’s also ok to be ok

We are classic introverts who love to stay home and hide in our rooms. While some of my friends and co-workers are panicking about the “please stay home” warnings, I’m over here in my room thinking that not really much has changed for me. I’m completely ok with being at home for 2 weeks and not really going out much. I have a whole list of things to do and don’t really need to go out much. 

If this is the case for you too, try not to feel guilty about it. It’s ok if you’re ok. You don’t have to panic just because everyone else is. Keep on carrying on. Work on your projects and check in on your friends every once in a while. We got this! 


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You don’t have to take care of everyone else

As INFJs our first instinct is to worry about how everyone else is doing. I’ve checked on my friends over and over again, especially the extroverted ones because they really are struggling right now. 

It’s important to check in on them and make sure they’re ok, but you don’t have to take on what they’re going through. Some people are having a really hard time managing their stress and anxiety about this situation. Because they are not used to this type of anxiety it’s spilling out of them in waves. Remember that their anxiety is not your anxiety. You do not have to take that on and own it, even though you might feel like you should. Offer your support as a good friend would, but don’t take their feelings and emotions to heart. 

It’s not your responsibility to make sure they are ok to the point where you are not ok. Remember that. You have enough to deal with on your own. 

Make time for yourself

When you’re quarantined in your home if you’re alone, you’re good to go. You have all the time to take care of yourself. Just remember to take breaks from you work and your projects and spend some time resting and recharging. 

If you have other people in your home, especially if you have little people, this will be a little bit harder. But it is still important for you to make time for yourself. You still need the same amount of time to recharge, in fact, you probably need more than usual because of all of the stress of this situation.

Here are some self-care ideas to help you recharge while at home.

Self-care ideas

1. Let yourself feel icky 

When we are in really stressful or overwhelming situations it’s easy for us to try to push out those feelings and want to feel better right away. When we do that we are just prolonging the icky feelings. The best thing you can do is to let yourself feel icky. Know that it’s ok to feel whatever you are feeling. Give yourself some time and space to really feel them. Cry if you need to. Get your anger out like you need to. Whatever you are feeling, feel it. It’s ok.

2. Make cookies

My favorite thing to do is make cookies. When I get stressed or overwhelmed I generally make cookies. Baking is a great way to distract yourself and make your family happy too. 

3. Binge-watch something 

I love watching Netflix and Hulu. There is always another documentary or series that I’m going through. It’s a nice and welcome distraction for what’s going on in the world today. 

4. Do that thing you keep putting off

You’re at home and you have a bunch of time on your hands. I know there is something that you want to do that you’ve been putting off. Maybe it’s cleaning out your closets or reorganizing your office. Maybe you’ve wanted to start writing a book. Whatever it is, use this time to be productive. 

5. Do something creative

You could also do something creative. Writing is a great way to express what you are feeling. Art is another amazing way to help you relax and express yourself. Whatever creativity you enjoy, spend some time embracing it. 

6. Reassess what you’re doing with your life

This is one of my favorite hobbies as an INFJ, especially when I feel lost and unsure of the future. Now is the perfect time to ask yourself if you’re happy. Ask yourself if you only had a couple more months on this Earth would you be doing what you did today? Make a plan to make some changes. 

7. Work on your resume

One of the biggest things we are unhappy with is our work and our jobs. Now that you have some time, if you are unhappy with your job, dust off your resume and see what needs to change. While right now may not be the best time to look for a new job, it will be here soon. You should be prepared. 

8. Think about starting a business 

Now is the perfect time to start a new business though, especially if you want to write a blog or start a podcast. There are so many people who make a full-time income from doing these things and it’s entirely possible for you too. You can read more about it here. 

9. Don’t watch the news

One of the worst things you can do in a situation like this is constantly watch the news. This is especially true if you have anxiety. Remember that they make money by selling commercial space, not by reporting the news. What they report is a sensational version of what’s going on. I highly suggest that you find a reputable source of information and check it once a day for updates. 

If you are in the United States you can follow these sources: 

10. Spend some time with the people you love

This is the perfect time to reach out to your friends and family to check in on them and reconnect with them. While you may not be able to go and see them, you can call them or message them to see how they are. 

I highly recommend that you video chat with them. I know it sounds scary and awkward, but it makes a huge difference connecting with people when you can see them, even if it’s through a computer or phone screen.

11. Take advantage of all the freebees going on right now

There are so many people offering free chats and courses right now. You need to take advantage of as many of them as you can handle. You could learn so much from some AMAZING people!! Here’s just a few of them that I have seen: 

There are so many things you can do with your new-found free time. I hope you stay safe and well and that you use this time as a way to learn and grow and get something positive out of it!

As always, I’m here if you need me. You can find me on Instagram @infjwoman. 

As INFJs, we struggle to find our purpose in life, that ONE THING that we were put on this world to do. I struggled for years, but when I found it, I knew I had to help other people find theirs!

That’s why I created this FREE Ebook to help you find your purpose too. I know it’s possible.

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An INFJ That’s All Grown Up, But Not Really

My birthday was last month. I turned 34. I can’t believe that number. I really want to cry. I thought it would be different somehow. I keep wondering when I’m going to feel like an adult though. Like for real. At what age will I feel like I have my life together? When does that happen?

I have a friend who has 5 kids and a husband. She manages so much. I can barely manage to get myself out of bed in the morning and get to work. She’s way more adultier than I am and she’s younger than me. *cringe*

I can’t help but wonder if I missed something somewhere. Was there a class in college that I opted out of? Was there something my mom forgot to tell me? Was it one of those trendy documentaries that everyone was watching and I opted not to because everyone else did? 

OK, so I’m being super honest here, because that’s one of my goals this year. I want to show you the real me. I’m still trying to figure out who that is, but maybe we can figure it out together! So, here’s a few of my biggest struggles. Let me know if you feel them too! 

I want to get married, but I don’t want to date

The struggle is so real. I hate dating. The whole concept just makes my skin crawl. All I can see is rejection and a waste of time. What a painful and miserable thing to torture yourself with! 

Surely there is a better way to figure out your future life partner than endlessly swiping through a bunch of terrible pictures and pathetic one line introductions. No one ever responds to my profiles. Maybe this is why I hate it so much. Here’s what it says:

Looking for the love of my life, not a one night stand. I hate hiking and hanging out with friends. I’m more of a documentary and pizza in my blanket cocoon on the couch kinda person. I like books, podcasts and deep conversations about the meaning of life. I’m also super sarcastic, so no sissies, please. Must be passionate about something and have their own things going on. I need lots of alone time and don’t want someone who texts me 100 times a day. 

I don’t know why people find that intimidating. I think I sound absolutely lovely. *shrugs*

Wanting to be alone but not wanting to be lonely for the rest of my life

I was told that I’m too comfortable being alone. Now I’m worried about it cause I think it’s true. I have this little life full of routines that I enjoy and I don’t want anyone to mess it up. 

But I don’t want to be alone forever. I agree. There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. I am both. Sometimes I enjoy being alone. Sometimes I want to cry because of how painful it is. It’s hard being strong all the time. *sigh*

I can’t keep track of how much money I have…. Details…

OMG. My bank makes so much money off of me. I can’t seem to figure it all out. (I don’t need helpful advice. I just want to complain). I should be smarter than this. I really should be. 

But then I want to be more gentle with myself. The bills do get paid. Nothing has been turned off or repossessed. I haven’t been evicted… yet. 

Confession: my credit score is incredibly low. Like people see it and make comments like, “Oh, I didn’t know it could be a negative number. Huh.” I don’t know why I feel like that’s somehow tied to my worth as a person, but I seem to believe there’s a direct relation. It’s hard to break that habit. 

If you have this belief too, let me reassure you: you are worthy of love if you are broke. You are worthy of love if you have filed bankruptcy or been fired or are homeless. I have been and done all of these things. I’m still here and still worthy of love. It’s a whole new thing that I’m working on, but the more I tell myself these things the more I believe them.

Being forgetful

I’ve noticed recently that I can’t remember anything. I don’t know if it’s age or stress or alzheimer’s, but it’s a thing now. I wandered around Target for an hour the other day trying to remember what I was looking for. It’s bad. I even forgot where I was going on my way to Target. That’s something my mom does all the time!

It’s like look for my phone while I’m holding it bad. And think about something I need to remember, open the notes app on my phone and instantly forgetting the thing I was gonna write down. *Facepalm*

Feeling like my life is a mess

I constantly feel like a mess. Every time I think I have things figured out and now I’m gonna be all adulty and responsible, something else happens. It’s like my adultness is built on a house of cards and and one thing as simple as a cold can bring it down in a flash. 

I don’t like going to the doctor by myself

I had a massive asthma attack last week and I called my mom because that seemed like the thing to do. She told me to go to the doctor, which was super unhelpful advice.

So, I had to schedule a doctor’s appointment ALL BY MYSELF. It was way too hard. It involved calling 5 different people (because they HAD TO HAVE a referral) and trying to remember my schedule and telling them my problem. It felt like way too much. 

Now I have to go by myself too. It just doesn’t feel right. They ask me my problem and I want to look at my mom so she can tell them but she’s not there because she lives 1,500 miles away and I’m 34 and supposed to be able to handle this all by myself. It’s really too much. 

I’m more interested in Netflix than being productive on the weekends

I always have big plans for the weekend. Two whole days to do whatever I want!! That’s usually 16 – 20 solid hours of Grey’s Anatomy. 

I get back to work on Monday and people ask me what I did. I don’t like that question. They just ask so they can tell me what they did. They think it’s fun to go hiking in Vermont or sailing in Rhode Island. I’ll stick to my blanket cocoon, thank you. 

Knowing exactly how to fix everyone else’s problems, but not my own

OMG. It’s a whole thing. I have to imagine that my problem is my friend’s problem and they are asking me for advice. So I come up with some KILLER advice and then I do the same thing that my real friends do when I give them killer advice: completely ignore it. 

I wish I had some answers for you all here. I don’t. Like I said, I don’t know how to solve my own problems. But I want to be more real and honest. The only way that we can feel more understood is by putting it all out there and hearing other people say “OMG ME TOO!!!” So send me the ME TOO’s!! Tell me I’m not the only one who feels like a fake adult, spends too much money and watches Grey’s Anatomy all weekend!

As Glennon Doyle says, “We can do hard things. We can’t do easy things, but we can do hard things.

You’re not doing it wrong. It’s supposed to be hard. But we can do hard things.”

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5 Reasons Why INFJs Should Be Entrepreneurs

INFJs are quiet and calm people who aren’t usually thought of as entrepreneurs. While we are capable of leading, most of the time we’d rather leave that responsibility to someone else. But there are multiple reasons that INFJs make exceptional entrepreneurs. Our personality and demeanor are well suited to doing our own thing. 

1. Freedom

There is nothing like the freedom you feel when you get your first car. You can go anywhere all by yourself. No one looking over your shoulder and watching your every move. There’s an even bigger freedom when you move out of your parent’s house. It’s all up to you, every decision you make is only yours. 

That’s the same feeling when you start your own business. You have the freedom to do whatever you want. You can run the business the way that you want to, the way that makes sense to you, rather than having to abide by someone else’s rules. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that you can do whatever you want to do. 

2. Control over your workspace

I’ve worked in a few jobs where the workspace was just awful. It consisted of old, hand-me-down furniture from decades ago, dirty cubicles, loud coworkers roaming the walkways, people yelling on their speaker phones and slamming doors for no reason. 

Over the last few years we’ve seen the rise of the open office. It’s a whole different kind of hell for an introvert who likes to work in quiet concentration. That just doesn’t exist anymore. 

One of the perks of owning your own business is that you get to decide what your office looks like. You get to decide what kind of desk you want and what kind of coworkers you want as well. There’s no more adjusting to your environment. You can adjust the environment to fit what you like and need. 



3. Long term planning

INFJs are amazing at long term planning. We have this amazing ability to see things from the logical perspective and from the emotional perspective. Plus we are killer at thinking things through and seeing what will happen if we go down a certain path. We can see patterns and can predict what will happen based off of those patterns. This gives us an amazing ability for long term planning in our business. 

4. Structure planning

INFJs are also amazing at organizing things in the most efficient and logical manner possible. We consider not only ourselves in these decisions, but also everyone around us. We want things to function well for anyone who has to use them, now or in the future. 

When you work for yourself you can set things up exactly the way that you like them. You don’t have to abide by anyone else’s rules or standards. You don’t have to convince anyone else that you are right and that your way is better. You can simply establish things that way that you want them. 

5. Make a difference

Most jobs have no real purpose to them. You go to work and do your assigned tasks everyday, but does it really make a difference to anyone? Are you changing anyone’s life? Are you providing meaning and purpose where there was none before? 

It’s extremely important for INFJs to do work that is meaningful. We want to help others in whatever way that we can. We want to do something that is really meaningful with our lives. When you own your own business what you do is really up to you. And if you find that your work is not meaningful you have the freedom and the opportunity to shift that work into something that is in line with what you want. 

Being an entrepreneur is perfect for INFJs

When I was younger I never saw myself as an entrepreneur. I never wanted the responsibility of making my own sales and making all of the decisions. I saw working for someone else as being much more stable and reliable. But the older I get the more I realize that’s not true at all. Working for someone else it’s always stable and reliable. It’s possible to get laid off or fired. It’s possible for those things to happen through no fault of your own.

Being an entrepreneur is perfect for INFJs for a lot of reasons, but mostly because you get to be in control. You don’t have to work with people who suck the life out of you. You don’t have to go to a place that you hate every day. You can use your creativity and your desire to help others and make money by doing those things! 

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The Disappointment that Comes with Expectations

Barbie ruined my life. She’s right up there with Hallmark and Disney. They put this idea in your head that every Barbie has a Ken and every Ken buys the perfect Christmas presents. They are thoughtful and meaningful and make Christmas this amazing and joyous time of year. 

It’s all lies. It’s not like that AT ALL. And anyone who tells you it is is lying through their teeth.

Let me tell you what Christmas is actually like. It’s the pressure of buying gifts for people you hardly know. It’s fighting through overcrowded parking lots and stores, just trying not to get ran over. It’s spending way too much money trying to impress people who don’t mean a lot to you. It’s trying to pack all of your love and admiration for your loved ones into one or two perfect gifts and failing miserably because that’s not even realistic or possible. 

It’s spending a lot of time and care and effort doing things for others, decorating, cooking, shopping, wrapping and that sinking feeling of disappointment when you realize that they haven’t done the same for you. 

It’s wishing that everything was like it is in the movies. It’s wishing that your significant other cared for you as much as the Holiday Prince cares for the newly crowned Holiday Princess in those cheesy and terrible, but we still watch them, made for TV movies. 

They are GREAT at marketing. They found our pain point, the thing that bothers us SO MUCH – that Christmas isn’t like that at our house, but we want it to be like that. And they exploit it to the extreme. They crank out more and more of those movies and play them for weeks on end, brainwashing us with unrealistic expectations. 

You know what my Christmas was like? I spent it alone in my new, tiny and gross little apartment. I’m downsizing again because life is expensive and hard. I didn’t have money to go and see my family this year, so I stayed home. There was no prince to save me from myself, no last minute neighbor to invite me to their celebration like the movies suggest. Real life is just so much different.

The problem with Christmas is not that we have a bad day. It’s just not what we expect it to be. We expect magic and meaningful gifts, when it’s really just flashing lights and something someone else didn’t want or something they found on sale at Target yesterday. 

When I look back on all of the past Christmases I see a lot of disappointment. I’m always hoping for a gift that means something to me, something that says to me that the person who gave it to me cares about me and understands me and loves me. But that’s a lot of expectation to put on a gift. I don’t even know what would say that to me honestly. Most of the people in my life don’t know me well enough to even understand me to that level anyway.

This year I decided to stop with all of the expectations and just accept things for what they are. I bought my own presents, the best one being a new Kate Spade handbag that I LOVE. It’s the perfect size and color and it was on sale! 

Just because the people I love didn’t buy me things that I think are meaningful doesn’t mean they don’t love and value me. They might just be terrible at buying gifts. That’s not their thing and that’s ok. Or maybe they show their love in a different way and that’s ok too. 

It’s important to remember that everyone is different. Even INFJs have different love languages. Some of us value gifts more than quality time and vice versa. Different personality types also place different values on gifts as well. Some don’t see the point or value in gifts at all. And though it’s hard for us to deal with during the holidays and our birthdays, it’s important for us to accept them as they are and to understand that that’s just a part of who they are. 

It’s so much easier to let go of those expectations and buy your own meaningful gifts. 

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The INFJ User Guide Book

The INFJ User Guide is all about INFJs. It’s all the things I have spent years Googling and thinking through to figure out my personality. It’s every epiphany from “I’m an INFJ? Yes!!” to “This is how to handle communication problems.” And everything in between.

It’s a must read for every INFJ.

The book will be released April 6, 2020, but you can pre-order it now!

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Top 10 Misconceptions about INFJs

Top 10 Misconceptions about INFJs

INFJs are the rarest MBTI personality type, making up only 1-3% of the population. Because we are so rare there are many misconceptions about us. There is a lot of information out there written by people who aren’t INFJ and they just base it off their theory of how we are. So much of it is incorrect though. It’s best to get the info straight from the source, a real INFJ. 

1. We’re shy

I’ve always thought of myself as shy. It was true for most of my life. But recently my Mom pointed out to me that I’m actually outgoing at times. I like to talk to people in the store and at work. I’m always warm and friendly with them and try to make them feel comfortable. 

While INFJs can be shy, we can also be very warm and friendly. We may not like to be around people all of the time, but we do like people. We like that connection and helping people even if it’s only offering them a smile and a kind word. 

2. We’re sweet and innocent 

INFJs generally look sweet and innocent, but that’s not always what’s going on inside. Once you get to know us we are described as strangely feisty. We love to laugh and joke and throw people off of their game. 

We also love a good debate. We like to flex our brain muscles from time to time and see how fast we can back someone into a corner with our logic and quick thinking abilities. 

3. We think we are better than everyone else

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been accused of being elitist or arrogant. What’s interesting to me is that it usually comes from people that I don’t pay that much attention to. 

INFJs are hyper-focused on things that interest us and tend to not notice anything else. Our focus can give people the impression that we think we are better than them when we are just not paying any attention to them at all.  

4. We are happy all the time

I read that INFJs are happy all the time in a blog somewhere and I cringed. This is not the case for me at all. In fact, I’m sad and melancholy more than I am happy. I woke up happy this morning and felt weird about it. 

INFJs notice a lot that goes on in everyday life and in the world. We spend a lot of time thinking about life’s problems and how to make them better. It’s hard to be happy when you see so much pain and sadness and know that there is no real way to fix a large majority of it. 

5. We think we are psychic

INFJ intuition is an amazing superpower, but it’s not the same as being psychic. In fact, when I tell people about my intuition I always start with “I don’t think that I’m psychic.” I really don’t think that. 

I do get a sense of deja vu sometimes that’s hard to ignore, but it’s certainly not psychic. 

6. We want to be different from others

It really makes me laugh when people say that I WANT to be different from most people. It’s so not true! I would love to be more mainstream, less complicated. But that’s not the life I was given. So instead of trying to be something I’m not, I embrace what I am. 

7. We’re cold

I’ve been accused of being cold on many occasions. But what people don’t see is what’s going on inside my head and heart. Most of the time there’s a lot going on inside that I just don’t want to share with anyone else. 

INFJs keep our emotions to ourselves. They are very personal for us and we don’t want to share them with just anyone. 

8. We’re indecisive 

It’s true that we can be indecisive at times. We see all sides of things because we use both logic and emotion. But this doesn’t mean we can’t make decisions when we need to. We spend so much time thinking about what we want that we usually have it figured out by the time we need to know. We’re planners who like to be prepared well in advance. 

9. We’re always people pleasers

People-pleasing is a natural habit of INFJs. Because we are always aware of the people around us and their emotions we want them to be happy and comfortable. Some INFJs take people-pleasing to an extreme though. A more healthy and knowledgeable INFJ will know where the line is and how to stay away from it. 

10. We’re very emotional all the time

When I first learned that I was INFJ I was devastated. I thought that having a feeling personality made you have outward feelings all of the time and that was the worst possible thing for me. But the more I thought about it I realized that I am an INFJ and I don’t have outward emotions most of the time, so that theory must not be true. You can have a feeling personality and not be overly emotional. It is possible. 

It’s important to remember that while all INFJs are similar we are also all different as well. We all grew up in different places with different families and different influences. All of those things have an impact on who we are as people. 

INFJs are always going to be misunderstood because we are so rare and so different from other types. Most people don’t take the time to get to know us and appreciate our differences. But that’s why it’s important for us to get to know ourselves and appreciate our differences for what they are. 

The INFJ User Guide Book

The INFJ User Guide is all about INFJs. It’s all the things I have spent years Googling and thinking through to figure out my personality. It’s every epiphany from “I’m an INFJ? Yes!!” to “This is how to handle communication problems.” And everything in between.

It’s a must read for every INFJ.

The book will be released April 6, 2020, but you can pre-order it now!

Learn more

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The Manipulative INFJ

Last week I wrote a blog post about the INFJ Mean Streak. I’ve been going through a situation that is all too familiar for me recently. I had a pleasant relationship with someone who I did business with. I went out of my way to be nice and polite to them. But they took that as me being weak and tried to manipulate me when they didn’t get their way. So I pushed back hard. And they got really upset. They even went so far as to call me hostile. 

Continue reading The Manipulative INFJ
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INFJ Strengths & Weaknesses

INFJs are complicated and amazing people. We are so different from others that sometimes we get wrapped up in focusing on those differences instead of focusing on ourselves and seeing the advantages that we have. 

With the good, there is also some not so good. Every personality type has areas that they aren’t as strong in and things that they need to work on. We are no different. Let’s take a look at our strengths and weaknesses. 

INFJ Strengths 

Insightful

INFJs have an amazing intuition that is active all of the time. It operates without us even realizing what is happening. We analyze things in the background of our minds and come to conclusions about people and things very quickly. We can see right through people very soon after meeting them because of this. Manipulation and lies don’t work on us most of the time.

We see how things are connected and can sort through problems very quickly as well. We use our insight so see exactly what’s going on and find creative and efficient ways to fix problems.

Creative

Our creative imagination helps us to solve problems of all kinds. We can see systems as work and analyze them for efficiency and effectiveness.

We can also solve human problems like communication and misunderstandings. We are great at learning the communication style of those around us and being able to understand what they are saying and what they aren’t saying as well. Then we can interpret it for others to resolve issues.



Helpful

Most INFJs are very skilled at understanding the needs of those around them and striving to do whatever they can to help them. We generally have years of practice in this area. We can also use our intuition to pick up on their needs.

Understanding

INFJs have an amazing ability to understand all different kinds of personality types. We are natural empaths who understand things that we have not even experienced ourselves. We can feel the feelings of those close to us. This unique ability helps us to relate to them and literally feel their pain.  

Inspiring

Because we relate so well to others we can easily determine what they need and how to motivate them. We are amazing at connecting with people in this way especially if we are speaking about something that we enjoy and are passionate about. It shines through in our words.

Determined

When an INFJ sets their mind to do something they will pursue it with a passion and determination that will astonish even their closest friends. We are not afraid to dream big dreams and put in the work to accomplish them. INFJs are also not afraid to stand up for what they believe in. This doesn’t always sit well with those around us, but we rarely let that hold us back.

INFJ Weaknesses

Sensitive

Whether we like to admit it or not, INFJs are extremely sensitive. We take words straight to heart, especially criticism. We are quick to shut down in the face of conflict just to process what we are thinking and feeling. When we are pushed too far our reaction can be very uncharacteristic of our normal personality. Our responses can be sharp and brutal as a result of an attack on our values.

Private

INFJs are extremely private. We have very strong and deep emotions that we do not like to share with others. We protect these things fiercely in order to protect ourselves. It takes us a while to open up to new people. It’s a long an complicated process getting to know new people.

Perfectionistic

We like things to be perfect. We spend a lot of time in our heads imagining the perfect future down to the smallest detail. When reality doesn’t match up to that vision it can be hard for us to deal with.

We also get stuck in planning mode. We don’t want to start a project until we have it perfectly planned out and know exactly how it will turn out. This tendency leaves us with lots of plans and not nearly as many actions.



Need lots of alone time

As empaths, INFJs soak up the feelings and emotions of those around them. We take on all of these things as well as our own. The way that we process all of this is by spending time alone. We chose to spend a lot of time alone.

All of this alone time can lead to broken friendships, leaving the INFJ completely alone, if they are not careful.

At the end of the day… 

Although we can’t necessarily choose our personality I know that I am happy to be INFJ. I love that we can see these strengths and weaknesses and figure out how to make the most out of all of them. We may not have chosen to be INFJ, but we can certainly embrace and celebrate it! 

How INFJs Fall In Love

Do INFJs fall in love easily? INFJs fall in love easily sometimes and sometimes they don’t. INFJs have high expectations for their romantic partner. We want more than just surface-level attraction. Sure, we want someone who we find attractive, but they have to be compatible with our personality, morals and values in order for us […]

One Sided Love | INFJ Love Story

“He was never mine, but losing him broke my heart.”  Last week I had a dream about someone that I haven’t thought about in a while. Thinking about him used to be a daily routine for me. I’d wonder what he was doing at the moment, what he was eating for lunch, what he was […]

INFJ Burnout

Being an INFJ can be really difficult at times. I basically have only 2 modes: go and burnout. Go is a great mode. It’s where I am most of the time. I get so much done and feel like I can do anything. Everyone is impressed by how much I can accomplish in a day. […]

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How to Deal with Criticism as an INFJ

As INFJs we have soft and squishy hearts. When someone says something to use we take it straight to heart. There is no natural filter that it passes through. Sometimes the emotional pain of the hit is even physically painful, like a shock or a jolt. It’s brutal. 

Unfortunately, it’s something that we have to deal with. There are times when we are going to do things wrong. There are times when people are going to criticize us even when we don’t do anything wrong. It’s a part of life that we have to find a way to work through. 

How do we find a way to deal with it? Let’s explore a few options. 

Take a survey

When someone says something critical to me or about me I usually panic. It’s my first response. My second response lies in my phone. I have a few trusted friends that I always run things past. It’s usually something like this: 

“OMG you will NOT BELIEVE what this _____ at work said about ME!”

Some of my friends will answer like: “NO” or “What? Why would they say that?!?”

But the few brave souls that really know me will be a LOT more honest. I love their honesty. It’s PAINFUL at times, but also helpful. Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to see what it really going on. 

Is it my truth? 

My friend told me something wonderful that I am going to share with you. When someone says something negative about her she asks herself, “Is this my truth?” She takes a minute to analyze the comment and really say is that really me? Is what they are saying true? 

Sometimes you have to take a step back from the hurt and the jolt and try to be objective. It may be that you need some time before you will be able to be objective about it and that’s ok. Once you are able to be objective you will see whether it is really something that you need to own and work on or if it’s not. 

You have a choice

Remember, when it comes to criticism you always have a choice. Just because one person believes something about you doesn’t mean that it’s true. And just because a whole bunch of people believe it doesn’t mean that it’s true either. What matters is what you believe and how you live your life. You don’t need their approval or respect. You are the only person that you have to live with every day of your life. You are the only person that you need to please as well. 

Be open to the idea

It’s a natural instinct to be defensive when someone says something negative about you. That’s perfectly ok. But when that moment passes your next instinct should be to consider the idea. Just consider it. Sit with it for a moment. Think about if they are actually right and what that feels like. It’s perfectly fine to consider it before you accept or reject it. 

If it’s completely not true, let it go. No need to worry about something that is completely off base. 

But, if it is true for you, then it’s your job to own it. It’s your job to take that information and make some changes in your life or job or how you operate. It could be a blessing in disguise in the long run. 

It’s also a possibility that it’s partially true. And it’s ok to accept part of it and reject the rest. Remember that you have a choice. 

Conclusion

Criticism is always difficult to deal with, whether it comes from someone you don’t like in a mean way or it comes from someone you do like in a loving way. As INFJs we don’t usually come to quick decisions about these things. It takes time to process the experience and this new information. Make sure that you remember that and that you are gentle with yourself in these times. 

Check out The Haven, a community for introverts.

It’s a virtual world of encouragement, inspiration, and community for people like you, who want to find the tranquility, joy, and creative courage to thrive on their own terms, in a self-destructively hyperactive, unresting, angry world.

You can join for free for the first 2 weeks. But don’t wait to join. It’s only open once a year and will close soon! 

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The INFJ Mean Streak

I don’t get mean very often, but when I do it’s ugly. 

INFJs are typically very sweet and friendly people. We love to help people and to make people feel comfortable around us. We know when things are off and when someone needs a little extra support. That’s when we show up for them. That’s when we are at our best. 

But all too often we run into people who take advantage of our kindness. We want them to be happy and to like us, so we let it go. Sometimes we even blame ourselves for what they did. We rack our brains trying to come up with a reason and a solution to either fix it or not let it happen again. 

And then they take advantage of us again. And we let it go again. This pattern repeats itself many, many times until we have finally had enough. Let me be clear: it takes a lot for us to get to this point. It takes days, weeks, months, sometimes years of us putting up with being taken advantage of before it comes to a boiling point. 

But then it does. It becomes physically impossible for us to hold back anymore and it all comes out in an explosion. It explodes big! That explosion can rock our whole world. 

And all of a sudden Ms. Nasty comes out. Not only is she nasty, but she’s very smart and has been keeping a list of every sin you have ever committed since she’s known you. She’s been thinking about all of these things that she’s “let go” and has been rehearsing in her head what she’s going to say to you when she’s had enough. After all, she’s been unprepared before and she’s not going to let that happen again.  

The thing is, you thought everything in your relationship was ok. And now, she’s had enough and your head is spinning with all of the brutally honest facts that she has poured out on you. 

But her? She feels nothing but relief. Ok, she may feel a tinge of regret for not acting sooner, but mostly it’s just relief. The truth is out. There is no hiding anymore and she’s happy. There’s no more anxiety about when it will come out. There’s no more putting up with less than she deserves. She’s just relieved.

Why does it explode

It took me a while to realize that is exploding thing may be normal for us as INFJs, but it’s not normal for everyone. And it’s not healthy either. It doesn’t bother me so much when it happens with someone I don’t care that much about, but when it happens with a loved one, the fallout can be a big deal. 

Let it go

So in order to correct this problem we have to look at why it happens. Let’s go back to the beginning of the story: 

“We run into people who take advantage of our kindness… and we let it go.”

Rather than speaking up and saying something to them about what they did, we let it go. We reason this out by saying we are trying to keep them happy or trying to keep the peace, so we are doing the “right” thing by not saying anything. We just assume that they know that they have done something that we are not ok with without even telling them. But do they really know? 

Non-confrontational to the extreme

Part of why we don’t say anything is because as INFJs we can be non-confrontational to the extreme. I’ll give you a real-life example. I accidentally tripped a breaker in my apartment. I had too many things going at the same time, one of them being an electric fireplace. My landlord is one of those people that has taken advantage of me time and time again and I have just let it go. I avoid her at all costs. 

So the breaker is tripped and half of the electricity in my apartment isn’t working, including the lights and the TV. But the way that the would is set up the breaker box includes her portion of the house too and it’s not labeled correctly. So, rather than telling her about it or just resetting all of the breakers, I waited a whole 24 hours to talk to her. I seriously considered not telling her at all and just living with not having half of my power. 

Now, just to be clear, I am not saying this is a good thing. I’m saying “wow, I can’t believe that I do that.” 

Keep digging

We have to dig a bit deeper to get to the real why though. We say that we are trying to protect people and maybe that’s true to a point. But the real why is we are trying to protect ourselves. How many times have we been told to not speak up or that our opinion doesn’t matter? Some of us have endured that so many times that we start to believe it without even thinking about it. 

We say to ourselves “what’s the point? They won’t believe me anyway or listen to what I have to say, because my opinion doesn’t matter and that means that I don’t matter.” We keep the peace because we feel like we are not deserving of breaking it. 

I can’t even tell you how heartbroken I am to write that sentence. I’ve lived with this feeling for so long not even being able to identify what it was, just knowing that I didn’t feel like I could or should ask for more. Only recently did I put all of the pieces together. 

You deserve better

But the fact of the matter is I deserve better and you do too. We don’t have to earn our place in this world. We deserve to be treated well just because we exist. Just because we were born. That’s enough. That’s enough reason for us to have a place in this world and for us to feel like we deserve to be here too. We deserve as much love and respect as we give to everyone else. We deserve as much consideration as we give as well. 

Our thoughts and opinions matter. Our ideas matter. The things that bother us matter too. They matter enough to be spoken about right away before they built up to a boiling point. 

How to keep the explosions to a minimum

It’s not a simple problem to fix. I don’t have a 5 steps to freedom list for you, unfortunately. I can tell you the first step is the realization that you deserve more. You deserve to have your voice and your needs heard and taken seriously. 

The next thing is to speak up. I know that’s hard. Believe me, I know. But the assumption that people know the way that you feel is flawed. You and I both would be outraged if someone just assumed something like that about us, which they probably do all the time. 

But if we never tell people about the little things that bother us we never give them a chance to fix them. We are doing a disservice to them by not giving them this chance. 

Self-love is a journey that takes some people a lifetime. It’s a concept that I have thought was fake for a long time because I have never felt it. I was convinced that I was born without it or just didn’t need it for some reason. The last year has been one of big changes for me. My whole thought process around self-love has shifted. Maybe I finally understood what everyone else was talking about. It’s something that I am consumed with now. It’s my new obsession. 

At this point, the most that I can tell you is that even just an awareness of the why behind what you are doing changes everything. That’s all I know. But hopefully, there will be more to come soon. 

Check out The Haven, a community for introverts.

It’s a virtual world of encouragement, inspiration, and community for people like you, who want to find the tranquility, joy, and creative courage to thrive on their own terms, in a self-destructively hyperactive, unresting, angry world.

You can join for free for the first 2 weeks. But don’t wait to join. It’s only open once a year and will close soon! 

Learn More Here

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The Ultimate Gift Guide for INFJs

I absolutely love buying gifts for people. But I hate it as well. I never know what to get them. It’s important for me to get them something that has meaning and something that’s useful for them. I know this is challenging for people buying gifts for us as well, so I put together a list. 

The INFJ in your life probably has a list too. Check out their Amazon wish list or their Pinterest account for clues as to what to buy them. 

You can also use this list as a gift guide for yourself. It’s not selfish to buy yourself gifts, it’s an important part of self care. It’s just one more reminder that you are just as important as everyone else in your life. 

Books

Books are always a great idea for INFJs. We love quiet time and learning. We typically have a list of books that we want, usually revolving around whatever current thing we are obsessed with. Here are a few of my favorites: 

Snackies

An introverts best friend is snackies. I love things that I can stash in my room so that I don’t have to go outside and see people. The kind of snacks that we like differ but you can always count on a few trusted standbys. 

Art/Creative

INFJs are creative as well as logical. We have an amazing imagination and are typically good at art. It’s a way for us to express our feelings without talking about them. Some of my favorite crafts are bullet journals, scrapbooks and graphic design. 

Writing

I love writing! The more that I write the more I love it. I write on my computer, my iPad and in a journal, nearly every day. I can never have enough options for writing. 

I also love my blog. It has changed my life in so many ways. I would love to give that gift to others as well. 

Podcasting

I started a podcast this year and it’s a whole new fun thing. Being able to get out there and connect with people in a whole new way is such an amazing feeling! If you or the INFJ in your life are thinking of starting a podcast here’s a great list to get you/them started. 

  • Microphone
  • Adobe products – including Audition to record and edit your podcast

Self-Care

Self-care is so important for us to keep in mind. You are just as important as all of the other people in your life. And being an introvert it’s important that you schedule time to spend by yourself to recharge. 

Shameless self plug!

Pre-order my book!! I’m writing a book all about INFJs. It’s packed full of all of the info that I went looking for when I found out that I was an INFJ as well as advice on how to handle different things. It’s a great gift for you or anyone in your life who wants to know more about INFJs. 

The INFJ User Guide

Conclusion

INFJs are complex people, but when it comes to buying us gifts we are quite simple. We want something special and meaningful. The more thought you put into our gifts the better. We appreciate all of the thought that goes into each one of our gifts. 

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