Let me start off by saying that I haven’t been 100% won over by personality tests. I don’t think that the entire human population can be neatly fit into distinct categories. However, I do believe it’s possible that people can be born with a set of innate qualities which are impacted upon and shaped by events in their lives. That being said, I have taken a ton of personality tests in my lifetime. Some of them were just for fun, some were more serious in nature. Some of them returned results that were simply ridiculous. The only one that has ever made sense has been the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). It’s not completely spot on, because obviously my personality has been influenced by my experiences, but it’s as close to a perfect analysis as I’ve ever seen. Turns out I’m an INFJ.
That’s good news and bad news. The good news is that I’m thought of as the rarest of the 16 types so it’s not hard to be unique. The bad news is that I’m thought of as the rarest of the 16 types, so it’s not hard to be misunderstood. One of the areas this makes itself most felt is dating. INFJs can make good partners, if we’re lucky enough to find someone who ‘gets’ us. To that end, I’m going to give you some hints on how to deal with an INFJ from a personal point of view.
We Don’t Let Just Anyone In:
I wouldn’t say that I’m a secretive person. It’s more that I tend to keep a lot to myself (there’s a reason it’s called my business). I know you’re already calling BS on that one. After all, I’m sharing this with you right now, aren’t I? Indeed I am, but the very nature of what I do means that I can’t hide everything. If I did, I would never write again. However, when it comes to relationships, I am notoriously hard to figure out unless you know what to look for. It takes me a long time to get comfortable with people because it takes me a long time to trust. That’s why I’m so picky when it comes to dating, and even friendships. What can you do? If you happen to be seeing an INFJ, know that we will reveal ourselves to you in due course. Be patient. If you happen to be thinking about dating an INFJ, you’re most likely going to have to make the first move. We usually won’t take that chance unless there has been a clear expression of interest.
We Don’t Like Conflict:
I cannot stress this point enough. Like most true INFJs, I am extremely sensitive and I find a hostile environment to be very overwhelming. When it comes to relationships, I may remain passive or refuse to tackle an issue head on simply because it might lead to a fight. That doesn’t mean I’m incapable of standing up for myself. I can be downright stubborn when I make up my mind to be. However, given a choice between ignoring a situation and getting into an argument with a partner, I’m more likely to go with option A. What can you do? If there is something that needs to be discussed, try to remain calm. Raising your voice is never a good idea, and understand if your partner needs to take little breaks if things get heated.
We’re Not Naturally Outgoing:
It is possible for an INFJ personality type to exhibit extrovert tendencies. Again, it all comes down to your situation and experiences. Typically though, the natural tendency of an INFJ is towards introversion. It takes a lot out of me to keep up the charade of being outgoing, and I really hate crowds. I prefer to be a homebody, either spending time alone with my partner or with a small group of close friends. This has caused some serious problems when paired with someone who had to socialize all the time, and couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to come along. What can you do? Don’t expect an INFJ to be your constant companion if you’re a social butterfly. We’ll go out with you sometimes but, as long as you don’t neglect us, we have no problem with you having your own more like-minded friends.
We Need To Regroup Sometimes:
As I stated earlier, INFJs tend to not do very well in social situations, but some of us are quite adept at faking it. This skills comes with a heavy price though. I get emotionally, and sometimes physically, drained very easily. At those points, I need alone time. It’s not that I don’t want to spend time with a partner. I simply can’t until I’m allowed to replenish my diminished resources. This can be seen as withdrawing and can be difficult for one’s partner to understand. I should know. I’ve been through it and there were only so many times I could explain why on some evenings I wanted to just sit quietly together. What can you do? Understand that it’s not deliberate, nor is it a reflection on you. Just hold us in silence, or let us go off and read a book. Trust me, you’ll be surprised by the change that can occur in as little as a few hours.
In short, INFJs:
- Tend to dislike casual encounters and instead seek deeper relationships,
- Are supportive, selfless, and loyal (we’re the Labradors of the dating world),
- Are good listeners and have a genuine desire to help,
- Value the truth and tend to keep your secrets and theirs,
- Do have a tendency to be overly sensitive,
- May have difficulties should conflicts arise,
- Are extremely difficult to ‘read’,
- Will at some point need to withdraw and regroup,
- Can go overboard in their desire to please.
So should you get involved with an INFJ, i.e. if you’re not already with one? The INFJ in me wants to shout out ‘hell yeah’, but realistically you should know that it takes a lot of work. And, as I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, there are no hard and fast rules. Each person is different and not all INFJs will have the same issues. These are just some of the more common characteristics of the group, and the ones that are true for me. We’re an often misunderstood bunch but, if paired with someone who values our strengths and understands our weaknesses, I’d say we’re a pretty good catch.