People of every Myers-Briggs type can carry their preferences too far, with unhappy results. This usually happens when the person is under pressure or stressed. INFJs are no exception. They are introverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging creatures—sometimes a recipe for overreaction.
As gifted as INFJs are, life isn’t easy for them. With their tendency toward introversion they’re alone inside their heads a lot—not always a safe neighborhood. Their intuitive preference (N) causes them to be idealists, and the circumstances of life are seldom ideal. Their emotional tendencies (F) can cause them to inflate slights or mistakes. Because of their judging function (J), they may exaggerate imagined consequences. These tendencies sometimes cause INFJs to overwork one or more preferences in an attempt to control difficult situations.
When INFJs are too caught up with their vision of life, they may ignore the facts. Even when the evidence contradicts their conclusions, they persist. As a result, they may not know when to cut their losses and move on. Their fruitless search for the ideal causes them to suffer.
A useful antidote is reliance on trusted friends and relatives for feedback. Others may be able to offer helpful reality checks. INFJs are persistent, stubborn folks and it’s sometimes hard for them to release their grip.
Because of their thoughtful, compassionate natures, INFJs aren’t always forthright about dealing with work or relationship problems. Following the adage, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all,” they remain silent and allow resentments to build up. When they finally blow up—if that happens—others can’t figure out what happened to the quiet, tactful INFJ they thought they knew.
The paradox is that tactful confrontation comes naturally to INFJs. If they stop to realize this, they may feel more inclined to give helpful feedback to others. By clarifying issues, INFJs pave the way for better relationships with friends, co-workers, and family. Often, their listeners are grateful for the insights and the opportunity to improve matters.
The judging (J) preference of INFJs gives them focus. It motivates them to complete projects, make decisions without delay and meet commitments on time. They’re reliable folks. Because they have so much faith in their hunches, however, they sometimes act prematurely.
When buying a used car, for example, an INFJ may feel justified making the purchase after merely looking the car over and taking a test ride. If the price is right, having a mechanic check it out seems like needless trouble. So the INFJ buys the car. Later, when it develops engine trouble, the person may regret the hasty decision. If the buyer had been an INFP, not an INFJ (that is, a P, not a J), he or she would probably have taken this precaution. Unlike INFJs, INFPs don’t reach decisions lightly. As perceivers (P), they aren’t satisfied with limited evidence.
INFJs sometimes bypass details to get a job done. They don’t like postponing decisions, waiting for more information. An INFJ invited to work on a project with an ESTP may fail to check on the person’s track record before agreeing to collaborate. INFJs have a tendency to say, “Things will probably work out fine.” Later, they may be exasperated at the ESTPs tendency to talk too much (E), inability to see the big picture (S), disregard for the impact of their work on others (T), and tendency to be late for deadlines (P). Completing the project on time with goodwill intact may be difficult.
Getting Back on Track
When INFJs are relaxed, comfortable with themselves, and back on track, they’re able to use their visionary gifts to best advantage, find creative ways to work and express themselves, and continue to pursue their worthy goals with ease and confidence.
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