The Elusive INFJ

The Elusive INFJ

They’ve been called a lot of things: The Unicorn, The Special Snowflake, The Oracle, The Protector, The Physic, The Counselor. But whatever you want to call the rarest 1% of the population, it’s hard to deny that they’re the most elusive INFJ type among us.

In fact, it’s a fairly safe bet to assume that no one is actually an INFJ but in their own deluded, self-aggrandizing minds. MBTI buffs, particularly of the NF variety, love to self-efface from the vague descriptions online and wave the INFJ flag. That’s precisely why, whenever someone who is unfamiliar with the MBTI tool and cognitive functions takes the test in front of me and gets the INFJ result, I take astute interest in them.

The Elusive INFJ
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Are you actually an INFP?

The thing I always want to know first is ‘Are you actually an INFP?’. Why? Because INFPs frequently mistakes themselves for an INFJ. First of all, INFJs and INFPs are really, really similar in appearance and by appearance, I mean they take on the same mannerisms, tend to behave the same ways, and reach the same conclusions. They’re also the two most frequently misunderstood NFs (Introverted Feelers).

The reason why is a bit complicated and has a lot to do with how cognitive functions work. Without getting into the boring details, INFPs (understandably) mistake the fact they lead with a Judging function (Fi) with being a Judging type. This isn’t the case, however, for reasons which are even more complicated and involved and I don’t care to make your eyes cross by getting into the mumbo jumbo of how functions work together. If you really want to know what the difference is between INFJ and INFP, it’s discussed in great length here. If you’re still confused, this test will give you a better clue if you’re torn between the two.

Related: 7 Struggles of an INFJ Personality Type

INFJs Are Not Who You Think They Are

It’s true. They’re social chameleons, like Mystique from X-Men, they can observe and take on the shape and form (behaviors and mannerisms) of any other type. At work, INFJs may look like INTPs (laid back geniuses) and socially, they may resemble ENFPs (charismatic idealists) or ESFJs (social organizers). Actually, they can seem like any type, depending on which side of their multi-faceted, multi-layered personality they want to show you in whichever social context you happen to be in.

You may even think an INFJ is your type, since they like to frequently use the social tool called ‘mirroring’, which is basically observing and copying your mannerisms in order to gain rapport with you. For this reason and a lot of others, elusive INFJs are notoriously difficult to type. The only sure way to know is to have someone take the test and confirm that they are an INFJ. You will be surprised to find who is actually an INFJ. I like to think that I know people pretty well and I still tend to miss identifying true INFJs.

Related: Are you an INFJ? 14 Signs Of A Genuine INFJ Personality

INFJs Can Predict The Future

Well…kind of. Actually, it’s that they lead with the most mysterious function, Ni (Introverted Intuition) which is able to instantly make connections; both past, present and use them to establish patterns, which will produce knowledge of the most likely outcomes. INTJs also have this ability but in a different context. For those of you who play video games, it’s kind of like this: two classes may have the same abilities (for example, close combat melee weapons) but one class masters dueling swords while the other uses a broadsword.

That’s kind of how cognitive functions work for types: INFJs and INTJs both use instant connections to establish patterns and determine likely outcomes..but the INFJ is an expert in determining what people will do whereas INTJs are better at determining what logical events will happen.

30 thoughts on “The Elusive INFJ”

  1. Xpe la 50/50..hehe especially masa berkerja xboleh jd INFP sgt..nt meroyan kne adopt your INJT traits..but when im alone im happiest being the INFP or INFJ..feeling the lightest ever otherwise drained..

  2. I take been taking the test since I was 15 and so so about every 5 years since personally and people change. I always come up with INFJ. Even though this test is somewhat outdated now I found it personally helped me grow as a person and has been spot on. If any fell INFJ’s out there are looking for a good resource I found this website in my 20’s and it really helps you understand the madness that goes on in your brain. I hope it helps one of you. Good luck! http://www.infj.com/INFJ_Handbook.htm

    1. It’s been around for years. It’s outdated in psychology circles, they seem to use the Big Five Personality test now as a more accurate gage on people. But whatever is meaningful in your life is what’s important.

  3. As an INFJ, I agree with most of this, although I choose to view my intuition and capacity to read people, as that and not being psychic. I also agree – I hate bullies and I hate liars.

    1. From the outside I could see how it would be perceived as psychic. Even with myself there are times when my intuition is more on point then my active conscience with a person and I’m like WTF? Those subtle clues, and leaps of logic can seem like magic at times.

  4. Took a test years ago at mypersonality.info and found that i am one as well. Its not easy being one, you belong to a really really really few percent of people and even among those really fewer match you or truly understand you due to different life experiences or principles one follows and similarities shared. If you find your match in another INFJ, trust me you are blessed to even have come across, let alone know ‘another you’. Don’t ever let go of such special souls, don’t be selfish about it, and cherish it well, with integrity and genuine care. You won’t regret it and will know what i mean if you do. Sure you are compatible with many types of people but still, your best bet is knowing yourself the best if you want to be happy, and take courage towards many opportunities life will bring towards you. Still be careful in all you do and always remember to love and care for other people sincerely and intelligently while every now and then making sure remember you yourself have your own needs too. I’m open to hearing about the life experiences of other INFJs or connecting with them.

    1. To be honest i have noticed that highly intellegent infps can be even more elusive then infjs, from all the mbti groups i have noticed that infj can connect rather well with another infjs, but in with some infp’s they don’t even relate with their own type, thats what make them think they are probably INFJ’s, because they are so unique and individualistic

  5. Wow… except about the emotional vampirism which I believe is really not the right image. Empathy CANNOT be viewed as emotional vampirism. I do understand the thinking in the article, but I’d rather say empathy which is exactly what it is. Now you know what I am 😉

    1. I dunno Karim, anything can be turned negative. Empathy can be used to manipulate people given the right situation. If you know the feeling of someone, you can easily manipulate someone from there it’s a short step to using people for your own emotional needs.

    2. True David, but one who feels the pain of others does not want to feel that pain and empaths do feel strongly. You have to be one to understand. Their is no point in manipulation unless for protection in case of danger. It is a whole set of values, understanding, goals, aspirations, and more that are different and though one can see through and even empathize with those that do not get it, these differences do not care about something as low as manipulation for gain.

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