3. INFJs try to avoid conflict and are highly sensitive to criticism.
Since INFJs tend to skirt conflict whenever possible, walking on eggshells can become even more amplified in the dynamic with a toxic partner. Any survivor of abuse can get caught up in doing this because of the effects of trauma, but INFJs may be even more prone to rationalizing, denying, minimizing the behaviour of their abusers in order to “keep the peace.”
Good news though: the fiery spirit inside an INFJ can thankfully counteract this people-pleasing habit: they are also so driven to end injustice that they can also go to the other extreme of cutting any person who exhibits toxic behaviour out of their lives without a second thought. INFJs can use their stubbornness to their advantage when cutting ties with toxic people if they are willing to confront and tackle conflict head-on in order to get the healthy lives they truly deserve.
An INFJ’s sensitivity can also be used against them in order to gaslight them into thinking that any abuse or mistreatment that is occurring is “all in their heads,” when in fact their sensitivity is alerting them to potential danger. Abusive partners, family members or friends can be highly critical while also accusing the victimized party that they are simply “too sensitive.” It is true that an INFJ can be a highly sensitive person, but they can also possess a beautiful sense of humour as well and are able to think very critically about themselves.
INFJs are not resistant to self-improvement – in fact, their constant evolution is a part of their need for ongoing growth and devotion to maintaining their integrity. So, if an INFJ truly was overreacting to something, you can bet that they would eventually realize that and apologize for it.
The problem is, when you apologize to a toxic person who hurts you continually regardless of any long-winded discussions about their behavior, you ignore the inner voice that is telling you that this person is not as interested in evolving as you are. You begin to realize that you are not the sensitive one – they, in fact, are the insensitive ones (and we all know that toxic people can have very sensitive egos and can rage when they don’t get what they want).
It’s important to remember that it is not an INFJ’s sense of humor, sensitivity or willingness to call out mistreatment when they see it that is the problem when it comes to the dynamic between an INFJ and a toxic person. Rather, their sensitivity allows them to “feel” on a deep intuitive level when they are encountering someone who is toxic, or even a malignant narcissist, sociopath or psychopath.
An INFJ’s sensitivity can act as an intuitive radar for when toxicity is present – so while it’s always advisable to be able to take a step back and mindfully note our reactions to people as INFJs, remember that as an INFJ you also have a deep connection to your intuition and may even be more likely than other personality types in picking up these vibes early on.
So what does this all mean? It means that as an INFJ, you can trust your inner voice, for it can be your greatest friend and source of salvation from dangerous situations. As a healer, you don’t need to be a constant fixer in order to change the world. As a sensitive being, you don’t need to dismiss your sensitivity as paranoia when it is, in fact, one of your greatest intuitive tools. And as an empath, you can still be compassionate towards others from a distance.
You don’t have to tolerate toxicity, mistreatment or abuse by anyone simply to keep the peace, because the most loving, empathic thing you can do for others and the world is to hold them accountable for healing themselves…and by doing so, you can also continue to heal your life and the world.
For more self-care tips, be sure to visit my blog, Self-Care Haven.