What does Success mean to an INFJ?
People with the INFJ personality type are intense and perfectionistic. They have deep insights into many aspects of life, and usually have very high standards for their own understanding and accomplishments, as well as those of others. They are service-oriented and empathetic to other individuals. The INFJ strives for the ideal in every aspect of their life. An INFJ's feeling of success is centered around their own level of understanding and accomplishment, their usefulness or service to others, and the condition of their personal relationships. The INFJ feels successful when they have used their very deep understanding of something to do a real service for someone. We often see INFJ personality types as counsellors and teachers, or in the medical and health fields.
As an INFJ, you have gifts that are specific to your personality type that aren't natural strengths for other types. By recognizing your special gifts and encouraging their growth and development, you will more readily see your place in the world, and be more content with your role.
Nearly all INFJs will recognize the following characteristics in themselves. They should embrace and nourish these strengths:
INFJs who have a well-developed their Extraverted Feeling function to complement their dominant Introverted iNtuition will enjoy these special gifts:
With any gift of strength, there is an associated weakness. Without "bad", there would be no "good". Without "difficult", there would be no "easy". We value our strengths, but we often curse and ignore our weaknesses. To grow as a person and get what we want out of life, we must not only capitalize upon our strengths, but also face our weaknesses and deal with them. That means taking a hard look at our personality type's potential problem areas.
INFJs are rare and intelligent people with many special gifts. This should be kept in mind as you read some of the more negative material about INFJ weaknesses. Remember that these weaknesses are natural. We offer this information to enact positive change, rather than as blatant criticism. We want you to grow into your full potential, and be the happiest and most successful person that you can become.
Most of the weaker characteristics that are found in INFJs are due to their dominant function (Introverted iNtuition) overtaking their personality to the point that the other forces in their personality exist merely to serve the purposes of Introverted iNtuition. In such cases, an INFJ may show some or all of the following weaknesses in varying degrees:
Most of the problems described above are a result of Introverted iNtuition overtaking the INFJ's personality to the point that all of the other functions become slaves to Introverted iNtuition. A healthy personality needs to have a good balance between its dominant and auxiliary functions. For an INFJ, the dominant Introverted iNtuition needs to be well-supported by the auxiliary Extraverted Feeling function. If Extraverted Feeling exists only to support the desires of Introverted iNtuition, then neither function is being used to its potential.
Introverted iNtuition is a personality function that constantly gathers information, and sees everything from many different perspectives. As the dominant player in a personality, it has the effect of constantly bombarding the psyche with new information to consider. Introverted iNtuition is sort of like a framework for understanding that exists in the mind. As something is perceived, it is melded into the existing intuitive framework. If an entirely new piece of information is perceived by the Introverted iNtuitive, that person must redefine their entire framework of reference. So, Introverted iNtuitives are constantly taking in information about the world that needs to be processed in a relatively lengthy manner in order to be understood. That presents quite a challenge to the INFJ. It's not unusual for an INFJ to feel overwhelmed with all of the things that he or she needs to consider in order to fully understand an idea or situation.
When Introverted iNtuition dominates the INFJ such that the other functions cannot serve their own purposes, we find the INFJ cutting off information that it needs to consider. If the psyche is presented with information that looks anything like something that Introverted iNtuition has processed in the past, it uses Extraverted Feeling to quickly reject that information. The psyche uses Extraverted Feeling to reject the ideas, rather than taking the information into its intuitive framework, and therefore potentially causing that framework to be reshaped and redefined.
Using Extraverted Feeling in this manner may effectively serve the immediate needs of Introverted iNtuition, but it is not ideal. It causes the INFJ to not consider information that may be useful or criticial in developing a real understanding of an issue. It may cause the INFJ to come off as too strongly opinionated or snobbish to others.
The better use of Extraverted Feeling for an INFJ would be to use it to assess the INFJ's rich insights and weigh them against the external world. When the INFJ personality uses Extraverted Feeling to cut off incoming information, rather than to judge internal intuitions, it is effectively cheating itself. It's like getting the answers to a test without having to really understand the questions. It's easier to get the answer right away, rather than to have to figure everything out. For the INFJ, who has a tremendous amount of information and "studying" that needs to be done, it's very tempting to take shortcuts. Most INFJs will do this to some extent. The real problems occur when an INFJ personality has become so imbalanced that its owner is extremely self-important and rarely consider anyone else's opinions or ideas.
To grow as an individual, the INFJ needs to focus on applying their judgment to things only after they have gone through their intuition. In other words, the INFJ needs to consciously try not to use their judgment to dismiss ideas prematurely. Rather, they should use their judgment against their own ideas. One cannot effectively judge something that they don't understand. The INFJ needs to take things entirely into their intuition in order to understand them. It may be neccesary to give your intuition enough time to work through the new information so that it can rebuild its global framework of understanding. INFJs need to focus on using their judgment not to dismiss ideas, but rather to support their intuitive framework.
An INFJ who is concerned with personal growth will pay close attention to the subject of their judgments, and their motivation for making judgments. Are they judging something external to themself, or are they judging something that they have sifted through their intuition? Is the motivation for judging something to be able to understand its usefulness in the world, or to dismiss it? Too often, an INFJ will judge something without properly understanding it, and with the intention of dismissing it. Seek first to understand, then to judge.
Some INFJs have difficulty fitting into our society. Their problems are generally associated with not knowing (or caring) how they come across to others, and with having unreasonable expectations for others' behaviors. Both of these issues stem from using Extraverted Feeling primarily to dismiss external ideas, rather than to sort through their own intuitions.
An INFJ who uses Extraverted Feeling in this diminished manner may become so strongly opinionated that they form rigid and unreasonable expectations for others. They may feel so strongly about things that they become very passionate and agitated when they feel that something has gone wrong. In these cases, it's not uncommon for the INFJ to express their displeasure with biting sarcasm. They become so emotionally upset that they are generally not aware of how their behavior comes across to others. Even if the consequences of their attitude and behavior is pointed out to them, they may be agitated to the point that they don't care. This kind of situation can be devastating to the INFJ on many levels, and should be avoided. There isn't much that can be done once the INFJ has reached the point where they are too upset to care about others, but the INFJ can prevent this problem from occuring by ensuring that they never get to that point.
How can you, as an INFJ, ensure that you won't get that upset? It probably seems to you that these kinds of upsets are caused by external circumstances and situations. Well, that's not really true. It's true that things will happen over which you have no control. But you certainly have control over how you perceive these things, or more appropriately, how you *judge* these things.