A personality type from the Myers-Briggs (Jungian) typology (MBTI).

The Protector/Counsellor

The dominant aspect of this type is introverted intuition.

This type perceives the inner world or functions of people and ideas. They realise the abstract, psychological and hidden aspects of everything, rather than the immediately observable. They respect and believe in their instincts and intuition and will make decisions based on these. If the person is particularly tuned into their abilities, they are capable of such insight that borders on psychic ability. They have a connection with others that is uncanny.

They will often be unable to give others the reasoning or details behind what they know. This can be frustrating for them only because it can be so for others. In fact, this type is not so much unconcerned with details but rather uninspired by them. As they are capable of seeing possibilities, it is understandable that the fragmentary nature of details is an obstacle to them. They perceive patterns, relationships and connections between entities. They perceive the whole and beyond and that is what interests them about the world. At other times, when they are forced to attend to the details, their profound focus will deliver. However, this results in the eclipsing of their talent for a wide and insightful perspective. They struggle to do both and in a world that honours facts, they are in constant battle.

INFJs, with their complexity, inner-depth and profound intuition, are only approximately 1-2% of the population. This can lead to intellectual loneliness. This is partly because finding another person that understands is statistically rare and partly out of self-protection. They are often told they are complex and difficult to understand, so they are selective in choosing friends.

Despite their complex inner worlds and selectivity over friends, as humanitarians they are warm and deeply concerned about others. Their unique intuitive ability naturally extends to profound empathy. While many people need to have experienced a situation to understand another person’s feelings, an INFJ does not. This level of compassion is rarely exploited, as most people do not understand or accept it. Close relationships will always be intense and/or meaningful. They are bored with lengthy superficial interactions.

As the natural protector, counselor and visionary, they thrive on helping others and seek to ‘make a difference’. They are wonderful listeners and are therefore often asked for advice or a sympathetic ear. These aspects help them do well in service-orientated fields. They seek to understand themselves and others. They are usually the peacemakers in conflict and in a team, work well as observers of group dynamics. They sense peoples' intentions and motives and experience usually proves them correct.

They are idealists and have deeply held ethical values. They look towards the future and seek to be part of positive change. Yet they are rarely the implementors but the theorist behind them. This does not mean they are not doers; on the contrary, they usually wear themselves thin by over-doing. Yet they are happy to leave others to the details. Stress is the primary health concern for this type. As introverts they will internalise their stresses, which can lead to insomnia, over-eating, ulcers, arthritic pains, and nervous disorders.

As idealists, INFJs are perfectionists and they are hard on themselves. They are in constant search for self-improvement. They are acutely aware of who they are and strive for who they can be.

This type is highly creative and imaginative. They have rich fantasy worlds and so reading is suited to them. As creativity is focused on thought, you will find INFJs tend to gravitate towards writing. They are problem solvers and organisers. Their value system insists on work that is in harmony with their ethics. Their idealistic and compassionate nature requires work that feels meaningful. They are naturally leaders but loyal and trustworthy supporters of those that are in accordance with their beliefs or ideas. They are great communicators and diplomats.

What to work on:

  • INFJs have a tendency to believe that they are always right, yet they are never arrogant with their insight. However, as they are so often proven correct they can be quite stubborn.
  • As perfectionists they are hardest on themselves but are often highly critical of low standards. They have high expectations, often too high, of those they encounter. They are often unrealistic, which leads to much disappointment in their lives. Additionally, their desire for growth makes them believe, or blindly hope, that everyone wants self-improvement. They often speak when it is best they had remained silent.
  • They are impatient with details and careless with facts. Seeing only the bigger picture, they can act impulsively without appreciating the real consequences.
  • They are champions at denying physical reality; forgotten housework, the incomplete essay due tomorrow, weight gain.
  • They easily over-work themselves and need to take time to relax.
  • They rarely care what others think of them and this can have anti-social effects.

The natural partner for this type is: ENTP and ENFP.

For the noder:

As an INFJ and writer, you will probably find that you have several good to great ideas for writeups, novels, poems or script. However, many will never see fruition for the simple fact that the details involved in writing these ideas down does not interest you.

One way to combat this is by ‘free-writing’. Write ideas, disjointed thoughts, fragments of feelings and half-formed theories. Leave this and as you visit these over time you can begin the chore of piecing it all together. Another option is collaborative work. A difficult route as finding a trusted partner is not easy for you. But if you locate the type that you fit with, this can be an amazing writing partnership.

Bentz, L. T. (1998) Personality Type: An Owner's Manual
Quenk, N. L. (1999) Essentials of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Assessment (Essentials of Psychological Assessment)

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