There are so many different ways to measure personality —Type A, extrovert, cat person, cancer — and each one claims to offer its own unique insight into what makes us tick. But perhaps the most popular personality assessment test is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Constructed by a mother-daughter duo, the test uses Carl Jung theories to determine personality type based on the way we experience the world.
According to Myers-Briggs data, the INFJ personality type (an acronym for Introversion, iNtuition, Feeling, Judging) is the rarest of the bunch, making up only one to two percent of the population.
When it comes to interacting with others, INFJs can be warm and friendly. They are generally well-liked by the people who are lucky enough to know them. But they can also be too distant and analytical, retreating into themselves more often than not. People who identify as INFJs are said to be deeply complicated and highly sensitive individuals — and with that combination, it might sometimes be hard to figure out the right things to say.
Just thinking about it is giving us a migraine. If they’re so complicated, will you be able to truly understand them? And if you don’t understand them, how can you avoid offending them by saying the wrong thing?
We don’t have all the answers, but we did some research (so you wouldn’t have to). Here are 7 things you should definitely avoid saying to an INFJ.
As we’ve just found out, INFJs are highly sensitive. If they’re reacting to something, the last thing you want to do is make them feel like they’re being irrational by dismissing their emotions. When INFJs are hurt or offended during moments of conflict they need time to heal and think through their next steps. Allow your INFJ the space they need to process their emotions. It’ll be better for everyone involved.
2“You’re just not trying hard enough.”
INFJs are all but defined by their pursuit of perfection. While this can be beneficial in many ways, it can also come across as “not doing enough.” Because an INFJ needs everything to be *just* right, they might not be producing a lot of work. For an INFJ, it’s quality over quantity.
3“I’m fine.” — when you know you aren’t.
If you’re going through a breakup or dealing something you’d rather not talk about with the INFJ in your life, it’s best to be direct about that. Personality profiler Antonia Dodge told Introvert, Dear that she believes INFJs are empaths and possess the unique ability to take on other people’s emotions. So, if you say you’re okay when you aren’t, they’ll probably know.
“The ability to unconsciously absorb other people’s emotions with very little information to go on — how is that not a super power?” says Dodge.
4“No one will ever understand you.”
With their “sixth sense” always so alert, making friends might be difficult. Dodge says, often INFJs give up trying to explain their ability. Or they don’t try at all, because they know how unusual it sounds. This leaves them feeling isolated and misunderstood. All that said, you may not want to add to their growing insecurities during a moment of frustration.
5“You’re doing too much.”
Most INFJs always need to have a cause. They’re always trying to help something or someone. Whether it’s their roommate’s cat that got stuck in the tree or the neighborhood bad boy who they’re convinced just needs to be loved.
To give you an idea of the kind of person you might be dealing with, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. were all INFJs. If it’s broken, they’re going to try to fix it — even at their own expense. Chances are they’ll interpret your comment as you belittling their passion. Just let them be.
6“You make it difficult to love you.”
Let’s be honest, with personality traits like the ones we’ve been discussing, it’s very likely that the INFJ in your life has been called “too weird” at least a time or two. INFJs can indeed be very strange people. Although they often come across as warm and engaging, they find it difficult to let their guard down and let people in. They’re not quick to share personal details out of the fear that the person they’re investing in might not stick around. This doesn’t mean they’re cold or hard to love — it just means they’re a little cautious.
7“You’re so boring. You should really get out more.”
INFJs are sometimes called the “extroverted introverts.” They get this nickname because they can be passionate, enthusiastic, and talkative when hanging out with people they enjoy, but they also need A LOT of downtime. Your INFJ probably won’t be club-hopping every night but they’ll guarantee a great time when you do get them out of the house. You’ll just have to take them or leave them.