Signs Of Unhealthy Behavior In INFJs

Since  I first learned about the Myers Briggs personality test a few years ago, I’ve become fascinated with it, in particular my type (INFJ)  & my husband’s (INTJ).  It’s been very helpful in getting to know us both better.

Recently I learned about some of the signs of an unhealthy INFJ.  I realized I have too many of these qualities!  Since I know some of you who read my work are also INFJs, I thought you might want to learn this information too so you can work on getting healthier like I am.

Unhealthy INFJs excuse toxic behavior.  “He didn’t mean it- he was just tired.”  “She really cares, but isn’t necessarily good with words.”   Sound familiar?  I’ve noticed that I do this mostly when I’m under a great deal of stress.  I think it’s a coping skill- there is so much to deal with, I can’t cope with dealing with one more toxic person, so I excuse the behavior.  Since INFJs can be logical, not only emotional, it’s a good idea to look at  situations logically.  It helps you to see toxicity when it’s there.

Being over the top perfectionistic.  It’s a good thing to do things to the best of your ability.  But, being too much of a perfectionist can steal your joy.  It’s OK to make mistakes sometimes!  Everyone does.  Don’t let your self-esteem be too tied to what you do.  You are more than your accomplishments!

Always putting others’ needs ahead of yours.  It’s great to be selfless, but when other people come before you & your needs constantly, that is unhealthy!  It can lead to resentment, anger & burn out.  It’s ok to say no!  Your needs are just as valid as anyone else’s- treat them accordingly.  Remember to set & enforce healthy boundaries.

Walls are firmly built.  While it’s just smart to protect yourself, an unhealthy INFJ can build walls around themselves that are impossible for anyone to penetrate, even those close to us.  This can happen when we don’t resolve an issue.  An argument with my husband, even a minor one, that wasn’t resolved well can result in me building concrete walls around myself until it is resolved.  Walls also can happen when an INFJ is especially anxious or overworked.  Learn to recognize those walls, & why they’re in place, then deal with what made you build them.

Feeling responsible for everyone else’s feelings.  As INFJs, naturally we want to see other’s happy.  We want to cheer up our best friend when she’s sad or our husband after a bad day at work.  This is a wonderful trait, but when taken to the extreme, it is also extremely unhealthy.  Caring so much for others leaves no room to care for one’s self.  Remember that everyone is responsible for their own feelings.  It isn’t your job to take care of everyone’s emotional needs.

INFJs can be too passive.  Most INFJs are pretty laid back, content with letting others have their way most of the time.  While this isn’t a bad thing, when taken to the extreme, it can lead to the INFJ being taken advantage of.  Remember that it’s OK to ask people for things & to have your own way sometimes.


While learning you behave in these unhealthy ways can be discouraging, please don’t be discouraged.  The healthier you become & the more you heal emotionally, the more your behavior will change naturally.  You may not even work on these behaviors specifically, but one day realize you are no longer that way.


Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health

15 responses to “Signs Of Unhealthy Behavior In INFJs

  1. Very helpful I believe a lot of those traits also go with high sensitivity.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ibikenyc

    Oh, boy, is this timely!

    I’m in a really-deep valley these days. Every single Thing I can find to grab onto is a huge help.

    Thank you! ❤


  3. Interesting. I took the Myers-Briggs test and I am also an INFJ. As for the unhealthy behaviors you have listed here…. uhm, yeah. 😅


  4. Thank you for sharing. As a divorced individual who was conditioned to accept dysfunction as normal I believe it highlights an important point. One of the qualities that attract NPD individuals in a romantic relationship is openness and a tendency to trust too easily. Different relationships can manifest narcissistic abuse. It is helpful to take all this information in context.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You’re welcome!

    You are definitely right. Being trusting & open is pretty much bait to narcissists, no matter the nature of the relationship with said narcissist.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. OhBe KayBee

    Well, wow, I just commented on your post about the overt/covert narc post I stumbled across that and noticed this as a link. I too am an INFJ. I have an overt narc mom and growing up, my dad was an alcoholic. I wonder what impact this has on the introverted, intuitive, feeling, and/or judging personality types? I’ve always been a sensitive person, but is that due to nature, nurture (or lack thereof), or both? Interesting. Might be another rabbit hole I’ll have to dive down. Just sharing and appreciate you sharing! Thanks.


    • I’ve wondered the exact same thing.. are we born this way or made this way? So many victims of narcissistic parents I’ve met are INFJs. If you ever find that answer, I’d love to know what you find out if you don’t mind sharing. You can comment on a post or reach me at

      Liked by 1 person

      • Des

        At 64 I am an adult survivor of an abusive malignant narcissistic Mother ( who is still alive!) I am also an INFJ and totally agree with your post above. I was a very sensitive child and the scapegoat. I also often wonder if and how the two could be linked. Thanks for all your information and insights


        • And thank you for your comment! 🙂

          Seems to me there are a lot of INFJs with narcissistic parents. (Our personality type is the most likely to be abused though.) Is that because we’re born INFJs & our parents see us as good targets or we’re made into INFJs by the abuse? I wonder if we’ll ever know that answer

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Ian

    I’d agree. As with all humans, we are very much a product of our conditioning. AND there is ALSO innate propensity..inclination towards something. Is it innate potential towards one or likely several possible personality outcomes?

    I am distinctly INFJ. But one time, I tested as an ENFJ. That was during a time of energy, optimism and feeling in love with the world (fairly rare feeling for me). At the time, I was under a drive to be out; felt good about my life. It passed though, and I returned to my base line which is quite introverted and really best for me and all concerned since many people don’t get me and are frustrated by my passions and will to have my own way about myself which I insist upon (but regarding other people? It is what it is…just leave me out of it if I find opposition to it).

    But this is all human stuff…human life. We can be conditioned just as Maslow found when he tortured dogs to elicit responses to study animal behavior. Animals studying other animals to know its self better.

    There is this thing going around about God knowing itself better by and through his human creations. Maslow all over again. Yeah…INFJs can think darkly about things and come to these conclusions and find all sorts of weird associations and meanings amongst ourselves and the contrived human systems we create and align ourselves to…and are conditioned to respond to and within.

    It’s just human nature…I guess. I’m not “Judging.” I’m just saying.

    Liked by 1 person

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