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.