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The Perilous Journey of the Idealist

It will soon be 20 years since the first time I was assessed the Myers-Briggs "sorter" for the first time, and the results showed me to be an INFJ. I was in a work situation, and it was "professionally" done, by someone who was licensed to explain and counsel people about their "results." There was a bit of debate as to whether it was "N" or "S" in the second spot, but N won out. Subsequently, I have gone through the process twice more... each time a professional assessment... yes, the online quizzes are fun, but I don't necessarily assign a high degree of accuracy to self-testing.

Even though I went out and bought a copy of David Keirsey's "Please Understand Me," it was many years before I truly understood how being an INFJ had an impact on certain fundamentals of my life. Specifically, the way my idealistic tendencies have often resulted in disappointments, as I have found myself in a wide range of situations that left me feeling rather disappointed and disillusioned with the world. Relationships have been particularly challenging... I just seem to "expect more" than most people, and my sense of what a "good" relationship looks and feels like is evidently OFF most people's "scale."

It seems to be a popular "battle cry" among INFJs to point out how we are the "rarest" of types. Whereas I don't find that a particularly useful badge to wear... that knowledge has helped me make peace with myself, and the world around me. It's a simple thing, really... when someone is THAT "different," it only follows that other people will find them "that different." And so, I have learned not to get my shorts quite so much in a wad over feeling misunderstood.

It seems that most INFJs are also highly sensitive people... I know I certainly am one. The world feels abrasive to me, much of the time. I want to change "things," but much of the time I lack the forcefulness needed to go out and "do battle" for changes. I'm "cooperator," not a "competitor."

Being online (coming up on 13 years, now) has been a wonderful experience, and I feel like cyberspace suits the INFJ temperament, really well. And it allows us to find "others like us." Ever notice how INFJ may be the "rarest" type, but in online self-growth and psychology forums, INFJs are a dime a dozen? I feel less lost here, less alienated. Friendships have taken on a new meaning... almost half of the close friends I have made in the past decade are fellow INFJs... it feels like we are perhaps more oriented towards "sameness" than other types.


Denmarkguy Denmarkguy 51-55, M 8 Responses Dec 27, 2007

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I think EP is a breeding ground for INFJ's. We don't mind anonymous impersonal mediums as long as we get something personal and meaningful out of it.

thank you for this post. being an infj has always felt extremely isolating to me. now that i know that we are only 1 or 2 %, it makes so much more sense. I still feel isolated, but I know why so it is better.<br />
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having high expectations in relationships is also a very difficult issue for me. i never realized why other people didn't want as deep and as meaningful of a relationship as I did. also understand that better now.<br />
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however, that being said, I still haven't reconciled these facts with my real life. where do i go and what do i do to make it all feel ok?

I like you comment about 'sameness' My INFJ is exactly that way, looking for our similarities. He revels in the ways that we are alike.

As an INFJ, I hate the "rarest" label - but only because I have such difficulties socially. Its there I wish I could be more adept. Otherwise though I love being an INFJ.

I'm an INFJ plus I used to administer this test. I have to admit that it pegged me right on. And you are right, it does have an impact on your life. I don't know if understanding it really changes anything - because we are who we are - but at least we understand that regardless of why, we just walk to the beat of a different drum. I also agree that cyberspace is a good place for us. <br />
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Still, in spite of our "difficulties" fitting in with the rest of the world, I'd rather be an INFJ than anything else. I guess because that's who I am. Rare - misunderstood - loner - even been accused of having MPD (ha)... just me. All you INFJ's know what I mean, too, don't ya!

YES!! Yes I do. Try this one on for size......
What do you get when you pull everything positive out of an INFJ?

BODERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER! LOL

thank you for sharing your thoughts.... I agree with all and appreciate how beautifully written your post is.<br />
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M

"I feel like cyberspace suits the INFJ temperament, really well. And it allows us to find "others like us." Ever notice how INFJ may be the "rarest" type, but in online self-growth and psychology forums, INFJs are a dime a dozen? I feel less lost here, less alienated. Friendships have taken on a new meaning... almost half of the close friends I have made in the past decade are fellow INFJs... it feels like we are perhaps more oriented towards "sameness" than other types."<br />
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SO TRUE!

"I just seem to "expect more" than most people, and my sense of what a "good" relationship looks and feels like is evidently OFF most people's "scale."<br />
I understand what you are saying very much. Infjs give so much of themselves at such a deep level that I suppose we subconsciously expect the same from others - especially in relationships.

Always hoped that level of giving would come my way. Just hasn't yet. Being made to feel that I want to much really hurts. Really enjoy the feeling that things make sense and understanding does make a difference.