The INFJ is quiet, reflective, empathetic, and an idealist at heart.
Reading time: 5 minutes
This series of short articles touches on several aspects of the INFJ personality type.
You can jump straight to any section by clicking the links below, or keep reading to learn about the definition of the INFJ personality type.
INFJ stands for Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging.
In the popular Myers-Briggs or 16-personalities tradition, all personalities belong to one of 16 types. Each type is defined by preferences across these four dimensions:
Here’s how to understand the INFJ’s place on all four dimensions:
INFJs have an introverted attitude or orientation.
INFJs tend to focus more on the inner, subjective world of concepts and ideas, while an extraverted attitude leads to a greater focus on the external world of objects and people.
INFJs prefer to use the cognitive function of intuition over sensing when taking in information about the world.
This dimension, intuition vs. sensing, is known as the perceiving function in MBTI theory.
Intuition refers to perception from sources other than the sensory system. INFJs prefer to use their perception of abstract patterns, connections, “gut feeling” about a situation, rather than relying more heavily on perception directly through the sensory system (sensing).
INFJs prefer using their feeling function when judging information and assessing values and needs among people.
This dimension, thinking vs. feeling, is known as the judging function in MBTI theory.
By prefering feeling over thinking as their judging function, INFJs lean on their acute understanding of others’ emotions, desires, and perceptions.
As a judging type, INFJs tend to present their judging function of feeling to the external world.
Because they present their feeling function externally, other people see INFJs as sensitive and empathetic.
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The four-letter types from MBTI theory encode each type’s attitudes and preferred cognitive functions.
For the INFJ,
From this, we can determine how the INFJ prefers the four cognitive functions of intuition, sensing, thinking, and feeling:
Why? INFJs have an introverted attitude (I) and a judging attitude (J), so they present their judging function (F) to the external world.
However, as an introverted type, INFJs prefer an orientation to the inner world, so their primary cognitive function is not what they show to the external world. Instead, their primary cognitive function is their perceiving function: intuition or intuitive perception (N).
INFJs’ secondary function is the one they show to their external world: feeling. This counterbalances their introverted primary function.
In MBTI theory, the tertiary function is the opposite of the auxiliary function, which for INFJs is thinking.
Lastly, the inferior function is the opposite of the primary function, which for INFJs is sensing. The inferior function in all personality types is the least developed function.
According to the MBTI, somewhere between 1% and 4% of all people will be classified as an INFJ.