INFJ is one of the 16 personality types identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Scoring as an INFJ means that your personality type is best described as Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging. Sometimes referred to as the "Advocate" or the "Idealist," people with this personality type often feel misunderstood.
Perhaps it's because INFJ is the rarest MBTI personality type, making up only 1% to 3% of the U.S. population. Or maybe it's because they're walking, talking contradictions. INFJs are easy-going perfectionists. They're both logical and emotional, creative and analytical.
Learn more about what it means to be an INFJ personality type below.
INFJ-A vs. INFJ-T
An INFJ-A is referred to as an "Assertive Advocate" and often displays confidence with a relaxed demeanor. An INFJ-T is known as a "Turbulent Advocate" and tends to be less confident and more easily stressed.
Key Characteristics of INFJ
If you are an INFJ, it means that you are likely to have certain characteristics. These characteristics include:
- Compassionate: With their strong sense of intuition and emotional understanding, INFJs can be soft-spoken and empathetic. This does not mean that they are pushovers, however. INFJs have deeply held beliefs and the ability to act decisively to get what they want.
- Helper: While they are introverted by nature, people with an INFJ personality type can form strong, meaningful connections with other people. They enjoy helping others, but they also need time and space to recharge.
- Idealist: What sets the INFJ apart is their ability to translate their idealism into action. They don't just dream about changing the world—they make it happen.
- Organized: People with an INFJ personality type like to exert control by planning, organizing, and making decisions as early as possible.
- Both emotional and logical: When making decisions, INFJs place a greater emphasis on their emotions than objective facts. But this doesn't mean they see the world through rose-colored glasses. INFJs understand the world, both the good and the bad, and hope to be able to make it better.
Sensitive to the needs of others
Highly creative and artistic
Focused on the future
Values close, deep relationships
Enjoys thinking about the meaning of life
Can be overly sensitive
Sometimes difficult to get to know
Can have overly high expectations
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This video has been medically reviewed by Rachel Goldman, PhD, FTOS.
Are You More of an Extrovert or an Introvert?
Cognitive Functions of an INFJ
The MBTI was created in the 1940s by Isabel Myers and her mother Katherine Briggs. It is based on the theories of Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung. Jung identified four key psychological functions: thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition. Each of these functions tends to be either outwardly focused (extraverted) or inwardly focused (introverted).
Think of the different cognitive functions as ingredients that go into making up a personality type. The specific recipe for each type is controlled by how these ingredients combine and interact. The MBTI relies on two key factors that combine in different ways, giving us 16 different types. First is the functions themselves, and second is the hierarchical order of those functions.
Each type possesses a dominant function that is the core characteristic of that type. This is then supported by an auxiliary function which is another well-developed aspect of personality. The tertiary and inferior functions are less conscious and not as well-formed. The dominant, auxiliary, tertiary, and inferior functions for INFJs are as follows.
While the MBTI is extremely popular, it has also been the source of considerable criticism due in part to its poor validity and reliability. If you do take the MBTI, use caution when considering the meaning of your results.
Dominant: Introverted Intuition
People with an INFJ personality type are dominant in introverted intuition. This means:
- INFJs tend to be highly focused on their internal insights.
- Once they have formed an intuition about something, INFJs tend to stick to it very tightly, often to the point of being single-minded in their focus.
- INFJs are sometimes viewed as stubborn and unyielding.
Auxiliary: Extraverted Feeling
The auxiliary function for an INFJ is extraverted feeling. This means:
- INFJs are highly aware of what other people are feeling but are sometimes less aware of their own emotions.
- INFJs sometimes struggle to say no to other people's requests. They are so attuned to what other people are feeling that they fear causing disappointment or hurt feelings.
Tertiary: Introverted Thinking
The tertiary function for INFJs is introverted thinking. This means:
- INFJs make decisions based on ideas and theories that they form based on their own insights.
- INFJs rely primarily on their introverted intuition and extroverted feeling when making decisions, particularly when they are around other people. When they are alone, however, people with this personality type may rely more on their introverted thinking.
- In stressful situations, an INFJ might try to rely on emotions when making decisions, especially if it means pleasing other people. Under less stressful conditions, an INFJ is more likely to rely more on their intuition.
Inferior: Extraverted Sensing
The inferior function for an INFJ is extraverted sensing. This means:
- While this is a less developed and largely unconscious aspect of the INFJ, it does have an impact on personality.
- This aspect of personality helps INFJs pay attention to the world around them and stay aware of their surroundings.
- Extroverted sensing also helps INFJs live in the present moment rather than simply worrying about the future.
- This aspect of personality also helps INFJs appreciate physical activities such as hiking and dancing.
INFJs You Might Know
Some famous people who are INFJs include:
- Oprah Winfrey, television personality
- Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights leader
- Atticus Finch, character in Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird"
- Carl Jung, psychoanalyst
- Taylor Swift, musician
Personal Relationships With INFJs
INFJs also have atalent for languageand are usually quite good at expressing themselves. They have a vivid inner life but are often hesitant to share this with others, except for those closest to them. While they are quiet and sensitive, INFJs can also begood leaders. Even when they don't take on overt leadership roles, they often act as quiet influencers behind the scenes.
INFJs aredriven by their strong valuesand seek out meaning in all areas of their lives including relationships and work. People with this type of personality are often described as deep and complex. INFJs may not have a huge circle of acquaintances, but their close friendships tend to be remarkably close and long-lasting.
INFJs are interested in helping others and making the world a better place. They tend to beexcellent listenersand are good at interacting with people which whom they are emotionally close and connected. While they care deeply about others, INFJs tend to be introverted and only willing to share their "true selves" with a select few. After being in social situations, INFJs need time to themselves to "recharge."
MTBI personality types most compatible with INFJ are ENTP and ENFP. Personality types least compatible with an INFJ are ISTP and ESTP.
Career Paths for INFJs
INFJs do well in careers where they can express their creativity. Because people with INFJ personalities have such deeply held convictions and values, they do particularly well in jobs that support these principles. INFJs often do best in careers that mix their need for creativity with their desire to make meaningful changes in the world.
INFJs are usuallyhigh achieversand excel in academics and the workplace. They can be perfectionists at times and put a great deal of effort into their work. Co-workers tend to feel that INFJs are hardworking, positive, and easy to get along with. Because they are introverted, however, they may find that they need to retreat at times to recharge.
In managerial roles, INFJs can sometimes struggle to exert authority. They tend to lead with sensitivity and are good at helping subordinates feel appreciated in the workplace. Jobs that require a great deal of routine or adherence to strict rules can be difficult for INFJs.
Popular INFJ Careers
- Religious worker
Tips for Interacting With INFJs
If someone in your life is an INFJ, here are some tips for interacting with them based on the relationship you have.
Because they arereserved and private, INFJs can be difficult to get to know. They place a high value on close, deep relationships and can be hurt easily—although they often hide these feelings from others. Interacting with an INFJ friend involves understanding and supporting their need to retreat and recharge.
People with this personality type sometimes feel misunderstood. You can be a good friend to an INFJ by taking the time to understand their perspective and appreciating their strengths.
Because INFJs are so skilled at understanding feelings, they tend to be very close and connected to their children. They have high standards and can have very high behavioral expectations.
INFJs are concerned with raising children that are kind, caring, and compassionate. They encourage their children to pursue their interests and talents so they can fully realize their individual potential.
INFJs have an innate ability to understand other people's feelings and enjoy being in close, intimate relationships. They tend to flourish best in romantic relationships with people who share their core values.
As a partner, it is important to provide the support and emotional intimacy that an INFJ craves. Sincerity, honesty, and authenticity are all traits that the INFJ appreciates in their partner.
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
Center for Applications of Psychological Type. Estimated frequencies of the types in the United States population.
Capraro RM, Capraro MM. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator score reliability across studies: A meta-analytic reliability generalization study. Educ Psychol Meas. 2002;62(4):590-602. doi:10.1177/0013164402062004004
Reynierse, JH. The case against type dynamics. Journal of Psychological Type. 2009;69(1):1-20.
The Myers & Briggs Foundation. The 16 MBTI Types.
- Myers, I. B. (1998). Introduction to Type: A Guide to Understanding Your Results on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Mountain View, CA: CPP, Inc.
By Kendra Cherry
Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.
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People with this personality type are serious, logical and hardworking. They are also compassionate, conscientious and reserved. They value close, deep connections and are sensitive to the needs of others, but also need time and space alone to recharge.What is so special about INFJ? ›
As sensitive, intuitive people, INFJs have a sixth sense about others. Our finely tuned empathy means we can feel others' feelings and we know when they're not telling the truth. We have this ability to see through people's outward persona to the real person underneath.Are INFJs the rarest personality type? ›
INFJ is the rarest personality type across the population, occurring in just 2% of the population. It is also the rarest personality type among men. INFJ stands for Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, and Judging. This unique combination is hard to find in most people.Which personality type suits INFJ? ›
Who is INFJ most compatible with? The INFJ is most compatible with both the ENFJ and the ENTP. These two personality types can use their extroversion to bring out the best hidden qualities of the INFJ. They will become more confident and try new activities to push beyond their comfort zone.What are the weaknesses of an INFJ? ›
- Overlooking details. No matter how practically-oriented they aspire to be, INFJs have a tendency to get so caught up in theorizing the big picture that they forget to account for some of the precious details that can separate success from failure. ...
- Intensely private. ...
- Conflict averse. ...
Overall, “sensing” individuals are more common than us “feely” types. Some possible explanations for the relative rarity of INFJs may be due to the fact that we're just not in situations where the test is offered, or maybe we don't want to take the test, says Dr.Are INFJ mentally strong? ›
The truth is that people with INFJ personalities are very strong-willed and determined, but often they use this strength to help people around them instead of investing in self-development. As a result, people often think that they're wasting their talent.What does a healthy INFJ look like? ›
Healthy INFJs are all about perspectives. They LOVE to hear other people's perspectives and empathize with other people's points of view. They don't mind a challenge or a new way of looking at things, in fact, it excites them!Who is INFJ soulmate? ›
Although two well-developed individuals of any type can enjoy a healthy relationship, INFJ's natural partner is the ENTP, or the ENFP. INFJ's dominant function of Introverted Intuition is best matched with a personality type that is dominated by Extraverted Intuition.Who is INFJ best friend? ›
In the world of personality theory, the INTP and INFJ pairing has been nicknamed “The Golden Pair” because these two types can be highly compatible.
INFJs are looking for a soul-to-soul connection, and in a romantic relationship, they want to know their partner deeply, and be known deeply in return. Once we are comfortable with you, we will hold little back, choosing the raw and real over the superficial any day.What is the 4 rarest personality type? ›
The INTJ – Fourth Rarest MBTI Type.What are the 3 most rare personality types? ›
The most rare Personality Types are INFJ, followed by ENTJ and INTJ.How do you tell if an INFJ is mad at you? ›
Usually, they will get more withdrawn and stuck in their head when they're angry. They might try to shut off noise, lights, or find a room they can hide away in to deal with their thoughts and charged emotions. Some INFJs shut down and stop talking and reacting, trying to sort out their thoughts inside.What do INFJs do for fun? ›
Many INFJs find that they enjoy playing games (video games, board games, etc.) either with small groups of friends or on their own. INFJs often enjoy cooperative, RPG, or storytelling games where the emphasis is less on competition and more on engaging with others or participating in a narrative.Are INFJ manipulative? ›
INFJs don't always use their qualities for good, they can also be master manipulators — our intuition makes it easy for the INFJ to pick up on cues and find “weak spots” in people — prey on those — and then get what is needed.What does INFJ burnout look like? ›
INFJ burn out can lead to physical and mental exhaustion, a feeling of emptiness, depression and anxiety. INFJ burn out is something that all INFJs need to be aware of and all of their close friends and family also need to be able to understand.What zodiac signs are INFJ? ›
CANCER (JUNE 21 – JULY 22)
INFJ: Both the Cancer sign and the INFJ type are deeply intuitive when it comes to reading people and situations. For this reason, people under this personality category are generally cautious and stay true to their own values.
INFJs are sensitive souls who are easily overwhelmed, but they have their limits. If they feel stressed by their environment, or the people in it, they'll tend to cry or become very quiet and want to be alone. Some INFJs will be cold, sarcastic and very blunt or speak to someone only on a very superficial level.What is INFJ love language? ›
According to Priebe's survey, 35.67% of INFJs list “Quality Time” as their preferred love language. This is followed by Words of Affirmation (25.54%), Physical Touch (21.83%), Acts of Service (14.04%), and Gifts (2.92%).
INFJs are naturally warm people, who possess very large and beautiful hearts. They love very deeply, and often care about everyone they meet to some extent. They want to show compassion and warmth towards the people they love, and are extremely supportive individuals.What is the 4 rarest personality type? ›
The INTJ – Fourth Rarest MBTI Type.Who is INFJ soulmate? ›
Although two well-developed individuals of any type can enjoy a healthy relationship, INFJ's natural partner is the ENTP, or the ENFP. INFJ's dominant function of Introverted Intuition is best matched with a personality type that is dominated by Extraverted Intuition.