Dear fellow INFJ,
You are a dreamer. Under that hard shell of yours, there’s a person who sees what could be, but isn’t. Thanks to your dominant Introverted Intuition function, the possibility of what could be is very apparent to you. Because of this, it’s sometimes difficult to face reality knowing all the potential you’ve built for it in your mind. This stands true for all parts of your life, whether it be in your relationships, in the way things are run, or even in yourself.
This vision of the ideal is why INFJs are sometimes called “visionaries.” Your sense of the potential that things have, coupled with a naturally empathic nature (which is your Extroverted Feeling function at work) create a world that is seemingly so much better for everyone. But, sadly, this world usually exists only in your head. And the moment you realize that is devastating. If something doesn’t live up to how it could be, everything suddenly comes crashing down. In a single moment, it can feel like the hope you had kept deep in your heart was wrenched away; like the light you saw in every being around you was abruptly turned off.
As an INFJ myself, this sort of thing has happened to me many times. I distinctly remember one day at school when my classmates were being especially disrespectful to our teacher; they were thriving off each other’s meanness. Being the INFJ that I am, I got so frustrated and angry at them (mostly in my head, of course). Why couldn’t we all just get along? Our classroom would be so much better if we respected one another. But I was powerless to make a real change in that moment: I ended up feeling numb and angry at the same time, and after class, I had to take a break to cry alone.
Although it might not be apparent from the outside, most INFJs feel things profoundly. This may be due to the fact that many of us are highly sensitive people (HSPs) and/or empaths. The extent to which we feel things is amplified in situations in which our hope is snatched from us and things don’t happen like they “should.” The disappointment may cut so deep inside you that you will try to protect yourself from feeling it again. I know I have. After realizing that someone I had idealized for a long time wasn’t in fact who I thought they were, I cut myself off from even the possibility of ever feeling that way again.
But in doing so, I also built a wall between me and the good in people. In short, I built a wall separating me from personal growth, from feeling things, from life.
INFJs Have High Expectations for Almost Everything
As you probably know very well, INFJs are prone to perfectionism. The truth is INFJs unconsciously set high expectations for almost everything. So it’s only natural that something will fall short of them at some point. And when that happens, as it inevitably will, the truth will beat you down. Once. Twice. Three times. Your sensitive heart will get bruises, and you will tire of getting back up again.
But, guess what? Hearts heal. And you must get back up again.
The hope you have in people and in the world is what makes you who you are: a wonderful human being, full of light, love, and possibilities. As you navigate your way through life, remember these three things:
- Some things will get you down, but others will turn out just like you planned (yay!). Either way, you will learn from every experience and grow as a person.
- Everyone is trying their best, given their circumstances. And that is ultimately all you can ask from someone. This applies to you, too (so don’t be too hard on yourself, either!).
- If you try to make something happen, it might, whereas if you don’t try, it won’t. So don’t give up hope on the vision of what can be. Because even if you start with the smallest baby steps, that vision will eventually be.
INFJs are feelers. It’s in our nature. Some emotions are amazing and exhilarating, whereas others, like disappointment, are not as great. Ultimately, once you realize that it’s okay to be disappointed, that emotion will start to lose its grip on you.
Take a few seconds to really think about the phrase “it’s okay.” Maybe close your eyes, say it out loud a few times, slowly, and really try to feel it deep in your bones. It’s okay.
The journey to really accept yourself is a long and arduous one. And accepting that life isn’t as perfect as it is in your head might be even harder. But keep in mind that you will get through it, and that things can and will get better, especially if your awesome self works on making what you know can happen, happen.