9 Things INFJ Struggle With Part 1
INFJs tend to keep to themselves and their thoughts. On top of that, they are very intuitive and sometimes they are also empaths. Being introverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging (INFJ) will create an interesting set of behaviors and thought processes that not everybody can understand.
And because INFJ personalities don’t often speak, it makes it more difficult for others to understand them as they don’t open themselves up to just anybody.
The personality and traits of the INFJ explained here are based on research, experience from INFJ YouTuber Frank James, Psych2Go videos, and my own (the author’s) experiences as an INFJ.
This article is not meant to include all of the perspectives that an INFJ may have, and it is not an all conclusive guide as INFJs can be all different and have different experiences. This article is for entertainment purposes only.
If you feel like you need help in any way, please contact a mental health professional.
I hope that with this article you can get a glimpse into the INFJ mind and that you enjoy it. Without further ado, these are 9 things that INFJ personality types struggle with.
1. Socializing and Social Events
Being social is part of being human, it is encoded in our DNA. But for INFJs that is difficult. INFJs do not get their energy from the environment or other people. We get it from inside of ourselves.
The energy that is thrown at us while being in a social gathering drains us. This is due to two reasons: the first is that instead of absorbing the energy from others we fight against it because we already have the energy to spare and two if we do absorb the energy we tend to absorb the negative energy.
INFJs are known for being empathic, and most are empaths. Most of the time, empaths absorb negative energy and transmute it. But this is a slow and tedious process that drains are usual (and positive) energy supply. It’s even worse when we experience an onslaught of energy being thrown at us with no end in sight.
Another reason that INFJs struggle with socializing is because, if we are not dealing with outside energy we are actively spending our energy in trying to keep up with other people even if we don’t necessarily share interests or beliefs.
Talking or trying to keep up with things that don’t interest us or we don’t see the point in (like small talk) drains a chunk out of us.
But we want to be kind and not seem rude. So most of the time we grin and bear it until we find an acceptable way to leave.
2. Difficulty expressing yourself
Do you have difficulty expressing yourself, your beliefs, and your opinions? As an INFJ, in my experience, my difficulty in expressing myself largely comes from a combination of overthinking, not wanting to hurt other people, thinking so fast that I can’t get any word out, and not having anything to say.
Depending on the situation, we are also afraid of judgment from others and getting hurt if we do express our feelings. We are observers, we have seen these kinds of scenarios time and time again as either a fly on the wall or having gone through those experiences ourselves.
This makes us put a wall up in the sense of not expressing ourselves to strangers or acquaintances. Although we do pour our hearts out to the people in our close circle.
Because we do want to fit in, as well as try not to be that one person who doesn’t say anything, sometimes we do try to talk more about ourselves and ideas with others. Usually, with the outcome, we were most dreading which is saying either too much or too little (or we think it is). And then regretting it for days.
3. Accepting help or care
INFJs are usually the ones who do things for others. We like to be of service in any way that we possibly can. We get used to being that backbone, and most of the time what we only want in return is a thank you.
As INFJs we also like to solve our problems, mentally, ourselves. For one because it is rewarding and two, because we don’t like burdening people. So, whenever someone offers to help or care for us we get nervous.
Especially if this offer is coming from someone who we are not close to, we start to doubt their motives. Why do they want to help? Is it a prank or something? What if it’s too much for them? I don’t want to burden them with all of this.
Because we feel like it will burden the other person, we start feeling guilty about that person helping us. What if I’m keeping this person from something they have to do?
There is also another, more hidden reason for this. It is because we aren’t sure if that person offering help will provide the help that I need or want. The observing nature of INFJs helps them pinpoint how and who people are, as well as their care needs. We don’t necessarily need to talk about it to know.
Whereas, other people do require more active communication and are not as observant as INFJs. INFJs know this and we also know that we have a lot of difficulties expressing ourselves. So, with the little information that the other person has of us, we feel more than know that their help or care will not be what we need and we don’t want to make them feel bad by pointing it out.
Especially since we can be very cold and blunt with our words.
4. Always thinking of the next steps
Do you tend to think about what next steps you need to take in a project or situation? INFJs always think about this but not just with specific situations, with everything.
While it is a good thing to contemplate what needs to be done next, INFJs tend to take this overboard. For example, whenever I do chores (which is something everyone should do) I tend to make a mental list of everything I have to do. I have to clean the floors, my room, the bathroom, etc.
Then I make a more detailed mental list of that list: in my bathroom, I have to move what’s on the basin to the toilet so I can clean the basin, then I have to wipe down whatever goes there, then I have to move whatever I have on top of the toilet to the basin to clean the toilet, I have to clean the top part of the toilet, then the bottom, lift the lids, then clean the inside of the toilet, then the rim and finally the rims. I have to clean the shower and then I have to go back to the basin to clean the mirror on top of it.
All of that thinking of the next steps I have to take to do something, sometimes takes me on a mental trip (often laced with anxiety) that may take around 30 minutes to an hour. Which makes me waste the time that I should be using to do all of that instead of thinking about it.
Another problem with thinking about the future is that we tend to stay there and not pay attention to the present. It’s not only the list of things that I have to do that I think about. It’s also all of the ways it all might go wrong or right, depending on my mood.
This, in turn, activates memories of past situations where the scenario in my head (or something similar) has happened. Which leads me to ruminate on that event and others similar to it.
More often than not, we switch from the future to the past which sometimes leads us to develop anxiety and depressive episodes.
5. Being stuck in the past
Getting stuck in memories and past scenarios is not necessarily a walk in the park for an INFJ, although it can be. But more likely than not, the INFJ person thinks about “bad”, “awkward”, or “embarrassing” things that happened to them.
Notice that I put those words in quotation marks, this is not to take away from the severity of whatever happened. It is to indicate that most of what an INFJ remembers as bad, awkward, or embarrassing, most of the time, is none of those things. Even though the INFJ thinks they are.
But thinking this way drags us down into a spiral of guilt, shame, embarrassment, self-judgment, and blame, among others. Which is not good for anyone’s mental health or self-esteem.
Not only that but we keep jumping from scenario to scenario and from memory to memory, oftentimes going from the least bad to the worst possible one. With the memories also come the emotions, which by the end of it makes us feel worthless, lonely, isolated, and loveless.
On the other hand, we can get stuck in past good memories all the while wishing and wondering why we can’t have similar experiences now. It creates nostalgia in us, which a lot of the time we can feel in our chest as pain or a sad longing.
6. Perfectionist and Procrastinator
Have you ever heard that you can be both a perfectionist and a procrastinator? Up until recently, I thought this was impossible. Perfectionists are perceived as people who are on top of and have everything under control, including time management.
Procrastinators, on the other hand, leave everything for the last minute and get overwhelmed (most of them) when they realize the sheer mountain of things they have to do in a short amount of time.
The INFJ embodies both being a perfectionist and a procrastinator. We INFJs like to have pleasing things, coordinated, planned, make sense, have relevant information, have the right amount of information from the right sources, things that are aligned, color-coordinated; in essence perfect.
Due to the sheer pressure and eventual anxiety that planning every little detail can cause us, we INFJs resort to leaving it all for the last minute. At least for me, the pressure of leaving it for the last minute inspires me to create, as well as motivation to make a lot of things happen in a very short time.
Surprisingly, it almost always comes out perfect.
7. Having difficulty with change
Have you ever heard the saying “the only constant thing in life is change”? Well, we INFJs have a little problem with that. Yes, we know that everything changes and that change is ultimately what helps us grow and evolve, but it is still difficult for us.
It is hard for us to have to learn and get used to something new when we were so comfortable with what we had. Especially if that new thing requires us to look into things that we are not comfortable with. Why fix something that’s not broken?
In my case, it’s not so much change that I have difficulty with but the beginning stages of it. I am aware that things will turn out alright in the long run but I dread those first steps you have to take because it requires me to enter unfamiliar territory. I am forced to learn new things, make mistakes while learning them, go slow instead of fast, and I have to go back and forth if I don’t learn a part that is necessary for the next level.
It is exhausting work, especially if it involves other people. By the end of the day, my social battery is more than low, it is dead. And I have to admit I become a bit irritated and sometimes spiteful.
For me, change is difficult because there is so much work to do in the beginning, but after I overcome that phase it is smooth sailing.
8. Being spontaneous
Have you ever been spontaneous? Do you like it? INFJs tend to avoid spontaneity at all costs. This is mostly due to us not feeling safe or secure about what’s going to happen.
The future can be scary for us more so because of all of the things that can happen. Because we don’t know what the future holds we aren’t sure if we are truly prepared for the events that might occur. What if we’re not? How are we going to deal? This gives us a lot of anxiety, not knowing.
It doesn’t matter whether the future event is a positive or negative one. We feel ill-equipped for both.
This holds more weight if the idea of spontaneity involves other people. Because then we not only have to deal with our insecurities and anxiety but also other people’s emotions and reactions if something goes wrong or is not to the liking of that person.
Added to that, the overthinking we always do doesn’t help us feel better. We would rather stay home where it is safe, where we know how to cope, and where do have a plan to deal with things.
9. Placing high expectations on others
Because we INFJs hold ourselves to high standards, partly due to our perfectionism and wanting to be the best versions of ourselves, we think that we can hold others to our same expectations.
I mean, everyone wants to better themselves and be the best versions of themselves right? So we can hold them accountable and to a higher standard. That should motivate them, right? Sadly, no. Most people cannot live up to INFJ standards, sometimes it’s because they get scared and other times it’s because we can come up with impossible standards.
INFJs, due to our ability of intuition, often see the potential in others and want them badly to reach it because we know it will lead them to a better life. But, our minds can create fantastic expectations that backfire because we ignored the other person’s physical, mental, and emotional limits at the time.
INFJs also tend to hold up standards when they are subjected to them by others. We think that if they are able to tell us the type of expectations they want us to measure up to, then they have the ability to measure up as well. This is another no.
Sometimes people want us to work harder in order for them to work less. They try to take advantage without having any intention of doing anything and fully knowing they are not capable of doing the same thing we do.
Do you see yourself or someone else in the points above? Did we miss anything that you would like to add? Tell us your story in the comments. And thank you for reading.
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James, F. (2018, February 26). The INFJ fade. (or Why We Get Ignored). YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/?gl=NL.
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Kiora Media. (2021, July 21). Why are infjs so damn attractive – youtube. YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_NNtghSLaA.
Muñoz, J. (2021, June 23). 6 things INFJ says & what they really mean – youtube. YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6TANjt5NAY.
Xinyi, & Canimo, C. (2021, October 18). 6 things only INFJ can relate to – youtube. YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28wU37X-GX8.
Xinyi. (2020, December 4). 8 signs you’re an INFJ – the world rarest … – youtube. YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D89N3_fFwrA.
Xinyi. (2021, February 4). The Dark Side of INFJ – the world’s rarest … – youtube. YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2P8em6i74NE.
I felt incredibly validated when I read this article on struggles of an INFJ. I constantly wonder why I feel emotions not only more often, but stronger too than others do. It can feel frustrating and lonely trying to describe to others why you feel something that usually other people would not stress about. I enjoy reading articles, books, and watching videos that help me understand why my brain is wired this why and that it’s always ok to not fit in with the crowd and instead to find your own environment that you enjoy, in order to create your own path that allows you to feel comfortable and happy. Overall this article made me smile.
I’m so glad it resonated. I feel honored and happy that I am able to help in any way.