Why INFJ Personalities Often Feel Like Outsiders

INFJ personalities account for less than 1% of the population. It stands for Introverted, INtuitive, Feeling and Judging. This weird mix of traits means that an INFJ often feels like an outsider.

INFjs may often ask this question and have trouble feeling like they "fit in"

Since INFJ are intuitive introverts, they can feel they are one step ahead of everyone and an observer. They can use their keen observational skills and “spidey senses” of feeling to intuit what you are going to say or do next. Yeah, it can be a little creepy, which is why they can feel that you don’t love that. Which makes them feel more like an outsider.

An INFJ balances out their sense of morality and idealistic dreaming with the Judging (J) trait, injecting realism and a bit of cynicism- they don’t expect to be handed success and take concrete steps towards goals.

Now, I am finally learning the balance of enjoying my observer, “outsider”, status. I find it kind of cool sometimes, to be on the outskirts, one step ahead of the pack.¬†

Although INFJs present as quiet extraverts full of lofty idealistic views, they aren’t the extroverted dreamers that they seem to be. INFJ personalities need lots of time to recharge and reboot. The Judging (J) side of themselves, combined with their keen empathy and intuition, make them more inclined towards depression. Like I am!

I am an INFJ, through and through. I have often felt like an outsider- a square peg in a round hole. Not understanding my personality for most of my life, this felt very painful at times. Incredibly Intuitive(N), I would often blurt out what people were about to do or say, weirding people out and creating a wedge between myself and others. This made my peers want distance from me, understandably, and I was then a target for bullying and ostracizing.

I found myself hanging with the punks and skaters, but listened to less punk than they would have liked and didn’t skateboard. So I was hanging with the punks but not a punk, hanging with the skateboarders, but not a skater. This would be a common theme for the rest of my life.

I feel you, Anne Rice. Maybe she is an INFJ, too?

I feel you, Anne Rice. Maybe she is an INFJ, too?

I want to make connections, but find it hard to put myself out there. As an Introvert (I), I know that it will take days of recovery¬† after a long social interaction. My husband has watched me closely and has noticed that I need a buffer between social occasions. He makes sure to check our schedule so that there are not too many “people-y” things too many days in a row. (I love my husband so much for this!) For every social day, I need two days alone in between.

Sometimes I feel like I have a sense of society that not everyone sees- a kind of X-Men power, haha.

Needing so many days between socializing also adds to the feeling of being an outsider because I share less moments with my friends and family than others do, which means less shared stories and memories. This used to bother me all the time, but I am mostly okay with it now.

Being a bit of an outsider and an observer rather than interacting bothers me sometimes, so I often go out of my comfort zone to feel more included and part of the group. Putting myself out there is uncomfortable for me because I assume rejection, and this is from being bullied throughout school. My initial thought is that people won’t want to know me, and that they will reject the “real” me.

I mean, I have been a part of Josh’s family for TEN YEARS and I am JUST getting past casual conversation with them; haven’t revealed much of my deeper self with them. So, showing the real me is a very big deal for me. I can seemingly reveal a lot about myself without actually telling people many details. This is how I protect myself from potential rejection. Slowly, through journaling, support from my husband and maturity, I am learning that this isn’t true, and that not all people are for me, anyway.

I’m finally learning the balance of enjoying my observer, “outsider”, status. I find it kind of cool sometimes, to be on the outskirts, one step ahead of the pack.¬† Being a sensitive outsider can be an asset in a lot of ways- ways that I am slowly learning. Sometimes I feel like I have a sense of society that not everyone sees- a kind of X-Men power, haha.

I am getting better at being comfortable with the feeling that I am the observing outsider as a group chats around me. It’s okay to be the quiet one on the corner of the table, nursing your drink, while occasionally injecting opinions about the conversation.

I know myself better now. Recognizing my need to balance being with people and alone time has been essential. I need to be by myself- often for a few days at a time. Knowing that I need to take care of myself to be able to take care of others has been hard for me, and I’m still working on giving myself self-care without feeling guilty. But I am getting there!

Another great motivator to that is, again ( I know), tied into taking care of others- my kids (the most important others out there!). I know that by modeling self-care and alone time, I can teach my kids that it is okay to take care of yourself. It isn’t selfish to steal away for some alone time to read a book or just daydream. That, as an introverted family, we need that time to replenish ourselves- our souls, mind and body.

What personality type are you? What have you learned that you need over the years to replenish yourself? Please comment below. I would love to hear it!

What to read next:

How To Keep Your Weekend Going All Week

Keeping it Together

 

Surviving the Introvert Hangover.

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