I’ve noticed that I can categorize the typical negative manifestations of my Ni into three rather distinct states: hopeless existentialism, paranoia, or obsessive visualization. This is written entirely from my own perspective and experience as an ISTP, but I’d assume this applies in varying degrees to other Ni-users.
Hopeless existentialism tends to be, “Nothing I do has any purpose because the ultimate end is death, which is unchangeable.” It seems that Ni overpowers my Se in this scenario, deeming life as ‘meaningless’ because there is no ‘ultimate underlying meaning’. Se can’t pop in and say “c’mon now, look at things realistically”, because, well, death is reality. Se can’t find a way around it, so it reinforces Ni’s negative spin on reality.
Note that Ni could just as easily be like, “Hey look, there’s no fixed, ultimate meaning to life… which means I have the freedom to derive my own meaning.” That would be a healthy perspective produced by Ni and Se.
Paranoia is more like, “There are so many hidden meanings everywhere. These people have hidden motivations and I have a hard time trusting their words at face-value. For example, I believe this person has bad intentions and is trying to smother me and take away my freedom… even though I have no evidence.” The thought process is never that specific, mind you. I experience those words as more of a baseless gut instinct or figurative alarm bells. But my point is that I derive certain meanings from my environment without solid proof. This is Ni quickly glancing at the information provided by Se and prematurely perceiving meaning. It happens when Se fails to give proper balance to Ni. I get stuck seeing subjective implications and fail to see that what’s actually in front of me really has no inherent / unquestionable deeper meaning.
Most Ni-users should be able to know the reason or source of their distrust (though INxJs and maybe a few ENxJs would naturally have trouble with this, due to lower Se).
Healthy Se/Ni would clue them into what isn’t immediately obvious, based on specific environmental cues.
Obsessive visualization is something along the lines of, “I feel insecure about my ability to perform this task even though, in the back of my mind, I know I can realistically get through it. I must analyze and visualize every single step I will take in order to complete this task well. I don’t have confidence in my abilities to improvise and adapt to the situation.” This is is an example of what happens during some of my Ti-Ni loops. Se is pushed completely out of the picture. I fail to take a step back and perceive the situation objectively. I often become uncharacteristically focused on rehearsing my future actions. I’m so focused on searching ahead that I fail to operate effectively in the moment. The loop typically lasts until I have completed the task and have nothing else for which to mentally prepare.
Visualization to a certain degree is your typical Ni, but not when it surpasses reason. If an Ni-user knows beyond a doubt that they absolutely can accomplish something without excessive planning… and yet they still obsessively focus purely on what they believe will happen and lose total focus on the present moment… that’s not healthy Ni.
I just wanna put this out there for all types that want to more about INFJs in general and how to get them to like you.
-Getting an INFJ isn’t as easy as saying 1 2 3. Relationships are something that an INFJ deeply cares for and they will truly commit to you. The INFJ will expect you invest the same level of care into the relationship, and this is what you want to ask first to yourself.
-Am I willing to go up to the standards of her/him? Will I really have the time and effort, in the long run, to truly care at all? Do not act impulsive.
-Once you’ve decided you’re in for the long run, the time it takes to actually get to know an INFJ can take a while. It’s not easy to just instantly start a relationship; INFJs don’t just simply open up.
-It is a long process, and don’t feel frustrated when it takes a long time. After all, slowly and slowly the INFJ may start to notice your dedication and care.
-Feelings are extremely important to INFJs. If you say anything that hurts their feelings, they are going to retreat back and never look at you in the same way again. If you do something selfish, foolish, or arrogant, then that may also worsen your image.
-INFJs do not forget your actions, and may feel bitter, especially if you take advantage of them as well. Their feelings is something you should take seriously, as this truly affects them.
-Please. Don’t lie to an INFJ. We can see through it. Be honest and truthful. If you don’t mean what you say, don’t say it.
-Now maybe I don’t mean respect like actual respect, but make sure that you follow what an INFJ wants. If s/he wants to be alone, leave her alone. If s/he wants comfort, give them comfort. The worst you can do is go against what they wish and seem intrusive.
-Also, acknowledge them when they’re there. Help them out, and let them talk when they want to. Don’t ignore them, answer and reply back when they need you. Do not think of them like any other person.
-Compliments. Use them. Bring out the better side in INFJs. When they do something well, compliment them. This makes them feel better.
-When they do something wrong, comfort them and politely say ways they could improve. Do not bluntly insult them. Even a light joke insult can offend the INFJ, so be sure to compliment them instead.
-Help them out. Support and carry them. When they need advice, chime in with a second opinion. Whether they need emotional support or help on a project of some sort, help them out. Be there when they need you.
-Enjoy it when you both support each other as well. If there are arguments, try to solve them peacefully. Chances are, the INFJ won’t like conflict as well and will strive for harmony.
-Trust is an important issue, and don’t feel disappointed if the INFJ won’t share their personal thoughts and feelings. After all, this is related to time. From an outsider perspective, it may seem the INFJ is untrustworthy, and same goes for the INFJ. Both sides have to slowly work together with actions and eventually, the INFJ will open up.
-Everything that you do together with the INFJ, every moment, will slowly inch your way towards trust. S/he may start telling truths and opinions of what they believe in. Believe in them, and they will believe in you.
-INFJs crave to be understood, and may often feel that no one will ever get them. Do not say you immediately understand everyone and everything, because it isn’t that simple. Sympathize with what they think and feel.
-Understand that they will not always be open to social interaction, and do not force them to do what they do not want to do. Understand that they need to be alone sometimes. Understand that they’re silent not because they’re mad at you, but that’s just how they are.
-Have a unique personality. Be nice, be funny. Don’t be the same. Be passionate. Be caring. Don’t be arrogant. Don’t fish for compliments. Be. Different.
This was a long post, and I thank you if you read it all.
Please note, this is not a guarantee. I made this fairly based off what I believe. Do not blame me if things go wrong. Thanks again
I hate the image of INFJs that is frequently presented online. If one was to read personality site descriptions, the general impression is that the INFJ is a psychic empath with the power to change the world who walks on water and understands the mysteries of the universe while maintaining a breathtaking balance of strength and
fragility that defies understanding.
That drivel is written either by people who don’t understand
INFJs or by INFJs who need their ego stroked.
I wish they’d go found a cult or something because they really give the
wrong impression…and they fuel the tidal wave of people who took a quick online
test, came out (incorrectly) INFJ, and now think they’re Jesus on a luck
In a way, I understand where the myth comes from, but it’s
really misunderstood. Empaths? Hell. No.
INFJs are just really good at knowing what people want to see, need to
see, and showing exactly that. There’s a
term for it – it’s called INFJ Mirroring.
In order to understand what’s really going on, you have to
understand the IN*J function stack. For
an IN*J the instinctive, easiest way of dealing with the world is through
Introverted Intuition. So we make
intuitive leaps…we just “get” stuff. But
that’s not all there is to it. The thing that makes IN*Js look “magical” to
others is the fact that our last function is Extroverted Sensing. We are constantly taking in the world around
us, picking up details, stimuli…we just don’t realize we’re doing it. When you feed that stream of sensory data
into the world filter of Introverted Intuition, we use all of that info to fuel
those leaps. We look as if we’re
telepathic. Really, we’re just oblivious
to the massive amounts of data our brain is using to “get” stuff through
For INFJs, that ability to just seem to get stuff is
compounded by the Extroverted Feeling that’s our secondary function – the
second most important part of dealing with our world. We make those intuitive leaps…and we apply
them to emotional and social contexts. That
means that when we’re talking to you – whether “you” is an individual or an
audience – we intuitively sense what you want and expect…and we give it to you.
It’s this subconscious feedback loop that picks up on all the little
social cues in an interaction, matches them to what we know about social norms
and contexts, and then responds in the way the audience wants. It comes out as warmth, social connection,
Most often, it’s not.
Yeah, I know…I just pissed of a lot of INFJs. But really, we’re not always that empathetic,
especially as we mature. INFJs tend to
be very private and very intense. We
have a surface connection, a basic empathy, sure. But most of that is the result of mirroring
what you need. We protect the really sensitive, emotional core of connection,
reserving it for the few people we let in.
The rest of it is a lot of instinct and a little emotion.
That ability to mirror is powerful, and it can be used. When you have a knack for showing people what
they want to see, everyone has a different image of who you are – an image that
frequently resembles their idea of themselves.
Year in and year out, I have students and administrators who think
they’re my dear friends. They tell me
that we’re “just alike.” Or, my favorite among older faculty and
administrators, that I remind them “of a younger version of myself.” Actually, they’re just seeing me
instinctively mirror them; they see surprisingly little of me. Do I let them remain under the impression
that they know me? Of course.
INFJs aren’t psychic or empathic. They’re just good at mirroring. And, of course, depending on upbringing and
environmental factors, they can be really…really…really good at mirroring. Yes, mirroring is exhausting, even when
you’re doing it instinctively. It
contributes to social burnout and makes the INFJ need to escape from
interactions with others. But when
you’re in the midst of it? In the
moment? You know how to create the
needed connections; you get caught up in the reflection, and quite frequently,
you totally empathize. Until the mirror
falls empty again.