INFJ stands for introverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging. That means these people tend to be consistently gentle, creative, and caring, upholding very high moral standards in society.
INFJ (Advocate) personality type is the rarest personality type among the 16 captured by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).
This self-report inventory can identify one’s personality type, strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. The assessment questionnaire relies on Carl Jung’s theory. As of now, the MBTI test is among the most popular psychological instruments in the world.
Only between 1 – 3% of people in the world exhibit this type of personality. Popularly referred to as “Advocates”, INFJs are an idealistic breed of humans. They are consistently gentle, creative, and caring, upholding very high moral standards in society.
Additionally, they pride themselves with deep and complex thinking. They are always searching for solutions to societal problems. INFJs are very concerned with what other people think about their values and traits.
The distinguishing factor of people with INFJ personality is their practicality. They are known to be less of speakers than doers. They put their beliefs into action to impact their community positively. It differentiates them from dreamers and philosophers, who are known thinkers but implementors of their ideas.
In their interactions with society and reaction to daily events and situations, advocates can be split into two categories: INFJ-A and INFJ-T. We are going to explore them briefly below.
The Advocate Personality Type INFJ – Meaning & What Does It Stand For?
The Advocate (INFJ) personality type means and stands for:
Most INFJs are known introverts aka loners. Their nature keeps them focused only on their internal feelings instead of the outside stimulus.
INFJs do not make the best of speakers. However, this doesn’t mean that they cannot express themselves. INFJs are among the best writers and are overall great at expressing themselves with other creative methods.
They value their solo moments to conceptualize ideas and strengthen their limited close relationships, which shouldn’t be mistaken for social anxiety.
INFJs greatly respect and stand by their beliefs. Because of that, people tend to consider them stubborn and inflexible.
They make their decisions based on their inner convictions and intuition. Where their choices are bound to influence other people, they’ll act based on what they think others will feel. They may not even be able to explain the reasons for certain decisions apart from trusting their instincts.
INFJs are highly sensitive to other people’s feelings. At times, they end up suffering themselves when others suffer or when they want to please other people. For example, they may not say no to things they are fully aware they can’t deliver on.
Even though other personality types tend to be condescending and judgmental, INFJs are equally strong with this respect. They firmly hold their stand and know the right way of doing things.
They prefer planning and organization to flexibility. They invest a lot of time and energy to establish the best working system. They keep crafting and recrafting their priorities in life.
INFJ’s Traits – Core Strengths and Weaknesses
- They are creative
Advocates make the best advisors and counselors. They use their imaginations coupled with compassion to derive solutions to complex problems. They flourish best when solving non-technical challenges as they connect well and understand people easily.
Being realists and idealists, INFJs can pierce through manipulation and dishonesty. They connect events, persons, and feelings. They can then use these insights to solve the problem at hand no matter how hard it appears.
Advocates possess the language and tone to trigger and invigorate the mind. They make exceptional writers and sometimes orators. When speaking with the audience, they identify with their audience and address issues in a manner that appeals to it.
INFJs leave long-lasting legacies based on their decisive accomplishments. These people not only see the possibilities but also cease the Kairos moments. They take chances, and that’s why they achieve unmatched heights. Their planning, willpower, and convictions challenge the conventional methods of doing things.
- Passionate and determined
Advocates are a ruthless breed. The moment they decide to pursue a course, they’ll be willing to rock the boat if that’s what it takes. They pursue their goals with unmatched zeal and determination. In these moments, they won’t shy to elbow anyone who tries to stand on their way.
INFJs do not engage in activities to benefit themselves. They are always in the business of improving the world for others. Therefore, they will do all they can to help others. So, even in their abrasiveness on the way to their goal, it’s not for their sake but for the good of the society.
INFJ weaknesses are (a more detailed list can be found here):
- Very sensitive
Advocates are very repulsive to their ideological opposers. They believe their life principles are right, and anyone opposing them deserves their wrath. Their stand frequently puts them on the line of criticism and conflict, which doesn’t augur well with them. They don’t like their beliefs being challenged, and any attempt to do so puts them out of their comfort zone.
- Too Private
They tend to keep their issues and life affairs to themselves. When they want to open up a bit, they only do so with their trusted friends. Based on that, finding new acquaintances and building friendships can be quite problematic for them.
- INFJs are perfectionists
People of the advocate personality type are known for the great pursuit of their ideals. They invest themselves fully in whatever they do and always aim at reaching the highest peak.
Be it in academics, work, hobbies, or volunteering, they’ll always do their best to go beyond the average. An INFJ can spend sleepless nights working on something they think should be done in a certain way.
Whereas this might be great in some circumstances, meeting such expectations may not always be possible. In the process, they can end up abandoning worthy courses hoping for better options ahead. When they see something isn’t working as per their expectation, they would prefer quitting instead of persisting.
- Need for a course
INFJs tend to have a feeling that they need to be constantly busy in their pursuit of life goals. Anything that appears to derail them, however essential, is unwelcome. This can frequently cultivate a sense of restlessness and disappointment with oneself.
- Can burn out easily
Since they are so secretive with their lives, they tend to get weary of issues with time. With few options available to relax their minds, INFJs end up exhausting themselves unless they change their view or find a midway between their expectations and reality.
Jobs and Careers Paths for INFJ Personality Type
INFJ’s thrive in careers is where their creativity is appreciated and not limited. Due to their strong views and convictions, INFJs are more viable in jobs that value and support personal principles.
These could be careers in creative industries or those that do not compromise their beliefs about humanity.
If you put these people in rigid hierarchies, they’ll find it hard to fit into the system. They are natural dormancy disruptors with their desire for change.
These people are perfectionists and top achievers. Therefore, they immerse themselves in their work fully, which yields corresponding results. Their introverted nature will further strengthen their hardworking reputation in the eyes of their colleagues.
INFJs tend to struggle in positions of power. As managers, they can find it hard to exert their authority on the subordinates. It can particularly be detrimental to their performances when they need to be hard on their team members.
They’ll naturally gravitate to people-pleasing, which at times may compromise the chain of command. Therefore, they may not thrive in jobs that demand absolute adherence to set policies and standards.
List of 10 best jobs or careers paths for INFJs
Below is a list of the best INFJ careers you can join and prosper today:
- Religious work
Common Hobbies and Interests For INFJs
Below is a list of the most common hobbies you will see INFJs pursuing:
- Yoga and meditation.
- Nature hobbies.
- Cultural events
- Baking and cooking
Two Subtypes of INFJ Personality
These are more confident and relaxed advocates in their interactions with society and events. They do not rush in situations but rather have to analyze everything not allowing themselves to be carried out by emotions. Unlike their turbulent counterparts, they end up offering the best solutions to problems.
Their stability in the challenging and emotional situations lead them to better solutions for the future. They bring sobriety in emergencies, and instead of dwelling on the negativity of the situation, they think about how to change it.
However, their positivism doesn’t go all rosy every day. Sometimes, assertive INFJs find themselves ignoring key things in situations that need addressing. This, at times, is detrimental as they may not achieve what they envisioned.
They don’t allow people’s opinions and ideas to influence their decisions. It helps them to approach situations with an independent mind. It doesn’t always result in positive outcomes, though. Sometimes they overlook important input that could help to save a challenging situation.
Assertive advocates are not affected much by past mistakes, which they sweep under the carpet. Unfortunately, it doesn’t prevent the same mistakes from happening again in the future.
INFJ-T Turbulent Advocates
These people are known for their high sensitivity to external stressors. Simply referred to as INFJ T, they tend to get deeply immersed in the issues they want to solve and, as a result, get themselves consumed.
Also, INFJ Ts exaggerate the effects of what hurts them or people they care about. Turbulent advocates often tend to allow emotions to drive them, rarely though with malicious intentions. However, this unnecessary exaggeration of a problem may further complicate an already hard situation.
Regrets, caused by a wrong step, can cloud their future decision making. It could be helpful if regret is used to fixing past mistakes instead of indulging in the feeling of guilt. Yet the same regrets can be destructive if they fuel anger.
Turbulent advocates embrace change no matter the risks involved.
How Does INFJ Personality Type Behave in Personal and Business Relationships
INFJs have a way of playing with words and of articulating their views effectively. Even though they rarely make good speakers, they mostly use writing as their medium of communication. This is one of the reasons why INFJs tend to prosper in the creative industry where they can express their views fully.
People exhibiting these personality traits are deep and complex. They are unique, searching for meaning in multiple life areas, including friendship and relationships. They don’t have wide social networks, but the connections they have are strong and long-lasting.
INFJs are good listeners and very attentive when interacting with their acquaintances. Therefore, INFJs might feel drained after long social interactions and might take some time to recharge after them.
Due to their reserved nature, it can be an uphill task to get an INFJ into your friend circle. These are people who prioritize only their closest friends. So trying to invade their privacy can hurt them. Even though they may never show, you can quickly get yourself the INFJ door slam – a situation in which an INFJ cuts off someone from their lives.
If you want to be friends and catch up well with an INFJ, try to understand their perspectives and life views as the cheap talk will not get you far.
When you think that introverts don’t say much, you can get a big surprise with INFJs. If advocates accept you to their inner circle, you can find them much more communicative than your typical extrovert.
INFs are silent influencers. While they may never say much, some people can interpret it as a sign of power. This reputation and influence can grow over time as they surround themselves with such people.
One of the ways to win advocate’s trust is to give them space to recharge. People with INFJ personality do not require full-time attention. Quality means everything to them; they forge long-lasting friendships based on mutual understanding and beliefs.
INFJ tend to be good parents because of their ability to connect and understand people. They transfer this talent to their children and have high expectations of who their kids should be.
They also set the bar high in all children matters and push their children to reach the highest excellence marks. Since they are kind, caring, and compassionate, INFJs will inspire their kids to pursue their interests and realize their full potential.
INFJs are arguably the best when it comes to understanding feelings and emotions. They take issues of relationships seriously and do not engage in casual encounters. They stick to the partners with whom the same values.
They crave for sincere, authentic, romantic, and honest partners. The best way to win an INFJ is to focus on these qualities.
Advocates are perfectionists; therefore, they’ll look for truly compatible partners. They believe partners should help each other grow and improve. So be ready to challenge and be challenged.
Advocate personalities are not afraid to outrightly show their love to the ones they love. They’ll do everything to keep their partners happy. They are wise and spontaneous, keeping their love flame blazing. They are full of occasional surprises to their loved ones, making them very romantic partners.
INFJs are high achievers and aim only at excellent results. You may find an INFJ easy going and hardworking, but don’t take advantage of that. Give them space to recharge and to be by themselves to be most productive.
They will rarely air their problems publicly, even if these problems affect their performance. For you, as their manager, it’s important to reach out to them if you notice anything disturbing them to address the issue at the root.
Famous INFJ You Might Know
INFJs are known idealists who see the world as it should be and not as it is. Their ideals may wear them down and frequently turn them into disillusioned individuals.
But mostly it gives them, as system disruptors, the drive to change the world for the better. A few have made it possible through consistency and determination, which are their backbones. Below are famous INFJs who have weathered the storm and rose to the limelight:
- Plato, a famous Greek philosopher
- Geoffrey Chaucer, an author.
- J.K Rowling, an English novelist.
- Garry Trudeau, US-based cartoonist
- Jimmy Carter
- Edward Snowden
5 Interesting Facts About Advocates
These are some of the interesting facts you should know:
- INFJs are born helpers. They are empathetic by nature and offer help freely to those who need it. In fact, they don’t get along well with people who reject their help.
- INFJs can dwell on negative events in their life. Any incident can go a long way in affecting their performance in all areas of life. This is why the career choice is very important in an INFJ life.
- They are choosy when it comes to romantic relationships. They will relentlessly pursue a partner who shares their values, yet can quickly switch to a new target if their feelings will not be reciprocal. Such situations can lead to what psychologists refer to as an INFJ door slam.
- Due to their caring and empathetic nature, INFJs thrive in careers that relate to serving humanity. For example, you’ll find them in community service groups, spiritual leaderships, and volunteering campaigns.
- They are the rarest of the 16 personality types in the human population. Therefore, it is so hard to find a true INFJ, despite many people imagining they are one of the advocates.
Frequently Asked Questions About INFJ
How do others see and perceive the INFJ?
On the positive side, people view INFJs as gentle, sensitive, and caring people who have an infinite sense of responsibility. Due to their endless helpfulness, many people perceive them as very resourceful. Advocates are committed to helping people achieve best solutions and are not afraid of difficult situations.
On the negative side, advocates can be perceived as stubborn. This is due to their unrelenting spirit when pursuing their life ideals and goals.
How does INFJ show love?
At the start of the relationship, an INFJ can do small things like taking you out for dinner, asking about your family, etc. Advocates take falling in love seriously and so they are never in a hurry. The moment they decide to love someone, they do it wholeheartedly. When it happens, they can do everything to please you.
What is an INFJ stare?
INFJ stare refers to the direct, steady focus to one thing or direction by an INFJ. When the focus changes to a different direction, the whole head changes direction too.
Are INFJs rare? And how rare?
Yes. INFJs are the rarest of the Myers-Briggs personality types. INFJs constitute only about 2% of the total population.
Women take a larger share of all INFJs with 2% of the population, while among men they are even rarer with only 1% being advocates.
If you exhibit the character traits above and you suspect to be an INFJ, you shouldn’t be worried. It is just a psychological classification and doesn’t mean you will suffer INFJ personality disorders. At the contrary, you should embrace your nature and focus on its strengths.