My Personality Quirks: INFJ Contradictions

A person with the INFJ personality type is supposed to be a paradox. I don’t know if this is true and I usually don’t believe in generalizations and stereotypes, but as an INFJ, I can tell you that I’m a bunch of contradictions.

Here are some of them:

  1. I love spending time with people, but as an introvert, it drains my energy. So, when I’m in a crowd, I want to go home and when I’m alone for too long, I want to meet people. I’m a sociable loner.
  2. I am driven by logic as well as emotions. My thought process is a tug of war between logical reasoning and emotional reactions. Though I mostly make decisions based on logic, I can disregard it if my intuition says otherwise.
  3. I’m orderly, systematic and prefer to plan everything beforehand, but I’m also spontaneous.
  4. I believe in science and am also spiritual.
  5. I can act like a damsel in distress and also like Joan of Arc. This is probably because I have a strong mind and a fragile heart. It makes me gentle and tough at the same time.
  6. I cry for silly things but am rock solid for things that should tear me up. For instance, I sometimes cry when I listen to sad songs. If something bad happens to a character in a book or TV series, I bawl my eyes out. When something bad happens to me in real life, I either calmly deal with it or ignore it completely. I may have the ability to switch off my emotions during highly stressful events. So, I can be a crybaby at certain times and an emotionless robot during other times.
  7. I’m extremely observant of certain things that most people miss, but I can be completely oblivious to things that are obvious to most people.
  8. I hate superficiality, vanity, extravagance and materialism. I can sense fake people and avoid them like the plague. However, when I’m stressed, I tend to discard my ideals and go shopping to satisfy my materialistic urges.
  9. I can be very specific about certain needs, but I cannot decide on certain things. If you ask me how I like my coffee, I’ll give you precise instructions, from measurements to temperature to the glass to serve it in. In a restaurant, I’d ask you to order for me, because I don’t want to choose. If you ask my favourite colour, I’ll say Blue, Yellow, Violet, Purple and Peach, and won’t be able to decide if you ask for just one.
  10. I usually enjoy and request for exciting and challenging tasks at work. After some time, I get overwhelmed and like to do routine and mundane tasks. After some time, I get bored and crave for challenging and research-oriented tasks. And the cycle continues.
  11. I want to make a difference in the world and create an impact, but I often feel like I don’t belong here and wonder if I’m an alien.
  12. I want to help humanity in some way, but I sometimes hate human nature and mankind in general.
  13. Though I’m sceptical about human beings in general, I trust individual people and believe in them.
  14. I’m highly responsible and focused on whatever holds my attention. I can also be prone to procrastination.
  15. I’m highly organized with regards to certain things, but I’d leave other things messy. For example, my bookshelf is strategically organized and has to be properly maintained, but I leave books all around my bed, bench, desk, dining table and basically any flat surface. In my office cubicle, my laptop, test machine, show pieces and my plant have to be positioned in the exact way that I want and I hate it whenever they’re moved by an inch by the cleaning lady, but I’d leave papers, envelopes, coffee cups and tissues all around in a mess and that’s okay.
  16. I usually focus on the big picture. I need to know the point of everything that I do. However, when I’m working on a small part, my perfectionism pushes me to become too detail-oriented that I forget the big picture.
  17. I hate conflicts of even the minutest degree, which means I don’t argue unless it is extremely important to do so. This makes me look like a pushover. However, if someone triggers my anger, I can be completely preachy and rebellious.
  18. I’m very open-minded, but once I make up my mind about something, I cannot change it.
  19. I have no sense of moderation. I either over-explain (rarely) or am cryptic. I either sleep too much or too less. I either eat full or starve by forgetting to eat. I either exercise too much or I’m a couch potato. I mostly care too much about people, but once I hate them, I’m indifferent.
  20. If you see me in a group setting, be it in meetings, public gatherings or even in a WhatsApp group, I’ll be awkward, unnatural and reserved. In a one-on-one setting, I’ll be vibrant, energetic and engaging, provided we have common interests. I’m constantly mistaken for an extrovert due to this.
  21. I’m a passive listener in most conversations and I hate small-talk, but I’m pretty loquacious when discussing a topic of my interest. Some of my friends describe me as the most talkative as well as the quietest person they know.
  22. I can think of someone as a close friend and not contact them for a while. This is mostly because I don’t want to bother them and sometimes it’s my need for space. I’m loyal, yet detached.
  23. I think in a very complex manner and cannot articulate my thoughts properly when I’m speaking. Yet, if I write my thoughts down, the words flow like a river.
  24. People have often said that before they knew me, they thought I was standoffish and once they talked to me, they realized I’m friendly.
  25. I can understand other people’s feelings well. I’m the shoulder that my friends cry on. From a young age, I’ve been the motivator/advisor/coach of people much older than me. However, when it comes to my own feelings, I cannot process them properly. I need to vent out to someone, mostly my mom, in order to try to understand what I’m going through.
  26. People often tell me their secrets, confessions, hopes and dreams and I encourage them to do so, but I can never open up to them the same way. Most people see about 5% to 10% of me. My close friends know about 30% of me. My dad probably knows 50% of me and my mom should know about 70% of me.
  27. More often than not, I can detect when people behave oddly or lie. I easily sense if a story doesn’t fit. I can still be very gullible because I choose to believe in the person spinning the tales.
  28. I’m too hard on myself and criticize myself viciously. With others though, I try to find their best points, project their positives and stick up to them no matter what.
  29. I yearn for appreciation, but I hate attention and feel too awkward and embarrassed when I’m appreciated that I try to change the topic.
  30. I’ve always been told that I’m an old soul. Even since childhood, I usually click with older people, but I’ve rarely been comfortable around people my age. I feel bad about not fitting in, but also proud of being unique. My personality is something I love and hate.

No, I don’t have multiple personalities. I just have one that is very complex. If you’re an INFJ, let me know if any of these ring true for you.


15 thoughts on “My Personality Quirks: INFJ Contradictions

  1. deetroutman says:

    I recognize a lot of the INFJ personality type in you that I find now in myself. For about 20 years I thought I was an INTJ but then someone told me they thought I was an Idealist and so I looked at my Please Understand Me books and realized yes I may be an NF which I had always adored in other people and thought I was attracted to for the longest time which I was just not the way I had understood it. I never can say anything right either but write with way more complexity than seen on the outside.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anusha Narasimhan says:

      Before I came across Myers-Briggs, I associated myself with INTJ qualities as well. I could not believe it when the first test told me I’m an INFJ. I took multiple quiz/tests to confirm. Once I read through the descriptions, it made perfect sense. I’ve come to understand myself better by knowing those 4 letters.


  2. Neethu says:

    Anusha I feel like we are personality sisters..😉me too everything applies to me..exactly. .ditto. .loved reading this one. .was really awesome. .I felt like someone was describing me.😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hannah says:

    I relate to all of these and especially to the idea of being an all or nothing person. I also can so relate to wanting to be alone when I’m with people, but craving connection when I’m alone. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ShoegazeAndCats says:

    It seems like you covered just about every INFJ contradiction I can think of. It’s much more extensive than my list! I cracked a smile at #15 (the one about organization) because it reminded me how annoying and finicky I can be with my stuff. Even if my space doesn’t appear perfectly organized to someone else, I’m often bothered by someone picking things up and not placing them back exactly as they found them. It seems kind of disrespectful to me, especially when someone shows no regard for the fact that I might not want them messing with my things. Anyway, I think I agree with the entire list.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. rajkumarbenny says:

    I’be stumbled upon this gold by chance . ENTP here and from Chennai.. (funnily so) INFJ is a broad spectrum and you’ve elucidated your traits ‘extremely well’. I’ve been sending this around to a few of my INFJ friends and they’re all nodding their heads in agreement that they’ve finally come across something that precisely narrates their whole lives lol. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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