When I committed to creating weekly resources for INFJ women in the form of an email called The INFJ Life, I faced my perfectionism and fear of criticism. I had a vision, though, and committed to seeing it through.
I planned a launch date and announced it in a few business groups to keep myself accountable. As the date came closer and closer, my doubts popped up, but I persisted. I hesitantly hit send to my first six subscribers in early 2017 and The INFJ Life was born.
You have a vision, too, don't you? Just like me, you have a deep desire to do something meaningful. If you find yourself being held back by perfectionism or your inner critic, just like I did, coaching can help you make that vision a reality. Coaching is what propelled me forward, and I want to do the same for you. Let's talk!
Here are 10 observations I've made in my work as a coach and writer for INFJ women:
1. Culture does not impact the way INFJ women process information and make decisions.
Speaking to INFJ women all over the world has reinforced my understanding that INFJ women in all cultures share similar strengths and struggles. Because STJ types are more prevalent in all cultures, INFJ women find that they process the world much differently than the majority of those around them. If you have the INFJ personality type, it doesn't matter where you live or what your cultural background is. You use introverted intuition as your dominant function (to take in information), and you primarily use extraverted feeling to make decisions.
2. INFJ women understand their thoughts and feelings better when they share them out loud with another person.
I see this as I coach INFJ women, but this goes for INFJ men as well. I frequently hear phrases like, "Now that I hear you say that back to me it makes more sense" or "When I hear you repeat what I said I can see how I really have accomplished a lot." My favorite is, "Hearing that out loud makes me realize I already know what I want to do." Hearing our ideas reflected back to us really helps us gain a deeper insight and broader perspective on our thoughts and feelings. Speaking to other people helps you process since you're wired to better understand the thoughts and emotions of others than your own. This makes sense, then, that INFJs are most likely to talk to a professional when trying to cope with stress (MBTI® Manual).
3. INFJ women do not make up the smallest percentage of the population.
Yes, we have the rarest personality type of the 16 MBTI® types. If you look at personality type among women, INFJ women aren't the rarest. According to the MBTI® Manual, INFJ women make up 1.6% of the population. There are fewer ENTJ women, who make up .9% of the population, and INTJ women, who make up .8% of the population. INFJ men make up 1.3% of the population. This makes them the rarest type among all men.
4. INFJ women rule the internet.
Well, not really. However, we do exist in great numbers online. So much so that it causes other people to ask, "why are there so many INFJs here?" I was recently interacting in a Facebook group for introverted entrepreneurs in which MBTI® personality type was brought up. Nearly half of us were INFJs, and we were all women except for one! Most of us are obsessed with understanding other people (and ourselves), so you'll find us lurking on forums and other online groups. The internet is a glorious thing. There are certainly pitfalls, but it's a great place to connect with other introverts and INFJs.
5. Many INFJ women choose not to have children.
There are, of course, many INFJ women who do have children. However, I've discovered many of us choose not to. There's no judgment either way. This is simply an observation with no research available to back it up. :) Our high sensitivity and the impact others have on our energy are two things INFJ women have shared with me as their reasons to not have children. Any choice you make is the right one for you.
6. INFJ women focus more on their weaknesses than their strengths.
Yes, yes we do. Why do we do this? I see our focus on possibilities and our idealism as the reason. We always see areas for improvement—and not just for ourselves. This is why I help my coaching clients recognize and celebrate their accomplishments. That alone can remind us that we ARE making progress. This regular review and celebrationhelps motivate and encourage us.
7. INFJ women are not bound to be depressed or attract narcissistic personalities.
Being an INFJ does not equal depression*. It does not equal attracting narcissistic persons. These are questions I've received many times. Are these possible for INFJ women? Of course. However, the INFJ personality type is not synonymous with these things. One thing I want to note about depression is that the MBTI® system was notdeveloped to indicate type preferences among those with mental health issues. In fact, the MBTI® assessment cannot accurately type the personality of a person who has depression or any other psychological diagnosis. It wasn't built for that purpose, and its usefulness breaks down under those conditions. This fundamental misunderstanding of the MBTI® system accounts for many mistypings.
8. INFJ women aren't your "typical" woman.
What is a typical woman anyway? I don't think she exists. As women with a rare personality type, though, we can find ourselves feeling different than many of the women we're around. We don't do what society or culture tells us we should do just because we're women. We may come across as caring and nurturing, but don't overlook that icy stare in our eyes when you ask us to sacrifice our integrity or go against something we see as deeply meaningful. We're emotional, but we can be quite logical, too. Do NOT underestimate us.
9. INFJ women feel like a stranger in a strange land—both as an INFJ and as a woman.
As mentioned in #3, INFJ women are one of the rarer types. But also consider that INFJs and INTJs are the only two personality types who use introverted intuition as their dominant function. Together, we (both male and female) make up 7% of the population according to the MBTI® Manual. Only 2.4% of INFJs and INTJs are women. We use a dominant information-gathering (perceiving) process that is mostly used by males. What does this mean exactly? I believe it partially explains why we may feel different than other women, as mentioned in #8. If you're curious, the top two personality types found in women are ISJFs (19.4%), who use introverted sensing, and ESFJs (16.9%), who use extraverted feeling as their dominant function.
10. A confident INFJ woman with a purpose, plan, and accountability is unstoppable.
Understanding your personality type is the first step to self-acceptance. This deep acceptance of who you are, and why you do the things you do, creates the foundation for confidence. Having a purpose, creating a plan, and actively taking steps forward continues to build your confidence, self-acceptance, and satisfaction with your life. Finally, having accountability keeps you committed to your plan. Self-acceptance. Confidence. Purpose. Plan. Accountability. This is the recipe for putting your INFJ passion and insights to use, making a difference, and feeling fulfilled.
Want help and accountability with this process? I'd love to talk to you about coaching. You can book a free Discovery Call here. Here's what Marisa B. said after her Discovery Call: "Leslie's Discovery Call was fantastic for me. She is so easy to talk to and really takes time to understand you. I was a little shocked that I learned so much about myself in a 45-minute phone call."
This article first appeared in The INFJ Life weekly email for INFJ women. If you don't want to miss an issue, you can sign up here: