How INFJs struggle with helping
How often do you find yourself wanting to help others? As an INFJ woman, your answer is probably often! So you may be wondering about the title of this article. We really do struggle with helping. Let me explain...
What’s Fe got to do with it?
If we look at your INFJ cognitive functions, or the way your mind takes in information and makes decisions, we see that you use a function called Extraverted Feeling (Fe) in the auxiliary position. Unlike your dominant Introverted Intuition (Ni), your Fe is a function that the world sees because it’s oriented toward the outside world. In other words, it’s “extraverted.”
Extraverted Feeling is a wonderful aspect of your INFJ personality type. Your Fe:
motivates you to create and maintain harmony among those around you.
causes you to consider how your actions and decisions will impact others.
allows you to take action on your intuitive insights.
encourages you to help others in insightful ways (more so than in practical ways).
allows you to pick up on clues about other people and their feelings.
gives you the ability to inspire others.
allows you to help people feel understood.
Using your Fe function is a very healthy thing for an INFJ. If we avoid using our Fe, we lose Fe’s perfect balance to our Ni. You can read more about what happens in this article I wrote about our Extraverted Feeling.
It’s your Fe’s fault!
As a user of Fe in one of the top two positions of your mental functions, you tend to struggle with asking for help and receiving help. You have no problem giving help. Oh, no! But your Fe sure does make it difficult to ask and receive. INFJs like to be the ones who give the help. The same goes for ISFJs, ENFJs, and ESFJs who also use Fe in the dominant or auxiliary position.
What happens when you never ask for or accept help
When you try to do everything yourself, without asking for help or accepting offers of help, you already know you set yourself up for the possibility of real struggles. You may have had success on a few occasions of doing everything yourself. But living your life in this mode is not sustainable. A few things that can happen if you never ask for help or never accept offers to help:
Burnout or overload
Dwindling offers of help from others
Reinforcement of any desires you have to control things
Modeling this behavior for any kids you may have in your life
How to accept and ask for help
I’m not going to say just do it, because I know it’s more difficult than that. I will suggest that you treat it like a new skill—just like saying no is a skill. This means it’ll take practice. But there’s one major mindset shift I want to offer that can help you change the way you view asking for and receiving help.
Stop for a moment and consider exactly how you feel when you’re able to help others. What thoughts do you have? What feelings come with those thoughts? Do you feel happy? Excited? Content? Appreciated? Useful? Valued?
What do others think and feel when they willingly help you? Could it be some of the same things? If they’re genuine and eager to help you, they gain something from the exchange, too. Just like you.
When you allow others to help you, you give them the gift of helping. You allow them to have those same thoughts and feelings you have when you help others. Some people may even describe it as a kind of “high.” Denying offers of help, or not asking for help from those who can provide it, means you deny them the opportunity to serve you. Use your Fe to consider how much it may mean to another person when they can use their gifts, knowledge, and time to help.
Put it into practice!
To practice this week, look for at least one opportunity in which you can ask for help on something or accept someone’s offer of help. It can be big or small. If you’d like to share how this goes, I’d love to hear. You can simply comment below to share your experience.