I’m an INFJ – Embracing Your God-Given Personality

My fellow bloggers, writers, and avid readers, shall we talk about our quiet, deep-feeling, word-loving personality. Or is it just mine? 😉

infj personality(picture found on pixabay.com)

But really, I’ve noticed a lot of writers/bloggers are introverts. I myself am an INFJ according to the tests I’ve done. The advocate, the defender, or the guardian. Supposedly, people with INFJ personalities are “rare”. I don’t know if I quite believe it, but I will admit that I do often feel like no one understands me.

I’m different.

No one else is quite like me.

I get lonely.

I feel crazy.

I have the fear, deep down, that I’ll never quite belong anywhere.

I can share a lot, but I never really, really share my heart because I’m afraid no one would understand.

For a girl who longs for deep, intimate connections and community, it’s a terrible thing to feel so separate from other people.

I think the loneliness and fear have driven me to try to understand myself. Then I would feel guilty for researching “myself”—like I’m enamored with me, haha.

But, actually, I’ve heard that INFJ’s just have a hunger to understand their personality and the personalities of others. I want to know why I feel, react, and think certain ways. I want to understand why other people do what they do and say what they say.

woman-2827304_1920(found on pixabay.com)

And when I read things about the INFJ personality and think, Hey, that’s what I do. Maybe that’s why I behave this way and feel such-and-such—then I feel more okay with being me.

And you know what? It IS okay that I’m me! It’s more than okay.

It’s perfect.

God, in His infinite wisdom, created me just the way I am with exactly the personality I have. He made me introverted, bookish, relational, a dreamer, a deep thinker, a writer, and a deep feeler. He created me this way, and therefore He understands me, even when I think nobody does. Even when I can’t understand myself.

Psalm 139:1-6 & 13-16

Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

Genesis 1:26-28

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

1 Corinthians 13:12

Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

Jeremiah 29:11-14

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord,

***

When I do research and study my personality and just be myself, I think it is a very good thing. Because isn’t it most honoring to the Creator when I embrace who He made me to be? When I glorify Him with the specific and unique gifts, abilities, talents, and personality He gave me?

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So … what does it mean to be an INFJ?

Here are a few quotes from INFJ (“The Advocate”) of 16Personalities:

“INFJs indeed share a unique combination of traits: though soft-spoken, they have very strong opinions and will fight tirelessly for an idea they believe in.” (Introduction)

“INFJs find it easy to make connections with others, and have a talent for warm, sensitive language, speaking in human terms, rather than with pure logic and fact. It makes sense that their friends and colleagues will come to think of them as quiet Extraverted types, but they would all do well to remember that INFJs need time alone to decompress and recharge, and to not become too alarmed when they suddenly withdraw.” (Introduction)

“This becomes especially apparent when INFJs find themselves up against conflict and criticism – their sensitivity forces them to do everything they can to evade these seemingly personal attacks, but when the circumstances are unavoidable, they can fight back in highly irrational, unhelpful ways.” (Introduction)

“INFJs like to know that they are taking concrete steps towards their goals, and if routine tasks feel like they are getting in the way, or worse yet, there is no goal at all, they will feel restless and disappointed.” (Strengths and Weaknesses)

“When it comes to romantic relationships, INFJs take the process of finding a partner seriously. Not ones for casual encounters, people with the INFJ personality type instead look for depth and meaning in their relationships. INFJs will take the time necessary to find someone they truly connect with (Romantic Relationships)

“There is a running theme with INFJs, and that is a yearning for authenticity and sincerity – in their activities, their romantic relationships, and their friendships. … Rather, INFJs seek out people who share their passions, interests and ideologies, people with whom they can explore philosophies and subjects that they believe are truly meaningful.” (Friends)

“First and foremost, INFJs need to find meaning in their work, to know that they are helping and connecting with people (Career Paths)

“INFJs often pursue expressive careers such as writing, elegant communicators that they are, and author many popular blogs, stories and screenplays. Music, photography, design and art are viable options too, and they all can focus on deeper themes of personal growth, morality and spirituality.” (Career Paths)

Quotes and Stuff from my INFJ Pinterest Board (these were all found on Pinterest):

Being an introvert doesn’t always mean we’re shy, insecure, can’t talk, timid, scared of our own shadow, and friendless.

It may mean we’re quiet, socially-awkward (but not socially-inept), cautious, very sensitive, and a little different.

What I’m trying to say is: you don’t have to change my personality in order for me to be who I need to be and do what I need to do.

I believe why I was insecure as a person is not because that’s how I was made, but rather because I was afraid to be who I was truly made to be.

Even because many people made me feel like I had to change my personality in order to be right.

Why are you so quiet? {Um … ? I’ve been talking, haven’t I? I enjoy listening also, you know. Or, I just don’t have much that I feel needs to be said right now.}

Why don’t you talk more? {Well, I try, but you either interrupt, talk over me, stare blankly in response, or don’t notice I spoke up at all.}

Why are you always so sad? {I’m not! I’m just not as bubbly and expressive and loud as you are. That’s allowed, isn’t it?}

You’re turning red. {*wants to melt into the ground* I KNOW quite well that I’m blushing … can you please just act normal and move on with the conversation? Please?}

SHE TALKED! YOU CAN TALK?? {Do you think I’m weird? Are you not accepting me? *freaks out and overthinks everything* Now I feel stupid and probably won’t say anything else for the rest of the evening.} 

Everyone HAS to participate! {Even if I’m quaking in terror and feel on the verge of passing out?? HAVE MERCY!}

You’re too quiet; you need to talk louder. {I feel like I’m shouting! *feels desperate*}

Shy people are just really selfish. {*heart shrivels up inside chest*}

Desperately shy, I battled headaches and stomachaches every time I went to youth group, Bible study, casual Ultimate Frisbee games, a friend’s house, church, etc., etc., year after year after year (even though I liked these things).

Critically insecure, I kept silent during Bible study (which I loved … filled with people I really liked) even when my mind and heart had thoughts to offer and questions to pose.

Occasionally, I was filled with such passion and boldness, and actually spoke up.

But most times, I felt so wrong and uncertain of being myself that I kept quiet when I wanted to speak. I hung back when I wanted to join. I blushed painfully when people talked to and tried to involve me (though I yearned for deep connection!). I felt guilt over silly things. I hid parts of my heart even from my closest friends and family.

Being an INFJ didn’t make me that way. But perhaps because the INFJ personality isn’t as common as some, I had a hard time accepting myself.

I called myself stupid. A failure. Ugly. Fat. Unwanted. Dumb. Unable. Too awkward. Not good enough. Unacceptable.

Idiot. You idiot! I’m so sick of you.

That’s what I said to myself. I bought into the Enemy’s lies and I fed them to myself.

And it held me back from doing all that God has called me to. It kept me from all that God wanted to give me. It kept me from being fully who God created me to be.

I was very, very insecure, and shy, and fearful.

Even up until this last year of 2017, I struggled. (And it will be something I have to continue fighting, I’m sure!) For a large part of my life, I didn’t realize how insecure I truly was. This past fall, I came face to face with what I really thought of myself.

I was sick of being me because, deep down, I thought of myself as stupid and not good enough. Not pretty enough. Not out-going enough. Not doing enough. Not confident and independent enough. Not smart enough.

I didn’t truly grasp my real worth in Christ, and so I looked to other people to define my worth. If they accepted me, I would feel okay with myself. If they rejected me, I told myself I was stupid. If someone said something that might have been questioning my worth, I internally freaked out and fell apart because I felt I had no worth apart from their validation.

I sort of kept this all inside, and it affected me in ways I didn’t realize.

I’m changing now.

But I’m not becoming less of an introvert – my personality is not becoming less INFJ. I’m not becoming less of a deep thinker and deep feeler. I’m still quiet, and sensitive, and very self-aware.

I’m blossoming as an INFJ, because I cried out to the Lord with all my heart and He filled me with His love. I believe He says: I WANT YOU. I LOVE YOU. I CREATED YOU. I DELIGHT IN YOU. I CHOSE YOU. Now I know that I can embrace who I am. Because that’s exactly who God fearfully and wonderfully made me to be.

I claim my worth in Christ.

If anyone tries to tell me I’m less-than, I say: Go talk to my Father. No one can tell me what my value is except for Him. And He says I was worth it all.

To add to that incredible reality, He says I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Just as I am.

He can use my quietness, my deep feelings, my sensitivity, my self-awareness, my love of writing, my social awkwardness, my passion, my strong opinions in powerful ways. He can use me in huge ways, even when I’m still rather terrified to speak in front of crowds, but can chatter passionately to small, intimate groups.

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Listen …

WE ARE ALL UNIQUE.

And that is radiantly beautiful! In appearance, in personality, in gifts, in talents, in passions, in dreams, in strengths, we are different. And that is exactly how it’s supposed to be.

1 Corinthians 12:12-14

12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.

Instead of trying to change each other, why not complement and enhance and edify and uplift one another?

1 Corinthians 12:15-31

15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be?

20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.

The next chapter in 1 Corinthians goes on to talk about how we are nothing without love.

You may never find me laughing and joking in front of huge crowds. But as I grow in security in Christ’s love for me, I find the courage and ability to share deeply from my heart with individuals, be vulnerable, pray over friends in need, and lead small Bible study groups – as has always been my desire!

It is God who changes my heart and grows me, and uses my personality for His glory and our good. He created me and He knows me. And when I know He accepts and wants me, I can walk forth in joy and security and boldness and love, even as an INFJ! 😉

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 I used to be frightened that my physical appearance would change people’s opinion of me – I’m not beautiful enough. I used to be terrified to go places – I’m probably not wanted or welcome.

But, slowly, slowly, I’m throwing that mindset off.

God loves me. God wants me.

He made me, so who are you to say there’s a problem with what He’s created? I am His child and the world is His, so I have as much a right to be here as anyone else. (I’m okay. Do you hear that, heart of mine? Stop seizing up in my chest and let me breathe and walk normally!)

I realize that there are, indeed, people in the world who do truly love and want me. They don’t care if my hair is a bit messy, my clothes aren’t the latest style, I have zits on my face, or I’ve gained a few pounds. They look at me and they see me—my heart—who they adore.

This is so beautiful!

I have a hard time claiming people’s love for myself, but I speak it because there are people who have proven their love for me. And they are worthy of my trust.

beautiful-girl-2003647_1920(found on pixabay.com)

So. BE YOU. Don’t mock or refuse to accept God’s beautiful design and creativity. Be who the wise Creator made you to be. And know you are richly and completely loved. By your Heavenly Father. And, most likely, by many people … You’ve just blinded yourself to their affection for you.

God is good. His design is good. His creation is good.

DO YOU HAVE THE INFJ PERSONALITY? CAN YOU RELATE? WHAT’S YOUR STORY?

ARE YOU A DIFFERENT PERSONALITY? WHAT ARE SOME THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF THAT YOU FEEL ARE MISUNDERSTOOD? TELL ME SOME UNIQUE THINGS ABOUT YOU AND HOW GOD HAS USED THEM!

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10 thoughts on “I’m an INFJ – Embracing Your God-Given Personality

  1. Oh my goodness, Shantelle, thank you so much for sharing this! I really appreciate the heart and realness you put in this! It’s so very refreshing and awesome to see a Christian talk about personality types and put a Christian viewpoint of it all. ❤ I’m not an INFJ type, but I’ve researched into the type and it’s my favorite type. You all are so complex and enthralling. I really admire INFJ’s strength. Also, knowing some very INFJs, for them it would’ve been hard to share this, and I really appreciate you sharing what you did with us even if it wasn’t the easiest thing to do. (Seriously, You INFJs have a majorly strong gift of encouraging and strongly inspiring others.)

    I’m an INFP personality type. I found one of my greatest struggles, and also the thing INFPs are really know for and are very often misinterpreted for, is our strong emotions. As an Fi (Introverted Feeling) dominant personality type, we experiencing things really deeply. (We’re one of the four myers briggs types known as being the empaths of the types. (Along side, INFJs, ENFJs, and ENFPs)Though this really makes us great writers, poets, musicians, therapists, ect… Latching on to the outlet that God sets before us…we can really flourish and do great things. Knowing and just learning to be the best we can be with Christ and learning to put our focus on others, our emotions are so definitely a blessing.

    I loved what you said: “ What I’m trying to say is: you don’t have to change my personality in order for me to be who I need to be and do what I need to do.“ I wholeheartedly agree!

    Have you thought about, or looked into the cognitive functions for INFJ? Looking into those really helps just understand yourself and others with different types, while helping you know how to develop and better yourself and your personality. I’ve recently got into it, and it’s sooooo amazing.

    It’s so neat to see all the gifts that each type has. It’s also really strange, but amazing to see, that it seems the weakness of the types develops into their strongest point after they learn to overcome the obstacle, and channel it into doing something good and encouraging. And of course it’s different for every person, because we’re more than four letter personality types, but similar struggles and victories for different people, and myers briggs just really helps people understand others and learn how to work together and encourage one another. ^-^

    (Oh my lands, long comment, I totally nerded out, sorry about that :P)

    Like

    • Hi, Hannah! So good to hear from you. ❤ You're very welcome! I hope it was an inspiration and blessing!!

      Haha, aww, that's so kind of you to say so! That blessed my heart. 🙂 I do long to encourage and help others! About this being hard to share … honestly, it's gotten easier to share from my heart the more I do it. (Online, that is, not always necessarily in person!) But there is always a part of me that frets and stresses that maybe I'm sharing too much. Being too personal. People might not like me or look at me the same anymore. I might panic a little sometimes after I post something and then think of someone I know reading it, haha! So yes. It's definitely hard to be vulnerable, but I keep getting the courage and inspiration and desire to continue sharing when even one person comments saying they relate or they were encouraged! ❤ So thank YOU for commenting, Hannah!

      That's cool! (Is planning to go read about INFPs now.) Yes, I can see how that'd be a struggle or misunderstood … but, absolutely, finding the right outlet it can be such a strength and good thing! 🙂 Use it for God's glory! *cheers* How is your writing going?

      Glad you agree! We so need to encourage people to embrace their personalities and be fully who God made them to be. HE KNOWS BEST. And He can use us all in great, different ways – each being a different, but vital, part of the Body.

      I don't think I've looked into that, but I will have to! Sounds so intriguing!! Thanks for letting me know about it. Two of my younger sisters are in a class (in their homeschool group) that is about different personality types and spiritual gifts and whatnot. They have a book they're reading on it, and I'm fascinated when they tell me what they're learning! 😀

      Absolutely! It kind of goes along with that verse, "in our weakness, He is strong". He can use all kinds of weaknesses … and even things we thought were weaknesses He can turn into our biggest strengths. That's why I think it's important to understand your personality!

      Don't be sorry! I nerd out about this stuff to, as you might be able to tell from my really long blog post! 😀 😉 It is so fascinating, and I'm glad to have found another person who feels the same! Thanks, again, for commenting and sharing a bit about yourself and your passion for understanding our God-given personalities! Keep living your life to the fullest for His glory! Blessings to you, my dear!

      Like

  2. Sorry for being here. You said more than once in your About Page that this blog is intended for women. I am a man. But I hope I’m still welcome here.

    It’s just that I can’t help but appreciate your writing here about INFJs embracing their gifts from God. Being the rarest of all temperaments, we always feel the loneliness. And then when we found our own species — other INFJs — we suddenly feel connection… and the assurance that somehow, somewhere out there, another person is thinking and feeling just like us.

    To be honest, I find your writing to be very long. It took me awhile as I swipe my tablet back and forth through the paragraphs, But I like it. And I love the collection of sayings you have here. How did you gather them all? I appreciate that you incorporated a lot of Bible verses (Yes, I m also a Christian.) And the Pinterest quotes too. I salute you for the effort in gather all these.

    So in answer to your questions at the bottom of your article, here are the following…

    – I believe I have already answered the first one.
    – My strong insistence in cooperation (when I was in leadership position) has been misunderstood many times. Other leaders prefer the “command and control” type of leadership; I simply believe that cooperation is better.
    – Something unique? Well, sometimes I can feel what a person is going to do even if he himself doesn’t know it yet… that he’s going to do that thing. I can not control that ability. It just comes sometimes, unexpected. But when it happens, it’s always right.
    – My diplomatic ability has been used by God many times in my previous work.

    So, again, thanks for sharing a lot of things about INFJs. I can relate. And thanks for accepting this comment (though I’m not a woman)! 😊

    God bless you!

    Like

    • Thank you for stopping by and commenting! Sometimes I do speak specifically to women on this blog, but as I also said in my “About Me” page, I hope to encourage my brothers in Christ as well!

      I’m glad this post was an encouragement to you. I agree that it is a truly special thing to realize there are other people with similar feelings and thoughts. That’s why I’ve developed a passion for researching personalities and understanding myself and others! To know I’m not alone, even if I don’t meet a whole lot of people with the same personality as myself. 🙂

      I do tend to ramble on. Probably because I don’t plot out my writings (whether blog posts or stories), I just sit down with something on my heart and start writing. So it might not be the most organized! I’m glad you got something out of it, even so!
      I find a lot of quotes from the 16 personalities site, as I mentioned above (https://www.16personalities.com/) and off Pinterest. Sometimes I look up the INFJ personality, other times I just come across quotes randomly because I follow people who are interested in personality types or something.
      As a child of God, everything comes back to Him. My foundation for truth is found in His Word, so I always want to include it in my posts! 🙂 He should be in every part of my life.
      Thank you!

      Thanks for sharing a bit about your personality. It’s definitely neat to see the different unique abilities and ways God uses each of us. Working together/cooperation are for sure something I believe in over controlling others.

      You’re welcome. Once again, I’m thankful it was relatable/encouraging.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for welcoming me, and for taking time to respond!

        Yes I understand, I do the same thing in writing.

        I already visited the 16personalities.com too. I’ll get back there to read some more. But I got my INFJ result in David Keirsey’s Temperament Sorter. I have one of his books, the Please Understand Me II. It’s a great book. Keirsey sorts out personalities by how they use WORDS, and how they use TOOLS.

        Again, thanks a lot!
        God bless!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my. I’m crying over here.
    You said things I could never truly get out, fears I’ve never expressed.
    I’ve always struggled with the feeling of ‘not being good enough’.
    Not good enough for God, for me, for others…. You’re words just melted me into a puddle

    Like

    • Aw, LaKaysha … I wish I could give you a hug! *HUGS* You are not alone, my sweet friend. And you ARE enough – claim your worth in Christ. ❤ He loves you, oh, so much! But I know the struggle is very real. I'm praying for you. Keep growing in Him, dear sister. Know and believe His UNCONDITIONAL love for you, and know that people love you too!

      Now I know why I wrote this post. 🙂 Hope it was a blessing/encouragement, as well as being relatable!

      Like

  4. Pingback: My God Is Good | Lady Grace ~ a quiet & gentle spirit

  5. Thank you so much for writing this beautiful post! I am also an INFJ, and I relate to all of this, especially the part about youth group. I had been going to my church’s for nearly two years, and still hadn’t really connected with anyone, and I felt like it was my fault, that I wasn’t trying hard enough. I started praying about it, and then my friend asked me if I’d like to come to her’s. Now I feel like I’m really a part of it, and feel so much more comfortable, even if I don’t talk a lot. 😄

    Like

    • You’re welcome, Audrey! I’m glad to hear this post was relatable and encouraging to you. ❤

      Aw, that's wonderful! So awesome that you brought it to God in prayer and now you're going better! I hope you continue enjoying your new youth group and growing closer to the people there! God is faithful, and He can do beyond what we ask or imagine! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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