Being An Introvert (INFJ) In An Extroverted World

I’ve always been interested in Psychology, especially learning about personality types – an area that really excites me. According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator there are 16 different personalities types.

I love finding out bits of information on who we are, why we are the way we are and the ins and outs of astrology too. A lot of people think astrology is bullshit, but as lame as this may sound… it gives me a little bit of guidance in life sometimes. I could spend hours reading about my star sign, Scorpio, likewise with my personality type.

A mere 1% of the population are INFJ’s, the rarest personality apparently, and I happen to fall into that bubble after taking the test.

INFJ stands for, introversion (I), intuition (N), feeling (F), and judgment (J) – the Advocate. It describes me to a tee (pretty scary stuff).

Discovering my personality type has helped me truly understand myself after feeling a bit lost the past year or so. MB tells me I’m 64% introverted and 36% extroverted.

I’ve known for a long time that I’ve steered more towards the introverted side. But sometimes when I become too introverted (alone for extended periods of time with little human interaction), I can lose my sense of self and it hits me pretty hard. I need human interaction to keep me sane, like most people do.

I’ve often thought of my introversion as a flaw, something that I need to work on, to improve or even completely eradicate. But as I’ve gotten older, I feel introversion should be embraced and we should be accepted for who we are.

Sometimes, it can be quite exhausting being an introvert in an extroverted world.

From a young age, we’re forced to be sat with groups of children at school. We’re encouraged to be outgoing and to embrace being a social butterfly in order to be successful.
As we enter adulthood, it isn’t any different, we’re told to embrace the open office life and to continue the extroverted persona.

Society tends to reward people that have more extroverted tendencies. The louder people are, the more confident they appear, the more attention they get.
Although introverts aren’t the centre of attention – and we’d rather not be – we’re happy being modest, working quietly in the corner and making careful intelligent business decisions (we don’t like taking risks that we’re unsure about, we go with our intuition and intellect).
We have extremely high standards for ourselves and what we can achieve. We’re perfectionists and feel disappointed if we haven’t accomplished our to-do-list the size of an arm every single day. The end goal is more important to us than the hard work and intention that got us there though.

We’re the intensely quiet, thinker, dreamer types. However, we have strong opinions, will fight tirelessly for ideas we believe in, and do speak up when we feel strongly and passionate about something, especially if we feel wronged. We can be compassionate, insightful, yet we’re also highly sensitive beings.
We’re usually pretty quiet but sometimes our (34%) extroversion comes out in us and it throws people off guard. Especially when we’ve had a few glasses of wine and we’re bopping around to Beyonce…

However, leading more towards the introverted scale of 64% makes complete sense to me.  I love being a bit of a homebody and could spend countless weekends in my pjs, watching documentaries and films, or writing countless blog posts about things I’m truly passionate about. I feel so energised when I’m in my zone by myself.

On the other hand, if I spend a weekend seeing a few friends and family, stuffing my face with pizza and sipping a few cocktails, I’m equally as happy. But sometimes when I’m surrounded by masses of people I feel mentally drained and need to re-charge by being alone.
INFJ’s just need the right balance of both to stay happy and sane otherwise we tend to lose ourselves.

Being an INFJ is kind of complex. We’re essentially introverted-extroverts in a way. And we’re always striving for something more in life. Trying to find our purpose. It can be darn right confusing sometimes.

From past experiences and doing a bit of research, I think there are a lot of misconceptions around introverts that we apparently don’t like people and this is not true, not for INFJ’s anyway. We love people (unless you’re an asshole), we just don’t know how to act around you sometimes, especially when it comes down to small talk. We’d rather be engrossed in deep meaningful conversations about space, documentaries, the world or life experiences, rather than talk about the weather.

That being said, I’ve learned to adapt to being comfortable with small talk as it’s part of every day life and sometimes it’s interesting when you ask someone how they are, and they reply ‘to be honest… I feel like shit’, it’s not that I’m nosey (or maybe I am) but I want to know more. I like to try and turn it around so the person feels better about themselves. I like getting to the root of the problem to try and help and brighten their mood I suppose.

I guess I’m that friend who will always be by your side and sit in the dark with you to try and help. Deep down I’m a really compassionate person and when I see someone suffering (sometimes in silence), I drop everything to help.
I don’t know if this is an INFJ trait or if it’s because life’s experiences have lead me to behave a certain way, but it would be interesting to know if anyone who reads this blog completely understands where I’m coming from.

Have you taken the Myers Briggs personality test? Are you an introvert or an extrovert personality type?

It’s important not only to understand your personality type but also the personalities of others. Let’s all embrace being different, our quirky traits and stop conforming to what society wants us to be.

To my fellow introverts and INFJ’s, the world needs you and it’s ok to be an introvert in an extroverted world. Embrace who you are.

You may also be interested in this TED TALKS episode, the power of introverts. I’ve listened to it several times throughout the years and it has really helped me. IntrovertDear is another amazing blog that just gets me and I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do if you’re an introvert!

4 Comments

  1. September 24, 2017 / 9:29 pm

    I absolutely loved this blog post! I can completely relate to everything that you have spoken about, as I’m exactly the same. If ever you want to talk, I’m more than happy to connect with you on social media. Your blog is fabulous, so keep up the good work! xx

    • zoey
      September 24, 2017 / 10:57 pm

      Thanks Jade :). Your blog is amazing too – so many great topics :).
      Found your Instagram through your blog, following you x

  2. September 25, 2017 / 2:59 am

    Haven’t done Meyers Briggs in a while but I’m definitely an introverted feeler and reading your post was like reading about myself! I find I will “turn on” my extroverted side when I have to (e.g. work presentation, networking) although it’s uncomfortable.

    http://www.BlushandPearls.com

    • zoey
      September 25, 2017 / 8:17 am

      Definitely with you on the ‘turning your extroverted side on’ especially at work. Sometimes around friends and family too. x

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