INFJ’s feel very misunderstood growing up. In fact, it is as if you don’t grow out of that teenage phase. The language patterns of INFJ children tend to stand out from the crowd. They talk about goals. They use phrases such as legacy and infinity. It’s a little like listening to a buzz light year.
They are often mistrusted by their peers due to their vast insights and how much they can see is going on with the people around them. They can be seen to be too serious, intense and wishing to get to close to people. Others around them lack the adult maturity to want to know people as deeply. Often the actions of INFJ people are misinterpreted as more than friendship.
INFJ’s want to do more in the world. They find it very hard to pick a job. They just know they want to make changes wherever they go. I’m reminded of the career advice in Harry Potter’s Hogwarts. Hermione can’t find a “job” she wants amongst all the leaflets. She wants to do more such as taking her elf welfare rights further.
All this not fitting in leaves INFJ’s open to being bullied, not only by their peers, but by those adults that should be helping them to develop. To be bullied is a common theme amongst INFJ’s.
I think many find solace in some books. I found this hard personally because I didn’t read at an early age and couldn’t read books to match my age.
Many INFJ’s have been leant a book by someone and that turns out to be a profound turning point or they finally meet someone else such as themselves. It’s like a massive eureka moment.
It’s always been a big question as to why those who should be helping us to grow end up thwarting us instead. I thought first of all that this was just my misfortune as a result of my dyslexia. It was often felt that I was trying to do more and go beyond where I should be. For example, my memory of my first day of secondary school was a public row in front of my whole English class with the remedial teacher as I refused to leave honours English for “veggie” English class. But by then I had decided I was going to university and honours English was a requirement.Personally, the two things I always gravitate back to are Fannie Flagg books and Harry Potter. Harry Potter is one of the few fictional stories that contains INFJ characters.
I guess it is odd for a 12-year-old to know what they want to do and to stand up for it? Or to know what the university requirements were, especially since I would be the first in my family to continue in education. Or maybe to feel that even though I had not read a book yet by myself that I didn’t feel that still nothing was beyond me?
I guess INFJ’s suffer from the idea that the pupil has grown bigger than the teacher. Hence, it is very important to me that you can never grow to “big” or too successful in all the people that we mentor.
Jealousy seems to be a feature that is directed towards INFJ people. This is very hard to comprehend as it is not an element that we ever posses ourselves. But all of the INFJ people that I know suffer from large quantities of jealousy and bullying from other people, especially earlier in life before they learn to pick their friends more carefully. We tend to be so accommodating to other people and have the ability to step into their shoes and show such empathy that we can be left feeling when we are younger that we are at fault. We learn to be more self-preserving as we grow older. It’s like we learn that we can’t fix or save everyone.
We have boundless energy which can either set people off seeming too intense and hyper. Where many others will walk across the room to find out what it is that is drawing them to you. Many of our clients talk about our energy. When other INFJ people find each other it tends to be a little like a honing beacon. We also seem to posses piercing eyes. Often blue in colour.
22 seems to be a very pivotal age for us. I’ve come to imagine it as not a butterfly but a rather energetic creature emerges in full to take on the world and make our unique impact.
Dr. Naoisé O’Reilly,