The cognitive preferences of INFJs are:
Ni-introverted intuition in the hero position is perspective-shifting in that it is constantly at work on a subconscious level, sorting through information that comes in via the five senses or some unconscious means, giving the INFJ (INTJs, too), the ability to see things from many different angles and viewpoints at once. Ni is the NJs’ superpower, giving them insight into relationships, imagination, originality, ingenuity and visions of what not only could be but the road to take to get there.
Fe-feeling that’s extraverted in the parent position is where the INFJ’s responsibility lies. Whenever INFJs experience the sensation that the values of others are being violated, this function steps in and reminds them that they have a responsibility to the well-being and happiness of others. Fe is aware of what matters to others and how others feel. Coupled with a hero Ni, this means that INFJ is always subjected to having to balance what they see as best and what they want (Ni) with the consequential effects on others.
Ti-in the child position means that the INFJ has a form of pure logic, that when unhampered by interfering Fe, and in service to heroic Ni, can devise a plan to accomplish, basically anything in a step-by-step manner. It also means that INFJs may get so focused on what they think that they fail to listen to the advice or thoughts of others.
Se-extraverted sensing in the aspirational position may mean that INFJs worry about giving others a bad experience or doing something that cause physical harm to others. Yet, on a positive note, it serves as a release valve for the mental energy consumed by massive use of Ni and Ti. When young, INFJs may be so distracted by the never ceasing noise in their heads that they forget where they’re going or walk into something but as they move out of adolescence, they may become physically involved with any number of sports or physical activities.
Meet Willow, an INFJ
Willow is a writer. She takes long walks. She needs time to think. Time to hear her “own heart.”
Thinking helps her determine what she is feeling and why she feels that way. Thinking helps her make sense of her world. She is strategic in almost everything she does and tends to see patterns on a subconscious level. She also understands many things without ever having officially learned them and may not be able to recall how she knows them.
Willow has a keen sense of personal direction and is led by something that can only be likened to an internal guidance system. She can’t explain it no matter how hard she tries. She hates being asked personal questions, and she hates having to explain her past or why she chooses certain things. Her greatest personal intention is to live with integrity and authenticity. She constantly struggles with what she sees as the right path for her own life and what others want and expect from her.
Willow has an undaunting and tenacious will power and even when emotionally distraught, or physically in pain, she will press forward on behalf of something she values and believes in, especially if the well-being of another is involved. She has been known to literally lay her life on the line for the sake of others.
Willow has a beautiful sense of humor and can make people laugh at the drop of a pin. Wherever she goes, people flock to her. They say she is like a light entering the room and makes others feel good about themselves when she is with them. Friends say that Willow is inspiring and they feel connected to her. Willow feels good when she makes others feel good, however, she often feels drained, like people have some sort of invisible energy IV hooked to her, trying to siphon off her life energy. Even when she tries to be alone, people find her.
Friends and family will often ask her to do things she doesn’t really believe in or want to do, yet she has an incredibly hard time saying no and wrestles daily with requests from other people. She constantly feels torn between being true to herself and maintaining harmony with others. Willow’s greatest fears are that she will irreparably damage another person by following her own passions and she is very passionate internally while remaining calm on the surface most of the time.
With a high IQ the ability to speak multiple languages, paint, dance, sing, write and learn anything she sets her mind to, Willow is gifted, yet has struggled with her self-worth many times, feeling that it is somehow her responsibility to make everyone happy, to fix their problems and take away their pain without judging them for anything they did or didn’t do to cause that pain in the first place. Her best friend tells her that she has unreasonable expectations of herself and is too hard on herself, while letting other people get off easy.
She struggles with mechanical aptitude and her family laughed at her struggle to learn to drive. She struggles with Si dominate skills like keeping up with binders, folders, data etc. Willow feels this stuff is pointless. She can keep up with stuff in her head. Why does she need all that clutter in her physical world? Clutter and conflict make her physically ill. She really just wants to be left alone and allowed to work in her own way most of the time.
That’s not to say she doesn’t like structure, she does, somewhat. It just needs to be a lose structure with room for spurts of creativity. She dreams of travel and adventure and writes historical fiction with intricate characters, twisting plots and many subplots. Willow is highly observant of human interactions and intuitively understands unspoken motives. She bases her interactions with others on what she picks up off them, not what they show on the surface.
The ”mundane” things of life are a weight around her neck. She longs for escape from the ordinary day in and day out routines of life, and often finds it through her fantastic imagination.
She is always prioritizing. Above all things, Willow wants to leave behind something that makes the world a more enlightened place. She wants to help open the spiritual eyes of others and feels this is her highest call in life. That is why she writes, to communicate a truth that is bigger and far more reaching than her immediate circle. She wants to leave a legacy of what it means to live for something bigger than one’s immediate needs.
Willow has the cognitive preferences of an INFJ and while not all INFJs are the same, they do all share some characteristics:
- INFJs know things without knowing how they know them.
- INFJs see many angles at the same time.
- INFJs feel responsible for the experiences and feelings of others.
- INFJs have a pure logic with the ability to analyze and synthesis on a subconscious level.
- INFJs need a loose but dependable structure.
- INFJs are strategic yet they are movement oriented (they get bored with stagnation and seek adventure.)
- INFJs are creative.