by Dr. A.J. Drenth
INFJs are among the rarest of the sixteen personality types, constituting only 1-3% of the general population. Unlike INTJs, in which males predominate, there is greater gender parity among INFJs, with nearly equal numbers of males and females.
It is difficult to broadly classify INFJs as either right-brained or left-brained since they utilize both sides of the brain with equal adeptness. INFJs are both creative and responsible, artistic and logical, spiritual and scientific, intuitive and analytic.
INFJs grow up feeling “different” from their peers. The more pronounced their Introversion and Intuition, the more estranged they are likely to feel. Young INFJs also feel misunderstood by their elders, who can be quick to ignore or dismiss their precocious insights and observations. If given unsympathetic circumstances, INFJs may come to feel isolated or rejected rather early in life.
INFJs are “old souls.” They grow up feeling far wiser than would be predicted by their chronological age. Some may experience themselves as wiser than their teachers or parents. They may take on the role of counseling and advising their friends and siblings, or even their adult family members, from an extraordinarily young age.
Having discovered the benefits of their Introverted Intuition (Ni) quite early in life, INFJs grow to trust its judgments and insights. Their Ni often works through dreams or premonitions that turn out to be startlingly prescient. While others may at first be skeptical of INFJ’s powers of insight or foresight, many will come to see them as psychic or prophetic, or at least highly perceptive.
Because of their strong powers of intuition, many INFJs report feeling like aliens in the world. One INFJ described her experience as almost a constant feeling of deja vu, since her Ni is constantly foreseeing the future before it unfolds. Other INFJs report feelings of disembodiment, as though their body is independently moving through space while they watch from without. The fact is that many INFJs experience the world and their bodies in radically different ways than other types. It is therefore not uncommon for INFJs or others to question their sanity.