INFJs are about the rarest personality type in the system and this usually isn’t a good thing. Their unique way of seeing the world, and the fact that other types frequently misunderstand them or don’t acknowledge their needs, can make this type feel very lonely even when surrounded by people. Despite this, the INFJ warmth and empathy can make them popular companions even though they’re usually quiet introverts, who avoid crowds and being the center of attention. INFJs much prefer the companionship and the support that comes with having close friends.
INFJs don’t like crowds and they usually prefer to have a handful of close friends at most. But those friendships can be incredibly intense, because when an INFJ trusts someone they’re often willing to share almost all of their heart and minds with those people. That’s why their friendships tend to last so long, that type of bond doesn’t go away easily. But even if they’re good at keeping friends, INFJs can sometimes have trouble making friends. They’re naturally quiet, one of the most quiet personality types, and are unwilling to push themselves forward even when they meet someone they think they could connect to.
Connecting to people is one of the key problems for INFJs. Because they’re quite unique in the way they function and the way they think, they sometimes have trouble being and feeling understood by the people around them. INFJs lead with the dominant function introverted intuition, which is often seen as a mysterious and inexplicable function. This function is future focused and speculative, but works mostly unconsciously to create patterns and predict things in the outside world. It’s a hard function to explain to people who don’t use it, and the effects are unpredictable and not always welcome. After all, few people are willing to spend time with someone who can predict a lot of their decisions and detail the outcomes of those choices. All of these factors can leave INFJs feeling very lonely, because above all INFJs need to feel connected to people to be emotionally and mentally healthy.
Friendships with NTs
INFJs are sensitive, perhaps one of the most sensitive of the personality types. They use extraverted feeling as their auxiliary function, which makes them keenly aware of the emotions of others as well as their own. They also have incredibly soft hearts. INFJs combine extraverted feeling with their dominant function, introverted intuition. This combination often means that they can literally feel what others are feeling. This makes them empathetic and warm, but it also makes them the dumping grounds for everyone else’s problems at the same time. This is one of the greatest burdens of this type and, strangely enough, it means that INFJs often find NTs quite restful. Certain types of NTs, with their focus on rationality, are less likely to make too many emotional demands on INFJs, and often prefer to handle their own emotions. This can make them restful companions for INFJs. Add in the fact that NTs love abstract, meandering conversations just as much as INFJs do and you have a great friendship match.
Friendships with NFs
Friendships with other NFs will often give INFJs the deep, emotional connections and support they need. Other NFs, who share a feeling function and a certain level of emotional intelligence, can usually offer the emotional sensitivity that INFJs need, while also understanding the difficulty of dealing with unruly and sometimes unpleasant emotions. They also share the INFJs love of connecting through conversation and will usually spend many happy hours sharing their thoughts and feelings in this way.
Friendships with SJs
INFJs often avoid forming friendships with SJ types because they’re secretly perfectionists and are looking for a perfect relationship with perfect compatibility. SPs, who lack an intuitive function and so will often have trouble understanding and relating to the dreamy INFJ, can’t always fulfil these needs. INFJs love to have deep conversations, to share their minds and hearts and also their abstract, speculative way of thinking. And SJs, who are firmly rooted in the past and present, often outright avoid these types of conversations. SJs and INFJs are almost complete opposites in the way they think, what they focus on, and how they see the world, and these differences may be an almost insurmountable barrier for a friendship between these types.
Friendships with SPs
INFJs aren’t good matches for a friendship with SP types. SPs like to explore the world with their extraverted sensing function. This demands a certain level of independence from other people that conflicts with what INFJs want from their friendships. INFJs like to spend quality time with people, to have their full attention and give it in return. And SPs, with their focus on novelty and exploration, can inadvertently cause great pain to the INFJ simply by pulling away when they find something else they want to do or explore.
SPs also lack the intuitive function which allows for the deep conversations that INFJs love and often indulge in. These types of conversations are how INFJs bond, by slowly revealing parts of their minds and hearts and expecting others to do the same. SPs can have these types of conversations on occasion, but INFJs need them regularly to be healthy and happy. And because INFJs usually have only a handful of friends, being unable to get that need met in one of their friendships could have devasting consequences for their health and happiness.
INFJs go about their search for friends as if they were looking for a soulmate, because in a way, they are. INFJ friendships are deep and intense and develop slowly as the trust is built and the INFJ becomes more and more willing to open up their heart and mind to a new person. For people who move fast, who are impatient with a gradual build, or expect instant rapport, this may not be the friendship they’re looking for. But for more patient types who are looking for more depth and are willing to work for it, a relationship with an INFJ can be just what they’re looking for.