INFP and INFJ: Being Alone Together

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May 16, 2014 by philipbullitthughes

All introverts share a common need: time spent alone in order to recharge, reflect, and decompress. So deep is the need in the INFP and INFJ that if neglected, they begin to experience lethargy—a fogging of the mind, if you will. If forced to socialize for extended periods, they might even they suffer anxiety that could blossom into full fledged panic attacks. Solitude is their sanctuary, a place they can enjoy their own thoughts without the clutter of stimulation from the outside world.

human-and-sunsetOf course, with personalities so complex as the INFP and INFJ nothing is ever simple. For them, seclusion is a need of peak importance. Unfortunately, so is a need for deep and meaningful relationships. They are often torn between needing to spend time alone, while simultaneously wishing they could be with a friend or loved one. Mind you, the key to the previous sentence is the lack of plurality. The Introverted Idealists desire closeness with a select few, usually one at a time. Unless they are completely recharged, large groups produce too much stimuli for them, and their personalities are keen to pick up nuances, often flooding them with information to the point where they feel overwhelmed. But time spent with one person, exploring their personality and letting themselves be explored is particularly special to them. In fact, it is a need just as great as that for time spent unaccompanied. Often enough, they feel a powerful sense of guilt over not being with another person, or, as confusing as it may sound, they might even feel lonely when they finally do take a time-out from people.

aloneFortunately, there is a compromise that offers the Idealists the best of both worlds: being alone together. For the INFPs and INFJs enjoy just being in the room with someone else, reading, writing, thinking, and what have you. No words need be spoken; the simple understanding that they are together with the other person is enough for them to feel recharged while at the same time connected. Naturally, this is not always the case, and the INFP and INFJ will need total aloneness from time to time, as anyone will. But in general, this technique works well for those who wish to spend time with them while they are feeling drained.

If you have an INFP or INFJ in your life, remember to give them the freedom to be alone without condemning them, and do not take it personally if they slip away. It might almost feel like rejection, but rest assured, it isn’t. They are simply satisfying a need. If they invite you to be with them while they do another activity, be sure to take them up on it. For them, it is doubly gratifying.

Now, for those of you who follow my blog, I’d like to point out that I’ve been toying with the idea of doing each type’s villain within pop-culture. However, I recognize that no one wants to be compared to Dolores Umbridge, so I am hesitant to do so. Thus, I ask all of you: would you enjoy such a series? Also, I am debating with whether or not to continue my relationship posts on each type. Please leave a comment below with your yea and nays, and please like and subscribe!

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47 thoughts on “INFP and INFJ: Being Alone Together

  1. Joshua Manning says:

    Awesome! Spot on to many of the thoughts I have had myself. And I think that a villian would be awesome to hear about!

  2. Bring on the villains!

  3. Phaedra Jessen says:

    Phillip,

    I really enjoyed this last post, I am an INFP Mom with an INFJ middle school daughter.

    Solitude is critical for the both of us and riding The edge of that is loneliness, which you caught beautifully in your post. Reading this Is calming. She goes to a small school and Hasn’t met that deep friend yet.

    Thank you,

    I hope you keep doing this if you can.

    Phaedra Jessen

    Ps, villains, why not? There was a book Out some time ago on type and shadow and Disfunction. It might make some people Uncomfortable, but I think it could be used As a warning or a teaching tool for Introspective people.

    “The sea speaks a language polite people never repeat. It is a colossal scavenger slang and has no respect.”

    – Carl Sandburg

    >

    • Phaedra,

      Beautifully said. Thank you. An unfortunate truth for the Idealist is that they rarely make a close friend until college because there are so few Ns in the world. Hopefully she is able to find that person she is able to bond with!

      I myself went to a large school, and even then I found it hard to find true friends.

      I appreciate the feeback on villains. Thank you!

  4. masterbirdy says:

    Awesome post, as an INFP I can relate to a lot of this. 😀 Also villains would be a lot of fun to read.

  5. Brooke Rosie says:

    I love this post! And yes and yes to villains and also relationship posts! 🙂

  6. Hannah says:

    Reblogged this on Hannah's Scribblings and commented:
    Very interesting thoughts!

  7. Hannah says:

    A villain series would be fun! Then I can threaten the people who are bothering me: “Look, if you don’t leave me alone, I’ll go all___ on you!”

  8. Angi says:

    Do the villian. That would be. Fun and interesting.

  9. I shared this on my Facebook page. As an INFP, I could totally relate. It’s so crazy how we crave deep relationships but also need solitude. Hard to fulfill our contradictory desires. I cherish those who know how to be ‘alone together’ with me.
    Please keep writing about villains and relationships. Right up my alley of fascination.:)

    • Brenda,

      As an extrovert it took me a long time before I learned to be alone with my introverted friends and loved ones. I had the depth down but didn’t quite differentiate your need to be alone with being rejected, which is why I wrote this post. Hopefully it will help others understand the INFXs better. Thanks for the insight!

      And the villains are on their way (cue evil laughter)!

  10. Yuu says:

    I would love to read a villain series! You could frame it as type gone wrong – how types act when stressed out or buy in to the wrong way of thinking.

  11. Reblogged this on The Snallygaster and commented:
    Really well written, I love it when I get the feeling that somebody has crawled into my head like this.

  12. Reblogged this on INFJ Reflections and commented:
    This is so true!

  13. Charity says:

    Nice article. I have enjoyed moments of silence with other people. It shows how comfortable I am with them, that I’m not worried about entertaining them.

    I adore villains, so I’d be interested in seeing your assessment of some INFJ bad guys. (I have my own list! Heh.)

  14. Natalie says:

    As an INTJ with two close INFJ friends, I relate to this strongly. “Being alone together” is something we’ve used to describe what we like to do best – and spend most of our time together doing. Great post!

  15. Renee Brown says:

    I would totally love to see your 16 villains! It’s a superb idea!

  16. ianfjay says:

    This is a great post!
    An INFJ friend of mine often tells me how he spends many hours with his INTJ friend in silence, and described it as “beautiful”.

  17. Trevor says:

    Ha ha ha. I I’m an INFJ and my wife is an INFP. While we do have many things in common, we do find that that little letter at the end makes a big difference. I found your article very true and reminiscent of our relationship. We find that we can spend a lot of time talking with each other on a single topic. And also enjoy just being in the room with each other doing nothing. And we call it our together time. She will be organizing and I’ll be reading. Or just watching a movie together, or on separate electronic devices, it doesn’t matter. We find that time so refreshing and fun. Thanks for the article I found it fun! I’m sure my wife will as well, when she reads it tomorrow, while I’m watching a show.

  18. Spring says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

  19. Victoria says:

    I have enjoyed reading your work and want to continue. Please keep doing what your doing, it gives me so much more insight into all the other type’s. I’m an INFJ, and I can read people very quickly and this just adds the extra proof and understanding for me that I need. It’s like my body absorbs they’re energies, positive or negative, I read body language also and that too helps. I stay away from negative, I have to because I want to expose they’re true intentions. That’s not me, I’m not mean, cruel or vendictive, so I choose to stay at bay from these people.

    • Hi Victoria,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I really appreciate it. I do plan to continue, but most of my creative energies are used for writing my book these days. It’s a fantasy built using the MBTI to shape the characters.

      You sound like a very well developed INFJ. I am glad you do not surround yourself with negativity. Nobody needs that kind of toxic environment!

  20. Kelly says:

    And good I find your so true article. Unfortunately in my circle, I am encircled with extravertie, and often they include me not.
    Fortunately that my mother is introverted 🙂 otherwise I would feel the only.
    Otherwise, I love your site very much, really very interesting and instructive at the same time.

  21. Robin Parris says:

    ABSOLUTELY do the villians!
    Also continue the relationships posts!

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