INFJs are usually portrayed as sweet and caring people who are willing to go out of their way to take care of others. Some of the descriptions are so sweet they will make your teeth rot. It’s important to remember that most accounts of the INFJ personality are based on the theory that only looks at what a healthy INFJ would act like. They don’t take into account what an unhealthy INFJ would do.
We know how to get what we want
INFJs have a series of special gifts, the most of these is our intuition. When used in a healthy way we can determine what the people around us want and need and provide that for them in a loving and kind way, expecting nothing in return. However, when we are unhealthy we are able to use this precious gift for other means.
Manipulation & coercion
Because we can tell what people want and need we can use our powers of intuition against them. We are able to intuit what they need and manipulate them into giving us what we want. We can read them so well that we can stay ahead of them in this complex game and play on their emotions in such a cunning way that we are sure to get what we desire. We know exactly where their buttons are and how to push them most effectively.
We may even let those in the game with us think they are winning for a while. It makes the game a bit more interesting. But rest assured we are always 12 steps ahead and lying in wait for the perfect time to deal the final and fatal blow.
Perception is reality
We have another special talent of altering our personality to fit those around us. When we want something from someone we will alter their perception of us by being how we need to be so that they believe it’s reality. We’ve done this so much it’s nearly second nature to us. We’re very, very good at it. They would never know that this is not the reality unless we chose to show them. It’s an effective way to get the things we desire that requires very little effort from us.
When it comes to someone that we desire in a romantic way, INFJs can become rather obsessive. We want to know every possible thing about them, their personality, what they like and don’t like, etc. We want to give them what they want and we are positive that if we can collect enough information about them then we can make them love us as much as we love them.
INFJs are prone to being codependent as well or suffering from Self-Love Deficiency. Instead of knowing inside of ourselves that we are loveable we go looking for love from outside sources. We feel like we will be loveable if we can just give enough to those around us, especially our romantic partner. We manipulate them to get them to love us and then give them everything they desire to get them to stay with us, not realizing the damage that this cycle creates.
One of the INFJs greatest gifts and faults is perfectionism. We love things to be perfect. We can see how they can be perfect and we plan and plan and plan to make them that way. Then, we set to work making our plans a reality. If we just work hard enough we’re convinced that we can make things perfect.
This is especially true when it comes to how we look. We have an ideal version of ourselves in our mind and we strive to make that a reality. We’ll stop at nothing to make it happen. We’ll spend money we don’t have, hang out with people who are toxic, skip meals for years on end… we know no limits in our desire for perfection. For some of us it’s a fatal problem.
What’s the solution?
First of all, I want to reiterate that not all INFJs have these struggles. These are some things that unhealthy INFJs deal with.
If you are unhealthy or have dealt with any of these things, please know that you are not alone. I have been there and done that with everything on this list. There is great power in the simple awareness that you are doing things that are unhealthy and harmful to yourself and to others. It’s important to stay engaged in the learning process about yourself and to find ways to learn to be healthier, whether that’s through self-teaching or whether you reach out for help to a counselor or life coach. I’ve also done all of those and have found so much help and wisdom form all three sources.