[INFJ] The Development of INFJ Children

The Development of INFJ Children

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This is a discussion on The Development of INFJ Children within the INFJ Articles forums, part of the INFJ Forum - The Protectors category; Estimated to be between 2 and 3 per cent of the American population The most important part of INFJs is ...

  1. #1
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    The Development of INFJ Children

    Estimated to be between 2 and 3 per cent of the American population

    The most important part of INFJs is their rich inner life, which is highly imaginative and capable of seeing unique possibilities everywhere. Often reserved and cautious children, INFJs may be reluctant to reveal their true and usually highly creative selves with others. Even then, they are selective about whom they risk sharing their ideas with, and they need to first make sure these special people are well known and deeply trusted. Quiet, gentle, and sensitive, INFJs like to watch first and join in after they feel comfortable and safe. They are rarely very assertive except as regards their personal values, about which they can be quite forceful and passionate. Intellectually curious, especially about theories, global issues, and future possibilities, INFJs often have a unique vision about themselves and their projects. They are fiercely committed to their beliefs and can have surprising will power to stay true to their view of how things should be. When challenged, they tend to dig their heels in more deeply rather than abandon or alter their vision to comply with what others think is best.

    INFJs tend to love fantasy in their play and their stories. They often speak early and with a sophisticated style, that belies their years. They usually like any creative activity, such as making things out of discarded objects, writing (especially creative writing in journals), dramatic play, and reading, making or listening to music, and art projects or crafts. They may have imagery friends or close friendships with their stuffed animals. Usually, INFJs choose only a few, intimate friends and, while they are well liked for their warm and caring nature and respond with delight when invited to a friend’s house, they are not typically the initiators of social activities. They tend to be highly empathetic and very nurturing with their friends, offering advice and expressing concern for others’ safety and welfare. They have a strong need for harmony, especially in their treasured personal relationships, and can be deeply wounded by insensitive or cruel comments. They will go to great lengths to please the people they love and want to be appreciated for their thoughtfulness and their accomplishments. INFJs tend to idealise the people they love and seem to be a constant quest to understand themselves and the meaning of everything that touches their lives.

    Organised and efficient, INFJs are most comfortable with order, structure, and consistency. They are unnerved by constant or rapid change and need plenty of time, advance warning, and loving support to adjust to it. They like to be on time and prepared for all of their obligations, and they respect rules and authority. INFJs really like to be in control and can run the risk of being overly perfectionistic. They are frightened and stressed when too much changes too fast. Determined to stay in charge and unwilling to go against what they believe is right, they can have real trouble compromising or backing down. Some time alone, or quiet companionship that reassures them they are supported and loved, helps INFJs regain their sense of optimism and balance.

    INFJ – “My Secret Garden”

    He’s always off in his own world, which must be a fascinating place.

    The fundamental quality of INFJs is their vivid and private imagination, their unique vision of the world and their place in it. They are driven to see the patterns and connections between things and are completely fascinated with their own view. They are sensitive and warm children who may filter everything through their highly developed sense of what is good and right, and those beliefs are based on a very personal set of values. Real self-esteem for INFJs comes from being valued for their unique perspective, having their ideas heard by people who respect and encourage their tendency to fantasise, and feeling free to look for life’s many possibilities through the prism of their imagination.

    The examples that follow are drawn from stories of real children. However, since all people are unique, your INFJ may not demonstrate all of the characteristics described or may not demonstrate them with the same degree of intensity. However, if your child really is an INFJ, most of what you read should sound strikingly familiar.

    Pre-School INFJs
    Birth to Age 4

    On the day that he was born, the hospital nurse looked into Ryan’s serious little face and said something his mother realised later was actually prophetic. She said, “Oh, Ryan. Do not try to figure out the meaning of life now. People have been trying to do that for centuries. How is a little boy supposed to do it?” Since that day, people have often commented to Ryan’s parents that he always seems to be busy thinking of something, trying to figure out something.

    That natural pensiveness and mystical quality Ryan possessed from the first day of his life is typical in many INFJs. Cuddly, loving babies, they are usually cheerful and warm at home, but can be serious and quiet out in the world. They are deeply connected to their parents and are generally happy to stay snuggled close to them. They tend to be cautious, typically not eager to venture out far from their parents’ laps when in public. Tender-hearted and sensitive children, they have a soft and gentle quality that is evident from the first and remains with them throughout their lives.

    Most INFJs spend much of their time inside their own heads. Their rich fantasy life is the source of most of their play. They have vivid imaginations and are fascinated with things out of the ordinary. They love to pretend and can invent elaborate stories and games that last for hours. They have a passionate love of books and are happy to be read to for long periods of time. Some INFJs are very early readers themselves, some as young as two and a half. Their highly developed Intuition helps them understand and decode the symbols of language much earlier than many of their peers. INFJs generally love language and learning new words, and many are early and sophisticated talkers. INFJs enjoy using big or expressive words that surprise, amuse, and delight their parents and other adults. Young INFJs are constantly asking the definition of new words and trying to use unusual expressions. They are curious about what things mean and ask many “why” questions.

    Much of what goes on for INFJs happens inside their own minds, where the world does not see it. Looking at young INFJs, you might think they are placed or even detached children. However, once they get to know you well, they will share their ideas, visions, and dreams quite freely and with great enthusiasm. They often have a beautiful view of the world that can be quite moving.

    During a day trip to the ocean, four-year-old Benjamin and his mother were standing on a pier, watching the boats sailing in and out of the marina. While his mother was trying to keep Benjamin’s two-year-old brother, Scott, from climbing up on the pilings and jumping over, Benjamin stood quietly, looking off in the distance. When his mother asked him if he was enjoying the sun and the breeze, Benjamin instead asked her, “Mommy, see the way the sun sparkles on the water? That reminds me of stars twinkling in the sky, and that makes me think about making up songs about stars.” While she was touched by the poetic observations he had made, it did not surprise her. Even as a younger, less articulate boy, Benjamin brought his very personal, figurative observations to every experience.

    Young INFJs are usually highly sensitive children who are particularly tuned in to the emotional climate of their families. They tend to be aware of how others are feeling and can be very frightened and upset if people are angry at one another. Their naturally active imaginations and strong values combine and make them vulnerable to worrying about possible and often unrealistic dangers. Quietly nurturing of those they love; INFJs tend to withdraw when they are frightened and have very emotional reactions to everything. They especially worry about the important people in their lives and even about strangers experiencing difficulty or anguish. While they may not actually intervene, they are affected by the suffering of others. INFJs are easily embarrassed, tend to cry easily, and apologise quickly. Harmony in all of their relationships is a high priority for INFJs, and this is especially true with their parents. They are sweet, affectionate, and trusting children who easily express their feelings and frequently tell their parents they love them. Because INFJs make deep attachments to the people they care about, they may have real difficulty saying good-bye or separating. They are hurt by mean or insensitive behaviour, are vulnerable to teasing, and generally dislike any kind of competition.

    At the county fair, three-year-old Isabel watched the pony rides for several minutes before deciding she wanted a ride. She sat very still on the horse as it walked around the pen. After the ride was over, her father asked her if she’d had fun. She answered instead with a question: “Daddy, do you think the horse really liked me?” For Isabel, her relationship with the horse, her finely tuned sensitivity to the horse’s needs held her attention far more than the physical experience of riding.

    Most young INFJs are generally described as polite and compliant children. They are comfortable with routine and like order around them. Little creatures of habit, INFJs often ask what the plan is for the day and like to help make decisions about it. They also tend to become upset with sudden changes.

    Grayson so loved to know the rules that he and his aunt made up a special rulebook for him. Together, they organised the book by different places—the playground, preschool, the house, the street, a shopping mall—talked about them, and then listed the rules for each place. Grayson drew pictures of each location, and his aunt printed the rules. Grayson knew under each picture. Grayson loved his rulebook and took it with him to “read” in the car. Knowing the rules provided a sense of safety and security for Grayson that felt wonderfully relaxing. Being assured that he was doing the right thing gave him the freedom to think his thoughts and enjoy whatever experience he was having.

    Most INFJs are gentle, patient, and solicitous children and are usually well liked by their peers. They like to play with one friend at a time and prefer other gentle children like themselves. However, they often would rather play with their parents than their friends. They are selective about choosing situations that require a lot of social energy. They can tire easily from too much interaction and need time to return to their internal world of ideas and fantasy.

    Stephan’s extended family was visiting for Christmas. For several days, the normally quiet house was filled with cousins, aunts, uncles, and neighbours. On the fourth day, Stephan’s mother had to go looking for him. When she found him in his room, Stephan was facing the corner, playing with his stuffed animals. He had simply had enough interaction and needed to retreat to his private world. While well-meaning relatives might have tried to “cure” him of his apparently antisocial behaviour by insisting that he come out of his room, his mother understood the importance of giving her son time to recharge. Shortly after, she looked up to see him re-join the group, now ready to participate.

    The Joys and Challenges of Raising Pre-School INFJs

    Given their naturally sweet and gentle nature, INFJ pre-schoolers are rarely difficult to parent. They need and want to know what is expected of them but are generally willing to do most of what parents ask them, and because they are so eager to please, will even do those things they do not want to do to keep their parents happy. They do not like to disappoint and will rarely demonstrate any outrageous or belligerent behaviour, especially in public.

    However, because INFJ pre-schoolers do spend so much time inside their heads, they are often disconnected from the external world. They may not hear instructions or directions because they are thinking of something else or are distracted by something unusual they have seen. They are not intentionally ignoring their parents; although it happens so frequently that a parent may grow a bit suspicious upon hearing the excuse “What? I did not hear you” for the thirtieth time that afternoon. It can be frustrating getting and holding an INFJ’s attention. What is a reasonable string of directions for another four-year-old may be too many steps for an INFJ four-year-old. They naturally see the big picture and tend to tune out when they hear too many details.

    Asking four-year-old Jenny to go to her room, get her shoes, and come back to the front door ready to leave for church seemed like a simple enough request. However, after about ten minutes, when her mother went looking for her, she would find her curled up with a book or playing with her dollhouse or just standing in front of the window gazing off into the distance. Startling her or expressing exasperation only caused Jenny to feel embarrassed or inept. Instead, her parents found that kneeling down beside her and quietly touching her arm was a better way to reach her in her faraway world. They tried to always notice if she had made any progress toward getting ready and continued to help her get her shoes on. They reassured one another that Jenny would not go off to college without her shoes on.

    Many parents find their young INFJs seem a bit awkward and unsure of themselves in the physical world around them. While they are often intellectually ahead of the pack, they may master large motor skills like riding a two-wheeler or jumping rope a bit later than their peers may. They are often not particularly fond of outdoor activities or organised sports. Instead, they may prefer to either stay indoors or just wander around outside in a less-structured way. They are usually most intrigued with all kinds of art, especially music and literature, and are much more content to sit and talk with someone in a close, intimate way rather than to run wildly around a playground. This can be troubling, especially for fathers of INFJ boys who may be concerned that their son seems too vulnerable, and/or uncoordinated. Given the disproportionately small numbers of INFJs in our culture, their different style may seem especially marked. In a society that socialises boys to be strong and assertive, the gentle, ethereal quality of INFJs often seems out of place. It can be difficult for parents of these children to ignore the pressure they feel to toughen their children up somehow.

    Patrick’s grandfather offered to buy Patrick a set of boxing gloves for his fourth birthday. When Patrick’s mother said no, he then suggested that they enrol Patrick in a karate class. Understanding that his concern came out of love for the apparent vulnerability of her son, Patrick’s mother guided her father gently toward the books, puzzles, and art supplies he loved. She reminded him that Patrick adored quiet time with his grandfather spent going for walks, telling stories, talking, and watching old movies together.

    School-aged INFJs
    Age 5 to 10

    By the time most INFJs start school, they are eager to learn as much as they can. Usually, the social drain of school is offset by the friends they make and the many interesting things they learn. Elementary school INFJs tend to be great readers, with eclectic tastes and interests, and may especially enjoy myths, fairy tales, and other fantasy stories. They usually love any activity related to reading, writing, creative expressions, the arts, and learning about people in different cultures. Most INFJs find a great creative outlet in writing and many begin keeping a journal—a source of lifelong joy. Some like making art and music—often choosing to play musical instruments that emulate their dreamy nature, like the flute or harp. They like philosophical or ethical discussions and are able to grasp complex concepts quickly. They like to brainstorm possible outcomes and future scenarios and are driven to try to understand the big issues like the meaning of life and death; they also enjoy discussing these issues with others. INFJs are generally very resourceful children who enjoy creating things out of other things.

    Julia’s favourite birthday gift the year she turned eight was a bag of miscellaneous items from a scrap distribution centre. She made jewellery and wall hangings and invented toys and household gadgets—an endless combination of items. Julia saw possibilities everywhere and loved working on her creations and then giving them as gifts to her family.

    INFJs are usually well liked as quietly friendly children, but they continue to prefer to have one best friend at a time. As one seven-year-old explained, “I really like people and I think they like me, too. They just wear me out!” However, while INFJs may be selective about which people they connect with, once they do, their commitments are often strong ones and their feelings of friendship and concern deep and passionate. They tend to be sentimental and guided by their deeply felt sense of right and wrong. Toward the end of elementary school, parents may notice that their children’s value system is gaining increasing focus and strength. What was, when they were small, a general sensitivity and concern about those they love, develops into strongly held convictions and beliefs. They want to know and obey the rules and are alarmed if others encourage them to bend rules.

    One summer when Glenn was ten, the family stopped at a fast-food restaurant to get hamburgers to take with them to the drive-in movie. Glenn noticed the sign on the front door that read No Shirt, No Shoes, and No Service. He was barefoot. He stopped at the door and told his mother he could not go in. His mother told him that since they were not eating in the restaurant, it would be okay. However, Glenn was very nervous, and after being in the restaurant only a minute or two, gave his mother his order and told her he’d wait outside.

    The Joys and Challenges of Raising School-aged INFJs

    Parents of INFJs often find that once their child has made up his mind, it is virtually impossible to get him to change it. INFJs like structure and are uncomfortable leaving their options open for too long. Since they would rather err on the side of decisiveness, they can be a bit stuck in their ways. Slow to adapt to change, they need plenty of time to switch gears once a plan has been made. While they may appear to be annoyed with you or not glad to see you unexpectedly, this is more often a reaction to pulling themselves out of their inner world and re-entering yours. Generally, concerned about being on time, they can become alarmed and worried if you are late to get them. While they may be intellectually adventurous, that quality is rarely expressed in the physical world. When it comes to action, they tend to be more willing to stick with a previously chosen plan, even when new information becomes available that suggests a better alternative. The stress and energy required to change may keep them locked into choices that are not really best for them.

    Seven-year-old George was invited to a sleepover at the home of a child he did not know especially well. His first reaction was to decline, but he told his mother he felt torn because his best friend, Ricky, was also going. George felt an urgency to RSVP as soon as he got the invitation, but he just was not sure what to do. He had a vague feeling that it would not be fun or that he maybe should not go. He and his mother talked about all the possible outcomes they could imagine of going and of staying home. In the end, George chose to go with the fall-back plan of calling home or even going home with a feigned headache if he needed to. He felt good about his decision because he realised he could have some control over what the outcome of the experience might be.

    Since most INFJs are so intensely private, they may be hesitant to participate in activities unless they know the other children well. This stems from their strong need to be liked. If they do not know the children in the group, for example, they will often hang back and watch. Only after they have made a connection with one child will they feel more comfortable about joining in.

    Bonnie’s mother discovered that she felt more comfortable walking into a social gathering like a birthday party if she arrived with another child. Therefore, Bonnie’s mother usually offered to drive another child to the party so she and that child could connect in the car on the way.

    Parents of INFJs may worry about their child’s lack of participation in-group activities. Most INFJs love to learn but are most contented with one-on-one interactions or discovering something new with a close friend. Depending upon the intensity of the child’s preference for introversion, an INFJ may not initiate social connections. While they are usually delighted to be invited to parties or events, it just does not naturally occur to them to be the initiators. Parents of most INFJs will realise that if they stand back and take an objective look, their children are well liked by most of their peers for their quiet strength, sincerity, and integrity. In fact, many INFJs demonstrate excellent leadership qualities, and other children are drawn to them for the high quality of their ideas and for their interpersonal warmth.

    The time INFJs spend alone is not only happy time, but also necessary time for them to formulate their thoughts, process the many new things they have experienced during the day, or simply engage in nourishing and satisfying daydreaming. However, this internal quality of INFJs can make it hard for them to stay connected to the external world.

    One morning, eight-year-old Patricia and her mother were making English muffins, as they did most mornings. Patricia suddenly looked a bit startled and asked, as she looked up at her mother, “When did we get a toaster?” Of course, they had had a toaster—and used it nearly every morning—for four years.

    Parents who understand this quality of INFJs can help protect them from a demanding and high-speed world. By creating private times and places, parents communicate a respect and understanding of their child and help foster a close and intimate relationship that lasts a lifetime. The important thing to realise is there is nothing broken here that needs fixing.

    INFJs also need privacy to make the many intuitive connections they do and to develop their creative ideas and visions. For them, the creative process is essentially a solitary one. In fact, a high and productive level of creative energy very often requires that they work alone. Percolating their ideas inside allows a sort of positive pressure to build up, enabling them to push the idea further than they would if they shared it prematurely. Bringing the idea out into the light (and noise) of the external day defuses some of its energy and its power. Therefore, many INFJs will avoid showing their creative writing or drawing to anyone until it is finished. Comments or suggestions from caring onlookers may spoil the whole project for them. Well-meaning parents assume they are actively encouraging their child by offering compliments or suggestions and may be understandably confused when the child balls up the paper or loses interest in the project. It is usually best to stay silent until the project is finished or the child seeks a reaction. Then compliments are welcome and are, in fact, an important form of appreciation and praise. INFJs like to hear that their work is good, pleasing, or interesting. Just wait until they ask. Parents can encourage their INFJs by simply providing the time, space, materials, and the essential quiet to create. Those actions speak much louder than words.

    However, perhaps the most confounding quality of INFJs is their tendency toward perfectionism. Because they are most interested in projects that are complex and substantive, they can find themselves over their heads with the sheer amount of work—all of it is self-imposed! They will work so hard, reworking, adjusting, correcting, refiguring, and perfecting what they do, they run the risk of exhausting themselves or becoming discouraged if the product never truly measures up to their expectations and ideals. In addition, since their ideals can be unrealistic, this is a real possibility. Loving and concerned parents may find it hard to know just how to help their child with this frustration.

    Like most INFJs, Nelson tended to take himself and his ideas quite seriously. When things did not work out as he hoped, Nelson often became morose and negative. His parents knew that pointing out the humour in the situation as it was happening only made Nelson feel worse—because he assumed they were laughing at him rather than at the circumstances. Instead, they continued to model their own ability to see the humour in life, and to laugh at themselves. After giving the incident a few days to lose some of its emotional charge, or after it had been resolved in some fashion, they could look back with Nelson and find the lessons in the experience. A time lapse helped provide a necessary cushion for Nelson to be able to see the whole experience from a new perspective. Learning to relax and take things as they come would always be a learned skill for Nelson, rather than a natural talent.

    Adolescent INFJs
    Age 11 to 16

    Adolescence is a difficult time for all children. So many changes and so many of them inexplicable and confusing. However, for INFJs, the time can be particularly hard because of the combination of their strong need for structure and control and their discomfort in the external world. The INFJs who are the least traumatised by the experience are usually the ones with one very close, trusted friend to confide in with whom they can navigate the choppy waters of an unpredictable and rapidly changing social world. However, the teasing and tormenting of middle school or junior high may simply have to be endured.

    Peter confided in his father that some of the boys at school gave him a hard time every day in the halls. He came to dread certain corridors because they were always there. He knew they were just looking for a reaction and he tried to ignore them, but it was so intimidating he found he just could not. His father asked him to fantasise with him and create a fantasy scenario in which he was out of their reach and where these boys had no effect. Peter thought about it for a few minutes and said he could imagine himself a knight in armour on a huge black horse. His dad suggested he figuratively wrap himself in armour and carry an iron shield with him through the halls. If he could focus on the fantasy, he might very well be able to ignore his tormentors. Peter smiled and said he would try it. His father had wisely helped him find a solution to a problem in the real world by using the rich talents of his imaginary world.

    For some INFJs, the teen years bring an increase in self-confidence and a greater willingness to engage in highly public activities like theatre, recitals, or art shows. Some INFJs find their niche in serving in student government. Many INFJs love being a part of any creative process, so they may enjoy working on or being backstage in school or community plays. However, for others, with a stronger preference for Introversion, they continue to hate being the centre of attention—especially when it is unexpected or when they feel unprepared. INFJs rarely like to wing it. They need plenty of time to organise their thoughts or presentations and do not enjoy improvising.

    Anna studied gymnastics for many years and thoroughly enjoyed the creative expression and the close and meaningful friendships she developed with her teammates and her coach. She won several honours during elementary school and was told by her coaches that she had the talent to compete at the varsity level in high school. However, one day in ninth grade, Anna came home from practice and said she wanted to give it up. Her mother was surprised, because Anna had always loved gymnastics. However, Anna explained that she just felt too much pressure to perform. Her enjoyment had diminished as the focus shifted from learning new routines and sharing the experience as part of a cohesive team to performing on demand and winning for the school. She also said it made her very uncomfortable to feel hundreds of eyes on her, all waiting for her to mess up. Her parents offered her the option of taking private lessons but ultimately respected her decision to stop the lessons and the competitions. Anna explained that she would always love the sport but thought she was ready for a new kind of challenge, and the responsibility for making and living with her own decisions.

    During this time of tremendous growth, many INFJs intently focus on the future and what they will choose to do for work. Naturally concerned about making a difference in the world, many INFJs are confused and conflicted about making college and/or career choices. They have a strong desire to do creative and meaningful work and find it hard to imagine themselves in a traditional or business setting. Most INFJs tend to become people of high integrity and honour who make full and lasting commitments to the people and causes they believe in.

    As early as junior high school, Gilda began to think about what she would do with her life when she was an adult. She felt a strong need to contribute to the world. Some of her friends teased her, saying she wanted to be the next Mother Teresa. However, for Gilda it was a serious concern. She agonised over what she should be doing with her adult life, explaining that having “just some job” would never be right for her. She felt a moral obligation to live a life of purpose. Her parents complimented her on how remarkable she was to want to help others. However, they also tried to remind her that she had plenty of time to decide and encouraged her to enjoy her high school and college years before committing herself fully. They supported her feelings by patiently listening to her ideas and then encouraged her to keep a journal to help her clarify and shape her dreams for the future. It seemed to help relieve some of the pressure Gilda felt to hear the faith her parents had that she would make a life for herself that was meaningful and balanced.

    Not all teen INFJs seem destined for sainthood. In fact, their high need for privacy may intensify during their adolescent years. Some parents of INFJs feel they must beg for any conversation with their moody teens that walk around with a superior and bored attitude. They seem to suddenly see their parents and siblings as beneath them as they toss sarcasm and big words around and respond with snippy, impatient answers. It can be a surprising and unsettling change from the compliant, eager-to-please child. Usually, sitting silently with them for what seems like a long period of time helps create a sense of intimacy that encourages even the most sullen and withdrawn INFJ to open up and share some of what is going on inside. For growing INFJs, everything is about them. They no longer are as driven to please others, as they are to please themselves, which is a formidable task at best. They seem to know instinctively that the road ahead may be a difficult one for them as they try to deal with the barrage of the outside, fast-paced world. In the bosom of their families, their differentness is understood and, at best, respected and honoured. However, the outside world is usually not nearly so kind or accepting of their uniqueness or their struggle to keep their minds on the mundane details of life and work. INFJs justifiably often feel very alone. As they strive to create and feel good about the individual that they are, they may need extra support, reassurance, and love from their parents. Helping them build an inner sense of confidence and self-esteem will enable them to fend off the criticism and impatience they will no doubt experience in their lives.

    Recapping What Works with INFJs

    • Respect their need for quiet and time alone to play, think, or dream.
    • Allow them to watch from the sidelines or begin participating on the periphery of the action before joining in.
    • Speak privately and quietly when you are discussing or correcting their behaviour.
    • Try not to raise your voice or yell; apologise quickly if you do.
    • Listen to their ideas and refrain from correcting or offering feedback that squelches their imagination and zeal for the idea.
    • Provide a variety of creative materials and encourage open-ended exploration.
    • Give them plenty of physical contact and affection; express your love for your child in little, thoughtful ways like love notes.
    • Encourage them to express their feelings in words or through drawings.
    • Listen and rephrase their feelings to help them to clarify them; talk one-on-one as much as possible.
    • Help them see that life is both fun and funny.
    • Respect their privacy.
    • Offer regular, quality private time with one parent at a time—take your INFJ on a date!
    • Ask for their input and ideas ahead of time; include them in decision-making.
    • Do not interrupt or rush them through their talk.
    • Do not tease them about their heads being in the clouds—they hear enough of that from the rest of the world.

    The INFJ in a Crystal Ball

    Lasting self-esteem for INFJs develops in a warm and nurturing home where they are appreciated for their uniqueness and their original ideas. INFJs thrive in a creative and open-ended environment where they feel free and encouraged to explore, perfect, and produce their vision of how things might be. They need gentle guidance and constant affection. They may even need some protection from a society that places a higher value on common sense than on innovation, on physical skill than on intellectual curiosity. Parents who can offer a constant and genuine voice of acceptance may be successful in drowning out some of the scepticism and negative reactions INFJs experience trying to communicate their alternative viewpoint to the world.

    At their best, INFJs are original thinkers, guided always by their unfailing belief in the value of their vision. They are highly responsible and moral people who live by a code of ethics that places personal integrity above all else. Highly productive, INFJs will work tirelessly to accomplish their mission. They are caring and loving adults and inspirational leaders, with artistic spirits and idealistic hearts. When encouraged to stick to their beliefs and to learn to assert themselves, they will bravely follow their vision and be uncompromising in their pursuit of personal growth and empowerment for themselves and those around them.

    Tieger, P. D., & Baron-Tieger, B. (1997). Nurture by Nature: Understanding Your Child's Personality Type—
    And Become a Better Parent. New York: Little, Brown, and Company.
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  2. #2
    INFJ - The Protectors

    "INFJs tend to love fantasy in their play and their stories. They often speak early and with a sophisticated style, that belies their years. They usually like any creative activity, such as making things out of discarded objects, writing (especially creative writing in journals), dramatic play, and reading, making or listening to music, and art projects or crafts. They may have imagery friends or close friendships with their stuffed animals."
    That was me in a nutshell as a kid.

  3. #3
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Thank you for sharing this article. I'm pretty sure my 11 yr-old son is an INFJ - he fits that description 100%. I'm trying to learn more about how he thinks, since I am an INTP and we are pretty different.
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  4. #4
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacklyn View Post
    "INFJs tend to love fantasy in their play and their stories. They often speak early and with a sophisticated style, that belies their years. They usually like any creative activity, such as making things out of discarded objects, writing (especially creative writing in journals), dramatic play, and reading, making or listening to music, and art projects or crafts. They may have imagery friends or close friendships with their stuffed animals."
    That was me in a nutshell as a kid.
    Jacklyn, that was me too.... creeepyy
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  5. #5
    Unknown Personality

    This is a very good article. Some of my questioning about my type was because I have changed so much. Up until I was about 14, I was very very strict and serious about rules and morals. I was annoyed at the other kids for breaking the rules and would find it difficult to break the rules myself. But I completely changed as I grew older and started seeing things in a different way. I decided instead to go by rules that made sense to me and let the others slide, disliking the idea of rules just being rules and wanting them to have a purpose.

    I was very campaigny when I was a teenager an extremely idealistic, although shot other people's logic down a lot and was not interested in opinions that did not match my own.

    A lot of this is very true of me. My parents got very frustrated with me for being so not in the world and although I have read INFJs are supposed to be able to come out of this and teach themselves coping skills, my inability to cope with the outside world has stayed with me, which has had serious negative effects on my working life and just "being an adult" - which necessarily requires the ability to live in the real world and function properly.

    I think I am driven by anxiety as well, though.

    Did anyone else have trouble sleeping as a kid? The two massive things about me as a kid were that I told myself stories (out loud) rather than actually taking any notice of what was going on around me and talked to the horse when my mam took me pony trekking for my birthday (becoming embarrassed when I realised I was doing it and people were staring - because I didn't tend to know when I was a kid when I was doing it - it just sort of happened, the line between the real world and my mind could become very thin). The other big thing about me was that I was constantly buzzing with questions and statements and had a strong need to understand everything. My parents gave me GCSE books when I was seven (meant for 16 year olds) because they were the only ones they could find that would explain things like "and exactly what happened for humans to evolve? How does that work?" And "why does the world go around the sun and why is it round and what about the other planets". Or seeing as we lived next to a nuclear power plant, and my favourite because my dad burst out laughing, came just as he was tucking me in bed and silently leaving the room. When he was practically out of the door:

    ME: Dad?
    DAD: What?
    ME: What's nuclear fission?

    And the other big thing about me - ALWAYS IN TROUBLE! Which left me extremely resentful as I always followed both moral and other rules and never did anything naughty. The reason was that I appeared to be "not listening" or "not committed".
    Zech, TDMmyriad, TDMmyriad and 8 others thanked this post.

  6. #6
    INFJ - The Protectors

    I wish all parents could be understanding, especially with conflicting personalities. My mother, while not horrible (I do love her dearly), made and still makes no effort to understand me, and always faulted me for not being "normal". We don't have a deep emotional connection at all. My fondest childhood memories were not with her, but with my grandparents, who raised me in my early stages of life while my mom worked overseas. They accepted me and encouraged me and provided the warmth and guidance and praise that I really needed. I'm 22 now, and because I can't afford to live on my own, I chose to move back with them and while I'm dealing with personal issues, I'm in a much more warm environment, can talk to them with ease, and am constantly challenged to really think about things. We have discussions about life and various things. Basically they provide me with everything my mom never did.

    Thank you for posting this. The early childhood part really brought back wonderful memories for me.
    Zech, Dr.Horrible, chanting and 1 others thanked this post.

  7. #7
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Awesome article! I really liked the example situations.
    Georgii and Frostything thanked this post.

  8. #8
    ENFJ - The Givers

    If only every adult I had come into contact with as a child, had this little manual. :)
    QuirkyQ, Ankoku Flare, Kiru and 5 others thanked this post.

  9. #9

    ................................. :)

  10. #10
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacklyn View Post
    "INFJs tend to love fantasy in their play and their stories. They often speak early and with a sophisticated style, that belies their years. They usually like any creative activity, such as making things out of discarded objects, writing (especially creative writing in journals), dramatic play, and reading, making or listening to music, and art projects or crafts. They may have imagery friends or close friendships with their stuffed animals."
    That was me in a nutshell as a kid.
    woah...freakishly accurate.

    i had a stuffed doll collection as a child, i adored them. had names for each. and developed "personalities" for each in my head based on their appearances. i would have conversations with them as a child.

    was HIGHLY interested in arts and crafts as a child. in the 4th grade, i taught myself origami. i was walking through a bookstore with my mom one day when i spotted the book. it was a book on advanced origami. i went home and became obsessed. i was absolutely fascinated by the shapes and images and just sucked it all in. with no help from my parents, i was able to teach myself origami.

    another story, in the 4th grade, my father took my brothers and I to toys 'r us and told each of us, we could choose any one toy of our choosing. brothers chose the typical toys - trucks, video games. i came back with a microscope set. i was 8.

    i was definitely an early reader. and had a VORACIOUS appetite for learning. my father had a subscription to the national geographic magazine, which i would read religiously...started about 9. we also had a encyclopedia set at home which i was absolutely fascinated by.

    i would say, definitely by 8/9, my parents really began to notice my eagerness to learn. every month i would move onto something new to "teach" myself. i wonder if self learning is big with INFJ's? i'm still big on self learning now...even at work, school...can be a bit stubborn at times, boss will want to show me something and i'm all like...i can figure it out on my own! lol.

    i wonder...do INFJ's tend to have a rebellious streak as they get older? i had a difficult relationship with my mother, controlling ISFJ, and given my penchant for being very independent, i rebelled quite a lot. i've always had a very strong mind and opinions and my mother just couldn't handle it.
    sitodocambia, zilzie, HeathenRose and 3 others thanked this post.

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