INFJs are creative nurturers with a strong sense of personal integrity and a drive to help others realize their potential. Creative and dedicated, they have a talent for helping others with original solutions to their personal challenges.

The Counselor has a unique ability to intuit others' emotions and motivations, and will often know how someone else is feeling before that person knows it himself. They trust their insights about others and have strong faith in their ability to read people. Although they are sensitive, they are also reserved; the INFJ is a private sort, and is selective about sharing intimate thoughts and feelings.

INFJ in the Population

INFJ is the rarest type in the population. It is the least common type among men, and the third least common among women (after INTJ and ENTJ). INFJs make up:

  • 2% of the general population
  • 2% of women
  • 1% of men

Famous INFJs

Famous INFJs include Mohandas Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Emily Bronte, Carl Jung, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Florence Nightingale, Shirley MacLaine, Jimmy Carter, and Edward Snowden.

Motivating the INFJ

INFJs are guided by a deeply considered set of personal values. They are intensely idealistic, and can clearly imagine a happier and more perfect future. They can become discouraged by the harsh realities of the present, but they are typically motivated and persistent in taking positive action nonetheless. The INFJ feels an intrinsic drive to do what they can to make the world a better place.

INFJs want a meaningful life and deep connections with other people. They do not tend to share themselves freely but appreciate emotional intimacy with a select, committed few. Although their rich inner life can sometimes make them seem mysterious or private to others, they profoundly value authentic connections with people they trust.

Recognizing the INFJ

INFJs often appear quiet, caring and sensitive, and may be found listening attentively to someone else’s ideas or concerns. They are highly perceptive about people and want to help others achieve understanding. INFJs are not afraid of complex personal problems; in fact, they are quite complex themselves, and have a rich inner life that few are privy to. They reflect at length on issues of ethics, and feel things deeply. Because Counselors initially appear so gentle and reserved, they may surprise others with their intensity when one of their values is threatened or called into question. Their calm exterior belies the complexity of their inner worlds.

Because INFJs are such complex people, they may be reluctant to engage with others who might not understand or appreciate them, and can thus be hard to get to know. Although they want to get along with others and support them in their goals, they are fiercely loyal to their own system of values and will not follow others down a path that does not feel authentic to them. When they sense that their values are not being respected, or when their intuition tells them that someone’s intentions are not pure, they are likely to withdraw.

INFJ at Work

At work, the INFJ is focused on the task of bettering the human condition. INFJs are dedicated, helpful, and principled workers who can be relied on to envision, plan, and carry out complex projects for humanitarian causes.

Although they are typically driven by lofty ideals, Counselors gain the most satisfaction from their work when they can turn their ideas into reality, creating constructive change for other people.

INFJs are typically organized and prefer work that allows them to complete projects in an orderly manner. They are often independent and tend to prefer a quiet environment that allows them the opportunity to fully develop their own thoughts and ideas.

The ideal work environment for an INFJ is harmonious, industrious, and oriented to a humanitarian mission, with co-workers who are similarly committed to positive change. The ideal job for a Counselor allows them to use their creativity in an independent, organized environment to develop and implement a vision that is consistent with their personal values.

INFJ on a Team

INFJs are creative solvers of people problems, and bring innovative ideas for fostering human potential. They are usually perceptive in observing the talents of others, and good at encouraging teammates to contribute their skills. They are mindful of group process, listening attentively to the opinions of others and synthesizing varied priorities to create a unified vision. Because they prefer to accommodate all points of view, Counselors may have trouble on very competitive or conflictual teams.

On a team, the INFJ acts as a source of quiet inspiration and vision, and provides clarity of purpose to the group. INFJs seek meaning and truth, and will reflect on ideas to create a deeper understanding. Although they don’t often call attention to themselves, they can provide insight into the ethical and humanitarian issues at hand, and can often elegantly articulate the group’s mission. Counselors work best on a supportive team where they can consider issues of ethics and values and act with integrity. Teams which move to act quickly without taking time to reflect may alienate the INFJ.

INFJ as Leaders

In leadership positions, INFJs motivate others by sharing a positive vision. Counselor leaders are often quiet and unassuming, but win other's dedication through their own hard work, strong principles, and inspiring ideas. They are at their best when guiding a team to commit to a common vision, and when creating organizational goals to benefit people. They are insightful and creative, and bring a sense of confidence and commitment to projects they believe in.

Because INFJ leaders are often motivated by personal values, they do best in organizations with a mission consistent with these values. Their challenge is to keep their ideas and initiatives realistic, and to consider practicalities as they plan for change.