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How to Deal with Criticism as an INFJ

Updated: Feb 1, 2022

As INFJs we have soft and squishy hearts. When someone says something to use we take it straight to heart. There is no natural filter that it passes through. Sometimes the emotional pain of the hit is even physically painful, like a shock or a jolt. It’s brutal.

Unfortunately, it’s something that we have to deal with. There are times when we are going to do things wrong. There are times when people are going to criticize us even when we don’t do anything wrong. It’s a part of life that we have to find a way to work through.

How do we find a way to deal with it? Let’s explore a few options.

Take a survey

When someone says something critical to me or about me I usually panic. It’s my first response. My second response lies in my phone. I have a few trusted friends that I always run things past. It’s usually something like this:

“OMG you will NOT BELIEVE what this _____ at work said about ME!”

Some of my friends will answer like: “NO” or “What? Why would they say that?!?”

But the few brave souls that really know me will be a LOT more honest. I love their honesty. It’s PAINFUL at times, but also helpful. Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to see what it really going on.

Is it my truth?

My friend told me something wonderful that I am going to share with you. When someone says something negative about her she asks herself, “Is this my truth?” She takes a minute to analyze the comment and really say is that really me? Is what they are saying true?

Sometimes you have to take a step back from the hurt and the jolt and try to be objective. It may be that you need some time before you will be able to be objective about it and that’s ok. Once you are able to be objective you will see whether it is really something that you need to own and work on or if it’s not.

You have a choice

Remember, when it comes to criticism you always have a choice. Just because one person believes something about you doesn’t mean that it’s true. And just because a whole bunch of people believe it doesn’t mean that it’s true either. What matters is what you believe and how you live your life. You don’t need their approval or respect. You are the only person that you have to live with every day of your life. You are the only person that you need to please as well.

Be open to the idea

It’s a natural instinct to be defensive when someone says something negative about you. That’s perfectly ok. But when that moment passes your next instinct should be to consider the idea. Just consider it. Sit with it for a moment. Think about if they are actually right and what that feels like. It’s perfectly fine to consider it before you accept or reject it.

If it’s completely not true, let it go. No need to worry about something that is completely off base.

But, if it is true for you, then it’s your job to own it. It’s your job to take that information and make some changes in your life or job or how you operate. It could be a blessing in disguise in the long run.

It’s also a possibility that it’s partially true. And it’s ok to accept part of it and reject the rest. Remember that you have a choice.


Criticism is always difficult to deal with, whether it comes from someone you don’t like in a mean way or it comes from someone you do like in a loving way. As INFJs we don’t usually come to quick decisions about these things. It takes time to process the experience and this new information. Make sure that you remember that and that you are gentle with yourself in these times.

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