Working on our weaknesses can be a healthy and important part of self-improvement. But it’s not something that should consume us or take up all our energy. There are some things that are just not our strong points. It’s perfectly ok to accept those parts of yourself, without feeling a need to alter them.
With that being said, let’s talk about INFJ weaknesses. There are quite a few weaknesses that are common to INFJs. This blog post (and the last one) is an extensive list of our weaknesses and how we can reasonably improve them.
Anxiety is a whole thing. I’m always anxious. I live at a high level of anxiety constantly. It’s like a buzzing noise that’s always in the background. It’s always there, ready to flare up and take over at any moment.
High anxiety is a common trait among INFJs. It’s a combination of our extroverted feeling and our powerful intuition. We can see things coming and we can feel what everyone around us can feel. It’s a wicked combination!
Every time I leave my house I’m bombarded with all kinds of sensations and feelings from every angle. As much as I love being an empath and having the ability to literally feel what other people are feeling, I also loathe the experience. I want the ability to turn it off. If I could just turn it off then I could go to the grocery store and just get groceries. I wouldn’t have to feel the frustration of the people waiting in line behind me or the tiredness of the cashier or the man yelling at his kids. I could just get my groceries and go.
The real struggle is figuring out how to ease this anxiety. I’ve been on anxiety medication more than once in my life and I found that it really didn’t help me at all. It’s not a problem with my brain, it’s just how my brain works. So I have to find other ways to manage this anxiety.
For me, just knowing that it’s normal and not something to worry about takes away about 50% of it. I’m not worried about worrying anymore. I can just focus on finding a parking spot for my dinner next week.
Not asking for help
One of my biggest weaknesses is not asking for help. I would much rather struggle on my own, even if I know sure for certain that it will take 10 times longer, than ask someone to help me. I don’t want to burden or bother them at all.
I also don’t want to admit that I don’t know. I take pride in my abilities to figure things out by myself and independence is a good thing… right?
I truly believe that independence is a good thing, to a point. When you get to the point where you’re overwhelmed and frustrated, then it’s not a good thing. Sometimes you truly can’t do everything on your own. Sometimes it’s a good thing to reach out to your friends or family for help.
What you’ll find is that you make amazing connections when you’re in need. You would never be able to connect with people if you can’t share what you’re going through. But when you can share, then you give them the opportunity to share as well. That’s what everyone really needs in the world – to feel seen and understood. Can you really deny your friends that opportunity?
Hiding from the world
The pandemic of 2020 has changed our lives so much. One area that has changed extensively is working remote. I read just last week that companies are requesting their employees start transitioning back to working in the office and almost 50% of people said they would rather quit their job than go back to the office. I thought, “these are people after my own heart!” I’ve always thought my job would be 1000% more tolerable if I could work from home and I’ve learned that that’s so true!
As INFJs, we don’t like to go out at all. And the pandemic has made it even worse because we’ve gotten so used to staying at home. We’re perfectly content to hide from the world most of the time. And now it’s a habit.
The best thing you can do is force yourself to get out more. Now that it’s much safer, you have the opportunity. You just have to fight the fear and go.
A few things that make it easier for me is connecting with my friends. It’s always easier to go somewhere if someone is willing to go with me. If you don’t have any friends or any that will go out, now’s the perfect time to start making some. Here’s a blog post that covers how to make friends.
All or nothing
INFJs are prone to all or nothing thinking. It’s so bad that I’ve named it INFJ All or Nothing Syndrome. We spend a lot of time in our heads thinking about how things should be. Then we put together a plan to match up what is and what we feel should be happening in our lives. We have this amazing ability to dream big and make those things happen. We strive for perfectionism in all areas of our lives, including ourselves.
This all or nothing syndrome is a limiting belief that holds me back from so much. When you feel like you can’t do something unless you are good at it how do you learn to do anything new? It’s incredibly difficult. It limits the things that I can do to only things that I’m super passionate about or already know how to do. Anything new is a challenge. Anything that I can’t do all at once and make work right now is also a challenge. If it takes time, it feels impossible.
So what’s the fix? Well, you have to learn to recognize the all or nothing thinking. When you can see it happening in the moment, you can take away most of it’s power. Then you have to take action. You have to learn something that has been excruciatingly painful for me: learning to do things a little bit at a time. It’s really not that painful when you can do it, it’s just the thinking about how much time it’s going to take that is painful. What I’ve found is that the time passes away. You’ll get to your goal before you know it.
I’ve also learned how to take breaks. You’d think that would be a no-brainer, but for a focused and intense INFJ, it’s not. When I commit to a project I want to be all in. Actively saying, “I’m going to schedule 2 hours a day for this and not do any more,” is challenging. Making yourself stop working at 5pm when you’re used to working until 9 or 10pm is challenging. But it’s important too. You need time for other things. And you’ll find that when you’re rested you work better anyway.
I have been looking for self-love my whole life. When I was little I found it in the eyes of my parents. I was ever the good girl who did everything that I was told to do, always lending a helping hand. In grade school I found it in the eyes of my teachers with my ready attention and straight A’s. At work it was in the eyes of my bosses who praised my work ethic and dedication. It was always from an external source though. It never saw that as a problem until those external sources started turning on me. When I could no longer be the helping hand or the straight A student, all of the sudden there was no love.
So many times someone has said to me, “You just need more confidence. You don’t have any.”
I would say, “YES! That’s it!! How do I get it?”
Their response was always the same, “I don’t know. I’ve never had that problem.” I got to the point where I just thought I was born without it, that some people just didn’t have it and I would have to learn to live without it.
It genuinely bothered me when people would say things like, “You can’t love someone else until you love yourself.” I began to believe that no one would ever love me. It scared me to think that I would have to go through this life all alone. But I thought that was my fate because I had been dealt a bad hand or been born deformed, with half a heart or not all of my brain.
Finding self-love is a long and hard process. The fact that you are looking for it is a great place to start. Because the journey starts with awareness. It starts with looking around and recognizing all of the areas of your life that this deficiency is affecting. It’s saying to yourself this is not ok. I can’t go on living like this, knowing that something is missing. I deserve to feel love. I deserve better.
Over or under eating
One of the weaknesses of INFJs that I strongly believe doesn’t get enough attention is eating disorders. A 2010 study by Sarah Williams, published in her book The association between Myers-Briggs personality type and eating disorders, looked at 55 patients in eating disorders clinics in New York using the MBTI found INFJ (18.5%), INTJ (10.63%), and ENFJ (6.59%) were the most common personality types among the patients.
Because of our underdeveloped Se we don’t pay that much attention to our needs. Things like food and water often take a place in the background of our attention, rather than being important and noticeable. Combine a lack of noticing our needs and our need for control and you have the perfect storm for any type of eating disorder.
This leads to one of two problems: undereating or overeating.
Most people think that undereating is about being thin or being self-absorbed. That is completely false. It’s more about control. When you feel like you have no control over your life you start to look for things you can control. One of those things is what you eat. When you realize that you have control there, it can quickly spiral into something that is completely out of control.
Overeating is much the same. Overeating is a coping mechanism. You use foods, usually those that are high in sugar and fat, to feel better. It’s a temporary fix for a much larger problem. This disorder can also spiral out of control quickly. The fix only lasts for a couple of hours, so you have to keep eating and keep eating. It can feel like an endless cycle that you can’t get out of.
Both of these disorders can be very dangerous. It’s not just a game. There are serious health consequences, even death, that are possible. The best thing that you can do if you find yourself either over or under eating is to ask for help. It’s difficult. I know from personal experience with both. But it’s the only way to get out of them.
It’s ok to be less than perfect
We’re all human here. Though it can often seem like the answer is simple, and that self-improvement should only entail working on our strengths, this isn’t always true. Sometimes we need to work on our weaknesses as well in order to grow into a complete person, but there are also some things about ourselves that we just shouldn’t try to change or alter unless they’re hurting us physically or mentally. When you find yourself trying too hard for perfection and stressing out over anything from laundry piles up in your bedroom closet all the way up to how many likes you got on Instagram last week, take a step back and breathe deeply instead of worrying so much about what other people think. You’re perfect just the way you are.