Updated: Jan 27, 2022
INFJs are natural counselors and natural givers. We are always more concerned about the people around us and the people we love than we are about ourselves. We are that friend that will drop everything to help our friends when they call, even when it comes at our own expense.
This constant need to help everyone else is a wonderful gift, but it can also be a terrible curse. If it is not managed appropriately it can be a huge drain on our energy.
INFJs are natural Empaths. We soak up the emotions of those around us.
According to Dr. Judith Orloff, author of the book, Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life, empaths are:
“…highly sensitive, finely tuned instruments when it comes to emotions. They feel everything, sometimes to an extreme, and are less apt to intellectualize feelings. Intuition is the filter through which they experience the world. Empaths are naturally giving, spiritually attuned, and good listeners. If you want heart, empaths have got it. Through thick and thin, they’re there for you.”
Because we feel things so deeply and hold so much space for those around us we are prone to emotional burnout. It’s a common problem that all INFJs suffer from at some point in our lives. It’s important for us to manage our energy to protect ourselves from this.
How to manage your energy
Set healthy boundaries
It is vital for INFJs to set boundaries with everyone in their lives. This can be very uncomfortable in the beginning, but it’s so important. You have to protect your health and wellbeing first, otherwise, you won’t have anything left to give. Here are some examples of non-negotiable boundaries:
I don’t allow people to embarrass me publicly. For example, my friend asking how my diet is going in front of other friends and mentioning a candy wrapper he found in the car. I have a zero-tolerance policy for these kinds of games.
Anyone making comments about how I spend your money. I manage my own finances. I don’t accept outside advice unless I ask for it.
I don’t allow anyone to go through my phone or my purse. They are my personal property. If you want to look at a picture I have I will show it to you without handing you my phone. No, you cannot hold it. Back up!
I do not tolerate people making comments about what I eat or don’t eat. If you do make comments I will first shock you with my expert knowledge of what’s in your food and what it will do to your body. Then I will firmly, but politely tell you to mind your own business.
I require 24 hours notice for going somewhere. I have my days planned out for me time. I look forward to me time all day long, so I need to know in advance if those plans are changing. No exceptions.
These are basic boundaries that you set in any and every relationship that you have. It’s important to lay out what the boundaries are and how you plan to address it when someone crosses that boundary. And then follow through! This is the hard part. This is where it is super uncomfortable. It’s so hard to call your mom out when she wants to know why you spent your money on concert tickets instead of furniture (I’ve had that conversation with my mom). It’s difficult to tell your best friend that you don’t want to hear their opinion about what you eat. But you have to set those boundaries to protect yourself. Remember that. You are most important here, your energy and your wellbeing.
You decide how people will treat you. They will either respect your boundaries or they won’t. And if they don’t then they are toxic people who need to be removed from your life. There is no halfway here. It’s all or nothing.
Self-care is asking yourself “what do I need right now?” Doing things every day to help you recharge and relax is the most selfless thing you can do, because the more energy you have, the more you can give. You should be addressing your own needs the same as you do your children or significant other without any apologies or excuses. You should prioritize your energy and recognizing when you need sleep or nourishment or quiet time.
Cleanse toxic energy
As empaths, we soak up energy from those around us. We are deeply affected by this residual energy, to the point where we need to cleanse ourselves of it. Cleansing means clearing it out of our spaces – physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually.
Exercise is a great place to start this cleansing process. Yoga and meditation will help you on all fronts. Other things that will help are listening to calming music, spending time alone, going for a long walk in nature or running on a treadmill. Anything that feels right for you is helpful for clearing this toxic energy. You’re looking to reconnect to your own energy that is natural and uplifting.
Visualize a barrier
When you can’t have an actual barrier between you and toxic energy the next best thing is to visualize one. This barrier will help you feel separate from the negative energy which will help you to resist soaking it in. You don’t have to take on the energies around you, but it will take some practicing to be able to stay grounded when you are close to the dysfunction of those you love.
Be selective about who you spend time with
Sometimes we feel the pressure of the world to fit in with certain groups of people or go places and be around toxic people. But that’s not necessary, really. Don’t chase after toxic people just to be a part of the “in” crowd or because it’s what you think you should do.
You are such a wonderfully unique and amazing person! You should not sacrifice one bit of that just to fit into a certain group of people. Instead, surround yourself with people who lift you up and who understand and respect your boundaries. You deserve that respect and appreciation just as much as anyone else.
Managing your energy can feel like a selfish thing to do. But it’s vital to make sure that you are in a good place. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Remember that every time you are questioning whether or not you should take a relaxing bath instead of cleaning up the living room or when your friend calls to invite you out to a last minute dinner when you were looking forward to the next chapter of your new book. You are just as important as anyone else in your life. Put yourself on your priority list, at the top!