Updated: Jan 27, 2022
As an INFJ I have a great need for independence in many aspects of my life. Being introverts we value alone time, in fact we need it to recharge. While the feeling part of our personality draws us to people, your ability to sense their emotions stresses us out. This comes into play in every aspect of our lives from work to home.
Let’s look at a few different ways that independence is important for INFJs.
I need alone time. It’s crucial for me to be able to recharge in order for me to function like a normal person.
Being an empath, I soak up other people’s feelings and emotions. Whether it’s people at work or just someone in the grocery store in a bad mood, I feel what they are feeling. I come home exhausted every single day. I need that time alone to unpack those things, to sort through it all.
It takes a lot for me to deal with all of that every day. I need that time to myself to sit in the quiet and just breathe, to figure out which emotions are mine and which ones I picked up from other people.
Being in charge of my domain
My domain is very important to me. I’m in the process of moving and my current apartment requires 60 day notice so that they can show my apartment to potential renters. They claimed they would give me “reasonable notice” when they were bringing people by to show them my apartment, but one day they just showed up and walked in! I was so unbelievably mad! I couldn’t even communicate to them how badly they had violated my space!
Having your own space is so important for INFJs though. We need that retreat, that special place that’s our haven from the outside world. It’s important to us to be in charge of it and to know what is going on there.
When I was younger I was fiercely protective of my room. I didn’t want anyone coming in there and messing with my stuff. Any time they did I would watch them like a hawk!
“Don’t sit on my bed!”
“Don’t touch that!”
“What are you DOING?!?”
People didn’t come in my room very much. I don’t know why…
The need to improve
I never thought of myself as a control freak. I’m usually more of a go-with-the-flow type of person. Usually… well, until we are talking about something that I am passionate about. In that case I like to be heard and to be recognized for what I know and what I can contribute. Having that recognition is important to me.
It’s also important to me to have the ability to change things that need to be changed. I’ve been in so many jobs where people don’t want change because “We’ve always done it this way. Why do you want to change it?” That’s the worst answer in the world for me. If there is a better way, let’s try it! Even if it’s not tried and true, even if it’s just an idea, let’s see if it works! Why not?!?
INFJs have an inherent need to accomplish things by themselves. I am so fiercely independent that I won’t ask for help unless I’m sure of great pain or death. My whole world has to be burning down around me before I will reach out to someone and there are only a select few that I will trust even then. This is one of my greatest strengths and weaknesses.
I used to think that I needed a bunch of friends, because that is what everyone told me. But that’s not necessarily true. I really only need a couple of really good friends and for me, those friends can’t require my constant attention. Because I am so independent I can go for long periods of time without reaching out to anyone. This is the big reason I lose a lot of my friendships.
I’ve gotten better at communication as I have gotten older though. I realize now that going for 6 months without contacting a friend doesn’t usually work for the friend. If you really want to keep them, you do have to contact them more frequently.
I don’t have the ability to handle needy people though. It’s just not for me. I can’t hang out everyday or even go places every week. And certainly not at the last minute. I need time in advance to plan things and prepare for the interaction. And then I need a plan to recharge afterwards too.
Independence is important for all INFJs and while all are different, all value their own space and time. It’s important to protect that time and to not be afraid to ask for it when you need it.