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Writing is Crucial for Every INFJ

Updated: Nov 26, 2022

“We write to taste life twice.” Anais Nin

My niece came to live with me a few months ago. She’s 18 and still trying to figure out the whole adult thing. Not long after that, she got a golden retriever puppy that we named Goose Graham Galifianakis. Don’t let his cute little face fool you - he’s a monster.

It’s been a lot of change in all of our lives. I wasn’t really thinking about it until the last couple of weeks, but just about everything that can change did. In April, my niece flew to Boston from Las Vegas and she started a new job. We moved to a new apartment in May. I started a new job in June and Goose arrived in August. It’s been one overwhelming change after another.

I’ve been overwhelmed a lot, though I attributed a lot of it to my new job, which is very stressful and busy. But then I started snapping over silly, little things. I noticed that I’ve been angry a lot so I tried to investigate the cause of the anger. I checked the normal thing: am I tired? Am I hungry? Am I stressed about something? Is there a reason for this anger? I don’t tend to get angry and stay that way, so I really wanted it to stop.

When something big, or even medium-sized, happens in my life, I tend to get overwhelmed with emotions. I don’t know what I’m feeling, I just know that I’m feeling a lot of it all at once. I end up feeling numb, really. That feeling can go on for a while, depending on the extent of the event. It someone yells at me at work, that’s a 2-week numb feeling. If I move to a new place, that can be a 2 - 4 month numb feeling.

And even though this has been my life forever and I’ve been fully aware of it for a few years now, sometimes I’m still kind slow to recognize what’s happening. But when I do finally recognize it, then I know what to do to help fix it.

Writing is crucial for every INFJ

People often say that talking about your problems helps and it does, but not all of us have someone that we can talk to about everything that comes up in our lives. Instead of talking to people, I write. Writing is the lifeline that I needed to help figure out what is going on in my head. When I write, I’m forced to sort through what’s really happening. I have a structured system of explaining how I feel and why and there’s no pressure to say it correctly the first time or to say it quickly. It can all be thought out and edited until it’s acceptable to me.

This is why so many INFJs write. We need it. It’s how we survive. It’s how we communicate who we are and what we’ve experienced in this horrible, awful world. Here’s what writing has done for me and what it can do for you:

Writing will help you figure out what you’re feeling and why

So many times, when I’m feeling overwhelmed and numb, I start journaling about my feelings. I let the words flow without any critique or judgment. More times than not, I’m surprised at what comes out. It’s the ability to work out how I feel without exposing myself to the opinions of others that I love. I know that finding the right words in my own way and time makes all the difference to me. It’s the thing that I need to sort out the overwhelm and get back to me.

Writing will help you figure out who you are

I’ve struggled with knowing who I am for most of my life. I feel like Alice in Wonderland, “It's no use going back to yesterday because I was a different person then." Every day I wake up it’s something new. I’ve wholly reinvented myself 6 different times in my life, and I’m not satisfied with the current version either.

But in order to do the things you want to do, you need to start with understanding who you are now and who you’ve been before. So many people skip this step and struggle with making changes. I want to know who I am and why I am the way that I am. That helps me to understand who I interact with others and how I can improve myself without being extremely overwhelmed and lost.

Writing will help you learn how to communicate effectively

Once you understand who you are, then the magic begins. Now you can learn to communicate effectively too. Writing helps you learn how to think and how to organize those thoughts in a way that you and others will understand.

“Be articulate. Because that’s the most dangerous thing you can possibly be.” Jordan Peterson

If you can write, you can speak more effectively too. Now you can talk to people and convince them of things. You can give presentations and formulate arguments effectively as well. Your opportunities will increase exponentially. And with opportunities generally comes money as well.

Writing will help you stand up for yourself and create boundaries

I’ve had a problem with boundaries for most of my life. I want people to like me so I’ve allowed them to walk all over me with the hope that they would return my sacrifice with some form of love or acceptance. That never happens. What actually happens is they realize