INFJs are the majority of narcissistic abuse survivors – WHY and what you can do to heal

INFJs are the majority of narcissistic abuse survivors – WHY and what you can do to heal

Did you know that a large percentage of narcissistic abuse survivors happen to resonate with the INFJ personality type (from the Myers-Briggs Personality Test)? Based on several polls and a lot of research I did back in 2020, I can tell you it’s true.

Are you an INFJ who has been traumatized by a narcissist and you don’t know how to recover from the abuse? INFJs are highly intuitive and empathetic creatures which makes them prime targets for narcissistic abuse. INFJs have a tendency to ignore their own feelings as well as put other people’s needs above their own. We live in a world that praises selflessness and can make you feel bad if you place your needs first, and INFJs are especially sensitive to this.

What is an INFJ Personality?

The INFJ personality is known to be a compassionate, intuitive leader and is considered one of the rarest Myers-Briggs personality types. But when this highly sensitive and creative personality becomes a victim of narcissistic abuse, the devastation can be enormous.

According to 16Personalities.com, “An Advocate (INFJ) is someone with the Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging personality traits. They tend to approach life with deep thoughtfulness and imagination. Their inner vision, personal values, and a quiet, principled version of humanism guide them in all things.”

Quick Facts on the INFJ Personality

  • They are genuinely good-hearted people who connect quickly with others.
  • They often find interest and support in helping other people more than themselves.
  • They want to help and make a difference, which makes them an ideal target for manipulation.
  • INFJs value deep, heartfelt relationships.
  • They focus on a few special people in their lives and are intensely loyal and protective of them.
  • INFJs great strength lies in the intensity of their feelings, which they use intuitively to understand other people.
  • Their unique combination of traits makes INFJs natural advisors or counselors.
  • People value their insight and willingness to listen to others.

Why are INFJs the majority of narcissistic abuse survivors?

While every single personality type is susceptible to being a victim of narcissistic abuse, the most common profile of narcissistic abuse victims is INFJ. But why? For one, INFJs are givers by their very nature, and when they fall in love with someone (or are infatuated), their first instinct is to give everything they have to make that person happy.

INFJs are externally focused.

INFJs are wired to respond instantly and to take swift action to soothe any sort of negative emotion the narcissist may show – their goal is to prevent the narcissist (or anyone else they interact with) from feeling uncomfortable or unhappy in any way.

They will bend over backward to ensure the emotional safety of anyone they love. This makes them prime targets for narcissistic abusers, who are known to lack empathy and only concern themselves with their own emotions and needs. Plus, many INFJs may have develoed this particular personality type due to their own childhood trauma.

INFJs are sensitive and intuitive.

INFJs are highly intuitive, which is an asset in many situations. It’s often the quality that leads them to choose counseling as a career. But it’s also the quality that’s most likely to lead them into abusive relationships. INFJs are so attuned to other people’s feelings that they’re often taken advantage of by narcissists and sociopaths.

They can be easy targets for emotional predators because INFJs tend to trust people too easily and believe that everyone has good intentions. This tendency toward being trusting and giving isn’t a character flaw — it’s just part of being an INFJ personality type. And it can be a trap if you don’t learn how to navigate relationships more effectively.

INFJs struggle with seeing their own value.

INFJs are not always good at taking care of themselves. They can be overwhelmed by their own pain and are so used to putting other people first that they have a hard time letting themselves take a front seat in their own lives. So when an INFJ endures narcissistic abuse, it can really knock them down hard. The self esteem of an INFJ can take a real hit after being treated so poorly.

Many INFJs describe narcissistic abuse as having the rug pulled out from under them in some way. The dream they had for their life is shattered and they find themselves lost and confused with no idea where to turn next. Even if you’re familiar with personality disorders, the effects of narcissistic abuse on an INFJ can still be devastating because it attacks their very core being – everything that makes them who they are as a person. It’s like a parasite that burrows into your brain and takes over your mind, convincing you that you will never, ever be enough.

How can INFJs recover from narcissistic abuse?

When an INFJ is dealing with narcissistic abuse, it can be extremely damaging to their self-esteem and confidence. The narcissist has spent months or years filling their head with negative thoughts, telling them that they are bad, unworthy, and need to be fixed.

As outlined in my DUO Method, the first step in treatment is to recognize that there is a problem. There may be some denial involved because the INFJ has been subjected to constant criticism and manipulation by this person. When the INFJ realizees that they are being abused and that the abuser has no regard for their feelings or their needs, they’ve already taken the first step toward narcissistic abuse recovery.

The next step involves learning how the abuser thinks and operates so that they can spot the red flags before they get into another toxic relationship, as well as learning how you got into the relationship in the first place and what you can do in the future to protect yourself from similar situations.

It is important for INFJs to develop a strong support system during this time and seek out other people who understand what they are going through. Therapy and narcissistic abuse recovery coaching can also be helpful in teaching them how to set boundaries without feeling guilty or ashamed of themselves.

Recovery from narcissistic abuse really sort of begins when you stop blaming yourself for what happened. You may feel that the narcissist was right about you all along, but when you’ve finished the second phase in recovery, you’ll understand the psychlogy of what happened and you’ll see the patterns around them.

Finally, the INFJ will overcome narcissistic abuse by ending or minimizing the relationship in their lives before evolving into the best possible version of themselves.

INFJs: Questions to Ask Yourself After Narcissistic Abuse

  • What are your personality strengths and how do they relate to narcissism?
  • When you were being abused by a narcissist did you get caught up in the narcissist’s web of lies and manipulation? If so, what did it feel like?
  • How did you deal with the narcissist’s flow of constant criticism during the relationship and now that it is over?
  • How do you handle working through your feelings of self-blame, guilt, shame, and not feeling good enough?

Can an INFJ be a narcissist?

Can an INFJ be a narcissist? It’s possible, though unlikely, that an INFJ personality type can be a narcissist.  First, we have to consider this: Since Narcissists really haven’t manifested any original, true identity (and since they tend to lie to even themselves), any Myers-Briggs Personality Test result would (or at the very least) could be false. Narcissists won’t or can’t see any true insight into their false selves.

The truth is that their actual identity is comprised of “borrowed” personality traits, hobbies, choices, and frustrations from other people in their lives. There’s not a lot of substance. Narcissists usually aren’t capable of self-reflection – and don’t forget: they lie – to themselves and everyone else. With all of that being said, here is what you’d see if narcissism manifested in each of the 16 personality types – watch this video.

Communication Struggles for INFJs After Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

Many INFJs find themselves struggling with communication folloing narcissistic abuse. Part of this is because they might be (or have become) more introverted due to their abuse. Some of the issues that introverts have when communicating with others are due to the very definition of being an introvert.

INFJs are silent perfectionists.

Due to perfectionistic tendencies, introverts frequently don’t speak up, even when they have something to say because they fear it won’t be insightful enough or it will come out all wrong.

INFJs might neglect phone calls.

You much prefer to text or email because you can skip the small talk and it’s socially acceptable with those forms of communication. But phone calls… shudder! You find yourself procrastinating making important phone calls or returning calls, even to those you love. You have to feel energized enough to be an enthusiastic participant in the conversation, which can cause you to put off making calls, even if they are vital.

INFJs prefer to fly solo.

Because you need to think before you speak and because you need to have silence while you ponder, you find it challenging to participate in the conversation when there are comments and ideas flying everywhere. You may feel like you can’t gather your thoughts well enough to contribute to the conversation.

INFJs are overwhelmed and exhausted by large groups.

When you have to be around a lot of people, especially if you don’t know them, you feel exhausted fast. One reason for this is because it involves a lot of small-talk, which doesn’t come naturally to introverts. Putting out that much effort wears you out.

In fact, working in groups can be even worse for an introvert than small-talk. When you must rely on others to communicate in ways that aren’t comfortable or understandable to you, it’s a real challenge to complete the project. There’s also the issue of your perfectionism too. Because of your practice of thinking through every possible issue and solution, you are committed to only turning out perfection… but others in the group don’t often care as much about this as completion, or they have a very different perception of what “perfection” is.

INFJs can feel lonely in a crowded room.

Introverts often feel left out of a rapid conversation, whether it’s at a party or a work conference. This often occurs because, by the time you determine what you want to say and the best way to say it, the group has moved onto a new topic. You can easily feel left out and lonely during these discussions – more so than if you were actually alone.

INFJs CAN Recover From Narcissistic Abuse

Many INFJs are able to rebound from abuse and go on to have happy and fulfilling lives; however, there is no “road map” for recovery. Abuse is difficult for everyone, and for INFJs it can be especially hard because of their tendency to overlook their personal needs in favor of being selfless and accommodating.

The key to understanding the process for INFJs is realizing that we are dealing with an abuse of power. It is because of immature, unfulfilled expectations of what romantic relationships should be that the narcissist tries to take control. Whether it’s because they were not treated with the love they expected when they were younger, or whether they are simply incapable of truly loving anyone else, the narcissist is only capable of meeting their own needs.

What’s important to remember is that you are not alone, and that you can work through your pain. The first step is recognizing the abuse for what it is. From there, you need to learn how to love yourself again. Below are some additional resources to help you get started on your narcissistic abuse recovery.

Get help with narcissistic abuse recovery right now.

Kanye West: Introvert or Narcissist?

Kanye West: Introvert or Narcissist?

“I am Warhol. I am the No. 1 most impactful artist of our generation. I am Shakespeare in the flesh.” ~Kanye West 

Kanye West Narcissism Quote

So awhile back, I read this article that claimed that self-proclaimed music god Kanye West was secretly an introvert.

Yeah, you read that right. Poor, shy Kanye West.

But seriously, let’s start here. Kanye is quite obviously NOT an introvert. In fact, I’d say he’s pretty clearly a narcissist – not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Let me just pull you aside for a moment and note one thing: I personally enjoy a lot of the man’s music and while I don’t consider him much of a singer, I do consider him a very talented artist.

And I also realize that in order to be as successful as Kanye West, one must have a firm belief in one’s abilities, which he clearly does.

With all of that being said, only a narcissist would think that his opinion is more important than however many others chose Taylor Swift over Beyoncé at that now – infamous awards show.

Only a narcissist would interrupt a live television event and cause such a scene, literally stealing the spotlight from a young artist who, to be fair, is pretty talented in her own right.

Tell me an introvert would be so bold. 

Understanding An Introvert: 5 Things we wish you knew

Understanding An Introvert: 5 Things we wish you knew

“I’m an introvert… I love being by myself, love being outdoors, love taking a long walk with my dogs and looking at the trees, flowers, the sky.” ~Audrey Hepburn

Understanding An Introvert: 5b Things we wish you knew

Stock Image

Being an introvert is not an easy task. Sometimes the people around us suffer because they don’t know how to deal with introverts.

Here are some tips and tricks to being a great friend or family member to an introvert.

1. Acceptance – I’m not going to leave my house if I don’t want to. When you call me up and ask me to go and I say “no” then you won’t get me to leave. Don’t beg and plead and argue with me. I don’t want to go so I’m not going to. Please understand this instead of going out of your way to belittle me since I don’t want to leave the house yet again. I need you to accept this is who I am.

2. Don’t forget me – Just because I say “no” I’m not going doesn’t mean I want you to forget about me the next time you plan an outing or event. I know I missed a lot of stuff but I don’t want to be excluded completely.

Stock Image

3. My house is best – Want to hang out? Come on over. Make sure to call me first though. More than likely I am not going to meet you at a bar but I am almost always willing to have you over for a few drinks and a bon fire in the back yard. Just don’t bring anyone else without me knowing.

4. Silence is okay – Know that my silence is not a bad thing. I am not insulting you. I like you. I am just used to being quiet. I like quiet. It’s part of being an introvert.

5. Outings are hard – I am tired every time after I go to a public function. When I pick my kids up from school and have to talk to more than one person I am tired. It takes a great deal of energy to make myself do certain things, and being in public is one of them.

Blend

Things Only Introverts Understand: 5 Ways to Survive Going in Public

Things Only Introverts Understand: 5 Ways to Survive Going in Public

“There is a tremendous difference between alone and lonely. You could be lonely in a group of people. I like being alone. I like eating by myself. I go home at night and just watch a movie or hang out with my dog. I have to exert myself and really say, oh God, I’ve got to see my friends because I’m too content by myself.” ~ Drew Barrymore

Stock Image

I know I’m not alone when I say I would rather stay in and watch a movie on Netflix than go out and watch one at a theater.

I don’t even want to go stand in line at Redbox and rent a movie because that would mean I have to be next to other people.

Spending time at home and with my select friends and family is enough excitement for me. My social needs are met with a video game and a bag of veggies. (I would say chips but I am on this health kick…be healthy!).

There are moments in my life when I did not leave the house for weeks at a time. The only people I saw were my husband and children. I like it that way.

I know that I have to go out into the world and function. I do not have to like it but it must be done. I could shop only at Wal-Mart. However, there are some things that you cannot do at Wal-Mart like pick your kid up from school and attend your child’s soccer game. Here is how I stay sane. (or insane if that’s how you want to look at it.)

1. Limited eye contact – I limit how much eye contact I have with everyone I meet. The less our eyes meet the less you will want to talk to me.

2. No conversation – The worst thing is when you are checking out at the grocery store with $200 in food and all the lady who’s ringing you up wants to do is chit chat about how she found her missing dog. Listen, I’m happy for her and the pup but I don’t want to hear about it. A simple “hello” and “have a good day” is almost too much in the first place.

Stock Image

3. Don’t smell – People smell terrible. Avoid smelling anyone at all times. I can smell a person who didn’t take a bath or brush their teeth from an aisle over. I bury my face in my scarf or my husband’s shoulder whenever we pass someone. Yes, there are those of you out there that use cologne and bathe regularly. I apologize to you. However, I am still going to hold my breath whenever you pass me because I cannot smell you.

4. Be nice – Being as nice as possible to those people who must talk to you is key. The nicer you are the more helpful they will be and the faster you can leave and go back home.

5. Don’t be afraid – No one knows that you are an introvert. No one knows you want to run away and crawl home instead of smiling one more fake smile. Everyone picks their kids up from school. Everyone goes to the mall. People go grocery shopping. Just remember that blending in is our best bet. Get done what you need to get done and then get back home.

Blend

 

Pin It on Pinterest