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The Honest Effects Of INFJ Anxiety

It’s fair to say that anxiety is something that every personality type deals with to some extent, with everyone experiencing it uniquely in their own way. However, it’s also fair to say that some personality types are wired to be more prone to anxious feelings and behaviors compared to others.. One of those personality types being none other than the INFJ.

Today we’re going to be talking all about how anxiety affects the INFJ personality type.

Perfectionism Rooted in Anxiety

The INFJ loves having control, organization and efficiency in their lives - a true perfectionist type at heart. And while this trait allows them to succeed in certain areas of life, it comes with a host of self-made pressure that most INFJs are familiar with.

In fact, according to mental health experts at AnxietyCanada.com, while perfectionism isn’t a psychological disorder itself, it can certainly be linked to anxiety tendencies. So, by holding themselves up to the high standards only they’ve set for themselves, the INFJ personality type experiences a different type of inner anxiety that not many others can relate to.

With a serious dose of idealism and imagination, they set standards so far out of reach that they’re bound to experience a sense of failure and anxiety when they finally realize they’re not reaching goals as intended. Not only do these perfectionist habits cause unnecessary stress and panic within this sensitive type, but it also comes with an emotional side of feeling inadequate and even incapable. 

They Hide It Very Well

The INFJ personality type is known for their constant analyzing and observing of the world around them, with human behavior being one of their main focal points. This allows the INFJ to know exactly how to act and when to act around certain people in order to keep their anxieties unnoticed.

While this seems like an ideal anxious scenario considering coming off as nervous makes all anxious matters considerably more torturous, it comes with its downfalls. In fact, hidden anxiety disallows others to really know when the INFJ is feeling uncomfortable, furthering their assumptions of feeling misunderstood.

Not only that, but trying to hide these anxious feelings while analyzing other people’s behaviors can certainly make social interactions all that more dreadful.

Anxiety Can Make Infjs Extremely Defensive

Normally, INFJs would do anything to avoid conflict within the natural harmony they’ve created with the people around them. They’re known to be an easy-going and empathetic type, always there to help others.. But when stress strikes, it can take its toll on the INFJ and their innate strengths, leaving them in a hostile place - both mentally and emotionally.

Stress can make the outer world seem like a dangerous, bitter place - even in times of momentary panic or overwhelming sensitivity to surrounding environments. When the INFJ is pushed past their mental limits or are put in situations that make them unbearably uncomfortable they can certainly become defensive.

Although the situation may be simple.. possibly even for their greater good, overloaded INFJs can end up saying things that hurt the people around them in an effort to get them to back off and give them space. In fact, some people with this emotionally misunderstood type experience defensive anger without realizing it’s actually rooted in anxiety and fear.

Anxiety Can Temporarily Wash Out Main Functions

Anxiety is distracting for every personality type. In fact, it’s such a distracting experience that it can mentally debilitate people from living their day-to-day lives. While it all depends on the severity of anxiousness, INFJs can feel this disconnect coming from a mile away.

Being an ‘FJ’ personality type, the INFJ’s extraverted feeling function usually rely on picking up on other people’s emotions and feelings to navigate social situations. Yet when anxiety crashes the party, it can make it nearly impossible to focus.

For example, it’s not exactly easy to read someone when your brain is too busy imagining the worst-case scenario of how they’re perceiving you. And it’s not easy picking up on the subtle details of constructive criticism when your brain is too busy panicking that you didn’t reach expectations.

Anxiety can make serious confrontations and even the simplest of conversations nearly unbearable for this introverted type - momentarily robbing them of what they do best.

Their Main Functions Can Trigger Anxiety

Ironically, these very main functions that anxiety temporarily robs the INFJ of, are the same functions that can actually end up causing them anxiety in the first place.. Confusing, we know.

With a fine balance of introverted intuition and extraverted feeling as their two main functions, the INFJ personality type subconsciously absorbs details from their surroundings in order to further breakdown and better understand within their minds.

Yet, the scary thing is that they don’t have the option to shut this function off, which makes situations with overloaded stimulation considerably challenging for this highly sensitive type.

Anything from filing taxes to explaining complex directions, dealing with too many details can instantly unsettle an INFJ as it calls them to focus on immediate sensory details rather than relying on their intuition.

People Pleasing Rooted in Anxiety

As we mentioned previously, INFJs are known peacemakers - looking for harmony wherever they go. Yet, with such a strong desire for harmony, the INFJ naturally sets themselves up for people-pleasing behaviors. INFJs go above and beyond to ensure that the people close to them are cared for.

They hate feeling like they have disappointed others, and work hard to avoid this. However, keeping the peace comes with a price, a price that costs the INFJ worry and contemplation before every move they make.

In fact, it’s not uncommon for an INFJ to neglect their own needs in order to please those around them - causing them to turn down certain opportunities in fear of hurting others. This all stems from feeling anxious around the idea of not keeping their loved ones happy. Yet, as we all know.. We can’t make everyone happy, making this INFJ mentality flawed to say the least.

Hiding Away is Not the Solution

Sorry to break it to you, dear hermits.. But hiding away from the world is not a trustworthy anxiety solution. As an introverted type, retracting to the comfort of your thoughts is the most logical way to deal with the anxieties induced from the outer world, but it may do more harm than good.

Of course, sometimes all the INFJ needs is a little self love in the comfort of their own company to sort out their anxious thoughts, but prolonged isolation can only make matters worse. Although introverted, INFJs do need other people.

Well, all introverts do to a certain extent, but FJ types are particularly people-oriented. And when it comes to prolonged isolation from socializing, INFJs begin to miss out on key information their main functions are looking for.

And without their main functions doing their jobs, the INFJ can begin relying on their less developed functions, or fall into a grip-stress cycle of toxic behaviors.

With that being said, overworking and ignoring anxiety is also not the solution.. Recognize patterns, re-evaluate lifestyle, and don’t be afraid to ask for a little help! Counselors need counselors too, you know!