Getting emotionally close to an INFJ will be difficult, take some time and indeed may never happen. The INFJ world is so driven by values, by a complex belief system that it is difficult for outsiders to ‘get in,’ unless invited. Even then trust will be a process, not an event and once given will be seen as something precious and can thus be taken back as easily, if the INFJ perceives someone as having transgressed a precious value. Serious minded and intense the INFJ will take relationships as seriously as they do their causes and their global outlook and focus on the big picture may mean that it is difficult to always get on their wavelength. Acutely suspicious about others' motives, INFJs are not easily led. These are the people that you can rarely fool any of the time. Though affable and sympathetic to most, INFJs are selective about their friends. Such a friendship is an important bond that is not to be taken lightly.
An INFJ's values have been honed over some time, deep within their own heads, and they may not be happy to share these. This can make it difficult to get close and may mean that other people see them as a bit strange or quirky. The INFJ would not see the need to alter this view and will generally work quietly until a value is transgressed. The problem is that INFJs are so complex, individualistic and un-forthcoming, that the other person may not realise that some value or deeply held belief has been transgressed and be quite surprised how sharply the INFJ can react and how outspoken, assertive and stubborn they can suddenly and uncharacteristically become.
Although at times strident and outspoken, INFJs are true introverts, who can only be emotionally intimate and fulfilled with a chosen few from among their long-term friends, family, or obvious ‘soul mates.’ While instinctively courting the personal and organisational demands continually made upon them by others, at intervals INFJs will suddenly withdraw into themselves, sometimes shutting out even their close friends.
This apparent paradox is a necessary escape valve for them, providing both time to rebuild their depleted resources and a filter to prevent the emotional overload to which they are so susceptible as inherent ‘givers.’ As a pattern of behaviour, it is perhaps the most confusing aspect of the enigmatic INFJ character to outsiders, and hence the most often misunderstood, particularly by those who have little experience with this rare character type.
Although quite gentle, and preferring to be out of the limelight, the INFJ will work long and hard behind the scenes to maintain harmony but they are also intensely independent - both of thought and spirit. This is a necessary escape valve for INFJs providing both time to rebuild their depleted energy and a filter to prevent the emotional overload to which they are so susceptible as inherent ‘givers.’
Although at times strident and outspoken, INFJs can only be emotionally open about themselves with a chosen few. At times INFJs will withdraw into themselves, shutting out even their close friends. Values are at the heart of the INFJ and they will take relationships as seriously as they do their causes and their global outlook and big picture focus may mean that it is difficult to get on their wavelength. Deep and private the INFJ will keep their own counsel. Yet they have such deeply held beliefs that others may be surprised how forthright they can become to defend values or those they feel need support. Although the INFJ prefers and will create harmony, they have such strong and deeply held values, these honed over a long time and they will defend those values vigorously if they are transgressed.
Because the INFJ is basically private, they will fight only on issues that really mean something to them and thus they can switch from being quiet to incredibly crusading, assertive and stubborn. All interactions, given the nature of the INFJ as champion and supporter, will eventually deplete their energies and they will need to recharge on their own, thinking deeply about issues and connecting the dots.