5 Common INFJ Male Problems
Oct 17, 2020
From not recognizing our self-worth to struggling to find a meaningful career, being an INFJ male comes with challenges, but also solutions.
INFJs, one of the eight introverted Myers-Briggs personality types, are known for their kindness and enigmatic presence.
They’re also the rarest personality type due to their function combination Introversion (I), Intuition (N), Feeling (F), Judging (J) is only seen in 1-2 percent of the population.
But despite a certain group’s rareness, there are always commonalities. INFJs share strengths like their need for harmony.
They’re known for being able to sense the emotions of others very accurately and consider the needs of those around them.
On that same token they also share their unique set of challenges.
Today, we’ll discuss the ordeals of perhaps the most “rare” group.
As an INFJ male and highly sensitive person myself, I have struggled a lot with most of the challenges in this article.
As such this is an article from the heart.
Let’s take a look at 5 Common INFJ Male Problems.
INFJ Male Problems (5 Common Ones)
1. INFJ Men may Struggle with Self-Worth Issues.
A lot of people with the INFJ personality also have Highly Sensitive Person traits.
As these are beautiful traits on their own like being able to empathize deeply with other people, many of us INFJ men don’t see their worth.
Truth is, many of you more sensitive men reading this have had a rough time growing up, because your sensitivity was seen as a weakness versus a strength.
Most likely one of your parents, family members, teachers, friends or society at large shamed, ridiculed, discounted or invalidated your sensitivity.
You’ve might been told (explicitly or implicitly) to man up, toughen up and stop being the way you are.
If you repeatedly received these messages during your formative years it is of no surprise sooner or later you start to believe them.
The issue: Toxic Shame
Due to these messages, deep feelings of shame, guilt and self-disgust are probably very familiar to you.
If these feelings fester for too long they turn into Toxic Shame.
A shame so deeply felt that we are ashamed and disgusted of who we are.
This eats away at our sense of identity as the unique person we are and our sense of manhood.
From an early age it became quite obvious to most of us male INFJs that we don’t fit in that stereotypical category of what a man is “supposed to be”, like being solely rational and portraying the macho persona.
Yet, in order to meet the expectations of our parents, teachers, and other significant adults in our lives and not let them down, we tried, tried and tried everything possible to fit in by acting tougher than we are and hiding our sensitive side.
Photo by Siviwe Kapteyn on Unsplash
But we’ve failed every time, feeling inadequate, stupid, weak and emasculated. (More about this pattern can be found in the INFJ Male Bio series.
The paradox is that even when we do manage to fit in more, we fail nonetheless, because we wouldn’t be true to our self.
Overall I sense that at the core of the INFJ’s male plight is a struggle for self-acceptance.
Check out the Wisdom page for some great resources that could help against Toxic Shame.
The solution: Redefining masculinity
At some point, INFJ men await the daunting but crucial, task of redefining masculinity for themselves.
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This takes years and years and years, but we must.
For most men there already exists a manufactured jacket of ‘masculinity’ in a few universal sizes shipped everywhere, like the rational status-driven persona.
However, not for us INFJ men.
We need to sew our own custom-made jacket of masculinity with all the different fabrics of our personality, like our sensitivity and appreciation of beauty and wear it with pride.
Only then will we reach full maturity. They say “Clothes make the man”. I say “INFJ men make the clothes”. Our own clothes.
2. INFJ Men May Struggle to Find a Fulfilling Career.
To most people with the INFJ personality traits, working to make money isn’t just that simple.
We need to know and feel like the work we’re doing is meaningful and contributes to some kind of greater good.
For us male INFJs this purpose is very important.
For example, we find purpose in an introspective career, such as being a psychologist, artist, writer, or musician.
However, these great careers take a lot of time to build up, before we can truly indulge in them.
The issue: Contradicting needs
As INFJ men, we are truly the odd ones out, as our interests can be quirky and contradictory.
We can have a deep affinity with more logical subjects, such as the sciences or data, while also enjoying creative expression such as art.
Did you notice something else about those potential careers? Yes, a lot of them are careers where it is common to be your own boss.
But the truth is it is extremely hard to meet all of those different needs in a regular 9 to 5 job.
Ironically, often it is needed to climb the corporate ladder through a regular 9 to 5, before you can claim a more interesting position within a company.
But therein lies the problem. A lot of us have withered and died psychologically before that happens due to our unmet needs for autonomy and creativity.
Is that perhaps why a lot of us aspire for entrepreneurship of some kind?
Plagued by perfectionism we can easily quit any job that isn’t conducive to nurturing our full potential, regardless of the current state of the economy.
Idealists as we are, we pride ourselves on this job hopping like it’s a skill.
Because, we always manage to find a last minute job that keeps us from starving.
But this tendency has a huge flaw.
Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash
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