INFJ Male Bio: Growing Up as an INFJ Male (Age 0-6)
INFJ Male Bio: Growing Up as an INFJ Male
Within this six part INFJ Male Bio post series I will write about my challenges growing up as an introverted child. I don’t know if this is typical for this personality type or Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) experience. Everyone is different, but these different symptoms/conditions tend to go together. When one of them is present in your life, it is likely that others will be as well. Surely, I wish I knew this back then, but for me this was a gradual learning process.
By documenting my path I hope this blog could function as a place where people struggling with the same ordeals learn as much as possible about these correlated conditions and experiences. Hopefully it helps you save time on your own journey of development. I’ll write about the things that helped me during these dark times so that anyone who can relate to these experiences could try them for themselves. The wisdom of the books and teachers on my path to more self understanding were of invaluable worth.
I literally, don’t know where I would be in my life today without it. My wish is for it to be helpful to many others dealing with their own hardships. As Self-help can be a powerful aid I do however strongly suggest to seek help from a licensed mental health professional whenever you are dealing with mental health issues.
Golden Years as an Introverted Child (0 – 6)
Born in the 1980’s and coming up as a young child in the early 1990’s, I loved watching cartoons and playing video games. I had a few favourites, like the Rescue Rangers which I watched over and over again of course like any kid. However, I liked playing outside a lot during the summers, which were amazing to me during that time.
The green leaves of the trees and the sunlight amplifying their colours, it was magical. My parents always told me I was a very joyous and sweet child that could entertain himself. Playful, curious and open to my environment after I had my initial moments to warm up. My curiosity made me learn things quickly like counting the elevator buttons or using certain words, which pleasantly surprised bystanders.
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash
My calm temperament made me observant, well behaved and neat (almost never made my clothes dirty). To some this would come across as being shy. My joy made me enthusiastic and contagiously happy. I felt very loved within my family, by peers and the community. Even though my parents made sure I was healthy, I would often have some kind of ailment. For instance extreme skin reactions to mosquito bites, rashes and hay-fever. Perhaps the first signs of my sensory processing sensitivity.
Visits to the doctor’s office were pretty frequent because of it. Our general practitioner told my parents that I was a very sensitive child. My parents didn’t know anything about INFJ traits, Myer Briggs personality types or Highly Sensitive Children (HSC). Neither did my doctor, but my sensitivity was noticeable to them.
Primary School Experiences: Highly Sensitive Child Symptoms
At primary school I would get along with my peers. I had a close friend or two and often was very much liked by the teachers according to my parents. Getting crushes on girls in my class, which often left me very heartbroken when that crush wasn’t reciprocal.
In class during free play time, the teacher would sit on her chair in the middle of the classroom. This allowed the kids to come to her if they needed anything. Often you had to stand in line as a kid until it was your turn to get to the teacher. I remember that one day I found out my crush was interested in another boy in class which devastated me.
Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash
Keeping my composure I stood in line for the teacher a few minutes until it was my turn. Then I bursted into tears as I threw myself on the teacher’s lap crying about what I had found out. This was a recurring theme throughout my childhood: falling in love deeply with girls pretty quickly and being heartbroken for a while when that crush was unanswered. Luckily, attention was paid to classes as well and I had good grades.
Learning was something I liked, but with most assignments in class, or something hands on like arts and crafts I was regularly the last one to finish. I wasn’t the type of child who would like to do things fast. As an observant type, I prefered to understand things before starting with my work. This inclination is present in me till this day. Sometimes, I was puzzled as it seemed that all the other children were always way faster than me with school assignments.
At birthday parties I would be slow to warm up. Loud noises were something that bothered me a lot. When other kids would roughly try to pop balloons I would get very anxious for the hard sound that it could make.
I could feel enormous resentment towards those kids who tried to do that as it would overwhelm my senses. I couldn’t understand kids that were playing very roughly all the time. As a calm child, my preference was to not go overboard with the intensity level of playing.
On some level I understood that rough play often led to conflict. Something I thought wasn’t worth the risk.
Even though children in general are sensitive, there were certain aspects of me during these earlier formative years that indicated that I was perhaps more sensitive than average. According to Aron (1999), a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) is born with a nervous system that processes information more deeply.
This sensitivity trait is therefore already present at birth and deeply embedded within the body. Identifying the Myer Briggs Types in children seems more difficult, because the personality develops throughout childhood. It reaches a solid base for the first time at the age of 18 roughly speaking.
Being highly sensitive is considered to be one of the INFJ traits, because of their orientation on other peoples’ feelings and strong need for frequent solitude. This leads to the following questions:
Food For Thought
People can be highly sensitive without being an INFJ but:
Can people also be INFJ without being Highly Sensitive?
What were you like as a child from the age of 0-6?
Were there any observable traits that might have predicted your personality?
What is your personality type? Take the MBTI test!
Continue to Part 2 of INFJ Male Bio.
Aron, E. N. (1999). The Highly Sensitive Person: How to thrive when the world overwhelms you. London, England: Element. Book
Daniels, N. (2020, July 10). 15 Things you should never do to your introverted child [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://introvertdear.com/news/introverted-child-never-do/
For the total list of recommended reading, please go to the Wisdom page.
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