Why Are INFJs So Kind? (6 Nice Reasons?)

Jul 01, 2023

One of the trademarks of the INFJ seems to be kindness. As an INFJ male myself, I can recall actually being too kind for most of my life.

The INFJ is one of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types, making up roughly 1-2 percent of the population. “INFJ” is an acronym which stands for Introversion (I), Intuition (N), Feeling (F) and Judging (J).

These four core characteristics describe the cognitive functions INFJs use the most to navigate through life.

Is the INFJ’s kindness a genuine display of their deep altruism? Or merely a shiny veneer used to cover something up? Let’s have a closer look!

6 Reasons Why INFJs Are So Kind

1. INFJs are so kind, because they tend to be highly sensitive

About 20% of people are born with a more finely attuned nervous system that picks up on more subtle stimuli.

“Highly Sensitive Person” (HSP) is the term renowned clinical research psychologist and author Elaine N. Aron uses to describe people with this trait.

According to Aron (1999), highly sensitive people are often gifted with a great intelligence, intuition, imagination, empathic ability and creativity.

Many traits you can often see present in the INFJ. You could say that a significant amount of INFJs would actually fall somewhere within the highly sensitive category.

The gift of being highly sensitive can really boost someone’s capacity for empathy to the next level, due to the increased ability to feel someone else’s emotions and imagine their perspective as one’s own.

Highly sensitive people tend to be kind and gentle because of this empathic capacity, making them really struggle seeing others get hurt or be uncomfortable in any way.

Since highly sensitive people also get easily overstimulated by (emotional) stimuli in their surrounding environments, they tend to be also careful not to cause a raucous, upset others or seek out busy areas like shopping malls, crowded public transport or streets where traffic is dense.

By being kind, (highly sensitive) INFJs can foster a stable emotional environment where the social interactions between them and others flow harmoniously.

Frequently fluctuating emotions, capricious people or so called negative emotions like anger, sadness of other people (or the INFJ) can really leave the emotional system of the INFJ dysregulated to the point where they need to retreat from the world for a few days to recover.

So next to actually being kind and gentle by nature as a frequent byproduct of their heightened sensitivity, INFJs use their kindness also to regulate the emotional temperature of the social atmosphere at any given moment to keep it pleasant for everybody, including themself and their delicate senses.

2. INFJs are so kind, because of Extraverted Feeling

INFJs have the nickname “The Extraverted Introvert” or “Social Chameleon” for good reasons!

Despite being introverted and needing a lot of alone time to recharge, you’ll often see them also enthusiastically engage in certain social situations as if they were extraverts (at least for a little while).

In fact, many INFJs get regularly mistaken for extraverts by others (at least in certain social settings, like a private party or a friend group meet up).

What drives this paradoxical introvert to periodically move like an extravert within the social landscape is their “Extraverted Feeling” cognitive function, which is represented by the letter “F” in “INFJ”.

Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels

Extraverted feeling drives them to be very focussed on other people’s emotions, needs and well-being.

That’s why extraverted feeling underlies the harmonious and nurturing social atmosphere INFJs are known for creating through their kindness when interacting with others.

INFJs tend to be so kind, because extraverted feeling lies at the root of wanting to have pleasant social interactions with others.

Due to the tendency of extraverted feeling to activate automatically when other people are around the INFJ, the INFJ’s kindness tends to operate on the forefront of almost any interaction on autopilot unless the situation acutely warrants a different response.

As such INFJs come across as naturally kind beings who always tend to come in peace.

3. INFJs are so kind, because they tend to be empathic

INFJs tend to have a great capacity for having empathy for other people.

Especially, when the INFJ also is highly sensitive. The genuine curiosity about other peoples’ experiences, the active listening, patience and acceptance INFJs can showcase in one on one conversations have been almost like a healing occurrence to many who’ve encountered it.

Now people won’t open up to someone when they feel it’s unsafe to do so.

The INFJ’s kindness lies at the basis of that safe atmosphere for others to open up and receive the INFJ’s empathy.

4. INFJs are so kind, because they tend to be moral

The INFJ's moral compass is a strong metaphorical instrument they use to navigate through life.

Almost any decision they make (whether the big ones or small ones) are roughly based on their own sense of morality at that given time within their moral development.

By witnessing the increasing amount of suffering, selfishness, malevolence and abysmal disconnection within human relationships on the planet, INFJs viscerally feel personally responsible for contributing to a more nurturing world.

By being devoutly kind, INFJs usually try to manifest that world they can clearly envision within their mind’s eye.

Any displays of flagrant condescending behavior purely for the sake of elevating one’s own so called social status is considered a heinous violation of social etiquette to them.

To the point they consider it immoral. It goes without saying that the INFJ doesn’t expect you to be like Mother Teresa all the time, but by being kind by default the prototypical INFJ strives to smooth out social interactions and at least come from a default place of good intentions and respect.

5. INFJs are so kind, because they tend to fear conflict

Now, up until this point it may seem that INFJs are these kindhearted saints whose altruistic and philanthropic displays always seem to come from a purely selfless place.

Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.

INFJs tend to be more sensitive, and more easily overwhelmed by emotional stimuli (especially if they are highly sensitive).

Negative and volatile emotions like anger, guilt, shame or sadness coming from themself or others can be especially disruptive to the INFJ’s inner emotional equilibrium.

As such, many of them can easily start to fear those emotions that accompany conflict and develop the tendency to avoid conflict.

They may have learnt along the way that their natural gift to be kind and socially pleasing can aid them enormously in avoiding conflict and staying safe.

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By always being kind or to always cater to the needs of others, INFJs who are conflict avoidant hope to prevent conflict by emotionally disarming people who could get angry at them.

For example, by making jokes consistently to lighten the other person’s mood or by complimenting them.

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In these cases, the kindness isn’t genuine, but actually a form of manipulation.

INFJs who use their kindness in conflict avoidance, may also remain kind even-though someone is violating their boundaries.

Sacrificing their dignity for emotional safety at the altar of social tension. Now, a wise person once said: “pick your battles”.

Not every little thing is worth going to war for in a social context.

However, INFJs do have a heightened risk to not pick any battle at all, due to their inclination to fear and avoid social conflict while using their kindness as a shield.

6. INFJs are so kind, because they may be locked into a trauma response

Now, when the kindness of the INFJ is particularly persistent and insidious to the point of compulsiveness, it may mean that something far darker operates as the root cause.

Excessively kind people may have an underlying trauma that propels them to act out their kindness as a desperate coping response to trauma.

Often you’ll see people who’ve had narcissistic or abusive parents/caregivers develop a compulsive behavior pattern to always be kind and pleasing to others.

Not because they always want to be kind to everyone.

But because this unrestrained kind persona they’ve crafted during childhood enabled them to mentally and physically survive their toxic caregivers during childhood and endure the accumulated trauma.

By being so overly kind, pleasing and so called selfless, they’ve managed to prevent and escape a lot of negative attention and abuse from their parents/caregivers as they were less likely to become a target when the INFJ complied with every demand.

Later in life however, this becomes a problem, because now they may still believe that in order to be safe or just merely tolerated, they need to be kind and pleasing to everyone at all costs.

Now, they are locked into an insidious trauma response and have to compulsively keep acting out the role of the overly kind people pleaser, because otherwise the traumatized INFJ doesn’t feel safe.

It’s only logical that when you are stuck in a life threatening situation, you’ll clutch the gifts and abilities that you are most good at and use them in a desperate attempt to increase your chances of survival.

Therefore, many INFJs have a high risk choosing to cope with toxic people via the way of the extremely kind people pleaser role, because being kind and able to sense what others need comes so naturally to them.

Unfortunately, it can lead to a poignant scenario where the kindness of the INFJ isn’t a genuine conscious choice, but actually an old lingering trauma response holding the INFJ hostage.

Recommended Reading

Aron, E. N. (1999). The Highly Sensitive Person: How to thrive when the world overwhelms you. London, England: Element. Book



As a psychologist with a Master's degree in Clinical & Health Psychology, and as an INFJ male, highly sensitive human being, the author aims to blend the objective, subjective, mind, body and spirit for a holistic view on true well-being
for INFJs, Introverts, Highly Sensitive People and Empaths!



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