Why Do INFJs Get Taken For Granted? (6 Reasons You Should Consider)
Jul 29, 2021
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The INFJ is one in 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.
INFJs have many potentially beautiful traits like empathy, generosity and kindness.
But, sadly these wonderful traits can leave them open to being taken for granted when they don’t recognize their own value.
Sadly, I can speak from experience as a highly sensitive INFJ male myself.
Let’s take a look at 6 reasons why INFJs can get taken for granted in relationships.
Why Do INFJs Get Taken For Granted? (6 Reasons You Should Consider)
1. INFJs tend to get taken for granted, because they are natural givers who can be too nice
INFJs are known to be natural givers. They enjoy showing their generosity to others and rejoice in the fulfilment and appreciation of whoever is on the receiving end.
For example, helping friends to move on a Saturday.
Lending money to a family member. Buying thoughtful presents for birthdays of every friend and family member.
Natural generosity is truly one of their strongest gifts.
However, they risk overdoing the giving without the necessary discernment of whom to give to and when.
Obviously, friends and family make the default list of people who are deserving of the INFJs efforts.
A problem arises however, when the INFJ is giving so much that it’s actually costing them too much.
For instance, by being available to help everyone at every time, the INFJ wears him or herself out by helping a friend to move on a Saturday when actually rest was needed that weekend.
Or lending out money to a family member the INFJ very much needed for him or herself.
Or by always buying every loved one thoughtful gifts, considerate amounts of time and money are spent.
Being too nice and too helpful is one of the pitfalls of the INFJ.
Others might learn quickly that they can always depend on their unconditional help.
As such they might take them for granted and eagerly ask too much help.
2. INFJs tend to get taken for granted, because they are often poor at setting boundaries
Since the INFJ’s “Extraverted Feeling” (represented by the letter “F”) equips them to be especially attuned to the feelings and needs of others, they often prioritize them above their own.
They might feel too tired to act on someone’s request for help, but do it anyway because they don’t want to disappoint people.
Poor boundary setting is a well-known problem many INFJs struggle with.
They might attempt to convey to someone that they are too tired to help, but cave in easily when the other pushes just a little against the boundaries.
Out of guilt, empathy or low-self esteem the INFJ can sacrifice its own needs.
It is a lack of setting firm boundaries and sticking to them.
Tragically, each time the INFJ caves in on his attempt to set personal boundaries, he or she teaches others that the boundaries aren’t as important.
Ironically, boundary setting becomes harder next time with those people, because now they might push even harder to get their way.
Making it even harder for the INFJ to set proper boundaries.
As such others might take the INFJ for granted, because they know it’s very likely that they’ll be able to persuade them into doing what they want.
Or due to a lack of respect since the INFJ doesn’t stand up for him or herself.
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3. INFJs tend to get taken for granted, because they often avoid conflict
Avoiding conflict almost goes hand in hand with poor boundary setting as mentioned above.
Due to INFJs sensitivity and “Extraverted Feeling” (F), they strive for constant harmony in their relationships.
Disharmony due to negative emotions and conflict, physically makes them uneasy.
As INFJs are sensitive (often highly sensitive), conflict, volatile emotions and disrupted social relations bother them on a visceral level.
Next to emotional pain it is actually physically painful and overwhelming for an INFJ to have any sort of conflict with others.
When they do get involved in some form of conflict, it might take them hours or days even to shake off the stress and negative emotions resulting from it.
Therefore, most INFJs are susceptible to developing a pattern of avoiding conflict all together.
Setting boundaries and standing up for oneself can easily lead to (necessary) conflict.
Despite those necessary moments of conflict when you stand up for yourself, the INFJ tends to avoid them out of fear of negative emotions, overwhelm and not knowing how to follow up when someone keeps pushing on those set boundaries.
This way they never practice setting boundaries and therefore need to keep avoiding conflict.
People might take INFJs for granted as they often don’t know how to stand up for themselves.
4. INFJs tend to get taken for granted, because they often don’t ask for what they want
As mentioned before, the INFJ tends to prioritize the feelings and needs of others above their own.
Their “Extraverted Feeling” function makes them very aware of other people’s emotions.
With the nickname “social chameleon”, INFJs are known to adjust almost perfectly and with great ease to the social environment at hand.
They are good at sensing what others need and how to make them feel comfortable.
For instance, an INFJ would increase the distance and decrease the amount of eye contact, without coming off as cold when he or she senses someone is becoming uncomfortable by the intensity of their interaction.
They are known to “read minds” so to speak.
Yet, when it comes to “reading their own minds” they can really struggle with sensing what is actually going on inside of themselves.
This translates in them not asking for what they want, because they aren’t so aware of what it is that they actually want in different situations.
What’s more is that INFJs are also susceptible to believing that they should be selfless.
Their innate altruism and strong need for independence can steer them to hyper independence.
In other words, they may perceive asking for what they want as needy, selfish and in some cases weak.
Ironically, it is perfectly okay for others to ask for help and INFJs are eager to help them out. Kind of weird right?
So they might be taken for granted, due to appearing to have no needs others should consider.
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5. INFJs tend to perceive getting taken for granted, because they are often overly critical/sensitive
Here I mean how the INFJ might perceive the situation.
As sensitive and critical beings, they might quickly read someone else’s behavior as “taking them for granted” because their threshold for this is set low by their sensitive and critical minds.
A friend might ask them a favor for a third time, but forgets to thank the INFJ enough immediately afterwards.
Now this could be seen as that friend is taking the INFJ for granted, while in actuality that friend just forgot to explicitly say it or is planning a surprise as a reward.
As a response the INFJ might decide to not help that friend out the next time.
Tonality by which someone asks the INFJ something can also be important.
INFJs are many times very cognisant of how they treat others.
Preferring harmonious relationships and social interactions, they practice warmth, respect and dignity when interacting with people.
As such they are allergic to anything that could threaten that harmony.
Rude or disrespectful behavior is a big no no when it comes to ways of acting for themselves or others.
A condescending, entitled or dismissive tone in your voice while talking to the INFJ is a sure-fire way to get the infamous INFJ door slam in your face.
Being taken for granted or not being valued is sadly a common theme in their lives, most likely stemming from childhood.
Their parents might have struggled accepting the notion of their INFJ child’s sensitivity.
Not being valued can therefore be a painful emotional wound INFJs carry and over-react to when it gets triggered.
6. INFJs tend to get taken for granted, because they tend to attract toxic people
Now add up most of the previously mentioned tendencies of the (undeveloped) INFJ.
The (unconditional) natural giving.. poor boundaries.. avoiding conflict.. not asking for what they need.. Tragically, this is a recipe for attracting toxic people.
By toxic I mean people who are consciously or unconsciously seeking to benefit from others in an unhealthy way.
For instance, selfish, needy, narcissistic, emotionally wounded people that want all the attention, help and resources they can get their hands on from others.
The (undeveloped) INFJ often engages with toxic people unknowingly. The INFJ tends to only give, while the toxic person only takes.
On paper this sounds like a match made in heaven, while in actuality it is a match made in hell.
It is a dysfunctional dynamic where only the toxic person gets their needs met.
The INFJ is left being taken for granted in this one-sided relationship, due to the exploitation of the often (compulsive) altruistic tendencies.
We’ve discussed some of the ways INFJs can get taken for granted in relationships.
Many reasons have to do with tendencies of the undeveloped INFJ (poor boundaries, conflict avoidance).
Working through these vices, by developing oneself might help shifting the experience of being taken for granted. What do you think? Do all INFJs experience this?
Food For Thought
1. Which other traits make the INFJ getting taken for granted?
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