Why Do INFJs Have Little or No Friends? (9 Reasons You Should Know)
Jun 18, 2021
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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).
As a highly sensitive INFJ male myself, I’ve noticed that I’m very picky when it comes to choosing friends, resulting in just a few friends I meet up with from time to time.
Something I’ve also observed in other INFJ friends and the INFJ discussions around this topic on the internet.
What might be some of the reasons that INFJs seem to have little or no friends? In this article we will dive deeper into 9 potential explanations.
Why Do INFJs Have Little or No Friends? (9 Reasons You Should Know)
1. INFJs might have Little or No Friends, because it’s Hard to Find Like-Minded People
According to Myers-Briggs, INFJs (or the Advocate) are the rarest personality type of all, making up roughly 1-2% of the population.
So purely statistically speaking, the odds are very slim for INFJs to meet other INFJs or like-minded people.
Furthermore, catching an INFJ in the wild is hard, due to their strong need for a lot of alone time.
As lone wolf types who avoid large crowds or places where many people tend to congregate, there aren’t any real natural public spaces or social events where you’ll find an INFJ (maybe the library).
Perhaps, those chances of meeting a fellow INFJ (or like-minded people) are highest during college years.
For instance, at an education that is known to be highly interesting for INFJs (Psychology or Philosophy), where they attend mandatory classes.
Take a good look around during those classes and try to spot one. The alternative is to lay out a trap with HSP books and ambient music cds as lure and hope for the best!
2. INFJs might have Little or No Friends, because they have High Standards for Friendships
INFJs have a deep desire and need for authenticity and integrity.
Idealists as they are, they strive for the best in life and that includes the quality of their friendships (also read 7 Essential INFJ Male Relationship Needs).
They enjoy deep conversations about life, philosophies and intriguingly novel concepts.
INFJs only truly open up to share their innermost thoughts, feelings and compassion when they know for certain that they can trust the people around them.
When they finally open up, their light begins to shine intensely.
INFJs are passionate beings, lovers of life and seekers of beauty.
To be able to share that passion and feel that others understand their soul, they need friends who share that same spirit.
Friends who are seekers of beauty themselves.
Who are on the path of self-discovery and adventure.
Friends who are honest, authentic, real, open and want to create a beautiful life for themselves.
Friends who are like the INFJ and caught up in something bigger than just the mundane way of conventional day to day living.
Friends who also stare into the metaphorical horizon, and want to create something fresh and new with their own lives for all to benefit from.
Friends who can see the INFJ for who he or she is.
To be seen is something INFJs long for in a society where they’ve been often misunderstood.
Often also taken advantage of, because of their generosity and soft-spoken nature.
They are very sensitive to other people’s emotions and strive for and need harmony.
That’s why INFJs also need to be sure that someone has a pure soul, before they can be even considered a friend.
People who can potentially hurt the INFJ intentionally or unintentionally are filtered out.
INFJs also have high standards out of self-protection.
Only the pure hearted are allowed to enter their kingdom so to speak.
But those high standards make it that not everyone is a suitable friend.
But INFJs rather be alone than have some mediocre placeholder friendships.
That’s just the way it is. Quality over quantity!
3. INFJs might have Little or No Friends, because they are Focussed on their Life Goals
Having a compelling vision for one’s life is one thing.
To manifest that vision so that it becomes reality is another.
Luckily INFJs are not just idle dreamers who hope what they wish for will come to them on a silver platter.
They are diligent and persistent when it comes to making their dreams a reality.
However, manifesting such great dreams come with the necessary sacrifices in life.
It requires immense amounts of energy, faith and tenacious persistence to even begin to move the metaphorical mountains the INFJ sees at the horizon.
But luckily, such great challenges excite them. People with the Advocate personality type need big dragons to slay.
Heading towards personal grand goals is our life’s work, our life’s mission.
We need to be at least on that path, otherwise we feel lost, confused, bored and meaningless.
Pursuing these goals can be intense at times. So much so that maintaining friendships becomes a real challenge.
Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava on Pexels
INFJs find themselves often in a real conundrum about how to balance their social life with their life goals.
One or the other will suffer eventually. We might feel guilty at times for our self-absorbed recluse existence and invest more into friendships by showing up more.
But before long, this existential nagging feeling creeps up on us again.
It calls us back to what we’ve set out to accomplish in this life.
And so the cycle continues. INFJs tend to have little to no friends, because of the focus on life goals.
It is painful to see some friendships fade because of this.
But secretly we might be relieved at times, because we then don’t have to go through that familiar guilt cycle again.
Therefore we strongly prefer friends who are like us, who need little maintenance and understand why we do what we do.
4. INFJs might have Little or No Friends, because of Social Anxiety
Potentially INFJs have all the traits to be warm, empathic and charming communicators.
Many even pride themselves on their refined social skills at the times they do are in social situations.
A sad reality, however, is that many INFJs have some sort of social trauma.
For instance, having been bullied at school or a paralysing shyness, because of their unconventional demeanour or sensitivity.
As this personality type tends to go through life with their hearts wide open during their youth, they can get hurt easily.
So much so that they close it off and go through life fearing others will hurt them again.
Social anxiety is a common condition INFJs struggle with.
This keeps them avoiding social situations and meeting new people who could potentially be a great friend that proves the opposite of what the hurt INFJ now believes about the world.
Social skills need a lot of practice to develop.
Social anxiety hampers the growth of social skills and maintains or worsens social anxiety.
This vicious cycle is especially poignant, because the INFJ can be so enticing and charming when he or she speaks from the heart.
Developing those warm social skills with the INFJ twist is the way out of the prison caused by social anxiety, but paradoxically to grow those skills you need to be out there socialising.
Sadly, the chance to develop that exuberant social side is lost time and time again together with the potential friends.
5. INFJs might have Little or No Friends, because they Struggle with Maintaining Relationships
Maintaining friendships is a classic challenge for the INFJ.
Human interaction costs them many times a lot of energy, unless it is of great quality.
For example, meeting up face to face with a good friend we haven’t seen in a while for a nice heart to heart.
Often those friendships work the best for us, where we can go weeks or sometimes months without seeing our good friends, but the moment we meet up again it is as if we just spoke the day before.
We then set aside a good amount of time to meet our friend and really indulge in that great quality of human contact, by spending the whole day or weekend even.
And when we’ve absorbed each others’ essence and caught up on what’s going on in their lives and headspace, we return back to our own path.
Of course, there can be some superficial contact in between those times, but it is very hard to keep that up consistently for the INFJ.
The dawn of social media and smartphones has exacerbated this problem, however.
Nowadays, there are so many more channels to communicate through and the increasing pace of communication also demands faster replies to the incessant incoming streams of messages.
But each reply fosters another incoming message and due to that INFJs might be hesitant to reply at all.
To juggle all those different digital conversations leads to overwhelm and shutting down the INFJ.
Friendships predicated on frequent superficial contact fade away, leaving only the very intimate ones.
Or the INFJ may choose to keep their amount of friends at a minimum so that they don’t have to adhere so much to the digital conversation etiquette which can drive them insane.
Photo by Mikotoraw on Pexels
6. INFJs might have Little or No Friends, because they Need a Lot of Alone Time
As introverts and often highly sensitive people, INFJs need frequent alone time to soothe their senses, contemplate and rest from the overwhelming outside world.
Alone time is something that just comes with the introvert territory and is one of the most important sources of sustenance for the INFJ to maintain mental health.
Without it we can’t function. You can see that alone time is the exact opposite of time spent with others.
Balancing the demands of the world, like from our career, friends, family, community is an ongoing tug of war.
Many introverts find themselves therefore in a paradoxical bind.
To function in society, you have certain social obligations.
For instance, interacting/bonding with co-workers on a daily basis, maintaining the romantic relationship with our partner, taking care of our children, attending birthdays from friends and family.
Yet, as introverts we need alone time to be able to handle all those social obligations.
INFJs might have little or no friends, due to their need for alone time leaves little room for social recreation.
7. INFJs might have Little or No Friends, because they are Very Private
Enigmatic, mysterious, sage-like.
There’s a good reason why these words are associated with the Advocate personality we call the INFJ.
Keeping most of their inner lives to themselves until they trust people.
This is a common INFJ practice for protective reasons as mentioned earlier.
Even so, this doesn’t mean other personality types are eager to wait for the INFJ to finally open up.
Many might grow impatient or think the INFJ is shy, arrogant or socially inept and leave long before they can see the often rich inner lives of this sage personality.
This is quite understandable, because we can’t expect people we just met to have the patience to stick around.
Extraverted types are more easy-going with taking on friendships for example. There is a beauty in that too.
That other personality types have different needs has to be acknowledged and honored.
Although there are people who do stick around long enough to see the INFJ shine when it finally lets its guard down.
In reality, many have already left long before that could even happen, resulting perhaps in lesser potential friends for the private INFJ.
8. INFJs might have Little or No Friends, because they are Excellent Self Entertainers
Perhaps the need for friends stems also from the moments people are bored.
Why wouldn’t someone cope with boredom by visiting some friends? It is a great deal actually.
Now there’s hopefully more to friendships than just being mere placeholders against boredom, but it is another valid reason to have friends.
INFJs though are seldom bored. They can entertain themselves easily with reading, creativity, the internet researching peculiar interests, a cardboard box.
If there’s nothing around them, they always have their minds to retreat into.
They escape to another dimension by day dreaming. (Read more about INFJ self-entertainment in 5 Reasons Why INFJs Like to be Alone.) Perhaps, that’s why there’s less need for friends in general.
9. INFJs might have Little or No Friends, because they are Independent
Lone wolfs, is again a great way for describing INFJs.
Autonomy, freedom and self-reliance are in many instances the ultimate goals they relentlessly desire and strive for.
Strong enough to provide for oneself and to help others is their creed.
Starting their own business or working as a freelancer are things they absolutely consider as a way to achieve those goals.
The reason is that the INFJ is too headstrong, proud and delicate for the long term corporate 9 to 5 job life.
On the flip-side, this tendency to be independent has its downsides.
It can lead to hyper-independence, where we won’t rely on our friends despite needing it very much.
Our quest for autonomy, freedom and self-reliance is also one of the hardest things to achieve in life.
So it is often a lonely road, requiring a lot of sacrifice.
For example, instead of partying or socializing, choosing to work on our business.
Those sacrifices need to be made on a consistent basis, which sadly may leave friends out of the picture.
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