Why Is Everyone INFJ? (5 Reasons For INFJ Fraud Explained)
People online were asking Google and on the forums: why is everyone INFJ? This is an interesting question/observation so let’s explore some of the possible reasons why this seems to be the case!
Why Is Everyone INFJ? (5 Reasons For INFJ Fraud Explained)
1. Everyone seems to be INFJ, because of Mistyping
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a self-administered personality test nowadays mostly taken online. Since self-awareness is one of the most difficult things to master, it is not uncommon for people to assess themselves slightly differently than they actually are.
More so, each of the MBTI cognitive function domains (Extraversion vs. Introversion, Intuition vs. Sensing, Feeling vs. Thinking and Perceiving vs. Judging) are on a scale. Let’s say you score 51% in favour of introversion on the extraversion vs. introversion scale of the MBTI.
While in reality you are 51% extraverted. Due to the slight deviation your overall MBTI result is now saying you are predominantly introverted. While the percentages on those scales give room for nuance, that nuance is lost when you look at the final outcome for your type, because that will have the letter “I” instead of “E” (INFJ instead of ENFJ).
This could happen for each domain, hence why it is not uncommon for the INFP, ISFJ, INTJ and ENFJ to be mistyped as INFJ. Now granted that there’s no such thing as a test that measures something 100% accurately. Especially, when it comes to such complex abstract matters as personality where the test also relies heavily on someone’s self-awareness and self-perception.
One can argue that self-administered tests such as the MBTI perhaps only measure self-perception. The INFJ personality type has gained enormous popularity on the internet in the last few years. Being considered the most rare type statistically speaking, and perhaps the most “special” because of the INFJ’s paradoxical nature, many became fascinated with this type.
Many might have become interested in MBTI after learning about the INFJ type. Eager to find out if they are one themselves, they might be skewed towards giving INFJ answers on the test and mistype themselves.
2. Everyone seems to be INFJ, because of Pretense
Now I know what you might be thinking: how can you entertain the thought that some of the people out there are deliberately pretending to be INFJs? Yes, it is not a pleasant thought!
Yet, during some topic research for a previous article (How to Get the INFJ Test Result (3 Reasons Why Faking a Personality Test is Wrong)), I found that Google’s auto suggest gave me the suggestion: “How to get INFJ on 16 personalities”.
Sadly, that means that a significant amount of people are actually searching for it! Besides this more objective proof for potential impostor INFJs, we can think of several motives why people might want to pretend to be INFJ.
Looking at how the INFJ type is regarded on the internet we can absolutely say this type is very popular, if not the most popular of all the MBTI personality types. They are seen as mysterious, wise, altruistic, creative yet logical empaths. Although the mature INFJs cringe by being deemed as demigods, others keep putting them on a divine pedestal.
As you may know, according to Myers-Briggs, INFJs (or the Advocate) are the rarest personality type of all, making up roughly 1-2% of the population. Purely statistically speaking this makes them “rare”. Rareness is usually equated with specialness and many people would like to be seen as such.
Almost everyone is striving to be seen and validated in some way. Via outer appearance, skills, lifestyle, political stance, religion, morals, values and other belief systems. All these things, together with how others view us, contribute to our personal identity.
Photo by Sound On on Pexels
Polishing our precious personal identity to be seen in a more favourable light is a common practice in the West where individualism is all encompassing. It might sound trite, as it has been said many times before, but the rise of social media has amplified this tendency to polish and market our identities.
More and more of our lives are lived online. The internet/social media make it possible for you to control the narrative of yourself on those online platforms. A rare and popular personality type label like the indigo star child special snowflake INFJ who can almost do no wrong? Hmmm, that might just fit perfectly fine in our carefully crafted online identity.
Let’s not think that the act of online cat-fishing (the process of luring someone into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona) is merely restricted to online dating and romantic relationships. We all try to lure people in. That is the personal (online) identity we craft and sell to others.
The extra attention you’ll get as a so-called INFJ in the Reddit forums is already a mouth watering thought. It is therefore not unlikely that some who are suffering and in desperate need of some attention might pretend to be INFJ as a way to pacify themselves.
Or they just want that label to polish their online persona even further. It might also be a reason why there seem to be more INFJs than the actual statistics predict.
3. Everyone seems to be INFJ, because they don’t understand Personality Psychology
I’ve stumbled upon people searching on “How to become INFJ”, and some forums discussing this question. So there might be some people out there that think they can become any personality type (or at least INFJ) if they just work hard enough at it.
This is of course in line with the pervasive popular self-help/positive psychology rhetoric that states you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Now, these popular self-help affirmations undoubtedly have truth to them, but it doesn’t apply to all of personality.
Jordan Peterson the famous clinical psychologist said in one of his psychology class recordings on Youtube, that human personality is like a tree.
A tree has a main trunk deeply rooted in the ground and is the foundation of the tree. From the upper part of the tree trunk different branches grow in different directions. Now, looking at personality, let’s say that at your core you’re an introvert. Let’s also say you would like to develop your extraverted side more, to handle social situations more easily.
You start to attend networking events and meet-up groups. You also take a social skill course or two. Now, in a couple of months time you’ve developed your extraverted side to a point where you actually enjoy meeting new people. Maybe now you go out once a week willingly, instead of once every few months out of obligation.
Returning to our tree analogy, you’ve grown a new tree branch at the top for extraversion. You could continue on this path and develop some more of that extraverted side (grow a few more branches for extraversion). However, at your core (the main tree trunk that is rooted in the ground), you will remain introverted.
Your personality has expanded, but the foundation remains introverted. It is highly unlikely that you now need social interaction as much as a natural extravert would need it. Chances are slim that you would meet up with people now every single night and have a visceral feeling of the need to do so, instead of some alone time like introverts viscerally feel the need for.
The branches are flexible, and you can grow a few more in different areas or change them, but the root trunk you can’t really change. It might even break if you force it to bend in a certain way. Looking at MBTI, there are of course a few personality types that are very close to the INFJ (like the INFP, ISFJ, INTJ and ENFJ) and perhaps only a few branches away from being almost like one.
Yet, there might be people out there trying to become an INFJ or another personality type that is completely different from their own, because they don’t understand this basic premise about personality psychology. Misunderstanding the basic premise of personality psychology could therefore be a cause of the seemingly inflated number of INFJs online.
4. Everyone seems to be INFJ, because mostly INFJs study and discuss MBTI Online
INFJs are known to have intuitive and inquisitive minds that seek to understand the essence of complex and often paradoxical matters. Personality in and of itself checks all these boxes, let alone the mysterious INFJ type. So it is only logical that INFJs like to study the INFJ type (themselves) a lot.
That’s why it might seem that everyone in the online forums is INFJ. Personally, I find it sometimes difficult to catch myself learning so much about the INFJ type as I can be identified as one. From an early age I fear to become or be seen as a narcissist.
Somehow, it is hard for me to reconcile striving to be a self-actualised and altruistic person, with self-absorbed introspection and goal achievement. Many INFJs’ greatest fear is being narcissistic or vain. When you look as an outsider to all the different INFJ forum threads on Reddit, Quora and others, you might start to think INFJs are narcissistic.
This might even be true in some cases or to a degree in general. However, one reason I know I’m so invested in learning about myself and the INFJ in particular, is because for most of my life I felt lost and like a worthless alien.
MBTI among other things gave me insight, validation and permission to be as I am. Understanding oneself is the key to one’s future. Now, I must admit I’m also proud and like that I have these INFJ traits. I can even enjoy that people find the INFJ fascinating!
But, I strive not to fall in that trap to now regard myself as some “holier than thou” being. The quintessential INFJ has its unique charm as much as any of the other quintessential personality types have theirs. I need to understand something at its core to be able to form a balanced view on it and how it’s positioned in the grand scheme of things.
Learning about INFJ personality therefore means learning not only about the good, but perhaps more so about the bad. Yes, there are ABSOLUTELY bad/weak sides to the INFJ, like being overly sensitive to criticism and being too serious. Perspective develops, when all the colours of the spectrum in the picture start to show.
From what I’ve seen online and heard in conversations, many INFJs are studying the INFJ personality type for those same reasons. To be finely understood by at least one person, ourselves. And to plan our “second lives” from that point with this new found existential understanding.
And to finally find out that there are others like us out there and even more people who find us fascinating? Wow, just wow.. Never in a MILLION years would I have thought this 10 years ago. At a time where I felt I just wanted to dissolve in the wind without a trace of me having ever existed (sounds a little INFJ dramatic, but it’s true).
5. Everyone seems to be INFJ, because Introverts seem to dominate the Internet
Next to INFJs mostly occupying the MBTI forums discussing the INFJ type, introverts in general seem to dominate the internet. I don’t have any statistics, but it seems logical that introverts are more prone to be alone surfing the web, while extraverts are out and about socializing in person.
Photo by Cottonbro on Pexels
The chance to come across an INFJ among introverts who dominate online communities is therefore increased. This occurrence might falsely inflate the perceived amount of INFJs present in the (online) world.
Let’s also not forget that 1% (INFJ prevalence) of 8 billion people (world population) is around 80 million people with the INFJ personality worldwide. That’s as if the whole of Germany is INFJ. If a significant percentage of them congregate online somewhere, then of course it seems like an INFJ infestation!
Some people wonder why INFJs seem to be everywhere and we’ve discussed some of the possible causes. Which one do you think is the most important? Can you think of some other causes?
Food For Thought
1. Why would you say there seem to be far more INFJs than predicted?
What is your personality type? Take the MBTI test!
You Might Also Like:
- 5 Reasons Why the INFJ Likes To Be Alone
- 7 Essential INFJ Male Relationship Needs
- 5 Common INFJ Male Problems
- Another 5 Common INFJ Male Problems
For the total list of recommended reading, please go to the Wisdom page.
* INFJ Male Psychology is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, and as such earns from qualifying purchases for some of the links.