“Mom, you are some kind of weird.”
If you ask my son what it’s like to be the child of an INFJ, he won’t mince words. Apparently, it’s pretty weird. Because I’m weird.
Colton’s opinion is no surprise to me. He’s nice enough to remind me on a regular basis. I can’t say I disagree with him, though. I’ve always known I’m not like other people.
The biggest reason is probably because of my personality type. I’m an INFJ ( Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging). Of the sixteen MBTI Personality Types, INFJ is the rarest, accounting for only about 1-2% of the population.
My son is different too, but not for the same reason. Colton is fifteen. He’s also autistic with a genius I.Q. Ask him a question about any subject, and he’ll give you as much information as Google Search.
His official diagnosis is Asperger’s, which is a neurodevelopmental disability. He has trouble interacting with people and doesn’t understand social cues.
The bottom line? We don’t get out much. It suits us, though. We laugh a lot and have an amazingly close bond.
For some reason, there’s a lot of speculation about INFJ’s on the Internet. I’ve read posts that are very accurate in describing my personality. Then there are those off-the-wall posts that seem to be talking about a mythical creature.
I only wish they were describing me. I’d be able to predict the future and make the world a better place all by myself.
There are plenty of misconceptions about people with my personality type. One is that we don’t anger easily. Wake me up by startling me out of a deep sleep, and I’ll quickly put that silly notion to rest.
I’ll admit it’s kind of cool that there’s so much contemplation about what makes an INFJ tick. In reality, the myth is much more interesting.
Far be it from me to put a damper on anybody’s speculative fun. However, I figured I could at least offer a realistic view of some aspects of the INFJ personality.
A question I’ve been asked several times is what INFJ’s are like as parents. I figured Colton would be better able to answer that, so I asked him. His unique perspective proved to be very enlightening.
Some of the things he said really touched me and brought tears to my eyes. Although I expected to have to paraphrase his observations, he surprised me.
After our initial conversation, he got out his computer and typed it all up himself. These are his thoughts, in his own (unedited) words.
What It’s Like To Be An INFJ’s Kid
by Colton Henson
For one thing, you have to understand their need for alone time and not take it personally. You have to learn to tolerate sarcastic remarks and the goofiest sense of humor ever.
Since INFJ’s have very high standards for themselves and their kids, it’s not easy to meet their expectations. You have to get used to being a high achiever or get used to disappointing them.
I’m glad my mom is an INFJ. I wouldn’t change that about her even if I could. They are definitely different, but not in a bad way. The good thing about my mom’s weirdness is that she understands mine. She totally gets me and my kind of insanity.
Alone Time Isn’t A Choice. It’s A Necessity.
INFJ’s are introverts even though they don’t act like it all the time. My mom can be really outgoing and seem like an extrovert. But inside, she is definitely an introvert.
Being around other people drains her energy and she has to be alone to get it back. I used to feel rejected when she insisted on being by herself.
She wasn’t mean about it or anything like that. She actually spends a lot of time with me and always has. But I wanted to be with her every minute when I was a little kid.
Now that I’m older and need my own alone time, I understand my mom a lot better. If she doesn’t get enough solitude, she can’t think straight.
She’ll go from being an articulate genius to a bumbling idiot right before your eyes. She also gets super bitchy. I’ve learned to leave her alone when she’s like that. Nothing good will come from trying to talk to her.
You wouldn’t be able to understand what she’s trying to say, anyway. Plus, she’s liable to bite your head completely off.
INFJ’s Know When You’re Lying.
Don’t even bother trying to lie to an INFJ. It never works. They seem to know what you’re going to say before you can get the words out.
Then you just stand there feeling stupid while they stare at you with those intense eyes. It’s like they can look right through you, directly into your soul, and read your mind.
I used to think I could get away with lying to my mom, and I tried plenty of times. I finally gave up.
INFJ’s have a built-in lie detector that hardly ever fails. They may not say they know you’re lying. You may even walk away thinking they believed you. You will be wrong.
They probably won’t ever tell you, but they’re always going to remember your lies. There’s a file in their brains with mental notes of everything you ever tell them.
You may forget what you said, but an INFJ won’t.
What is different is how drastically they change when they do get past their limits. I don’t mean just being a little aggravated or bitchy. What I’m talking about is the kind of anger that is freaking terrifying.
It doesn’t happen very often, thank goodness. I’m fifteen and have only seen my mom that angry a few times. I hope I never have to see it again. Trust me. You do not want to be there.
The calm exterior transforms into a Medusa-like villain/warrior who’s about to turn you to stone. But first she’s going to rip your head off.
Strong And Fearless
INFJ’s are brave. They’re willing to take on Godzilla for something they believe in. They may not like confrontations, but they definitely aren’t scared of them.
My mom is a tiny little thing and surpringly strong. (I don’t know if that’s an INFJ characteristic or genetics.) She’s mentally tough and isn’t afraid of anything or anybody.
Life hasn’t been very kind to her. She’s overcome things that would break most people.
I’ve seen her so down and depressed I thought she wouldn’t get back up. Then just like a Phoenix, she rose from the ashes, stronger than before.
No Tolerance For Intolerance
INFJ’s have strong principles and won’t hesitate to stand up for their beliefs. They want to help everybody and will go out of their way to do the right thing.
They despise injustice and look out for the underdog. My mom wants people to be nice to each other but knows that’s not always the case. She’s both an idealist and a realist.
People who are superficial, selfish, intolerant, etc. really aggravate her. She avoids them them like the plague. When she’s forced to deal with them, she’s as cold as ice.
INFJ’s Are Very Intelligent.
INFJ’s use both sides of their brain and their intelligence level is off the chain. Mom has a brain like a computer. She remembers everything she’s ever read and can break complicated codes. She can also do complex multiplication and long-form division in her head.
I’ve been told I have a large vocabulary ever since I was a little kid. That’s because of my mom.
We’ve always talked a lot and she uses big words. Ask her the definition and correct spelling of any word and she knows it every time.
She has reading skills that are insane. She just looks at the words on a page and reads them instantly. She’s always teaching herself new things and actually likes to learn. I’m not kidding.
Learning is what an INFJ does for fun. Like I said, they’re weird.
A Wicked Sense Of Humor
You can’t help but start laughing too. She’ll say something that’s completely off-the-wall and crack you up without even trying to be funny.
Tears will be running down your eyes and your stomach will hurt. It’s almost impossible to be in a bad mood when she’s around. That’s one of the reasons I probably won’t ever move out.
Loyal And Trustworthy
INFJ’s are extremely loyal, especially to people they love. They won’t betray you or turn their backs on you unless you do it first. Even then, they usually just walk away instead of retaliating.
I know I can count on my mom to be there, no matter what. She’s always got my back and there’s nobody else I’d rather have on my side.
She’s the only person in the entire world that I know for a fact will never betray me. It’s not just because she’s a mother. It’s more than that. It’s because of who she is on the inside.
Lots of mothers betray their kids or turn their backs on them. I can tell you, without any doubt, that my mom will never be one of them.
Don’t ask an INFJ a question if you really don’t want an honest answer.
I’m the one who supposedly doesn’t understand social cues because I have Asperger’s. But sometimes my mom says things to people that even shocks me.
INFJ’s always want people to be happy and don’t like to hurt anyone’s feelings. They don’t like to lie either. So if you ask my mom a question, you’ll get an honest answer. Just don’t be surprised if it’s brutal.
People Love Them.
There’s something about an INFJ that is irresistible to most people. I’m not exaggerating. If a man talks to my mom, he’s going to be attracted to her.
I’ve seen both men and women fall in love with her almost on sight. It’s not just her physical beauty. Her personality is magnetic and she’s got a kind, gentle soul. People are drawn to her like moths to a flame.
I actually feel bad for her because she doesn’t like to hurt people’s feelings. She also doesn’t like to get hit on all the time. That’s another reason we don’t socialize much. Mom gets sick of people trying to get with her.
They Hit You With Words.
Since INFJ’s dislike conflict they take more crap than the average person. Somebody can say something to my mom that would piss me off.
She mostly lets things go to avoid a confrontation. But like I said earlier, she has limits. Eventually, she’ll get enough of someone talking crap. That’s when she brings out her weapon of choice, which is words.
They never see it coming, either. She doesn’t yell or even raise her voice. But without warning, they’re under attack. Very calmly, she says things that cut people like a knife through the heart.
Their deepest shame and darkest secrets are suddenly being thrown in their face with no mercy. They’re wondering how she could possibly know that stuff since they haven’t even admitted it to themselves.
My mom can bring a grown man to his knees, with tears in his eyes, if she’s pushed too far. If it’s somebody she cares about, she’ll feel bad about it later. If it’s someone she doesn’t like, she won’t give it another thought.
INFJ’s Are Beautiful.
INFJ’s are beautiful inside and out. They’re loving souls with a remarkable spirit that makes them appear to be angels on earth. They aren’t like regular people.
My mom is the best at everything she sets out to do. She’s kind-hearted with an inner light that shines super bright.
I love hanging out with her when she’s not stressed out. I’ve never felt such peace around anybody else. Being around an INFJ has a calming effect on people, unless they’re evil.
Mean people sense a different side and feel uncomfortable around them. If you get to spend time with them, it’ll be an experience you won’t forget.
INFJ’s Are The Type Most Likely To:
- Be Highly Ethical With Exceptional Integrity
- Never Compromise Their Personal Values
- Treat Everyone Differently, Based On The Individual’s Needs/Personality
- Be Too Hard On Themselves
- Seek Spiritual Fulfillment
- Aim To Know Themselves As Deeply And Thoroughly As Possible
- Leave An Organization Based On A Lack Of Shared Values
- Take Criticism To Heart
INFJ’s Know Things Without Knowing How
Since they have Introverted Intuition, INFJ’s get feelings out of the blue about all kinds of things. It may be about somebody or something that’s going to happen.
Whatever it happens to be just pops into their head all of a sudden. The way my mom knows certain things without knowing how is probably the weirdest thing about her.
I don’t mean weird-weird. It’s more like cool-weird. (Unless you’re her kid and you did something you weren’t supposed to do. Then it’s scary-weird.)
More Than A Parent.
I started writing this because my mom asked me what it’s like to be the child of an INFJ. If you’re lucky enough to be their kid, you have a lot more than just a parent.
You also have a best friend, sibling, grandparent, teacher, cheerleader, and mentor. You have someone you can trust who understands you and loves you with every fiber of their being.
The bond I have with my mom is deeper than any ocean and cannot be broken. Having her as a parent is the best thing in my life. Nothing else can even come close.