Of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types, INFJ is among the rarest, making up an estimated 1-3% of people. This unique personality type bears a set of seeming contradictions – they are private extroverts, creative scientists, and thoughtful dreamers. INFJs possess incredible empathy, insight, and integrity. But their complex disposition also leads many INFJs to have habits and tendencies considered somewhat odd.
On the surface, an INFJ staring into space for minutes, spending weekends researching obscure topics, accumulating odd trinkets, writing excessively detailed texts, or obsessively planning mundane activities may seem eccentric. However, these quirky habits serve essential purposes for the unusual INFJ psyche. The habits help them process emotions, stimulate creativity, and reflect the nuances of their inner world.
In this post, we’ll look inside at 9 of the most common yet undeniably weird tendencies shared by many INFJs. We’ll explore how habits like talking to themselves, having intense, unbreaking stares, collecting unique objects, avoiding small talk, delaying calls, fantasizing, researching specialized interests, writing at length, and overplanning help the INFJ personality thrive.
While these habits may draw some confused looks from non-INFJ personality types, they allow the INFJ to tap into their gifts of intuition, insight, and imagination. By exploring the thinking behind their odd behaviors, both INFJs and non-INFJs can gain appreciation for these unusual qualities. Weirdness, when embraced, can be a real strength.
1. Talking to Themselves
INFJs are deep, reflective thinkers with rich inner dialogues. To help process their racing thoughts, INFJs often talk aloud to themselves. Having a conversation with oneself allows INFJs to work through complex emotions, analyze ideas, and problem-solve. Hearing thoughts vocalized helps organize them. Speaking out loud also provides reassurance in their voice.
For example, Elaine thinks through her turbulent emotions by verbalizing them alone in her room. Hearing herself say she feels overwhelmed by grief helps her identify and accept the feeling. Talking through why she feels depressed guides her to address the root issues.
2. Intense Unbreaking Stares
One signature INFJ habit is their powerful, transfixing gaze known as the “INFJ stare.” When concentrating, INFJs can zone out and stare intensely without awareness. Their piercing gazes reflect their focused curiosity, depth, and insight. The INFJ stare may feel uncomfortably intimate for recipients not used to prolonged gazing.
Growing up, Mark’s tendency to stare into space was distracting in school. As an adult, he’s learned to be more mindful to avoid making people uneasy with his focused gazes. He channels his concentration into art instead.
3. Obsessive Research Into New Interests
Once an idea or area of interest takes hold for an INFJ, their curiosity compels them to research and learn all they can extensively. INFJs love diving deep into history, science, psychology, or the arts. They immerse themselves in details, emerging as subject matter experts. This level of interest can baffle others.
When Aisha becomes engrossed in a topic like botany or astrophysics, she spends hours consuming online courses, books, and podcasts. Her random fun facts both entertain and overwhelm friends and family.
4. Avoiding and Delaying Phone Calls
Many INFJs dislike phone calls, finding them jarring and invasive. They prefer asynchronous communication, like email, which allows time to process thoughts. INFJs delay making essential calls due to discomfort. But once engaged, they enjoy thoughtful conversation.
James feels socially drained after long phone calls. He prefers texting or emailing. When required to make calls for work, he rehearses what he’ll say to manage anxiety.
5. Collecting Odd Items
INFJs tend to notice and collect unique objects that catch their eye, regardless of monetary or aesthetic value. They’re drawn to strange trinkets that express creativity and meaning. These eclectic collections reflect the INFJ’s non-conformity.
Mia’s shelves display diverse items like glass bottles, interesting rocks, postcards, and novelty mugs. Each object holds meaning or inspiration only she recognizes. Her individualistic assemblage reflects her unconventionality.
6. Getting Lost in Fantasy
INFJs have rich imaginations they fully immerse themselves in. Their minds envision detailed alternate realities and possibilities. This immersive daydreaming helps exercise creativity and a desire for adventure. But zoning out into imaginary realms can make INFJs seem spacey.
Nick has long used vivid fantasies to escape stressful reality. At work, he doodles surreal creatures no one else would conjure up. Colleagues once thought Nick had mental health issues for staring blankly into his imagination during lunch.
7. Writing Extremely Long Messages
Written words allow INFJs to express their thoughts and emotions fully. INFJ emails, texts, and letters tend to be lengthy and thorough. They provide rich context and eloquent descriptions most don’t expect. Some recipients feel overwhelmed by their robust messages.
Angela’s friends know receiving a text from her means reading a novel. Her detailed messages leave no thought unexpressed. Friends appreciate her openness but sometimes feel bombarded.
8. Obsessive Trip Planning
As perfectionists, INFJs don’t like surprises. When traveling, they meticulously plan each aspect to optimize time and experiences. They research destinations extensively and plan detailed itineraries few would bother with. While their overplanning minimizes problems, companions may find it restrictive.
Before Adam’s trip to Europe, he spent weeks planning each city’s transport, lodging, activities, and dining. His travel mates appreciate his guidance but wish he scheduled more free time for spontaneity.
9. Disinterest in Small Talk
INFJs dislike superficial small talk, finding it draining. They prefer deep discussions about values, ideas, theories, and personal growth. Attempts at trivial banter leave them flat. This can cause others to perceive them as aloof or standoffish.
Social gatherings drain Alisha. When someone approaches her with comments about the weather or other surface-level remarks, her curt responses end conversations quickly as she seeks more meaningful interactions.
On the surface, habits like obsessive staring, collecting oddities, imaginary fantasizing, writing exhaustive texts, and overplanning may seem neurotic or bizarre. But a closer look reveals how these quirks represent the INFJs’ thoughtful nature, powerful focus, rejection of shallowness, and quest for creativity. While their unconventional habits may raise eyebrows, they stem from the same sensitivity and discernment that makes INFJs so understanding and insightful.
Fellow INFJs – don’t suppress your innate curiosity and contradictions to appear “normal.” The qualities that make you odd are often your greatest strengths and reflect your authentic self. Surround yourself with people who appreciate quirkiness.
Others seeking to understand this rare personality type can gain empathy by recognizing their unusual habits as tools that help channel the INFJ’s gifts, not flaws to fix. In a world that praises standardization, dare to be different. The world needs original thinkers and doers unhindered by conformity. Celebrate your weirdness.