Introverted, intuitive, and deep thinkers, the INFJ-T personality is possibly the rarest of all the Myers-Briggs personalities, making up less than 1% of the population. 

Known as the Advocate or the Counsellor, INFJ stands for Introversion, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging. This means that the INFJ individual prefers their own company, is highly attuned to other people’s feelings, and likes to work using creative ideas and concepts, rather than facts and statistics. 

All MTBI personalities can include the addition of the personality indicator of Assertion (A) or Turbulent (T). This indicator helps us understand how we react to situations in life. 

So how does having a T addition affect an INFJ personality?

‘A’ types tend to be self-assured, they don’t worry (especially about other people’s opinions), and are not affected by stress. On the other hand, ‘T’ types are self-conscious, prone to stress, and sensitive to criticism. 

INFJ-T Personality Type

Let’s have a quick INFJ recap and then we can see what the difference is between an INFJ vs an INFJ-T


INFJ Traits

The ‘Advocate’

INFJs are introverted, reserved types who prefer to have a small circle of friends. They form deep and loyal relationships that last over time. Caring and compassionate, there’s nothing fake about an INFJ. 

INFJs are highly intuitive and empathic. They have to ability to read people and can perceive the motives and feelings of people around them. Because they are so attuned to other people’s feelings, they can sometimes struggle to say no when it is detrimental to their own health. They are the ultimate people-pleaser

In decision-making, they use their internal insights and once they have made a decision, they will stick to it, even to the point of becoming stubborn and unreasonable. 

INFJs use emotion and personal feelings when making decisions, rather than facts or logic. Their decisions will also marry into their deeply held beliefs and values. However, they dislike conflict and will go out of their way to avoid confrontation. 

So how is an INFJ-T different?

To understand the difference between an INFJ and an INFJ-T, you have to first know what the Assertive and Turbulent markers mean. 

Assertive vs Turbulent

The addition of the T (turbulent) and A (assertive) identity personality traits is an idea proposed by the website 16 Personalities. 

The T and A traits are added to the MBTI personalities and emphasise all the other personality markers.

Turbulent (-T)

  • Self-conscious
  • Sensitive to stress
  • Perfectionists
  • Success-driven
  • Sensitive to criticism
  • Eager to improve

Assertive (-A) 

  • Self-assured
  • Resistant to stress
  • Easy-going
  • Goal-oriented
  • Confident in own abilities
  • No regrets

17 INFJ-T Personality Traits

  1. Don’t handle stress well
  2. Perfectionists
  3. Fuelled by worry and concern
  4. Hyper-empathic
  5. Focus on the difficulties of a situation
  6. Learn from their mistakes
  7. Often feel regret
  8. Influenced by other people’s opinion
  9. Need, rather than want people in their lives.
  10. Plagued by self-doubt
  11. Attuned to the smaller details
  12. Extremely self-critical
  13. Overwhelmed by the emotions of others
  14. Exaggerate the negative
  15. Need help making decisions
  16. Afraid of being rejected
  17. A constant need for approval 

INFJ-A vs INFJ-T Differences

Although an INFJ-A and an INFJ-T are more likely to share personality traits, the addition of an Assertive or Turbulent Identity personality marker will add subtle changes to their behaviour.

In simple terms, think of an INFJ-A as a glass half full kind of person and the INFJ-T as a glass half empty. 

INFJ-Ts are more sensitive to stress, tend to worry about what people think of them, and can be neurotic.

INFJ-As are more relaxed, comfortable in their own skin, and even-tempered.

INFJ-T Identity Personality Traits

Response to Stress

The biggest difference between an INFJ-T and an INFJ-A is their response to stress. 

INFJ-Ts don’t handle stress well. It has an impact on their confidence and makes them worry unnecessarily. INFJ-Ts feel out of control when faced with a stressful event. 

They also tend to over-emphasise the negative aspects of a situation, rather than look for the positives. This is the glass half full part of their personality. 

INFJ-Ts will ruminate on past mistakes and are more likely to have regrets about past mistakes or decisions. 

INFJ-As also have regrets but they don’t dwell on them. 


INFJ-Ts are perfectionists who are always striving to improve. They have to be the best amongst their peers. Achieving success gives them the confidence to push further. 

One reason they are so focused on attaining perfection is to allay their self-doubts. INFJs are careful and attentive, which makes them adept at spotting any small details that need correcting. However, the problem is that they can get bogged down with every little mistake and lose focus on the main project. 

Sensitive to criticism, INFJs tend to compare their lives with others which, unfortunately, doesn’t make them feel better about themselves.

Both INFJ-Ts and INFJ-As prefer routine to change, but INFJ-Ts are particularly susceptible to anxiety when confronted with surprises. This is because INFJ-Ts are not as confident as their INFJ-A counterparts. 

That’s not to say INFJ-Ts can’t adapt to change, it just has to be the right change at the right time. That being said, they will still like to have an element of control over the situation. 


Both INFJ-Ts and INFJ-As use their emotions, feelings, and value systems when making a decision. But for INFJ-Ts, their empathy is ramped up to the max, so other people’s feelings have enormous importance to them. 

This empathy and moral standpoint can lead to them becoming passionate advocates for minority groups or the underdog. The fact that they are so attuned to the emotions of others allows them a greater understanding. With this comes an almost zealous need to help. 

This highly-attuned empathy can be a double-edged sword, however, as some INFJ-Ts become overly involved with other people’s problems. This leads to them neglecting their own health and welfare, because sometimes if they are unable to fulfil this overinvestment they become despondent.

If they don’t deliver, the self-doubt will return and they’ll start focusing on all the negative aspects again. 

Another important difference between the two is that INFJ-Ts will consult their friends or significant others before making a decision. 


Both INFJ-Ts and INFJ-As value the people in their lives, from their partners to their close friends. They are also likely to have few close friends and still prefer to see them on a limited basis.

With INFJs of either kind, you are in or you are out of their circle. Those that are in are put on a pedestal and can do no wrong. Anyone that is out is of no consequence to an INFJ.

There are differences, however, in the way they think about their close relationships. 

It is the difference between want and need

INFJ-Ts need people for several reasons. For example, their confidence is boosted by positive validation from others. INFJ-Ts are much more affected by the opinions of other people, especially those they care deeply about. 

It helps to alleviate their constant self-doubt to get encouraging reinforcement from their friends and family.

By contrast, INFJ-As want people in their lives because they value the friendship this affords them. They don’t feel the same pressure as INFJ-Ts to live up to other people’s ideals. 

Final Thoughts

If you are an INFJ, can you spot whether you have the Assertive or Turbulent marker from the list above? Do you agree or disagree with my findings? I’d love to hear what you think. 



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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. PP

    Sharp analysis, except for the “need” of other people for the T type. Disappointment and tendency to avoid conflict actually turns us away from others. Ultimately, we find it easier and less stressful being alone.

  2. Caley

    Thank you for righting this. I am a T. I realize it’s trauma based and I’ve wondered if I’ll always be like this or if through much inner work I’ll get to the A. I hope so. Thank you again for all of the wonderful words you write and for your contribution to help facilitate greater understanding of oneself and others so many may further their healing. Many blessings to you and much peace and love to you!

  3. Carey

    As an INFJ-T, with General Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder, I fit most of the characteristics you’ve listed. But I do not need friends and don’t care about the opinions of others, probably due to past events in my life. I’m 63, never married, my standards are too high and I have been devastated by cheating several times in the past. My feeling is that I have been misunderstood all my life, and looked upon as an uncaring, aloof person while I actually care deeply about others and any problems they have. I just found all this out last night when I took a personality test. Getting an INFJ-T tee shirt for Christmas. Great article, thanks.

  4. Anonymous

    As a INFJ-T, some of this is correct. However, reading this is like putting us in a bad light. Compared to INFJ-A the T sounds so inferior, depressing and someone that one does not want to be around. Go ahead and say well you feeling this way is part of the T characteristics, but if you really listen to it, it does not sound appealing.

  5. Anonymous

    Maybe mention a positive difference or two? If turbulent advocates are as sensitive as the author make them out to be, reading an article that emphasizes all the negative traits might not be way to go. For those who want a positive, turbulent advocates are more likely to learn from mistakes and come across as more caring to people in general. Also, none of this is set in stone. This is a list of tendencies, not guarantees.

  6. Astrid

    This article is fascinating to me. I am an INFJ-A and married to an INFJ-T and this is totally spot on for our very similar but equally very different attitudes to the world around us. I am definitely glass half full and he is definitely glass half empty.

  7. Anonymous

    This was spot on. but being sensitive towards other people’s feelings is not a bad thing. I’m vary sensitive but I always know when someone around me is feeling bad or angry without them having to say anything. and because of that I’m able to help people. with whatever. if some one is having a bad day I’m able to get them in a better mood. so I don’t see that as a bad or negative.

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