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 vs INFJ-T
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.
- Sensitive to stress
- Sensitive to criticism
- Eager to improve
- Resistant to stress
- Confident in own abilities
- No regrets
17 INFJ-T Personality Traits
- Don’t handle stress well
- Fuelled by worry and concern
- Focus on the difficulties of a situation
- Learn from their mistakes
- Often feel regret
- Influenced by other people’s opinion
- Need, rather than want people in their lives.
- Plagued by self-doubt
- Attuned to the smaller details
- Extremely self-critical
- Overwhelmed by the emotions of others
- Exaggerate the negative
- Need help making decisions
- Afraid of being rejected
- 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.
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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