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6 Reasons True INFJs Intimidate People

Why True INFJs Intimidate People

INFJs are often considered “the most misunderstood personality type,” and that is extremely accurate. Perhaps the misunderstanding about them comes from their quiet, reserved nature and natural tendencies to keep to themselves.

Or maybe it's because they make up such a small part of the population, at less than 3%. More likely though, it is because they’re walking, talking contradictions; they’re introverted, but can come off as very outgoing in some situations and with some people.

They feel deeply and always want to help others, but they can also be incredibly cold and calculating when they feel hurt or afraid – ever heard of the INFJ door slam. Yes, INFJs can be a tad confusing, even to themselves. This ambiguity can also be quite unsettling and intimidating for some people.

6 Reasons True INFJs Intimidate People

1. They tend to have “resting bitch face”

If you’re an INFJ (and especially an INFJ woman) you’ve probably been told to smile more. INFJs tend to have a naturally inexpressive face, and it’s in fact not out of displeasure or anger. However, people who don’t know an INFJ, tend to perceive it as a sullen or scowling expression, and so there must be something wrong- hence the smile more suggestions.

INFJs are aware this is the first impression they give off, and it can make them feel insecure, and sometimes even cause them to overcompensate. For example, when they start a new job and have to meet new people, they will usually go out of their way to be friendly and put on a big smile, even though it's not natural for them. This can be exhausting and is of course, incredibly unsustainable.

Eventually, they have to let this façade go and start wearing (their neutral but to others cold/slightly melancholy) expression again. So cue their new colleagues assuming they’re upset because they’re not as "cheerful" as they used to be. (even though in reality, they’re probably happier now they’ve settled into their new role).

Nevertheless, this perceived shift in demeanor can make people believe an INFJ is inauthentic or unapproachable, as opposed to the real truth; it’s just their face.

2. They don’t share more than they have to

INFJs are deeply empathetic people but ironically, they struggle to find the same care and consideration from others. Usually, after multiple experiences of being hurt by people, INFJs become guarded about opening themselves up.

They don’t want to give someone else an opportunity or ‘ammunition’ to hurt them. They also don’t want to be thought of as too odd and looked down on, so they try to control what they say to people they don’t fully trust.

This is not to say they don’t have any thoughts, emotions, or observations; INFJs are mostly made up of thoughts, emotions, and observations. Another reason they don’t share is; they sense other people don’t actually want to know, and are just asking to be polite. In this case, they might be more open if they were encouraged to do so.

However, it seems to them that not everyone wants to listen. They consider people are subconsciously devaluing them when they interrupt them or try to rush their thoughts along. As a result, INFJs tend to not finish their thoughts, or say what they wanted to. Later they feel too ashamed to bring it up again after the subject has changed.

These experiences can be particularly disheartening for an INFJ, as they are usually people who appreciate and listen to everyone. It can hurt to know that you are able to listen, be engaged and not interrupt someone's story, but on the other hand, realize that most people will not afford them the same courtesy.

All this can culminate in an INFJ shutting down and becoming very private. This privacy to people that don’t understand them, tends to come across as secrecy and scandal, which can be intimidating.

3. INFJs can be jarringly straightforward

Another thing an INFJ might have been told throughout their life is that they’re too blunt with their honesty. Not brutal, blunt. From a young age, INFJs tend to be uncompromisingly forthright with their opinions, but society does not value it. People don’t tend to handle real honesty well as it might speak to their own weaknesses and insecurities.

Blunt honesty is therefore generally considered as impolite by most people. However, some INFJs consider their honesty as helping people – and you know how much INFJs like to help people. They will continue to say the truth even if it would mean someone might not like them anymore.

They see themselves as self-sacrificing and their honesty as a great gesture of their love. INFJ’s can therefore be intimidating to people who don’t like hearing the truth about things. Most people say they want honesty, but the truth is, very few people actually do.

4. INFJs are not great at fake emotions

INFJs are very passionate and intense about the things they’re interested in and apathetic about the things they’re not. There’s usually no in-between. This means they tend to have a more mellow disposition when it comes to showing enthusiasm, a majority of the time.

It follows with their usually stone-faced facial expressions. It’s not intended to be blank or intimidating, it's just their natural temperament. They like to express their own feelings, not the ones that other people want them to.

So, when people expect a reaction and they don't get it, they usually perceive it as an affront. For example, when someone tells them some personal news they are excited about. The INFJ will likely respond with something like "Neat!".

But unfortunately, that usually isn't enough for most people. They want the INFJ to be as excited as them. The INFJ will likely be happy for the person but, they’re just too unconcerned to be gushing with energetic emotions for someone’s new shoes, or whatever.

5. INFJs can come across as snobbish

As mentioned before, INFJ’s are not great at feigning interest in things they are just not interested in. They are selectively social because they want to appreciate people honestly. They don’t want a friendship or association with someone for the sake of numbers or maintaining an image – they want to genuinely connect with those they are close to.

When they end up in social situations they have not chosen, they will likely not be there to make deep or meaningful connections. They do however want a good conversation in the moment, and then to move on with their life.

For people who cannot provide said ‘good conversation’, the INFJ will try to be accommodating in the moment, but their disinterest is usually detectable. This is because such people drain them so quickly it’s almost inevitable, they’ll come off as cold and distant.

6. INFJs are different from the societies they live in

Most western cultures value and reward loudness and extroversion, and particularly when it comes to competence. This is of course an inaccurate assumption of what aptitude is. INFJs are neither loud nor extroverted so unfortunately, they’re generally not recognized for their skills.

INFJs are very perceptible with their environment, and so they see people’s skepticism, and questionings about their capabilities. For INFJs who have not fully matured this can be very detrimental to their development and can lead to a lot of insecurity and self-doubt. Some INFJs might never recognize how powerful they are because of this.

However, for the INFJs who do mature despite this, they will be unflinchingly confident and assertive about themselves. They will never not be afraid to speak their mind or share their opinion when they feel it's necessary.

This goes against the grain of what society has taught us about gentleness and introversion, and so it can be intimidating.


INFJ are not open books and whittled down, this is the reason people can be intimidated by them. INFJs have great depths of feelings, rich imaginations, and unrivaled abilities, but people fail to see it.

Only a few will be able to open them up, and read into their chapters to discover who they really are. Most people are either too apathetic or too scared to do this and so INFJs are often categorized as intimidating or unapproachable.

Most people also subconsciously realize that they can't fool an INFJ that easily and that makes them feel uncomfortable too. It's not that INFJs want to be intimidating or do it on purpose, they are just hard to read and anything that is uncertain can be intimidating at first. But for people who take the time to get to know an INFJ, they very quickly realize that they have no reason to feel that way.