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8 Struggles of Being the Only INFJ in the Family

The black sheep, the odd one out, we’ve heard it all.. The INFJ personality type definitely stands out when it comes to family dynamics. With a reluctance to follow the norm and a lively curiosity that leads them to think and live outside the box - it’s no surprise that being the only INFJ in the family comes with it’s own ups and downs that only true INFJ’s could relate to.

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Today we’re going to be talking all about the relatable struggles of being the only INFJ in the family. 

1. They Are Naturally the Black Sheep

Said to be the rarest of all 16 personality types, there's no wonder why the INFJ is often considered the black sheep of the family. With an intuition-led dominant function and naturally highly imaginative thought processes, the INFJ learns at an early age that they hold qualities that their friends and family can’t relate to.

They often feel different from others and misunderstood by most, which can end up feeling quite alienating for this rare type. In fact, the INFJ is born with a noticeably old-soul mentality that grants them a greater understanding of certain life concepts, but these understandings require them to go inward - which is one of the main reasons the INFJ tends to keep to themselves.

Soin other words, most INFJ’s grow up to accept that they will always know their family members on a deeper level than their family members will ever know them.

2. They Feel Every Bit of Household Tension

With the tried and true position of being the voluntold family mediator, the INFJ carries a responsibility that most family members fail to recognize. In fact, aside from this challenging family duty, the INFJ is also dealt with being a highly sensitive empathetic type who can’t help but to sense and absorb the feelings of the people around them.

While this allows the INFJ to understand their loved one’s emotions on a deeper level in order to properly meditate, it can also cause some serious emotional issues should the INFJ be faced with a chaotic family environment.

Actually, at times, the INFJ can subconsciously take on their family member’s burdens without really realizing it, which makes a tense and dispirited home especially painful for the INFJ to manage.

This is one of the main drivers behind this mediator type’s need for harmony within their outer environment - which is the exact reason why they go above and beyond to maintain the peace within their family unit. 

3. Their Need for Alone Time May Interfere

It’s a well known fact that this introverted intuitive type requires a great deal of rest and recharge time, alone in their solitude-haven. But how does this affect their position within a family?

Well, since it’s so difficult for an INFJ to really explain to the people around them exactly why they require a temporary break from life without seeming overly-dramatic or in an attempt to avoid their family members, it can definitely cause some tension.

Whether the INFJ is in the family position of a parent, partner or sibling - they may hold back from expressing their needs to avoid upsetting or burdening their loved ones. However, if they neglect this need for alone time when most necessary, they may find themselves being rather impatient or snappy towards the ones they love, which they only end up regretting later on.

So, although it may be difficult, most INFJ have to learn when to communicate their energy levels to avoid further tension or disharmony within their family relationships.

4. They Can Seem a Little Nosey

An INFJs understanding and compassionate nature definitely makes for an amazing family member that anyone would be happy to have in their lives.

Yet, there are definitely times where this need to see the best in the people they love may do more harm than good. INFJs have a tendency to try and fix things, even when the other person doesn’t think it requires fixing.

They may sense that their sibling or family member needs guidance and support and as a result, they tend to have a very difficult time keeping to themselves.

Of course, all they want to do is help their loved ones, yet these subtle gestures can come off as being nosey, pushy, judgmental or even demanding at times. Luckily, because of their strong analytical nature, eventually, most INFJs learn to gage when and how to deliver their advice without seeming intrusive. 

5. They Value Their Siblings Over Most Relationships

For an INFJ who grew up with siblings, they may feel like their siblings are the only ones who truly know them inside and out. Of course, taking into consideration family dynamics and age gaps between siblings, according to, most INFJs are quite close to their brothers and sisters in adulthood.

Since they’re so reluctant to let their guard down completely in everyday social scenarios, when an INFJ is surrounded by the people they’ve known since birth, they can feel a noticeable sense of relaxation and relief that they can’t find in most relationships.

In fact, introvert concluded through a private study of 5,000 participants that according to the birth order theory, the INFJ only child is extremely rare. Which makes researchers believe that having siblings through childhood serves as a fostering ground for the INFJ personality type to develop. 

6. They Can Seem Quite Unpredictable

Most INFJs can probably recall a time when they were told they were thought of as the one with the most complex behaviour and decision-making tendencies in the family. With contradictory habits and elaborate out-of-the-box beliefs, there’s no doubt the highly imaginative INFJ brings a different dynamic to family settings.

With a big-pictured view of life and a need to find the deeper meaning of things, INFJs are called to make decisions in life that may seem out of character. a result, conclusion-jumpers may see them as unpredictable; or even unstable at times, when in reality, the INFJ feels in complete control of their actions, analyzing and committing to every direction they take.

What it all comes down to is the fact that INFJs don’t always know how to (or necessarily want to) communicate their reasoning behind their seemingly unpredictable lifestyle, which just adds to their already mysterious nature.

7. They May Experience Serious Self-questioning

Especially when talking about an INFJs childhood and adolescence years, this introspective personality type may compare their beliefs and ideas to that of their parents and siblings and eventually realize there’s something seriously different about the way they see (and feel) the world around them.

As we mentioned, the INFJ begins to understand early on in life that they’re quite different from the people, but when it comes to siblings and family members that are exposed to the same surroundings and lessons in childhood, INFJs can get stuck in a rut of wondering why they are so different from their family.

This is especially true for INFJs brought up surrounded by overly extroverted or sensor personality types, for obvious reasons..

8. Their Sensitivity Can Make Them Seem Stubborn

INFJs are truly sensitive to overly stimulating surroundings for long periods of time, yet they also don’t want to be seen as the person who wants to leave early or cut the party short. In fact, one of the INFJs biggest pet peeves is when attention is drawn to them because of their sensitive, seemingly melodramatic nature.

Whether it’s family gatherings, celebrations, obligations, or anything that requires an INFJ to make an appearance for longer than desired, they can automatically make this introverted type feel uneasy. Of course, to remain polite and avoid conflict, INFJs usually end up biting the bullet for the remainder of their expected presence.

Yet, once it’s over, you can be sure it will be a near impossible task to convince them to go again any time soon! Stubborn? Maybe.. But we’ll just call it “boundary setting”.