If you’re INFJ who wants to learn how to command respect from others, this article is going to help you a lot.
The way to gain respect differs greatly for each Myers-Briggs® personality type. It won’t help you much when you follow the general advice that everyone else is following.
Especially for the INFJ personality type, it is difficult for others to understand them as 99% of the people in this world are oblivious to what goes inside an INFJ’s mind. It is the reason why INFJs are vulnerable to get misinterpreted, misrepresented, and misjudged a lot of times.
Here, you’re going to learn what goes inside the psyche of an INFJ’s mind and how you can form a healthy dynamic with others to get the due respect that you wholly deserve.
Remember, people will respect you when they find you respect-worthy. And you can never exactly know what their prerequisites are to gain respect from them.
You can’t control other’s thoughts and reactions, but you have control over your own.
In part-1, we will focus on all of the important pointers you need to monitor to command respect from everyone.
Take Control Over Your Emotions.
INFJs belong to the category of feelers, dreamers, and empaths who want to spread love and happiness throughout the world. Emotions play a significant role in the daily life of an INFJ.
INFJs are emotionally intelligent beings, and they have a fair amount of control over it. But when an INFJ engages in frequent emotional outbursts, it doesn’t look good while perceived by others.
So, what’s the solution?
The key is to slow down and process your inner emotions calmly instead of reacting through a primal response.
Not only will you gain respect as a mature, collected individual, but it will also be easy for you to stay more decisive and present at the moment.
Stop making frequent apologies.
INFJs are natural perfectionists. They tend to perform every task while aiming for the ultimate perfection. They are excellent planners as well.
Anything they do, they love to do that with prior planning to make sure that they’re not missing out on any detail that they’ve planned to cover.
When something doesn’t work according to their plan, they tend to feel sorry about themselves. When INFJs make frequent apologies for their mistakes while interacting with their close group of trusted friends and family, they’re appreciated and understood for who they’re.
But when it comes to the workplace or any other setting that involves individuals unknown to the INFJ, expressing ‘Sorry’ every now and then doesn’t make the INFJ well respected. They perceive the INFJ as someone who is not confident of his/her abilities, and this doesn’t fetch the INFJ the due respect which he/she deserves.
In reality, the INFJ is sorry mainly for the level of perfection that he/she is unable to achieve. But most people who’re unlike the INFJ will not be able to understand this.
So, what’s the solution?
- Plan your work well before you start.
- Take your time and revise before submission.
- Understand it’s okay to commit mistakes. Everyone does. You needn’t apologize repeatedly. Especially those who aren’t close to you will not appreciate your frequent apologies. Instead, they will consider you to be severely guilty of something, which in reality, you’re not.
- If you want to apologize, do it once with sincerity and intent. Others will respect you for that.
Stop being too nice to everyone.
INFJs are known to be the most selfless beings on this planet. Our Fe good parent is always obsessed with making sure that other’s needs are met. And our Fi critic doesn’t naturally consider the feelings we have about ourselves.
But if you neglect yourself and your feelings, you will eventually be more prone to look for external validation. And it will further lead you to show excessive nice behavior to others, subconsciously expecting the same treatment from them.
If they are not empaths, they will take you for granted instead of appreciating and reciprocating your niceness. They may take advantage of you and won’t respect you for who you are. It will seriously piss you off, and now, to make sure that you’re loved and appreciated, you will start behaving more nicely.
This loop will continue till your confidence and dignity are ruined to ashes.
So, what’s the solution?
Don’t expect others to have the same belief system as you have.
They belong to different schools of thought. If someone considers you weak for being nice, avoid being nice to them. You can’t change their way of thinking.
Put yourself on the highest priority.
The love and appreciation that you want to give to others, first give it to yourself. Remember, this world operates on frequencies and energy. When you respect yourself enough and firmly believe that your needs must be met, you’re assigning yourself a high priority in the external world.
No matter whatever personality type they belong to, they can intuitively connect to that frequency and energy that you’re operating in. And respect will flow automatically without asking for it.
Learn When to Say ‘No.’
Many times, INFJs find themselves stuck in a situation where they don’t want to be, but to keep their commitments and not to create disappointment for others, they dim their light.
Not only the INFJ loses respect by being the Yes person, but it also creates bitter memories for the future for not being able to stand up for themselves by saying a firm, clear ‘No’ when it’s needed.
It’s a critical life lesson that every INFJ needs to learn as early as possible, failing which makes the INFJ earn the reputation of being a pushover which, in reality, INFJs are not.
First, you need to know why INFJs find it challenging to say ‘No.’ As you know, INFJs have Extraverted Feeling (Fe), which is naturally tuned to understand the feelings of others around them and act according to it. They also have weak Extraverted Thinking (Te), which plays a blind role in their cognitive stack. Due to this, INFJs find it difficult to make quick decisions based on what they externally observe at a given moment.
Once an INFJ creates a reputation of being the person who looks after the goodwill of others and helps everyone whenever it’s needed, people flock upon them for help.
Well, INFJs are happy to do that. Still, they too have a limited physical capacity just like other humans, and they also look for appreciation and basic acknowledgment for whatever freebies they’re providing to others. INFJs can’t outrightly demand it because they will feel miserable once they disappoint others who expected help from the INFJ.
Now, some manipulators come into the picture, especially in the workplace, and they try to exploit the INFJ for not being able to say ‘No’ directly into their faces. INFJs start feeling terrible from this moment, and even if they hate entertaining other’s requests, the manipulators are ready to gaslight them whenever an INFJ denies entertaining them.
Now, either the INFJ goes for the door slam, or they vent out their accumulated anger and frustration in unexpected ways to their manipulators. Afterward, INFJs start feeling sorry for their impulsive actions, and they begin to doubt their sanity for whatever is happening in their life.
So, what’s the solution?
Understand the importance of your time.
You’re unable to say ‘No’ to others because somewhere deep in your mind, you know you have the time to entertain them.
As I have said earlier, you have blind Extraverted Thinking (Te). It’s like you’re in a pitch dark room, and you can’t see what’s there inside the room around you.
And when someone asks you – Can I keep my furniture in your room? Since your Fe good parent doesn’t want to disappoint others, you say ‘Yes’ without ascertaining if you have enough space to accommodate their furniture.
The key is to shut the door and roam inside your room and figure out what’s already present, what else you want, and what things you need to get rid of. This is your room, and you have complete authority over it. You must see if this room suits your vision and your needs.
Similarly, your mind is that room. And you have the complete authority to decide what things you want in your life and whatnot. You are responsible for the feelings coming inside your mind and have the conscious control to close the door and shut out negative feelings.
Once you engross yourself into a deep introspection mode, you will come to know what you need in your life right now. Cut yourself off from every other person and start meditating. You can start using this guided meditation if you’re new to meditation.
After this session, you will gain clarity, and you will come to understand that there are so many things that you need in your life right now, but you’re not consciously working for them.
You will realize that you’re not here on earth to entertain everyone every time as they demand you. It is your life, and your life doesn’t belong to any manipulator who will label you as a “bad person” once you refuse to do what they want from you.
Time is limited. You will die one day. Remember that.
Don’t waste your precious lifetime for someone because they think they’re entitled to it.
Understand human nature.
Nobody will ever refuse freebies. Even if you’re an INFJ, you’re a human first. You, too, have needs, and you need to fulfill that. To meet your needs, you need a fair amount of time, energy, and resources by your side.
When you neglect your own needs and help others, they will rarely understand your self-sacrifices. Everyone is not an empath like you. And, many people are inconsiderate and do not care if they’re inflicting any harm upon others to meet their huge ambitions.
Many people envision life as if they have to cheat and exploit others to get ahead. But an INFJ never thinks this way.
So, you can’t convince them that harming others will add self-guilt to their lives and make them unhappy in the long run.
Judge people with your strong intuition and stay aware of their evil intentions. Learn from your past failures, and don’t risk again losing your sanity.
Respect is not given. It is earned.
Remember, only those persons are well respected who can stand for themselves in any situation, however hostile and challenging.
Even the manipulators and the insensitive people will start to respect you when you strictly say ‘No’ and stand up for yourself.
You will defy the image that they’ve been projecting upon you. Even if they are troubled to see your new avatar, they will come to realize that they had mistaken you for comparing yourself to a pushover.
Speak with intent and be clear.
Sensors have a linear form of communication, whereas intuitive ones don’t. Especially, INFJs, while conversing, start a topic directly from the center and then go around to discuss the background information supporting their statement.
Since we have Introverted Intuition (Ni) as our dominant function, we prefer to hit the bull’s eye on any problem that we’re discussing. Then, we try to describe the logic of how all the events are connected and what could be the repercussions if we follow a specific path.
Since this way is not the preferred style for the sensors, it becomes difficult for them to understand your message, especially for the impatient ‘I-am-always-right’ ones.
They want you to start right from the beginning and throw out every detail or supporting fact as you progress towards your conclusion. And it’s cognitively exhausting for an INFJ to follow this linear sequence.
INFJs are impressionable beings. They tend to think in the form of pictures, music, fragrances, and feelings. And since they are Ni Heroes, they will cull out all the unnecessary statements that do not provide meaning to their message.
Consequently, the INFJ naturally speaks in a form that is not appreciated by 70% of the dominant sensing preference-seeking population.
If INFJs are given time and space to speak out their heart, everyone will understand the depth and clarity of the thoughts that run inside an INFJ’s mind.
Not everyone is patient enough, flexible enough to see the world through a different pair of glasses. And since most people don’t find a resemblance to the INFJ’s communication pattern, the INFJ gets criticized, ridiculed, and blamed for not being able to communicate in the so-called ‘RIGHT’ way.
So, what’s the solution?
Instead of complaining about your or other’s personality types, understand that you can’t change some things permanently. But there are ways to overcome and avoid such situations.
Before you speak, plan in advance and ask yourself the following questions.
What’s your direct message to them?
If you have to say something directly, prepare your message and keep it direct and clear.
What’s your hidden message that you want to communicate?
Take some time and before you speak, process it in your mind. Ask yourself what can be the consequences if you say or not. Once you’re ready, go ahead as per your plan.
Should I express myself fully or stick to the point and let them know my intention?
Sometimes, it’s not worth your effort to explain something which others won’t find useful. Ask yourself:
- Will they be able to comprehend your message?
- Is it required to invest that much energy to convince this person?
- What are my top priorities at this moment?
- What can be the probable consequences for you?
If you don’t find it necessary to explain something fully, stick to your point.
The key is all about preparation and planning.
Speak up when you’re mistreated.
This advice applies not only to INFJs but to all personality types. Especially for INFJs, since they do not like to create tension by confronting someone, they tend to exhibit passive-aggressive behavior expecting others to notice their abrupt behavioral shift to realize their mistakes independently.
Most of the time, the people who mistreat others do it intentionally. They’re unlikely to realize once you step into action and show them your boundaries.
So, what’s the solution?
Whatever may be their purpose, never empathize with them and never compromise with your self-dignity.
Let them know directly that you’re not the person they can mistreat and get away with.
You need not get aggressive or violent with them. Instead, follow the following steps:
Take a deep breath and calm your mind first.
It’s obvious to get mad and angry at someone who deliberately attempts to mistreat you. If you want to act effectively, you need to keep your mind calm and collected during a crisis. Take deep breaths and clear up the brain fog.
Be very clear about what you’re going to say.
Look inside you for a moment and clearly pinpoint the thing that irritated you the most. Plan and get clear with your words that you’re going to say.
Be Assertive in your approach.
Don’t focus on whether you can assertively communicate or not. Instead, focus on your code of ethics. Is it the way someone should be treated? Think about how your role models would have reacted when facing a similar situation like this.
Don’t overthink, as it will cause you to doubt your own sanity. Once you’ve made up your mind, speak up against the mistreatment.
I highly suggest you go through the following articles to help you react strongly and effectively in such kind of uncomfortable situations.
Let’s wrap up. Being a true INFJ, if you want to gain respect, you need to take care of some of the most critical aspects while dealing with people. Exercise control over your emotions. Stop making frequent apologies. Stop being too nice to everyone. Learn when to say ‘No.’ Speak with intent and be clear. Speak up when you’re mistreated.
My dear INFJ friend, you deserve all the respect that everyone else does. Never compromise with your self-respect and dignity to ensure external harmony around you. However uncomfortable it becomes, standing up for yourself will always keep you away from endless disappointments and bitter resentments.
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