I have been learning all I can about being an INFJ and it is so relieving to know I am not crazy! But as I am learning more about myself, I want to help other people understand me too. Whenever I explain it, it seems like they just don’t get it or they shrug me off. They seem to think they know me, but I still feel so misunderstood. How can I get them to understand?
If you have found yourself thinking these thoughts or thoughts like this, then allow me to begin by offering you a small amount of peace. I understand. Many of my readers understand. A large chunk of the INFJ population understands.
It is incredibly frustrating, and even lonely, to come across a life-changing discovery that has your insides bouncing of the proverbial walls, your soul aching as it stretches to encompass the joy and excitement of each article or book you read, and no one around you even bats an eye.
Within you, you are screaming, I’m an INFJ! I get it! It all finally makes sense!
Meanwhile, on the outside you run to your family and friends and tell them your newly discovered type, only to be met with, “oh, that’s neat” or even worse, “that stuff is no more accurate than a Sunday paper horoscope.”
You slink off thinking, yet again, no one understands me.
I remember going through this same thing, wishing I could find anyone who could relate and who was interested in discussing Myers-Briggs until my face turned blue.
Somewhere deep down I thought that no one understood me because I didn’t understand myself. When I began to understand myself, I was confused that they still didn’t. Even if someone was interested enough in listening to me discuss it, I still struggled with being understood…really understood.
As I continued to research and learn about myself, spending time meditating and reflecting on who I really am, a strange thing began to happen. I started to realize that I was less interested in making people understand me and more interested in understanding them. I started to get really passionate about other Myers-Briggs personality types and shifted my focus to studying cognitive functions and, even better, observing people. I watched ENFPs, ISTJs, INTPs, and more. I learned what made them tick, how their minds worked. But I learned something even bigger…
I didn’t need to be understood. I just needed to understand.
I needed to understand myself and I needed to understand those around me. Once I reached that point, explaining myself to others no longer felt necessary. If I could understand them, I could connect with them, and all I have ever really craved was connection.
How to Become Connected
First, you need to realize that you cannot understand anyone else or achieve any sort of deep connection unless you first understand yourself. This goes beyond reading a description or two online. You need to submerge yourself in yourself. Take some time every day just to know you. Meditate, reflect, ask yourself questions, look at yourself in a mirror. Whatever it takes, connect deeply with you.
Working on yourself changes your perception of the world. Looking into what your subconscious may be telling you, your paradigms, and your feelings. Look beyond the day to day thoughts and really think.
Work on gaining self-acceptance and self-understanding. Reading helps you feel less alone, as does connecting with someone who understands. This helps you gain perspective that you are not as alone as your mind thinks you are and you are far, far from broken.
Once you begin to really know yourself, your desire to explain yourself to others will diminish. You will start to see that they do not need to understand your magnificent inner world in order to connect with you. You will start to look at them and yourself as human beings, connected on a deeper level, regardless of their ability to recognize that level.
You can see that piece inside of them that makes their heartbeat, makes their fingernails grow, makes their subconscious dream. It is the same piece that is inside of you. This connection is deeper than helping them understand your personality type or your gift of intuition or clairsentience. It surpasses any need to explain or be understood.
Whenever you feel the longing to make someone else understand you, first look into yourself and strive to know yourself. Connect with those who do understand you, whether it’s other INFJs online or an empathic friend. Then look to those around you and find that piece – that piece that doesn’t need to be understood.
From there you can shift from feeling misunderstood to feeling truly connected.