So I’ve come to the end of my INFJ Problems series, but I’ve decided to keep with the theme and explore some of the best and worst careers for INFJs. What better start than the INFJ writer. This post, from March, is what started me off on my exploration of INFJ problems and serves to be my introduction to my new series – A Very INFJ Career.
Every writer wants to be the best, right? The new Stephen King? The next JK Rowling? And if you’re lucky enough to be one of the rarest of the Myers Briggs Personality Types, the INFJ you already know you’ve got the right amount of introversion, creativity and whimsy to make it as a writer. To be the best. And therein lies the difficulty. The INFJ who aspires to be ‘The Best’ will never, ever be happy until she attains it. Because that’s what INFJ’s do; take an unrealistic, unattainable goal and chase it down until they drown in a pit of self-loathing and despair.
This might sound harsh but it’s coming from someone who should know; a resident INFJ writer currently in pursuit of being ‘The Best’.
Let me explain why the INFJ makes the worst best writer.
The Judging INFJ would be insanely happy if the world made sense. If everything was perfect. That need for order, for perfection, is what the INFJ writer brings to her work. Near enough is never good enough. The INFJ will always be her harshest critic and often never actually finishes anything because it’s not yet perfect. Part of the INFJ’s desire for perfection comes from her love of order, but part of it is to do with those gooey feelings that underpin almost everything the INFJ does. Feelings that can be trampled on like precious daisies by that most dreaded thing; criticism.
Sensitivity to Criticism
Driven by an empathic outlook the INFJ is not only aware of everything, she also feels everything. Every serrated-edged word, every glance of an overblown stink-eye cuts right to the quick of the INFJ’s core. As such, these unicorns are especially susceptible to criticism. Even when criticism might be relevant and offered only as helpful advice, the INFJ will feel it as a scathing attack on her very soul. This is usually because the concept being criticised is crystal clear to the INFJ and she’s spent long hours agonising to make it ‘just right’… to make it perfect in fact. To have someone come along and misinterpret or simply dislike her concept is nearly unfathomable, and definitely painful to the INFJ. As such, INFJ’s will go out of their way to avoid being on the receiving end of criticism. This inevitably leads to procrastination.
“Today I’m going to write 10K words and get my eBook well and truly on the way.” Three paragraphs later when the INFJ is still struggling over the right synonym for a word she thinks to herself, “maybe I should just update my blog first”… and she begins doing anything and everything to avoid getting that eBook written because guess what? It won’t be perfect! There’s nothing quite as painful as an unpolished draft to the INFJ writer, and it’s a darned near impossible task to ask the INFJ not to edit as she goes. So to avoid the exposure of creating something imperfect, to avoid the inevitable criticism that may come if God forbid there’s an error in her work, the INFJ procrastinates… usually to the point of anxiety.
The deadline looms ever closer. Or perhaps it’s the intolerable situation the INFJ wants to flee (like an unfulfilling day-career) that can only be alleviated by getting her writing portfolio ‘out there’ that causes her anxiety. Whatever the symptom of the anxiety, the root cause is the same; she’s anxious because she’s procrastinated to avoid criticism on her imperfect piece of writing. If the anxiety doesn’t push the INFJ writer to suicide by chocolate overdose then she will surely succumb to crippling depression.
She feels she’s failed and the judging component of the INFJ simply abhors failure. She hasn’t written anything. She’s overcome with anxiety, and due to her almost supernatural intuition, the INFJ is aware of her faults where her writing is concerned, namely the perfectionism, sensitivity to criticism and procrastination. So the INFJ butterfly reverse cocoons and withdraws to a shadow of her glorious self; a slow, sluggish caterpillar of misery.
INFJs Everywhere, Do Not Despair!
These are the reasons why INFJs make the worst best writers, but a fellow INFJ is here to tell you not to despair! You don’t need to be a worst best writer.
Just be a writer.
Ignore the voice telling you not to dare publish that blog because it’s not perfect. Sucker punch that whisper telling you that you need to edit your manuscript for the eighty-fifth time. It’s done.
Have faith in your own abilities and write, publish, repeat. Why? Because you’re an INFJ… and that means you’re pretty darned special and the world needs you unique, sparkly view of the world to be shared early and shared often.
Remember. You are the unicorn.
*All images sourced from Pixabay.com
Do you know your ‘type’? What kind of a writer would your type make? INFJs out there, what do you think? Are you a worst best writer? Like, Comment and Share!