Are INFJs born with their unique personality traits, or are they shaped by their environment and life experiences?
This is a question that has been debated for years, with many different opinions and theories. Some believe that INFJs are born with their dominant functions, while others argue that environmental factors can influence their development.
In this article, we will explore the different perspectives on this topic and try to shed some light on the mystery of the INFJ personality type.
So, let’s dive in and discover whether INFJs are born or made.
Are INFJ Born Or Made
INFJs are a rare and unique personality type, making up less than 1% of the US population. They are often described as empathetic, intuitive, and introspective individuals who have a deep understanding of others and the world around them.
But the question remains: are INFJs born with these traits, or do they develop them over time?
According to Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology and the creator of the concept of personality types, our dominant functions are largely unconscious and develop as we grow. It is believed that INFJs develop their dominant function, Introverted Intuition (Ni), by age 7, and their second function, Extraverted Feeling (Fe), by age 20. The last two functions, Introverted Thinking (Ti) and Extraverted Sensing (Se), develop much later in life.
This suggests that INFJs are born with their dominant functions, but their other functions may be influenced by their environment and life experiences.
However, some argue that environmental factors can play a significant role in shaping an INFJ’s personality. For example, INFJ children may feel misunderstood or ostracized due to their unique traits, which can impact their self-esteem and confidence. This can lead to a greater emphasis on developing their Fe function to connect with others and fit in socially.
Additionally, birth order may also play a role in an INFJ’s development. Firstborns are more likely to be introverted, especially when combined with Thinking and Judging traits. INFJs are also more likely to be eldest children than expected by chance.
While environmental factors may influence an INFJ’s development, it is important to note that they do not change their personality type. INFJs are born with their dominant functions and will always have them, regardless of their environment or life experiences.
What Is An INFJ?
INFJ stands for Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging. These individuals are known for their empathetic nature and deep understanding of others. They have a strong sense of intuition and are often able to read between the lines to see what others may be feeling or thinking.
INFJs are introverted, meaning they tend to be more reserved and reflective. They may need time alone to recharge and process their thoughts and emotions. They are also intuitive, which means they rely on their gut feelings and instincts to make decisions and understand the world around them.
Feeling is another important trait of INFJs. They are deeply empathetic and compassionate individuals who prioritize the feelings of others. They may struggle with conflict or criticism, as they want everyone to be happy and harmonious.
Finally, INFJs are judging, which means they prefer structure and organization in their lives. They may have high standards for themselves and others, and can be very hardworking and focused.
The Nature Vs. Nurture Debate
The nature vs. nurture debate is one of the oldest philosophical debates in psychology. Nature refers to the genetic traits that an individual is born with, while nurture refers to the environmental factors such as relationships and experiences that shape an individual’s development. The question of whether nature or nurture plays a bigger role in personality and development is still a point of major controversy.
Research has shown that both nature and nurture play an important role in the development of personality, but to what extent each affects us is still unclear. Studies have focused on differences between individuals who have reached adulthood, rather than attempting to trace the development of those differences. However, recent studies on children and adolescent personality types have yielded intriguing findings.
One of the strongest pieces of evidence for the role of nature in personality development comes from twin studies. Researchers followed more than 350 pairs of twins, some raised in the same household and others raised apart. The results showed that growing up separately didn’t seem to make twins diverge in terms of personality. If anything, twins raised apart were more similar. This suggests that genetics play a significant role in shaping an individual’s personality.
On the other hand, environmental factors can also play a significant role in shaping an individual’s personality. For example, birth order can impact an individual’s development. Firstborns are more likely to be introverted, especially when combined with Thinking and Judging traits. INFJs are also more likely to be eldest children than expected by chance.
The Role Of Genetics
The role of genetics in INFJ personality development is significant. According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), personality types are biologically and psychologically predetermined. This means that if someone tests as an INFJ, it is likely that they were born with a genetic predisposition towards this personality type.
However, genetics alone may not be enough to determine a final personality. Traits associated with any personality type will require cultivation and encouragement, either of a direct or indirect kind. If a person’s natural predisposition is out of sync with the socializing factors in their life, traits they had the potential to possess may never be fully developed.
For INFJs, their dominant function of Introverted Intuition (Ni) is likely to be present from birth, but their other functions may be influenced by their environment and experiences. Nevertheless, changing dominant functions is not something that can be consciously done, even at a young age.
The Influence Of Environment And Life Experiences
While INFJs are born with their dominant functions, their environment and life experiences can shape their other functions and impact their overall personality development. For example, childhood experiences of being misunderstood or ostracized may lead to a greater emphasis on developing their Fe function to connect with others and fit in socially.
Similarly, birth order may also play a role in an INFJ’s development. Firstborns are more likely to be introverted, especially when combined with Thinking and Judging traits. This may be due to the responsibility of taking care of younger siblings, leading them to become more reserved and observant.
However, it is important to note that while environmental factors may influence an INFJ’s development, they do not change their personality type. INFJs are born with their dominant functions and will always have them, regardless of their environment or life experiences.
The Importance Of Self-Discovery And Personal Growth
As INFJs navigate through life, it is crucial for them to engage in self-discovery and personal growth. Understanding their unique personality type and how their dominant functions influence their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can help them make better decisions and lead a more fulfilling life.
Self-discovery involves exploring one’s strengths, weaknesses, values, and beliefs. For INFJs, this means recognizing their empathetic and intuitive nature and using these traits to make a positive impact on the world. It also means acknowledging their weaknesses, such as their tendency to be overly critical of themselves and others, and working on improving those areas.
Personal growth involves actively working on developing one’s weaker functions. For INFJs, this means focusing on developing their Ti and Se functions to become more analytical and present in the moment. It also means embracing their Fe function to connect with others and build meaningful relationships.
By engaging in self-discovery and personal growth, INFJs can gain a better understanding of themselves, their strengths, and their weaknesses. This can lead to increased self-confidence, better decision-making, and a more fulfilling life. It is important for INFJs to remember that personal growth is a lifelong process and that they should embrace both their strengths and weaknesses as they continue to evolve as individuals.
Conclusion: The Complexities Of The INFJ Personality Type
In conclusion, the INFJ personality type is complex and multifaceted. They are guided by a deeply considered set of personal values, and are intensely idealistic, motivated to do what they can to make the world a better place. INFJs are often reserved and imaginative individuals who bring a sense of originality to their academic work and chosen occupation. They have a profound respect for human potential and a deep interest in understanding the mind, which motivates them to pursue authentic self-development and strive to live up to their true potential.
While it is believed that INFJs are born with their dominant functions, their other functions may be influenced by their environment and life experiences. However, environmental factors do not change an INFJ’s personality type. They will always have their dominant functions, which make them unique and rare individuals.
Understanding the complexities of the INFJ personality type is important in appreciating their unique strengths and challenges. By recognizing their gifts of idealism, determination, and the ability to envision a better future, INFJs can unlock their true potential and serve a greater purpose in this world.