Generally, INFJ’s make warm and compassionate partners who bring excitement and joy to a relationship. My husband has often told me that “there’s never a dull moment” with me. We’re passionate, loving, caring, and deep…but that doesn’t mean we don’t come with some…ahem, complications. But really, who in this world doesn’t come with complications (unless they’re a boring pushover…)?

Since INFJ’s (and humans in general) aren’t given personality manuals to give to their partners when they start dating, I thought I’d write my own little version of what the “INFJ Relationship Manual” would look like if there was such a thing. So, here are some of my tips for INFJ’s partners (or for those wanting a relationship with an INFJ) on how to maintain a healthy lasting relationship with your crazy exciting (& totally complicated) partner.

Disclaimer: While I do think this whole Myers Briggs thing is AMAZING and definitely the most accurate personality test out there, I do realize that people can’t be completely defined by a personality test. We’re all unique. Not all INFJ’s feel the same, act the same, or like the same things. So, while I do like writing about my experiences as an INFJ, I know that not all INFJ’s will relate to everything I say (I mean, duh!)…but hopefully some of the things I experience will bring you comfort in knowing that you’re not alone!

10 Ways To Maintain a Healthy Relationship With an INFJ

1. Respect our need for space.

Though we may want you and love you with all of our hearts, we often feel as though we don’t need anybody. There’s a difference between want and need. Because we’re so independent, someone acting dependent on us for their happiness is overwhelming. We want to help you and contribute to your happiness but we also want you to be able to help yourself and make yourself happy. Also, sometimes we just need space.

The “I” in “INFJ” stands for “Introvert” and introverts need time alone to recharge. We become overstimulated easily and will need to break away for a bit of uninterrupted alone time from time to time. Please don’t take this personally. We still enjoy being around you and care about you a lot! Sometimes we just need space in order to stay sane and happy.

2. Although we’re quite independent and tough most of the time, we’re also incredibly sensitive.

We will do everything we can to avoid criticism, but when we are criticized we are so sensitive that we may lash out in anger and become defensive. This is something we need to work on….seriously! But it would also be wise for you to try to correct us in a kind and sensitive manner. A nice compliment or some simple reassurance of your adoration for us before your critique or correction is the best way to approach saying something that would otherwise come off as hurtful. This should be a general rule for going about correcting anyone, but it’s especially crucial to implement this approach when correcting the sensitive INFJ.

3. We want you to love us for who we are and to respect our desire to “be true to ourselves.”

There’s nothing worse to us than someone trying to change us or shape us into the version of us that they want us to be. We value staying true to ourselves and we want you to love us for who we are and appreciate our unique quirks, passions, and values. If you don’t, well then…adios!

P.S- This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to improve ourselves and that we won’t consider advice and constructive critisism (when done kindly), but good luck trying to change our core values, beliefs, and passions!

4. We don’t want you to change our core values but you may need to lovingly talk sense into us when we are being hypocritical/illogical/too stubborn.

We can get preeeetttty worked up about things. We feel so passionately about certain ideas and viewpoints that we can reach high levels of hypocrisy, unreasonableness, and stubbornness in order to defend that thing that we feel passionately about. While we have an impeccable ability to understand people’s different perspectives and views, it’s more difficult for us to remain indifferent and unbiased when we feel as though someone we’re close to is attacking our core values, beliefs, or passions.

If we’ve become hypocritical and defensive, please lovingly (and calmly, gently, respectfully) help us see your side of things. If you do this without attacking us, we are much more likely to actually listen. Help us come to the realization that people (even the ones we’re closest to) can think and feel different ways and that’s okay!

5. Initiate or at least continue in-depth conversations with us from time to time.

Talking about some crazy thing that happened at work and goofing around with us are conversations we love and cherish, but occasionally we want to have in-depth conversations about politics, religion, psychology, etc. If we feel like you change the subject whenever we bring these topics up because you’re not interested, we may retreat more into ourselves because we’ll feel as though no one understands us. We like being alone, but we also cherish in-depth conversations with the people we care about (or…even strangers).

6. Please, please, please be willing to be adventurous with us.

We absolutely love (planned) spontaneity. I know, planned spontaneity is completely contradictory, just like the rest of our personality traits. We long to travel the world, try new things, and delve into our sometimes “impossible seeming” dreams. Support us in our desires to live our lives to the fullest. If you can’t join us in the fun, than respect that we will be adventurous with or without you!

7. Realize that we want more from life than going to school, getting married, and having kids.

These things are great and might be part of our plans but we may also have some less traditional dreams. We often have a “save the world” mentality. We want to do more than help our spouse and kids (even though we believe that’s great too!). We want to “be the change that we wish to see in the world.” We want to do something that will help the lives of many because we know there are so many people suffering all over the world. We aren’t satisfied with a traditional life. We want to be involved in adventure and change!

8. Don’t try to manipulate us.

We see right through any type of manipulation. We see through dishonesty and can tell when you’re being insincere. We’re very insightful and see right through sales tactics, exaggerations, manipulation, and guilt trips, and we won’t put up with any of it. We’ll call you out right away!

9. Please be a decent human being.

I mean, if you’re dating us, hopefully you are one (but we’re often drawn to narcissists- that’s a whole other issue). We obviously can’t change you, but we really hope you look past your own little comfortable world of privilege and help people who are really in need. We hope you tone down the road rage (because who knows if the person who almost just crashed into you was about to have a panic attack or one of their family members just died!? You never know, so be kind!) We hope you care about people’s feelings and are passionate about helping people and making the world a better place.

10. Try to help yourself some of the time.

We do love helping people, but when we’re helping someone close to us, it’s a whole new ball game. We’re very sensitive to emotions so we’re prone to take on whatever emotions you’re feeling. The closer you are to us, the more your emotions will transfer to us. It can even get to the point where we feel equally as stressed or sad as you do. This is okay sometimes. We want to help you! We’re partners after all, but when we’re trying to maintain our own positivity, other people’s moodiness can really drag us down. We want to be there for you but it would be helpful if you also tried to help yourself some of the time because of our empathetic nature and tendency to become overwhelmed easily.

11. Respect our idea of fun but remind us to stay balanced.

Our idea of fun is sometimes what other people would consider “work,” such as spending hours on a project, writing an article or essay “just for the fun of it,” or vigorously following through with our goals. We can become completely consumed with our passions, which is just one reason we would be perfectly (more than) fine with being left alone for hours (or even days) at a time. Respect our idea of “fun,” as our ambitious nature can and should be seen as a great quality, but also remind us to stay balanced. Remind us that there are other important parts of life (like eating, sleeping, and spending time with you.) Sometimes we need that gentle reminder.

12. Let us dream.

We’re idealistic dreamers with our heads in the clouds and our goals set on what might seem like the impossible. Let us dream…because we actually do have what it takes to accomplish our goals if we’re given the chance to. Don’t try to squash our dreams or “talk sense into us”. If we’re zealous about owning a bakery or becoming the mayor of our city someday, than let us dream, because we may be some of the few that are actually determined enough to achieve the craziest ideas. At the same time, help us reign in our idealism when it comes to our relationship.

We often have an ideal of what our lives should look like and while in many ways we’re logical, we can be awfully unrealistic about how perfect our lives should be. When this gets in the way of us having a healthy relationship, help us recognize that we’re having unrealistic expectations for our relationship and that it’s okay for things to go wrong sometimes. We may need a little reminder that we can still be happy even if our lives aren’t perfect.