An INFJ is a personality type, as categorized by the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. The test helps you discover whether you are an "Introvert" or an "Extravert"; an "iNtuitive" or a "Sensor"; a "Thinker" or a "Feeler"; a "Judger" or a "Perceiver".
* INTROVERTs recharge by spending time alone.
* EXTRAVERTs recharge by spending time with others.
* INTUITIVEs are interested in future possibilities and trusts their hunches.
* SENSORs are more interested in trusting their past experiences.
* FEELERs prefer to make personal judgments, and are likely to feel how others are feeling.
* THINKERs prefer to make impersonal judgments and are not likely to take on others' emotions.
* JUDGERs work to completion on projects. They usually do not like to leave things undone. Once a decision has been made, they prefer to stick with it.
* PERCEIVERs are process oriented. They believe the final decision can always be revised.
Only about 1% of the population is of the INFJ - Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging - personality type. We are known for our empathy and intuition. The following people were INFJ types: Mahatma Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. Rogers, and perhaps Michael Landon. For a very good introduction to type, and to find out what type you are, I recommend Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence.
Us INFJ types are known to be very sensitive and can very easily become overwhelmed by the world and others. My friend Jenny Cockell (author of Across Time And Death: A Mother's Search For Her Past Life Children) introduced me to the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. She has pointed out to me that we live in a very extraverted world where it is hard for people to understand that there are some people (around 25% of the population) who are perfectly contented to spend a lot of time alone. Society seems to view introversion as wrong, and to view introverts with a hint of suspicion. This is not necessarily the case in other parts of the world. For example, observation indicates that in Asia introverted people are considered to be the ideal in terms of friendship. I myself have had experience with this. I was an un-popular kid at school in the United States, but when I lived in Japan for six weeks when I was seven - I was instantly popular everywhere I went!
Because of our introverted preference, and the fact that we are quiet and reserved and often like to be alone, people often assume that INFJs are cold and do not like people. This has to do with the Western preference for extraverted people. But let me ask you, did Mahatma Gandhi like people? Did Martin Luther King Jr.? Did Eleanor Roosevelt? Absolutely, they liked people. In fact, they are considered the benchmark for humanitarianism. And they were introverts.
David Keirsey published a book about Presidents of the United States. He profiles them based on their personality type, and he found that the United States has NEVER had an INFJ president, nor has it ever had a President of the NF temperament (a President with an "iNtuitive" and "feeling" preference). So in this book Presidential Temperament: The Unfolding of Character in the Forty Presidents of the United States when it comes time to profile the INFJ or the NF temperament, Keirsey profiles Mahatma Gandhi and Eleanor Roosevelt.
Being an INFJ, I get overwhelmed quite easily. It does not help to have people tell me, "Oh, just stop being so sensitive." To tell an INFJ not to be sensitive is to ask them to murder themselves. Out of our sensitivity comes wonderful things. But our sensitivity needs to be protected. Some books I have found helpful in dealing with a world thatoverwhelms me are:
INFJs, perhaps more than another type, deplore war and violence. Since wars are on-going in this world, there is continual cause for INFJs to be depressed. It's not that we "like" being depressed. It's that we genuinely care about people.