I’ve noticed a profound difference in how the INFJ type plays out in men versus women. And it is my observation that this gender difference is more profound than in any other type.
I want to know if anyone else has observed this. If so, what have you seen? Do you have any theories on why there are such strong gender differences in this type?
Let me begin by noting a couple of things I’ve noticed:
INFJ-ness just seems to work better for women. Or at least works better for our culture’s ideals about who men and women should be. I’ve observed a plethora of male INFJ strategies to overcome such obstacles. Some adaptive (read healthy). Some not.
In general – and let me repeat that I am making a gross generalization here – INFJ men seem to have more maladaptive behaviors than their female counterparts.
In addition to the foibles all unhealthy INFJs share (regardless of gender) there seem to be some male-specific unhealthy INFJ issues. Here’s a couple that I’ve personally observed:
- Confusing being very, very J (i.e., rigid to the point of unhealthiness) as being the same as being a strong male.
- Overcompensating for feeling weak by expressing his ESTP shadow, including being a barfly, a womanizer, and an all around arrogant jerk. (Most unattractive, btw.)
I don’t mean to imply that being a male INFJ is always a bad thing. Nor, am I saying that all male INFJs share these problems. And, when INFJ males are healthy, they can be some of the coolest people in the world. I’ve fallen under the spell of more than one.
But neither can I deny my own differing experiences between male and female INFJs. It has been my experience that male INFJs can be maddening in their obstinacy (far more so than their female counterparts). I oscillate between wanting to hug them and wanting to whack ‘em in the back of the head.