It’s hard to be a serial overthinker who is empathetic yet detached, and naive at the same time. And yet, this is the constant struggle of an INFJ. As an introvert, introspection is a force of habit for you.
This is precisely the reason why you can’t help but imagine a lot of things. And you know what happens when you overthink, right? Negative thoughts just keep coming.
You feel and process too many thoughts and emotions at once, allowing you to empathize and understand the reason behind a person’s actions, no matter how skewed they may be.
But on the downside, being too understanding makes it hard for INFJs to believe that some people are inherently bad or evil, too.
Unfortunately, the combination of overthinking and empathy makes INFJs pessimists, yet they also secretly hope that situations and people can turn for the better.
Just how frustrating could that be?
Are INFJs optimistic or pessimistic?
INFJs may lean more toward the pessimistic side due to their cynical nature. Yes, they believe the world could be better, so they go the extra mile to help people. However, they also remain cautious not to be too optimistic and end up disappointed.
I used to believe in my parents’ promises when I was younger. But even if I clung to that thought, I also had a lingering doubt that they might not follow through. This became a reflex, hoping to avoid disappointment.
And you know what? This saved me from crying over unfulfilled promises.
I never hated my parents for it, but it made me realize that I couldn’t trust anyone to fulfill my needs. If I wanted it done, I had to do it myself.
➡️INFJs are realists.
INFJs understand when it’s okay to have hope and when to let go, making them realistic and logical intuitives. Due to their reflective nature that keeps them grounded, they learned how to differentiate between realistic possibilities and highly unlikely scenarios.
As an INFJ. I believe I have powerful intuition and lean on realistic perspectives. Though I chase happy thoughts and emotions, I can’t help but accept that things won’t turn out as “positively” as I hope.
I would be anticipating good grades in a subject where I know I haven’t been doing well. Even though I studied enough to pass the exam, I understand that the likelihood of failure is higher than succeeding with flying colors.
Well, I’m just being realistic.
I considered all the alternatives in case I failed the subject. I even imagined how my parents would react and what I would say to them.
But hidden among these negative thoughts, there’s a secret belief in the possibility of a miracle. I hope to be proven wrong and receive a high grade instead of failing.
Nonetheless, anticipating the worst actually helped me cope with the situation. I needed more energy and preparation for the wrong things, hence the overthinking.
It’s easy to process and deal with a positive outcome. And because INFJs think about things, we’re seldom surprised by an event or outcome.
We have imagined these scenarios countless times, so we know exactly how to respond. This is our way of getting on top of any life situation.
➡️INFJs are more inclined to be pessimists, but for a reason.
Overthinking and negative thoughts? It’s a sour mix leading to INFJ’s pessimist attitude and disposition.
However, know that not all introverts are inclined to be like this. It all comes down to the individual and their characteristics.
If you’re an INFJ who happens to be a habitual overthinker, you understand that this trait stems from our reflective nature.
It’s natural for us to self-reflect and be conscious of the potential drawbacks or negative outcomes of a decision, action, or situation.
➡️INFJs are sensitive to external stimuli.
INFJs may also be drawn to being pessimists due to their oversensitivity to external sensory inputs like social interactions and noise. A loud voice or chaotic environment can overwhelm us, and drain our energy, resulting in negative reactions toward the environment.
I remember sitting in a cafe, minding my business, when I received an anxiety-inducing message. I could analyze the situation, strategize my next steps, and find a solution.
However, the cafe was booming, and people came and went, loudly chatting with their friends. The sounds of the espresso machine and blender grinding and clanking added to the cruel cacophony.
All these noises overwhelmed me. So instead of solving the problem, I was there with my misery amplified — gradually leading me to a pessimistic attitude at that time.
Can INFJs be optimists?
Indeed, INFJs can also be optimists. They can see possibilities and are driven by their strong need to make a meaningful impact on the people around them. They believe that, like people, circumstances can also change for the better. On the bigger picture, they’re empaths, idealists, and reflective individuals, and these characteristics make them optimists, too.
INFJs are also resilient and determined. Though they face numerous setbacks, they still believe they can transform the negatives into something positive.
➡️INFJs can be optimistic despite the harsh realities.
As an INFJ, say, you found that a friend betrayed you. Despite recognizing the red flags in the past, you chose to overlook those and understand their motivations.
However, you already knew that this friend could screw you over.
And though you felt sad, you knew there was a crucial life lesson to be learned from this experience. It taught you the importance of setting boundaries and standards before allowing others into your life — determined to be with better people and live more peacefully.
With this, you just turned a negative situation into something positive. This is a good and convincing sign that you can also be an optimist.
So, is an INFJ optimistic or not?
INFJs are realists who understand that people and situations have the potential to be worse.
INFJs are aware of these situations, and preemptively processing such thoughts makes it easy for them to accept them when they happen, along with a lesson in mind.
These unique traits make you — us — one of a kind. Learn to accept these traits and use them to be a better individual.
You may also like:
- How Can INFJs Deal With Heartbreak (And Start Moving On)
- 5 Most Common First Impressions INFJs Make On People
- Things That Hurt INFJ The Most