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INFJs are emotional, intuitive, empathetic, observant…. and rare. So many things can bring us pure joy, but so many things can cause emotional stress and burnout. INFJ burn out is a real thing. I hope I can make a little more sense of it to anyone experiencing it… or anyone who thinks their INFJ friend is close to burn out.
What is INFJ Burn Out?
For anyone who hasn’t experienced a burn out before, I’m gonna try to explain it to you in a way that might be relatable, because I think we’ve all done this.
It’s crazy hot outside and you come in to drink some water. You drink until you feel like you’re floating. You can feel it slosh in your stomach and you’re thinking ‘Why did I do that?” Physically, you feel like garbage. You don’t want another sip and even the word ‘water’ turns your stomach.
That’s what burnout feels like. It’s basically too much of anything… enough that you have to physically and mentally ‘get over’ it.
But burn out for an INFJ usually isn’t just letting the water settle and going back for another cup later.
INFJ burn out can lead to physical and mental exhaustion, a feeling of emptiness, depression and anxiety.
INFJ burn out is something that all INFJs need to be aware of and all of their close friends and family also need to be able to understand.
Career Burn Out
This is something I’ve experienced many times in my life, but never knew it was a ‘thing’.
I even burned out at my very first job!
Because I was ‘old for my age’, I was entrusted with lots of extra tasks and duties. Of course, I never said ‘NO’…. so they just piled them on. I eventually had almost as many responsibilities as a manager….. at SIXTEEN!
I eventually wore myself out trying to make everyone at work happy…. so I began dreading work. Once I got there, I wasn’t the same outgoing, happy employee that I was when I was hired.
I was overwhelmed, tired, frustrated, stressed and sad.
But…. because I’m an INFJ, I’d never speak up that I was miserable… I quietly looked for another job and quit.
I think this has happened with basically every job I’ve ever had, but my last 2 jobs were burnout to the extreme!
I am a perfectionist and passion runs through my veins like blood. So, if I find a job I love, I turn into a highly motivated, very opinionated boss-babe with zero boundaries.
I was working 70+ hour weeks. I dug in. I wrote BOOKS of policies and plans… I literally lived for my job. If the phone rang at 3 am, I would be there immediately. I cared about my job as much as anyone possibly could.
But, once I felt like my efforts weren’t appreciated or I felt like things were going the wrong way, my focus began to drop. My passion began to subside. My energy to push forward eventually changed to finding a way out.
I can’t say I have any answers about how an INFJ can avoid work burn out because I have yet to find a career that hasn’t burnt me out.
While I have no answers for this one, I can just say “you aren’t alone”.
Empathy Burn Out
I used to see my empathy as a weakness. Now I know that it’s only a weakness if someone tries to exploit it or if I’m not careful.
Empathy is a beautiful thing and it’s one of my favorite traits I have.
Not everyone has the ability to be empathetic and put themselves in someone else’s shoes, so it’s something I do wear with pride.
However, my empathy tends to overwhelm my inner dialogue…. like a lot.
As an example, say 2 of my friends get into a fight. One is clearly in the wrong…. but maybe the other person is being a big dramatic. I can see literally everyone’s point of view.
So of course, they ask me to take sides or join in on gossip. ::sigh::
This is when I do one of two things: retreat and wait for the dust to settle….or become the counselor (this usually entails me tell them my opinion, sticking my foot in my mouth, saying too much, speaking too much truth and having one *or both* of them end up mad at me.)
Before I know it, this little stupid squabble (that didn’t even originally include me) is a freaking disaster that is taking up 99% of my mental space. I’m worrying constantly about what they think and I’m having a slew of hypothetical conversations in my head… while all the real stuff going on in my life is being ignored.
I also experience empathy burn out when I overextending myself as a ‘shoulder to cry on’. It’s in my nature to want to help people. But an INFJ can begin to carry a lot of painful baggage just by hearing about someone’s bad day, unfortunate circumstances and pain.
As an INFJ, I feel for them, their situation and I invest my entire heart in it. So obviously, if their experience is painful or heartbreaking, I will feel that pain as well.
As with all types of burnout, feeling someone else’s pain and sadness will eventually just be too much.
I think empathy burn out has a pretty high chance of leading to depression if it isn’t noticed and addressed early on. (Speaking from my own personal experience.)
Make sure you’re checking in with yourself occasionally to see how much pain you’re feeling is your own pain and how much pain you’re carrying is actually other peoples’ pain.
Forced Tragedy Burn Out
The other side of empathy burn out is witnessing tragedy.
This is why I honestly believe that 911 dispatching is a nightmare job for any INFJ.
It is day-in, day-out tragedy and upset. Death, injury, broken families, violence, pettiness, liars…..
Yes, my empathy and compassion made me a pretty good person to be on the other end of the phone line. But, it comes at a steep price.
Not to mention most 911 centers are understaffed so I never really get a true break or time away from the tragedy. Even on my days off, I used to worry about getting called in. Extreme mental drain with no chance of a reset is a remedy for disaster in my opinion.
INFJs just have to be conscious about how much tragedy they are ‘forcing’ themselves to witness that isn’t necessary.
One of my INFJ friends dug in deep to volunteer with the SPCA. Absolutely beautiful intentions. So much passion, care, love… just astounding how selfless she is.
She was rescuing animals from horrendous conditions. She was having to handle dead pets. Pets that were abused or neglected. Some of the stuff she told me gave me nightmares.
But, she quickly had to remove herself from it because it was just too much.
While she wanted to help, she realized that her empathetic soul was becoming heavy and wounded.
So continues to help support them financially and attends their events, but she decided that she is too sensitive to be ‘on the battlefield’.
And that’s okay!
INFJs need to to be in-tune with what they can and cannot handle.
I would love to be an animal advocate, rescue them from hoarding situations and find them homes. My heart bleeds for animals. But after my 5 years working at a vet, I realized that my soul cannot handle witnessing an animal suffer. Even if I know in my soul that I’m helping them… the pain just eats away at me.
So, my advice is just to touch base with your heart. When you realize something is painful or damaging to you, you can take a step back. Even if it has 100% of your soul, passion and heart.
Just make sure you’re protecting yourself. You can’t help others if you, yourself, are broken.
Perfectionist Burn Out
I am a perfectionists about everything. My job, my house, my relationships, my pets, my planner, my eyebrows…
I have learned that this is a big thing with INFJs that I’ve met.
I am a perfectionist with a procrastinator complex. So, if I can’t do something perfectly, I just won’t do it at all.
“I really need to clean house, but all I have time to do is vacuum…. and I really need to dust before I vacuum…. so I just won’t clean today.”
I try to fight it because I know that’s a dumb way to operate… but it’s just how I am!
I have a pile of DIY projects just waiting for the day I can devote all my time and energy to doing them to absolute perfection. Until then, they sit in my office collecting dust.
It’s not like I’m lazy or uninspired… or even that I just don’t feel like doing it.
It’s that I want it to be exactly how I picture it to be in my head. So I need the time, materials and patience to make it perfect.
Also, because I’m a perfectionist and I second guess myself about everything, I find it really hard to actually lay pen to paper. Or paintbrush to wood… or whatever. I’m so afraid to goof up that I usually procrastinate until I finally tell myself “it’s a $3 piece of wood. JUST PAINT!”
On a side note, I finally convinced myself to just try painting freehand. Something I’ve always wanted to do, but saw it too daunting thing to learn.
Definitely not a pro, but I am so happy that I finally took the leap and gave myself a chance to do something that I knew would be less than perfect. Painting is my new decompressing tool. I am so glad I found something to soothe my soul.
So, if there’s something that the perfectionist in you said “don’t do it! It won’t be perfect!“…. tell that voice to shut up and give it a try! You might amaze yourself!
Work/Perfection Burn Out
I feel like my perfectionist brain hampered me career-wise before I was able to manage it more mindfully.
I was a perfectionist at the vet and I burned myself out trying to be perfect, so I left. I was a perfectionist in dispatch and I burned myself out trying to be perfect, so I left. I was a perfectionist with my handmade gift business and I burned myself out trying to be perfect, so I stopped making.
Praying that ya’ll will just accept me while I fight my perfectionist side when it comes to my blog. I don’t want to ever stop writing because I get caught up worrying about being perfect.
Social Burn Out
An INFJ’s social ‘tolerance’ is commonly referred to as a battery.
Socializing drains my battery…. and alone time recharges me.
The better the friend, the more quality conversations… the less they drain my battery.
I could literally hang with my bestie for like 2 weeks and not feel drained. She’s close enough to being my mental twin that time with her is as recharging as alone time.
Same thing with Hunter. We are comfortable with our time together so I don’t feel like I need him to give me space.
I pray that every INFJ finds a partner that fits them like Hunter fits me and my ways. They end up being your ‘portable charger’. We can be out somewhere and he can realize I’m draining… and he gives me a bit of a boost.
My family is like the 1/2 way point for socializing. I can be 100% burnt TF out with my friends, but still want to be around family. But, sometimes my family is too much for me to handle. It really just depends.
When I’m around a large group of people, people I have a very shallow/surface friendship with or someone who looooooooves small talk, I can hear my internal battery start to beep. It will eventually start to shout “Find the nearest door now!”.
I really do enjoy being with people and I wholeheartedly know that being social is a requirement for a healthy brain. However, I have to be picky about who I choose to have in my life for many reasons.
All I can say is: find people who want to understand you and your weird INFJ ways. Don’t surround yourself with people who constantly want you to be different.
So, I mentioned the person who loves small talk. ::ugh:: Small talk kills me.
Someone: “Did ya’ll see the high is going to be 95º tomorrow?
INFJ: “Oh really? That’s hot!” ::screaming inside their head::
There’s not enough actual ‘meat’ to that conversation to keep my attention.
So I’ll eventually completely detach from the actual conversation I’m having with the small talker and begin another conversation in my own mind.
While I’m nodding to you as you explain in-depth how you got a 20 pack of toilet paper for $2….. I’m contemplating the effects of coupons and ‘deals’ on the human psyche.
I’m not saying that you’re stupid and I’m smart. I’m just saying I need depth to engage in a conversation.
Talk about the solar system, your philosophy about human existence, spirituality.
We’re always told to avoid talking to friends about religion or politics. This is absolute BS to an INFJ. We crave that type of conversation because it truly matters. Everyone has become so afraid of discussing real topics that we spend all of our time talking about things that really don’t matter.
Whatever, I’ll get off my soapbox.
But to my INFJ friends, I have ZERO solutions or suggestions for handling small talk. Just grit your teeth and get through it. And find you a friend who likes to talk about higher concepts. It’s refreshing.
Advice Burn Out
It doesn’t matter the type of social situation, ‘that person’ always finds me.
The person who needs to spill their soul, tell their life story and expose their current reality to someone.
It doesn’t matter if I’m at a noisy bar, house party, progressive dinner… that person always finds me and we lock in to a very deep, very personal conversation.
Not only do people seek me out to confide in…. they usually want my advice as well.
I try to not give unsolicited advice. I try to wait until the other person asks me for advice. I am a highly sensitive person and I don’t want to openly offer advice that could possibly offend someone or ‘overstep my boundaries’. I believe the term is ‘stay in your lane’….? (Not hip enough to keep up with the lingo nowadays).
But once you ask for advice, it’s game on!
You can trust that my advice won’t be self-serving. I am highly emotional we I am also insanely logical and rational when giving advice.
Because I put so much thought and heart into the advice I give, it really rubs me the wrong way when someone asks for advice and then does the total opposite.
Then, they come back upset that the situation ended up worse than before.
I had a friend call me super upset after she found out that her husband had been transferring money out of their joint account.
I told her to contact the bank and do some research. Ask if they could give her any more info on the transfer, lay out everything plain and simple and then ask him what was going on. I told her that she needed to handle it calmly and to take her time to work through the situation.
Yeah. She went the other way…
She had it worked up in her head that he was cheating, he found out he had a kid with someone else, he had a gambling problem…. she let her brain go doomsday rather than looking at the facts and talking to him like he was her partner.
She called his friends to see what was going on. She called his mom. She even followed him to work to asked to talk to his boss and coworkers….
He eventually caught wind and called her to figure out what was going on and she let him have it. Hyped up on her own rage, she ripped him a new one.
Well, he wasn’t cheating or doing anything sketchy. He was setting money aside to take her on a honeymoon because they couldn’t afford one right when they got married.
Instead of just maybe ruining a really good surprise, she hurt their relationship really bad. Possibly beyond repair. I’m not sure how they’re doing after this. She had me so burnt out with advice that I disconnected.
If you continually ask for my advice and don’t take it, you’re gonna burn me out. Most of the time, that means I’ll just stop giving you advice…. but sometimes it can end in a door slam.
I call this type of person an ‘ask-hole’. INFJ friends, just know it’s okay to close the door on an ask-hole. You tried… don’t dwell or let it hurt your feelings too bad.
Intuition Burn Out
At a very young age, my intuition for people was strong. I would warn my mom about friends, family members and customers we’ve worked with.
“Hey mom, don’t get too close to her too fast. Something isn’t right with her”
Damn sure enough, every time…. that person ended up being two-faced, snakey, dramatic…. and my mom always looked at me like ‘but how did you know?‘
I even warned my dad to not do business with this one guy because I got bad ‘vibes’ from him. We spent 11 years in court with him and almost had to get a restraining order because he started to stalk us.
Luckily, I’m 30 years old, so my parents and close friends have come to learn that my intuition is normally spot on.
However, being an INFJ, I still always want to give someone the benefit of doubt. Maybe they are a good person and I’m just being too judgmental.
It’s a real struggle trying to balance intuition and fairness. Especially if someone keeps ‘testing’ you. Like, they act like a good friend for a few weeks then go right back to being shady.
I also get burnt out when others use me as a ‘people detector’. My old boss used to put me in the room with potential new hires and have me ‘feel them out’. It’s exhausting being 100% judgmental and still trying to remain kind, passionate and forgiving.
Unless you really have a tug in your gut to give someone a bunch of chances, trust your intuition. Follow your gut.
By ‘Taker’, I mean that person in your life that takes, takes, takes, takes…. and never bats an eye when asking or expecting things from you.
Some people are just like this by nature…. maybe it’s how their personality types are… I’m not sure why a ‘Taker’ is a ‘Taker’.
The ‘Taker’ really takes (HA) a toll on me and my brain.
Now, I’m not talking about casual friend needs. “Do you have a cup of sugar?” or “I forgot my wallet at home, can you cover me?”
I’m talking about repetitive big stuff. “Can I borrow your car to drive to Florida?” …. “Will you help me move my aunt’s cousin’s brother?”…
Why Takers burn me out:
1.) I am not that way.
So, I can’t even begin to comprehend being that way. I literally hate asking anyone for anything. Ever. If I absolutely have to ask for help, I will…. but it truly wrenches my soul and I feel indebted to someone for forever even for small tasks.
So, when someone asks me to do something insane that they could easily do themselves, I just sorta mentally ask myself ‘but why…..?’.
I’ve had a ‘friend’ ask me to drive 45 minutes to bring her a phone charger because she left hers in the neighbors car….. next door….
That’s just taking to take. Selfishness, laziness…..whatever.
2.) 50/50. Give & take. Tit for tat.
Call it what you will…. no friendship or relationship has any chance of working if it’s 100/0.
It’s literally impossible to maintain a friendship like that. Not even my DOGS treat me like that. They may take financial support, care, and love…. but they give back even more.
Once I realize someone is a habitual taker, it’s a thin line between just being burn out and being a total door slam.
Most of the time, I can take a lengthy break from contact with a ‘Taker’ and I can basically ‘get over’ it.
However, if they still continue to ask and take while I removed myself from the situation, it’ll usually end up in a pretty hard door slam.
My advice to INFJs when you’re handling a Taker…. distance yourself when you begin to notice that they’re a Taker. We suck at saying ‘NO’…. so don’t let yourself get used.
Observation Burn Out
Whether it’s ‘people watching’ or noticing odd patterns in traffic in our area…. if my eyes are open, I am observing everything.
So, even a trip to the mall can be exhausting.
I can’t just mindlessly walk into the store, try on clothes, pay and leave.
I am looking at all of the cars and people around me in the parking lot (but of course forgetting to look for a landmark so I can find the car….). I’m listening to and watching the people walking in front of us. I am absorbing the environment in the store, the other shoppers, the employees…
It’s a lot for my brain to analyze.
Here’s observation example that’s also 50% empathy:
I was at my favorite store, grabbing some glue for a project. I take my time, wander around. Soul-search to see if I’m ready for another DIY project.
When I get to the counter, I notice the cashier had a very tired and hurt smile, but her eyes were so kind. She was very quiet and meek. She asked if I found everything. I answered “everything and more” with a giggle.
She giggled back and asked what I was making. I told her that I was making something for a friend’s baby shower.
I saw her face absolutely drop and all of her happiness seemed to drain from her body. She responded with a very soft “how nice”. She averted her eyes and it looked like she was trying to keep from crying.
I thought about this poor cashier for days. Why did she have so much pain in her eyes? Why did she wilt when I mentioned a baby shower? Had she lost a child? Found out she couldn’t have kids? Why was her soul so hurt?
As an INFJ, I pick up on things most other people would never notice…. then I empathize and carry it with us like it’s our own burden.
My observant behavior has broken my heart, gotten me into trouble, made me mad, made me sad…. hell, when I’m truly honest about it, it makes me lose faith in humanity.
I think my observational burn out is what usually tends to ramp up my anxiety… and eventually turns me into a shut-in.
“Why didn’t so-and-so wave?”… “What did so-and-so mean by that text?” … “So-and-so acted really odd when I asked her how she was doing. Wonder if she’s mad at me?” … “So-and-so’s car hasn’t been in their driveway for 3 days, I wonder if they’re okay.”
Sorta sounds like paranoia… sorta is. Sorta sounds like worrying… sorta is.
If your observational brain starts to bog you down, take a day to detox. Turn your phone off, watch some Disney movies and recover. Don’t let yourself spiral.
Sensory Burn Out
I’ll be honest, I get sensory burn out super easily. Seems like the older I get, the less I can handle.
Lights, sounds, movement….
I may only be speaking for myself, when I say this, but a music festival is basically my worst nightmare.
Before I understood my social anxiety or knew anything about being an INFJ, I noticed that big events were just a lot on all of my senses.
I passed out at Warped Tour and Music Midtown as a teen. Had no clue why it kept happening. I know it’s a rather extreme response to people, but I wasn’t listening to my body’s warning signs.
I5 different bands and what seems like billions of people. Food trucks, vendors. Walking over dirt then sand then grass then concrete. The smells of perfume, popcorn, beer…. people. Light shows. People pushing and acting up….
Sounds like a fun time for an extrovert… but it is absolutely overwhelming to me and most INFJs.
I personally just don’t go places that are likely to be a sensory overload. If I do, I just make sure to find a quiet(ish) place and take a few mental breaks throughout the event. Sometimes even go sit in the car with the A/C on for a second.
Social Media Sensory Overload
I even experience sensory overload with smaller, less intrusive things like social media.
While it’s something I can control, it is still over-stimulation.
It’s all so fast-paced, quickly changing and highly impersonal.
Like, comment, follow, unfollow, post, share, re-Tweet….
It’s a barrage of information that’s in your face to consume, digest and analyze.
Also, I think social media is very fake and ‘small talk-ish’. Most people don’t provide context to their posts… or sometimes what they post is a lie about their life.
I wrote about why social media & INFJs aren’t a good pair. I highly suggest you go read it if you have time. I dig in a little bit more about why INFJs can be burnt out by social media.
Also, my friend, Gina at Limit Breaker wrote an amazing blog post about why she removed social media from her cell phone.
All INFJs need to create restrictions for their social media intake. Set a time limit or schedule and stick to it. Don’t fall down the rabbit hole and let it suck your energy.
Moral Burn Out
As an INFJ, I hold morals, values, and principles near to my heart. So close that it might actually be what keeps my heart pumping.
Literally, the fastest way to get door slammed by an INFJ is to continually violate our morals or show that you have none.
This is probably one of the main reasons INFJs feel alone. Society seems to void of morals lately. It can be hard for an INFJ find a person who respects morals and values as much as they do.
To sum up my experience in life: I am basically searching the world over for someone who walks the walk and talks the talk. They practice what they preach. I am looking for people who are just good. They don’t act good, they are good.
Being too close to an immoral situation quickly wears me down.
I’ve had bosses lie to the ‘big boss’ to make it seem like they were a better employee than they really were, I’ve seen domestic violence in close friendships and wasn’t allowed to say anything, I’ve had people confide in me that they were cheating or stealing with their significant other….
Knowing these wrongs and not being able to right them made me feel uncomfortable, sad and tarnished.
Being a forgiving soul, I usually give someone plenty of chances to redeem themselves from mistakes and bad decisions. I know that no one is perfect.
However, if someone makes it very apparent that they have zero intention of changing: door slam.
Only advice I can give to an INFJ facing this type of burn out: if someone is willing to show you their true colors, believe them.
Learning Burn Out
Some people call it school burnout or university burn out.
I hate looking back on the past, but this explains why I couldn’t finish college… I wish I knew about this back then.
Learning is just one constant cycle of cramming your head full of information, testing it, getting a grade, purging that info, learning the next load of information….so on and so on…
I can typically tolerate this cycle if I’m learning about topics that I’m somewhat passionate about, but usually tank when it’s a subject that I have zero interest learning.
I literally cried when my counselor told me that to get my freaking journalism degree, I have to take a ton of Algebra, Science and film classes….
I don’t care about any of those subjects and they have nothing to do with my major, so I immediately knew that I was going to struggle to just even pass those classes.
In reality, I should have known that a ‘traditional’ college just wasn’t for me. I needed a trade school or maybe even an apprenticeship.
But we’ve all been told that to get anywhere in life, you have to do 4 years of traditional college.
Learning burnout is when your brain ‘just can’t even’ anymore. It’s not laziness or ‘failure to apply yourself’.
I want to learn. I want to excel. I want success.
…. and I am fully capable of learning and being successful, but I couldn’t do things the ‘traditional’ way. I had to get real life experience and figure it out on my own.
I have 2 tips for INFJs when it comes to learning burn out:
1.) If it’s not your thing, that’s okay.
If traditional college doesn’t work for you, don’t try to shape yourself to fit the ‘college experience’.
You can still find a way to do what you want even if it’s just a little harder.
2.) Take a year off.
Give your brain a break between high school and college. Detox from the toxic cliques and drama. College is really people-y. I promise that you’ll thank yourself for taking a break before you surround yourself with thousands of new people. Busy hallways, massive classes, bustling dorms….
You’ve been shoving unwanted info in your brain for 12 years. Go do something to enhance your life experience like wait tables or try your hand at sales.
Do some real soul searching. Figure out what you want to dedicate your brain space to and what is your real true passion. I know that’s hard at a young age because you have peers, parents and counselors hounding you. But there’s no point going to college if you’re going to leave like I did.
Burn Out vs System Failure
Like I mentioned before, as an INFJ, I am extremely prone to emotional damage.
So, maybe I just get hurt feelings more easily…. but I also might spiral into full blown depression or anxiety.
Until recently, I was very out of tune with my burn out limits… so my burn out went unnoticed and subsequently turned into complete exhaustion. It’s what I call ‘system failure’.
I was burnt out from everything I listed above and more. I let people treat me like trash for so long that it had become the new norm. I let them stomp me down, make me feel small. Then my own brain stepped in and continued to make me feel small.
I wasn’t aware that my ‘check engine light’ was on and I was still driving 80 mph down the freeway.
I was in this nasty downward spiral and I wasn’t even paying attention to look for a way to stop it. I was too distracted by drama and my own brain telling me that I’m not good enough.
It got so bad that I gained a ton of weight. My doctor told me that my heart was in poor health. I suffered months of crippling panic attacks and depression. I spent days in bed. I’d go days without seeing anyone but Hunter and my parents.
System failure sounds like a funny little concept that’s comparing my body to a car…. but it’s the biggest wake-up call I’ve ever experienced.
Don’t let yourself get to this point.
Learn your brain and your body. Stop and re-evaluate your life if either of them are giving you red lights. If you’re feeling physically worn down, continually sad or if the negative self talk becomes more constant. Stop the burn out before you get to system failure.
It’s easier to replace a burnt out light bulb than replace the entire car. (I know… I said it’s not just a funny concept, but I thought this was a good point to make.)
All of the other blog posts about INFJ burn out tell you ways to detect, protect and repair from burn out. They usually talk about self-care and taking time to yourself…..
Um…. have you actually met an INFJ?
We come in dead last in our brains.
So, while it’s easy to throw out a list of soothing techniques and self care ideas, we all know that as an INFJs, we suck at that!
The real key isn’t meditation or alone time… it’s not bubble baths or spa days.
It’s being in-tune with yourself.
The real self care is knowing “I am susceptible to burn out. I need to learn my body and brain so I can learn the warning signs. Self preserve before I burn out.“
No amount of meditation or pedicures can fix the way your brain operates and how you respond to external stimuli.
I have learned that my warning signs start out small and quickly escalate if I don’t address the issue.
Constant nausea. Worrying about small things like the doors being locked or if I left the garage open. Tightness in my neck and shoulders. Jaw pain from grinding my teeth all night.
Then comes the negative self-talk…. and it’s all downhill from there.
Now that I have come to learn my limits a little better, I can recognize my body and brain’s response and try to evaluate what situation in my life is making me feel this way.
Touch Base With Yourself
A journal is very helpful for this step. Sometimes you need to see things written on paper and read it back to yourself to really make sure it’s coherent.
INFJs are better at written word than the spoken word, so writing is very therapeutic.
Find The Trouble Areas
Grade all areas of your life from A+ to F-.
- How do you see/feel about yourself?
- Love life
- Family life
- Faith & spirituality
- Financial situation
- Housing situation
Then start with your lowest grade and go from there.
Friendships on the rocks due to some drama? Decide if it’s worth repairing. Reach out or let it fade away. Don’t continue to carry shreds around anymore. Either sew it back up or let go of it. A lot of INFJs carry remnants of old friendships and relationships. Free yourself from those.
Not happy with your job? Decide on 1 new healthy work habit to start every Monday for the next 4 weeks. Remind yourself that you’re a badass and you will meet your goals.
Analyze Your Day
Step back and evaluate your daily routine.
Are you overloaded? Are you trying to do too much? If you’re an INFJ, I’m gonna guess “YES!”
What are you willing to let fall to the wayside? What can go on the back burner until you’re able to pick it back up and give it the attention it deserves?
I know it’s insanely hard to let yourself ‘drop the ball’, but you’re better off letting one pin drop rather than drop everything you’re juggling.
So, don’t look at it like defeat or surrender. It’s self-preservation.
What Matters Most
Make a list of the top 5 things in your life. The real priorities. What you can’t live without.
If you’re feeling burnt out about something that has nothing to do with those top 5 things, drop it like a hot potato.
If you’re feeling empathy burn out from a coworker who continually dumps their problems on your plate, find a way to avoid them or change the conversation. It’s not like your job depends on your willingness to be their therapist.
If your current ‘stressor’ isn’t directly affecting your top 5 things, find a resolve.
We unnecessarily carry weight from the world that’s not ours to carry.
Evaluate the baggage you’re carrying and let go of it if it doesn’t have your name on it.
My Final Words About INFJ Burn Out
All I can say is: stop, breathe.
Allow yourself to think consciously rather than a continual flow of automatic thoughts.
Get control of your mind. Dig around for the problem spot that you need to address. Come up with a game plan and execute it.
As an INFJ, you can conquer anything you put your mind to. Just put your mind to it and handle it.
Also, have a little empathy for yourself. Give yourself a break for once. You’re doing all you can do. You deserve some credit for having carried all of this baggage even if you have to set some down.
Anyways, I hope this helped someone to regain control over their INFJ-isms and pour some water on their burn out.
Don’t forget to comment below with your opinions and experiences.
Also, I am thinking about creating a self-awareness workbook for INFJs. Would ya’ll be interested in that?