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The earliest memory I can recall is when I was about 4 years old. I was thoroughly explaining to the neighbor kid why he shouldn’t leave his dog tied to a tree. He unwillingly untied the dog and went inside, only to tell his mother ‘That kid is weird. Why does she care so much?’
Why did I care so much? Well, it’s the same reason that 30 year old me, still cries at every single ASPCA commercial, every flattened squirrel on the road and every ‘outside’ dog. I’m an empath. I can feel their pain. Just by looking at them.
I thought maybe I was weird. I know most people (that aren’t heartless) will get upset seeing an animal in misery, but I feel pain for every single thing that moves. Most people see my concern as ‘over-the-top’.
I’ve been called the dog whisperer, a crazy dog lady…and my favorite: dog psycho. I’ll wear these badges proudly to appease the uneducated bystander. But the real label I wear is INFJ.
My Godmother made me take the Meyers-Briggs personality test about a year ago. I found out I was an INFJ. I am introverted, intuitive, feeling, judging and turbulent. Just a walking contradiction. I am somehow the most emotional person ever but I am also logical to a fault.
Finding out I am an INFJ has opened my eyes to the real reason behind my emotions for animals. I’m not weird or obsessive for feeling this way, but I am blessed. I understand a creature that is unable to offer us a verbal plea.
Being an INFJ is terribly alienating. You feel alone most of the time because you are capable of understanding everyone, yet no one seems to understand you.
My dogs, cats and pet squirrel can sense when I am upset well before any human can detect I am anything but happy. They can sense any change in my eyes, voice, facial expressions, body language or even my general energy.
All of my animals show their concern in a different way. Whether they give kisses, act goofy or lay in my lap- they just want to cheer me up and comfort me. Most of the time, they’re actually the only thing that can heal me and save me from my own INFJ brain.
This doesn’t just go for my animals, but all animals I’ve met. They offer all of themselves, asking nothing in return. Which is more than I could say for any humans I know.
Maybe it’s because they can relate to me on a deeper level? I may have the ability to talk, but we are both unable to make people understand what we are trying to say.
Seeing as they’re the only things that understand me, why wouldn’t I also empathize with them?
Any INFJs out there relate?