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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.

Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator

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.

Except animals.

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?

Love ya’ll!

-MJ

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I'm an INFJ- so I'm a walking contradiction with ADD and a heart the size of Texas. I live my life by the Law of Attraction and I love helping other people find inner peace.

4 Comments

  • Sae Oh

    Never actually thought of it in this perspective. I agree! Always wondered why I felt this sad emotions towards dogs and other animals.

    • BarbedWireandLace

      My emotions go SO deep for animals. I can tell when my pets feel sad or worried. While it’s a good thing, I tend to really carry their emotions close to my heart and feel it so deeply. Glad I’m not the only one! 🙌

  • Melissa

    Yes, yes, yes and yessssssssssssssssss. Every single day. I want to buy a camper and drive around and untie dogs who are chained up when it’s too cold outside or too hot. I was visiting a friend a few years back and noticed a lab shivering in the cold in a next door backyard and literally stood there at her window waiting for the onwers to let it in. The company I was with thought I was bat shit crazy. My little teddy bear pup is my daughter. She’s 10 and also my BFF. Girl, I get it. Thank you for letting me know it’s not just me.

    • BarbedWireandLace

      I always tell Hunter that if we ever win the lottery, we’re gonna open a dog ranch. To just rescue dogs and let them live their lives out in ‘dog heaven’. Lots of space, big fluffy beds, visitors can come in and snuggle for free. UGH! Life long dream!!! I’m not going to lie. I am 100% guilty of stalking dogs that I think are abused. I’ll call the cops, animal control… I’ll confront the owners… I get REALLY into their quality of life. Sometimes I get too deep in it and it gets me into trouble!

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