I am not like you. Seriously. I am not like about 99% of you. You see, I am both an INFJ and an HSP. About 1-2% of the world’s population are INFJs and about 15-20% are HSPs. While many INFJs are HSPs, not all of them are, so that means about 1% of us are both.
In public, I feel constantly bombarded by environmental and human stimuli. A post over at truity.com explains that HSPs “can easily feel overstimulated and overwhelmed by sights, sounds, smells, crowds, bright lights and even the emotions of people around them. They feel stressed when they have too much to do at once…[they] can experience anxiety, depression, and shyness because of the lack of acceptance of their trait…[they] can easily feel criticised, unappreciated and unaccepted.”
The best visual analogy of the above that I have found is the old Atari game, Asteroids. I am an asteroid in a world replete with sensory overload which is continuously headed towards me. Rarely does anything miss me. Everything that hits me sends me reeling for cover, or rather, recovery.
Because I am an introvert, my energy and strength come from within, not from the external world. That means that I require quiet, alone time to recharge from lengthy social situations that deplete my energy and spirit.
Because of the aforementioned characteristics, I am frequently misunderstood by the other 99%. When my energy is low, my need for solitude is often misconstrued as aloofness or unfriendliness, when in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. INFJ-HSPs nearly always put the needs of others before their own, regardless of how we may appear to the outside world. This conflict within us to be there for others while trying to take care of ourselves is emotionally and mentally draining.
If I “check out” of the real world, it is because I am required go within myself to regroup. I must re-energize so I can continue to be there for you.
To best understand the combination INFJ-HSP, please know that we are so compassionate and empathetic that we take on your problems and stress along with our own. Therefore, we are often overloaded with emotion. We seek authentic friendships and relationships, meaningful and purposeful work (not just busy work), and creative expression such as writing and teaching to cope with the world around us. Last, but certainly not least, we require peace and quiet to rejuvenate and be our best selves.