The Plight of an INFJ Female

I think an explanation for the dearth of famous female INFJs might be found by looking to the work of Simone de Beauvoir.

She describes women as ‘the second sex’ who are oppressed not only by men, but by each other and even by themselves. She famously said that women should not be allowed the option of staying at home to take care of the family because too many would then choose to do so, her take being that it wasn’t *really* a voluntary choice, but a submission to the expectations of others.

From my experience I do believe that self-sacrifice is a problem area for INFJs. Their perceptiveness can end up doing them a disservice because it leverages their empathy and conscientiousness: Not only do they feel called upon to help alleviate others’ burdens and to meet their expectations, they actually pick up on psychic burdens and expectations that others aren’t voicing or perhaps even conscious of having! To a greater degree than any other type, INFJs seem to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. And even if there is no inherent difference between male and female INFJs in this area, other people might expect more womanly servitude from the women and more manly achievement from the men, causing a gender difference in behavior where there might be none in preference.

So maybe there are lots of would-be high-achieving INFJ women out there who are forgoing self-actualization for the sake of others, or to put a more positive spin on it (albeit one that Simone de Beauvoir would disagree with), who are choosing to actualize themselves through caring for others rather than e.g. writing a book?

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