Once a year, I feel quite frazzled at the thought of having to celebrate my birthday. Would anyone remember? Do I honestly want that many people to remember it's my birthday? How should I spend it? What would people think of the way that I choose to spend it?
I am your typical INFJ. If you are familiar with the Myers Briggs personality typologies, the INFJ individuals are one of the rarest types and are often misunderstood by others. We are introverted, sensitive, and deeply in tune with inner worlds that are often too complex for us to grasp ourselves.
Here's where I will share some of my thoughts regarding INFJs and their birthdays. If you have an INFJ friend, I hope this will help you to understand him or her better! It should give you a better idea of how to make his or her birthday special and enjoyable.
As an INFJ, it doesn't matter to me if everyone I know remembers my birthday or not, but I do want the people who are the most special to me remember. Now, the INFJ is not a social butterfly, and probably has a small network of friends that he/she holds dear and near. If you are special to an INFJ, your friend would have probably told you. If you are very special to your INFJ friend, your friend would probably remind you enough for you to know of your special status—and trust me, it is a great privilege, as INFJs are very selective about who they open up their deepest selves to.
If you are part of this person's wider friendship network and you forget about his or her birthday, you will be very quickly forgiven. In fact, the INFJ is probably relieved that she does not have to deal with a flood of birthday wishes or drama on his or her birthday.
Birthday wishes are always sweet and appreciated by INFJs. Although INFJs enjoy solitude, they are also people who know what it can be like to feel lonely, so if you think of them, drop them a surprise text message or email, and it will definitely cheer them up.
Birthday wishes that are the most cherished are those that do not merely state "Happy Birthday!' If you really want to connect with your INFJ friend, messages that tell them how much you appreciate them or admire them will encourage them most and bring them great joy. In fact, to an INFJ, an email with paragraph of sweet words is definitely more precious than a random gift. Personalization is something that INFJs treasure. If you can personalize without spending any excess money, your INFJ friend will love you for it.
That said, INFJs are also very aware of other people's love languages, and love others for who they are. If you buy are gift for your INFJ friend, because this is your way of expressing your love, your INFJ friend will not love you any less. But if your INFJ friend tells you to skip the gifts and just "write me a card" or "spend some time with me", take him or her serious, as she probably means what she says - particularly because INFJs are usually easy going and aren't known for making any demands.
Now, if you are wondering what to do for your friend, it is a good idea to ask him or her directly. There are some things, however, that INFJs in general will thank you for not doing-
INFJs do not like:
- Surprises: Don't do the jump-out-and-yell-surprise. INFJs tend to prefer peace and quiet. If you must have a cake to celebrate, don't sneak up on your INFJ, and try to bring the cake (or whatever surprise) out in a low-key manner. INFJs in generally might feel rather overwhelmed by being in the spotlight.
- Invasion of privacy: Don't sneak into their homes while they are out and decorate their walls and put up posters. INFJs might express appreciation, but in truth we would feel like our personal space or privacy has been invaded.
- Embarrassing situations: Don't dunk your INFJ friend into the pool without warning if at all, don't smash his or her face into the cake. And please don't take any embarrassing photos of him or her and worse still, put them up on Facebook.
One-on-One or Small Group Celebrations
Offer to take your friend out for lunch or dinner one day. If you usually gather as a group of friends, then your INFJ friend should be comfortable in such company. However, planning a surprise party where long-lost friends suddenly make an appearance might be a little to much stimulation for them and is a sure way of causing him or her to feel socially depleted.
INFJs don't have a huge capacity for being social. Unlike extroverts who are capable of flitting from one social gathering to another, if it likely that your INFJ friend might just prefer to spend his or her birthday with a few close friends, or just one person, or perhaps by himself or herself. Don't feel the need to do something for the INFJ's birthday ON the birthday itself, but offer to take him or her to lunch during the week leading up to her special day. If your INFJ would like to spend his or her day with you, you'd probably be told too or just ask in a non-obtrusive way.
This way, the INFJ feels like he or she has better control of his/her birthday, and can even look forward to that day. Having small gatherings with good conversations in the week(s) leading up to (or even after) the birthday makes the birthday feel special, and it does not make us INFJs feel like we've lost out on having fun with our friends (like the extroverts who can have 4 parties back-to-back). We can have our fun too, just that it's spaced out over a week or so.
Finally, don't stress about how to celebrate. Your friend will be thrilled with simple gifts such as a handwritten note, a good conversation, and your friendship. INFJs have a huge capacity to forgive people. If you get it wrong (and you sincerely got it wrong, bless your heart!), your INFJ friend is just going to forgive you and still love you all the same!
Are you an INFJ too? Do you have an INFJ friend? I would love to hear your thoughts about celebrating a birthday.
Meow on November 08, 2019:
Infj ... I love my birthday! And I want everyone to celebrate it! I'm a believer in the birthday month. It's really an excuse for me to spoil myself. I do aggree with the above writing... but with the counter balance of I love my birthday... And think we should all celebrate it.
Ann on May 10, 2018:
I often though "I've never had a surprise party ". I though I would like that since I am very good at planning surprise parties or activities.
I actually do not like surprises, I dislike them. I don't know if is because really I've never been surprised, in the account that I somehow always find out. The best gifts or small surprises I had have been like you described it. With a small group of friends doing something so simple like eating icecream in the back yard after a work day". I don't like expensive buque of flowers, for I often think " i would had rather had a pot so I can plant it and see it blooming longer". ALthou I'm a creature of habit i believe I like switching somethings a little bit or trying new things, some I like and stick with them, some I don't like so I disregard them, but somehow people see me for example eating something and they think that is my absolute favorite thing, so I'm often stuck with not very good presents, that I won't use or wear or eat because are not me. If thy ask I Gould tell them. Sometimes with my complicity I wonder why will they give that as if they don't know me. I wouldn't never hurt their feeling by thrilling then I don't like their present or their detail, so the. It is i who is stick and sad about that situation. I'm not ungrateful i just wish they will get me a bit more and or try to find out from ME what I like vs asking or guessing. But I guess that is how I am.
Leon on March 06, 2018:
Just sincere congratulations is in order... but I won’t tell it is my birthday. I expect you to know it & treat it as important as I would treat yours. It is a contradiction I know, but we expect sincerity as this is how we think and treat others.
akc24 on March 06, 2018:
I thought I was the only one who didn't like gifts!! I'm an INFJ and I hate birthdays; I'd prefer no one to remember than to try to make me feel "special." Thank you!!
Nikole on March 05, 2018:
I am a INFJ through and through. But one thing I would absolutely love to have, at least once, is a suprise party for my birthday.... but only if there aren’t to many people there. Or a suprise outing. I would love a birthday suprise and would be really suprised if I am actually suprised
Melanie on February 24, 2018:
I hate surprises or anything that startles me. I’m in the warm fuzzy category. A card, a call, a sincere gift would be it. If you feel like you must give a gift—don’t. There’s nothing worse than giving me a garage sale starter. If I say I want a toaster, I really want it. Don’t try to second guess me. I’m coming up on what my kids think is a “special” birthday. It’s just one more day and not worth fussing about. A quiet family dinner, a movie or by myself. Send me a text and I’ll know you’re thinking about me. I am anINFJ.
Becca on November 07, 2017:
I am an INFJ and I'd prefer if I celebrated my birthday with a small group of friends with pizza and really thoughtful gifts, movie night with the family and some cake. Now that's what I call the perfect birthday.
Lynn on October 19, 2017:
The absolute worst thing to me is insincerity. I'd rather have nothing at all than something given that was thrown together at the last minute.
Jeff on August 10, 2017:
INFJ Strategy: When the team were collecting everyone's birthday dates at work I expediently 'chose' the same date as the super-extrovert in the team. When the inevitable office party came around guess who was front and centre on the day. Not me!!
joey on July 14, 2017:
i like to be greeted but i dont remind people about my birthday. i also prefer celebrating in small groups. or rather with limited people only or alone. :D
Tara on July 19, 2016:
Very accurate assessment of the INFJ and birthdays. Here's my issue. I am in INFJ whose birthday falls on Christmas Day. Was this somebodies idea of sick joke?
Emyl on March 16, 2016:
I'm an INFJ, this is mostly accurate, but I prefer handling my own parties, that way I don't have to deal with all the insanity of others!
If it weren't for family forcing me, I'd probably spend every birthday alone!
Marina on December 14, 2015:
My boyfriend is INFJ, and I'm ENFP (best duo ever! =P ) and... it's absolutely true xD
Mara on June 06, 2015:
It's so absolutely true!
I am doing a voluntary service abroad and on my birthday, I didn't even tell anyone that I had birthday - No celebration. But I got plenty of nice messages of my close friends and that was enough for me!
Elizabeth Goh on May 10, 2015:
Thank you so so much for posting this. I always knew my best friend is an introvert and over the year I have been learning (still is!) how to love her practically. Everything you have written in this article is so precious to me! It helps so much in understanding my dear friend better. Thank you so much!
Erica on February 06, 2014:
Yes, completely accurate! !
JESSB on August 10, 2013:
100% accurate (INFJ)
Peter Messerschmidt from Port Townsend on February 02, 2013:
Awesome... and quite accurate!
I really never cared much whether people remembered my birthday at work (for example) and would mostly rather avoid the whole messy business of a bunch of people standing around "acting enthusiastic" but not really wanting to be there... while waiting for ME to fake enthusiasm at THEIR fake enthusiasm. ICK!
And PLEASE! No "surprise parties," ever. Period.
jennifer on October 04, 2012:
I am an infj . this isn't really true.
Charlotte B Plum (author) on April 30, 2012:
Thank you for taking the time to visit and to comment on this hub! I am glad you found it useful! I always appreciate your encouraging comments!
Dianna Mendez on April 30, 2012:
I believe my hubby is an INFJ -- he fits all the criteria you listed. It is good to know how to handle celebrations with INFJ's and what works well for them. Thanks for the post and I am keeping it as a handy reference.