How to Celebrate Your INFJ Friend's Birthday
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.