The label of a counselor is a heavy one to carry. Just because INFJs are supposedly counselors, it doesn’t mean that we are counselors 24/7, or that we are on the job 24/7.
Unfortunately, that’s what people assume about us, and that means that we spend a lot of our time being counselors when we are just too exhausted for it or just not up for it for whatever reason. Or if we have learned how to say no, we spend a lot of our time saying it and running away from people.
I Love Taking Care of People, but It Can Be Exhausting Sometimes
Don’t get me wrong, I love taking care of people. Being an INFJ, nothing gives me more pleasure than sitting down with someone, listening to their problems, offering some advice, or a shoulder to cry upon, and then seeing them rejuvenated and happy walking off to their next destination. That is one of my greatest pleasures.
But, sometimes (a lot of times), I am just not in the mood for it. Or I’m too tired for it. Or I have already counseled some other people today and I need a break from it.
And the older I get, the more annoyed I get with people and their inconsequential problems, meaning that I am getting more and more cantankerous as I get older, and less and less counselor-like.
Especially since I have a YouTube channel that focuses on counseling the counselors, I speak to INFJs about how to become better INFJs, and I get dozens of emails every week from INFJs and non-INFJs asking me for help. This is in addition to the people who are asking me for help face-to-face.
Usually INFJs Take On the Counselor Role, If In The Right Space Of Mind
As an INFJ, I know that being a counselor to someone, and giving them advice of any kind, is a big responsibility to bear, and I don’t take that lightly. Neither does any other INFJ out there. We are counselors for a reason – because we truly deeply care and we want to make a difference in people’s lives.
We will end up counseling or helping people, in the direst of situations. Even if our own lives are completely falling apart, and we seriously need a shoulder to cry upon, if someone comes up to us crying and wanting help, we will put all of that aside and help you out.
That’s what we do. That’s how we are.
What Is Being In The Right Space Of Mind To Be A Counselor?
But we know that if we are just not in the right space of mind, and too tired for it, we might end up causing terrible damage to the person we are trying to ‘help’. And that’s something we as INFJs never want to do – we never want to make a bad situation worse.
We want to leave the world a better place after we leave, absolutely not the same, and definitely not worse.
Thus, if an INFJ says that they are unable to help you out at the moment, do not take it as a sign of their selfishness, and understand that despite the label of counselor, they are human beings first. And they need to take care of their own mental health and sanity as well.
Unfortunately, I have had this happen to me many times, where I have needed to take time off and away from taking care of other people and spend time in recuperation mode, and it has backfired upon me. I have been called names, like lazy, or selfish, or rude.
Or I have been told that I am a fraud or a fake. Or that I have changed, and I am not the same person anymore.
It is quite hurtful as an INFJ to hear these words because they pierce us right where it hurts most – we want to be helpful as INFJs, and when we are not, it really makes us feel like perhaps we are just a waste of space, and the world would be better off without us.
Treat Your INFJs With Care As Well – We Are Not Fragile, But We Are Still Human
There are two reasons I wanted to write this post. First of all, to inform non-INFJs that it’s not fair to label us as monsters when INFJs refuse to help you because they are helping themselves first.
And of course, secondly, because I want to speak to all of those INFJs out there, who are burning themselves out, taking care of other people, because they are too afraid to say no, and too afraid to be labeled as selfish or uncaring.
It is highly important for the non-INFJs in an INFJ’s life to ensure that they are taking care of themselves, and not overdoing it. It is quite easy for an INFJ to work so hard at being the saviors of the world, that they forget their own humanness.
INFJs are human, which means, they need proper rest, nutrition, and care, otherwise, they will fade away into burnout mode.
Take care of the INFJs around you – do not overburden them with your problems, and understand that they sometimes have a need to vent and share as well. Just because an INFJ comes across as highly independent and strong, doesn’t mean that they don’t have a fragile aspect to them as well.
No Is A Complete Sentence – A Lesson All INFJs Need To Learn
And if you are an INFJ, for God’s sake, please learn how to say the word ‘No.’ I’m serious about this one. It is one of the hardest lessons for an INFJ to learn. I know, because it took me about 30 years of existence on this planet to learn how to say ‘No’ without wanting to shrivel up and die.
It is highly important that we learn this basic thing about ourselves – We are not the saviors of this planet, and we are not the ones who are going to end up saving everyone around us. No one can save themselves, except themselves. We are just helping them along on the journey.
But if we end up overdoing it, and burning out, we are not going to do anyone any good, especially not ourselves.
It should be our topmost priority to take care of ourselves first. Take the time necessary to rest, heal, recuperate, rejuvenate, and perform the self-care necessary for you to feel like a proper, full human being.
You are not a human doing, but a human being. A counselor, second. Remember that, INFJs! Take care of yourself first. Whoever it is that needs you, can wait. They are not more important than your own mental sanity or health. No matter who they are, they are not more important than you.