INFJ-A vs. INFJ-T: Personality Traits and Differences

by Lisa Sparrow

Out of all personality types, INFJs are the most difficult to come across because of their rarity.

Nonetheless, if you have ever met at least two INFJs, you might’ve noticed that oddly enough, they seem somewhat different.

Well, chances are you’ve met INFJs of two different subtypes: INFJ-A and INFJ-T.

Not exactly sure what that means? Let’s find out!

In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about the INFJ-A and INFJ-T subtypes, including:

  • INFJ-A vs. INFJ-T Identities: What’s the Difference?
  • 4 Key INFJ-A (Assertive Advocate) Personality Traits
  • 4 Key INFJ-T (Turbulent Advocate) Personality Traits
  • What Makes INFJ-A and INFJ-T Different?

And more!

INFJ-A vs. INFJ-T Identities: What’s the Difference?

To understand the difference between INFJ-A and INFJ-T subtypes, we first need to know what the letters ‘A’ and ‘T’ stand for.

In short, each of the 16 personality types, including INFJ, has two subtypes: assertive and turbulent, which are also known as personality type identities. These identities are abbreviated as A for assertive and T for turbulent.

In the case of INFJs, your identity defines the level of confidence you have in your abilities, your predisposition to stress, and how you handle certain situations in your personal and professional life.

For example, assertive personality types are generally more confident, whereas turbulent personality types are prone to self-doubt. Because of this, INFJ-A and INFJ-T people can seem very different, even though they have the same personality type.

However, your identity doesn’t affect your cognitive functions. This means that whether you’re an INFJ-A or INFJ-T, you will have the same INFJ function stack:

In other words, assertive and turbulent INFJs interact with the world and make decisions using the same cognitive functions. The identity simply gives a different ‘flavor’ to your personality. For this reason, no matter how different INFJ-A and INFJ-T personalities may seem, they still have more in common than, let’s say, INFJs and INFPs.

Now, you might also be wondering whether there are more INFJ-A or INFJ-T personalities in the world.

While there is no way to accurately check it, according to Google Trends, people generally search for ‘INFJ-T’ around three times more often than for ‘INFJ-A’:

Based on these results, it’s likely that the turbulent is a more prevalent subtype than the assertive among INFJs. And, given that INFJ is regarded as the rarest personality type of all, INFJ-A people may have the rarest personality.

4 Key INFJ-A (Assertive Advocate) Personality Traits

Now that you have a better understanding of the INFJ-A and INFJ-T subtypes, let’s see how their personality traits differ.

Here are some of the key personality traits that INFJ-A (or assertive Advocate/Counselor) personalities share:

  • Self-assured. INFJ-A personalities are confident in themselves and their abilities. Unlike INFJ-Ts, INFJ-A people rarely question themselves and their choices. For this reason, they don’t take into consideration other people’s opinions of them.
  • Easy-going. Although both INFJ-A and INFJ-T personalities are sensitive to stress, INFJ-A personalities are typically more laid-back, relaxed, and easy-going. They are confident in their ability to solve problems. Because of this, INFJ-As take life as it comes, without worrying about worst-case scenarios.
  • Goal-oriented. Both INFJ-A and INFJ-T personalities are high-achievers, but INFJ-As are generally more motivated to reach their goals than INFJ-Ts. That’s because INFJ-A personalities have a lot of inner drive and don’t seek other people’s approval as much as INFJ-T personalities do.
  • Positive. Generally, INFJ-A personalities are very positive. They live in the present moment, don’t dwell on the past, and rarely, if ever, have regrets. Unlike turbulent INFJs, INFJ-A people see their mistakes as an opportunity to grow and learn.

4 Key INFJ-T (Turbulent Advocate) Personality Traits

As mentioned above, the turbulent identity is likely more popular among INFJs than assertive.

As a result, INFJ-T personalities, also known as turbulent Advocates or Counselors, have more pronounced personality traits commonly linked to INFJs, such as hypersensitivity.

So, here are the most defining INFJ-A personality traits:

  • Self-critical. Unlike INFJ-A personalities, INFJ-Ts have lower self-esteem. They tend to be regretful and often judge themselves for their mistakes. Generally speaking, INFJ-Ts set unrealistically high standards for themselves, which often leads them to disappointment and self-doubt.
  • Perfectionistic. No matter the task at hand, both INFJ-A and INFJ-T personalities tend to give their all. However, turbulent INFJs often doubt their own abilities, which makes them perfectionistic. Essentially, INFJ-Ts have a fear of disappointing people, which pushes them to ensure they’re doing things perfectly.
  • Highly sensitive. Although both INFJ-A and INFJ-T identities are sensitive, INFJ-T people tend to score higher on the sensitivity scale. They can easily get emotionally drained, burned out, and typically care more about other people’s opinions than assertive INFJs.
  • Detail-oriented. As a general rule, INFJs are big-picture thinkers. However, INFJ-Ts typically have an eye for detail, which often stems from their perfectionism. On top of that, they’re extremely perceptive and can easily spot changes in people’s moods and facial expressions.

What Makes INFJ-A and INFJ-T Different?

Since INFJ-A and INFJ-T people have contrasting personality traits, it’s only natural that they act differently.

In particular, the differences between INFJ-A and INFJ-T people unfold in stressful situations, relationships, and at work.

#1. INFJ-A vs. INFJ-T Under Stress

Perhaps the most striking difference between INFJ-A and INFJ-T identities is how they react to stress.

Although both INFJ-A and INFJ-T subtypes are prone to stress and burnout, INFJ-A personalities generally handle stress better than INFJ-Ts.

In stressful situations, INFJ-A personalities remain level-headed. Before anything else, they think of ways to eliminate or at least minimize stress. If it’s not possible, INFJ-A people are likely to use healthy coping techniques, such as meditation or breathing exercises, to calm their minds.

INFJ-T personalities, on the other hand, are very sensitive to stress. Severe stress can be paralyzing to an INFJ-T, causing them to self-isolate or emotionally shut down.

That said, small to moderate amounts of stress actually motivate INFJ-T personalities and help them achieve their goals. Because of this, INFJ-T personalities tend to be more productive under tight deadlines.

The takeaway is that INFJ-As take a more proactive approach toward dealing with stress than INFJ-T personalities.

#2. INFJ-A vs. INFJ-T in Relationships

In relationships, both INFJ-A and INFJ-T personalities are very loyal and caring. Not to mention, both need time to open up to other people.

Despite their similarities, however, you can see a clear difference between INFJ-A and INFJ-T identities in how they approach and deal with interpersonal relationships.

INFJ-T personalities tend to be much more idealistic. Their idea of love is similar to that portrayed in movies and books.

INFJ-T people have a deep desire to meet their soulmate, with whom they hope to have an instant mind, body, heart, and soul connection. That said, their quest for love often leads to disappointment, as INFJ-T personalities tend to have unrealistic expectations.

INFJ-A personalities, on the other hand, are more realistic. Although they value deep connections, they understand that it isn’t something you simply come across. Rather, solid relationships take time to build.

That said, one of the major differences in relationships between INFJ-A and INFJ-T identities is how they handle breakups.

INFJ-T personalities don’t handle breakups well, to say the least. To them, each breakup feels like the end of the world. It’s crushing, devastating, and very hard to recover from. Even years later, the memory of breaking up can make an INFJ-T upset.

INFJ-A personalities, however, have a much easier time coping with breakups. They understand that their grief is temporary, and it’s only a matter of time until they meet someone more compatible.

It should also be noted that these differences between INFJ-A and INFJ-T identities can be seen outside of romantic relationships too.

For example, INFJ-T personalities tend to have higher expectations from their friendships than INFJ-As. Moreover, INFJ-A people typically find it easier to break off friendships that no longer serve them, whereas INFJ-Ts might have a harder time letting go.

#3. INFJ-A vs. INFJ-T in the Workplace

Another area where you can see a clear difference between INFJ-A and INFJ-T identities is at work.

Essentially, INFJ-As show more confidence than INFJ-Ts. INFJ-As don’t mind taking on leadership positions and often excel in guiding others. They are great problem-solvers and rarely get affected by stressful working conditions.

INFJ-T personalities, meanwhile, are rather focused on preventing problems than solving them. They also make great additions to any team, as they are very cooperative and enjoy working towards a common goal.

Unlike INFJ-A, INFJ-T personalities often avoid leadership positions and prefer to stay behind the scenes.

That said, both INFJ-A and INFJ-T people tend to be very supportive, helpful, and inspiring colleagues, as they both prioritize creating and maintaining harmony in the workplace.

Key Takeaways

And that’s everything you need to know about the personality traits and differences between INFJ-A and INFJ-T subtypes.

Before you go, let’s quickly run over the key points mentioned in this article:

  • INFJ-T and INFJ-A are two different subtypes of the INFJ personality type, defined by their assertive and turbulent identities.
  • Assertive INFJ personalities tend to be more self-confident, relaxed, and goal-oriented than turbulent INFJs.
  • Compared to INFJ-A, INFJ-T people are more perfectionistic, sensitive, and prone to judge themselves.
  • The main differences between INFJ-A and INFJ-T personality types can be seen under stress, at work, and in relationships, where turbulent INFJs are typically more sensitive and passive than assertive INFJs.

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