I am a cold person.

…At least, that is what I have been told – and believe it or not, it was one of my best friends who first accused me of sometimes being “cold” and “distant”.

Though this happened many months ago, I would be lying if I said that it doesn’t still sting a little. Because for the most part, I was just horrifyingly shocked by this admission when it happened. So much so that I can remember not knowing what to say. In my state of unease I even made a joke along the line of “what did you expect with this resting bitch face of mine?”. But on the inside, I was having a hard time staying composed. In fact, I was on the verge of tears. Here’s one thing people need to get into their heads: INFJs don’t have thick skin, we just have thick costumes. And that night, it was definitely penetrated – painfully so – leaving a wound that is still healing to this very day.

I went home that night feeling devastated and above all, guilty. I felt sad that my friend felt that way… it made me feel like I was a terrible friend and in general, just a horrible person. Weeks later I was still beating myself up over this. I questioned who I was and for the first time in ages – and for someone who has always had a strong sense of self, doubting myself felt terrifying. It was only after I conferred with a fellow INFJ friend who reminded me (or rather drilled into me) that I wasn’t a bad person – more likely simply misunderstood – that the gut-wrenching guilt within me started to ease.

“Solitude matters, and for some people, it’s the air they breathe” 

Susan Cain

Here’s the thing about being an introvert in general: we need time to recharge our social battery… alone. This has always been a concept that my non-introverted friends have had trouble understanding fully. They will say they do but in reality they have no idea of the extent of this…of how necessary this truly is to an introvert. Alone time to introverts is like being under water for a long time and finally being able to come up and breathe again.

What differentiates INFJ personality types from other introverts is the fact that we tend to let our battery go down so low, it is in danger of dying. We can go weeks with a low battery but at some point, we will start to feel burnt out. And yet we still keep going, drawing that battery out until it is down to zero because we have a nagging sense of obligation that we find hard to turn off. The problem with this is that the lower we let that percentage drop, the longer we will need to recuperate.

Yet the real world doesn’t let us isolate ourselves for weeks at a time – we have commitments, we have school, we have uni, we have our jobs. So we shut everyone else out, as a way to cope. In fact, it is the only way we can cope. We temporarily withdraw from our relationships because we are exhausted and need time to take care of ourselves. We might seem “cold” or distant – but we are simply protecting ourselves from a world that has become too much for us to deal with at the moment. And that, the shutting of an emotional door, is often referred to as the INFJ door slam; Though I wouldn’t necessarily call it a slam – at least not, when our boundaries are being respected.

However, some people – my friend included – have a hard time granting that space sometimes. This isn’t necessarily their fault, they just fail to grasp how serious and needed it truly is. Sadly, that misunderstanding can lead to their response being highly irritating for the INFJ type: they start to become clingy, making INFJs feel as though they are slowly suffocating. This is when the shutting of a door becomes a slam. If we need to force you out in order to recharge then we will. It’s nothing personal, it’s just how we function as human beings.

So, in a way, my friend was right: I can be a cold person. As an INFJ, I can seem cold, distant and withdrawn when my social battery is dying down. It’s nothing personal, simply something I have to go through in order to feel like myself again. It may be the only time I put my needs before those of others and I am done trying to justify that or feeling guilty for taking care of myself. Never apologise for who you are, how you function or for putting your needs first.

“If you have the ability to love, love yourself first.”

CHARLES BUKOWSKI

What personality type are you? What is something about you that people often misunderstand?

18 thoughts on “I am a cold person.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience, it’s oddly reassuring to hear that others have dealt with this before. I think there is a general “image” that shy / introverted / quiet people can sometimes project – like we are cold, metallic or even arrogant at times. It’s a shame that extroversion is seen as the “ideal” in our society and everything else is somehow seen as…less?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. As a fellow INFJ I absolutely love this, thank you so much for writing it. “INFJs don’t have thick skin, we just have thick costumes.” WOW yes. “I wasn’t a bad person – more likely simply misunderstood” yes !! “Yet the real world doesn’t let us isolate ourselves for weeks at a time – we have commitments, we have school, we have uni, we have our jobs. So we shut everyone else out, as a way to cope.” I literally could quote this whole entire thing because yes, yes and yes. Oh my God.

    “We temporarily withdraw from our relationships because we are exhausted and need time to take care of ourselves. We might seem “cold” or distant – but we are simply protecting ourselves from a world that has become too much for us to deal with at the moment.” !!! Tattoo this on my forehead. I literally wish I could copy and paste this to everybody that’s ever misunderstood my personality (aka, the majority of people). It’s not their fault they don’t understand, but it’s also not my fault either. For the longest time and still to this day I feel guilty and like I’m a bad person because of being misunderstood due to my personality type. I often ask people “Am I a bad person?” or “Do you think I’m a bad person?” and the answer is always no, but even so…it doesn’t ease things for me because then I wonder…then why do I feel like I am? Simply misunderstood is a great way of putting it and like I said, as a fellow INFJ – thank you .xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “I feel guilty and like I’m a bad person” – I have yet to meet a fellow INFJ / introvert in general who doesn’t feel this at least 50% of the time. I think the ‘problem’ is that a lot of us are bad communicators when it comes to our own needs and feelings. Because we feel guilty for expressing that we even have any and we do not want to come across as ‘complicated’ or, as you put it, a bad person.

      So we just keep it in and contribute to people misunderstanding us even more. But sometimes people need to be told directly, especially when their personality type may be drastically different to ours and they cannot relate to our needs – if we do not let them know that we NEED this time, how are they supposed to know / respect that?

      Ah, if only things were more simple for us INFJs and we didn’t have to feel the need to justify who we are every 5 seconds hahaha. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts as always, Chloe! Though being misunderstood certainly isn’t pleasant, it is comforting to know that there are others out there who have felt the exact same way xx

      Liked by 1 person

    2. After reading this blog I was totally nodding and screaming some one friggin gets me then I came to the comment section 🥰… I am also an INFJ and all we got is a thick costume… It’s just a farcade deep down we are really emotional beingss… I don’t have a lot of friends and the few I do all think I’m a cold hearted distant creature😑

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I do the same all the time! Often I’ll be watching / reading something, feeling amazed at how much I can relate to it, only to find out later that they’re also an INFJ and that’s why it all makes so much sense!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. First of all: hi🤗 So happy to hear from another INFJ! I feel like everyone always says we’re such a rare personality type but if the Internet is good for one thing, then it’s making us feel less alone with our struggles – because on a global scale, there are so many like-minded people out there.

        I couldn’t agree with you more, deep down we’re probably some of the most emotional beings out there. I have also had difficulties with some friends, mainly those whose personality type is drastically different to mine (thus this post), so I really understand what that must feel like to you. It’s scary opening up as an INFJ, let alone showing your vulnerabilities…it’s definitely a process. If I’ve learnt anything, it’s that you have to open up to at least one other person…for your own sake. Otherwise we will feel isolated and out-of-touch. It takes a lot of courage, but I believe every INFJ has the strength to do so! After all, our personality type is strong. Yes we may have some hang-ups, yes we can come across as cold but we are strong because we are self-sufficient in most aspects of our lives. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t need a support system too.

        Wishing you well, I hope that by opening up, your friends will get to know you better and will eventually see beyond that facade.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Every time I read one of your blog posts, I find myself relating to every word. I honestly believe that we could be the same person sometimes! Thank you for putting in words what I never could. What do you find are the best ways to recharge because honestly this is something I struggle with so much? xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for this wonderful comment, Hannah! Hahaha TELL ME ABOUT IT, I sometimes believe the exact same! What an interesting question! Hmm.. let me see…

      I do most of my journalling when I am recharging. There’s something about getting everything onto paper and out of your system that I find extremely alleviating. It definitely helps me with calming down and not overthinking so much, as this is something I really struggle with – especially in social situations. So it’s kind of refreshing to simply…be (without questioning everything every 10 seconds).

      Other than that, I really like to dedicate that time to whatever I feel like doing – sometimes I will read a lot and get lost in worlds and stories that pull me away from everything that is happening in the real world. I also love painting; I wouldn’t say that I am any good but I enjoy it nevertheless and it is honestly like therapy for me. Recently, I have also been getting into baking. Sometimes I will also make myself a mini spa night with a nice hot bath, some candles, some good music and a face mask! And then of course there is the typical “doing nothing” aka curling up and binging something on Netflix hahaha.

      It really depends! I think the most important thing is that you are able to let go for a while and relax while taking care of yourself. To me, it’s really all about feeling comfortable and at home. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This post was like therapy, and honestly couldn’t have been seen by my dumbass eyes at a better time.
    I’m INFJ too, and something very similar happened to me, where my ex boyfriend and my roommate (who’s also a really close friend of mine) told me that I’m cold, and harsh on people because of that perceived aloofness and indifference. And it took me ages to get over it, and I still haven’t. Because while I’ve got all this seemingly tough exterior I am a pile of extra sensitive jelly on the inside.

    Sometimes I lack the energy to even get out of bed and it used to scare me but I realized it was just much needed alone time after days of dealing with people and work and people and emotions and people all over again. That’s the one downside of college. There’s just so many people to deal with.

    Ah well, no matter what it’s important that we remember that everyone’s different and has different needs. And as long as we have this concept ingrained into our jelly selves, we’ll be alright.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Should have known that you are a fellow INFJ!! And tell me about it, that sensitive jelly combined with the “I am tough and I don’t care” front can sometimes be a pain in the ass. Sometimes I feel like we would be spared a lot of hurt feelings if we would simply let some of that sensitive jelly seep through right from the start. But alas, being vulnerable is scary. It scares the shit out of me actually. So… tough shell exterior it is.

      I find what you wrote about college being somewhat draining to be SO true. College / uni / work is ‘the worst’ when it comes to people. There is no escaping, no digging a hole and hiding in it until you feel ready to interact again. You are just…confronted. All. the. time. And it is EXHAUSTING.

      “it’s important that we remember that everyone’s different and has different needs” – 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼. Indeed. I think especially with extroversion being the societal norm/ideal, people often forget that not everyone is like that and, moreover, that it is OKAY – good, even – not to be like that. Our diversity is what makes us interesting / beautiful. We just sometimes like to forget that little fact 😉

      Like

  4. I’ve gotten this too. I’ve been told I’m cold and unloving and the reason for this was because I genuinely didn’t care. I was just being neutral. I love with intensity when I’m given reason to. I believe in reciprocation and mutual respect. It’s the basis for everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “…when I’m given reason to. I believe in reciprocation and mutual respect” – So well said, I think this is key & I operate the same way. It may sound rude to some but there is no way I am investing my energy into a person who doesn’t do the same in return. Relationships are a two-way-street and just as you said, if reciprocation and mutual respect aren’t there then it ain’t happening sis 😂

      Liked by 1 person

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