The INFJs that I’ve talked to always seem to have a narcissist horror story to share. And while I know that narcissists don’t attack INFJs exclusively, it does seem that we are a favorite target.

This can even lead some INFJs who have experienced abuse from a narcissist to avoid social interaction altogether. That is not the answer, but you can learn social skills from my Social Survival Guide.

I’m no exception here, having spent an inordinate amount of time trying to “change” a narcissist.

So, in this week’s blog I’m going to cover a few things that led me to believe that, yes, INFJs are indeed narcissist magnets. 

The first reason actually makes common sense: the INFJ is looking for someone who “gets them”. 

You know it’s true. We really want to connect with someone, have a good conversation, and enjoy the presence of another like-minded person. However, we can’t find very many people with our interests and values. 

So, this desire to connect with someone like-minded is the set up, but how does it all come together?

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall

What is a narcissists first phase of “seduction”? It’s something called “love bombing”. This is basically a phase where the narcissist “mirrors” your interests and values in an attempt to dupe you into believing they are the perfect mate.

They shower you with love, cater to your interests, whatever it takes to get you under their thumb. *Note: The narcissistic relationship doesn’t have to be romantic – so a potential friend or acquaintance could do this as well, minus any romantic intentions.

Since us INFJs are looking for someone “like-minded” this mirroring can really mess with our heads. The INFJ, as we stated earlier, generally can’t find anyone who shares their values and interests. They crave this intensely and have been looking for it their whole lives. 

Then, all of a sudden, they find this person who shares their values and interests! It’s amazing! Almost a miracle!

Except it’s not. It’s a narcissist.

And what you are really doing is falling in love with your own values and interests, with your own self – mirrored back at you by the narcissist. 

We May Want It Too Much

One thing that I want to say here is that experienced INFJs will pick a narcissist out a mile away. They are skilled at it because they have likely dealt with narcissists in the past.

But young, immature, or unhealthy INFJs are at high risk. This is how I was duped. I was young and naive and had no clue about any of this stuff. 

But beyond all of that – sometimes we can want something so much that we look past obvious red flags. As INFJs we are awesome at reading people, but we do seem to give a lot passes to people who behave badly.

I believe that the “love bombing” stage can have such a profound impact on the INFJ that they can fall into this aspect of their personality even deeper than usual.

In other words, INFJs crave human understanding so much that the narcissist can get away with obvious signs of abuse and often the INFJ will look over it. They badly want the narcissist to be the person they thought they were, but they’re not.

And because a narcissist’ whole M.O. is that they are superior to everyone – it is very, very unlikely that they’ll change.

The Answer

The answer, as any experienced INFJ will tell you, is not to allow abusive behavior. 

If you think you may already be in a relationship with a narcissist here’s an easy way to tell. 

Set a few boundaries with them in regard to their misbehaviors. Tell the person about what is bothering you and see if they understand, and if they are willing to adapt, change, and work with you on the relationship.

If they refuse to make any changes and especially if they throw a fit, name call, or try to gaslight you – they are a narcissist and it’s time to consider getting out of that relationship. 

I know that sounds harsh, but professionals agree, you are just not going to change that person’s behavior, and the relationship is very likely going to get worse. 

Remember the old adage, “When a person tells you who they are, believe them.”

Now remember, it’s not your fault. It’s happened to me, and it’s happened to a lot of INFJs. 

If this article saves just one person from the horrors of narcissism, then it will be worth it.

Stay strong, and I’ll talk to you again soon!

nil desperandum