The idea of sharing a room terrified me as a child. Even now, the thought of it makes me shudder and I have vowed to make sure my children have their own space like I did. I realize, of course, that some people would say they don’t need space of their own, however INFJs certainly do.
As a rule, INFJs tend to hate the limelight, which, for us, is everywhere. We love people, but their attention tires us and every minute increases our need to be alone. Life for an INFJ is a play; we feel constantly on stage because we work so hard to hide our inner worlds; just as an actor hides their true self too. Often, the only time when our inner world can come out is when no one else is around.
Naturally, we don’t long to be constantly alone, but some time off the stage of life is a must. This is the time when we feel free to think and work on our inner worlds, and personal space is vital for us to do this. Growing up I saw my room as something of a sanctuary; where everything was where I wanted it. The same is true now, as my home is the one place where I can allow my inner world to spill out onto the walls and surfaces of this one place. Usually, we limit eccentric displays of our identity to what we write or create, yet at home – in our personal space – we allow ourselves to flow out and create a connection between inner and outer worlds.
Perhaps this is why I, like some other INFJs, find other people’s spaces so interesting, because they can say so much about the person. In my home, between the books on the walls are pieces of art that I find meaningful or relaxing. I also admire nature and natural textures, so there are occasional plants and bamboo furnishings, and my desk and piano must take center stage. You could say that my home represents me, then, because it is filled with items that relate to my inner world. Yet I have not really done this deliberately, but rather allowed an organic expression to grow within my walls because of a need to feel spiritually at home.
Finally, the role that morals and personal value systems play in the lives of INFJs is really important here. We are immensely protective of our value systems and this can cause me to be on edge when I feel that I’m in a situation where my values may be challenged. INFJs are not pugnacious; we dislike conflict; yet if our values are transgressed we feel no alternative but to defend them. In this type of situation, we will normally excel at the debate with a boiling passion and verbal articulacy that may come across as uncharacteristic to others. However, it must be remembered that the conflict will still be distressing to us and may even lead to a damaged relationship with the other party. This is important for the discussion of personal space because we benefit from knowing that our values are not under threat when we retire to be alone. Having some time and somewhere to be on our own gives us a ‘safe space’ and is therefore vital for our internal harmony.