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8 Signs Of INFJ Empath Unhealed Trauma

For the INFJ personality type - and many other intuitive empaths for that matter - unhealed trauma always finds a way to resurface in order to be dealt with. The only thing is that sometimes INFJs just aren’t ready to deal with them, subconsciously burying them deeper beneath the surface in order to maintain mental and emotional harmony.

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1. Difficulty Focusing

The happy INFJ empath is either thinking or observing, however when unhealed trauma is in the picture, this powerful type isn’t able to effectively do either of those things.

Unhealed trauma is not only completely distracting, but it also has many negative effects on the INFJ’s natural function stack. In fact, grip stress and relying on shadow functions can be a direct result of past traumatic experiences.

Holding onto this unhealed trauma requires copious amounts of effort which can make it difficult to concentrate in everyday matters, leaving them feeling spacey and ungrounded. These are all intuitive cries for help to pay attention to and heal the buried psychological trauma, even if it’s much easier said than done.

2. Shutting People Out

INFJs aren’t opposed to the thought of hermit mode.. In fact, most INFJ empaths need a significant amount of time in a day to unwind in solitude. But it’s important to keep in mind that shutting people out, avoiding social situations and distancing from loved ones can all be signs of emotional wounds that have yet to be healed.

Depending on the severity and consistency in the thoughts of the traumatic experience it can lead to a spiral of internal emotional turmoil and uncontrollable emotions. And if the INFJ empath is completely consumed by the trauma it can feel extremely exhausting to even navigate through the bare minimum responsibilities of life.

Some INFJs with severe unhealed trauma can actually see this within themselves and are usually aware that they are quick to become triggered by outer circumstances. This pain can still radiate to the people they surround themselves with, resulting in them feeling the deep inner pain and frustration of the empathetic type, becoming the victims of the emotional rollercoaster that comes with unhealed trauma.

3. Lack of Self-Confidence

Everyone has their insecurities, even the most intuitive of the bunch. And although insecurities are a normal human tendency, when an INFJ experiences an unshakable lack of self confidence, it’s either burnout, unhealed trauma or a little or both.

For the INFJ personality type specifically, they are already naturally harder on themselves in comparison to other types, and past traumas only heighten this wilted sense of self-assurance. In fact, a deep sense of self uncertainty is most prominent in intuitive types that experienced trauma related to emotional abuse, neglect or abandonment.

Most often occurring in childhood and abusive relationships, any situation that led an INFJ empath down the path of questioning their self-worth at some point in their life can play a huge factor. In order to feel genuinely self-confident, you need to have a good idea of who you are inside and out. 

Unfortunately for the empathic INFJ who is so familiar with absorbing the emotions of others, there is a large part of them that feels like they don’t know who they truly are because they have gotten so familiar with using auto-pilot ingenuine reactions to life.

4. Fearing Success

It’s hard to believe someone can actually experience the fear of failure alongside the fear of success, but when it comes to the internal-thinking habits of the INFJ, it doesn't seem too far-fetched. Have you ever held back from achieving something, not for the reasons of fearing failure, but in fact for the fear of what will happen if you succeed?

For INFJ empaths with unhealed trauma, this fear of success goes with the same idea that they feel as if they don’t deserve anything good for themselves.  The other side of that mentality is the fear of losing things they already have, so they fear losing this success before they even get it, creating tremendous amounts of resistance.

INFJ empaths with unhealed emotional wounds also have a habit of covering up their trauma with the self-label of being humble while pretending to be uninterested in big successes.

However, this is all just a front to the unworthiness that they feel deep down inside. This can often sabotage any chances of even beginning the road to really stepping into their empathetic power because they are so familiar with running from positive change.

5. Fearing Failure

While fearing failure when starting a new endeavour is totally normal for almost any personality type, taking it to the point of talking yourself out of new experiences is a little different.

In fact, according to, the world’s largest e-counseling platform, avoiding failure at the cost of your own ambition is a sure sign of underlying unhealed trauma, usually resulting in missing out on opportunities, relationships, and careers because of this underlying fear to fail.

This fear of failure also stunts creativity, increases self-doubt and insecurity, and gives the self-impression that they cannot fend for themselves or make decisions on their own. Instead of asking for help, which is a no-go for the independent INFJ, they rather just skip out on the opportunity all together.

6. Resistance to Change

Resistance to change is a common personality trait and for an INFJ, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re dealing with unhealed trauma. However, when the idea of change, most specifically positive change, becomes debilitating to think about, they may have an issue.

Most intuitives with unhealed trauma often not only have a resistance to change, but are usually extremely skeptical if that change should be for the positive. It’s as if anytime something good comes into their lives, they feel a wave of guilt and shame, subconsciously avoiding feelings of celebration; all stemming from the idea that they don’t deserve good things.

While most INFJs are able to put on their auto-pilot happy reactions, deep down they feel panicked that this positive change may pull them out of their comfort zones of feeling not good enough. This can be especially difficult in romantic relationships and friendships, because the lack of acceptance in good things or kind gestures can make it nearly impossible to please or provide a foundation where they feel worthy and safe.

7. Trouble Asking for Help

INFJs are naturally independent, there’s no doubt about that. Yet, an INFJ who has trust in those around them know that accepting help can feel rewarding for the other person. They see that others have empathy as well, and asking for help will restore that belief time and time again.

However, for the INFJ empath that is bound down by unhealed trauma, asking for help isn’t all that easy. And we’re not even talking about emotional help or a heartfelt conversation, but even the simple things like asking a stranger for directions or asking a coworker for advice on a project.

Whether they don’t want to give anyone else credit for their hard work, or they don’t want to become vulnerable by admitting they can’t do it all, these could all be signs of unhealed empath trauma.

In fact, while the main reason for this type of distrust is the fear of being judged or discriminated against, another big factor is their doubt in other’s ability to understand them. Most INFJs with unhealed past trauma feel helpless, seeing themselves as an unsolvable case, mostly because they themselves can’t figure themselves out either.

8. The Need for Control

We hear it in psychology time and time again, the need for constant control often stems from the feeling of lack of control in life. For the INFJ empath in particular, whether trauma happened early in life or in recent years - a need for control can be from past feelings of vulnerability and helplessness. 

This leads the INFJ to put up a wall and take everything into their own hands in hopes of avoiding that feeling at all costs. And since they’re already prone to perfectionism and organization, they can feel like micromanaging everything will minimize the chances of things going wrong.

Not only does unhealed trauma cause the empathic INFJ to worry about what could happen if they don’t control the situation, but also what will happen if they do, and things go wrong.

Plus, it’s not only their own life that unhealed trauma can cause them to control, but also sometimes that of their loved ones. Over protecting and biasly suggesting alternatives to loved ones’ decisions may feel like a safety net, but it’s not fun for those being challenged on their choices.