“The most I can do for my friend is simply be his friend.”
Advocates (INFJs) rarely settle for shallow, superficial friendships. When it comes to social fulfillment, they aren’t satisfied by casual interactions with colleagues or classmates. Advocate personalities crave authentic, meaningful friendships – friendships that allow them to share their dreams, bare their souls, and feel understood and accepted for who they are. And if that means having just one or two confidants rather than a wide circle of acquaintances, so be it.
While Advocates may seem quiet or reserved to the world at large, they absolutely light up around their close friends. Few things bring them more pleasure or delight than talking through their passions, interests, and beliefs with a kindred spirit. People with this personality type enjoy the pleasure of their own company, but Advocates still find it liberating to let their guard down and be completely and utterly themselves with a friend they know they can trust.
Searching for a Heart of Gold
Advocates are known for having great expectations – not just for themselves but also for their friendships. High on this list of expectations is authenticity. If Advocates have to be fake or tone themselves down to gain someone’s approval, then that person probably isn’t the best friend for them. And it’s hard for people with this personality type to respect someone who won’t be honest with them in return – let alone anyone who can’t be honest with themselves.
Another expectation that Advocates bring to their friendships is mutual support and growth. Having fun together is wonderful, but for these personalities, it isn’t quite enough. Advocates want to surround themselves with friends who inspire them to learn and expand and improve themselves. For them, the surest way for two friends to deepen their bond is by helping each other move forward on their respective life missions.
This is a tall order, and Advocates may feel that it’s difficult to meet the sort of friends they’re seeking. Because their personality type is so rare, Advocates may meet relatively few people who really remind them of themselves. As a result, they may worry that they need to settle for less-than-fulfilling friendships – or else accept being alone.
Loyalty and Authenticity
Fortunately, people with this personality type are more than capable of finding the types of friends they long to meet – they might just have to devote additional energy to it. Sometimes these friends may be hiding in plain sight, among acquaintances whom Advocates simply don’t know all that well. This personality type is known for having astute first impressions of other people, but even Advocates can miss the deeper potentials of the people they encounter on a daily basis. When they give these people a chance, Advocates may find that they share values and attitudes that make them compatible on a deeper level.
Once they do find genuine friendships, Advocates make loyal, caring companions. At times they may even be surprised by the fierceness of the loyalty and devotion they feel toward their friends. Few situations in life bring out Advocates’ bravery and commitment quite like the opportunity to stand up for a friend who needs them.
Ultimately, the only way to be counted among Advocates’ true friends is to be authentic, honest, and real. Over the years, Advocates may end up with just a few true friendships rather than a wide circle of casual acquaintances. But as long as those friendships are built on a richness of mutual understanding, Advocates wouldn’t have it any other way.