INFP (Mediator) Personalities: 10 Fun Facts

Updated August 2, 2022 by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Do you think that you may be an INFP Personality? Take the free Myers-Briggs personality test to find out.

INFPs are one of the rarest personality types, making up only about 2% of the total population. Also known as the "mediator" personality type, they're peacemakers who can extraordinarily create harmony out of conflict, although they tend to avoid conflict themselves. They work hard to ensure that everyone feels heard and validated. They're idealistic and are arguably among the most caring and compassionate of all the personality types: the INFP  type wants to make the world a better place, and often does!

Mental Health Concerns Can Impact You In Several Ways

Like all introverts, they need a significant amount of alone time to reflect and recharge, and they usually feel uncomfortable in large social gatherings; a few close friends and family are all that they need. Their purpose in life is to find meaning and truth, and they're extremely passionate about the causes they believe in, be it racial equality or environmental health.

Exploring INFP traits can give us a deeper understanding of what makes INFP's the unique people that they are. Whether you’re an INFP or you know one, keep reading to delve into what a few of those traits are.

#1. The INFP Personality Prefers the Simple Life

Fancy cars and expensively furnished mansions do not impress the INFP. They're much more comfortable in natural surroundings where they can connect to the universe and reflect on the meaning of life and how they can make the world a better place. This isn't to say that the INFP can live without material possessions; it's just that "stuff" has less significance for them than the causes that they're passionate about. The INFP is likely to have a functional, uncluttered home that is an oasis of peace where they can spend time in creative pursuits and contemplation. Speaking of homes, if the house itself doesn’t appear quirky, the possessions inside likely will be.

#2. INFPs are "Go-To" People

The deeply caring INFP attracts people who want to vent or unload their problems. The INFP is naturally adept at listening patiently and sympathetically to the worries of others, and offers a shoulder to cry on. As admirable as this is, it can also exhaust INFP types and result in them forgetting to care for themselves. INFPs need to set boundaries in relationships so that their empathy for others isn't at a high cost to their own emotional well-being.

This personality type is inclined to feel guilty if they don't respond to another person's needs, even if that person hasn't shown any particular care or affection for the INFP. The INFP needs to learn to give themselves permission to care for themselves and say "no" to those who overstep their boundaries or send them on an unjustified guilt trip. Many INFPs must learn to recognize that prioritizing themselves means that they are better able to help others, too.

#3. Artists and INFP Personalities

INFPs express themselves best through music, art, or writing; they're naturally creative people, and many famous authors, musicians, and artists are INFPs. The INFP's rich imagination and freethinking quirkiness often manifest in emotionally powerful writing and beautiful works of art. However, INFPs are also perfectionists who can sometimes prevent themselves from completing their book, musical composition, or sculpture. Their search for the perfect word, the perfect musical note, or the perfect brush stroke can result in the INFP abandoning their creative project as they deem it “not good enough,” and ultimately leave the world poorer for it.

#4. They Might Talk to Themselves

The INFP personality is not naturally assertive, and INFPs can spend a lot of time having an inward conversation with themselves about what they should have said when their work colleague said something hurtful to them or someone else, instead of confronting their colleague face-to-face. Their dislike of conflict and their need for harmony results in the INFP walking away from confrontation and then tossing and turning all night long with running commentary in their head about what might have been. While it's difficult for the sensitive INFP to recognize when they should be more assertive and engage in conflict, it's a skill that they can learn that will help them in their personal growth and emotional well-being.

#5. They are Lifelong Learners

The INFP is insatiably curious about the world and loves new experiences, be it a new culture, location, or hobby. INFPs will hop on a plane at a moment's notice if there's a possibility of an exciting destination. Though introverted, they are often quite adventurous – particularly, more assertive INFPs with a strong sense of identity.

No matter their age, INFPs will go back to school to learn new skills, join clubs that offer different insights, and attend lectures on anything at all. INFPs don't typically learn new things just for the sake of learning; they learn to somehow make the world a better place. The INFP's personal growth depends on experiencing new things, and every experience is seen as a stepping stone to helping others.

#6. The Inner World

School teachers likely told the INFP that they should focus more and daydream less. This instruction is almost impossible for the INFP to follow; they are dreamers, and they dream big. While other students focus on solving a math problem, the INFP thinks about the meaning of things and the many possibilities in the universe. INFPs dream about having world peace, the eradication of poverty, a healthy planet, and equality for all. But INFP types don't only dream about the big issues, they're continuously thinking about how to solve them, and their solutions are likely to be innovative and unconventional.

#7. Criticism

The INFP struggles with criticism; they are nonjudgmental and expect the same in return. They also tend to believe that it's up to them to provide harmony and make everybody around them happy, irrational as that may be, and it's a painful experience when they think that someone is unhappy with them. INFPs sometimes see criticism where none exists, and are inclined to think that someone who has an opinion different from theirs is being critical of them. People with this personality type may also have difficulty distinguishing between well-intentioned criticisms meant to help, and negative criticisms meant to be hurtful. All criticism is a knife through their hearts, particularly for younger INFPs and those on the more turbulent end of the spectrum. INFPs who don't learn how to deal with criticism tend to shut out information that they believe to be threatening; this can lead to their understanding of the world around them being incomplete and skewed. This can be devastating to the INFP type, whose very meaning in life depends on a deeper understanding of the universe.

#8. INFPs Moods and Moodiness

All introverted personality types tend to have periods of deep melancholy due to their intuitive natures, and the INFP is no exception. These bouts of melancholy can be triggered by negative criticism, the failure of a project, or nothing at all, but no matter what the cause, the INFP can be prone to feel as though the world is ending and that there is no hope of a better tomorrow. They are perhaps the most contradictory personality type – they’re eternal optimists, often erroneously viewed as naïve as they try to bring peace by expressing this optimism, but are quite aware of and sensitive to the ailments of the world. There's no quick fix to snap out of a melancholic mood, and sometimes all an INFP can do is ride it out and remind themselves that pain and sadness have created some of the world's most beautiful art, musical compositions, and books, and can be catalysts for growth.

Mental Health Concerns Can Impact You In Several Ways

#9. Fashion

INFPs are unique, individualistic, and non-conformist; it follows that their clothes will probably be quirky. Their clothes are often the casual, comfortable, bohemian style of the 1960's or grunge of the 1990’s, and they tend to like unusual patterns and styles. Others may find the INFP's dress sense is eccentric, but INFPs wear clothes and colors that mean something to them; they may wear black when they're melancholy, or yellow when they're feeling optimistic. The INFP may also adorn their clothes with ribbons and badges representing the causes they're passionate about: a green ribbon for the environment or a pink ribbon for breast cancer. INFPs don't bother with matching accessories and color coordination; they don't dress to impress others, they dress to please themselves.

#10. This Type As Parents

Many INFPs enjoy being parents, and parenthood often comes naturally to them. They see it as their job to pass their strong values on to their children, and they do it in a warm, loving, and gentle way. The INFP does not need to control others, and they're flexible and easy-going parents who may find it difficult to discipline their children, leaving it up to their partners to provide structure. INFPs appreciate their children as individuals and give them space and freedom to have their voice and place in the family. INFPs are extremely loving parents and fiercely loyal to their children; they will generallyside with their children unless they feel that their child is truly wrong. They are often a strong voice for their children, promoting individuality and independence.

In Conclusion

Idealists, creative perfectionists, and genuinely caring, the INFP is always on a quest to find meaning in their lives and to make the world a better place. Their mission is to help people, and while they avoid confrontation themselves, they're excellent mediators and good at solving other people's conflicts. INFPs may be chaotic and disorganized, and mundane tasks may go unattended, but the INFP always has the time to listen to a friend's problems or fight for a good cause. Their dreams, unique personalities, and occasional bouts of melancholy inspire them to create great beauty in the world, and we're all richer for it.

If you are an INFP and you'd like some professional help to change old destructive habits into new creative ones, or to better understand yourself, then contact one of our trained, certified therapists at BetterHelp to start your journey of personal growth toward dealing with criticism, conflict, and depression.

Online therapy is just as effective as face-to-face therapy. In fact, 70% of BetterHelp users struggling with depression experienced significant improvement in symptoms within 3 months of enrollment. Additionally, a study conducted by the universities of Leipzig and Zurich found that, among those with depression, at 3 months post-treatment, those who had utilized in-person therapy experienced a notable worsening of symptoms, while those who utilized online therapy had decreased symptoms that remained in-line with where they were during treatment.

Particularly for introverted personality types who are more prone to anxiety and depression, utilizing online therapy from a licensed mental health professional can be quite helpful as it eliminates some social pressures and can be done from the comfort of your own home. There is no need to devote time to commuting to your appointment, or worry about encountering other people during the process if you’re feeling mentally and socially drained. Continue reading to read reviews of some of BetterHelp’s therapists from people seeking help with depression and conflict resolution.

“Victor has been great. He’s helped me come up with ways that I can better communicate, given me outside perspective on things, and different approaches/solutions to my problems.”

“I have seen nearly 10 therapists and counselors in my lifetime. After years of feeling helpless from my depression and anxiety, Laura has helped me feel more confident and competent in only a month. I feel like I’m talking to a friend during our sessions, and I always leave with new strategies and tools to try to strengthen my mental health. I’m so glad that I started working with Laura - I truly feel better than ever (that’s quite the feat in 2020!) and I know that I can use the strategies I’ve learned to find my center of calm throughout my life. I absolutely would recommend Laura to anyone who is struggling with their mental health. I’m so lucky to have found her.”

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