Eight Common Traits Of The INFP Personality Type

Updated February 13, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Also known as the "mediator,” the INFP type is one of the Myers-Briggs personality types, with the letters standing for introversion, intuition, feeling, and perceiving. INFPs tend to be peacemakers who can create harmony out of conflict, although they tend to avoid conflict themselves. They often work hard to ensure that everyone feels heard and validated, and they tend to be idealistic, caring, and compassionate. The INFP type often wants to make the world a better place. As introverts, they need a significant amount of alone time to reflect and recharge, and they may be very close with the handful of people they care most about.

In this article, we’ll cover eight common traits for people with the INFP personality type.  

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Eight Common Traits Of INFPs

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

  1. They Value The Simple Things

INFPS often feel much more comfortable in natural surroundings where they can connect to nature and reflect on the meaning of life and how they can make the world a better place, rather than in fancy mansions with lots of expensive possessions. They tend to value these types of settings and the causes they care about more than fancy material things. The INFP is likely to have a functional, uncluttered home that feels peaceful where they can spend time in creative pursuits and contemplation. Often, if the house itself doesn’t appear quirky on the outside, the possessions inside likely will be.

  1. They Are There For Others

The deeply caring INFP often attracts people who want to vent or unload their problems. The INFP is often naturally adept at listening patiently and sympathetically to the worries of others, and they often offer a shoulder to cry on. While this can be admirable, it can also exhaust INFP types and result in them forgetting to care for themselves. INFPs may 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 may need 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.

  1. INFPs Are Often Artists

INFPs often 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.” 

  1. They Might Shy Away From Confrontation

The INFP personality is often not naturally assertive, and INFPs can spend a lot of time having an inward conversation with themselves about what they should have said in a moment of conflict, such as 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 can result in the INFP walking away from confrontation and then grappling with internal thoughts about what might have been. While it can be 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 can help them in their personal growth and emotional well-being.

  1. They Are Lifelong Learners

The INFP can be insatiably curious about the world and may really love new experiences, be it a new culture, location, or hobby. Though introverted, they are often quite adventurous—particularly for more assertive INFPs with a strong sense of identity. At any age, INFPs may return to school to learn new skills, join clubs that offer different insights, and attend lectures on anything. INFPs don't typically learn new things just for the sake of learning; they often learn to make somehow the world a better place. The INFP's personal growth often depends on experiencing new things; every experience is seen as a stepping stone to helping others.

  1. They Have A Rich Inner World

School teachers may have told the INFP that they should focus more and daydream less. This instruction can be difficult for the INFP to follow sometimes; they are dreamers, and they tend to dream big. While other students may focus on the words on the chalkboard, the INFP may think about the meaning of things and the many possibilities in the universe. INFPs may dream about world peace and a healthy planet. But INFP types don't only dream about the big issues, they are also often thinking about how to solve them, and their solutions are likely to be innovative and unconventional.

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  1. They May Struggle With Criticism

As INFPs tend to be nonjudgmental and very empathetic, they often expect the same in return, and so they can struggle with criticism. They also tend to believe that it's up to them to provide harmony and make everybody around them happy, and it can be a painful experience when they think that someone is unhappy with them. INFPs sometimes see criticism where none exists; they may be inclined to think that someone with an opinion different from theirs is 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. 

  1. They May Experience Deep Melancholy

With their introverted nature, INFPs may experience periods of deep melancholy. 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 very low and that there is no hope of a better tomorrow. In this way, they can experience this contradictory feeling: they tend to be very optimistic, but they are also often quite aware of and sensitive to the ailments of the world. This is the reason why INFJs tend to be similar with a phlegmatic and melancholic temperament.

INFPs And Therapy

If you are an INFP and you would like support in understanding yourself or navigating some of the more complicated pieces of this type, such as setting boundaries with others or handling criticism, you may consider connecting with an online therapist. 

For introverted personality types who may prefer quiet time alone over socializing with others, utilizing online therapy such as BetterHelp can be quite helpful as it eliminates some social interactions 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. 

In fact, online therapy has been shown to be just as effective as face-to-face therapy for a range of conditions, including anxiety and depression. There may be a link between introversion and depression, so in these cases, online therapy can be a great option. 

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 develop ways to 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.”


Idealistic, creative, and caring, INFPs are often on a quest to find meaning in their lives and to make the world a better place. An INFP is often driven to help people, and while they may avoid confrontation themselves, they can be excellent mediators. If you are an INFP and would like support in understanding and navigating your personality, you may consider connecting with an online therapist. 

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