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. According to the test, people with this personality type tend to have the ability to create harmony out of conflict, although they may avoid conflict themselves. Some other INFP strengths include that they often work hard to ensure that everyone feels heard and validated, and they may be idealistic, caring, and compassionate. They tend to have a lot of creativity and unconventional perspectives, and very often strive to live a purpose-filled life.
The INFP type is typically open-minded in their beliefs, and often wants to make the world a better place. As introverts, they enjoy a significant amount of alone time to reflect and recharge, and they may be close with the handful of people they care most about. If you are interested in the Myers-Briggs personality test and have the INFP result, you may benefit from learning about the common traits associated with this type.
Eight Traits Associated With The INFP Personality Type
Exploring INFP traits may give you a deeper understanding of what makes INFPs unique from other personality types. Whether you're an INFP or know one, a few associations often made with this personality are listed below.
They May Value "The Simple Things"
INFPS are said to feel most 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. They may prefer natural settings to fancy, maximalist, or expensive ones with many possessions. They often value what makes them feel optimistic over what others think is best.
An INFP may have a functional, uncluttered home that feels peaceful where they can spend time in creative pursuits and contemplation. If the house itself doesn't appear quirky on the outside, the possessions inside might be. However, they may not have a ton of belongings.
They May Be Present For Those They Love
The profoundly 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 may offer a shoulder to cry on. While this skill can be admirable, it can also drain the energy of INFP types, resulting 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 said to be 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 them in return. They may also benefit from learning to give themselves permission to care for themselves and say "no" to those who overstep their boundaries (especially friends, family, and other loved ones).
INFPs Are Often Artists
INFPs may express themselves best through music, art, or writing; they're often considered naturally creative people, and INFP careers are often found in the arts. Many famous authors, musicians, and artists are INFPs. Based on known personality traits like insight, and a tendency to be imaginative and introspective, experts hypothesize that people like William Shakespear, JRR Tolkien, and Fred Rogers were INFPs. Some fictional characters who could be classified as INFP include Peter Parker, Will Byers, and Frodo Baggins.
The INFP's rich imagination and freethinking quirkiness often manifest in emotionally powerful writing and beautiful works of art. However, INFPs are often perfectionists who can sometimes prevent themselves from completing their book, musical composition, or sculpture. Their search for the perfect word, musical note, or brush stroke to represent their feelings and ideas can inhibit self-expression and result in the INFP abandoning their creative project if they deem it "not good enough."
They Might Shy Away From Confrontation
The INFP personality type is not considered naturally assertive, and INFPs may spend a significant amount of time conversing with themselves in their mind about what they "should have" said in a moment of conflict.
Their dislike of conflict and their need for harmony can result in the INFP walking away from confrontation and 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 they can learn to help them in their personal growth and emotional well-being.
They Are Lifelong Learners
They Have A Rich Inner World
As a child, schoolteachers may have told the INFP that they should focus more and daydream less. This instruction can be challenging for the INFP to follow, as they are dreamers, and they may dream big. While other students may focus on the words on the chalkboard, the INFP may think about their meaning, as well as the ideas and possibilities to be found in the universe. INFPs may dream about world peace and a healthy planet. However, INFP types might not only dream about significant issues but also often think about how to solve them, and their creative approach to solutions may be considered innovative and unconventional.
They May Struggle With Criticism
As INFPs are often considered non-judgmental and empathetic, they may expect the same in return. For this reason, they might struggle with criticism from others. They might also 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.
They May Experience Deep Melancholy
With their introverted nature, INFPs may experience periods of deep melancholy. These bouts of melancholy might be caused by negative criticism, the feeling that they’ve done something wrong, failure of a project, or for no reason. However, no matter the cause, the INFP individual may be prone to feel low or hopeless about the future. Although they can be optimistic, they are often quite aware of and sensitive to the world's ailments and those they love.
Counseling For INFPs
If you are an INFP and would like support in understanding yourself or navigating the more complex personality traits of this type, such as setting boundaries with others or handling criticism, you may consider connecting with a therapist.
For introverted personality types who prefer quiet time alone over socializing with others, utilizing online therapy through a platform like BetterHelp can be beneficial. Internet-based therapy eliminates some social interactions and can be done from the comfort of your home. Through an online therapy platform, you may not have to devote time to commuting to your appointment or worry about encountering other people during the process if you're feeling socially drained. In addition, you can choose to partake in video, phone, or messaging sessions with your therapist, depending on your needs.
Online therapy has been proven as effective as face-to-face therapy for various mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression. There may be a link between introversion and depression, so if you believe that you may be experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition or any other concern, a therapist can be a valuable resource.
As idealistic, creative, and caring individuals, INFPs are often on a quest to find meaning in their lives and to make the world a better place. An INFP may be passionate in their desire to help people, and while they may avoid confrontation themselves, they can often be effective mediators. Sometimes these positive traits may be the very reason that an INFP can feel overwhelmed and need some help managing their emotions. If you are an INFP and would like support in understanding and navigating your personality, you may consider connecting with a therapist for further guidance into your personality type.
What are the characteristics of INFP?
Following the standard type labeling conventions of the Meyers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI), each of the four letters of the INFP label corresponds to a personality type characteristic. The letters in “INFP” stand for introverted, intuitive, feeling, and perceiving. INFPs typically prefer introverted thinking over extraverted thinking and tend to gain energy working alone. They will likely focus on “big picture” concepts and tend not to be detail-oriented.
They are more likely to focus on personal feelings and values rather than hard facts when making decisions. As introverted-intuitors, INFPs are also more likely to consider patterns and possibilities when making decisions, in contrast to their introverted-sensing counterparts, who prefer to rely on sensory information. Most INFPs prefer spontaneity and flexibility over rigid structure and planning.
INFPs are likely to be empathetic and authentic with those around them. They are typically nonjudgmental and are adept at examining viewpoints different from their own, but they adhere strongly to their own values. INFPs are often motivated to support others but tend to reject rigid, one-size-fits-all approaches. This represents the non-conforming traits of INFPs. Many prefer to be offbeat and may reject social norms in favor of being true to themselves and their own thoughts.
The INFP personality type is frequently referred to as the “healer” personality type because of an INFP’s desire to help others, demonstrate empathy, and find unconventional solutions to problems. INFPs have also been styled as “thoughtful idealists” and “mediators.”
What is the best trait INFP has?
The “best” INFP personality traits are highly dependent on the individual and their circumstances. INFPs likely agree on broad traits, but each person is unique, and their individual presentation of their personality will depend on their specific situation. Each INFP may see a particular trait that is “best” for them.
Below are some common strengths associated with the INFP personality type. Individual INFPs may consider one or more of these traits as the “best” trait they have:
- Idealism. INFPs care for others and strive to make a positive impact. They believe human beings can achieve their highest potential and are often ready to provide encouragement and support to help them achieve it.
- Integrity. INFPs care deeply about their values and adhere to them strongly. They are typically deep thinkers who work tirelessly to align their values with their actions.
- Compromise. INFPs are likely to be empathetic and idealistic. Their empathy may be their dominant function. This often leads them to seek compromise, promote social harmony, and resolve conflict. INFPs believe strongly in the power of cooperation and fairness among individuals.
- Dedication. INFPs are typically driven to incorporate their ideals into the outside world. They are passionate and committed to their values and often attempt to mold their surrounding environment to promote positivity and growth.
What is the weakness of an INFP?
Although INFP personalities are associated with substantial strengths, like empathy, a sense of duty to others, and a commitment to positivity, they may also have drawbacks. Many strengths are double-edged swords. In some circumstances, they are beneficial. In others, they may be a hindrance. Below are a few common weaknesses associated with the INFP personality type:
- Unrealistic expectations. While idealism can be an enormous strength in some circumstances, it can often be a roadblock when confronted with undesired realities. INFPs are usually highly committed to positivity, but that commitment may result in rejecting negativity or unpleasant facts. An INFP’s dedication to positive thoughts can be a significant strength but may sometimes result in toxic positivity.
- Difficulty focusing and planning. The INFP personality type usually favors flexibility and spontaneity, and many INFPs are content to move quickly between tasks or topics. This may make it difficult to hone in on one task or idea to bring it to fruition. It may be challenging for an INFP to focus on a singular task, especially if it is undesirable. For example, INFP parents may struggle with the mundane, repetitive tasks of parenting.
- Emotionally vulnerable. INFPs are deeply empathetic and can often easily internalize and understand the emotions of others. However, an INFP’s dedication to empathy can make them overly sensitive to other people’s negativity if proper boundaries are not established. They may also struggle to prioritize their own feelings over others.
- People-pleasing tendencies. INFPs genuinely want to help others but may struggle to maintain healthy boundaries. This makes them vulnerable to the needs of others, and an INFP may become distressed if they cannot make those around them happy. It is likely that an important part of maintaining happiness as an INFP is learning how to set appropriate boundaries and avoiding those who are emotionally draining.
Why is INFP so quiet?
INFPs tend to be deep thinkers who like to observe and consider their circumstances, which may result in a person who is quieter and more contemplative than other personality types. However, no scientific evidence suggests that quietness is a core feature of an INFP personality. They tend to be more introverted than extroverted, meaning they may not be as outgoing as other personality types.
Despite this, INFPs are strong empathizers who enjoy demonstrating compassion and positivity. They may enthusiastically offer their opinion if they think it will help and will likely collaborate with others to achieve an altruistic goal. While working within their values, INFPs are likely talkative and engaged with those around them, not necessarily quiet.
Is INFP a strong personality?
Like all personality types, INFPs have many strengths represented by their personality. INFPs are empathetic and compassionate people. It is possible that their greatest strength can be found in their positivity. INFPs are likely to believe in others and may be able to provide others with a significant amount of strength through emotional and material support.
Can INFP read minds?
Perhaps one day, advancements in neurotechnology will allow for mind-reading or other activities that rest within the realm of science fiction to become reality. Until then, mind reading remains impossible, no matter what personality type a person has.
However, INFPs usually display cognitive functions that are highly intuitive, empathetic, and contemplative. It may be possible that an INFP could produce the illusion of reading minds simply by listening attentively, filling in gaps where appropriate, and inferring logical conclusions. INFPs and similar personality types may demonstrate a quick understanding of what a person is thinking because they can take an outside perspective and approach the person non-judgmentally.
Which type likes INFP the most?
In romantic relationships, INFPs are often selective and don’t usually date many people rapidly. They are likely to value long-term partnerships over short-term flings. INFPs can take a while to open up, but they are empathetic, dedicated, and loyal once they let their walls down. Their intense ability to empathize usually means they are in tune with their partner’s feelings and will often jump at the opportunity to support their partner.
INFPs likely attract similar personalities in terms of positivity, empathy, and dedication to contemplative thought. ENFJs may be one of the most compatible personality types because they are similarly empathetic but are likely able to be more assertive and direct than INFPs.
What type attracts INFP?
INFPs are likely attracted to those who share their commitment to empathy, positivity, and deep thinking, as opposed to their opposite personality type. ENFPs are a logical choice, as they tend to be a more outgoing version of INFPs while sharing similar values. It is possible that the feeling and perceiving domains are especially important to INFPs in personal relationships. They usually closely guard their personal values and are unlikely to be receptive to someone who disregards others or approaches others negatively.
Why is being INFP so difficult?
Although INFPs are known for being empathetic and positive, there are some traits of the personality type that may make parts of life challenging. One of the most notable concerns is self-advocacy and assertiveness. INFPs may struggle to assert their opinions and can sometimes be frustrated by more outgoing individuals who talk over them or present their ideas more substantially.
INFPs may also struggle to deal with the actions of others that are negligent or harmful, even if those actions were unintentional. INFPs can also be overwhelmed by the discrepancy between their idealistic worldview and the facts of reality. In addition, difficulty planning and adhering to structure may make daily tasks stressful for some INFPs.
What motivates an INFP?
INFPs are often motivated by their desire to help others succeed. INFPs are typically idealistic and strive to help those around them achieve the best possible version of themselves. They are firmly committed to positivity and are likely motivated to bring positivity and a growth mindset to others. INFPs are problem-solvers who are quick to notice potential solutions. They may be motivated by their drive to help people overcome difficult problems through empathetic support.
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