I am an INFP surrounded by INFJs and ENFPs everywhere but it seems no matter how hard I try to get them to understand or see anything from my point of view, they reject it and treat me like an imbecile. I don't know of any INFPs that I can befriend or what to do at all most of the time considering even the people that are supposed to be most similar to me don't understand. I think taking that Myers-Briggs test for that first time really made me feel understood for the first time since the description for an INFP fits me almost too perfectly. I guess my question here is are INFJs and ENFPs really as similar to us as they say? Will I ever be understood? 


Reg says...

Hello, fellow INFP dreamer. I'm going to address your 2nd question, "Will I ever be understood?"

If you're an INFP like me, you've had the desire for an ultimate best friend who would understand you completely. If you're like me, you've at times kept people at a distance out of fear they wouldn't "get" you. Allow me to share - in my humble 30 years experience, I've had one best friend (he called me a "big sister" very early in our friendship) whom I thought completely understood me, only to learn he was manipulating other friends around me; followed by a partner whom I thought could practically read my mind, only to have him abuse my emotions and bring my self-esteem to the lowest its ever been. I've learned through heartbreak that even if someone seems to completely understand your inner world and the way that you see the outer world, they won't always have the best of intentions.

As INFPs, our emotions practically dominate our lives. And in today's world, emotion-driven people can be hard to understand - we INFPs hardly understand ourselves at times! So it's especially important for us to be patient and gentle with ourselves, foremost. There are times we may hold back to protect our emotions while feeling out the intentions of others, and times when we can sense someone's intentions are pure, then we can gradually bring our walls down. I know how hard it can be and how isolating it can feel when you can't seem to get empathy from others. The best advice I have which was given to me, is to be patient and gentle with yourself. Like how I'm discovering patience with myself in learning how to let people in again. If you're like me in search of authentic friendships, you'll take the time in getting to know others, and the ones who share your interests will take the time in getting to know you as well.

Besides taking time to build relationships (including the ongoing one with yourself), another thing to remember is that each one is different. So even if there isn't one person who understands you, with each new friend you make, that's one more person that has a different insight to your personality. Like having one friend to talk with about (insert your favorite TV show/band/obscure reference), one friend to talk with about your work or home life, and another to talk with about philosophy/politics/the universe. And as much as INFPs hate small talk, sometimes it's just nice to have someone to talk to, period.

Well, I hope some of that has helped you in some way.

Col (not verified) says...

Hi Reg,

I just want to say I've been going through a lot recently with trying to discover myself and figure out why I feel so alone when on the outside it seems like I have so many people in my life. I read this response and literally broke down in tears to know I'm not the only one, and that enough makes me feel so much better.

I'm sorry this is a little random I just really resonated with your advice and I want to thank you.

White Swallow (not verified) says...

"Besides taking time to build relationships (including the ongoing one with yourself), another thing to remember is that each one is different. So even if there isn't one person who understands you, with each new friend you make, that's one more person that has a different insight to your personality. Like having one friend to talk with about (insert your favorite TV show/band/obscure reference), one friend to talk with about your work or home life, and another to talk with about philosophy/politics/the universe. And as much as INFPs hate small talk, sometimes it's just nice to have someone to talk to, period."

I subscribe it Reg! Very well said! I'm an ENFP, dating an INFP. Sometimes it's very difficult because we don't understand each other very well, because our definition of "understanding" is to understand it all! But it doesn't have to be like that! We were not made to have one single friend (only Jesus, I believe :) ), but we are blessed with an amount surrounding of people, each one with different personalities and understandings that we can connect, one thing at the time.

Of course me and my INFP boyfriend have a lot in common, but we do not understand all of each other... It is a process of discovering... And yes, I have to admit that sometimes I look at him as if he was an imbecil, but most of the times, when I get the courage to confront him, I realize that that is not the case; in other times, I realize that he needs a lot more experience to understand the world... But I feel very happy when he can find people that share his sense of humor, for example (that I don't share), or his delight for silly things (like mimicking wrestling characters); I fell very happy, because I cannot give that kind of comprehension to him, but some of our friends can...
It is amazing that in our surroundings we always will have someone who understands some part of us that no one else understands...
I fell very blessed for all this diversity, because now I've abandoned that idealistic view of the world that a friend has to be perfect, or a partner has to be perfect...! We will not find perfection in men, just in God; and when we think we've found it in men, we are wrong for sure! These examples that Reg talked about are awful examples, but it happens all the time at small scales, like, believing that we found the prince or the princess charming and then discovering that he/she is just a peasant like we are ;) 

I hope you both the best!

I really would be very happy to be your friend (of both of you)… Maybe one day we mete… However, I am not perfect… No one is…

I liked your post very much Reg! I’m so sorry that you passed for all of that…!

God bless you both!

Big hug from an ENFP fellow!**


White Swallow (not verified) says...

My friends, I am forced to say, in remission of the truth, that my boyfriend discovered today that he is an ISFP. 
He discovered this because of the functions (see the chart, and compare the INFP with the ISFP: <https://cezarspace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/mbti-functions-map.png>).

However, I believe the core of my previous message remains.

I'm sorry for any inconvenience caused by this misunderstanding.


An ENFP friend.

Kiana says...

Interestingly enough INFJs are considered to be the rarest bunch as a type, many MBTI researcher, professionals and sites claim this to be. So, im quite skeptical when you've said "...surrounded by INFJs". Please do not be fooled, there are many people who are mistyped or do not fully understand how MBTI works. Many people are fooled by the understanding that MBTI focuses on the behaviours of the 16 types but in actuality, it's centred upon the cognitive functions. Basically, it focuses on the process of how people percieve informations and make decisions. Now because of this mislead, people easily relate themselves to a type that is considered to be the rarest. This is obvisouly because people are attracted to unique things and loves to feel special of course. Now there's nothing wrong with that, it's just sad and irratating to see people aren't aware of this and do not know their true preference. 

Regardless, to answer your first question - all types act differently. It is actually worth noting though that everyone uses all functions however we use some more than others. This is how we get the term "preference" in a type. The only similarity between ENFP, INFJ and INFP is the cognitive functions of 'NF', they all share the same dominant and auxiliary functions. 'N' stands for inuition and 'F' stand for feeler. I won't go into detail of the 3 types have in their function stack and how they work, you can research that for yourself. 

Good luck. 

White Swallow (not verified) says...

Here are the functions charts for all personalities: <https://cezarspace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/mbti-functions-map.png>


Xavier Guillaume (not verified) says...

That is very true! INFJ types are quite rare making up less than one percent of the population. I think it has to do with the J aspect. INFJ are introverted, intuitive, and feeling, which makes them empathic and soft spoken, but the J part makes them decisive and strong willed. It makes an interesting and rare combination.

Mike C (not verified) says...

Being a J does not make you strong willed by definition. The Myers Briggs profiles were made to celebrate all personality types, such that there are behavioural aspects to being a J or a P that can both be associated with strength of will in different scenarios. A J is someone who prefers to have a decision made and so is decisive, and in situations where they have to plan ahead they then appear to be strong willed having made a decision. However if you throw a J into the deep end of a problem having had no chance for planning then you will see them in their weakest scenario; spontaneity and critical thinking in the moment and so they are more likely to come across as weak willed.

Compare that to a typical P and you will see that in terms of planning, Ps prefer to keep their options open and so don't appear to have the same strength of will that can be associated with forward planning and making long term decisions, however throw that P into a tricky scenario and watch their strength of will shine through when it comes to making the right decision under pressure when it matters in the moment.

Will is nothing to do with Myers Briggs personality types, will is a personal quality that every person must develop. I could compare every letter set with the exact same argument - the key is where the will shows through for each letter rather than how much each letter has. I just realised I INFP'd the hell out of this so I'll stop there.. :P 

Getting (not verified) says...

Met the most extraordinary man at work. Methinks he's INTJ. He has since switched jobs and I can't seem to forget him. I am an ENFP female, lates 40's. I miss that beautiful mind...

IAMTHELAB (not verified) says...

Interestingly, I am an INFJ and have been mentoring INFPs for many years. We tend to have an intense and lasting connection, one that baffles onlookers. 

 As was mentioned, the rairity  of the INFJ type means that you may not know as many as your surroundings suggest. Even if they are, remember that anyone, no matter the type, can have issues and insecurities regarding friendship.

I’ve found an incredible kinship with INFPs. Their depth and incredibly robust inner world is a favorite charactistic. Many INFJs have similar inner worlds. When an INFP allows you in, I consider it a privilege. An INFJ/INFP friendship, while rare due to the amount of each type in the population, can be incredibly cohesive and fulfilling. Keep looking for what you need and, with friendship always remember: be the type of friend someone else needs. You’re too valuable to settle for less. 

Stephen Kunich (not verified) says...

Interesting.  Not sure why you believe these are INFP's surrounding you. INFP's aren't likely to treat you like an "imbecile," and are true gatherers of thought, wanting all voices at the table heard.  INFJ's on the other hand, though still wanting all voices heard, hold hard and fast to what their intuition says is correct, even without proof they are right. Mostly, their gut leads them to truth.  Certainly they can be wrong but I find when INFJ's are in tune to their nature, their gut is almost spooky in it's ability to be correct.  I do find the ENFJ type as one that bulldozes others and rolls their eyes, is dismissive of any thoughts contrary to their own and never admit they are wrong, along with their need to make others feel stupid for their disagreement. 

White Swallow (not verified) says...

"I do find the ENFJ type as one that bulldozes others and rolls their eyes, is dismissive of any thoughts contrary to their own and never admit they are wrong, along with their need to make others feel stupid for their disagreement. "
My friend, that is an ESFJ or more likely an ESTJ; not an ENFJ... ENFJ are kind are rewarding persons... They do not bulldoze anything...

I think you got the person you know wrong...

Liza Vaca (not verified) says...

Hello, INFJ Female here.  My cousin is an INFP and I attract ENFPs.  I feel that NFs make each other nervous though we adore and are open to each other 90% of the time.  I think as an INFJ I am way too harsh on myself and at times, I can be somewhat harsh to those closest to me out of noticing a pattern of sorts that might be hurting my beloved INFPs or ENFPs.  I've been told on countless occasions during my 39 years on this earth that I don't sugar coat stuff or that sometimes my direct feedback is symbolically comparable to going to a dentist and yanking a tooth without a "numbing" agent. In my first 20 years or so; I was completely silent and had a smile on my face; which led someone to believe that I wasn’t really listening or thinking or even caring.  The flipside of this communicative style is that I'm as free with loving and uplifting feedback.  INFPs and ENFPs (from my interactions) either stay positive in tone or hide away if they are feeling judgmental towards me or the proper word in my mind is "condemning" towards me.  All in all, when we all sit back and reflect how we speak to each other or decide to give each other space; they tend to understand that I'm highly protective of them and it comes from a profound and meaningful place.  If I didn't care, I wouldn't invest energy to speak up for them, to just witness themselves.  Just know that from my own internal experience, I am hard on myself most of the time and I know that for me I have to focus on not feeling like an imbecile; it's beautifully awkward to be an NF, in general....and I think we deep down know that we can laugh about it after realizing that in the grand scheme of things it was really our ego that was bruised.  Sometimes we care about feedback or reactions from a certain person because we want to be seen in the best light but even then; I like to receive feedback that may not be so "light" so I have something to improve on, reflect on or at least consider the source and the sincere intention of the INFP or ENFP.  https://www.quietrev.com/portraits/liza-vaca/

Bia (not verified) says...

I am also an INFP and two of my best friends are an INFJ and an ENFP. We get along greatly and being with them make me feel very understood. Of course sometimes they do things that hurt me - but it is usually because of some lack of communication or because they were going through something bad. Otherwise we love to share our thoughts and to just be around each other.

I think in your case maybe it could be more about the character of the people than their type? Regardless, if someone doesn't take your opinions seriously or are not remotely interested in trying to understand then just let them go. It's hard but keep striving to find people who really resonate with you - they are out there

melo (not verified) says...

I am an infp and I have also had bad experiences with enfp and infj (add to that entp). I hope its okay if i share the nitty gritty details? For reference. I loathe what I've found are typical enfp and entp traditions of disagreeing with you halfway through your statement. Reminding you to let them finish while they're interupting. Proceeding to use thier bias(perspective) as evidential fact after contraindicting you. And then walking away so self satisfied it never dawns on them they've left everything in ruins. Among other malfunctions this is the one i finally get sick of. Vowing to tell them im angry, remind them why and never to speak to them again. Which i do. Works fine with enfp (altho they will never understand how they possibly could've ever done anything wrong since they have genuine intentions. again bias of perspective eludes them). This however does not fly for me with entp. And i just dodge them out til they eventually get nothing from our interactions. Now infj...As far as i know the females irk me. I dont happen to have any infj friends, male or female. From what i gather at the end of the day whats behind their mystery and seemingly intelligent front is shallow self serving emotionally conflicted fluff. They're like dirty discarded candy. And they crave similar influence. Leaving their sticky traces everywhere they go seems to be the lifes mission. 
Now do i think this is those mbti profiles at all times in all cases no. But i think it is perhaps my point of view, my bias or my experience. Or my luck so far.
I decided to respond to this because i found it a very interesting coincide I too have had bad experiences with enfp and infj. Athough it says we should be besties / soul friends. So i wanted to support you and say, "You are not alone". But i also wanted to help you out and say ISFP, INTP, INTJ, ESFJ, ISTJ i have had great luck with!!!! And some success with ENTJ.
Sorry my response is so cold but it irks me that websites list the potential friend types based on what? Shallow crude theory? And then sensitive people like infps feel even more questioning of ourselves. What the heck. Why do they even include those stupid lists of 'compatibility". I think its a ridiculous stretch of what? Astrological commercial realty!? So yeah i was brutally honest and told the worst. It is only a personal account and nothing more. It is not factual about the types nor does it reflect or include everyone. And it certainly doesnt make me right, or better. 
Sincerely, Best of Luck to Everyone

Xavier Guillaume (not verified) says...

According to socionics ENFP and INFP* are mirror relations:

"These are relations of mutual correction. Mirror partners have similar interests and ideas, but a slightly different understanding of the same problems. Each partner can see only half of one problem. Therefore the partners always find what the other partner is thinking interesting. Usually partners quickly realise that they are very like-minded.

The area of confidence of one partner is always the area of creativity for the other partner. What one partner considers solid and final appears incomplete and changeable for the other partner. This difference may often puzzle the partners especially when they fulfil their mutual plans. It seems for them as if the other partner simply misunderstood the main concept. Therefore partners attempt to correct each other's understanding but usually fail, because each partner acts from their confident side. For the same reason, Mirror partners can be involved in really hot disputes and can even come to blows in the name of their opinion.

However, Mirror partners are often very good friends. When they work together on the same project, their mutual correction and adjustment becomes a constructive criticism that is usually accepted as useful. The main discomfort in these relations is caused by the difference in Judgement and Perception between the partners. Mirror partners generally agree about setting near future goals, but disagree about global aims. Mirror relations usually lack warm atmosphere between partners. This situation normally changes in presence of a third person who is Dual to one partner and an Activity partner to the other."

According to socionics INFP* and INFJ* are quasi-identical relations:

"These are relations of major misunderstanding. Quasi-Identical partners can interact with each other in a more or less peaceful manner if both partners are Thinking types. If they are both Feeling types however, they are likely to have an argumentative relationship. Also, as in the other relations, personal attraction can be very crucial to the peacefulness in their relationship. An absence of personal attraction may cause unnecessary internal tension resulting in conflict between partners. However these arguments do not often last long. After both partners have released their internal tension, the Perceiving partner is usually the first to show the initiative in reconciliation.

A positive aspect of these relations is that Quasi-Identical partners do not underline your weak points and therefore are not viewed as dangerous by each other. Neither do they see each other as equal. Each partner sees the other as less capable than themselves, hence less talented. However, Quasi-Identicals mistakenly believe that their partner is achieving more than they are. This is perceived by both partners as injustice and may hinder the ambitions of both.

In these relations partners always have difficulty understanding each other in full. Quasi-Identical partners always need to convert each other's information in such a way that it corresponds with their own understanding. This conversion requires much energy and does not bring the desired satisfaction. Books written by your Quasi-Identical are impossible to read. The creations of your Quasi-Identical look monstrous. Conversations with your Quasi-Identical, although not heavy, do not bring any satisfaction either. One partner may think that the other partner complicates simple things and simplifies the important points, trying to deliberately confuse and mislead them. Both partners are convinced that whatever their partner was trying to say, could be explained in a different and more understandable way.

Quasi-Identicals normally have no difficulties in finding topics for conversation or discussion. When it comes to solving problems together, Quasi-Identical partners begin to understand that they are both thinking in very different ways. Soon Quasi-Identicals may start regretting the time that they have spent together, believing that it was just wasted time. Quasi-identical relations are very fragile and normally break without regret as there is usually nothing to resist their disunion."

*In socionics the P and the J are switched for introverted types. This is because introverted P types in MBTI always have a judging function (Feeling or Thinking) as their primary function, and introverted J types in MBTI always have a perceiving function (Sensing or Intuition) as their primary function.

Halo Adore (not verified) says...

Sometimes I would search for random answers to why things are the way they are, no one knows everything but I'm very curious and mysterious person...never was the type to have a crowd of friends maybe associates but I preferred one or two who were considered family..over the years anyone I thght was a friend didnt even like me behind my back, what's the point of calling or texting or hanging out if you never liked me...idkwhy still, never did anything shady or scandelous to any of them like talking to their bfs or stepping on toes, ppl wud tell me things my "bestfrnds" would say and wouldn't believe it at 1st, saying they were jealous and that turned hate a lil but at that time they were doing a lil better than me in life so made no sense...I'm no angel but I do cherish things such a friendships so I didn't look for "Y" anymore when there just wasn't answers cause it drove my anxiety crazy..learned the hard way many times things aren't meant...today I rarely have friends atleast ones I'm truely close with and it hurts cause it's nice having a ear or being one, even going a place or two having a lil chill time out or at ones house, really want to go to Vegas but not alone though, can't name one person that will actually come through and enjoy that scenery with me...smh, help with some insight 😩

Atlas says...

Hello FeralDreamer. They treat you like an imbecile? Then I say it doesn't matter wich type they are. There is no benefit in having "friends" that put you down. If that is happening, perhaps they are not your friends. The fact that they are ENFPs and INFJs doesn't mean you will are similar, just means you are most likely interested in the same things and you have a similar experience about how to gather information and make decisions. But it doesn't mean you have the same views about life and the same values or tastes.
Now a clarification about the type differences: ENFP & INFP use the same functions, so it means ENFPs, just like you, make decisions based on their feelings. INFJs are not thinking about life in the same way. They feel like their intuitions are more private and important then the feelings (at least that is my experience with them). And they decide things according to how others would feel about it.. that is their priority (very different from the xNFPs).

Now there is one thing you may want to consider and perhaps pay attention when you are talking with these "friends". ENFPs and INFJs both have dominant PERCIEVING functions. Wich means they are naturally more concerned with understanting the "Why?" and the "How?" of things. This means the majority os the time that will be what they are thinking about when they are talking. But INFPs are more decisive because their dominant function is a JUDGING (introverted) function. Wich means INFPs are more naturally concerned with the "is this good or bad?" "how does this topic makes me feel?". So, I notice INFPs are more prone to talk about the impact the subject is having on their feelings and consequently they are more interesested in talking about the opinion they have on a given subject then on talking about the "Why?" of a subject.
Sometimes INFPs are misunderstood because people don't understand that they are usually judging how things impact them and otherson an intimate feeling level. It could be that your "friends" think you are talking about the "how?" when in reality you are more decisive then they are and you are more interested in sharing your evaluation about the topic.
Perhaps you want to make that clear if that is the case. Make clear when you are giving your evaluation of the situation in a "good or bad" point of view to clarify that you are not talking about the "why?".  Sometimes INFPs just what to share their feelings and people think they are talking about the things in themselfs.. make clear you are talking about how you feel about that.

If they don't respect you, get rid of them. I think what is more important in a friendship is to be accepted, respected and supported... more important then the functions the person uses.

Nuker89 says...

Fellow INFP here, INFPs have a magnetic personality to those who need us. Don't try too hard to understand people, because the majority of people will likely never understand us. Let your intuition do its work, it will end up working out, because life is bound to have its ups and downs. I learned to see through people into their emotions, and I learned to find those who needed help (way to go healer personality). Today, those people are my closest friends. So don't try too hard, because it happens naturally. Too completly answer the question, there is no such thing as being completly understood, it can't be possible. It may sound pessimistic, but it's the truth that I had to accept. There are personalities that are similar to ours, but INFPs are one of the most unique personalities due to our ability to convincingly wear a mask and mimic other personalities, making us very well-rounded.( I can act like an extrovert and give a presentation, and convincingly do it. It's an INFP gift). INFPs are surprisingly complex, way more than the average person. Striving for understanding is a noble cause, but it is one of those that is an INFP dream that rarely comes true. Don't give up, but be aware of reality. I had to accept hard truth, it isn't easy. Whatever happens, be who you are, and not what others want you to be.

dalunawolf (not verified) says...

Hello fellow INFP's. I have two (boy and girl) infj and one (male) enfp as best friends. The infjs and enfp in my circle don't really take me seriously except when i score higher on grades and beat them in chess multiple times (male infj and enfp). the only reason we play chess is because enfp loves it, so its fun for him to not take me seriously, then I kick his butt two times in a row in chess (he used to beat me everytime we played). the enfp is very outgoing and once in a while can be a bit of a mean person (he'll think only of it as messing around, but it hurts after awhile). I believe infps are just destined to be unerestimated until proven wrong.

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