INFP
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INFP in a Nutshell

INFPs are imaginative idealists, guided by their own core values and beliefs. To a Healer, possibilities are paramount; the realism of the moment is only of passing concern. They see potential for a better future, and pursue truth and meaning with their own individual flair.

INFPs are sensitive, caring, and compassionate, and are deeply concerned with the personal growth of themselves and others. Individualistic and nonjudgmental, INFPs believe that each person must find their own path. They enjoy spending time exploring their own ideas and values, and are gently encouraging to others to do the same. INFPs are creative and often artistic; they enjoy finding new outlets for self-expression.

What Makes the INFP Tick

INFPs value authenticity and want to be original and individual in what they do. They are often concerned with a search for meaning and truth within themselves. Following tradition holds little appeal for the INFP; they prefer to do their own exploration of values and ideas, and decide for themselves what seems right. INFPs are often offbeat and unconventional, but they feel no desire to conform. The INFP would rather be true to themselves than try to fit in with the crowd.

INFPs are accepting and nonjudgmental in their treatment of others, believing that each person must follow their own path. They are flexible and accommodating, and can often see many points of view. It is important to the INFP to support other people; however, the INFP may react strongly if they feel their own values are being violated. They especially hate being steamrolled by people who insist there is one right way to do things. INFPs want an open, supportive exchange of ideas.

Recognizing the INFP

INFPs may initially seem cool, as they reserve their most authentic thoughts and feelings for people they know well. They are reflective and often spiritual, and often interested in having meaningful conversations about values, ethics, people, and personal growth. Typically curious and open-minded, the Healer continually seeks a deeper understanding of themselves and of the people around them. They are passionate about their ideals, but private as well; few people understand the depth of the INFP’s commitment to their beliefs.

INFPs are sensitive and empathetic, and engage themselves in a lifelong quest for meaning and authenticity. The mundane aspects of life are of less interest to this type, and they are more excited by interesting ideas than by practical facts. They typically accept others without question, and may take special interest in offbeat points of view or alternative lifestyles. They often have a special affection for the arts, especially the avant garde, as they love experiencing new concepts in self-expression.

Famous INFPs

Famous INFPs include Princess Diana, Audrey Hepburn, Fred Rogers, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Tori Amos, Morrissey, Chloe Sevigny, William Shakespeare, Bill Watterson, A.A. Milne, Helen Keller, Carl Rogers, and Isabel Briggs Myers (creator of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator).

INFP in the Population

INFP is the ninth most common type in the population. They make up:

  • 4% of the general population
  • 5% of women
  • 4% of men

Popular Hobbies for the INFP

Popular hobbies for INFPs include poetry, creative writing, music, photography, theater, and visual art.

What the Experts Say

"INFPs excel in fields that deal with possibilities for people."

- Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing

"Healers care deeply—passionately—about a few special persons or a favorite cause, and their fervent aim is to bring peace to the world and wholeness to themselves and their loved ones."

- David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II

"Clearly INFPs are best when whatever they're doing serves their personal values."

- Otto Kroeger, Type Talk at Work

Facts About INFP

Interesting facts about the INFP:

  • On personality trait measures, score as Artistic, Reflective, Careless, Sensitive, Flexible, and Appreciative
  • Among least likely of all types to suffer heart disease
  • In men, among least likely to report chronic pain
  • Second highest of all types to report marital dissatisfaction
  • Among most likely to have suicidal thoughts in college
  • Tend to be more successful than the average in learning a foreign language
  • Among types most likely to be dissatisfied with their work
  • Personal values include Autonomy and Creativity
  • Overrepresented in occupations in counseling, writing, and the arts

Source: MBTI Manual

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Comments

Guest (not verified) says...

This is great! I am having so much fun! This is shedding so much light on how I see the world. Thanks!

The Healer (not verified) says...

Same!Love it!

Guest (not verified) says...

This analysis is pretty good.

Some additional thoughts:

The descriptions of both INTP and INFP are overly simplistic when they imply you are either only understand technical systems (INTP), or that you are an illogical idealist that bases your decisions on feelings (INFP). Some people in both groups are most concerned of finding meaning and are conceptual thinkers and deductive learners that think in absolute truths. Some INFPs objectively understand how different people can effectively, realistically work together peacefully and happily. Many of these people can also transfer between what system they are interested in or change what system they are interested in over time. Like math, everything works in relationships the difference and there are rules that cannot be broken.

At least some of the people in both groups are big picture thinker/system designers. Everything is a system (people systems, government systems, technological systems, the ecosystem, etc.)- the difference between some of the people grouped in these categories is the system they choose to focus on. ****the relationships between things and the relationships between these systems***

Guest (not verified) says...

YES! Thank you.

Guest (not verified) says...

It was hard to distinguish my own personality when it came to the "thinking" or "feeling" type. I'm very balanced in both of those categories so I totally see what you are saying here.

Guest (not verified) says...

I had the exact same problem!

Guest (not verified) says...

When someone speaks with you regarding inward things in themselves--pain is easiest to decipher, I think-- do you hear them and understand... or can you feel them?

Guest (not verified) says...

I can feel them - and often times words aren't required.

Russell_P (not verified) says...

If I understand correctly... you are describing the difference between empathy (understanding what they feel) and sympathy (feeling what they feel). I think we can choose to do either (or both) in a given situation. Does that sound right? I am learning about counselling, and am lead to believe that counsellors need to practice empathy over sympathy. Empathy will help a person feel understood (what they need) where sympathy is more about what the counsellor is feeling and needs to be carefully filtered trying to help some-one. Tell me if I am wrong.

INFPs (among other types) are attuned to feelings, in ourselves and others. Is sympathy vs empathy what more about how we choose to deal with these feelings? They are related, but not the same, and not mutually excusive... and are tools INFPs more naturally have at their disposal.

 

Leo7Seven says...

I agree ! I used to see my emotions as weakness but through learning and experience I have been able to balance feeling and thinking appropriately.  Understanding what people feels comes to me naturally and according to the degree of relationship. Also having gift of psycho-analysis; meaning i can psycho-analyse situations through ignoring some elements of an information given to me and inventing or adding another chunks of information to fix the puzzle in order to arrive at my own "truth"- I can empathize and sympathize at will. 

Drishti mittal (not verified) says...

How did you learn to keep balance? 

Guest (not verified) says...

This is an interesting observation.. as my spouse and I both bridge two types as well along the "thinking" and "feeling" axis. He's an INFP/INTP... and I'm an INFJ/INTJ.

Guest (not verified) says...

You're absolutely correct about this.

10 years ago I scored at INTP and last week I scored at INFP. When I took a look at where I fell along the scale for thinking and feeling my score was almost dead center, with just a small fraction leaning in the 'feeling' side of things. I was told by a psychologist that the labels themselves do not reveal as much as where you fall along each scale of the spectrum and that you also have to consider how different situations can exercise (or bring out) different aspects of our personality.

Guest (not verified) says...

This is true. I feel like I'm in-between INFP and INTP and can be interchangeable when it comes to interests

Guest (not verified) says...

Actually, one common mistake with MBTI is that they define feeling-types as those who prefer emotions over logic. However, the term feeling means that we prioritize our values over logic.

Kerim (not verified) says...

So true!

Guest (not verified) says...

Thank you so much, I've been wondering about this too! I've taken the test so many times, and it's always a 50/50 between INTP and INFP.

Guest (not verified) says...

INFP's and F's for that matter "prioritize" emotions, human relationships, and morals. This is not "illogical" but highly logical due to the need for positive human relationships in this life and maybe the next. INTP's and T's for that matter "prioritize" logic, cause and effect, and principles. That's the difference and no individual is 100%.

This dude (not verified) says...

Good elaboration :3

vpvenkatesh says...

This is awesome! I can see who am I? Excellent!

Guest (not verified) says...

Very cool and dead-on-accurate!

lovelymelody1 says...

This is exactly how I feel!!!

Giannina (not verified) says...

I am impressed

Guest (not verified) says...

this is freakishly accurate 0.o

Guest (not verified) says...

for me too. it really is quite weird

Abyss (not verified) says...

this is so much accurate! now i know who i really am and thanks for everything!

idcocias says...

So true

Guest (not verified) says...

This describes my friend really well! I also think that this could be the personality type of Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series.

Guest (not verified) says...

:)))

Guest (not verified) says...

It is!! I always felt like I connected with her. Lol.

Guest (not verified) says...

With a name like "Lovegood" it better. Lol =)

Guest (not verified) says...

It's Lupin too.

Guest (not verified) says...

Thank you for the test. The description seems to be very much like me! Its good to be helped in finding out more about myself, thanks!

Guest (not verified) says...

This is so on point! I looooove it!!!

Guest (not verified) says...

I enjoyed this experience. I was caught between the thinker and feeler but realized I was a feeler after careful thought.

Guest (not verified) says...

I can so relate....used to think I was a thinker too...thats what an INFP gets for thinking.:)

Guest (not verified) says...

I'm only slightly more feeler than thinker. I can relate to aspects from both sides.

Prettygirl (not verified) says...

As an INFP I have also wondered long and hard whether I was more Thinker or Feeler and I think I have solved this puzzle (at least for myself). The reason is the P. I am such a strong P that I continuously look at all the possible nuances and angles of everything. This gives off a very "objective" quality, which Has the appearance of a thinker.

Guest (not verified) says...

Every person is different. I am also a strong P (and N), but definitely not an F. So I don't recognize the split between F and T being unclear. However, I am also middle on the E/I scale, and can see myself in the descriptions of both ENFP and INFP. To me, that's the unclear part, which then makes me see you have a point, without actually feeling it...

Guest (not verified) says...

If you were a feeler; consequently, you would have FELT that you were more of a feeler instead of being more of a thinker and not thought it.

I am a feeler and every time I start a sentence I've realized that I use the words, "I feel like..." to describe what I want to do, where I want to go, how I want to do it, etc. As a Pisces, this also aligns with my sign as the "I feel.." Sign.

RJ (not verified) says...

Yes. I, too, was a toss-up betwixt T&F. I think I was an F in my early adulthood, moved to a T in my chosen avocation (English teacher), and now have migrated back to tipping the balance to the F side. I believe our code can sway one way or the other at different times in life when you are in between Thinking/Feeling.

ALF (not verified) says...

I agree with your view. I also think that INFP can slide up to INFJ if the P and J are fairly even.

Guest (not verified) says...

lol. The irony of your statement amuses me. "[I] realized I was a feeler after careful thought." Maybe I'm way off base, but if you're giving careful thought to this, perhaps you're actually a thinker?

I get it though. I struggle with the thinker/feeler dichotomy too, given that, in reality, it's more of a spectrum of how one relates than two mutually exclusive categories people fall neatly into. But my initial reaction to just about anything is always an emotion-based response. It's only after I've processed my emotions that I can detach and carefully analyze the situation. I think that's the defining criteria, the initial reaction.

I think people that are "genuinely" thinkers don't have to process their emotional response prior to objectively evaluating a situation. Rather, they react in an objective manner and perhaps bring their emotions into the mix at a later point to provide balance to their logical response (if they ever get to that, though I suppose it's possible that some thinkers never do).

Who knows though? I personally think we're all capable of taking on the attributes of many if not all the different types when a situation requires. Some types fit more naturally, others feel all wrong. And, of course, we are all comprised of complex and often contradictory elements that lend uniqueness to each of us, even when we do fit clearly into one type over another.

Dbirdey Capozzi (not verified) says...

I really appreciate your broad and open minded point of view. I agree that no person is locked into any one type, that there is a spectrum, which is interdependent on many aspects. This seems logical and full of common sense. I like who I am!

Catherine (not verified) says...

"Only after I've processed my emotions that I can detach and carefully analyze the situation."  This is so me and explains a lot of my introversion-- need lots of downtime for this important process to occur. 

Lily (not verified) says...

This is definately me!

Guest (not verified) says...

I like the idea of discussing the different aspects of life of the different types. I agree with most of the details written here except probably the 'occupations' part. Anyway, thanks for this!

Guest (not verified) says...

I like being a Healer

Jason.Walker550 says...

YES! :]

Guest (not verified) says...

lol same

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