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How do INFPs communicate?

INFPs are gentle, encouraging communicators who enjoy exploring options and ideas. They envision possibilities for people and are often good at coming up with creative, flexible solutions to problems. They are typically attentive listeners who try to adapt their communication style to the people they are dealing with. Compassionate and cooperative, they tend to be appreciative of other people and their ideas, although they may be reserved about sharing their own closely held values and ideas with people they do not know well.

What are INFPs like as partners?

In relationships, the INFP is nurturing, empathic, and loyal. Healers select their friends and partners carefully, looking for a strong bond and congruent values. They are self-aware and often spiritual.

INFPs tend to be open-minded and accepting of another's behavior and preferences, so long as their core values are not violated. They support their partners' individuality, and encourage them to explore their interests and ideas.

INFPs look for ways to compromise and accommodate other people, and often have creative solutions to interpersonal problems. They can be very sensitive, but often keep negative reactions to themselves because they are reluctant to engage in confrontation.

Close and harmonious relationships are important to INFPs, although they also need a lot of independent time to think and reflect. They often want plenty of freedom to express themselves and pursue greater self-awareness. They value a partner who is committed and loving, yet provides them with the support they need to independently explore the mysteries of life.

What are INFPs like as parents?

As parents, INFPs are caring, supportive, and adaptable. They rarely establish a strict or structured household, preferring instead to address problems and situations as they arise. They often allow their children a lot of latitude and influence in making decisions, and may leave the creation and enforcement of household rules up to another parent.

Children of INFPs often find that they have the freedom to express themselves and make their own decisions until they violate their INFP parent's values. When values are in question, the Healer parent becomes firm and inflexible.

INFPs and Other Personality Types

Kindred Spirits

People of the following types are more likely than most to share the INFP's values, interests, and general approach to life. They won't necessarily agree on everything, and there's no guarantee they'll always get along, but they're more likely to feel an easy rapport and have plenty of things in common.

Intriguing Differences

People of the following types are likely to strike the INFP as similar in character, but with some key differences which may make them seem especially intriguing. The INFP may find people of these types particularly interesting and attractive to get to know. Relationships between INFPs and these types should have a good balance of commonalities and opportunities to challenge one another.

Potential Complements

INFPs may not feel an immediate connection with people of the following types, but on getting to know each other, they'll likely find they have some important things in common, as well as some things to teach one other. Although people of these types may not attract the INFP initially, their relationships present a lot of potential to complement and learn from one other.

Challenging Opposites

People of the following types present the most potential for personality clash and conflict with the INFP, but also the best opportunities for growth. Because people of these types have fundamentally different values and motivations from the INFP's, initially, it may seem impossible to relate. But because they are so different, their strengths are the INFP's weaknesses, and if they are able to develop a relationship, they can learn a tremendous amount from each other.

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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...

Yes...I see what you're saying here. I find when I am relaxed I end up being sympathetic. I don't necessarily think about the bigger picture and end up suffering along with the person I am with. When in 'counsellor mode' I am empathetic and find myself experiencing the "zoom out" where I understand their pain and immediately relate it to the bigger picture and the people surrounding to and connected to the individual and their pain. I am not bogged down by the weight of the emotion as much as I am able to process it and know how to help the individual. It is when I am in this "mode" that I feel most vibrant and alive. I feel like I am operating as an entire being. I suppose this would be a good example of accessing our entire function stack from the top to the bottom? To only feel what the individual is feeling means we do not process it through our function stack...am I correct? I'm new to the MBTI typing and only recently nailed down my INFP vs INFJ as a P. It was very hard as I can relate well to much of what is stereotypical of an INFJ.

Guest (not verified) says...

Thanks for your comment. So what makes you think you're more P than J?
 

SW (not verified) says...

I really couldn't nail it down until I understood the function stack. Even then it took a little bit. I've been living my whole life watching successful people and trying to replicate their ways in my life that I had no idea how I actually functioned. I really felt I needed to know which type I was closest to, though, in order to understand how to "be me" in a way that is both authentic and grounded. I don't want "being me" to simply be a manifestation of how confused I am about who I am (if that makes sense).

INFPs lead with introverted feeling backed up by extraverted intuition whereas INFJs are the complete opposite. 

I didn't really realize I was so inwardly focused and tbh I didn't align well with stereotypical INFP who lived stubbornly by their values. It has taken me a long time to realize my values! But when I account for a lot of childhood struggles and different things I've battled all my life I realized I just had no confidence in my ability to think for myself. When a sensitive, introverted dreamer like me grows up with a lot of TJ authority figures it makes it hard to believe in yourself. All of these people meant well but they just didn't have experience outside their effective, logical world to see any place for a kid who couldn't seem to focus or get anything done. If they had understood that we are all naturally different instead of seeing me as stupid and worrying about my ability to make my own way in the world it would have been different. But they had never been taught any differently either.

Now, as I've grown and learned to face "who I am" and to cast down the lie that the only people in this world who matter are the TJ types I've realized more and more about myself. I've learned to accept my "base self" and am embracing my creativity and ability to love and care for people beyond what is considered normal.

I still struggle with expressing my feelings. As is typical with the INFP I'll submerge the truest of my feelings and lead with my Ne around people and often show my quirky and fun-loving side (I think anyways). Even when I deeply care about someone I very rarely make that openly known but prefer to show it in small, understated actions or through very guarded language. Although this could be taken as cold and uncaring I find those I am closest to actually develop a greater attraction to my veiled display of intimacy than to open shows. I would venture to guess it reaches below the surface to their hearts rather than always using their senses. Even the sensing types can use intuition but are weaker in that area. I think the love of an intuitive person is the warmest that can be experienced. It goes far deeper than the senses and accesses the heart (not discrediting those who lead with sensing and are perfectly satisfied with sensed love) and usually leaves people with a profound sense of depth.

So, essentially, paying attention to how I processed my world helped me determine my INFPness. I have tested as only 4% more P than J but I think most of my J preferences are learned. If I was to go down to my base self I am a P who operates best when using the full function stack in order.

Hope that makes sense. I really am so new to all of this but once something tweaks my curiosity I can't let it rest until I understand it so I've been geeking out about archetypes :D

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...

It isn't that INFPs don't think. It's more about how decisions are made.

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%.

biggity (not verified) says...

This is a great observation. I live in a deeply emotional and relational world, and I seek out facts and data and apply logic to them with a high degree of rigor and consistency because I find it is extremely helpful in revealing what the emotions I'm feeling or perceiving from others actually are. I'm constantly seeking for better ways to more accurately 'see clearly', if that makes sense, as seeing the accurate context surrounding emotions or reactions helps me tease out the nuances, and that's exciting to me. If I don't seek out facts and just really on my perceptions, then I am prone to building an entire understanding of things based on my assumptions, and that can lead to decisions and behaviors that aren't in alignment with who I want to be.

I'd say it's a learned skill, but not especially difficult. The first time it really pays off because you asked someone to clarify something you thought you knew, and it turns out you were wrong and the follow up conversation helps you get better insight - well, you'll be hooked.

This dude (not verified) says...

Good elaboration :3

Lisa from WI (not verified) says...

I agree and disagree. The thing to remember is that the types are all on a spectrum.  I personally test close to the midpoint between N and T which makes people perceive me as being very logical at times. And I do like facts, but I struggle when my logic and intuition are at odds.  

Personality is never clear cut and is ever evolving. The descriptions would help my coworkers understand me better. And being 4% of the population explains why I almost always feel that I don’t fit and people don’t understand me.

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!

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