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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.

INFPs in Love

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.

INFPs 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.

INFP Communication Style

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.

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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? 

Somnath (not verified) says...

By knowing you self with help of meditation and finding the truth and happiness... 

len (not verified) says...

karate

Guest22145 (not verified) says...

Are you sure that's psychoanalysis or are you being delusional? Ignoring given element and inventing and adding chunks of information to form your own truth does not seem to help anyone else. 

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

Bankeg (not verified) says...

This is so helpful, thank you! We have a lot of similar interests and like you, growing up I wasn't really aware of my personal values and was very confused about who I was

Caroline_W (not verified) says...

I can relate to this so much! You could easily have been describing me in this post. Thank you for making me see myself clearer! 

Rodney (not verified) says...

Loved your story. I think your last paragraph tells me you are an INFP. Like you my score on P was low. So low it was J. ;D Your very last sentence says it all to me. I discovered this test when an older couple I know well said to me one evening. "you know, just when we think we know you, you go to new depths, and we lose you. We realize, we have no idea of your depth and knowlegde ( passion for conviction)." A night or two later they felt the need to apologize, and explain what they meant. Intially I took it as a complement I think. I know that would've made me feel uncomfortable at first. And then changed the subject. I just assumed everybody had depth and passion (intensity), but just didn't show it for some reason. I explained to them, I was not offended at all and thanked them for their thoughts. It made me come across this test about 7 months ago, and it has had a profound effect on me. I always knew I was different and seemed to own it. I just didn't know to the extent of the differences. Also it has helped me explained why I could never get the depth I saught from my Mother, to this day. But it makes it easier. In regards to expressing feelings in my intinate relationships, I assumed I was. But now I see it wasn't always percieved as expressing my feelings. My feelings come through the things I do. This is how the last relationship broke down. She asked to see my feelings, and just couldn't see them. But they were there for all to see. My heart was on my sleeve, and in my actions, and my words were misunderstood. She just saw a sturdy rock, calm under adversity. In control of all emotion, at all times.The damage was done, she'd already pushed me away over time. Hurting me little by little, and because of my avoidance of confrontaion, you can guess the rest. She felt like she was just another of my causes, under my wing. She felt that it wouldn't matter who she was, I loved all equally. Which I guess is true to a degree. But she was the one I chose to be with, but that must not have mattered enough. She thought I loved her like a sister, more than a lover. When she explained that at the end, I suggested that wouldn't be such a bad thing, as I love my sisters more than life itself. I don't live with my sisters I live with you and your 5 children. We are close but we don't live in each others pockets. I have always been the Father figure for my sisters as we lost our Father young. Anyway, you don't need to know all this. Just thought I add some relationship challenges as a male INFP. Thanks for your story.

Zainab says...

You just described me perfectly !

Christine (not verified) says...

I just want to say you made me cry...in a good way. I’ve struggled with finding myself & every bit of this described my life. Thank you! You’ve helped bring me into a new light 😊

Maximom89 (not verified) says...

I've identified with many things/people/statements in my life, but I've never felt more like I was reading/ editing my own words. You definitely confirmed that I was on the right page as an INFP.......I have too many questions to articulate in this setting. Reading your comment was unexpected and inspiring and random.... I feel so compelled to ask you, specifically, all the complicated questions I've been struggling to resolve for a while on my own. But I'm a perfectionist... and super private... plus I respect you and your experience/ insight. SO, at your convenience, I would love to continue the conversation through email. Thanks!! 

K Laura (not verified) says...

SAME!  I too am an FP surrounded by a family of TJs.  I have muddled through life with an understanding of what is considered "excellent" and "best" for everyone with an inner understanding that so didn't match up that I have written myself off as a failure for my entire life  -- and I am 60 years old! Through trudging and trying and lots of prayer and revelation, I have come to truly understand that I am not a failure or a sham (no one ever told me that, I just KNEW it).  Nope, I am an FP and my base values differed vastly from my family of origin.  Thank you for "being like me," I feel less like an alien visitor to read your remarks.  I too am a P who learned a lot of J.  It is such a relief to throw off the burden of being a forlornly miscast J and live large and free (although at times terrified) as a P.  It's hard to  unsee P through J's eyes though.

Nick Dale (not verified) says...

I don't think that's correct. 
Empathy is the ability to 'feel' what others are feeling, to 'put yourself in their shoes', so to speak. Sympathy is simply feeling pity or sorrow for someone's situation. It's more distant but not visceral, as empathy may be. 
I would imagine counsellors would need to be empathetic for sure, at least it would certainly help. But there would need to be ways to protect themselves from going too far into empathy and remaining objective. 

LoLo says...

Omg thank you for saying this! I don't know why but the distinction between empathy "being in someone else's shoes," and sympathy, "feeling a sense of concern for another's circumstances."were mistakenly conceptualized and defined. I'm really glad I was not the first person to mention the discrepancy. I'm a Communication's major and my professor's focused on this concept. Empathy is explained and defined as "standing in a person's shoes. Feeling what they feel  That's where the highly debated "Empath" expression comes from. Sympathy is when you give someone your best wishes or commiserate.

 I'm sure that was just an oversight by the original poster  I apologize for interjecting bc of a pet peeve  

 

https://www.dictionary.com/e/empathy-vs-sympathy/

Fleiki says...

You've got that backwards, Russell_P.  Empathy is not just understanding, but being able to share or feel the feelings of the other person.  Sympathy is feeling pity for someone or understanding their feelings, but not necessarily feeling what they're going through.  I cried uncontrollably at the funeral of a friend's brother.  Later, another friend commented that she hadn't known I had been so close to him.  I explained that I was mostly crying for the pain that his mother, a woman I knew well and loved, was going through.  My heart was aching for her.  That is empathy, not sympathy.  But then, I had to fight back tears of joy when a kid on the opposing team hit one out of the park and got a home run - how exciting that must have been for him!  I didn't even know him!  That's also empathy. (But I couldn't suppress the grin on my face and that got me strange looks from a couple of the kids on my own team, the one I was coaching! Ha!Ha!)

Angela Marcotte (not verified) says...

I would say that both sympathy and empathy go hand in hand because to understand you have to be able to feel it too?

Right..... especially for us INFP?

Lotus (not verified) says...

You are incorrect regarding your understanding of empathy and sympathy. IMO.   Sympathy is feeling sorry for someone or what they are going through. Empathy is both understanding and feeling the other person, that is,  you as the listener are able to put yourself in their shoes/ in their total experience.

Vincentbronk (not verified) says...

Actually sympathy is understanding and epathy is feeling. Just to make sure you understand

Urbanoutsider says...

Same.

mandy13b (not verified) says...

Wow, I've always felt people more than anything....understand the pain, just because I felt more, or could put myself in their shoes and my imagination always took me to the pain, or their shoes....so weird really, thanks for sharing.

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.

Bob Veats (not verified) says...

Same

Guest (not verified) says...

I had the same exact thoughts

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!

Brian Rea Valdez (not verified) says...

Yes I’ve never done that? Or ever chosen emotions over logic but I have cried and I would feel honestly so weak I couldn’t even load the shotgun and shoot myself and I take things into exaggeration or so I think because that’s what my mom would tell me when she told me that because how I act upon her and disrespect my parents my children will do the same because she’s said she’s seen it in her family So therefore it will happen to me and I told are you wishing me bad luck and I cried because honestly! I felt like she was cursing me and I really don’t feel loved by my parents they just want me to do good in school get all those grades earn money but where has the love of my parents gone? Maybe that’s what they don’t realize pft it’s been at least a few months since I haven’t hugged any of them and my sibilings its been years and YET I remember the time my mom told me to hug my sister because she felt sad but I thought WHAT ABOUT ME!! And I didn’t hug her as I didn’t feel loved I would never if I were gone it would be different I wish I could out my Hispanic household where I wish to go would be Russia because it’s cold there I wrote because I want someone to understand me please judge me I wonder what I did wrong.

INFP Pride (not verified) says...

I feel terrible for you and I totally can relate because I felt exactly like you growing up. YOu have to be comfortable and confident in who you are and STOP caring about what everyone thinks about you. Just be yourself and you'll be happy. No one is perfect so you dont have to be. The way you are is beautiful, special and ok. Remember that and you;ll blossom from there. Most of all you want to be a healthy person, and you get there by not letting others get in the the way of your happiness. You deserve to like yourself, and no one knows you better than yourself. YOu can listen to what others say, to dont internalize it as a defect in you. Just tell yourself that you are too important to get depressed over these things. Learn how to be happy and confident and secure and you will be happy. Good luck!

Courtney (not verified) says...

yes! I really have always had a problem with the stereotype that INFPs are overly idealistic, illogical airy fairies. That is a key factor to keep in mind: Feeling vs thinking does not talk about rationality or ability to think in a complex, analytical way. There are many INFPs that actually value intellectualism and rationality. So they might actually show up in fields like philosophy or research where they can write but about something they value. My favorite way to explain the MBTI to others is that it does not aim to explain “what”, it aims to explain “how”.

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.

mandy13b (not verified) says...

I love that, I'm not going into the deep shit here but basically 'learn something from a different perspective, learn from your own mistakes, always admit and always be interested to learn for better understanding', its makes people better to just do that, I don't see anything wrong with admitting you're wrong, in my case as an honest stupid moment mostly, but sometimes as a selfish effed up moment....loads more but tbh I'm not in the mood atm...

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.

Somnath (not verified) says...

Yes I agree with you Lisa it's been very hard to someone express my feeling. I'm thinking about universe and society the creater I'm always been alone thinking and doing meditation...

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