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INFP Strengths

Idealism. INFPs care deeply for others and believe it is their duty to make a positive impact on the lives of other people in any way they can. Because of this unbreakable commitment, INFPs are capable of great self-sacrifice, and they won’t compromise their ethical standards for personal benefit. INFPs are firm believers in the unlimited potential of human beings to achieve remarkable things, and they can always be counted on to provide encouragement or material support to those who are attempting to expand their horizons.

Integrity. Integrity means everything to INFPs, and that includes intellectual as well as moral integrity. Some people might accuse INFPs of being overly imaginative or of being willing to stretch logic to the breaking point in order to find the deeper meaning they insist must exist, but there is no denying that the deeply reflective nature of INFPs allows them to transcend the boundaries of imagination that so often prevent us from discovering new solutions to old problems.

Compromise. As empathic idealists, harmonious relations are like a balm to the soul for INFPs. In family settings or when working in groups, INFPs are highly effective as mediators because they are legitimately interested in the viewpoints of all and will go out of their way to make sure that everyone is given a fair hearing. They are enthusiastic advocates of cooperation and believe that no difficulty is insurmountable when people work together for a common cause. 

Dedication. It is easy to pay lip service to virtues like compassion, creativity, originality and open- mindedness, but these ideas don’t mean much unless they can be translated into real-world applications. Fortunately, INFPs are masters at doing just that. Passionate and committed to the cause, these personalities have a unique ability to mold and shape their surrounding environment in ways that promote self- improvement and transcendent achievement for all. 

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INFP Weaknesses

Sensitivity. Their deep compassion, sensitivity and commitment to originality allows INFPs to interface with their interpersonal landscapes in a constructive manner, but these feelings also leave them vulnerable to disillusionment and powerful existential angst. INFPs who venture enthusiastically out into the world can end up retreating into lethargy and depression when they discover their idealism isn’t always shared or respected by others, and their incredible talents can go completely to waste when they become too discouraged to continue.

Impracticality. While their insistence on standing up for justice and decency is admirable, the intensity of their feelings can occasionally leave INFPs unwilling to make compromises even when doing so might be necessary to get something accomplished. Sticking to your morals is admirable, but in the real world it may be impossible to accomplish anything unless the INFP can find a way to give and take a little and find practical, if imperfect, solutions to problems. 

Selflessness. INFPs have a tendency to neglect or suppress their own needs if they believe it is necessary to keep the peace or make others happy. When a person holds his or her insecurities inside for too long, it can eventually cause a blow-up or an emotional breakdown. Sensitive INFPs often suffer in silence, and this is a pity because INFPs and their fellow travelers usually have people in their lives who care about them a lot and would be more than happy to help them deal with their heartaches and disappointments. 

Vulnerability. Compassionate to the core, INFPs lead with their hearts rather than their heads and this can sometimes set them up for trouble. Unfortunately there are users and manipulators out there who are always on the lookout for easy targets, and from the standpoint of these individuals INFPS might as well have flashing neon signs attached to their foreheads that say “exploit me, exploit me!” Trust is a wonderful thing, but not when it makes you gullible. 

INFP Growth and Development

In order to reach their full potential, INFPs should:

Learn to recognize the difference between compromise and concession. People who disagree with INFPs are simply seeing things from a different point of view, but to an INFP, it can feel like they are being backed into a corner. Instead of digging in their heels, INFPs must find a way to detach from the situation so they can comprehend the motivations of their opposition more clearly. If it is only a difference in values and not a lack of them that is responsible for divergent opinions, then INFPs should not expect others to give in to stubbornness any more than they would if the shoe were on the other foot.

Make sure dreams and fantasies are used to enhance reality rather than replace it. INFPs who look out at the world with idealistic eyes often see grand vistas of beauty and limitless possibility that others are not capable of perceiving. But INFPs sometimes choose to retreat into these fantasies instead of using them to solve real-world problems. Imagination can open the door to better possibilities, and INFPs should never lose sight of its transformative potential. 

Learn to respect the details. No matter how wonderfully inventive a new idea might be, it won’t get anywhere if the logistical details required to put it into practice are ignored or neglected. INFPs may find this aspect of the creative processes a bit boring, but they should challenge themselves to overcome their disinterest and pay attention to all those annoying details anyway. 

Seek out leadership positions. INFPs have strong egalitarian instincts, are natural conciliators, passionately believe in the utility of cooperation, are excellent listeners, and never fail to pay attention when someone has a new idea to share. These admirable qualities double as superb leadership skills, and no one who possesses them should avoid leadership positions simply because they aren’t extraverts. Above all else, leaders must have the respect of those they presume to lead, and INFPs are just as capable of gaining that respect as any other personality type. 

Accept themselves as they are without apology. Because their standards are so high, INFPs have a hard time forgiving themselves when they fail to meet their own expectations. They may also become indecisive and fall into a perfectionism so extreme that it cuts off their flow of creativity and makes it impossible for them to excel and achieve. This dynamic is unfortunate, especially as INFPs would never think of holding others to such impossible standards. For the sake of their mental health and happiness, INFPs must learn to stop comparing themselves to others and recognize that they should prioritize their own happiness.

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Adela F.K. says...

I found that I am an INFP-T. When I was younger, I was tested and found intellectually gifted. I have heard that a lot of intellectually gifted people struggle with their mental health. I cannot say that my mental health is directly correlated with my personality type, or my intellect, or whether its actually genetic or situational.  However, with that being said, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was 13. I was also diagnosed with PTSD later on. I have quite a bit of trouble with emotional regulation. I find that most of my imagination and creativity is used towards self sabatoge. Most of my time during a day is used daydreaming and escaping reality. I disassosiate a lot and am very critical about who I am as a person. My mood swings are quite severe. I have always known this to be normal though. I was suicidal at age 8, and didn't decide that I didn't really want to die until I was 17. I have now spent the last 2 years of life deciding what I want to do with it. I still struggle, but I go to therapy every week. And perhaps this is a lot of oversharing (that would be my insecurity at work), but I am writing all of this, in hope to answer your question. I can't speak for anyone else, but if my testimony helps in the slightest, here it is.

Angel katsaro (not verified) says...

Thank you. I find work to be rewarding unless people are unpleasant to me. Then I find it unbearable. I hope your situation changes for the better. 

Misdiagnosed (not verified) says...

Hello, I am an INFP and I was diagnosed first with depression, then with bipolar disorder when I was 19 years old.  I want to share my story, in the hopes that someone might find it helpful.  I was always a sensitive child and teenager, I felt isolated, different, and like there was something wrong with me. However, my experience with clinical depression was situational.  I got in a fight with my mom, was kicked out of the house, dropped out of college, and was really struggling with what I wanted to do with my life.  I was put on anti-depressants and they led me to be suicidal (this isn't uncommon, particularly in teens and young adults).  I overdosed on the anti-depressants, which put me into a manic state.  This led to my diagnosis of bipolar disorder, and a year-long battle with being hospitalized and being put on a whole slew of medications. I am so thankful that I got pregnant because they took me off all the medicine that was making me feel worse.  It's been 20 years, I have not been on any medication and I haven't had any repeated incidents of mania or clinical depression.  Psychiatrists are too quick to throw out a diagnosis and hand out pills, and many times people are not ill.  They just have a different temperament or are going through some rough patches.  Things like cognitive behavioral therapy and meditation can be very helpful for anyone, but please be careful with the medication.  Check out the things that Dr. Peter Breggin has to say about it.

Hanna L. (not verified) says...

I just found out I was an INFP-T today and was reading your comment and can totally connect with your depression. While I haven't been officially diagnosed, I can assure you that I have depression-like tendencies. I think depression and anxiety are more common with our personality type based on the fact that we put others before ourselves a lot, and can get very critical of ourselves (or at least I do :) ). I wish you and everyone else reading this the best, and I hope this helps!!

MJ Reena (not verified) says...

OMG! I am going through something similar.I can relate to everything you said.It is just recently my therapist has considered the possibility of me suffering from bipolar disorder. We are not sure since the probability pf me being gifted is awfully high. Well, it has been determined but I just can't accept it and fully grasp the concept.I thought everyone  is like me even though I nevee fit in. I came to the conclusion that I am just not doing something right. I am still looking for answers though.

miah (not verified) says...

Oh my gosh, I am so sorry! My guess is yes, though i do not know. I am also going through depression, and, because of COVID, have gone through depression a few times this year. 

regina (not verified) says...

Hi Payalin, I absolutely experience this, im currently getting treatment for my depression but i find it so hard to concentrate and i can't tell if the work i completed was good or valuable at all because i spent so long feeling like i couldn't do anything right and not caring about the quality of anything i did. it kind of feels like i've lost my identity and I'm not the person with potential I was before. Feels like the motivated version of me is gone. I think our personality type might be more a little more prone to these things because we are quite sensitive, but it's probably not fair for me to speak on this because i only know my experiences alone. I'm a 18 year old high school student and i'm scared of my future. Hoping we can both improve.

Justin abrahamse (not verified) says...

Loved reading some of your stories thank you ladies for sharing .I'm south African I live in cape town and as of 3montjs ago I started a what's app group called Cyclopea (the awakening) it is made up of 7 members 3 infj and 4infp. These two types are so similar , if u are looking for a soul mate infp ladies then infj men are your best match , infj and injp just get one another and are so dynamic . 

Julie Beans (not verified) says...

I am a female INFP and I went into electro-mechanical repair and I must say the physics study was highly interesting to me, as well as the relationships I formed along the way in my work. Those are the main good points, lol. I have always had that ability to see what people need and want and go for THAT versus the typical financial "how will that affect the bottom line" approach, no matter what industry I was in. I understand well what you all mean about morals, I have essentially left a well paid position over a moral dilemma. What I found draining was those above me did not let me do my job correctly, even though in my interview they stated that they need to work on reducing call-backs by doing things right the first time (blowhards). I'm always naturally geared for the long-term benefit of the customer.... they proved that they were not.

Now I'm at a crossroads, wondering if I should go back to school...for something more suited to my need for this creative and personal and morally- aligned freedom in my job. Ugh. I am so tired of interviewing. I would stay where I'm at now, but they have been letting people go lately due to Covid and told me that they will keep me as long as they can but that I should start looking. Hence, the "what jobs are good for INFP" search, lol.

I feel like you are my people, there are all these long, well-expressed comments :) 

Jellyreyrey (not verified) says...

I found myself to be an INFP with some guidance from my life coach which I started going to 6 months ago. From that I have learned that it is ok to take time off to do things for yourself, and that it is ok to feel sad and lost sometimes. Personally, I have felt lost all my life, but it really expanded within the last year.

Can I ask you guys something? What do you do when you get too caught up in your ideas and "things you have to do"? I often daydream about being in any profession in the world, just picturing myself doing anything that I set my mind to, but in the end I dont make a move about it. I just observe my head spinning around like that almost all the time, and its exhausting.

By the way, I think the comments here are great! Keep on being you, awesome people :)

Faithyfaith (not verified) says...

Hello. I felt what you felt recently. Maybe make yourself feel more special? Talk to someone who adore or appreciates you, then maybe you can look at things in another perspective or atleast feel more aligned.

rb123 (not verified) says...

I turn my phone off and get into nature. But I'm me, and my brain is still going to spin. So I only let myself ponder plant and animal identification, or wondering what the place looks like in different seasons, or if I was stranded where would I set up a camp and how would I eat, stuff like that. It makes me feel special to have a front row seat to such a beautiful view. And the topics that usually occupy my mental energy quickly become trivial and therefore easier to dismiss. I come out of the woods feeling clearer-headed. Like I'm a part of something so beautiful and so much bigger than myself, and no one can put a price tag on it or take it away from me.

Elephant00 (not verified) says...

Hello friend, I read you and I understand you perfectly because I have felt this way the whole time I was in the university.
I am also an INFP and right now I am starting to feel that I am not wrong, I just need to do things my way; this feeling of seeing my head spinning like this almost all the time, maybe it will be like that very often, I won't lie, but the most important thing is to reconcile your feelings and understand why you feel like this; maybe you are being too hard on yourself; In my case I discovered that I really hated what I was studying, that is why it took so much effort and I felt so frustrated and it took me 4 years and a lot of indecision take the courage to make a change; in your case it may be that you blame yourself for something you have not managed to do (for example follow that profession that you would like, just for guessing) or you even blame yourself for something you have done wrong, which was also quite common in me, it is You need to examine yourself and find what you feel is wrong because you are the only one who can discover it.
And my advice is that you do not feel that you must change the world in one day and that you start with small steps, find anything you want to start with and that you know you can achieve, such as requesting information about a profession that interests you and you will see how you you get excited about the idea and move towards it, set goals and reward yourself when you meet them and if possible trust a friend who encourages you and helps you see things objectively and gives you a little push when you are in a whirlpool Of indecision, sometimes we just need that little push to unleash our full potential.
Finally, I would like to tell you that even when you feel that your efforts are useless or insignificant, remember that you are advanced and that you are further than how you started, enjoy the process and remember that you are wonderful and that human beings are imperfect and we are always in constant construction of themselves.

Sorry for my English but it is not my mother language. I don´t want to make an excesive post so I stop here but I hope my path seem useless for you and you can find a good advice, inspiration or at least know you are not alone.
Have a nice day.

I hope you are also thriving :)

(Elmer) (not verified) says...


I took this test and I'm an INF with a 50/50 split between P and J. Its really interesting looking at the similarities and differences between the types, and the comments sections too. Does anyony else feel like they fit into more than one type?

EllenCMorris (not verified) says...

Elmer - I also am an INF with an equal split between P and J.  I have learned that when a split happens between those two, it defaults to P.  I can see that....I'm a P that has learned by necessity to make plans. 

Cindy >_< (not verified) says...

So I just found out I'm an INFP and I am proud of it, but I am also concerned if being a lawyer is the best career for me since a judge was one of the careers that should be avoided. Please let me know.

Lost In Law (not verified) says...

I've been a lawyer since 2005, & spent most of that time as a judge.  For me, this profession is miserable.  Dry, very limited room for creativity.  Tradition, appearances, formality, rules, & precedent rule the culture of most law firms and businesses, and this is where the greatest number of legal positions are.  Don't underestimate how cut-throat people in the corporate world can be, and corporate lawyers are worse, because they're often smarter & better at it.  These would be most lawyers' colleagues, the people you'd be exposed to every single work day, & often for long hours.

I spent several years trying to break into art law & only had one paying client in that period.  Later, I tried breaking into environmental law, but without that background, that pursuit was fruitless.  This could be very different for you.  I had a lot of life experience by the time I entered law school at age 30, but you certainly have different life experiences that would be more conducive to the area of law you hope to pursue.

Reading your comments, your decision to pursue law has been made.  Mine was too, no matter how many lawyers told me not to go (& a few that said I should do it).  I am experiencing a mid-life crisis, in large part due to my choice to pursue a career in law.  Realistically, as a philosophy major in college, good chance I would have been here anyway.  However, here in the U.S., there is a whole industry aimed at helping lawyers leave the law -- INFP's are hardly the only ones dissatisfied with law as a career path.

I am not going to tell you not to go into it -- I would have wondered had I not tried it (kind of my last ditch effort at getting into a career that paid well), & it's a serious accomplishment (even though I've never seen fit to be proud of it).  Instead, I will wish you well, and a bit of luck too.  Find something you like about  law school -- I loved talking policy, specifically debating policies that bucked the status quo & radically benefitted people over profits.  I was able to do a little of that as a judge, but surprisingly very little.  Regardless, I hope you find a far more satisfying career path than I have so far.

Lost in All (not verified) says...

Hey Lost in Law- I appreciate the honest response.  I’m 31 and have considered law on and off.  I’ve come to realize realistically it wouldn’t be a good fit.  However for the INFP who is gung ho (or perhaps already involved such as yourself) what about being an arbitrator or community organizing?  I feel like we excel at trying to find harmony and compromise so I immediately went to arbitrator, but for the passionate champion of the underprivileged I could see community organizer being attractive as well.  I’m sure lawyers often work closely with social workers- maybe something along those lines as well?  I’m considering s philosophy major myself but was afraid it would lead to law.

Barbara P (not verified) says...

It depends on the area of law you want to pursue.  Being a good attorney requires logic and reason foremost.  That is not typically associated with INFPs.  However we can cultivate that aspect of ourselves.  Because we make decisions based on our values and how they affect others and also have extraordinary empathy and compassion for others, you may want to pursue areas of law that allow you to advocate for others, to help others you feel have been unfairly treated or gives you the ability to right wrongs.  Examples: an ACLU attorney, public defender, an attorney for social justice or environment, like Sierra Club, Amnesty International, Southern Poverty Law Center, class action lawsuits against polluters or Big Pharma, Planned Parenthood, sexual harassment and rape cases, advocating for children.  You could work for a think tank doing legal research on topics you are passionate about and that allow you to work behind the scenes.  Just a few examples. 



T (not verified) says...

Hey Cindy,

I heared that INFPs are quite individualistic, so don't let some recommendation stop you, if beeing a lawyer is what you truly want.

Also, a test can be wrong as well. 
eg. if you are in a bad mood, you will most likely get a different type from when you take the test whilst you are in a good mood.

If the whole mbti topic catches your interest you could look a bit more into it. Into the cognetive functions, etc. and see if what you read resonates with you.

I wish you the best of luck


Joshua Lister (not verified) says...

INFPs can go into careers which require Te (Extraverted thinking). This is the INFP's inferior function, meaning that if you use it too much, you will become exhausted. (If you are indeed and INFP). I personally am an INFP doing Economics and it requires use of the same Te function. Personally I find the work exhausts me quickly, but I'm definitely capable.

The main thing you need to ask yourself is 'does becoming a lawyer suit my morals?'. The reason I say this is that INFPs main function is Introverted feeling. This may seem unknown, but the best way to describe it is you're so used to using it that you feel it does not exist. It's a way of valuing every decision/thought and if it suits your morals and only then will you go ahead with it. 

If you want to become a lawyer and you're gut makes you feel relaxed about the idea, then I'd recommend you continue to pursue it. If you only want to become a lawyer for financial security and becuase you're capable and feel it's a safe option, this is also fine. However, you need to ensure you won't later have a mid-life crisis from going against who you believe you truly are. Hope this helps.

Cindy >_< (not verified) says...

Thank you...I really needed to hear this. And yeah, the main reason I want to be a lawyer is to help others and prove their innocence. Also, I will make sure not to have a mid-life crisis, but I guess you can say I have already had so many lol.

Flyingpinemarten (not verified) says...

I'd say being a lawyer is not too far out of the INFP wheelhouse. As a mediator you are more likely to see things from different perspectives, be good at language and connect dots that other people don't see. Lawyers are different than judges. While a lawyer an eventually become a judge lawyers themselves tend to focus on getting to know people and figure out how to help them get justice through the law. I think the world world be a better place if more info's were lawyers. You may find that you differ in the way you think from your peers but embrace that. You have a unique perspective that will help you see patterns that other people don't. 

Cindy >_< (not verified) says...

Thank you for saying this, this means a lot to me and has given me hope for my future. And I definitely will embrace my unique perspective and use it to help others and to reveal the truth.

Brandon (not verified) says...

Being a judge is specifically awful for us because making decisions is incredibly draining, if you were a judge you would have a difficult time coming home and deciding what to eat at night because you will use up all of your inferior decision making functioning for the day. Being a lawyer is less about decision making and being able to tell the feelings of the jury and change what your saying based on the feelings of others in the room will be a great asset to you as a lawyer. 

Cindy >_< (not verified) says...

I completely agree with you. And I hope I have even more assets that will help me become a good lawyer. Thank you for your perspective on this :)

Sam Malbuena (not verified) says...

I'm started studying law as an INFP this year, and I thought it would be fine as I could fight for justice in society and find fulfillment in that. But now I'm finding more and more that there are many laws in place that I don't identify personally with, and that it is a very rigid and confining field. So that's what I'm struggling with with regards to Law.

Cindy >_< (not verified) says...

I am so sorry you are struggling with this and I hope it eventually gets better. And there are many different types of laws that you can get into, maybe you haven't found the right one yet. Don't give up now and try your best in this field, if it doesn't feel right then that's okay and I believe you are a good person and you will decide what is best for you. Thank you for sharing your struggles and giving me a heads up of what is ahead.

Eric H (not verified) says...

If your being a lawyer means you get to help others who really need it, I'd say that's a perfect career for an INFP. The INFPs I know would make fantastic lawyers if it were for a cause they could get passionate about. So if it's business law, then maybe not, but using your mind to help other people who have been wronged by someone or something I think would be right in line with INFP qualities.

Cindy >_< (not verified) says...

thank you for the support, I really appreciate it :D 

And I probably won't do business law, I might get into criminal or family law instead because like you said, I want to help those who I know are innocent or have not done anything wrong.

jessica243 (not verified) says...

i am in a completely similar situation and what i think is it would be really good if i chose management or something related to it as managment suits our personality more  than law. just know yourself better before coming to any conclusion. good luck.

Khael (not verified) says...


I've been scrolling through the internet and found all these fellow INFPs here, which was amazing. Even more so is how similar our problems are. I just graduated from high school (timing, right?) and am at a loss of what I am to do with my future. I entered senior year filled with prospects: I was going to ace my SATs, TOEFL, eventually take the APs, and grab a scholarship so I won't burden my parents too much. I've always wanted to go to college somewhere else; I love travelling! And, selfishly, I was starting to feel claustrophobic in the comfortable routine of my small city. I wanted to try living independently in a place that'll give me a completely new slate where I can truly discover who I am and what my ambitions are. Then I bombed my SATs and got scared to retake them for fear of wasting more money and couldn't muster up the courage to take the APs anymore. My TOEFL was fine, at least, but I can't get a scholarship based on it alone.

Cue a global pandemic.

Now I'm at home spending less time planning the future as I should be and more time hoping that I might wander far enough into the pages of a book that I stay lost. Every time I start thinking of a plan I end up with ten task lists and a million browser tabs that I feel too guilty to delete and too stressed to look at. And now I'm not even sure if I want to pursue the course I'd been so set on for two years: Business Administration. I chose it with the hopes of an open path to pursue any business venture I wanted - and then I started talking to people who took the course. They told me that they're fine, but not where they'd hoped they'd be. One is a teacher, another has an average company position, while the other is a call center agent. I don't want any of those things. What I want...well. I just want to travel often, eat good food, and read good books. But I don't know what to do to get there. I have to work - but how? I have this small idea of opening up a little library or work in a publishing house, which is originally why I chose BA, but I took an introduction to accounting class and couldn't shake the feeling that if I were to do this for the next four years I might just end myself. Concepts are fine and business proposals are fun to make, but how will I manage to take on the practical part? Alternately, I enjoyed and did well in all my literature and philosophy classes , so now I'm thinking of pursuing either of those fields - as unprofitable as they may appear.

I guess this brain dump is a sign that my cup of self-reliance has finally been filled to its brim. What a small cup it is. It's hard to open up to my parents, as caring and open-minded they may be, because my brother and maternal grandfather both just came out of the hospital (unrelated to the virus, thankfully) and my dad's pay is being heavily reduced due to the circumstances. They don't need me to pile on to their problems and it's unfair of me to suck their finances dry. My younger sister's still in school too. The least I can do as the older one is to make sure she won't be deprived of education and continue being a good example. This is the absolute worst time to break down - how selfish can I possibly be?

Sigh. The future's taken a darker, more ominous tone now where once it brought nothing but hope. But typing all of this down and reading through it helped ease my fraught nerves immensely, in the least. Perhaps it can aid someone else too, in knowing you're not alone. This was a load off my chest, and I hope it'll be of help to others too.


FaLaLaLa (not verified) says...

Greetings from a fellow INFP!

I really appreciated hearing your concerns.  You seem very wise for your youthful years.  One thing you will discover when you do advanced studies is that you will be exposed to new possibilities never before considered.  That is the beauty of furthering your education.  You will be inspired by so many other brilliant minds.  You will discover so much more about yourself.  As an INFP, I found myself curious about so many things that I just had to explore.  I currently am not working in my field from which I received a Masters Degree.  However, I found it highly applicable to my other occupational experiences.  You will find ways to meet the call of your soul.  I wish you the best on your bright journey.

FaLaLaLa (not verified) says...

Greetings from a fellow INFP!

I really appreciated hearing your concerns.  You seem very wise for your youthful years.  One thing you will discover when you do advanced studies is that you will be exposed to new possibilities never before considered.  That is the beauty of furthering your education.  You will be inspired by so many other brilliant minds.  You will discover so much more about yourself.  As an INFP, I found myself curious about so many things that I just had to explore.  I currently am not working in my field from which I received a Masters Degree.  However, I found it highly applicable to my other occupational experiences.  You will find ways to meet the call of your soul.  I wish you the best on your bright journey.

DaynaB (not verified) says...

How relatable! I understand the feeling of not wanting to be a burden to others. I constantly worry about this. I've found it helps me to ask people I am close to if they are feeling that I am, they always shutdown these intrusive thoughts for me. You are not selfish. You are thinking about your future. Having a breakdown is probably just your body telling you that you need an outlet. Start a blog, just for yourself, if you'd like. You do have a way with words. Reading your post inspired me just to respond and it is quite cathartic. I may start keeping a journal of some sorts, if not just to laugh at my ramblings later on.

I felt the same way after graduating high school. I never understood how some of my friends seemed to already know what their career paths were at only 18. Currently I am 26. I took this personality test to try and get some insight on myself and it has helped me confirm what I already suspected, that the jobs that I have been pursuing will not be fulfilling for me in the long run. I made the mistake of feeling pressured by my family to pick a major that would lead to money because that meant happiness, probaby because my family always struggled with money. I just didn't want to go into college undecided so I picked Pharmacy because science always interested me and my dad encouraged it because of the salary and opportunities in that field. That led to me changing my major 3 times. Pharmacy to social work and then finally animal sciences. Other factors had a part in my decision making but I was not able to finish my degree. But, just because my life is not on the track that we are told we need to take does not mean it is too late for me to pursue other options. I'm only 26!

I've always loved reading, escaping reality through words and using my imagination. I was probably at the public library every weekend during highschool though I am not a writer. One of the career suggestions for INFP is librarian so I am definetly doing research into that. As someone who is also really hard on themselves, try not to be. You are not being a burden and if your parents are supportive like you say they are I am sure they would love to hear these things from you. Your library/publication idea sounds awesome. I'd work there. Let me know when you are hiring!

JQR (not verified) says...

Hi Khael,

Congratulations for graduating, surviving this wild education system so far, and for finishing during pandemic and social unrest!! That's no small feat, and I hope that you can start to be gentle on yourself for accomplishing these things. 

Thank you for sharing your story - your love for the written word is so clear through even this comment, and I hope you will let yourself follow that love throughout your life. As an INFP, it has been really crucial for me to follow my loves (writing, music, coffee) to ensure my own happiness --- even at a STEM- focused university. Personally, alongside a humanities program (Urban Studies), I pursued coffee alongside it through earning and learning at a cafe in university. That money also allowed me to do research around Asia when it wouldn't be covered by grants. After graduating, I moved across the country as a part of the opening team for a coffee company, but I run my own business, write for clients, work at a community farm... I just want to share all this to say that the life you want is possible! You also don't just have to do one thing --- that's the deception of majors and programs. And honestly, you probably won't end up just sticking to one thing after college.. That's okay, so many folks do that! Keep on pursuing what you desire deeply and opening yourself to any opportunities that align with you. The going may be slow, but just take it day and day. Breathe easy, you're on your own amazing path, and it's not a race.

Even now, I encourage you to continue to tune into your passions and to be accountable to yourself for following it. Yes, learn the survival skills, because we're all stuck in this body, in this system, as humans in a physical world --- but stay motivated and driven by your ideas and your loves. Get through the classes you need to, survive it, graduate college (if youre called to)....then get out and create the spaces you want to build. Keep that library in your mind's eye, be cognizant of what you need to know and do to build, and continue to surround yourself digitally (and physically if you can) with people who support you and what you want to build. I stress that that digital community is out there for you, find them and connect with them, you don't have to build alone! 

I have to add again that so many folks are doing new types of online businesses -- online libraries, bookstores. Definitely keep reaching out, you're on the right track.

Your fears are also so valid --- remember to deep breathe sometimes, check into your body and ground. It can be hard as an INFP to stay in our bodies. Take care of yourself emotionally, mentally, be gentle on yourself, and process those emotions as they come. 

Wish you so much power and blessings. My email is always open. 

Chloe L (not verified) says...

 Cheers Khael,

Your words have certainly helped me in some way! Also, you express yourself so well in writing - your interest in reading, publishing and setting up a library all seem to suggest you have a passion for the written word. And working with our passions often leads to great success. 

I wish you all the very best for the future, and look forward to seeing your name in lights/print, as I imagine you deserve.

Matsya (not verified) says...

Hey Khael, fellow INFP...the life that has worked best for me is one where I am in control of my own schedule, run my own small business, and am able to stack my work up or spread it out depending on my shifting needs across time.  Trades and personal services where you can set up your own schedule and be your own boss take a little discipline to get to, but I would rather work twice as hard and twice as long for myself rather than trying to get along "underneath" someone exploiting my labor.  The future is a result of managing your emotions today.  It is easy to go too global in our thinking and become uselessly apathetic as we can see the systemic problems so clearly.  Daily managmement of emotions is key.  Run hills, lift weights, meditation, counseling, and diet...all useful.  Chances are our distracted and scattered states have something to do with unprocessed emotions than run amock in the form of small sacrifices we can't afford.  I'm not a pull yourself up by your bootstraps kinda human...I am a light a fire inside yourself based off your subjective values and make choices to get what you want regardless of the imminent death to come kinda human.  I am sure you can adapt your own warrior ethos and keep fighting for yourself and those you care about no matter what the future holds.  Not simply for some "pie in the sky, I'll be happy someday" false sense of hopeful progress but because living the good fight as a self determined human is where you are at your best and where you will selfishly taste all the flavors life has to offer. 

Carol W (not verified) says...


I just wanted to let you know there are places of employment that will pay for your college at little cost to you. My son works at WalMart and they pay for several degrees for employees. I think Taco Bell and McDonalds does too. I'm sure there are others. 

It may not be your dream job BUT it can be a pathway to gaining your degree without taking in huge student loan debt. Don't give up on your dreams and don't worry about having to know what your passion and purpose are... follow your curiosity, explore areas and subjects that feed your soul. Best of luck!

Lidia (not verified) says...

Hey kid.

I can't help you make your life decisions, but I would like to tell you to give yourself a break. Take a deep breath. Life is going to happen, and whatever you choose to do now might not even make that big a difference in the long long run.

Case in point: After I finished school, I did a degree in mathematical sciences - I love math - and then had no idea what to do with it. So I went to the UK on a working holiday visa, and after two years of doing caring and working at the Natural History Museum (one of my favourite places on earth) I still had no idea. I tried teaching, but... No.

So I ended up unemployed for 4 months, and got a job in IT of all things. I should mention that, at that time, my computer knowledge was just about limited to the sum function in Excel, and using Yahoo (Google wasn't much of a thing yet in 2004). It paid a pittance, but I got to learn, and then I stumbled into data, and 3 years later I moved to another job where I got into BI.

For 9 years I learned almost continuously, overhauled the company's data and reporting systems, and got happy. I've since quit the company, planning on doing training, but now I still work there a few days a week as a consultant, and also at another place. I've never been happier.

When I was 18 I didn't even know what a database was (1996 was looong so 😁), and got a useless qualification. I couldn't imagine that I'd be here now, but looking back... I wouldn't change a thing.

The point is, you're young and you have a lot of time ahead of you. As long as you stay curious, chase happiness and grab opportunities, you'll probably be fine. Maybe when you're 42 you'll also tell some kid on a different continent that they'll be fine.

What to do right now? Start anything. Maybe study really hard until you feel confident that you won't waste money on redoing your SATs. Maybe start a vegetable garden. Maybe do an introductory online course ( or skillshare?) in fashion design or zoology or another language (useful when you're traveling). Maybe look into doing a trade, like electrician or locksmith or plumber.

And maybe, somewhere in there, you'll discover your place and your passion.

And maybe I just spouted the biggest load of BS in the history of mankind. Meh. <3

Joshua Lister (not verified) says...

Hi! I'm coming to the end of my second year at university studying Economics. I should stress, I only just worked out that I'm an INFP. This probably explained why economics was so boring for me! 

Generally, Accounting/Business/Economics is not fun for INFPs with out functions. We're wired to prefer using our creativity to create something meaningful to us (eg music, storywriting etc). One thing I'd suggest is do something you think you'll be passionate about. I did economics which is good becuase I can go into many other areas, but I've really struggled. Honestly, from being a good student, I could only handle around 40% of classes and couldn't turn up to the rest. I did go through some rough times but I suppose it leaves the door open for several opportunities. 

If you can, start something now while you can which inspires your creativity and individuality. This could develop into a passion given time. Think things over and go with your gut.

All the best,


Sylvie (not verified) says...

Thanks josh, that was rlly insightful

im going to Uni soon and this inspires and motivates me to follow the more creative root, I often have negativity or doubt linked to the arts because its stereotyped as a dead end but this helped me so thankyou and have a wonderful day :)

Grant101 (not verified) says...

Hello Khael, I am a fellow INFP, I read your comment and while it might not be my place to do so I wanted make a suggestion. I also find myself being overwhelmed by the seemingly endless and impossible list of tasks I must do to get to where I wanna be in life and I experienced a similar feeling to what you described after I finished high school. What really helped me was instead of focusing on all the things I had to do to get to that point at once I would focus on one small step at a time. For me at least it reduced the stress and fear I felt because it made it seem less overwhelming. I wish you the best, good luck,  and God bless.

Liviafranca (not verified) says...

if you answer my comment i will be very happy, i saw that we have a lot in common. Everything you wrote seems like it was taken from my thoughts, except the library part hahaha

Liviafranca (not verified) says...

you described me, completely!  I finished high school and was going to do business administration, I started to work part time in a multinational company and I saw that it was not what I wanted ... I am studying to pass university, I always wanted to study abroad but I have no money for  that. 

Obs: i'm from brazil

Sanford C Green (not verified) says...

From crisis comes great opportunity. Make sure your needs are met but your wants are off to the side. Then become the solution. Pick one of those darker ominous isses and dive in. Maybe it involves your schooling. Maybe not. People can achieve great things regardless of the good and bad around them. Just decide and then act. 

loli (not verified) says...

Hon. You are a writer. Congratulations. And all the best!

lizenka (not verified) says...

Exactly what i thought !!

Also Khael, yes you did take a load of my chest too !

Mom Zilla (not verified) says...


I'm a 31 year old woman and from my perspective , you are too hard on yourself. This is something I've heard too many times and now I finally get it. Whatever you choose to do will eventually come to you. I believe life should be experienced before a choice of a career is made. Live out your 20's and settle in your 30's. Find a way to build passive income and do the travel and food thing. I've picked up an interest in stocks. It isn't much but it will gain over time. Proclaim yourself as a critic in what you enjoy(food, travel, books, just ideas not "demands") Real Estate is also an amazing passive income. Those things will allow you to have a life of ease, but not without a little hard work. 
I also have deep caring feelings for family that pause my life. Tradgedy will happen. That's life. Don't let it stop you. 


For your college choice, community college is just as good as a University and less expensive. It's a great step for people who didn't do as well as they expected on their SATs. 

I hope my words have offered some type of direction. Some words of an amazing psychology professor I had (I'm currently attending a community college, yes at my age) "Don't quit five minutes before the miracle

Here are some books I've read recently just in case you do decide to dive in and not resurface: "The Silent Patient" by Alex Michealides

"The Institute" by Steven King


Can't think of a name (not verified) says...

Hi Khael,

(Sorry if I made any mistakes, English isn't my native language) I know exactly how you feel, luckily I still have one year left at school to figure stuff out but I'm still just as scared about the future. I have so many dreams, and I just don't know how to accomplish them.

Strangely enough, every single question and almost every single thought in your comment has crossed my mind too (it's almost scary how similar lives can be).

I just wanted to thank you, because although I still don't know what to do with my life it really helps to see all my thoughts written out by somebody else, and to know I'm not the only one.

Anyway, I really do hope for you that you'll figure things out, and it's ok if you need more time to do so! I would want to give you more advice, but I can't even follow it myself.

I know my response is pretty much worthless, but I just really wanted to thank you.


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