INFP
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What is an INFP?

INFP is an acronym used to describe one of the sixteen personality types created by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers. It stands for Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Perceiving. INFP indicates a person who is energized by time alone (Introverted), who focuses on ideas and concepts rather than facts and details (iNtuitive), who makes decisions based on feelings and values (Feeling) and who prefers to be spontaneous and flexible rather than planned and organized (Perceiving). INFPs are sometimes referred to as Healer personalities due to their sympathetic idealism and gentle compassion for other people.

What are INFPs like?

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

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

What are the core values of the INFP?

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

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

How can I recognize an INFP?

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

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

Who are some famous INFPs?

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

How common is the INFP personality type?

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

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

What do INFPs like to do?

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

What the experts say

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

- Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing

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

- David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II

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

- Otto Kroeger, Type Talk at Work

Facts about INFPs

Interesting facts about the INFP:

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

Source: MBTI Manual

Are you an INFP?

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Check out the INFP Discussion Forum

Want to have a more in-depth conversation about being an INFP? Head on over to our discussion forum and post your questions, comments, and/or general musings!

Comments

Guest (not verified) says...

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

Prettygirl (not verified) says...

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

Guest (not verified) says...

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

Guest (not verified) says...

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

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

RJ (not verified) says...

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

ALF (not verified) says...

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

Guest (not verified) says...

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

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

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

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

Dbirdey Capozzi (not verified) says...

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

Catherine (not verified) says...

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

Guest (not verified) says...

Wow, it's so amazing to see an opposite point of view. As an INTJ with an extremely strong (T), I can say that I almost NEVER react in an emotional way unless I'm very stressed or something has been bothering me for a long time. Only after I'm done playing out the most likely scenarios to a few different reactions do I select and assign the proper emotional response that best fits the situation. And, of course, this I do in a split second, completely in my head.

Man, do I feel like a robot sometimes...

A thinker or feeler? (not verified) says...

As someone on the fence between an INTP/INFP I can relate. Though I often show up as an INFP in test results, I have gotten INTP as a result too depending on what questions asked. As far as thinking and feeling go I see myself in the middle and can't figure out if I am a thinker who's learned to use feeling or a feeler who's developed the thinking aspect equally. It seems I do both think things through and feel things through. I feel like both happen even if they seem like separate aspects/ separate thought strings in my mind. Either one of those can be triggered.

That said, it seems in stressful or sudden emotional situations my first response seems to be numb. I'm left reacting rationally and, perhaps surprisingly calm at the moment. Then a few moments (or a day) later the emotions will follow. I may have thoughts/ emotions of what  I wish I could have said or done (that weren't rational, but might have helped unload the emotional burden I feel after the fact).

This disconnect I have with thought/ emotion so far has been useful at my job. People can really get on my nerves, but I likely won't react to it even if someone really did upset me. At least not (immediately) react to it until they are long gone. But then depending on the upset, my emotions can really tear me up.  While I process those unpleasant emotions, I then try to imagine ways to improve or prevent from having the same outcome occur again. Or if I can't do any better, recognize when the other side might have been out of line and try to let to go and focus on the next situation.

That also said, I've had to mentally allow myself (or kind of develop a mental plan by recognizing a past experience to the present) to "emotionally outburst" or release some of my emotion when someone does push me to the point and the situation arises. I don't like doing it, but if I don't, then I'm left dwelling on those emotions even worse after the situation.  I'm not saying that completely relieves me from having to dwell on stuff, but it has helped.

MJI says...

I retook this test (and a few other tests) and found INFJ a more fitting result.

MJI says...

What made it hard for me to understand about my emotions is they act like the "weather" to me. I feel them and they effect me. They are part of the atmosphere of my consciousness,  but they don't become me (unless they reach a crisis level). If people around me are upset, then it will effect the "weather" too.  If I'm not in self analyzing mode I'll miss this important detail and end up wondering why my mood is the way it is, or more specifically why I acted out of character. Usually it is the thoughts and actions I notice first before I notice the emotion.

My emotions tend to get expressed through action. As a friend stated, he can see it in my art and in my creativity. For me it is harder to make the connection. Just that I feel calmer after doing something or talking it out vs brooding about it.

I'm not sure, but what I read about INFP and INFJ's, this seems more INFJ like as far as experiencing emotions.

Andi M (not verified) says...

Why not both? There is real peace and beauty in balance. (I'm the same, but I use both equally 😉)

Lily (not verified) says...

This is definately me!

Guest (not verified) says...

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

Guest (not verified) says...

I like being a Healer

Jason.Walker550 says...

YES! :]

Guest (not verified) says...

lol same

Kerstan (not verified) says...

How amazing ... the accuracy in this astounds me !

Thank you ! =]

Guest (not verified) says...

nope

andreas.stokas says...

Great test. Reveals my personality in a way I never thought.

Leeroy Thinks (not verified) says...

I'm loving finding out about Jungian theory and being an INFP. It's like I've just found loads of people just like me and I'm not a total misfit anymore. Good luck and love to you all!!

NATHANs (not verified) says...

just like me~

Quentin (not verified) says...

Well you very well could be a misfit, but that doesn't mean you still aren't cool :)

deviana (not verified) says...

such as me...

Guest (not verified) says...

such as me...

ert (not verified) says...

i probably spend way too much time reading up on my personality type. It's just nice to finally see myself explained. I no longer wonder if I just have emotional issues because I feel SO strongly, or because I'm so reserved at first. I LOVE that it is just because I am ME, no apologies necessary :)

Ginette (not verified) says...

I feel totally the same as you, and now i know why. We're not misfits, we are just on a different level spiritually..Namaste you beautiful lot! We Are One XXX

Guest (not verified) says...

I agreed with you wholeheartedly. For such a long time I have struggled to express myself with verbal language. It was so resolving to see how I felt on the inside already compromised of my feelings.

KylieRae (not verified) says...

Me too. Me too. Reading the personality description, and everyone's comments, which are so in line with my own, was like a breath of fresh air.

lore (not verified) says...

Me too, i used to feel so alone and misunderstood, i couldn't understand why i had such deep emotions and there was something wrong with me. Finding out there are people out there who feel and see the world the same way as i do made me very happy and relieved :)

Guest107 (not verified) says...

INFPs, I need help! I am an ENFJ and pursuing a relationship with an INFP and we are both attracted to each other. Yet I can tell there is a wall. I love to hear about what is important to her, what events are happening in her life, and her dreams. I generally ask a bunch of questions about how she sees the world. Naturally I love and am interested in people. But when I compliment her what I enjoy about her so holds back from accepting my compliments and other signs of affection. I know she is really hard on herself too. What can I do to help her be more accepting of herself? What can I do to help her feel like she can be more open and connected with me?

Deka (not verified) says...

I am an INFP female. It is wonderful that you are already asking her these questions and getting a better understanding of what she values and how she sees things. My advice would be to have plenty patience with her and understand that she will need time alone sometime but that doesn't mean she doesn't want to be around you. It can take a while, but I promise you that when that wall comes down you will enter into the most beautiful world of warmth, love, appreciation, and nurturing. Another plus is that when we love, we love hard doing anything we can to keep the relationship in harmony and fulfilling for our partners mainly and then also our selves. Open up with her. We open up easier to people who have opened up to us first. tell her your biggest fears as well as desires. tell her what you believe in...that is a good way to get us to admire you if we admire your beliefs and values, especially if it isn't something we've thought of before. introduce her to your family and go out of ur way to show her that she is important to you and that she can trust you. we do not agree with the current relationship ideals of this generation. all of that "harmless" flirting on social media etc will not be seen as harmless by the infp female who needs constant reassurance that her man has eyes for her and only her (we know you lust in your head we just don't want to know anything about it as is hurtful for whatever reason). Ok ill stop there but I have my email on this so if you have more questions id b happy to answer. doing this because if I were her I'd love for another infp to help my guy to make me happy :) there we go helping ppl again

Guest (not verified) says...

That was the sweetest, most honest- spot on reply, one could ask for! Well done.

Guest105 (not verified) says...

that is acctually very true....listen to her \(o.o)/

Guest (not verified) says...

very true

lynnlitten says...

Deka, well said about INFP female. Thanks for expanding on what I have understood about myself. I was married to a man who could not help eyeing every pretty female he saw, whether in a restaurant, shopping, on vacation, etc. It hurt me beyond measure. I ended up leaving him and he could never understand because he never cheated on me.

I am happy on my own and when I meet a man who can keep his lust in his head (love what you wrote), I will probably be a woman who is as you described.

Ollie B

Guest (not verified) says...

Another INFP here. We don't really like verbal compliments. We like people to pay attention to what we think, and who we are, and to show that by their actions. I find I have a profound distrust of what people say, because so often it conflicts with what they do. What you do is more true than what you say. Prove your love and interest in her as separate from you, more by doing, not by saying. You can question and gently suggest opposite views and ask her why she disagrees, but in a noncombative way. We are good at seeing both points of view and taking pieces of both and trying to meld them into something more true than either extreme. This is useful, even if others don't always value it. Help her to see that.

Guest (not verified) says...

Exactly. Most of the time, I use what people are saying as merely a guidepost to work out what they REALLY mean. Perhaps most people view it this way: say = mean. I find that to almost always be a very unreliable assumption to make!

CedarClassical (not verified) says...

I'm an INFP guy and if I had to take a guess, it's possible that assuming she's genuinely attracted to you, she's either a) been hurt in the past and is keeping her distance (we DO fall hard when it comes to love) or b) highly intelligent INFPs can be too cynical for their own good creating that 'wall' between themselves and anything fun or intimate...she needs time to trust you with her delicate and intense feelings..prove it to her with body language and through thoughtful action..mere words can be cheap..rescue her from her self-imposed Ivory Tower..!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Rqm7HDF89A

Andi M (not verified) says...

Absolutely nailed it! Perfect example if you don't mind. In just 3 days I will be celebrating my 15th anniversar to the man who I knew without a doubt on day 3 if knowing him, that he was THE one.  Just last weekend, that's 2 weeks before said anniversary, after some intimate time together, I broke down in tears. I had a thought that I didn't verbalize, innocent as it was, that I had craved the way he just lightly caressed me all over (but not in the usual erogenous areas) for years. I cried because I realized how guarded I really was. To protect something so innocent and mundane as if it were my deepest darkest secret. I think it was because it's one of the few things that I truly enjoy. So I never told because I didn't want it used against me. Does that make sense or am I one of the really weird ones? Lol.

Guest (not verified) says...

As an INFP, my closest friend is an ENFJ. If you are anything like her, I promise your relationship is going to be worth it. Be true to your gorgeous personality.

Morgaine (not verified) says...

Every time I take a personality test, it always comes out as INFP, which I am very proud to be! I love taking all different kinds of personality tests just for fun, and this one was great. Everything on the description is dead-on.

Guest (not verified) says...

totally nailed on me !!! so accurate !

Guest (not verified) says...

am so please to be one of the INFP people, surrounded by the things that we love and so damn true! I am INFP and proud to be the one :)

Guest (not verified) says...

I first took the Keirsey test in a school course in 2000 and found out this information. It is amazing. This is me. I am INFP and being so makes life interesting. I love being able to see life differently from others.

Guest (not verified) says...

I have taken a plethora of Personality Tests and most of them have a smudge of truth but are generally incorrect. However, this one is nearly completely who and what I am. It is amazing to read (basically) about myself.

elianar says...

GET OUT OF MY HEAD!! This is so true XD

smestef says...

This is one of the more positive data I've read about INFP's. A lot of threads make us seem like we have mostly bad qualities. Thanks for this sight. ;)

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