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The INFP Personality Type

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.

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What does INFP stand for?

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.

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

Famous INFPs

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

INFP Values and Motivations

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 Others See the INFP

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

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

INFP Hobbies and Interests

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

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

Quotes About INFPs

"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

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Comments

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. ;)

smestef says...

Do any other INFP's get INTP also?

owl (not verified) says...

I kept getting INTP on tons of tests. Recently took the official Myer's Briggs and received INFP.

Guest (not verified) says...

Haha I'm an INFP with a pretty low P preference so I keep getting INFJ

smestef says...

Do any other INFP's get INTP also?

Johnny (not verified) says...

I don't know,

Guest (not verified) says...

These descriptions are very spot on to who I am! :)

Guest (not verified) says...

haha i used to get infj but i guess i've changed...

Guest (not verified) says...

Wow I love this! :3 it makes total sense to me

Guest (not verified) says...

I thoroughly enjoyed this as this is one of the better personality tests I've taken. In fact, I would go as far as saying that this is the best. Thank you for the superbly accurate descriptions.

Guest (not verified) says...

i see myself here,fantastic!

Guest (not verified) says...

i used to be ENTP, after going through a turning point in my life and (still) questioning my calling and purpose, i became INFP and this is amazingly accruate. thank you.

Guest (not verified) says...

Me too! Was an ENTP when I was younger, thought I changed to INTP, but I'm totally an INFP all the way.

Guest (not verified) says...

INFTP Do they exist?

Guest (not verified) says...

From my understanding, no. Many people have traits from more than just one of the Myers-Briggs personalities and don't just fit into one of them, but the creator of this only uses four letters to identify the different personality types. (Correct me if I am wrong, I hope this helps!)

Guest (not verified) says...

This is pretty spot on. However, I am a very honest person, and tend to express myself if I feel it is necessary even knowing that it will cause a conflict. Maybe I am the exception, but I did feel like this article made it seem like an INFP is scared to hurt anyones feelings.

Guest (not verified) says...

I think that's the part of the article saying we (INFPs) speak up and become firm when we feel our core values are threatened (not quite the right word, but you catch my meaning).

Guest (not verified) says...

it is exactly me writer is talking fascinating amazing love it thanks alot

david lincoln brooks (not verified) says...

Dead-on accurate. On the suitable occupations page? I've worked at all the tasks of the left-most column!

AmyK (not verified) says...

I took this test when I was working and was told not only my type, but where I fell on the scale. I scored high on the scale in all the areas as INFP. I think it helps to know where you are on the scale because it may be fairly easy for some people to flip modes depending on the situation they're in and more difficult for others. Also, I think it's important to recognize that these types are preferences, not behaviors set in stone. As much as it pains me, I can get organized if I really have to, for example. Also, it would be really nice if extroverts would shut up and listen sometimes, wouldn't it? Awareness that people have different communication styles can help extroverts and introverts communicate much better. I'm definitely not an expert, but IMO this is the best personality test available. Great site.

Guest (not verified) says...

very accurate XD

Guest (not verified) says...

i found that it was accurate but not 100% accurate

Guest (not verified) says...

woow..very very very accurate...
(>.

terry mckenna (not verified) says...

so spookily accurate was lmao. personally i think ive crossed a spectrum of personae throughout my lifetime, but ive been a definite INFP (although i dont really do labels !!) for the past 8 yrs. it even got my profession correct lol a drug counsellor. i was raised in a house where my parents and sister were all E-type personae and i found them really oppressive and still do on occasions. i had to get away for a few years and find me and i wasnt surprised when i found i was INFP..they call me the black sheep, but hey better than following the flock..

Guest (not verified) says...

It is pretty fun to read all about myself online. :o) And fun to see so many others who can relate. I love personality stuff! And yay for being individuals!

Shadowclone says...

Soooo why "The Healer?"

Guest (not verified) says...

A lot of people in this group are in human sciences careers such as counseling. I happen to be a nurse- defin. A healer!

L.A (not verified) says...

WOW someone who understands me!!!! finally:)

Michael Dick (not verified) says...

To know thy self. I have been on a journey of self-discovery for some time. That journey has taken me to some pretty wild worlds. This test has helped see me from yet a different perspective. Some of the info felt validating, (which means I have some bias on how I view myself) other info felt very encouraging. The pursuit of self-consciousness is wonderful, yet make no mistake people, once you open that door you can never close it again. Wisdom has its price.

Michael

Krisen (not verified) says...

Yes wisdom does indeed have it's price. Thanks Michael

Guest (not verified) says...

A good match-up.

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