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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

Guest (not verified) says...

I still think I'm a total misfit after reading these. I literally crying while reading because it's so true and I don't know what to do with myself.

MichieBoo (not verified) says...

Easy...forgive yourself for having been so sensitive in situations you KNEW weren't going to pan out, but went along with them because you cared so much. Know that ultimately, we need self-care, and the love, support and guidance of someone who "gets it". (Hard part, where are THEY??) Otherwise, everyone who seems happier and more content are faking their way through the status quo. We are unable to lie to ourselves, but we tend to play hide and seek with our emotions and true responses to outside stimulae. Life is simple, not easy. So simplify...

Thea (not verified) says...

This is just so me!! At first I thought I might be an ISFP at first, but I really think that the INFP is more like me after looking into it :)

Guest D (not verified) says...

Hello I am a college student and I took the Myers Briggs in my class and I am a certified INFP hands down. I had a question or any suggestions on the disappointment factor of the INFP, being that relationships and harmony is like so high in our values, I was wondering if you could give any tips on not experiencing stifling temperament due to disappointment in friendships and relationships.

Guest (not verified) says...

I can't believe how accurate this is!

Guest (not verified) says...

Wow! This is the inner me most definitely. Thanks :)

Guest (not verified) says...

Wow, this is actually pretty spot on. I checked all the other introverted personality types and INFP is the only personality that is almost exactly like mine. I'm glad to know that i've found what my personality type is and that even though its not in a large number, there are others out there. This is just awesome :)

JoB (not verified) says...

omg it's so accurate!! i'm smiling cause i'm reading the person i am and it makes me feel good :) i'm so happy the way I am!

Guest (not verified) says...

Huh! Pretty accurate!

bananna (not verified) says...

this is verrrrry freakkky oÜo

Guest (not verified) says...

I'm going to study in dentistry soon. And you say it's one of the least popular careers for INFPs. Ow... :O

Matheus (not verified) says...

Well, I'm going to study System Analysis soon and I just found out it is one of the least popular careers for INFPs too lol

Guest (not verified) says...

Im an INFP, and im 4th year student, it's not that bad, but I think I would have a better job! so try to find out what you really want

Guest (not verified) says...

I used to dream of being a dentist but it went out of my mind. I'm going to take accounting instead

ADHD (not verified) says...

LOL....I was an accountant first (big four accounting firm) now I am a dentist. It is crazy to see these comments and how they really hit home.

Guest Towel (not verified) says...

Wow! I cannot imagine an INFP being an accountant! Unless you got 'creative' with the numbers! ;)

cristellechirwa says...

I've got a degree in accounting. Now I'm thinking I would've been more satisfied as a psychologist or maybe even getting into Parapsychology?!...

vella (not verified) says...

Really insightful! Personally I feel like I balance between infp and intp but predominantly infp. I'm glad there are resources like this to better understand oneself. Love!!

Noemie Rivers (not verified) says...

I feel that INFP describes me perfectly. When I read this webpage, I was like "how do they KNOW this? Are they stalking me? They read my mind!"

ASIF (not verified) says...

human brain is too smart.exploring itself and finding ways to play hide n seek with itself and able to give a friendly hand and tricky as well.let our brain engage in serving the dark parts of our society.we can enlighten the dark roads of life to get eternal common goal of acceptance,peace and satisfaction.

Lou (not verified) says...

I'm slightly lost. Did the test and was not a definite anything so had to choose quick type I most identified with. and here I am. Although I am introverted lots of my friends would say otherwise as I can be extroverted when in the right 'mood' and where I feel comfortable. It must be on my terms though (when I have the 'people energy' I need and never at my place!) I find it both exhausting and fulfilling. A little goes a long way. Just need a good old blow out from time to time. I'm happiest being a hermit in my own space. Any thoughts?

Guest (not verified) says...

I am INFP and have a terrible time with work/career. It is very difficult-- please help...

kristen.cude says...

I think this is pretty accurate of me too! I am an extremely emotional person, but empathy is one of my strengths. So it's not surprising that I want to be a social worker. I also love to write! I don't know about ya'll, but maybe our personality has more of a tendency to struggle with depression. I do. I also find it encouraging that Princess Diana and Audrey Hepburn had this same personality, because they were so loveable and in the spotlight. I think people put me in box because I come off as "shy" and "quiet", this bothers me so much because I know that I have a lot of personality buried under fear.

empathetic (not verified) says...

So me.

Guest (not verified) says...

Please chime in if this sentiment rings true for you, as well:

Though a very adept person from a verbal standpoint, I often find myself struggling to articulate WHY I feel a certain way about something, be it something trivial or something of great importance. Though I realize that, "It just feels right" can seem like a legitimately unsatisfying response, it is often the best I can do. Also, I often find myself thinking (though less frequently saying), "Just trust me. I KNOW I'm right. I wouldn't say so otherwise." And it's true. If I did not know it fully at an intuitive level, I would own up to it. But if I DO know it, I don't much care for being questioned on it! Especially since, as alluded to above, I really CAN'T explain why! I just know it and let's get on with it!

I am just curious to see if others can relate to that experience. Again, please chime in on this.

Guest (not verified) says...

I can totally relate to that experience. Strong intuition- strong gut feelings, with the same problem, although verbally adept, struggle to express to non-N's by "reasoning" INFP, btw. I've had to learn (still in progress) how to express myself to non-Ns. (I'd be interested to know if this is particularly true for INFP's, or shared by N's in general.) Try not be put off or insulted by the questions. And, celebrate the fact that your gut feelings have, in fact, helped you many a time.

Guest (not verified) says...

Since we are 4% of the population, we are a minority. We HAVE to spend time listening and understanding others--it's a survival issue. I like being an INFP (though I can become an ENFP once in a while...). Greetings to others in our community!

Sakura (not verified) says...

Hello, this description fits me enough, after years of research on my type, I think I'm INFP (especially for the spiritual side and the truth about the world), although sometimes I doubt between INFP / ISFP because I n 'have not had enough experience in my life to bring myself to 100%.

If anyone can help me, I am not against,thank you in advance.

Ps: sorry for those who have misunderstood me, English is not my mother tongue.

Guest (not verified) says...

I was not too sure at first, but it matches me more than what my personality was last year

Guest (not verified) says...

It's interesting because I've been trying to build up a career in engineering starting as a technician in the military and I despise my job to a degree that is rather unsettling.

I came out as INFP at the test my shippmates and I took for leadership training and it's a bit astonishing how accurate it really is once you get down to it. I always wanted to be a teacher or massage therapist but kinda opted more towards a STEM career since there is more money/job reliability there but I just hate it so much.

The more I find out, the more I'm fascinated by it.

Guest (not verified) says...

I had taken a test before and it gave me I am an INFP. Today I was blown by how much similar my face is to Charlotte Bronte and on top if that I've read some people estimate her as being INFP(maybe). This thing is really accurate.(meaning the description of the personality). Because I am so much into arts, self expression, I'm drawing on regular basis, I like reading,actually I spend hours reading. All my life doing things that benefit people and getting involved in things that can benefit people like charities for children and eradicating world famine and lately trying to figure out ways of reducing world poverty are things that fill my mind most of the time. i understood long time ago other people are different and they seek different things and I'm OK with that. Well Im writing here in hope that maybe more people will resonate with these thoughts. My hope is one day world will be a better place with no people being subjected to famine, poverty and disease. I take the world of a doctor from 1900 who said a problem cannot be tackled by a single approach but rather by multiple approaches.

What I generally found is people don't have enough patience to listen to everything other people say, therefore it makes hard to understand the thinking process. Or sometimes if they understand they are not interested. Like who cares of poverty reduction policies? I guess for INFPs our mind is a wild place with many thoughts which are very hard to catch in a full sentence.

Before I used to think being Introverted was handicap, now I'm OK with it but it would be better if we would be able to be more efficient in communicating with others. Was also fearing mediocrity but now I'm realizing it might take allot of time until being able to excel in some field, especially some types of arts.

Nowadays close to my 30s I'm looking for truth about life,which until now I wasn't able to find but some pieces are starting to make sense, yet there are more to be discovered. I'm also looking into kind of a receipt for happiness, but I'm yet far to figure it out. I just hope that the years to come will set my mind more free, and more peaceful towards self.

Jeff C (not verified) says...

This is really neat! Describes me well. Thanks for the insight! It is nice to feel free to be myself!

Guest (not verified) says...

Any INFP type clasher(Clash of Clan) is welcome to join my new clan 'INFP'. There is only one clan with this name.

Guest (not verified) says...

Darn thats why I am stressed out and dissatisfied. I am technician at an electronics company.

Guest (not verified) says...

Aside from how accurate these descriptions are, my favorite part of this is reading the comments and seeing people like me. Most of these responses end in exclamation marks and exude a warm contentment, much of how I felt when reading the analysis itself. It's just pretty cool to see us all in one place :)

Joelle (not verified) says...

I used to be an ISFP for quite a long time and when I took the test again recently I changed to become an INFP.
(INFP was shown as my next dominat personallty type when I was an ISFP and now it swapped places and I have no idea why)

Guest105 (not verified) says...

being an INFP does not completely show who you are though, you determine that. even though it could show you a lot. Not all INFP's are the same .o.)

TM (not verified) says...

Pretty accurate :)

Eric Sixx (not verified) says...

This is so correct, it has me to a T. Its told me a lot of things I already knew about myself and I love who I am so YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY

Talky (not verified) says...

Interesting and reassuring to read.

Also, this has to be the only comments box on the internet that hasn't lowered into intense arguing. Says a lot about INFPs!

Just Me (not verified) says...

Thanks for making me laugh because that is too true. A challenging aspect for me in being ans INFP is that when someone I love is physically ill or injured or emotionally upset, I get sucked into the vortex of that and, even in the realization that I cannot fix his/her pain, I would love to magically absorb their burden so they feel better. Yes, I have been known to run out in the street to get a cat out of the path of an oncoming car with total disregard for my own safety. Sigh.

Mouth (not verified) says...

Wow, so funny that I didn't notice that. Just basking in the warmth over here, lol.

Muranzo (not verified) says...

I'm an INFP, and a materials scientist and engineer... Weird passion to have for an INFP, but I see my engineering as an art form. If I had to do it all over again and choose something else, I would be a writer. But writers tend to not make as much money, and since I have the smarts for science, I figured I should use them.

Guest (not verified) says...

I wrote this earlier but felt this was relevant to your comment:

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 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 (definitely if educated properly).

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.-

Carlos12 (not verified) says...

The video says INFPs tend to avoid conflict. I'm an INFP and I don't think that's necessarily true. If someone gets me riled up, I'm at the edge of my seat til I can set them straight! This girl in class suggested (hypothetically) a business could fire its custodians to save money and make sales associates do the work, because custodians are 'unskilled'. I got so mad! I'm the first person to speak up about what I think is right, even though I hardly talk in class.

Renz (not verified) says...

I took up tests before college and I was diagnosed as INTJ. Now, I'm a proud INFP. Everything is on point! I want to pursue things that would benefit the human kind, the environment and animals as well. The personalities and ideals toward life and work are so outright true. I thank the tests for letting me realize my inner self currently. Yes, people change. We are changing every now and then and I believe it's best to know yourself better from where you are today. It helps you grow into a person you want to be in the future! Now, I feel so light and calm and ready to take on what's ahead of me knowing that I have a greater purpose in life.

Guest (not verified) says...

This is so accurate, it's scary! I'm 100% an INFP, and have taken tests on so many websites. They have all come back with INFP. I'm proud to be me.

Zlaty (not verified) says...

Note the style that each personality type writes with. Check out the comments by each type, and you'll see that some types are more likely to gush their praise, and some are more focused on the practical part. It's really funny!

Tyana (not verified) says...

I got distracted, took a personality test, found out I was an INFP and saw that almost everything was exactly how it was. It's really cool to see how much is the same in how I interact with others. I am more concerned about how other people feel whenever I tell them something. When a friend of mine has a speech or something I always tell them how well they did and the things that they did really well with. Very rarely (I can't even think of a time I did this) do I tell them about something they did wrong. I also noticed that I do well in small group conversations and one-on-one conversations rather than big groups. In big groups and parties I usually find a spot and watch the other people enjoy themselves and feel happy that they are enjoying themselves. I may talk to one or two people but that is about it. I listen well according to some people I know. But when I am one on one with someone I tend to talk a lot. As you can tell...

I am a guest (not verified) says...

I would love if there was more of an understanding of this personality type. I have taken three tests and they all say I have this personality. It's hard for me socially because I'm a dreamer and not interested in the present. I would gladly sit and talk about the world and people and everything all day long. I'm so happy that I have finally found people like me. I just wish I was friends with them

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