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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.

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.

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How rare 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).

INFJ Quotes

"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

INFP Hobbies and Interests

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

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Lilith (not verified) says...

Hello! I recently tested as an INFP after a long time of not knowing which type I really was. I used to test as either an ESTJ, INFP or INFJ. But I could never decide. I think that my upbringing might have obscured who I really am. I cried so hard in the shower when I realized how much of myself I'd been suppressing for years, trying to fit in. It was like my soul had reconnected to my body. It's also fascinating learning about how I mirror rather than absorb emotions! I heard somewhere that INFPs are naturally good actors and I almost thought maybe I should have been typed as an INFJ instead. But maybe I should give acting a shot.

I am an INFP who is incredibly uncertain of what to do with her life. I've been consulting pages like this for years trying to understand myself and what I should do. And honestly, after reading that INFPs are the second-lowest earners out of all the types and I might be an INFJ which are the ultimate lowest earners, it honestly gave me a sense of relief because I don't have to fight for a high-earning, high-stress job anymore. I can just be myself and do good for the world like I was meant to. :') Whatever that ends up being (which probably won't be paying much but knowing that my worries and stress over how much money I end up making is pointless soothes me.)

Monalisa (not verified) says...

Hi fellow INFPs,

I have a dilemma, i feel like my personality type is getting in the way of my relationship. I've been in a relationship for 4 years now and in that time I've been having doubts about whether my partner is the one. I always imagine that the person who is the one would be someone with similar interests to mine. My partner and i dont share similar interests. I've been going over whether we are compatible and came up with the conclusion that we are not but after taking the test and finding out that tone of the traits of an INFP is dreaming of the perfect relationship and that there is a person out there who is their soul mate, I'm rethinking things and now im confused as to whether its just my personality getting in the way or whether my partner and i truly belong together. What if i end things and turns out i was wrong?! I feel that having this personality when it comes to relationship is stressful.

IN-er (not verified) says...

Honor yourself first.

You are the only person who will ever be with you for the rest of your life.


You already know the answer and what must be done. Move with intention.


Ask yourself, what advice would I give to myself if I were a friend.

Susan Epstein (not verified) says...

Am am also an INFP and I can't tell you how important it is to find your soulmate- it is difficult but not impossible! I am married to an INXP for 41 years. My husband is my best friend and soulmate. I believe when there is too much compromise in a relationship, it can cause undue stress. What are your partner's letters? This will give you deeper insight into the joys and the challenges of your relationship. You are correct to question your personal decisions and must analyze more deeply before making a lifelong commitment.

Shivvv (not verified) says...

I would say that most importantly relationships take work. No partner is going to be a perfect fit and you'll both make compromises for each other along the way. I have been having my own doubts with my partner, but realised it was the bedroom department I felt was most lacking, so have been playing lots of games and putting the work in to make it better. I have been very proactive and having more open communication which has helped immensely, which has in turn reflected on our relationship positively. 

Perhaps talking to your partner about how you're feeling and coming to some conclusions of a few activities you could try together, to form common interests going forward, would be a good idea. 


If you put the work in and still feel the same, then perhaps take these thoughts more seriously! 

SchoonerScotty (not verified) says...

Hi Monalisa,

Get the books, "Type Talk," by Otto Kroeger," "Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type," by Isabel Briggs Myers.  these should help you.  I had a friend who was an INFP, and she married a ISTJ against some misgivings, and I wonder if they are still together today.  People with an intuitive preference have a focus on the future and use mataphors, look for connections between often disparate items, finding a pattern or a whole, enjoy fiction literature, including fantasy and science fiction, think often about "what if..." situations, while their opposites, people with a sensiing preference tend to be concrete thinkers, prefer linear thinking, step 1 to step 2, to step 3, etc. prefer parts to the whole, and rather than consider something could be improved if we only had XyZ, they think in terms of, what they have, and make do with their resources.  They enjoy computer manuals, action adventure books, or movies, and realistic biographies about people, etc.

Introverts live in their own rich, inner world, where they often retreat to reflect on things, and look for inspiration.

Extroverts look outside of themselves for inspiration and energy.

Thinkers tend to make decisions using logic, and take a "firm but fair," approach to making decisions while their opposites, feelers, use their deeply held personal values when making decisions.

People who prefer Judging in their orientation to life prefer a scheduled, organized, and planned approach to life.  They may often buy time share condos, or have summer house in a special location where they go year after year.  They tend to stay in the same career.

People who prefer a Perceiving approach to life, enjoy a life open to change, get energized by last minute rushes, and may take off with friends on a special adventure when the spirit moves them.  They may vacation in Quebec, Canada, one year, Istanbul, Turkey the next year, and Sao Paulo, Brazil the following year!

Susan Epstein (not verified) says...

Type Talk is where it all began for me!


glooms (not verified) says...


4 years feels like the 'make it or break it' marker for a lot of relationships. To me, it sounds like there is a part of you that isn't happy with the relationship and wondering if they are "the one" is your way of allowing yourself to feel those doubts and questions that maybe you feel guilty about or are scared to feel. First of all, honor those feelings, it's okay to be in that space. Whether someone is "the one" or not is always, always your choice to make, and if there are needs/desires that you have for a partnership that cannot be met by this person, then I don't think that longing will go away. With that said, a partnership- one person, isn't meant to fulfill all of our needs, friendships can also help fulfill our needs. So it's just a matter of, do you love and want to be with this person enough to evolve and carry on a partnership together even if they don't meet those needs/desires? Or do you feel a longing for a different kind of connection? My advice is to listen to your heart, listen to your intuition and longing. Have a little faith that when you let honesty and goodness be your compass, everything will turn out best possible outcome. 

Wishing you strength in love <3

Wel (not verified) says...


To be honest, I have the same problem! I've been in a relationship for almost a year and been overthinking everything ever since! I guess it's just our personality. Dreaming of how it would be if we met the one.... but what if the person we imagine doesn't even exist? 

Don't give up on your relationship just because of some overthinking.... maybe they are THE one? Just keep going as long as there are no problems! And you shouldn't question your not their feelings! 

Good luck <3

Po (not verified) says...

Hi I just took this personality test (actually a couple times) and got INFP. I feel as if yes I relate to this personality type 100% but for some reason after the results and the comments I'm left kinda disappointed. I love to constantly learn and that includes figuring out how I can positively grow and work on myself. Don't get me wrong this did give me a greater understanding of how/why I operate the way I do and is quite accurate but it also kinda backfired idk and now I'm in a bad/ansy/idontevenknowanymore mood. I always thought the way that I am right now directly stems from my depression and anxiety and with therapy I would be less like this but its exhausting to kinda come to terms with the fact that its mainly attributed to my personality. I dont want to overthink so much all the time. I dont want to be concerned for other people all the time. I wish I cared about money and was mindless and ignorant so I don't have to experience so much god damn stress and gloom thats results from navigating this toxic world. It just feels like with the INFP personality... anxiety and depression is an envitable symptom. It's a personality that inevitably is doomed in the modern world. Everyone is so cold and selfish and we feel so much it's a blessing but also a curse.

Obviously this is just my perspective and how I felt after learning my personality type - can anyone relate or throw some advice my way :o

Chad Monson (not verified) says...

Po, I sympathize with your sense of disappointment at the results-- while it lends clarity to learn your personality type, some of the characterizations of an INFP would be disheartening to anyone willing to view them as stone-carved depictions. My advice would be to not bind yourself in this way. It has been helpful to me to step back and consider my reasons for taking this test to begin with, and to re-calibrate my expectations. Was I seeking to have my fortune told? Did I really expect all of my hard decisions to be made for me? While I disagree with the statement made by another in this thread that MTBi is 'for entertainment purposes', I do think it is important to avoid looking at the often painfully accurate descriptions of our personality type as inevitable fate, and take them with the proverbial grain of salt. We are particularly sensitive and spiritual in nature, and seem to be on a perpetual quest to understand ourselves; this struggle for identity predisposes us to accept rather broad generalizations as air-tight boundaries, and then confine ourselves within them. My friend, don't allow yourself to be limited by anybody else's explanation of who you are, and why, no matter how accurate it may seem. Or, at least consider this: Your best friend took 15 minutes to complete an online quiz, and accepted the results as simply everything she needs to know about herself. What might you tell her about the wisdom in this? For yourself, then, accept the results of this particular exercise-- one of the many personality profiling tests you have taken, if you're anything like me-- as a surprisingly accurate indication of your inclinations, allow your self-awareness to grow, and step forward with courage into the challenges ahead of you. You are kind, and cannot act without compassion and authenticity. It is nothing short of a blessing to know your deliberate contributions to the world can only ever be meaningful, and that you cannot force yourself to do anything less-- the only real curse behind it is the tendency to inaction, if you become convinced there is no path forward, but I promise you that you DO have the strength to overcome this, time after time if needed. Know your values, and then stay close to that internal source of what compels you to do... well, anything, really; keep your head about you when others fly off in random directions in pursuit of material things. As much as anything, have the patience with yourself to choose just one of the many, many worthwhile causes dear to your heart, and then to commit fully to it until you have seen it through. Then do that again, and again, and again. You have my word that your life will be filled with meaning and unfathomable joy as you raise up others and bring into reality what others may only regard as fantasy.

Toni (not verified) says...

I totally get that and I agree but there's an old Indian story about the two wolves inside all of us;it all depends upon which wolf u feed..the good wolf or the bad going down the depressed,frustrated etc path then yes u wil b these things but u can also take the other path(feed the good wolf) and use ur talents to help,heal others and in that u wil get help and healing too! Works for me anyway! I'm not only an infp-t but I'm also a Pisces so I know!

Arya Singh (not verified) says...

This is a pretty cool mantra to live by;)

Cece (not verified) says...

I understand what you mean. I have also wished that I could be an extrovert or something like that. People usually take advantage of kind people and being an INFP that's inevitable. Also, I get what you mean that you thought that the way that you're now comes from anxiety and depression. I have social anxiety disorder, so I always thought that if I could find a way to overcome that I could be an extrovert. I still think that I could be an extrovert. I just don't think NFP part could change. Especially the feeling part. Because I'm always constantly putting others before myself. I have friends that treat me badly because I'm quiet. But for that friend that's how they express themselves. My other friend only talks about herself, and always enforces her opinions onto me. So, when my friends do that and say mean things to me I don't know how to react. I always try not to say anything negative, but when I do suddenly they use that against me. They call me mean if I say one thing... and even after that, I don't think they realise how much that sticks with me. I will think about that for weeks or maybe even months. I will be embarrased and treat myself badly, for making someone feel that way. That's why INFP is a curse like you said.

Violetta J D'Avila Winter (not verified) says...

No I don't think so! I'm an INFP too, but I think anxiety and depression is an inevitable symptom of low self-esteem and confidence, not your MBTI type. I was very quiet and reserved as a kid, but then as I grew I gained more confidence in myself and brushed up on my social skills so much so I come across as an extrovert to those who don't know me. You can "change". Anxiety and depression are not a result of your personality type but your mental health. You can be a mentally healthy INFP so I don't think you should accept anything! :D

Red Loam (not verified) says...

My wife asked me to take the Briggs Meyers version of this test. It was like a new layer of reality was unveiled. I know in the comments someone said it is for entertainment purposes only and for some people they might not feel that they fit in a particular personality. There is no doubt with mine. I'm an INFP and an INFP male on top of that which is only about 3% of the world population. I'm a deeply emotional male which is different for allot of people to interact with. Over the decades I've built up a wall I was unaware I was building. I ignored my intuition ( gut feeling about people, material possessions, going into a particular fast food drive through) which I never ignore anymore. I don't have a verbal inner dialogue really it's as though a certain emotion was assigned to every word in the English language. It's overwhelming and in the past has led me to abuse drugs and alcohol. I have the tendency to isolate which feels overwhelming satisfying and horrible at the same time. After finding out my personality type it explained almost every event in my life and why I reacted to that event that way. It's hard to understand your mind   when your only tool is your mind. The world is overwhelming and I definitely can focus on the negative and let it destroy me. (Reason for the wall) since my main tool to understand myself is flawed I realized I have an amazing ability to help people realize and put into words what is making them upset, depressed, etc. It helps me identify things that are making me depressed and anxious. I just texted my wife this morning that I wish I were simpler. I don't know if that's really true. The emotional depth that I feel towards the people I love is indescribable. I just always thought people felt like I do but know I realize they don't and I feel sorry for them. I don't know what the purpose of life is other than emotion. The way people made you feel. The way they made you feel. Everything else is just bullshit. Depression and anxiety weren't always there. I made that myself but it's a small price to pay if the alternative is just being a shell watching sports on the couch

Jason Casale (not verified) says...

I said the same thing.

I always thought people were like me and felt and experienced things like me as a INFP male too I get it.

It is diblitating in some ways floods of emotions and being able to read and see through people is intense at times.

The sensory overy load forced me to drink sometimes because of how intense it is.

I understand buddy.

I have often thought and wished I was not so complex and simpler as well.

My life would be easier instead of so contorted at times.

I get it and I undersdtand you.

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) says...

i looked through this personality and didn't see myself in anything they said.

then i read the weaknesses... am i doomed for failure? just when i thought i could get better and improve, just when i was finally grasping the light, i slipped and fell into the deep abyss that kept me for so long. who knows how long till i'll see the light once again.

“...their incredible talents can go completely to waste when they become too discouraged to continue.”


“...suffer in silence”


“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.”


“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.”

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) says...

oof sorry i was being a little deep

infp for life (not verified) says...

And you thought it was your depression only to find out that you are made this way. It so ironic I could laugh, only if I haven't gone through that myself.

Purpose is especially important to us idealists. Find meaning in all you do.

INFP does seem like a disappointing personality type. You are the idealist of the bunch, the least practical of all the types. But as you find your center and find a comfortable pace of personal development, your psyche - the source of your current pain - will become more vast than the universe itself.

Melly (not verified) says...

Seems  like we're all here trying to find ourselves today.

Your last statement was just the thoughts that I had in my why do we seem like the ones people take advantage of - the ones people cannot understand - the ones who cant figure out life.... shoot, I still don't know what I wanna be and I'm 29. 

Bry (not verified) says...

I'm also an INFP and basically what you said is exactly how I feel most of the time. But let me just point out that the MBTI test is just for entertainment purposes only. It can't predict your future or even your present. Also this weird zodiac signs don't make sense sometimes. I'm a  sagittarius and it says im so extroverted but in real life i'm not. The mbti test does say that most infp's are always depressed but I don't think that's true because I am not in any means depressed infact life is going great for me. This weird facts aren't tied to who you are. My mbti job is supposed to be something like a nurse or actor or something like that but I don't really like those jobs I'm more into the coding/enterpreneur stuff. But apparently those jobs are supposed to be only for Extroverted Thinkers. As infps we have this weird tendancy to know more I bet you've researched a lot about your personality type but come man or woman don't always believe what you see on the internet. It's just peoples thoughts. And sometimes when I feel like how you felt I usually just compare my life to someone else out there then I start feeling grateful. Bet there's someone else going through something much worse then you right now. 

michelle says...

Yes I totally agree. I'm a female INFP and scorpion, and I'm not into nursing/caring or aristic jobs. I work in data analytics and analyse financial markets in my spare time. I don't get depressed for long but I can change my mood quickly. I tend to be more optimistic and motivating, and have been described very determined and focused by family and friends. Yes I do have a very wild imagination but I don't really daydream much unless I'm meditating and doing visualisation technique. Don't believe it 100%. It's just a concept. I think you should look at your environment, social influences and values. 


JessAW (not verified) says...

You sound like you fit INTP better for which engineering/coding is a preferred career, so it's actually not true that those things demand extraverted thinking. I actually got INTP, but I feel INFP perfectly suits me. Perhaps those who tend to toe the line between Feeling and Intuition get tipped in the wrong direction in the end. 

alex43354345353 (not verified) says...

I am not a theatre kid.

Vincent Carty (not verified) says...

'How Others See the INFP"

"Oh, let me read this! I'm fascinated by this heading!"

To my disappointment, only the word "cool," which is already well known, really tries to answer the question!

Carlos Sanchez (not verified) says...

I don't find myself cool lol but I'm an INFP

Trinity C Casey (not verified) says...

I'm in college and I'm majoring in Sociology. I'm still feeling it out and it's not set in stone completely, but I'm enjoying it so far. I would definetly suggest Sociology to any INFP I were to encounter.

Po (not verified) says...

so cool! i just graduated university majoring in sociology :) for sure helped me figure out my morals and values way better 

Abby Fisher (not verified) says...

I was also a sociology major in college and it was really fulfilling and came naturally to me. It's a great path for empathetic people although it can be a bit draining when you take on all of the worries of the world. I think it's a great major for an INFP as well.

Lost&Unsure (not verified) says...

Please, I need advice!

I'm really struggling to decide what major to take in college. My heart tells me to go somewhere in the area of arts or film but I'm too caught up in the harsh truth of reality. Knowing this field would be unstable to have a job in, the future doesn't look to bright money wise and realistically living. Also my parents would disapprove of me majoring in arts and not willing at all to pay money for me to go. Now the only options for me is to choose a random major that could support me realistically and financially, and that my parents would approve of. If I do this I know I'll be struggling through college and living my life miserably feeling unfulfilled. What do I do now? If there's an answer/major that somehow fits both ideas, please let me know! 

Blue Jems (not verified) says...

I feel your struggle! I was in similar situation once. (An ENFP here) If you heart lies in the arts to some degree, but your parents won't pay for a degree in like the arts, I would try to either look for something that genuinely interests you that isn't the arts, or that can technically be applied to the arts if you know what I mean. For instance, a degree as an English major, (English can be applied to writing) or a degree in communications (can almost apply any where because no matter the industry you have to communicate with other people) or, if that's where your heart truly lies, in the arts, you could try to figure out a way to get a degree in the arts on your own, or even, try to convince them why it's important for you to do something you love. If your gonna spend thousands of dollars learning something, why not enjoy it and have no regrets? Literally any college major could be hard to get a job in. Just because you have a degree doesn't always garuntee that you will get a job at all. I say go for the thing your heart desires, even if it's hard. If you do something you enjoy, they say you'll never work again. Your life is too short to live it for someone else rather than yourself. Good luck! 

JessAW (not verified) says...

Well, it says we're likely to have job dissatisfaction as well as low income so perhaps we're not motivated to choose those practical jobs that provide stability as we prefer creativity. However, plenty of creatives carve out a stable income for themselves. Personally, I've switched majors from Art to English and now to Psychology. I think it suits me because I love helping people find creative solutions to address their problems. 

bree :) (not verified) says...

always go with your heart and what makes you happiest. parent's approval may be something that seems really important to you but what matters the most is if you approve of your major. it seems as if you're super passionate about the arts which is so awesome! just remember that you deserve happiness in the life that you're leading:). honestly, in the end, the harsh reality that we live in shouldn't stop you from doing something that you are truly passionate about, and your parents should be so, so proud that you've gone to college and support you no matter what you do... there's so many people that just don't have the motivation to go to college. worst-case-scenario, if you chose arts or film as a major, and graduate with a degree in arts and film and say, you don't get as money as you wish, or a steady job... you could always have a job on the side. just know that this world needs imaginative people like you, don't change yourself and your passions for anyone. :) i hope you have a great day :)

Littleblackpony (not verified) says...

Hello, I'm an INFP and I probably have an idea of how that feels. I ended up taking Film and Scriptwriting at the University, and it's really fun. As INFPs we tend to be idealistic about our futures (we are literally obsessed😂), so I would say go for it and do what you want. It would work out if you choose a business minor (I don't know) to go with what you want as a major. Also come out to your parents about why you would like to take something in the arts, and how happy you would be if you actually made your dream come true (that's if you haven't explained to them yet). After all, money isn't always the awesome the world would be if everyone did what they loved! There's everything for everyone and art just seems like your thing...sooo...yeah, tell your parents, you could probably compromise with a business minor, and yeah, chase your dream.


I hope I was helpful.

Pt (not verified) says...

Try Psychology. It can help a lot and be fruitful too. It taps into basic instincts of INFPs.

Emiel (not verified) says...

I have the same as you. Conclusion so far: do what your heart tells you creatively. Pursue it while working a simple job aside it for lifr maintenance. Like 3 days if possible. And spend the other days on your film and art!

Aml Hassan (not verified) says...

Hi , I'm an infp too. I understand your worries and I suggest you go for  interior design. I guess it might suitable for both you and your parents. Interior design is about art and it also could get you a good job with a nice salary.


Keidell H. (not verified) says...


I am a fellow INFP who was in the exact same situation. As soon as I graduated and got to college I was faced with picking a major (bleh!). I really wanted to major in film/photography/creative media (my dream from a very young age has been to direct films) but I felt like society wouldn't place me with a stable job and worried constantly about my parents opinion of this, considering they would be helping me pay through school. I spent my first semester registered under "undecided" and second semester under a general business major. I loathed these classes, I loathed the career options, and I knew I wasn't doing as well as I would be doing if I was passionate about it.

I spent months reflecting back and forth on how I felt, and I was faced with many hardships in my personal life all at once (family deaths, four year relationship ended, etc) and I came to my conclusion through mindfulness and meditation (had obsessive thought patterns and used this to calm them).

You've got to go with your gut. If you can step aside from what your parents would ideally prefer, what would make you happy?

I realized I would end up on my deathbed thinking about all the possibilities I didn't take a jump toward, in the name of convenience.

Realists will say, that statically it's unlikely you and I will make it "big" in the film industry. If you want to be a realist about it. Take a gap year and work a simple retail job, save up and study film online during this time. There are a TON of free resources online, and film school doesn't particularly breed many successes (not to mention it's extremely overpriced). If it doesn't feel right anymore, go back to school and study law or something boring.  ;)

I don't know what else to say. Choose your happiness over anyone else's and FOLLOW YOUR HEART. It's the first step to how anyone ever became anything. Good luck my friend.

coconut (not verified) says...

Maybe you could try out marketing? Or somewhere along the lines of design? I'm not too familiar with these but I suppose you could try researching on it to see if it fits what you're looking for :) 

danaliz (not verified) says...

28 year old female here. As someone who went into engineering because I thought I was being safe and realistic, I can tell you that although I don't totally regret it (more on that later) I am very unhappy in the field. In fact, I am currently unemployed, by choice, so that I can try to figure out a career that will allow me to feel more aligned. Now back to the regret... I really wish I would have went into massage/physical therapy, psychology, or skipped college all together and pursued a more artistic endeavor. I say I don’t regret it, because I choose not to live that way and having an engineering degree does give me something to fall back on….however what I wish someone, anyone, would have told me when I was struggling to figure out a path is that if you have motivation and aren’t afraid to put yourself out there, then a degree in the arts can be very rewarding.  Also – I wish I would have found some part-time internships before choosing  a career path. Trust me, you have time. Because after a few years of doing the same boring/safe job every day,  you start to kick yourself in the butt for not following your passion. Don’t know what you passions are yet? Then don’t blindly choose one! Take a year or two off before going to college and really figure out what you like! Best of luck to you :) 

MeINFPT (not verified) says...

Hey! What about art therapy!

Nancy Phalen (not verified) says...

As a 63 year old INFP I lived your major struggle many years ago.  I majored in French, unfortunately non-teaching, and have had to be creative finding meaningful work in a math and science world.  My suggestion is to consider teaching: it seems to me that elementary, even kindergarten, would be rewarding even as time goes by.  Special education needs people like you too.  Graduate study in speech pathology (don’t gulp!) seems to work with some INFP’s I know and affords a generous salary.  I’m always impressed with the satisfaction that women religious seem to have in their choice of life’s work too.  Finally, nursing is infinitely practical, and one your parents are sure to approve of.  You may need to tackle this degree slower, at your own pace, working part time for real world experience.  Math and science were not my forte then, but going slow and exploring unusual options (traveling nurse, or rural nursing???) would offer a mission and a good living.  Best of luck as you explore all pathways.  Again,  try half work half school to get exposed to some other great ideas.

salmadu (not verified) says...

Hey ! 

Just to let you know you can always major in the arts & something you enjoy & can always become a teacher or go into education! When it comes to choosing a career in education you can major/ left your bachelors in anything just make sure you get into a credential program after! there's also many types of careers in education you can always be an art /film teacher in the high school level or become a professor & still enjoy your craft on the side. Please don't make yourself miserable & enjoy studying something you like in undergrad !

Caroline MacCaughelty (not verified) says...

Try interdisciplinary studies! It allows you to combine several interests into one major. I'm doing Marketing and Studio Art because I'm also into the arts and film industry and I like graphic design but I didn't want all those awful competitive studio hours. Companies are a lot more likely to hire you with some sort of business degree, and I chose marketing because I've been marketing my photography brand for 5+ years. Also, with Interdisciplinary studies you don't have to take things like business cal and really hard classes. Marketing is being broken down for me so it's like a minor within a major because IDSC is so awesome. Talk to your advisor about it!

Cath (not verified) says...

Architecture i guess

Jess02 (not verified) says...

I can't be of much help, but if you're wanting to make sure you can land a stable job after college, I would highly recommend majoring in something vague such as communications or business and minoring in the things that draw you in. Maybe your arts and such could be your minor?

Michael (not verified) says...


If you've already been accepted, you should look to see if you could take a year off before enrolling and be able to go to the same school if school choice is an issue. Although it seems there's a lot of pressure to start college right out of high school (if that's your situation) taking a year off gives you time to figure out what works best for you.

While the future of the world doesn't seem too optimistic at the moment, don't let that stop you from finding and becoming your own best true self. Don't be discouraged by pursuing the arts, but also realize most creatives unfortunately have to supplement their income with a "real" job. If taking a year off seems crazy and impossible to you, my other suggestion would be to find a degree that has a lot of flexibility for the job market after school. 

I hope this helps somewhat :) 

FlyGuy13 (not verified) says...

Lost & Unsure,

I cannot tell you the number of times I have had this delimma academically and professionally.

College in the US has become more and more about job placement and less and less about the pursuit of knowledge. I specialized within political science, and while a career in policy was the goal, I got caught on the political side. Although I was good at it, the lifestyle and the people I had to answer to daily had me violating my personal ethics. When the other party set against working with the party I worked within, my party leaders continued to pretend that the other party were still their negotiating partners... despite a lack of negotiation.

In these times, I might suggest a few different approaches:

Are youu fluent in another language? If so, you might be able to go to University in that country for free (Germany is a prime example).

I once met a young lady majoring in biology and minoring in illustration with the hopes of becoming a scientific illustrator. (She is, after working for a few years in a lab.)

Take a gap year and work or apply to a program like Americorps.

My ex studied viola and then pursued a graduate degree in arts management. Last I knew, he was running a performance arts venue at an Ivy League university and performing professionally a few times a year in small ensembles.

A friend in Germany decided his first year of University that he wanted to be a piano student. He had no piano experience. He found a teacher and worked very hard to learn and works now as an accompanist and voice/piano teacher (without debt!).

Coding and engineering are often overlooked as technical and not artistic. Yet many, many engineering students are often found in labs designing new solutions to the world around us, setting things on fire, etc, etc.

Architecture is a blend of technical and art.

If I was 17-19 again, I'd buckle down, learn German and would have gotten my degrees there. 


Victoria C (not verified) says...

Artists are not doomed to a poor and destitute life! That is old-fashioned thinking. There are so many careers in the arts. And as an INFP, I know you can think creatively. Have you considered graphic design? Illustration? Costume or set design for film or theater? Concept art for video games and animation? There are endless possibilities. I have a BFA for illustration and have spent years in graphic design and then web development. I found web development very unfulfilling after a while. I'm back to the drawing board (pun intended) and I'm now pushing forward with a full career as an illustrator, artist, writer, and musican. I'm seeing a career coach to help me through it. I'm excited about this new adventure and feel like I'm in a pretty good place to pursue it, now that I'm almost 40. It's about time I listened to my heart! You have so many possibilities waiting for you. Listen to your heart. It doesn't lie. And good luck! <3

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