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

Suething (not verified) says...

This is about the 7th time i took this test and everytime I get infp (which makes sense and i am very content with the outcome, but I just tend to make a lot of tests to make sure). Also this description is spot on, I am so glad that it has been put into words so I dont have to search all over to find them.

thembela.associates says...

The Briggs-Myer personality type study/analysis is a God-send. I was so lost and feeling that I'm not normal and everything I am is wrong. And now that I have done the test and found out that I am an INFP personality (even though initial tests said I am INFJ but I am INFP to the TEE!), everything makes so much sense. I can now be confident about the way I think, my feelings, and ideals as intense and mind-draining as they are! Now I can smile and sleep well at night knowing I am ok. It's ok to want to help everyone, its ok to want the world to be a better place, its ok to have so many creative talents and have this burning feeling that I need to teach people or that I want to sit alone and write endlessly. I can go on and on... Thank you for this forum! This articles is so 100%!!

Guest (not verified) says...

How can I put all my ideas into reality? I have so many Ideas in form of music,writing,and busness like owning the ideal hotel. Please help me!

Ofentse (not verified) says...

I am very grateful to Myers Briggs for her constructive knowledge on personality types, which has helped me, especially since I'm still a youngster to reach my the destiny quicker on my journey of self-discovery.

Guest (not verified) says...

Lol this is hilarious! I'm an INFP and I'm a physician, I don't hate my job although I did hate residency which is excruciatingly painful for everyone in general. I may have preferred to be a writer I guess, but I'm enjoying where I'm at now.

Guest (not verified) says...

I'm pretty sure this is me. Which is a bit awkward, considering im approaching senior year of high school and am now looking into colleges. I always kinda felt i would be an engineer, since my dad leans more toward stem (hes a doctor, who studied electrical engineering in college) and both my brothers are becoming engineers (though the second has doubts. :P). I'm not really sure i want to make any life-altering decisions based on information from the internet, but the "career" section, as well as the "famous people" (all artists. :P) makes me wonder.

Guest (not verified) says...

It's funny I always felt a kinship towards Princess Diana now I understand why.Poor me I'm an idealist and my entire family by birth are narcissistic psychopaths.No lie I spent many years in therapy.I have point blank asked my therapist if she thought from what I told her.If she believed they were.She told me yes she did.Now I understand why I am so hurt by it all.You wouldn't believe the things they have done.I know now though that no contact is the only way for me to go.Thanks for the test.

Guest (not verified) says...

I'm confused, am I an INTP or INFP? I've taken 3 test, and 2 of the 3 have resulted in INTP, I range between 3% & 5% on F. They share so many similarities except one 'feels' they are right and the other looks to 'reason' and 'logic.' This is not enough! I have read that an INFP may mistake reason because they feel deeply that they are right and refute facts even after proven inncorrect. . .That's me, but don't we all? Haha Did I mention I also suck at math? I also find close ones feel they can put they're burdens on me, but I can't be there emotionally. . . that may because of the I. Hmm ...

Guest (not verified) says...

spot on!

noahschilhab (not verified) says...

i always wanted to be a vetinerian.

Guest (not verified) says...

Really on point! I realized that I know myself full well because my jobs so far had been teaching, writing, and filming. Also, I've wanted to study psychology so much but ended up taking a communications major. And I also prefer being self-employed! WOW!!! JUST WOW. This is amazing. I'm also amazed at myself because my life decisions have in so far followed my personality manual!

6021010 says...

this was totally me

Suz Filbey (not verified) says...

Hi, I use the Meyer's - Briggs assessment with all the students that I tutor. Although my main focus is to rewire their neural pathways to learn like the majority of students (most of my students have dyslexia), I also spend time celebrating their unique strengths and guiding them to set long and short-term goals. I would love to see any information you develop or receive on using type in academic settings. Thanks for providing this valuable website.

Suz Filbey
Orton-Gillingham Specialist

KatieAA (not verified) says...

Hey everyone, I'm a INFP like you guys and most of the profile fits me but I need some advice about somethings. I'm currently struggling with socializing with people. I constantly come off either rude, too clingy or forward, or just plain odd. When I'm okay with someone, I tend to find it easier to speak but it still is sometimes hard. How can i just fix this?

KatieAA (not verified) says...

Hey guys,

Im thinking of becoming a chef\buinesss owner. Do you think that is a good choice for a INFP?

Rahaf (not verified) says...

 I think yes for the chef. But, for the business owner, I'm not sure actually. but if that what u love I'm sure u will be good and successful! don't worry :) <3

Rodney (not verified) says...

Curious, what did you decide on. And how are you going?

Guest (not verified) says...

This really helped me out. I feel better now that I understand my personality type more. I hope that there is more information that I can find.

Guest (not verified) says...

Here is some additional information about INFP's:
- We have a very strong sense of personal values, thus we can be very opinionated although we don't always voice out our opinions.
– Our ability to empathize is very strong. Personally, when I hear stories about people's struggles and whatnot, I often cry because I can somehow feel the pain they are feeling.
- We are good at connecting ideas together and are usually quick to grasp concepts.
– We have a tendency to avoid conflict or pretend as if nothing is wrong when in fact we are dealing with a huge problem.
– One of our biggest flaws is staying organized––whether it be in terms of environment or schedule.
– We have a habit of planning––mapping out schedules and making lists––but we almost never push through.
– Common pet peeve: 'fake' people and liars

Rodney (not verified) says...

Yep. 100% agree

Guest (not verified) says...

i test as infp on many sites and different tests,93% ~I however when i hear infj's speak i really relate to them! ...

guest (not verified) says...

Can anyone tell me how come that the percent of people in population vary so much throughout all the websites about myers-briggs? Like is there one general statistic, the biggest?

John P. (not verified) says...

Because they all use their own variation of Jungian tests and look at their own sample data (which is a limited sample based on whoever chooses to use their instrument). There is only one official MBTI assessment published by CPP (cpp.com) that uses a centralized scoring engine and is most representative of accurate "MBTI" personality sample data. 

Chrishun7 (not verified) says...

So... This is absolutely amazing. Throughout my whole life I feel as if I never truly fit anywhere and I was just a strange person who felt all these ways but now. Seeing everyone on here talking like this... Its literally like talking to myself! I feel incredibly thankful that there are others like me :) I think that there should be groups for people in this personality type so we can just talk haha 

Guest (not verified) says...

This was pretty accurate for me! I found it interesting that my husband was a ENTJ which seems to be completely opposite from me as a INFP. Are there any extroverted/introverted combos out there as well?

Kevion (not verified) says...

This is great information, because I've did several of the occupations that were on the avoidance list and I didn't like any of them. I wish I was given this information in high school instead of now that I am 33 years old.

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The Guardian (not verified) says...

I always considered as a guardian angel for others...

Rahaf (not verified) says...

?I'm worried now... the major I've chosen is law. should I change it

what do you guys think? 

Rodney (not verified) says...

If you have the smarts, do it. There are all types different areas in law. I can be quite an activist against social injustice. So I can see a fit for you. If I knew then what I know now, I may have gone down the path of journalism, always seeking the truth. Only you will know. Hope this helps.

Guest (not verified) says...

As a prototypical INFP, I sometimes find robotic everyday communication (small talk) to be draining and stressful, often becuase I don't know what responses are appropriate and just end up worrying about making the other person uncomfortable. Because of this, it is easier to stagger back to Dreamland, and not face the world for what it is. There will be small talk, there will be apathetic people, there will be people who are unwilling to accept your help, and there is everyday drivel that will weigh you down. Life is a complicated balancing act. If I veer too far into Dreamland, I end up neglecting my everyday responsibilities (going to class, doing laundry, etc.), and if I sway too far into reality, I end up bearing the weight of the world on my shoulders.  Learning to walk this tightrope between Dreamland and reality is what allows me to be content with being part of the circus. 

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