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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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eanan (not verified) says...

i'm infp but i would definitely like to be involved in politics at least in some manner, if not a major position, even though it wasn't listed lol. 

Danica Janes says...


Anders Wheeler (not verified) says...

The analysis was ok but the careers that came up were shit for me. Honestly I think it is bullshit. You can't decide on a career through a 15 minute test, sorry bout it.

anon127 (not verified) says...

well this explains why I want to die all the time 

woof (not verified) says...

looks like my job suit me;-P

AU (not verified) says...

For me, I'm in-between INFP and INFJ. I've done multiple tests and have always gotten either one of those two and have also read my percentages. As of now, it seems that I am 51% perspective and 49% judging. I personally think that most people don't fall exactly into their categories and instead are on the cusp of being multiple. How do all of you thing being in the middle of two categories works? Would it 'neutralize' it, so to speak?

Guest (not verified) says...

Strong INFP but because I found Christianity the truth and in the Bible we are taught the value of truth and also that only through Jesus can a person be saved, I will rather love people enough to tell them the truth than to let them be lost. I will rather put aside my feelings and obey than to live from feelings where they are contrary to Truth. 

A.m.f (not verified) says...

As an INFP I have been involved with many of the suggested fields: I was very imaginative and loved art as a child, as a youth I would draw up house designs (my dad was a contractor), I took writing workshops geared towards children's books, studied early childhood education and worked in schools (private and public), studied anthropology, psychology, am drawn to social sciences in general, volunteered as an ESL translator, took nutrition courses and am very interested in holistic health.

Currently, I manage a mobile massage business and am a lead coordinator for an annual nature/wildlife ecotour festival - I love connecting people with their passion or things that provide a benefit in some way. I am a trained Reiki practitioner (energy medicine), not practicing professionally at the moment.

I love working with intuition, creativity,  spiritual wisdom/life truths, helping organize events and network people (online vs phone), research and learning. I long to travel to more beautiful places in the world (nature, wildlife, sacred sites.) In my rare and coveted free time, I enjoy making soap and body care products and dabbling in silk painting or paint and sip projects with friends/family.

I do also get to flex my creative muscle managing social media channels for a local food manufacturing company. Unfortunately, the love has gone the past 1.5yrs and as an INFP it weighs pretty heavily, I struggle with inspiration. I'm grateful for the consistent paycheck (supplements my other jobs), health insurance, and most people I work with but the additional admin/HR and accounting tasks are repetitive (aka draining) and the business vision has turned heavily towards making money and less on balancing that with heart or building harmonious relationships. I feel like my skillsets are underutilized leaving a void. I'd ultimately like to focus on one main type of job - with variety and flexibility of schedule - as opposed to 3 part-time ones managing many tasks. I'm burnt out.

How to decide the direction to take when some have equal pull AND still pay the bills?? Get paid really well doing what we love - working smarter, not harder. Any practices out there that other INFP's have found helpful?

Thanks to everyone that has posted, it is interesting to learn how other INFP's are navigating the work and career realm of life. 

Guest (not verified) says...

Giving INFJ/P types a place to write is a good way to overload the cloud.

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