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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).

INFP 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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Comments

Julian (not verified) says...

Hey Joe, 

I am also an INFP working in Cyber Security. Here's to finding a career that resonates with us more! 

nroman_piks (not verified) says...

Hey fellow INFPs! I work as a front end developer so my job is technical too (and closely related to yours) and past the working hours, I love taking photos. I just want to share with you guys how I feel about this situation.

For me, photography is really something I love. It's a way to express myself, it's somehow creative, I can imprint my visual signature and share it with others. Many times I thought that I should do this fulltime and really dedicate my energy towards Photography. However, my biggest fear is that doing such thing for a living would change my perception, that photography wouldn't something I want to do but rather something I have to do.

So I decided to keep working as a developer. Of course, there are times when I really just have to force myself to actually be productive, there are times when I actually enjoy it, because I am working on something new and exciting. And it keeps me closer to the world of logical thinking and more structured way of organizing things (which I am really terrible at). And of course, knowing that I am pretty good at it motivates me to be even better. The financial side is no doubt a comforting benefit, I might have to work on something that doesn't entirely produce joy, but then it provides financial stability which is important for me, so I can focus on other things I enjoy rather than being anxious in my free time. 

Well, at least that's how I feel about it. Trying to get the benefits from both, both sides have some cons so it's up to each individual to know what is the best choice for him. So, wherever the direction you guys are taking, I wish you the best!

hughhh (not verified) says...

Hey Julian + Joe, 

In a similar boat to you both. Late 20's seeking a new career.

Finding this book amazing - The Path Finder -  nicholas lore. Check it out. 

Hugh

Alma (not verified) says...

Hi! I am not a doctor, or anything close to it. I'm an Infp, and so I feel like I really understand what you're expressing. I think that having a job/career that isnt fulfulling, will make your entire being miserable because the discontent bleeds onto those closest to you. For infp, its quite disturbing. Even if the money is good. Even if others praise you. You will likely find yourself needing to get rid of that incompleteness from within. If you dont do what you desire now, its likely that eventually you will. 

The way I can relate is that even though I had a job that paid "enough" money to live relatively well, I wasnt satisfied with the fact that I hadnt pursued my education. I started college as a mother, at 26. My marriage eventually failed, due to increased distance. I'm actually still a student. I still believe I made the right choice. I was truly unhappy with my life, job, and I needed to do something about it.

You expressed interest in other aspects of the medical field. I chose health communication. I hope you can find something thats valuable to you.

Daron m (not verified) says...

Hey guys, This was an interesting read for me. I'm a doctor, and throughout medschool, I probably spent more time getting my hands dirty in paint rather than focusing on course work. I am not sure as to what went on. But retrospectively I felt like I was in a high stress enviroment, with a lot of variables which I could'nt control. And somehow throughout my schooling and college, I always had this passion of starting something creative on my own. I have worked on several projects, blogs, content writing, and even taken up commisioned work through painting in the meantime. But I am at this stage where I might need three more years to finish the whole medical career thing. And I dont know how to go about it. The problem I face is that I feel I wont be able to thrive or live as a creative individual, and I'm 25 now. I also have to keep in mind my financial situations. Because compared to my peers, I always feel like I'm lagging behind. I am interested in teaching and certain aspects of the medical field, like the challenge of solving problems. And I love how the academic challenges can stimulate my mind and creativity. But the high stress work enviroment, the shitty toxicity of people that you're exposed to, etc has really stressed me out. Because the enviroment for learning is usually too fast and rushed for me to keep up. So I dont know whats going on here. And an outsiders perpective and personal experiences might help me a lot. If anyone could kindly share their experiences, would really help me at this moment to clear any traps I've built for myself.

And yes, I am an INFP too! Cheers and well wishes to everyone on this forum. :)

Shoboat31 (not verified) says...

I understand how frustrating school can be, but don't give up Daron m. The field of psychiatry would probably be fascinating for you, as it has been for me. 

Janine (not verified) says...

You could go into naturopathy or chiropractic or something along those lines. Most medical doctors are tightly controlled and have no time to do anything more than throw a standard prescription at a problem. Alternate medicine of some sort would give you more opportunity to spend more time focus on helping individuals. The ND I used to work for was a medical doctor to start but continued on to become a naturopath. He helped people recover from a lot of supposedly chronic conditions that the standard medical system couldn't help and was much happier and at peace with what he was doing than any MD I've encountered has been. 

Karo (not verified) says...

Hey Daron, I just read your comment and have to say, I felt a little bit like I was reading my own story. I'm a doctor and an INFP as well, I worked in hospitals and practices for more than six 6 years after I finished my studies, but I was always curious and also distracted by other interests. I do a lot of music, painting, I love graphics and writing as well. I liked my work as a doctor and was good in it, but I soon realized that in comparison to my colleagues, I had so many other serious interests, most of them creative-wise, that I felt a little bit like an alien between my coworkers. Also the health system and its structure and burocracy gave me the feeling of beeing stucked in a crazy worksystem where I wasn't sure if this was the right place for me. I then decided to try something else, but to use my knowledge within another meaningful way of working without leaving everything behind. I switched to a digital health company and the way to this decision was not easy and brought me some sleepless nights. 
But at the end it was so worth it, because this change gave me new freedom and also the opportunity to think more openly and creative and to work in a more healthy work environment with normal working hours plus I'm so much more flexible in including my music and art into my schedule.  I would never call myself a lazy person, but I was so unhappy about how much time I had to spent just for my work as a doctor. So I felt unhappy because I didn't have the time to practice my other hobbies besides medicine.
Besides, I still think about other options of work pretty regularly and I think this is an ongoing process for my whole life. I thought about opening a art workshop place or a little gallery for example. And maybe I will realize that in the future. One option for me could for example be: working part-time medical and part-time creatively, so that I have both worlds combined. For you I can imagine, that it makes sense to take a step back and figure out, what makes you happy. Is it a 50/50 combination, is it beeing a doctor most of the the and just having some more time for your hobby or any other model you can imagine. And then check options and see whats realistic and whats not. For me, beeing a little brave always helped. So I really encourage you to think broader and take some steps beside the normal medical way. Wish you lot's of braveness and time for creativity and all the things that make you happy! 

Thanksgoogle (not verified) says...

#%!?!

I'm at a loss for words

Mire (not verified) says...

Hi! I'm an INFP and I'm a nurse practitioner. Prior to being a nurse practitioner, I worked as a pediatric ER nurse for over a decade. I experienced burn out several times throughout my career. Like you, I do enjoy some aspects of working in healthcare. I truly enjoyed seeing patients get better. I liked the fast pace. I liked working with kids. I loved how silly and goofy kids can be despite whatever illness/disease. But I didn't enjoy, parents and patients yelling at me and sometimes the pace was just too fast and hectic. I also deep down feel and know that there is more for me out there in the world. I feel caged up in my current position. Throughout my life, I always felt different, not in an 'I'm so unique and special way kind of way', but just that I knew that I wasn't like other people. Discovering that I was an INFP was eye opening! It made me feel like less of a weirdo. I felt validated that I fell into a group which meant there were other INFP's in the world. I'm now in my mid-30's and desperately want to change careers. I've spent so much time googling how to change careers. I bought self-help books and took career tests, but nothing helped more than when I discovered that I was an INFP. This exploration also led me to a site careershifters.org. This site has hundreds of stories of how people were able to successfully change their careers. Even though I'm an INFP, I never felt like I was creative, but reading all these career change success stories made me want to write children's books. I wrote my first book within an hour and ideas for children's books keep popping up in my head! I'm now in the process of trying to get it published. 
 

I hope all my ramblings make sense. What I'm ultimately trying to say is that I think you should continue to pursue your creative interests. I'm still working in healthcare, but I'm hoping I can soon step away into becoming a full-time author. Best of luck to you!!!

Johnny J (not verified) says...

Reading these comments and taking the test is easilest the best thing I have done in 2020 (what a horrible year it has been so far). I am a 23 year old recent college graduate (2019). Who has been working for about 8 months now in Finance. Through high school/college I struggled with a learning disability but still managed to get by, and some what succeed. Now, through the past 8 months I have not enjoyed my job, and I am not great at it. It is difficult to find any fulfillment in it, and I cannot see myself doing this for the foreeseseable future. With that being said, it's difficult to go out on a limb while living on my own, and fending for myself. Maybe someone who is reading this can write back what kind of career path they went on. If they are fulfilled in doing what they are doing now. Some jobs that would intrigue me come to mind, but would love to hear a story or two. Maybe we could eventually connect and chat some more about life obstacles, i'm sure two INFP personalities would have some good insight for one another. 

Ca T (not verified) says...

Hi Johnny, I unfortunately have no helpful advice. I just wanted to say I'm in the same position. I just turned 24, I got my History & Anthro degree a couple of years ago and ended up going into an accounting technician apprenticeship. I'm doing my final exams now and, though I can't wait to be done with the course and the job, I have no clue where to turn to - it is the most unfulfilling job I've ever had and I feel as if I've wasted 2 years of my life just to end up back at square one. Do you reckon there is any way to use finance related job experience to get started on a more meaningful/fulfilling path? 

Savannah(Deep) (not verified) says...

Johnny I am also 23 and a INFP. I'm curious to know what the differences between male and females with the same personality are? 
I write music. I find it very fulfilling because I can express myself and my deep perspectives on things as well as counsel and inspire people. 
So I suggest maybe a creative or some kind of counseling path? 
Because if your anything like me you love pouring into people and inspiring them to grow.. even just with friendships 
& honestly I think it would be great to connect and and talk about insight we've gathered on our jouney as a INFP, both being 23! It would be interesting

Johnny J (not verified) says...

Yes, I would love to connect and talk further about this. I think it could potentially be benefical for both of us. I don't know how to go about doing this though........ If you have any suggestions write back!!

Savannah(Deep) (not verified) says...

Johnny unfortunately I do not have any suggestions. Because I do not want to put my personally info out there.. let me know if you come up with any.

Eleanor (not verified) says...

I sailed through school with top grades and got my BA degree in Accountancy and Finance without really much effort. But the thought of a future stuck in an office with the sole purpose of counting money (that's what accountancy is after all ) terrified me. I would be dead inside. That was 30 years ago. I am a florist with my own shop on a scottish island and I love my life. I am grateful every day that I am in this position. I will never have much money and it doesn't worry me a bit. My job helps me spread love and I get to work with natures beauty. My advice is discover what you love not what you think you should be doing. Happiness in work and life is worth more than all the money in the world.

lori c jacob (not verified) says...

 I don't usually do this when I read a great I don't usually do this when I read a great article which I probably should do more of but you I don't usually do this when I read a great article which I probably should do more of but you struck a chord with me I was shocked when you said you I was shocked when you said you want from your career to being a florist it just I was shocked when you said you want from your career to being a florist it just is very Brave and Bold and the fact that I was shocked when you said you want from your career to being a florist it just is very Brave and Bold and the fact that money is a secondary to your happiness is I was shocked when you said you went from your career to being a florist it just is very Brave and Bold and the fact that money is so secondary to your happiness is a breath of fresh air although being financially although being financially stable is important when compared with happiness I agree with you when compared with happiness I agree with you it's more important living feeling existing in living feeling existing in your environment and feeling good about it can only lead to positivity can only lead to positivity in yourself and for you to put your can only lead to positivity in yourself and for you to put your positivity back out there cuz other people will see that thank you for sharing thank you for sharing yourself and your story kind of made me cry thank you for sharing yourself and your story kind of made me cry I hate to admit that but I don't know what struck a chord with thank you for sharing yourself and your story kind of made me cry I hate to admit that but I don't know what struck a chord with me I feel a bit envious have your have your have your bravery to do what you love and your happiness seeing as I am not doing not doing anything about the things that are important in life stead of acting to stead of acting to change my situation I just dwell on it continue to continue to sit in the same situation I'm a Daydreamer a night Dreamer I feel scared to move forward I feel scared to move forward because I don't want to fail I know you I know you can't fail if you don't try but that kind of comforts me and allows me to not and allows me to not do anything without being questioned by other people. sad but true

Pear (not verified) says...

I haven't graduated college yet, so I don't have personal experience to share, but I think about this for myself alot, so it'd be fun to think it through for someone else. Is it important to you that your job use your finance degree somehow? 

Wout Ballet (not verified) says...

Well it's a difficult endeavor for sure, and in all honesty I think this will be a forthgoing struggle troughout your whole life. The education system doesn't work in it's current state (imho) in finding ones interest, passion, stimulated by curiosity. I think you should get out there, read the stuff you wanna read, have goals you wanna fullfill. There could be motives for that all around. I think it's important regardless which career path you choose, that you do something out of curiosity, interest, passion, personal growth. These are the very least values that an INFP should carry into it's carreer. I am an economics uni student, and I know this is not the typical INFP but it gave me better understanding of the world and my place in it. For me, I didn't understand for years why I did what I did, but somehow eventually I eased into it. And know I know what path I need to walk. It is not because of the school system, but from PURE curiosity, experience, social interaction, ... I think maybe you should take a leap and quit what you do right now and take time to connect with your inner self, reflect more on your values, ask yourself the questions you try to avoid or that pique your interest. I think that's everything I have to say about that. Just never forget that fulfillement is something that you will always look for, when you have it, you don't realize it. When you don't have it you do realize. 

A still exploring 30 something (not verified) says...

Hi Johnny! I'm inspired by your genuine question and replies by other people and I'd love to share my story if it helps: I was in humanities for undergraduate and then did a master degree in business and worked in finance. Yes, "worked" in finance. I struggled in the whole process of studying business and working in finance, just because it is considered a good job outlook and security compared to my original field, which was misleadingly influenced by the mainstream societal culture and my parents. But somehow, I wonder if you can listen to what your heart says during your school and experience, which I should have done. Because my heart reminded me so many times but at that time I wasn't listening and thought that "it was too naive". But it wasn't. You actually know where your heart sings and where you can flourish - I encourage you to listen to your inner voice more. Even though you may feel like it's still blurry, but I think by raising this question you may have some direction in your mind already. 

And remember to take some actions if you don't want to continue in finance, which can help you clarify the direction. Because only thinking can just overload us with negative thoughts. I'm still exploring in my 30s...I had some regret about my past experience, but I hope to send some encouragement and support from a stranger to let you know: don't settle and keep taking actions to the life/career you want. 

Sincerely,

Another stranger who wish you the best

em (not verified) says...

Hi Johnny 

I can relate somewhat to your issue around study/ work. I debated for a long time about what career path to pursue - being drawn to the arts (specifically visual arts and writing) as well as science and psychology. I took a year off after school and considered whether art, architecture or medicine was the way to go. I studied medicine and worked as a doctor but later took a detour by studying fine arts (while working part time)  more to explore a different way to relate to the world than for potential work prospects. I think there was also a sense that I had personal things I needed to work through before I could commit more fully to my career. I liked medicine but felt like a square peg in a round hole in some respects. I’ve since found my niche in working in predominantly a mental health field. Maybe I’m not quite ‘there’ yet. I think my path has been unconventional and some people found it an odd idea to study something so different to my original career. I think the main thing perhaps with infp types is that you need to feel like there is a sense of purpose and inspiration in what you’re doing. In my experience it’s ok for short periods to be predominantly pragmatic about doing something that pays the bills (and I’m fortunate and grateful that I’ve alwats been able to support myself) but it’s much more sustainable to have a sense of purpose and personal growth as well as making a positive difference to the lives of others, in addition to making money. It’s only been in the past few years that I’ve been focussed on ‘making money’ and planning for the future - I think I needed to create a meaningful working life for myself first. Your path will be your own, it’s ok to ‘swerve’ (as Michelle Obama calls it in her book) and it can take a while to find what you want to do. 

Best wishes 🙂

em (not verified) says...

Hmm I would also say that I know I am much happier when I have time/space to make art and listen to good music & read good books & get out in nature. Even though it isnt related to how I make an income. Life can start to feel ‘dry’ and mundane if there isn’t enough balance between work and creative/inspiring stuff - that’s probably the case for many people. 

Allie (not verified) says...

Hi Johnny, I never post comments on these sorts of forums but I felt compelled to respond to your comment as I have found myself in a similar dilemma. I am still in college, but much like yourself I am an INFP who will be graduating soon with a business degree that I have little to no interest in. I know that you are looking for advice on what kinds of career paths other INFP's have taken and obviously I can't speak from experience on that yet; however, I thought I could share with you the different tools I have been using to better understand myself, the world, and what I want to do. For context, after taking an abundance of college classes I have realized that my true passions lie in philosophy, theology, psychology, and art; all of which I previously deemed as too impractical to major in and make a living off of years ago. Ironically, I still feel that way because despite my disinterest in marketing, a business degree gives me a lot of options / opportunities that a philosophy degree wouldn't. Such as, 1: being more prepared to start my own business. or 2: having a steady income for a few years and saving my money so I can take a career "risk" a little later and go into what I really want. Deep down I know it's not ideal because I'd rather start doing what I love right away upon graduating, but I'm trying to go against my "INFP nature" of being a hopeless idealist and be a little more practical. Another good thing about the business degree is that it gives me time to make money while I'm trying to figure out exactly what I want to do because to be honest we're still very young and might not really know ourselves yet. (Of course I could be wrong and would love to hear what your interests are). Now that I have established that I think you are on a good track (even if you haven't had a great year) I wanted to tell you what I have been doing to figure out what I want to do, my place in the world, and more importantly just how to be happy. 

1. Watch Jordan Peterson on Youtube. Jordan is a clinical psychologist and professor from Canada and bestselling author. He pretty much has a video for every existential question you might have and his life advice has literally changed me for the better. He gives a lot of advice on how to become a real man (I'm a woman but my brother introduced me to Jordan), how to be happy, and... actually I'm going to stop listing things. Just type his name into Youtube with whatever question you might have. (& always clean your room, you'll understand what I mean if you start watching Jordan).

2. Manifest. In short, manifesting is a multistep process in which everyday you must: 1. take a moment to appreciate everything you have in life right now and be so grateful. 2. visualize how you want your life to look like. It could be a new career, relationship, or money. 3. Allow yourself to feel like you already have those things. Make yourself believe that you already have them, be happy that you have them, and be grateful for them. Do this everyday and you will attract these good things into your life. If you want to learn more watch the documentary "The Secret" on Netflix. This isn't voodoo crap (although there is a lot of weird stuff on the internet about it so be careful what you listen to), it works because as Jordan so eloquently puts it "ingratitude guarantees unhappiness." As such the reverse will guarantee you with joy.

3. I do not know if you are religious or spiritual, but many INFP's are so I'm also recommending that you watch Bishop Barren on Youtube. He can help you get closer to the highest good, which is in his opinion, and mine, God. 

4. Start following Gary Vaynerchuk. He is a author, speaker, and entrepreneur. Probably gives the BEST career advice I have ever heard. If you follow him on Instagram it's like an endless stream of motivation (he posts a lot). 

I could probably write more but I don't want to overwhelm you. I am so sorry that 2020 has been such a horrible year for you and I truly hope that some of the things I recommended will help you. I know there's a lot of information but just take one thing at a time and give each recommendation at least 3 chances before you decide it's not for you. I wish you the absolute best!! 

Sincerely, a stranger.

Neraba (not verified) says...

Hello to everyone. I am 17 years old and i came across this website while doing research on the internet because i couldn't decide wich profession to be. The articles on the page are very informative and the comments are very useful. So thank you to the editor and the all commentators <333 And i fully agree with "wings in the water". INFPs are more empathetic than other people and they try to make people feel safe. So sometimes they are too outspoken about themselves and they can drive people away from themselves. Or they can be used because of their goodwill.

I think if someone is going to bring peace to the world, it's probably INFP. As INFP, the common problem of me and many people is having trouble establishing a relationship. I would like to establish an INFP country when i exceed this :) but for now i would like to have an INFP communication network. How can we do this? Or is there such an association/community? If we are create a group that we support each other and we can do beautiful things together for the world. 

Sometimes i think i dream very utopian and i feel like Don Quijote. But usually i can't do anything and i feel like Oblomov. Is this happening to you too, is it an INFP feature to lie on the bed and dream and do nothing? Or am i depressed :D ?

Thank you if you read it and sorry if there is grammatical error, i got help from Google Translate while translating :)

Willis (not verified) says...

Hi Neraba!
It's a good idea to build one for people alike to connect to each other and share thoughts!
You're quite lucky to know MBTI early in your life and it'll be a good reference for your life later on. 
As You'll know better on yourself and spend less than on the career/ people/ social norms that doesn't fit in, which means less pain and time wasted.

For me, I had my existenal crisis during high school and Uni and I choose a wrong major (engineering) which I never fit in as I was never talented in dealing with things, think I would always rather try to help people instead of things. Now the Virus issue is focing me to re-think my career path and it brings me here again.

Anyway stay safe and sound! The world is waiting for you to explore!

isa (not verified) says...

i'm so happy to relate to most of these comments! it's been really tough for me realising how much my "friendships" equal to shallow or onesided we-make-each-other-laugh contracts, if that makes sense. i can't find any emotional basis for me on them, and what concerns me is the possibility of myself being the problematic one in my social ambient. i feel self-centered when seeking too much but at the same time looking for a true, deep connection. since we're in quarantine i spend most of my time either daydreaming or writing about my ideal relationships. those hobbies are fun, but deep down it kinda hurts, as if i had a massive play-doh in my chest and still hollow inside. i don't stand being fourteen and feeling so guilty. depression is also a thing going on and even though i take the pills, i still wish this whole phase should just come a few years later.

please feel free (am i begging) to leave a comment or ask to reach me out, i'd be utterlyyy relieved just by talking to someone who rather understands this feeling! knowing someone will somehow read this already makes me happy though.

alsoo i apologize if you had a hard time reading, english is not my first language.

please stay safe!

leticiamb (not verified) says...

I can’t even believe how much I relate to your post. The whole friendship thing, never being able to find that true connection, being afraid that I’m the toxic one... the daydreaming thing!! Oh god, sometimes is just so good to take a scape and find a place in my little perfect world I’ve made up in my mind, but it’s also something I wish I’d just stop and face reality. Anyways, I’m 16 and I feel exactly like you do, since I can remember :)

 

Willis (not verified) says...

As an INFP myself, most of my real friends that got the same vibe are introverts (maybe 1-2 extreme extroverts that could organize a feast with a bunch of common friends). Usually we share the same kind of hobbies like music, food, dramas and movies, i think these hobbies are the good opportunites to open up some new genuine friendships. ;)
Moreover I've learnt to let bygones be bygones and never force any friendship since the real one stays and it doesn't help to force anything in a relationship.
Cheers!

Joana mae Gusi Gregorio (not verified) says...

Hi Isa, 

I'm glad to read your comment and I'm glad that you are open to a communication. We have the same personality by the way. I wish I could connect with you so you can have someone to talk to. 

isa (not verified) says...

hi! i'm sorry it took almost two months and a half, i literally just got this email notification from truity. i'd still be glad to talk to you! my ig is @isabellamarela, so if you're comfortable with it, please dm me. have a good dayy

ZZ (not verified) says...

if you need anyone to talk to, feel free to reach out to me via twitter (34hrj). i'm infj, but maybe we can have meaningful discussions! :)

Kat Garcia (not verified) says...

I completely understand how you feel!! If you ever want to chat - I'm here. IG: advwitherspoon 

Idriss (not verified) says...

Peace my friend.

What can i say. I wish to tell about what real life tought me.

We did not create ourselves . We have a creator and understanding who we are what is so unique and specific about us is at the same time understanding who created us why and what are his plans for us.

What alleviates the pain is our private most unique most merciful friendship we have with our creator.

And you know what i am a friend with the one who made me this way waaaay before i could be friends with anybody else. By knowing who i am as an infp by living who i am i understand what if feels to be me and most importantly how am i being used to serve others and accomplish my most perfect and accomplished version and role of myself.

Do you know that depression is but a a test. You must loose yourself learn about that pain and suffering in order to grow . Like a seed planted in darkened earth growing roots unseen waiting to appear with a strong uplifting emergence from death to growth and life.

What if i told you that your daydreaming is a prayer. More beautiful than you could ever imagine. What if i told you that lifr comes from death. That true vertuous existence comes after learning the humbelness and shame of depression.

What if i told you that with your mosy perfect friend everything is possible. You have a most unique opportunity to dream about your visions to hold them high and beautiful until yoir friend creates those fantasies and tranaform them.into reality. If what you dream of is sincere beautiful and comes from true passion and honesty. If you hold within your depression and loneliness true values and true goodness. When the time is right everything will come to you like rain falling from the sky bringing green life to what you thought was planted in dark death.

Until.you witness scuh a miracle. Everything and everyone will tell you otherwise. And until you loose all.hope that's when the miracle happens when you least expect it.

 

 

Sadia_2652 (not verified) says...

I can totally relate to your idea of friendships. And the daydreaming well that basically domes up my life and it's not something I can control but at least you can put pen to paper. I can't even do that. If you can do that then you are one step closer to success. Hang in there!

Andrewcbrr (not verified) says...

Hey Isa, you are gonna be just fine. There is a God out there that cares for the broken. I know how you feel. Thank you for sharing and reaching out. I know you will find what you are looking for. Feel free to contact me.

Ria (not verified) says...

Hi Isa, I read it. First: English isn't my frist languige too. I’m 59 at the moment and I remember at your age I was also depressed. But that was just a period in life. In my experience it stays difficult to find someone who fully understands the depth in me and can reply. But to be honest, often I can't find words myself for what's going on inside. Sometimes it takes years to figure out. So how can I expect someone else to understand it? Nevertheless life is beautiful and I'm happy living. Take care and be patient.

Rowan (not verified) says...

Thank you for what you'd shared, Isa. I want you to know that I have read what you'd written carefully and perfectly understand what you are going through. As INFPs we experience the world not the way it is but the way we think it should be according to our own personal values which are the very foundations of who we are. Just know this and you will be able to cope with the world out there. Just now, it's very depressing and that is not how we like to experience the world. Be mindful of this and it will help you to deal with the feelings of depression better. Take care!

Natalia (not verified) says...

Do any other INFP's relate to struggling in friendship and love life? In the past I have had one sided friendship that didn't serve me. Most of the times, the other person saw me more as a therapist than a friend, and of course because I'm a good listener that wanted to help, I didn't realize how draining it was, until months after. I'm not saying that friends aren't allowed to vent to you, I mean when it gets to the point when all they talk about is themselves. Regarding relationships, people that want to pursue me always mention how confusing of a person I am. I've had several people tell me I have a wall up. Maybe I do. Just in general, I hate opening up to people because it's uncomfortable for me. I know it’s something I must do, in order to have something meaningful. Just thought I would share.

Shanik (not verified) says...

Hi Natalia, 

I actually know EXACTLY how you're feeling about the friendships and relationships, because I find myself feeling the same way. My therapist says it's because we are givers and don't put up boundaries. It's okay to talk to friends about problems and for them to vent to us, but we also have to have a limit. We have to be able to say "no" to them and that's definitely difficult for me because I like to help others. However, it's also very draining if we don't say "no" and have boundaries. Because we are passionate, good listeners, able to relate, give advice etc. friends come to us easily, expecting us to have answers. Sometimes they do or don't listen to us, but because we are there for them all the time, they sort of expect us to be there always. I used to feel drained from friends and I'd avoid them, which isn't okay and doesn't help situations. We're like a car, we fill up our tank and we give give give to others until we are mentally, emotionally, and maybe even physically drained. Then we ignore them to fill up the tank or recharge and it's a cycle all over again. So instead, we need to know when to say no so we're not running empty. 

That's my advice on the friendship thing. Now for relationships, INFP struggle with being open and vulnerable. We might feel embarassed, ashamed, silly, all these negative self-talks about what can go wrong if we do open ourselves up to others. It makes me feel uncomfortable too, but we have to do it little by little. It's how we can connect to others. It can sometimes feel like a daunting task, but it's necessary. I'm still working on this part, but hopefully I'll eventually be able to be vulnerable without feeling uncomfortable.  

Hemang (not verified) says...

It happens to me all the time people think they get us and understand us but thats not true they've just scratched the surface and the yes most of my friends think I go with everything they say I can made to do shir they like. After reading your comment I went 🤯

Sadia_2652 (not verified) says...

I feel like throughout my life I've never truly connected to people. I mean having true friends, that doesn't necessary mean I was an outcast or that I'm a very socially awkward person. It's just that like you said I struggled to open up with people, it takes me time and I have to get to know the person. I want to know everything about the person. I also want to have meaningful connections and I realised that it takes time and that's okay. All that matters is that you keep the door of your heart open to people. I finally met a friend who I love deeply.  Sometimes an encounter is all it takes.

Kin Fier (not verified) says...

I understand. More than any number of words gathered to accurately explain this state of being, if you will. I know very well the difficulty of leaving comfort zones. In fact, facing this challenge has been very apparent in life for me recently. I know there is a new cycle waiting for all,each and everyone of us  whom let go of the old and open mindfully accept the inevitable cycle before us that remains unknown momentarily.

S (not verified) says...

Be careful about narcissistic and toxic people thay love our type 

Wings in the Water (not verified) says...

I think one of the core INFP struggles is being able to reconcile reality and our more idealised view of life. In an ideal world, the emotional connections that bind us to each other would be expressed and explored with equal fervor. However the unfortunate reality is that many people need validation from external sources and INFPs are uniquely qualified to provide it because we have the gift of mirroring what people want to see in themselves. It's one of our strongest abilities but it's also a two-edged sword: in reflecting what people want to see, you run the risk of obscuring your own depth.

Rather than being the flat always-reflective surface of a mirror, you should be more like water: reflective at times but in the right light, clear enough to see the vibrant world beneath. Let your friends see you because the person that you are is only going to happen once so the people who rely on you to help them navigate life need to respect the space that you occupy in this world. Therapy is a transactional service and your friends are not paying you so you need to rebalance the dynamic so each of you gains from the exchange. If they can't accept that, then I would stop giving them advice but that decision is yours to make.

Regarding relationships, the difficulty in reconciling reality and the inner world just manifests in a different way. We hold ourselves to a high standard and our tendencies toward idealism make it difficult to embrace vulnerability as a strength. I know that I sometimes feel weakened by opening myself to others because the lapse in control makes me feel overly exposed to judgement. External judgements feel threatening to the inner sanctum that introverts cultivate which is why we avoid confrontation and opinions that feel too disruptive. However, avoidance carries its own problems if the end result takes you farther away from what you want.

I think the best partners for INFPs will sense your inhibition and endeavor to make you feel safe, however it's important to understand that intimacy is a two-way street; you have to make them feel safe too. Luckily, INFPs are already brilliant at making people feel safe simply by making them feel seen and understood and accepted so we've come back full circle to the power of reflection. My last piece of advice is don't focus so much on knocking down your walls.. focus instead on giving the other person a window to see past them. If they're truly invested in what they see and feel, they'll help you break down those walls. Then once you've finally opened your inner worlds to each other, the best kind of match will happily give you the respect and attention that you've so often given to others...and very much deserve. :)

Zonk (not verified) says...

All that you said were so accurate, so insightful and so enlighting. Thank you.

Imane (not verified) says...

I really love your insights on the matter, you spoke a lot of what's happening inside my hear when I try to open up to people.

Ellie B. (not verified) says...

Yes, I choose not to have friends because of this.  People, in general, exhaust me...

Nina (not verified) says...

I really relate with you!. For a lot of people I am their emotional sounding board and it can be very draining having to pour out so much of yourself. When I need the help and advice that I give I never feel it adequate enough from the other person.

In my love life I also find it very difficult to be totally vulnerable and connect in a non plattonic capacity. Lettting my walls down take a very long time and not everyone will have the patience to wait.

Nina (not verified) says...

I really relate with you!. For a lot of people I am their emotional sounding board and it can be very draining having to pour out so much of yourself. When I need the help and advice that I give I never feel it adequate enough from the other person.

In my love life I also find it very difficult to be totally vulnerable and connect in a non plattonic capacity. Lettting my walls down take a very long time and not everyone will have the patience to wait.

Peter7 (not verified) says...

I had onesided friendship with all my highschool friends. It crushed me when I realized it. Still recovering.

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