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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.

Are you an INFP?

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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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Daniel Shepherd (not verified) says...

"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." That is very true and the reason why I as an INFP wholeheartedly believe in this movement. Jacque Fresco was the most truly humanitarian man and devoted his life and skill as a Genius inventor to designing us a better


justanotherINFP (not verified) says...

hey you  :), I just saw you already got plenty of comments, but since I feel kinda the same way, I am going to leave one of my own, although I don't know if it will help you, but it will at least let you know, that you are not alone (and even though I feel sorry for you, I gotta admit I am also relieved to know, I am not the only one struggling with that problem).

I habe been studying for quite a few years now, always failing, changing subjects and so on. I started to think I was lazy or stupid and to become really frustrated and moving closer to stuff like anxiety, depression and burnout (not saying I got it, because I did not go to a therapist, so I've never been diagnosed with such, but my closest friends, the few I shared my feelings with and the ones that really saw through me - and I believe I am not an open book when it comes to negative emotions - suspected). So first of all: take care of yourself, if you get a feeling you need help, then don't hesitate to get some.

But just lately I started thinking a lot about where my problems are coming from and I started realizing that it is something else I want to do and that I lost my goal along the way. I always got kinda pushed into studying, leaving me with little room to question if I even wanted to do so (I am happy now, because I learned a lot, but I would never put a child through the same thing, it was hard and I struggled a lot, putting it mildly), but at least I could choose my subject, if it was something I was likely to find a job afterwards, even though I am paying for it all by myself. So I was at least not forced into studying something I don't like. But I absolutely get you, with not being able to open your book, not getting anything in your head even if you try for hours (but sometimes it helps to try for a very, very long time, then the resistance of my brain or subconscious or whatever just suddenly crumbles and I am able to learn, mabe you could try that) and distracting yourself with other stuff, yet still feeling exhausted, because in the back of your head, there is always the nagging "but you should"-thought.

What is starting to help me through this is writing, I really like wirting (don't worry, I am German, so the storys I write are usually almost free of spelling and grammar mistakes) and I hope to make it my profession one day or at least earn some of my money with that and work less at an usual daytime job. So maybe if you keep in mind, that you can still use your free time to dance and take pictures and maybe someday turn it into a profession, it will help you get through it. As a doctor you will definitely find a job, so you don't have to worry about paying your bills and you can do a lot of good and that can really make an INFP happy, so once you got through studying you might start to like it. But to get through it, keep in mind you don't need to do it for the rest of your life, but you will always have a safe plan b. At least that thought helps me and I am starting to enjoy studying a bit more everyday :).

theshadowhunter (not verified) says...

hello, i am 20 years old currently a medical student in 2nd year and in a road to become a doctor . I ..... don't want to be... a doctor but my parents say that this is the ideal job for me , i like to dance, sing, do photography but whenever i sit to study i couldn't...i don't know why but my mind rejects it so much that it's become hard for me to even open my book 😭 whereas during that time i watch videos of dancing ...i am told that i have no choice at this point to change my carrer coz a lot of money is being invested on me ...sometimes i feel that it will be ok, i will be able to accept it's just 6 yrs u will be able to do it and after that u can do whatever u want to do but the thought of waiting till 6 yrs of gives me chills . Lastly i know i might sound like a brat ranting about my problems and wasting my parents money but all i wrote here is genuine and i have never told anyone about it so thank u for reading and if u have any suggestions for me feel free to tell me .

flinklewhip24-7 (not verified) says...

Hey man, I feel for you. I gotta say though, who cares what your parents think? If you completely go with your heart youll most likely find it to be a way greater pay off. You've only got one life to live, don't let your parents choose it for you. 

The going will be tough, and you may not always love dancing the way you do now. Maybe it'll be music, or visual arts, or something completely different. Go with the flow, let your heart lead. This life we've got is a ride, might as well surf with the waves then go against them. No one knows what you want most in the moment other then you. Why trust anyone else to decide?

If you wait any longer all you'll be doing is investing more time and money into this career path. Take the leap, jump off board and don't let anyone convince you otherwise. Do it and the sting of regret you'll feel will be quenched by pure joy.

Good luck with your life, I truly hope you follow a path you love. 

sasha (not verified) says...

Another thing is... if in 6 years you're going to do what you want... why waste your time now and why waste your parents money if it's not something you want anyway? Let's pretend your parents don't care about what you do for school/work.... what would you do for the next 6 years?

sasha (not verified) says...

Hey Shadow hunter, how far along are you in your degree? In accounting there's a term we often use called "sunk cost". The time you have invested up to this point is something you can never get back, therefore it shouldn't be a part of your decision going forward. Let's use an example of a romantic partner. For 4 years it was awesome, but now the relationship sucks, do you stay because it used to be good? Or do you go because you know you could be happier somewhere else? 

Another thing to consider is... lets say you only have 6 years left to live, would you be resentful and angry that you spent them doing something you didn't like? Are these negative feelings going to be attributed to your parents? Will it impact your daily mood/ excitement for life?

If it's yes then don't continue down this path. It's not worth it for your sake, and your parents sake. As life goes on you will become more and more independent of your parents and what you will have is your own life. Will you like that life even when your parents are gone? When they are no longer here, who are you doing this all for? 


Rose111 (not verified) says...

Shadowhunter - you will make an amazing doctor and this world needs more people like you in that field. You could move into becoming a doctor of art therapy, or of the mind - working with people on a deeper, emotional, creative, or psychologcial level could be very rewarding for you. Good luck and whatever you do, I am sure you will bring the best of the INFP qualities. The people who are lucky enough to connect with you with be blessed by your innate ability to 'listen deeply' and locate/heal the underlying shadows and blocks that feed the root of their pain and dis~ease.

StillFindingHerWay (not verified) says...

Hi shadowhunter.  I cant tell you what to do, but I can tell you what a life spent pursuing passions of the heart and spirit has led to for me... At times it has deeply meaningful and I have felt completely fulfilled.  I have traveled, I have met people, explored the most interesting ideas and places, been fascinated by art, history, humanity, nature.  I've enjoyed the moment thoroughly.  I've found ways at times to help others connect to their truths and to find meaning.  But as the years progressed I realized more and more that others were able to provide for themselves in ways I was not.  I started to worry about my ability to provide for myself in the long term.  I worries that all my carefree, live in the moment, enjoy the truth and beauty of what is... that that was all leading me to being stuck rather than free.  


Eventually I had a child and those nagging worries hit me in the face like a ton of bricks.  My marriage fell apart. What little safety net I had was ripped out from underneath me and I came to an awakening... My mohter was right.  It's a beautiful thing to pursue beauty, art and truth, but this world requires practicality. You have basic needs that need to be met.  That's not to say you can't do that pursuing an artistic path but it will be much harder.  You likely will have to hussle, a lot.  Work multiple jobs to make ends meet. And be ok with times of scarcity and not living the 'best life' you see everyone flaunting.  It can be fulfilling at times, especially when you feel you are living in alignment with your truth and values.  But it can be draining at times.  Often you need to compromise your values to sell your services or wares or those of your employer. You will often be underpaid and under appreciated.  You may need to cow tow to popular beliefs in contradition to your own in order to gain popularity, reputation, all the things you need to be successful as an artist, dancer, lay healer...  If you are certain you are ok with this and that art and expression are your be all end all passion then by all means pursue that life.  Do it with eyes and heart wide open.  If on reflection you find yourself needing a sense of stability and security so that you can truly pursue your passions with freedom, then please pause and consider that path.   True it may have to be put on hold while you pursue other goals but honestly it probably wont be put on hold... rather your art and passion will continue to thrive and flourish and sustain you through your journey...  For example, I have a friend who is a resident and one of the most wonderful artists I have met and she continued to paint and draw through med school.  Just a quick thought.  I'm happy to speak further.  Good luck.  Trust in you.  

The Transfer Student (not verified) says...

Hey shadow hunter,

I just want to say I was in a similar position as you. I'm I'm currently 21 in my fourth year of college (and it's not my last lol) and I started out as an architecture student. My mom told me it was the right direction to go in and I'll make a comfortable living, but in truth I was never passionate about it and I didn't have the willpower or dedication to push through the program. Unfortunately I didn't realize this until my sophomore year and I was making D's in my most important classes 😬. I was in the same boat in "wasting" my parent's money and was told I should just stick through the 5-6 years of architecture schooling and do something else after the degree is completed. But don't you think it would be more of a waste to spend thousands of dollars on a major you 1. Don't enjoy and 2. Will never use? That's a real god damn waste of money my friend (and medical school is EXPENSIVE). It took a lot of tears and arguing but I got out of architecture school and went for something I've actually been wanting to study, language and culture! So I'm now a double major in global studies and Chinese language and culture and I'm pretty satisfied and NOT depressed over being stuck in a major I barely enjoy for half a decade. Why not switch to something like commercial photography with a minor in dance or singing? Commercial photography has avenues for revenues and if you like photography but not necessarily the commercial aspect it's okay because you will still learn valuable skill for improving photography that you can use for whatever subset of photography you like in the future for a side project or your career when you graduate. If you do a minor in dance, you still get to engage with it and maybe you could join a dance studio on the side for improvement over time. Yet you won't have to rely on dance as your bread and butter in the future because you'll always have photography to lean on. 

 I hope this help my friend. And heed my words now, you are ONLY twenty there is no need to waste time doing things you don't enjoy doing. That's what actual adulting is for and let's face it, no young 20 year old is ready for actual adulting.

Dr - (not verified) says...

I know how you feel.

When working with patients, you’ll be able to truly connect with patients and help them heal. That is going to feel incredibly rewarding.

The mundane, busy cookie-cut structure will be HARD to handle. You’re going to sometimes drive people crazy because they won’t understand your way of seeing and doing things.

 You’re going to need balance in your life outside your career. 

Never forget, despite what people pressure you to do, you are your own person. You ultimately decide your life.

My best,

Dr -

Mohamad Al Wadaa (not verified) says...

I suggest you to complete in the field of medicine and specialize in the field of psychiatry.  You seem to love art.  You can integrate psychiatry through art therapy and you can provide social services that provide psychological comfort.

DJ1987 (not verified) says...

Hey shadowhunter,

From a Fellow INFP Medic....I totally understand how you feel. In my own case I grew up in a STJ environment and did want to be a doctor because I was excelling in academia. However I really started to struggle in my 3rd year of medical school when structure was taken out and we had to go do our clinical rotations. I decided to push through because I didn't want to waste my parents money and on the day of graduation I simply felt 'thank God this is over!!'

Some of my colleagues dropped out to pursue other career paths including photography, law, and fashion/art. Whilst others graduated and went into family businesses, health administration, business/personal coaching.


I used to dance with two ladies at uni who both ended up in sports medicine. Whilst it was something I considered, Dermatology had more appeal to me and that's what I'm currently doing and in as much as I enjoy it, the plan is to work part-time and explore other passions like writing, dancing, calligraphy and travel to live a more balanced, financially secure life.

 So what's my advice to you?

1. You can chose to take a gap year to do a mixture of medical and non-medical things to explore your curiosities further. A friend of mine (INFJ) was feeling disenchanted and went travelling + doing electives. Today she's a locum GP who travels when she wants and works when she wants.

2. Complete your degree and forge a portfolio career. Like I said earlier I studied with someone who dances and leads workshops whilst working as a sports medicine doctor

3. Tell your parents how you are feeling. You could strike a deal with them to take a year out to explore your passions and if it doesn't work out to go back and finish Med school or you could simply drop out.

if you have any questions do not hesitate to ask.

Motherlode (not verified) says...

Hey, there. I'm an INFP as well, 24 by now, and I know exactly how you're feeling. As it is usual for INFPs, I was afraid to pursue what I wanted, thinking it was too impractical and would have no financial return. In the other hand, I was too confused to choose a graduation, so I just picked Law college bc my mother and other relatives graduated in it. I mean, if they did it, so can I, it can't be that bad. The outcome? By the 4th year (the graduation had 5 years), I was very unhappy and more confuse than ever, even had to make therapy for months. I felt the same as you when studying law, struggled too much to be able to read and understand any book, bc my mind was kind of blocking it. Anyway, bc 4 years had passed, I decided to go on and graduate, so I did. It has been over a year now and I'm still working my mind on be brave and finally make the first step and pursue what I want, using this graduation as a mean to an end (I, too, was afraid to give up college at the last years bc of the money my parents were investing on me). Of course, what happened to me isn't a rule, it doesn't necessarily will happen the same to you. Have in mind (and as an INFP, I believe I can say it) that not everything is lost and graduating at medicine isn't the end of the world. But, as scared as we are to make choices, you'll have to choose what to do next. Graduate or not, tell the truth to your parents or not (which doesn't necessarily has to be all at once, it's a process), ask for help of how to put in practice your plans to pursue your dreams, etc. If you feel stuck, you could ask help from people next to you, who know you better than me, a strange from the internet, and lay down your options. Choosing is scaring, because if we fail the feeling really weigh us down, but what better way to know yourself than making mistakes? You'll find out one more thing that you don't like hehe. I know adulthood is scaring and making choices by now also means spending money, but if you're feeling stuck, you must move, right? Anyway, I hope what I said can be of help (or at least make any sense to you). Good luck.

BaradCuda (not verified) says...

Money can not buy you happiness! And your happiness is not for sale. (1 Tim 4 : 14) You are made to be great at what you believe in, and no amount of money will change that. Your parents might be dissapointed for a short while, but they wil get over it and learn to support you for who you where meant to be! Good Luck


Philip McDonald (not verified) says...

You could buy a dog and name it happiness

MoonWarrior (not verified) says...

Hi there ~ I was researching the INFP personality types and I was drawn in by your comment. I don't know you but I will tell you what I would tell a friend: If becoming a doctor doesn't light a fire in your soul, it may not be for you. Don't accept anything that doesn't feel authentic to who you are, so if you don't want to be a doctor, talk with your parents. Life is too short to waste it living someone elses your own. That being said, because {I'm guessing} you're an INFP, you're also a healer...which means you may find being a Dr. is {just one of} your natural gifts. There are no rules that say you can't be a Dr. AND a dancer, photographer, etc. and it may be hard to imagine a world like this, it is absolutely possible. If you truly can't stand the thought of being a Dr. at all, don't force yourself. Live your life for YOU, always. Until you have kids...then live it for them ;) Best of luck to you <3

Jara (not verified) says...

I knew that I should be a counselor since I was a child, but I chose to major in Business because my parents advised me to be "practical". Well, even though I entered college at 16, it took me 9 years to graduate with a bachelor's in Business Administration/Marketing (with a 3.5 GPA) and...long story short: now I'm a counselor in the least practical field ever: faith-based community outreach! But I practice my faith every day. 😆

Follow your intuition. God gave it to you to make the right choices for yourself. If your parents argue about it because they're paying the bill, then just share my story with them: my mom wasted 9 years' worth of tuition for me to become what I was created to be (which I didn't need to be trained to do in college!). 😉

Who gives intuition to the heart and instinct to the mind? - Job 38:36 NLT

Alex Reuter (not verified) says...

Oh my gosh, thank you for writing this comment! I was just perusing these and I am working my way toward eventual counseling licensure and have been so worried about how I will be faithful to the Lord and myself through counseling because my faith is honestly the most important thing to me! It's great to hear that someone else is out there going after it! Truly, truly there is a way when God leads! 

Moongazer (not verified) says...

I wonder if you have thought of the possibilities being trained as a doctor cam bring. You could take your skills abroad to suffering people who are very poor or in war zones and meet a huge cross section of people. It also pays really well. Well enough to work part time. Then you could be a dancing doctor with a big enough salary to support your passion. If your dancing ever really took off you could ditch your medicine altogether or come back to it when you are older as dancers don't have many opportunities after a certain age. If you are bright enough to plod on with your course without too much personal cost I would do it and then continue to pursue your dancing part time.

Creek Breath (not verified) says...


I don't really have the qualifications to advise, but I'll try to offer some things to think about

Might there be something that lies between healthcare and dance, like somatic/bodywork therapies, recreational therapy?

What are your strenghts? What nourishes your consciousness? What is your bliss? How can you integrated into the practical world?

It can be challenging when parents impose what they think is best. Your health and search for authenticity comes first. It is challenging to break free, carve our own path while also considering practical wisdom from elders. 

There are a lot of resources online and in the community that can help you clarify that path constructively. It can feel frustrating, disheartening but you'll find your gift and step into it at your own pace. It may be helpful to keep in mind that it's pretty common for career changes to happen. You might really enjoy one career for several years and then feel a need to change, and that's okay.

Of course, there are also a lot of other options, like going off grid, joining a monastery, trying out AmeriCorps.

Community service and shadowing can also help you clarify your path, seeing what fits and what challenges arise, troubleshooting, and developing professional skills

Also, keep in mind that while these tests can provide insight, people are not a fixed set of attributes. There is a big spectrum of consciousness and unconscious shadows. It may help to read Gene Keys by Richard Rudd. It creatively links traits to DNA. For example, the 63rd gene he writes is a spectrum of doubt to truth with inquiry as the flight towards truth. It is related to codons of Grace-dishonour, Tenderness- "weakness", Compassion-Turbulence. I'm only just starting out, so I can't really explain the connection to genes but it could be worth exploring. I think the idea is related to epigenetic and conscious influence on our biology

Hope this helps =)

Creek Breath (not verified) says...


I don't really have the qualifications to advise, but I'll try to offer some things to think about

Might there be something that lies between healthcare and dance, like somatic/bodywork therapies, recreational therapy?

What are your strenghts? What nourishes your consciousness? What is your bliss? How can you integrated into the practical world?

It can be challenging when parents impose what they think is best. Your health and search for authenticity comes first. It is challenging to break free, carve our own path while also considering practical wisdom from elders. 

There are a lot of resources online and in the community that can help you clarify that path constructively. It can feel frustrating, disheartening but you'll find your gift and step into it at your own pace. It may be helpful to keep in mind that it's pretty common for career changes to happen. You might really enjoy one career for several years and then feel a need to change, and that's okay.

Of course, there are also a lot of other options, like going off grid, joining a monastery, trying out AmeriCorps.

Community service and shadowing can also help you clarify your path, seeing what fits and what challenges arise, troubleshooting, and developing professional skills

Hope this helps =)

Creek Breath (not verified) says...


I don't really have the qualifications to advise, but I'll try to offer some things to think about

Might there be something that lies between healthcare and dance, like somatic/bodywork therapies, recreational therapy?

What are your strenghts? What nourishes your consciousness? What is your bliss? How can you integrated into the practical world?

It can be challenging when parents impose what they think is best. You and your health come first. It is challenging to break free, carve our own path while also considering practical wisdom from elders. 

There are a lot of resources online and in the community that can help you clarify that path constructively. It can feel frustrating, disheartening but you'll find your gift and step into it at your own pace. It may be helpful to keep in mind that it's pretty common for career changes to happen. You might really enjoy one career for several years and then feel a need to change, and that's okay.

Of course, there are also a lot of other options, like going off grid, joining a monastery, trying out AmeriCorps.

Community service and shadowing can also help you clarify your path, seeing what fits and what challenges arise, troubleshooting, and developing professional skills

Hope this helps =)

David Park (not verified) says...

theshadowhunter, My advice, due to my personal experience, pause your education, and go out and experience the world. How you do that, is hard for me to say, but again I can relate. I went to college, back in the 60's, because that's what I was told to do. After obtaining my degree in Zoology, I wasted years trying to fit the mold. A long story short, follow your heart, and you will not regret it. You're young, and want to please your parents, and I suppose they're footing the bill, so you feel obligated. I understand. Breaking out on your own is scary, but is fertile ground to growth, and happiness.  Caveat: we need physicians, but not those that really don't want to be. Good Luck, Dave

Tuttle (not verified) says...

Two years into an MD is not a lot of time or money sunk (in the grand scheme of things).  I am a 54 year old INFP who spent the last 30+ years trying to function in the business world (posing as an INTP...I am a Data Scientist).  While I have never truly loved what I do, I have been rasonably successful.  I intended to be a teacher, but in the US, that is not a terribly lucrative career.  I grew up poor and decided I did not want to poor any longer.  So I went with using my degree in math and computer science to make money rather than teach others.  I am now getting ready to retire from business.  I am considering buying a tutoring company and starting a second career.  So it is possible to do multiple things in your life...many people do.  That being said, I only needed 4 years of college, which is half what your MD requires.  I'm not an expert, but I imagine the two years you've put in so far could easily be applied to a shit in degree to something else.  What about something that combines what your parents hope for you with what you truly love?  I'd guess dancers need help from exercise physiologists (or doctors who specialize...e.g. sports mediucine).  I definitely wish you well and I hope you are able to talk to your parents and come to a point where their hopes for your life are relieved and you can be committed to what you are trying to do.  My nephew is recently coming to grips with a similar situation to yours.  The difference is he is through his undergrad work.  When he said to me that he is "in too deep" to possibly change paths, my answer to him was "YOU ARE 23 YEARS OLD!  You're not in too deep.  You are standing in the shallow end barely knee up to your knees.  The one thing I can tell you definitively, is you are have LOTS of time to come to grips with what you really want and I can assure you that you will still have options when you're old and gray like I am.  I wish you all the best.

Susanna (not verified) says...

Don't waste your time studying something you don't want as your profession and are not interested about. It's your life, not your parents', and they can't demand that you need to be something that they want you to be. You are a creative person, and it seems like your heart and mind yearns creativity. Make your profession to be something that relates to photography, dancing, singing or so on... Although, it would have been better if you've said this all before applying to medical school, so that the money would not have gone to waste, but what has happened has happened and we can't do anything to change that. Have a serious discussion about this with your parents. You can not get those 6 years back after all, and they go to waste if you've decided that you are going to aim for some other profession after your medical studies. Good luck.

Lucas (not verified) says...

Eu estudei contabilidade, mas meu sonho é ser agricultor (I studied accounting, but my dream is to be a farmer.)

theshadowhunter (not verified) says...

so what are you thinking of doing right now ??

Lucas says...


Original Name is Torture (not verified) says...

Adoramos estar perto e trabalhar com a natureza. Sou professora e as crianças são definitivamente uma força da natureza, mas odeio o crescente nível de papelada administrativa. Eu gostaria de poder levar as crianças para fora para admirar as plantas e animais que encontramos. (We love being around and working with nature. I am a teacher and children are definitely a force of nature, but hate the increasing level of administrative paperwork. I wish I could take the kids out to admire the plants and animals we encounter.)

Lucas (not verified) says...

Send me a email

Lucas says...

A natureza é incrivel e quando estamos nela os pesos da vida somem  (Nature is amazing and when we are in it the weight of life disappear.)

Natalyakir says...

I think wasting so much money and time for something you don't like doing it is also a waste. On the other hand, you can do dancing and photography as a hobby, in your free time.

INFP pal (not verified) says...

I'm sorry that you feel you have to do this. But you need to be true to your inner convictions. You are young so understanding that self care over what people's expectations are what leads to happiness. If you look up the book series Pete the Cat. The author was shunned by his father about how he wouldn't make money as an artist so he became an engineer.. fast forward many years he decided to paint and write children's books and now they are very popular. And he is making great money doing what he loves. I commend you for sharing here. 

I think you need to tell you parents you don't want to be a doctor. You are wasting their money but also your life which we are promised. And I think it will spare them much heartache to tell them now rather than you end up becoming a doctor then quitting because you build up enough courage to quit. 

Do what you love!!! It's your life and you are responsible to make yourself happy 💗💗best of luck 🙏

Deeeep (not verified) says...

Hi, I know how you are feeling, as I am in similar situation. I'll just graduate this year and I hope this will end. Here's what I will tell you. I know you're worrying about how much your parents pay and you feel responsible , but if it's so hard for you, just quit it. Your time is much more valuable than the money.

SaballaSarrel (not verified) says...

Hi Shadowhunter, 

I just finished my degree, it can be exhausting and you have to push yourself to your limits to thrive and obtain the grades you need. 

Ways to look at your situation if you are committed to continuing in the medical field: 

1. you can specialize in treating the performers, dancers and so forth, which will keep you connected to the arts you love but in ways, you never dreamed possible. 

2. take between class mental health breaks by joining clubs that will allow you to express your creative side, don't just watch, do it.

3. have a sit down with your parents and be honest with them, if that is not doable, invite them to a performance in one of the clubs you have joined so they can see you perform.

4. treat your studies the way you would treat your career with a healthy lifestyle balance that allows you to tap into your creative side. 

5. speak with an academic councillor, your professors and your TA's. You would not be the first student that has had reservations about things certainly if you did not choose your career but it was chosen for you. 

Best wishes, 


zeeceezee (not verified) says...

I always thought I would have a career related to art or writing but an unplanned pregnancy and subsequent marriage then divorce resulted in an unfinished degree and financial crisis. I opted for scholarship-funded training in radiologic technology. In a very short time I realized I didn't belong in that field. I wanted to withdraw but the program administrators played the "much money invested" card to me and convinced me to stay. I finished the entire 2 year program and then did an additional 2 years of specialization in radiation therapy dosimetry, a algebra/math-intensive medical path. The combination of dealing with cancer patients and performing a STEM position daily took a huge toll on me as a creative/art type. I managed to raise a family on the great income I made but would never choose that again if life gave me a do-over. It was HARD. EVERYDAY. I came home drained and tired from struggling to appear happy for the patients. And that's what having a career in a field that doesn't make your heart sing is - no matter how much has been spent, how much it pays, etc. - it's ultimately an unsatisfying struggle. Listen to your gut. 

Day R. (not verified) says...

Perhaps you shouldn't ask people on the internet. We all have different beginnings and the different roads we take, and they, if you make the right choices, can lead you to happiness. If you are worried about money, It is better to do something you love because 1, everyone can see your love for what you do. It can inspire people. 2, It shows how much more dedicated you will be to whatever you decide to do because if you love something, you will not give up on it. 

Don't do things because they are easy or because you are pressured. Do it because you love it and you want other people to love it as much as you. I hope I see some of your work in my lifetime,

~A student, Day R.

Rah's al Ghul (not verified) says...

I read.  I have a few suggestions.

1.) Stop using "u" as shorthand for "you" on the internet.  

2.) Dancing, singing, photography - anything entirely creative is an incredibly difficult industry.  You have to create something that not just your social circle likes, but MOST people like.

3.) Your career doesn't define you.  I guarantee that aside from "gotcha" questions, you or I could pretend to be anything in a bar while talking to a girl for an hour.  What do I care about?  I am employed as a Data Scientist.  It pays way more than I care.  How am I not an egghead?  I don't look at people or talk to people as if they're dumber than me.  I don't care about knowledge.  It never impressed me.  Creative types impress me way more.  Do you have a witty joke?  Tell it.  I'm the person mentally raising a glass to you.

4.) Kind of continuing 3 here.  So.  I AM a Data Scientist.  I also teach, both professionally and socially.  I also learn, usually preferring professional learning to social learning.  I also write, professionally and socially.  I give talks professionally.  (I'd say socially, but honestly most talks that I give outside of work are to myself).  I know the life of a medical doctor doesn't sound terrible appealing.  In fact - I would not do it.  I love Dr. House and would lose my shit at the opportunity to be the smartest and most knowledgeable person in every room he walks into while also saving lives.  But I disliked Biology and I especially disliked the idea that to be a doctor you have to practice on human corpses.

5.) Okay - this turned into a 3,4,5 situation because I have a lot of thoughts to get out.  Being a doctor means you get to help people.  Do you know what it's like to be a patient talking to a doctor?  When you're young - it's easy.  As an adult it gets harder.  Doctors give you terrible news.  Or bad news.  Or so-so news.  They never really give you good news.  But having a doctor that cares makes it easier.  For example: I need to get my wisdom teeth out.  I got one out with local anaesthetic and after that my dentist asked if he could do another and I said something along the lines of "I don't know".  He knew I had had enough.  He saw my shaking leg.  I know this is a Dentist and not a Doctor, but it's the same deal.

6.) Don't trust your instincts as a 20 year old.  We never end up doing what we wanted to do at that age.  If your parents have been calling the shots for a long time, you're going through the "growing up" phase of life.  This is where you start to reconcile with the fact that you have some autonomy.  Most kids make a few terrible decisions when that times comes to pass.

7.) All of that said - you control your own destiny.  Decide for yourself.  If I was your parent and knew you were pushing away from that career, I would likely encourage you.  If I was your parent and knew you'd be miserable in that career, I would push you as far away from it as I could.

theshadowhunter (not verified) says...

thank you for your suggestions,  i got to think more deeply about this because of your detailed explanation 😁

Pelipe (not verified) says...

Hi. We have the same situation. I'm also 20 yrs old and I finished my degree last year which is BS Accountancy. As of right now, I'm currently enrolled in a review center for my upcoming licensure exam to become a CPA. And from your statement, we have the same struggles. I don't have the will to study. I feel so lazy whenever I think about learning a topic. But I love music and always have the motivation to learn a song to play in my guitar. It seems like it is a therapy for me because I gain pleasure from it, but in reality I'm just avoiding the pain from studying something I don't feel so passionate about. I hope we can overcome this stress and the fear of becoming a failure. I hope you can find your motivation and never think about taking your own life. Goodluck.

Tabularasa (not verified) says...

Hey, I understand you feel the pressure of wasting your parents money, but more is going to be invested on you. As i see it you have two choices: (1) you quit med school and do something you like, and wait for your parents to accept it. Its unfair for them that you havent told them you dont like it, maybe they think youre happy? (2) you stay. But if you stay you have to own up to your choice. No matter why you choose to continue, you chose. And its your responsibility to make the best out of that decision. Its all about the mindset.

Goodluck with whatever happens with you! Everything will be alright no matter the path. 

M.Medic (not verified) says...

Hi there, I'm a final yr medical student and i feel you. I went through a similar thing, I would've much rather pursued a career in music and arts but somehow found myself doing medicine. Study was always a struggle and to this day I still barely read textbooks.

As an INFP I hate the details and much prefer the big picture stuff, this made it challenging in preclinical years when you're given lecture after lecture of 'details'

But don't quit until you have done at least a year on clinical placements- this is way different and way better in my opinion to the preclinical years. This is also when I realised that there can be art in medicine, and that medicine was indeed for me.

What got me through medicine tho was continuing to do the things i love. I kept up with music through medical school and also did other things i enjoyed such as teaching. This year i also started making videos and hope to pick up photography as a hobby.

Also, once you get through medical school, you are open to a whole world of different possibilities! Every specialty has something different to offer. Different lifestyle, different work culture, different type of jobs/tasks etc.

As INFP, my sense of meaning comes from my idealistic view that I want to (and can) make a positive change in the world, and seeing patients improve is one of those things that help keep me optimistic

All the best, and never give up!
You can have the best of both worlds. The path there might just be a bit different from what you, or anyone else, expected!

Infp engineer (not verified) says...

Based from my experience, I can totally relate to you. I loved writing and dreamed of being a writer when I was young but I needed a more practical course so i chose Engineering. I liked studying regardless of what course I'm in. I said to myself it will only take 5 yrs and when I'm done studying i can do everything i want. Unfortunately that's not the case and i feel trapped in this career I chose.

Having a job takes most of your time everyday. You will do it for the rest of your life so I suggest choose something you are passionate about or make a way for you to enjoy your interests while doing a day job.

Being a doctor will be quite demanding of your time. You'll always be on call so i really suggest you think about your career path and whether you can balance your time to do what you truly love. 

My career doesn't really give me time to explore my interests since im usually working 8-12hr shifts. It really drained me and i felt empty inside. It's not fulfilling so i quit that job and now I'm looking into other jobs where i can balance my time doing  a job that can pay the bills and have time to do the things that makes me happy. 

Ljchmomas (not verified) says...

Stick with it! I work in the field of career counseling (well, more or less), and there is a niche that you can fill with that. As an INFP, no matter what field you go into, nothing will be the perfect fit automatically - it will take a lot of you moving things around to make it fit who you are and what you want. You can help people and will have competencies at the end of that - it will be hugely fulfilling once you start working directly with people. Until then, it's like being blinded by the minutiae/uninspiring parts - if you can make it through, years later I think you will be glad. Besides, maybe you start out as a family physician or go into psychiatry or end up doing something completely different with your m.d. - humanitarian work or hospital/clinical ethics work.  It's not your parents' fault or yours - it's life and at least within medicine, you'll have resources and some ability to move around to make it what you want it to be!

Helicopter793 says...

Medicine's a broad group of careers .Most people will find their niche .You will earn you good money but if you really feel you will never be happy doing it you should consider changing career- better to do it now than later .You spend so much of your life doing your career , especially one like medicine that it is just not worth doing if you feel you will never be happy in it .

See link above for INFP careers in medicine .

I am INFP and been a Family Dr for last 26 years , originally wanted to be a journalist/ writer /lawyer or child psychiatrist but somehow got sidetracked by parental expectation etc .

Kellie (not verified) says...

I think it would be good though for your personality as you could empathise with your patients as  beit would in a rewarding career that helps people? And most GP's only see patients one on one and can help them. Maybe do as suggested and do dance classes on the days you don't have study.. However, it seems it would be a rewarding career that would help other people. Maybe you could switch to being a VET? If being a doctor is really something you don't want to do. All the best. :) 

Katarzyna Rychlicka (not verified) says...


I'm in the same situation as you (almost)! I have been always told to study law. As a result after passing my finals with flying colours I had to do it and here I am on the 3rd year of my journey. It means there's more than two to go (count in the year I had to resit after changing unis and cities). At the beginning it was heart-breaking for me to be in this course of studies but lately I've found I guess my potential ideal job after studies. I want to become a flight-attendant as I love flying and travelling and meeting new people. This concept has given me a lot of relief recently esepcially when times are hard during exams etc. 

When it comes to you, why don't you take dancing classes apart from you studies? 2 times a week can be enough to reignite the fire and inner passion inside to feel truly alive again. I'm an INFP too so I know what I'm talking about :)

Mas (not verified) says...

Hiya. I can totally relate to your situation entirely because I'm currently studying law (final year luckily) and despite only having a few months left until I graduate, I barely have any interest let alone passion for the course. Similary to you, I also love to sing (a lot), take photographs, and learning about psychology. When you said you can't even open a book, I really felt that in my soul haha. Even worse knowing that my course is all about reading, but oh well. Just so you know, there's a lot of people like us in uni doing a course we really can't be arsed to do but if money is involved it always gets a bit hard to turn around and do something else. One thing to keep in mind is that its your life and rather than being miserable at the most developmental part of your adulthood, listen to your intuition and do what feels right. I mean, you seem to be an INFP after all. Honestly though, I feel you and I wish you the best for the future and hopefully make the right choice. 

Dang (not verified) says...

Hi, I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I know it probably feels like you are stuck in this situation and would feel very guilty for abandoning being a doctor, but if you go through with it, you won't be happy. I went through a similar situation as you and ended up pursuing my real passion five years later, and trust me, I wish I pursued it earlier instead of listening to what others were telling me what was best for you. What is best for you is whatYOU are passionate about and what makes YOU shine and happy. If you pursue your passions, even if they're not the most "realistic" or make the most money, you will find happiness and will be good at what you are doing and eventually will find success because that is what YOU love. Us INFPs can't fake passion or pursue things we feel nothing for, and we ultimately end up depressed and/or failing. I strongly believe we must do what we want to do, because those are our strengths. Just because our strengths and passions are not the usual path, doesn't mean that it's wrong. I hope that you get out of this situation before you are in too deep. 

Shutterbug83 (not verified) says...

I seem to be an infp, i studied Photography but it was too hard to get into the industry esp with health conditions and not very confident or outgoing. More ahy and reserved. Did mini lab work or photoshop but my health has gotten worse. I have TMJD a conditon of the jaw and cant actually speak much if it all, having to communicate by text.

Had a plant business online but it wasnt profitable so just a hobby now.

Before my jaw issues i was in call centres for 12 years, didnt like it but paid bills.

Need a job sitting down, no talking for an introvert whos artistic, loves animals, photography,kayaking, plants and the environment.

I get repetitive stain from data entry.

Feel abit lost.


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