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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

Amo (not verified) says...

It doesn't matter what you decide to do. Make a choice. What matters, is the level to which you remain comitted to your choice. If you don't committ, you will endlessly waffle in life. We all come to countless crossroads in life- just make sure you take a road- you can't stand in one place going in circles for long or you might not ever move forward in any direction at all. As INFPs we are often overwhelmed with the different choices and opportunities life affords - just keep moving forward. 

James von Tungeln (not verified) says...

School teacher.  Maybe even Jr High

RandomINFP (not verified) says...

Hey there fellow INFP! 

I'm kind of stuck in the same boat here. Just finished graduating in a field I want to have nothing to do with, and now I don't know what to do. I love the arts, and helping people, but I just worry that it's too late for me to try, and whether I'd even be good enough! I'm also torn between multiple choices.

Try to take a break, like, not do anything for at least a few days, all alone. That lack of pressure clears the head and may even show you a new perspective!

Hope you find and follow that one something truly worth spending your life energies on!

💜

BalatSibuyas (not verified) says...

When I realized that I could write stories, I was really surprised. I was even more shocked when the result of my MBTI showed that I'm an INFP. If I have known it earlier I could gone a long way as a writer. Anyway, it's never too late to start and I'm glad I've found this gift God has given me. INFP people are late bloomers, right? :-)

White flower (not verified) says...

Hi! Is there any INFP nurses? I'm thinking about pursing Nursing but I'm still not sure if it's for me. I find it interesting and I want to help people in any way possible. I've taken many career assessments and they all point me to a healthcare profession such as Speech Language Pathologist, Nurse Midwife, and Occupational therapist. But they also require a Master's degree but right now I want to focus on getting a Bachelor's degree. 

Thomport (not verified) says...

Yes. I'm am RN who recently retired from full time work.  I recently discovered INFP as a personality type.  It's me pretty much to a T. I excelled at nursing.  It was almost annoying to me all the attention and complements I received in my tenure. I just wanted to do my thing. Fortunately I worked in a specialty that was up and coming and discovering itself.  I was able to be very creative and had a lot input into the overall operation.  It was a medical facility inside a prison.  I actually loved the work.  I got a great retirement out of the job.  It was recognized a a law inforcement job (but my medical skills were necessary and employed in my day to day duties). I also initially worked in a hospital.  I loved it there too. Nursing took the shyness out of me, but I still need and enjoy my alone time. I say go for it.  The your innate qualities will prosper. 

Kaitlin W (not verified) says...

Yes that's funny that you ask. I am a registered nurse and I couldn't picture myself doing anything else. It feels like I was born to do this job. In fact it doesn't feel like a job to me. 
-INFP 

lori H (not verified) says...

I am a strong INFP and I have been a registered nurse for 20 years.  I believe it fits nursing very well.  The beauty of  nursing is there is a lot of choices for a career choice.  I am an aesthetic nurse working with lasers and I do tattoo makeup on the side for my artistic side.  We love to help people, and are natrual healers.    

Lori

White flower (not verified) says...

Lori, I really like that you are still pursing your artistic passion. That's great to hear! 

White flower (not verified) says...

Thank you so much for sharing! I really like that there are so many specialities and I hope I find one that I love. 

Andie.RN (not verified) says...

I am a nurse as an INFP. I find it very challenging. There are days where I want to work alone and that is not possible as a nurse. I dont enjoy the registered nurse position in a hospital. Therefore, I am going to be pursuing a masters degree in nursing education so that I can teach nursing, resulting in less labor and emotional stress. I feel that everyone is different though. You have to try it before you can ultimately know for sure. But if you get a degree in nursing and find that you dont like the bedside there are many opportunities that lead you to better jobs within nursing. Going higher is always going to be better. 

White flower (not verified) says...

Thanks for posting, Andie! I'm just having a hard time figuring out if nursing is for me. I think the only way I will know for sure is if I go through with nursing school and become a nurse. The jobs that I am attracted to require at least a Master's degree to become a Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, or Nurse Midwife. That's very cool that you are going to get your Master's! Hope everything goes great. 

sabmicah (not verified) says...

I just look the test and I am this, and that describes me so much. I am the friend that helps everybody and ends up getting no help back and being stuck with my feelings and saddness. I will hold up my feelings for months untill lI tell anybody, and usually ends with sobbing, even though I hate to cry. I am also a artist, and does digital art. It is so cool to find other people that can think the same way as me.

Syafiqah (not verified) says...

i am an INFP and an engineer. I have had few personalities test during my uni which inclines towards INFP or phlegmatic personality. Sometimes, when things drained me or bored me, im questioning about my career path. To stay and being engage to something that underutilized my values. Or to start over and doing what I wanted to do, which incling towards arts and creative making.

Charter 000 says...

How do you cope up whenever you question your career path? I'm a Mechanical Engineering student and I'm kind of struggling in my course. Almost all of my major subjects have this in common -- failed or almost failing grades.

Sumpfmarie (not verified) says...

Engineers don't only design cars and bridges. I'm a mediator, idealistic horsewoman and engineer. So I design horse barns with the mission to imrpove life for domestic horses. Love it! And I can do more for the horses than if I had chosen an actual equine profession. Think outside the box and combine your talents with your mission. 

Kat&Scaz (not verified) says...

Hey Syafiah,

from one infp to another, follow your heart! You might be worse of for it monetarily and emotionally but you should do it anyway. Good luck!

Melanie J McDonough (not verified) says...

I was a civil engineer for a couple of years before I realized it wasn't for me. Got certified in a type of therapy and am crazy happy now and super fulfilled. Do what you are meant to! The world needs you. 

Liz L. (not verified) says...

Hi Melanie,

I’m also an INFP they have  considered going into counseling or therapy,  but not sure I want to go back to school for a MSW.  What type of therapy did you get certified in?

Jessica Secreto (not verified) says...

Hi Liz

I'm an infp as well and am just starting my second year of a psychotherapy MA and truly am loving it. Wish I'd taken this test a decade ago when I first entered school. Irvin Yalom really got me interested in therapy. Good luck! It's never too late to do something you're interested in. A lot of the fun for me is in the process. 

tabish rahman (not verified) says...

hi fella you are on the same page i will tell you that dont give up anything that you desire you should left those possiblity open and for whenever it will be possible for now do the best in what you should do until you find what you want

fellow INFP (not verified) says...

Why can't engineers have an artistic flair?  Who wants boring looking bridges and buildings or cars or anything for that matter?    Also you can relate to your workmates in a way that is unique to you.  Maybe your talents are best used where there is a shortage of them?   Cheers to you and God bless you.

 

EngineerLover32 (not verified) says...

Hello there my future spouse I am also an infp and have always wanted to end up with an engineer because of their hefty wealth and commintment to education. I am a great cook (I can microwave mac n cheese and make a mean ice soup) and have a voice like silk and will sing to you songs about good oral hygiene and proper food safety. plz respond to me my good dude-xoxo 

INFP is me (not verified) says...

Hahahaha, i just loved your cute 'ad' for a future husband. What really made me laugh is that the engineering type would never come to a website like thos to read it! You may need to copy and paste this in a hard copy magazine about cars or infrastructure or something. 😂

Tenzin Yeshi (not verified) says...

From one INFP to another, I hope you pursue your heart and live a happy life.

 

Caitlyn Baduria (not verified) says...

I think that if your dream is really towards to arts and creative making, you should go for it. Do you like engineering? Which one do you think you'd be more happier pursuing? I think pursuing the one you enjoy doing more should be the career you're pursuing. For me, I'm also an INFP and I REALLY love the arts (mainly music stuff) and want to pursue that, so that I will work hard towards on. Think about what will make you the happiest. I encourage you to follow what makes you the happiest, to follow what would be the most enjoyable to you as a career. :)

Elliot Jewel (not verified) says...

What about INFPs in love? Like two INFPs together?

tabish rahman (not verified) says...

lovely emotional fulfilling and no problems with any silence and conversation since both will be god at putting things on later they will tolerate lots of work and it can be the worse and best thing.

Weadee Mombo (not verified) says...

I'm not sure if this counts but my identical twin sister and I are both INFPs. We're roomates at university and shared a room growing up. Living with another INFP is a double edged sword. Conversation and silence both flow easily between us and I never feel bored with her. It's just comfortable if you know what I mean. The dowsnide really comes down to day to day things. We both push things to "later". Dishes never get washed, we're both disorganized and once we went months without folding or putting our laundry away. Whenever there's a problem, since we both hate confrentations, we'll bottle it up until one day we're both crying in frustration. This happen once a year at most though. Maybe a lot of this is because we're siblings, but in my case, living with someone that's the same MBTI as me, is like living with the best and worst parts of myself.

tabish rahman (not verified) says...

Dude thats emotionally fulfilling but physics painful lol since i put things on later for months and specially my laundry and just one day i think about it more than usual and hype up Myself for taking that pain lol. good luck its lovely

UBfairyINFP (not verified) says...

My boyfriend and I met when we were 14 years old and now we're 19 and 20. We're both types INFP and our relationship is the best thing that has ever happened to me. There's so much love and deepness and I wouldn't want anyone else. Love whomever you want to love, don't let their personality type get in the way of it. 

CJJackson (not verified) says...

No!!!! You need someone in a relationship with executive funation (External T or External F) in at least 3rd position.   It just won't work practically.

Eskulmo (not verified) says...

Completely agree. My husband is an INTJ. Nothing will get done around the house without him helping, motivating and directing. 

David says...

I need to show this to some people. It'll take a lot less time than trying to describe myself.

Guest (not verified) says...

I'm INFP and make $120,000/yr. Glad I bucked the low pay trend.

Vladimir Wadegreene (not verified) says...

What do you do for work if you dont mind me asking?

Aubree luvsvladimir (not verified) says...

I have always wanted to meet a man named vladimir you have such a beautiful way with words I bet you have a jawline like chiseld marble-xoxo aubree

MBTI Obsessed (not verified) says...

For those of you struggling between two types such as INFP or INTP, it's often helpful to learn more about Kiersey's Temperaments.  There's four:  SP, SJ, NT, NF.  Lookin at our type, see which one uses has those two letters and no, there's not a logical breakdown.  Once you learn more about the four temperaments, you will be able to see which one "sounds like you" the most.  Knowing the four temperaments won't help you to decide if you're more a E or I or even a J or P.  But it will help you to see how the four temperaments work.  (These designations, by the way, go back to Socrates only he used different names for them.)  When I was learning about temperaments, I found it helpful to think of people I knew that fit each one.  So, now when I think of John, I know he's a perfect SJ.  Try it, it's fun! 

Zak (not verified) says...

What about an INFP and INFP

Kevin W. Burrows says...

I think INFP type is a tricky one. I have found my interest to explore different jobs in different industries to be highly exciting. It was the pursuit of opportunity that was the exciting part. Staying at the jobs is and was another story. I am at a cross roads because I have had to figure out why it is I can start but can't stay. I want to stay. In order to "stay" I have to be feeling engaged and interested in the actual work that I am doing. I have to feel freedom and understood in order to maybe "stay". Thoughts, let me know. 

Elle (not verified) says...

BIG YES!!! I'm at a crossroads between realizing exploring different jobs in different industries has been the most rewarding part about my life so far. However, the staying has always been the biggest issue for me too. I think in the beginningof a job, I am quite idealistic, then everything seems to change if I don't feel engaged/interested/ limited or begin to notice the job begins to compromise business ethics that you can only discover with experience. I start checking out. Email me if you want. 

Elliot Boothe (not verified) says...

It's okay y'all I'm an INFP and I wanna die too. Van Gogh, Kurt Cobain, William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, and Bella Swan (Twilight) were all self destrucitve/suicidal and I am too

Alia (not verified) says...

Dear Elliot,

You seem like a very gifted person that has a gift for the creative arts. Life can be challenging, I know that myself as I have been in the very same position before of feeling hopelessness but please remember despite what may seem to be evident circumstances their is a dream invisioned that is yours to have. Don't give up hope. 

 

 

Nowguy27 (not verified) says...

Hey,  Elliot. Life does throw curve balls at one from time to time. I've got my fair share as well.

Identifying with infp myself, each time something unpleasant happens, (meaning I don't get what I want), my first instinct is to withdraw inside to nurse "the wound".

I am starting to observe the self-talk that goes on. If it's leading towards love, I feel good. However, when it comes from fear, e.g. avoid such people/thing/situation, the INFP trait of perceiving instead of judging really helps me to back off from cookie cutter answers, and choose the road less traveled 😉😉

Many a time, this road leads to incredible adventures. I kid you not.

I am forever advising people to be grateful for the breath that we're given. Same advice I'd want to leave here. 

From: INFP type 

Michele Fawcett-Long says...

Hello Elliot. I hope that you will reach out to find support. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 800-273-8255. They will understand, and they will be able to connect you with people in your area.

tennelle (not verified) says...

i am an infp too... i agree with everyone's thinking; feeling doesn't mean that we out our emotions over our logic, especially not when we're N people, it just means that our values are more important to us.

Jooy Nguyen (not verified) says...

I am a freshman in college and is an INFP. I am majoring in Finance but am not sure if the job would fit me or not. I was planning to have journalism as a minor as well. Should I go for a Business degree or choose something else? I chose Business because I'm interested in economics and business but aren't really sure if these kind of jobs are suitable for abilities as well as my personality. Any INFP that has a different job please give me some tips ;^; 

Jooy Nguyen (not verified) says...

Actually, INFP-T is more accurate.

BECCAINFPT (not verified) says...

I'm an INFP-T also!! I will share that one of the biggest struggles I have had is acknowledging that I am capable of MUCH MORE than what my personality profile says I am capable of doing/being. Just becuase our personality type doesn't typically do a certain thing does NOT mean that we are unable to do it. It simply means that TYPICALLY this personality is NOT found in certain fields. 

Personal Example: I am NOT a loud leader, I am more of a quiet, behind the scenes leader. But, within the last year I have spoken at my church 3 times and am currently directing a large play. It hasn't been easy. I like my quiet box. BUT, it has stretched me and I am becoming a good director, even though being loud and telling people what to do is NOT what I would prefer to be doing. 

Do what you love. If you start and find that you don't enjoy it, find something else. I know personally, it is difficult to stay at a job that doesn't line up with my values and what I am passionate about. 

BerkHath (not verified) says...

Years ago I took this test -- INFP. I took it again only moments ago... with the same results. Obviously inate values don't change too much over time. For me, it's scary how accurate it is. Life is good.

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