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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

Guest (not verified) says...

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

wonder789 says...

I laughed too much at this. Witty humor. lol

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breeze Blown Wildflower (not verified) says...

Wow! I would just like to say You sound Like an Amazing and fantastically interesting person. Literally everything you mentioned is something I am interested in- minus the business aspect of things. ( Same with Infp all day commenter)!  I can't be too much help because I on the flip side am just starting out and in the same boat as you feeling torn between trying to do multiple jobs part-time or find one thing to commit to full time. 

But I believe that you have lived such a full life thus far, and should be proud of what you have accomplished. I am impressed you've been able to manage things you have found a passion for. I am also torn between debating whether it's best to be my own boss or work under other people, because of the freedom that comes with it of course, but also I am not the best on meeting other people's schedules. Not that I think I'm more important, I just cannot figure out how to manage my time for the life of me. I have absolutely no concept of time and I hate it. That's why being so scattered and gaining responsibility is a struggle for me, but  I am glad you have found balance. Sorry to hear its wearing on you lately. 

After a mental health scare or two lately, sadly it had really stopped me dead in my tracks creatively. I haven't been able to make anything in a long time - but hopefully, that will change this week as I plan on making a gift for my boyfriend's birthday Saturday!- but yeah I have been left reevaluating everything personally...  

I wish there were more places to meet/chat more with fellow INFP's about things. I feel like I could learn a lot from you. Wonder if there's a fb group or something..

infp all the time (not verified) says...

wow, I can say that what you write here is probably everything that I wish I can be. I have lots, lots of thought about what I want to do...I really love arts, paintings, music, stories, and mostly spirituality--I love to read books, and collect art books. And I always wish I can do more, but I always think I have less time to do it all. I just sometimes confused of maintaining my private with social life (which I also need, because I'm 51% Introverted and 49%Extraverted).  So back to my confuseness, I just feel like I cannot do all things that I want to do, and keep wondering why? Maybe, because I am also a thoughtful person, like I always think a loooong time before I decide to do something. And when I think of something I can think about it too much, so I need to write down what's inside my heart. I also love to analyze people, especially those who are interesting for me! So I read about this personality traits at like, most of my time when I can finally be alone and fulfil my curiousity to some knowledge. So, should I be taking courage to just do what I want just like you do? Because sometimes I am also worried that I can't complete the task or fulfil my goals. Or just get overwhelmed. But when I do nothing and just sitting down here, thinking, I also feel quite useless. Dang, it feels hard to be an INFP myself I think. Too much things that I'm thinking, and can't get over it sometimes. 

Kayla123 (not verified) says...

Wow, we sound like the same person! I am in the same boat, feeling the opposing forces of wanting to be creative adn inspired but also needing to pay the bills. Do you have any updates on your situation? Thanks!!

infp all the time (not verified) says...

yeapp, i also feel quite the same thing here. always wanted to do a job that will fulfil my passion, but doesn;t give good income. now i'm currently working in a company with a good paycheck but again, the work drains me a lot. But now i always ensure myself to hang on because I know that I'm working with some good partners at work, and my boss is also a good leader. And I also think that this condition probably can help me to have an endurance a little bit more, and a bit more again. So I can say, I am not satisfied with what I'm doing, but I also realize there must be another goal that I can reach. But I always know I won't be staying too long working in this kind of field (I am currently doing graphic design for companies, dealing with such things as tight deadlines, stressful and long hours, bad clients and communication sometimes, etc). And, I will pursue what I want to do later because currently I just really need money now. 

tabish rahman (not verified) says...

dude this is exactly what i want to do but i am now just a kid but yea it is what i want to do. that's wonderful

Guest (not verified) says...

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

AU (not verified) says...

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

woof (not verified) says...

looks like my job suit me;-P

anon127 (not verified) says...

well this explains why I want to die all the time 

sarah nur (not verified) says...

INFP people are healers , love yourself more and the delicate and beautiful personality you have. compassion is the key my dear. start with yourself and then to others around you... even strangers! 

Anders Wheeler (not verified) says...

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

Danica Janes says...

d

eanan (not verified) says...

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

Guest (not verified) says...

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

LJC (not verified) says...

Wow, you just wrote a great description of how I feel most of the time.

Rahaf (not verified) says...

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

what do you guys think? 

Amaya S (not verified) says...

As an INFP who was talked into going to law school by a parent (who was an attorney), my personal experience is, yes, change it, or at least don't plan on having a traditional legal career. You'll be miserable. I have a high IQ, with strength in logical reasoning, and did very well on the LSAT and in school. That said, the practive of law is something else entirely. The blunt truth is that the legal profession and the people in it are rigid, insensitive, autocratic jerks. It's a sad, lonely, stark environment for an INFP to exist in. Yes, you can have the intellectual capability to excel at doing good and helping people as a lawyer, but you'll need a very special professional and personal support system around you to not crush your spirit while you're in persuit of your goal. I for one did not, and did not last long. For us, it really is the professional equivelant of swimming with sharks, and as INFP's, we often tend to bleed easily dispite our best efforts.

Arya S (not verified) says...

As another INFP who was on the legal path for a while and left, I wholeheartedly agree with this. Especially the part that says if you're going into that field (or, honestly, any high pressure, high achieving career) make sure to have a very special personal and professional support system (and yes, a great therapist, spiritual practice, as well as friends, mentors, and family can be part of this).

A girl that can't do math (not verified) says...

Kill my spirit? Nothing is capable of killing my spirit. I'd have to be brainwashed for that to happen!

Rodney (not verified) says...

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

The Guardian (not verified) says...

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

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Kevion (not verified) says...

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

Guest (not verified) says...

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

Chrishun7 (not verified) says...

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

guest (not verified) says...

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

John P. (not verified) says...

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

Guest (not verified) says...

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

Guest (not verified) says...

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

YusefG says...

I agree totally. Thanks. Sometimes, maybe often, i wonder who i am or what my contribution should be, what i am good at. I always value beauty peace harmony. 

Rodney (not verified) says...

Yep. 100% agree

Guest (not verified) says...

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

KatieAA (not verified) says...

Hey guys,

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

Rodney (not verified) says...

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

Rahaf (not verified) says...

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

KatieAA (not verified) says...

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

Suz Filbey (not verified) says...

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

Suz Filbey
Orton-Gillingham Specialist

6021010 says...

this was totally me

Guest (not verified) says...

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

noahschilhab (not verified) says...

i always wanted to be a vetinerian.

Guest (not verified) says...

spot on!

Guest (not verified) says...

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

Guest (not verified) says...

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

Guest (not verified) says...

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

Guest (not verified) says...

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

Ofentse (not verified) says...

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

Guest (not verified) says...

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

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