Are ISTP and INFP personality types compatible? See how ISTPs and INFPs get along in this guide to ISTP/INFP relationships. If you're an ISTP in a relationship with an INFP, discover how you'll communicate, interact, and relate to each other in daily life.

How ISTP and INFP Get Along

ISTPs and INFPs have some common themes that often arise when they get to know each other. As an ISTP, you'll want to keep these issues in mind when you get to know an INFP.

As a Sensing Perceiver type, your approach to relationships is perhaps the most straightforward of all the types—you look for connections with people who are up for joining you on all of life's adventures. You may tend to gravitate towards people with a similar background to yours, but you just as easily accept people from all walks of life, so long as you can enjoy your time together. You especially value relationships with people who share your hobbies and interests and a can-do approach to life.

When relating to your counterpart, bear in mind that as an Intuitive Feeling type, they will tend to be highly idealistic about their relationships. They want authentic connections that reflect their true values, and they want to see who you really are as a person. Intuitive Feelers want to go deep, and revealing yourself to them is a worthwhile endeavor—once they feel they know you, they'll be a tireless cheerleader for your dreams and ambitions.

At first glance, it may seem as though the two of you have nothing in common—and in fact, you do have very different ways of seeing the world and thinking about things. The first time you meet this person, unless you discover a shared interest, it may seem that you have nothing to talk about.

You are an active, hands-on person who likes to live in the moment. You enjoy building things, doing things, and experiencing the world around you without judgment or expectation. You have little interest in fantasy, and like to stay firmly grounded in reality. You spend very little time wondering about the meaning of things or theorizing about how the world could be different; you're too busy enjoying it as it is.

In contrast, your counterpart is idealistic, sensitive, and empathetic. They feel things deeply and take their values seriously. They are very much in tune with the state of the world and the feelings of the people in it, and are always thinking about how to make the world a better place. They are drawn to fantasy and imagination and can sometimes lose track of what's going on in the real world.

So what might draw you together? Your differences mean that you actually have a lot to offer one another. Your counterpart may inspire you to slow down and think more deeply about the meaning of things, rather than just doing what feels right in the moment. In turn, you can help them to get out of their heads and enjoy life for what it is.

Communication Between ISTP and INFP

Communication can be a challenge between any two people, and communication between ISTP and INFP personality types is not the exception. By being aware of the issues that often arise when ISTPs and INFPs communicate, you can learn how to reach an understanding more quickly.

You have a different style of communication from this person, and you’ll need to make some accommodations if this relationship is to reach its full potential. 

You tend to communicate in a straightforward, concrete way, focusing on facts, details, history, and real-life experiences. You focus on the "what" when discussing something, and convey information that you observed directly or can back up with real-life evidence. When making plans, you tend to focus on the specific steps that will occur. And generally, you're interested in talking about real things, not ideas or theories.

In contrast, your counterpart tends to communicate in an abstract, theoretical way. They focus on making connections and interpreting meaning, the "why" of the thing in question. Much of what they communicate is their idea, theory, or interpretation of what they see, rather than a direct observation. When making plans, they are inclined to spend a lot of time talking about the overall goal or theme of the plan without having much interest in the details. 

While it may sound like you are speaking different languages, the truth is that although you have different comfort zones when it comes to communication, you are well able to get out of those comfort zones to meet halfway—and you'll both be the better for it. Your partner can help you stretch to look beyond the obvious of things and explore the deeper meaning. And in turn, you can help them to come back down to earth and discuss the details and facts of a situation, not just the big idea. 

Be aware that when communicating with this person, your usual style may come off as overly blunt or even confrontational. Your counterpart pays a lot of attention to the quality of relationships and is constantly monitoring the emotional overtones of any conversation. This means that they are reluctant to say anything controversial or possibly upsetting.

You, on the other hand, have a tendency to call it like it is, without too much concern for how people will react. This can create an imbalance in your dynamic, where your Feeling counterpart is desperately trying to maintain emotional harmony while you relentlessly rock the boat.

You'll be more successful in your communications if you take time to consider the emotional impact of your words. Sure, everyone wants honesty, but most people also like tact. If you're delivering news that may be hard to hear, think about how you can soften the message. And be aware that your ever-so-charming habit of offering unsolicited "constructive criticism" may not always be taken in the spirit it was intended.

ISTP vs. INFP Values

Values are intensely personal, and while an ISTP and an INFP can find common ground, there will always be some differences in what you hold dear. However, understand how your ISTP approach to values compares with your INFP counterpart's will help you to appreciate and overcome your differences.

Truth be told, the two of you probably don't have a lot in common when it comes to what you value. While you may share some commonalities in religion, political orientation, or other affiliations, the way you think about the world and what is important is fundamentally different. If you agree on matters of morals and ethics, it's probably for very different reasons.

You are deeply practical, logical and emotionally hands-off. It's not that you don't care about others; just that you don't prioritize the act of caring as much as your counterpart does. When you are concerned with other people, you typically feel that a pragmatic solution is the best one. You might spend an afternoon helping a needy friend fix a broken window, or donate money to a local school. But typically your instinct to help is out of a sense of dutiful social responsibility. Usually, once you've helped, you move on with your day. Fixing problems is a central part of your value system; caring for others is not.

In contrast, the values system of your counterpart is based on a deep empathy and compassion for others. They can't watch the news without feeling the pain of starving children; those commercials with sad kitties at the pound were made for people just like them. Because compassion is such a big part of who they are, it motivates their biggest decisions in life. Their career was probably chosen because it is consistent with their values and the changes they want to make in the world. Their friends are probably people who feel the way they feel about the issues that are dear to their heart.

You may find yourself somewhat disbelieving of your counterpart's approach when discussing values that are important to you. They are deeply idealistic and easily imagine how the world could be a better place. But to you, one of life’s practical problem solvers, their ideas may seem pie-in-the-sky or romantic, and lacking in all practical application in the here and now. You tend to be suspicious of new ideas and blunt in your communication, which in practice means that you'll often unceremoniously shoot down your counterpart’s suggestions with "That would never work in the real world" or "What planet are you on?!"

On the other hand, because you are so different, you have the opportunity to introduce one another to new ways of thinking. You value tradition and the wisdom of experience much more than your counterpart does, and you can help them to see the merit in looking to the old ways. And if you're willing to step outside your comfort zone, your counterpart has the ability to help you become softer, gentler, and more emotionally in tune.

ISTP and INFP in Daily Life

Lifestyle is an under-appreciated—but extremely important—element of compatibility. Your values and ideals may coincide perfectly, but if you can't agree on how to conduct day-to-day matters, your relationship will always have friction. As an ISTP in a relationship with an INFP, you can expect certain issues to arise in your daily life. Discussing these in advance, and figuring out how to deal with them, will make things go much more smoothly as you develop your relationship.

You take a similarly unstructured approach to life and are fairly relaxed about schedules, plans and household systems. If you share space, it’s likely that neither of you will be motivated to take on household responsibilities. You both prefer to play first and work later, and there may need to be some discussion about getting the chores done.

Since neither of you want things to be fully planned and predictable, you’re rarely overwhelmed by disorganization. You both enjoy leaving room for creativity, and enjoy setting a pace together that will allow you to do things on the fly.

Finding harmony in your life together may take some effort because you see and communicate different things. While you experience the world with your body and your senses, your counterpart looks behind the scenes and figures out the patterns between disconnected pieces of information. For you, daily life is for living. For them, it’s a springboard for testing out ideas and imagining how things might play out.

In your mind, actions speak louder than words. You are one of life’s ‘doers’ and you like to take concrete action. You tend to choose activities that will stimulate your senses or your body in some way whether that’s cooking, bungee jumping or arts and crafts. People call you down-to-earth since you’re very matter-of-fact.

The reverse is true for your counterpart. They are less focused on facts and personal experience, and more focused on feeding their intellectual curiosity and learning new things. For them, discovering new ideas is a lifelong pursuit and they tend to read widely, take classes for fun and explore the ‘yet to be discovered’. There are plenty of hobbies here that you could both be interested in, but it can cause rifts between couples who can’t come to an agreement on what they want to do in their spare time.

Routines can be another area of conflict. While you certainly have a sense of adventure, you have a low tolerance for shaking things up for the sake of it. You counterpart, by contrast, may dream of adventure to keep things exciting. You have much to offer each other here, as you can remind your partner what is important in the moment, and they can offer up angles and possibilities that give you a broader understanding of the world.

You both get overstimulated by too much activity and both enjoy spending quiet time alone. You and your partner might often find yourself at home with takeout and Netflix, or even in the same room without actually talking to each other, and you’re both okay with that. You likely both have small but intimate circles of friends and there may be no great urgency to work your way into each other’s friendship circles as a way of deepening your own bond. Personal boundaries are important to you, and you respect each other’s personal space by default.

You likely share a slower pace of life and appreciate the need for down time to balance out the busyness. Neither of you feels a burning desire to attend party after relentless party, and it’s likely that you’re on the same page regarding the booking of your social calendar. The problem is that when you do make plans, it can be dangerously easy for you to talk each other out of them. Hiding away is not healthy or practical. If your relationship is a priority, one of you must bite the bullet and motivate the other to follow through.

Despite both being introverts, one partner may need more down time than the other, or you may have different social needs. It’s a balancing act to sync your calendars and maintain a balance between your respective needs. Communication is key, although that too can be challenging as you both tend to shy away from confrontation because it’s overstimulating. Acknowledge when you’re bottling up feelings. Making a conscious effort to focus on conversations that take your both out of your comfort zones is the key to discovering new aspects of your relationship.