I recently took the 16 personalities test online as part of a Talent programme I’m doing. What a real journey it was when I found out I was an INFP. People around me always said that it’s worth knowing your personality because it dictates your mood and day to day interactions. After learning about the traits I have, this will likely help fellow INFPs.
We are above all observant and reflective mediators that try to bridge the gap between feeling and perspective
I hope that we can all help each other understand how we differ and that each personality type is unique in their abilities.
This one came as no surprise as I always liked my own space.
Especially if I’d had a long day at work or been to a social event afterwards I’d crave unwinding time with me and a book or something that relaxes my nerves.
Being around a lot of people can get too stimulating and so unwinding from it is very important.
Solitude is often misunderstood as being antisocial but if you have an innate need to be alone then you must nurture that to avoid becoming anxious and exhausted by endless demands placed on you.
Unfortunately, the world isn’t always understanding of this trait so INFPs must look out for themselves.
INFPs have a habit of thinking a lot about people, humanity and themselves which also sometimes means they write a lot of this thought down as it’s their only emotional outlet.
I have a friend who is an INFJ and the contrast between me and her is that she is hesitant to try new environments and be spontaneous.
Because I have a P instead of J even if I think something is wrong I will try it. So I often find myself conflicted about making certain decisions.
So whereas I would think about new ways of having fun she’d rather stick to what she knows will work – going to the spa or getting a new haircut.
Even though we both think a lot about our behaviours and other’s actions towards us we base our solutions off of our nature.
As an INFP I always knew that I was very rigid when it came to my values. The compromise was never an option for me and so I ended up seeking opportunities where there was a balance between my values and the work I did.
You may feel a strong desire to fix things wrong in the world and be a true altruist.
This is why perhaps many INFPs are in the humanitarian sector and tend to attach there careers to this trait of helping others.
But this also means that things that undermine their values – people, socials spaces – they just will distance themselves from it.
INFPs see the world more objectively as they are able to make a judgement based on well-informed perspectives (from there natural intuition or ‘gut’ feeling).
It’s unlikely you’d find INFPs trying to find dates in a club or rushed spaces as it’s not suited to their tranquil seeking nature.
Again, the values can become so personal to the person that they become a mark or symbol of affiliating with something higher than mundane frivolity.
INFPs are not forthcoming. This makes it harder for people to help them. I don’t mean this in a negative way but I’ve seen and felt this way a lot and knowing my Myers-Briggs just makes more sense.
After talking to another of my INFP friends I realised we both didn’t really like working 9-5 and would much rather pursue our dreams to write and create podcasts.
Soon we realised that it’s harder in a world that sees success in a certain way (attached to wealth) that we’d be financially stable at a young age by quitting our jobs.
So yes the idealism of an INFP can sometimes make them create a completely different lifestyle and world view was in place – one that pays homage to human nature and compassion rather than vanity and wealth.
Also, it doesn’t help that the introverted brain works less well in fast-paced settings and that the world prides those who can deliver information in a ‘top line’ short and snappy format.
The work-life imbalance can leave INFPs feeling rushed, undermined and unproductive. They need to have an outlet for these feelings inside them otherwise it can be so painful to act happy.
As an INFP it can be hard to stop feeling or being empathetic all the time. This can really attract the wrong people such as narcissists and people with sociopathic traits.
Thus people take advantage of the kindness that INFPs naturally exhibit and so they could become an emotional punchbag for abusive personality traits in friends, lovers and family.
As an introvert, you actually need to unwind from significant emotional ups and downs and so even a small mistake between friends can hurt an INFP deeply.
The saddest thing is that to patch things up they may take the blame and apologise because they are able to ‘understand’ why the other is being aggressive or mean.
Even if we may feel wronged by the world or a person we can still be strong and objective.
Need for authenticity not fame
If you’re an INFP you will probably crave some sort of praise but for an authentic genuine reason – like the way you helped someone through a crisis.
As an INFP I truly relate to the way that social media fuels a negative self-image and empathise with how that must make people feel inauthentic as they do things for the pleasure of others – their followers.
So this herd mentality that we are told to adopt nowadays becomes very questionable to INFPs who’d rather use their skills to help and benefit others without attracting unnecessary attention and spotlight.
Seem Stoic but are emotionally intelligent
As an INFP you can become intensely self-aware and self-critical especially in social surroundings.
Paradoxically, the very things that INFPs try to dictate to the world are what they deeply find disconcerting about human nature – traits like selfishness, laziness and deception.
All these vices are extra important because your excessive feeling nature taps into it. The reason why one can feel stoic then is because it’s so much harder to regulate yourself for a normal life when you feel with your heart more and want to reckon with these larger than life concepts in a humble yet diplomatic way.
For me, that’s always been the struggle. This is why social events can really trigger an INFP because it means they have to see themselves from other people’s views which can be very annoying.
Small talk vs meaningful conversations
The everlasting problem of an INFP. Small talk is necessary for human communication.
But it’s also mortifying for INFPs because they really care too much to just scratch the surface and remain acquainted.
Although we don’t want to talk to everyone (it’s draining!) we have these feelings of deep care towards even strangers and small talk can seem like we are being superficial.
INFPs will find ways to express themselves such as writing, music or exercises like yoga.
This personality type is one that creates deep emotional bonds like no other and craves intimate human relationships sometimes to its own detriment.
This could even be through listening to a guru or inspirational public speakers. It’s one of being attuned to the world but also needing a frequent break from it to recharge their emotional battery.
INFPs can become distracted if where they are is not cultivating to their core. They can, however, become so engrossed in something to the point of obsession and neurotic behaviours can arise.
Shopping vs nature
Just being in rushed, crowded places can really mess with you if you feel a lot at once.
It can be dizzying and harder to be decisive or concentrate.
And so INFPs rather stay at home than be embroiled in a mass full of people with such varying noise levels and stimulus.
Big shopping malls and arcades are probably the worst and if they do go they, need to be alone for some time after to unwind from the ordeal.
Overall, INFPs can be really passionate about the causes they invest in and so social justice and world affairs mean more to them than the average person.
They can deeply feel the pain of others and their moral compass influences their decisions whether in a career or love.
They are bigger picture people but sometimes are unable to articulate this. Feelings of being overwhelmed by the constant emotional states they are in makes them retreat.
If an INFP needs their space – let them have it. We will work it out once they have a clear vision as they’re usually independent and emotionally intelligent.
Hey guys, it’s Umra – a recent English grad and a fan of positive psychology. I love holistic healthcare, meditation and all things natural. When I’m not writing I’m probably cooking, exercising or enjoying time with my family or friends which I love to bits.