Your Portrait of an INFP
Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving
(Introverted Feeling with Extraverted Intuition)
As an INFP, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit into your personal value system. Your secondary mode is external, where you take things in primarily via your intuition.
INFPs, more than other iNtuitive Feeling types, are focused on making the world a better place for people. Their primary goal is to find out their meaning in life. What is their purpose? How can they best serve humanity in their lives? They are idealists and perfectionists, who drive themselves hard in their quest for achieving the goals they have identified for themselves
INFPs are highly intuitive about people. They rely heavily on their intuitions to guide them, and use their discoveries to constantly search for value in life. They are on a continuous mission to find the truth and meaning underlying things. Every encounter and every piece of knowledge gained gets sifted through the INFP’s value system, and is evaluated to see if it has any potential to help the INFP define or refine their own path in life. The goal at the end of the path is always the same – the INFP is driven to help people and make the world a better place.
Generally thoughtful and considerate, INFPs are good listeners and put people at ease. Although they may be reserved in expressing emotion, they have a very deep well of caring and are genuinely interested in understanding people. This sincerity is sensed by others, making the INFP a valued friend and confidante. An INFP can be quite warm with people he or she knows well.
INFPs do not like conflict, and go to great lengths to avoid it. If they must face it, they will always approach it from the perspective of their feelings. In conflict situations, INFPs place little importance on who is right and who is wrong. They focus on the way that the conflict makes them feel, and indeed don’t really care whether or not they’re right. They don’t want to feel badly. This trait sometimes makes them appear irrational and illogical in conflict situations. On the other hand, INFPs make very good mediators, and are typically good at solving other people’s conflicts, because they intuitively understand people’s perspectives and feelings, and genuinely want to help them.
INFPs are flexible and laid-back, until one of their values is violated. In the face of their value system being threatened, INFPs can become aggressive defenders, fighting passionately for their cause. When an INFP has adopted a project or job which they’re interested in, it usually becomes a “cause” for them. Although they are not detail-oriented individuals, they will cover every possible detail with determination and vigour when working for their “cause”.
When it comes to the mundane details of life maintenance, INFPs are typically completely unaware of such things. They might go for long periods without noticing a stain on the carpet, but carefully and meticulously brush a speck of dust off of their project booklet.
INFPs do not like to deal with hard facts and logic. Their focus on their feelings and the Human Condition makes it difficult for them to deal with impersonal judgment. They don’t understand or believe in the validity of impersonal judgment, which makes them naturally rather ineffective at using it. Most INFPs will avoid impersonal analysis, although some have developed this ability and are able to be quite logical. Under stress, it’s not uncommon for INFPs to mis-use hard logic in the heat of anger, throwing out fact after (often inaccurate) fact in an emotional outburst.
INFPs have very high standards and are perfectionists. Consequently, they are usually hard on themselves, and don’t give themselves enough credit. INFPs may have problems working on a project in a group, because their standards are likely to be higher than other members’ of the group. In group situations, they may have a “control” problem. The INFP needs to work on balancing their high ideals with the requirements of every day living. Without resolving this conflict, they will never be happy with themselves, and they may become confused and paralyzed about what to do with their lives.
INFPs are usually talented writers. They may be awkward and uncomfortable with expressing themselves verbally, but have a wonderful ability to define and express what they’re feeling on paper. INFPs also appear frequently in social service professions, such as counselling or teaching. They are at their best in situations where they’re working towards the public good, and in which they don’t need to use hard logic.
INFPs who function in their well-developed sides can accomplish great and wonderful things, which they will rarely give themselves credit for. Some of the great, humanistic catalysts in the world have been INFPs.
Jungian functional preference ordering:
Dominant: Introverted Feeling
Auxiliary: Extraverted Intuition
Tertiary: Introverted Sensing
Inferior: Extraverted Thinking
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INFP and Stress
INFPs usually dislike conflict and are prone to acting in a passive-aggressive way when they experience frustration or dissatisfaction. They are deeply dedicated to being their ‘true selves’, to the extent that they will avoid any people or situations that do not fit in with their inner value system, tending to become rather intolerant and hard to please. As stress increases, they may become extremely whimsical and stubborn, insisting on acting as they feel but ignoring the logical consequences and implications of their actions. Furthermore, they’re inclined to use their self-experience as a standard for all the relationships and situations in their lives, adhering only to what reinforces their self-image and rejecting everything else.
How can you tell when an INFP is under stress, particularly at work?
Some signs include losing confidence in their self-worth or contributions to the group, having unrealistic expectations from situations or people, and seeming to be moody and hypersensitive. Some INFPs seem to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders, or become discouraged or lose heart. Others appear to take on the role of martyr, acting as if no one loves or cares for them. INFPs have reported feeling cut off from all that is important to them when they are feeling stressed.
Some things that can cause stress for INFPs are feeling like someone they care about has been victimized, feeling as if they must compromise their dearly held values to maintain harmony or peace, or if some cause they believe in has been criticized. Another stressor might be the feeling they are being pushed around, then they decide they have had enough. INFPs can react strongly to others who likewise have strong emotional reactions to situations or comments.
INFPs feel internal turmoil when they find themselves in situations in which there is conflict between their inner code of ethics and their relationships with others. They feel caught between pleasing others and maintaining their own integrity. Their natural tendency to identify with others, compounded with their self-sacrificial dispositions, tends to leave them confused as to who they really are. Their quiet personalities further feeds their feelings of depersonalization. The INFP’s quest for self-identity then seems even more alluring — but increasingly impossible to attain.
As with all NFs, the INFP will feel lost and perplexed at stressful times. As stress builds, INFPs become disconnected from their own personality and perceived place in life. They will lose sight of who they are in relation to time and place. They may not make basic observations, while instead they will focus on the more abstract and symbolic meanings of a particular interaction. This can sometimes baffle those who expect more direct communication and a fairly concrete relationship.
What to do?
INFPs can help themselves by understanding that they don’t need to resist or fight reality in order to fulfill their unique vision, but instead it’s better to accept reality as it is and seize its opportunities to build the life that they dream of. They need to learn to see all the possibilities without trying to filter them as right or wrong – perceiving reality as it is instead of trying to change it or ignore it.
-Loss of confidence
-Silence, depression, hopelessness
-Martyr attitude, “Noone loves me”
-Being extremely spiteful towards everyone else
INFP: Under stress, become “The Criticizer,” being negative about others and self. Flip Side Motto: “Everyone’s an IDIOT, including me!”
Famous people/icons sharing your type
- A. A. Milne – Author
- Dick Clark – Television Personality
- Donna Reed – Actress
- Fred Savage – Actor
- George Orwell – Author / Journalist
- Isabel Briggs Myers – Psycholigical Theorist /Originator of the Myers/Briggs
- John F. Kennedy – lawyer / Journalist / Publisher
- Laura Ingalls Wilder – Author
- Neil Diamond – Singer
- Princess Diana – Princess of Wales
Possible INFP career choices…
- Social Worker
- Clergy/Religious Work
All rights acknowledged: Original source here
Acknowledgement to Patrick L. Kerwin, MBTI® Master Practitioner