Portrait of an INFP – Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving (Introverted Feeling with Extraverted Intuition)

The Idealist

 

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.

 

INFP’s, 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

 

INFP’s 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, INFP’s 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.

 

INFP’s 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, INFP’s 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, INFP’s 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.

 

INFP’s are flexible and laid-back, until one of their values is violated. In the face of their value system being threatened, INFP’s 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 vigor when working for their “cause”.

 

 

 

When it comes to the mundane details of life maintenance, INFP’s 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.

 

INFP’s 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 INFP’s will avoid impersonal analysis, although some have developed this ability and are able to be quite logical. Under stress, it’s not uncommon for INFP’s to misuse hard logic in the heat of anger, throwing out fact after (often inaccurate) fact in an emotional outburst.

 

INFP’s have very high standards and are perfectionists. Consequently, they are usually hard on themselves, and don’t give themselves enough credit. INFP’s 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.

 

INFP’s 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. INFP’s also appear frequently in social service professions, such as counseling 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.

 

INFP’s 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 INFP’s.

 

Jungian functional preference ordering: Dominant: Introverted Feeling

Auxiliary: Extraverted Intuition Tertiary: Introverted Sensing Inferior: Extraverted Thinking

 

INFPs generally have the following traits:  Strong value systems

 Warmly interested in people

 Service-oriented, usually putting the needs of others above their own  Loyal and devoted to people and causes

 Future-oriented

 Growth-oriented; always want to be growing in a positive direction  Creative and inspirational

 

 

 Flexible and laid-back, unless a ruling principle is violated  Sensitive and complex

 Dislike dealing with details and routine work

 Original and individualistic – “out of the mainstream”  Excellent written communication skills

 Prefer to work alone, and may have problems working on teams  Value deep and authentic relationships

 Want to be seen and appreciated for who they are

 

The INFP is a special, sensitive individual who needs a career which is more than a job. The INFP needs to feel that everything they do in their lives is in accordance with their strongly-felt value systems, and is moving them and/or others in a positive, growth-oriented direction. They are driven to do something meaningful and purposeful with their lives. The INFP will be happiest in careers which allow them to live their daily lives in accordance with their values, and which work towards the greater good of humanity. It’s worth mentioning that nearly all of the truly great writers in the world have been INFP’s.

 

INFP Relationships

INFP’s present a calm, pleasant face to the world. They appear to be tranquil and peaceful to others, with simple desires. In fact, the INFP internally feels his or her life intensely. In the relationship arena, this causes them to have a very deep capacity for love and caring which is not frequently found with such intensity in the other types. The INFP does not devote their intense feelings towards just anyone, and are relatively reserved about expressing their inner-most feelings. They reserve their deepest love and caring for a select few who are closest to them. INFP’s are generally laid-back, supportive and nurturing in their close relationships. With Introverted Feeling dominating their personality, they’re very sensitive and in-tune with people’s feelings, and feel genuine concern and caring for others. Slow to trust others and cautious in the beginning of a relationship, an INFP will be fiercely loyal once they are committed. With their strong inner core of values, they are intense individuals who value depth and authenticity in their relationships, and hold those who understand and accept the INFP’s perspectives in especially high regard. INFP’s are usually adaptable and congenial, unless one of their ruling principles has been violated, in which case they stop adapting and become staunch defenders of their values. They will be uncharacteristically harsh and rigid in such a situation.

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