Can my personality type change?
The short answer is no.
The long answer is also no.
If you are using an online test to assess your personality type, it is highly likely that you will test as various different types over the course of your life. This is because most online tests are based on the four-letter dichotomies and not the cognitive functions. This makes the test results highly subjective and prone to variance based on where one is in the development of their cognitive functions.
Throughout this post, the development of the INFP’s dominant, auxiliary, tertiary and inferior cognitive functions will be explored at great length. You will come to understand how your personality presents itself at different stages of your lifespan, and across various stressful situations. Which personality tools you use to interact with the world will depend on where you are in terms of cognitive development as well as which external circumstances you are facing. However, your personality type itself is pervasive across the lifespan.
If I’m a perceiver, why do I often test as (and feel like) a judger?
You will be hard-pressed to find an INFP out there who has never tested as an INFJ on an online test. This is perhaps the single most common mistype that exists within the MBTI personality type system.
There are several key reasons why this happens. The first is that INFPs generally do not fit the stereotypical definition of the word perceiver as it is used on dichotomous tests.
Those who do not use cognitive functions to understand type classify all perceivers as spontaneous, open-ended adventurers who dislike planning for the future and cannot make a decision for the life of them.
Though the INFP may fit one or more of these descriptions, they generally do not fit them all. INFPs are serious and focused individuals, who spend a great proportion of their time considering future plans. They exercise a high degree of deliberation in their decision-making, which means they often fail to identify with the impulsivity and open-endedness of stereotypical perceivers.
The second reason INFPs often test as judgers on dichotomy-based tests is because their dominant cognitive function—introverted feeling—is actually a judging function. What this means is that the INFP prefers to come to a decision about how they feel about a particular situation (using their dominant introverted feeling) before physically exploring alternatives (using extroverted intuition). Though they may enjoy leaving their options open to an extent, this type needs to come to a decision about how each the various options at hand makes them feel before they’re comfortable acting on any of them.
The final piece of information that often sways INFPs into the territory of believing themselves to be INFJs is the statistical rarity of INFJs. Because INFPs are highly individualistic, most of them go the majority of their lives feeling as though they’ve never met anyone quite like themselves. If we were to gather one hundred INFPs in a room together, we still would find many of them claiming that nobody truly mirrored their own unique personality.
For this reason, many INFPs see the 1% statistic that is associated with the INFJ personality and assume that they must be a part of this incredibly rare group. In reality, INFPs are more common—statically speaking—than INFJs, but they are wildly different from one another in the way that they express themselves. They may make up 2-4% of the general population, but each INFP truly is one in seven billion.