Early adulthood often proves to be a difficult but ultimately rewarding period of adjustment for the INFP personality. As they struggle to find their place in society and determine how they may be able to translate their passionate ideals into concrete realities, this type finds themselves staring down many harsh truths about the world—but also many exciting realizations.
In the beginning stages of adulthood, most INFPs are still developing their auxiliary function, extroverted intuition. They may suddenly become keen on traveling, wanting to take hold of their newfound independence and see as much as they can of the world around them. The INFP is likely to be drawn to cultures that are vastly different from his or her own, seeking to understand the world around him or her as holistically as possible.
As their extroverted intuition develops and their life experience starts to build, the INFP may begin perceiving many exciting possibilities for themselves that they previously were not aware of. They are likely to begin seeking out chances to put their passions to work and involve themselves in the causes that compel them. They may also cycle between relationships, wanting to experience different partners and relationship structures or dynamics.
The more the INFP engages their introverted feeling and extroverted intuition in young adulthood, the more they encourage the development of their tertiary function, introverted sensing. As this type dives into exploring the world around them, they may also find themselves growing overwhelmed by the plethora of possibilities that are available to them. They are likely to feel a growing need to implement structure and balance into their lives, as a means of remaining true to themselves throughout their exploration. This is introverted sensing’s cue to kick in.
Introverted sensing develops in the INFP between the ages of approximately 18-30. This function helps the INFP to survey his or her past experiences and determine which ones have elicited patterns of either positive or negative emotions. Doing so helps the INFP to structure their lives around what they know they enjoy doing and what they find meaning in.
If there is a particular café the INFP always enjoys working out of, they may schedule a few days each week to spend there. They may elect to take classes that build on a particular interest they have always found rewarding. In general, the development of introverted sensing helps the INFP to carve out a carefully curated community for themselves—one they know will bring them joy, peace and fulfillment because it is rooted in the activities and experiences that they have historically loved the most.
With the development of introverted sensing comes a renewed sense of peace and stability for the INFP. But this period of time is certainly not without its struggles.
Common Chal enges INFPs Face In Early Adulthood:
Struggling to focus their attention throughout college or University— particularly in classes that lack a subjective, humanitarian focus or do not allow for creative thinking.
Investing so heavily in personal relationships that the remainder of their life suffers or prospers significantly based on which relationships they’re engaged in.
Feeling highly indecisive about which educational or career path to follow.
Feeling undervalued or as though their true skills and talents are going to waste at many of the jobs they take on.
Feeling unable to bridge the gap between their desire to do something amazing with their life and the resources that are available to them to do it.
The majority of the challenges that INFPs face in their twenties relate back to their underdeveloped extroverted thinking. Because this type is so heavily guided by the desires of their introverted feeling but still lacks the concrete support that extroverted thinking will eventually bring to their idealism, INFPs often find themselves feeling sure of who they are but lost on what to do about it as they move through their late teens and twenties.
That being said, early adulthood is similarly a period of great excitement for the INFP personality.
Common Joys INFPs Experience In Early Adulthood:
Finally having the freedom to prioritize travel, education or whichever creative pursuits they grew up dreaming of.
Harnessing the opportunity to study what interests them most, as opposed to whichever classes they were forced to take in high school.
Being old enough to form deep, mature relationships with friends and romantic partners and allowing those relationships to take center
stage in their lives.
Enjoying an increased confidence in their choice to live life on their own terms and explore the interests that matter to them, rather than following what others want for them.
Discovering and carving out communities that are made up of people like themselves—dreamers, idealists and artists who share their values!