Unhealthy INFP Behaviors – The Dark Side Of The INFP


ife as an INFP isn’t all sunshine and roses. Though this type is passionate, creative and inspired at best, their emotional intensity has the potential to

lead them down some dark and dangerous paths. In the following chapter, we’ll explore the ‘dark side’ of the INFP personality type—what happens when their psychological defenses break down and a reliance on their inferior function manifests.


How Your Greatest Strengths Are Also Your Greatest Weaknesses

To an extent, all personality traits exist on a spectrum. Unchecked self-interest turns into competitiveness. Unbridled passion bleeds into obsession. And with a personality as complex as the INFP’s, there are a seemingly infinite number of traits that can manifest in vastly different ways as this type moves through various levels of health.

Below, we’ll examine the various manifestations of some of the most common INFP traits as they pertain to an optimally healthy and an unhealthy version of the type. In the following descriptions, the word “Healthy” is interchangeable (but not synonymous) with the word “Mature” and the word “Unhealthy” is interchangeable (but not synonymous) with the word “Immature.”


Healthy Unhealthy

A healthy INFP is constantly seeking to make sense of the world around them by asking</td>


An unhealthy INFP is overwhelmed by the amount of options that are available to them and frequently changes their path before they have given the one they’re on a proper chance.</td> </tr> </tbody> </table>


questions, doing research and expanding their horizons.  

A healthy INFP has a strong sense of who he or she is and is not afraid to assert their values or desires.</td>


An unhealthy INFP sees their desires and values as more important than others’ and refuses to compromise for any reason.</td> </tr>


A healthy INFP remains passionately engaged in whichever project they’re working on until it is completed.</td>


An unhealthy INFP is quick to abandon projects, plans and relationships as soon as their enthusiasm or confidence level wanes.</td> </tr>


A healthy INFP uses their ability to see things from others’ points of view as a method of empathizing deeply with those around them.</td>


An unhealthy INFP uses their ability to see things other’s points of view as a means of ‘guilting’ the people around them into behaving the way they’d like.</td> </tr>


A healthy INFP uses alone time to reflect, recharge and independently explore his or her passions and interests.</td>


An unhealthy INFP completely avoids social interaction in favor of stewing or obsessing over their feelings.</td> </tr>


A healthy INFP relies on their personal morals to govern their behavior and make important decisions.</td>


An unhealthy INFP shames or looks down upon others for not abiding by their personal set of morals.</td> </tr>


A healthy INFP makes reasonable compromises to make their loved ones happy.</td>

A Pushover</p>

An unhealthy INFP sacrifices his or her own needs in order to please others.</td> </tr>


A healthy INFP is highly creative and artistic. They are proud of the work they put forth and are enthusiastic about the work of fellow artists.</td>


An unhealthy INFP thrives on the idea of being misunderstood. They hinge their identity on the idea that they are more interesting or intelligent than others.</td> </tr>


A healthy INFP is loving and nurturing towards the people they value, but is also happy on his or her own.</td>


An unhealthy INFP is reliant on validation from their loved ones and may struggle to define themselves outside of their personal relationships.</td> </tr>


A healthy INFP delves deeply into new projects and pays attention to detail as they go.</td>


An unhealthy INFP becomes obsessed with new projects, passions or routines to the point of compulsiveness or rigidity.</td> </tr> </tbody> </table>




A healthy INFP is invested in the success of his or her loved ones and genuinely wants to see them reach their full potential.</td>


An unhealthy INFP wants to be the most interesting or unique person in a given group and feels petty or jealous toward anyone who surpasses them.</td> </tr>


A healthy INFP weighs important decisions carefully and looks before they leap.</td>


An unhealthy INFP becomes paralyzed by decisions and obsesses over whether or not they’re making the right one.</td> </tr> </tbody> </table>

As you can see, many common INFP traits are a double-edged sword. A healthy, mature INFP looks significantly different than an unhealthy, immature version of the same type. In the following chapters, we’ll explore how the INFP personality type manifests under situations of extreme pressure and periods of prolonged stress.