INFP personality traits
INFPs appear to be a calm personality type. They are taciturn idealists who ponder the deeper meaning beyond the day-to-day doldrums and they easily lose themselves down the rabbit hole of their dreams and fantasies. They may appear distant and aloof, but are in fact one of the most loving and kindest of all types–once you get get to know them, of course.
INFP personalities are optimists who can see the silver lining on the cloudiest day. On the surface they may appear reserved and shy but inside them resides a passionate fire waiting to be expressed when they are inspired by a goal or project. INFP is more common among females than males but it is also the Johnny Depp personality type. Comprising only 4% of the population, INFPs may often feel misunderstood and at odds with other personality types – but when they find like-minded people, the camaraderie they feel will be a source of joy and inspiration.
One type practitioner has suggested that INFPs are the least likely to stand up for themselves unless they see that someone else will be hurt if they do not. Their gentle nature and distaste for negative emotions mean that they avoid conflict even at their own expense. Since INFPs tend to conceal their feelings, others may not realize it when they’ve offended them. Without warning, an INFP may suddenly sever ties with such a person rather than bother to express their resentment of them. INFPs don’t wear their tender hearts on their sleeves, but remain rather guarded allowing only trusted individuals to penetrate their defenses. They are especially sensitive to and fearful of criticism and judgement by others. A word or act that another type might brush off can be damaging to a soft-hearted INFP. By the same token, criticism should be made with tact and consideration.
INFPs are guided by their own core values and beliefs. As a healer, INFPs look beyond the present reality to the possibilities and potentials before them. They do not focus on the fleeting moment of the present but instead live in the world of what could be and what may be. Their imaginative vision allows them to lead and inspire others with their fervor and tireless idealism.
Individualistic and nonjudgmental, INFPs believe that each person must discover their own path. They are compassionate, and deeply concerned with the personal growth of both themselves and others.They devote substantial time exploring their own ideas and values, and encourage others to do likewise. INFPs are highly creative and often artistic; they enjoy finding new outlets for self-expression. They often have a rich inner world of sympathies, feelings, poetic images, and values – perhaps the most evocative inner life of all the types.
INFPs have a strong independent streak and are idealistic and free-spirited individuals who stalwartly follow their own hearts in spite of what “society” expects of them. In fact, the top values that INFPs chose were “Home/family,” then “Autonomy,” then “Health,” then “Friendships,” then “Financial security” (Myers, McCaulley, Quenk & Hammer, 1998). (Money usually tends to fall near the end of INFP lists.) Whatever an INFP does–whether work or play–it must have personal meaning for them and should bring a little more light to the world. And doing it independently is a big plus too.
INFPs are observant of the world and its people; and notice what is unique about others and incorporate what they have observed in relation to their own value system. This inclination can in turn lead some INFPs to become political or social activists, however whether they are activists or not, INFPs are nevertheless deeply touched by suffering, and many will gladly rush to the aid of the downtrodden, where they attempt to apply their high-minded ideals. Often their deeds and actions serve as an example or inspiration for others who might also harbor such ideals, but lacked the courage to act on them.
In relationships, INFPs often keep negative reactions to themselves because they are reluctant to engage in confrontation. Once they’ve found someone with whom they share sufficient compatibility, they lavish them with love and attention. INFPs tend to be tolerant and accepting of their mate’s flaws and idiosyncrasies, so long as their core values are not violated. They support their partners’ individuality, and encourage them to explore their interests and ideas.
INFPs are caring and attentive.They seek out ways to compromise and accommodate other people, and often have creative solutions to interpersonal problems. Close and harmonious relationships are important to INFPs, although they also require a lot of independent time to think and reflect. They often want plenty of freedom to express themselves and pursue greater self-awareness. They value a partner who is committed and loving, yet provides them with the support they need to independently explore the mysteries of life.
In their careers, it is not necessarily money or status that drives INFPs. They are instead motivated by work that is aligned with their personal values and allows them to help others. INFPs want to engage with projects and causes that feel important to them. They enjoy the process of creative problem-solving, and want to understand complex issues. They appreciate innovation, and want to come up with original ideas to improve circumstances for people. An ideal job for an INFP allows them to express their individuality in the way they work, and takes advantage of their ability to see unique solutions.
INFPs take pleasure in working independently and having control over how and when to complete a project. They often enjoy participating in teams, although they want to be free to put their own personal stamp on their work. When they do work with other people, it’s important to the INFP that they be cooperative, supportive, and flexible, and that they have similar passion for their ideals.
- Fine Artist
- Fashion Designer
- Graphic Designer
- Multimedia Artist or Animator
- Mental Health Counselor
- School or Career Counselor
- Community Service Manager
- Social Worker
- Archivist or Curator
- Elementary School Teacher
- Preschool Teacher
- Professor or College Instructor
- Special Education Teacher
- Genetic Counselor
- Massage Therapist
- Occupational Therapist
- Physical Therapist
- Speech-Language Pathologist
- Veterinary Technician
- Human Resources Specialist
- Training or Development Manager
- Anthropologist or Archaeologist
- Zoologist or Wildlife Biologist
- Film Editor
- Interpreter or Translator
- Public Relations Specialist
- INFP is the ninth most common type in the population.
- 4% of the general population
- 5% of women
- 4% of men
- Most important feature of an ideal job: creativity and originality.
- Have a general advantage in foreign language learning.
- Most likely of all the types to report suicidal thoughts in college.
- In national sample “Leisure Activities,” overrepresented in “Writing,” “Appreciating art,” “Reading,” and “Listening to music.”
- Academic subjects preferred: art, English, music.
- Among 3 highest types favoring work environments with “Independence & achievement,” and include among top 3 desirable characteristics “Variety of tasks” and “Clear structure.”
- In national sample, greatest dissatisfiers in the work environment were “Promotions,” “Amount of stress,” and “Opportunities for accomplishment.”
- In national sample, with INTPs, most dissatisfied with the work they do, where they work, and future work opportunities, and likely to leave job.
- Underrepresented among men with chronic pain.
- Showed the highest level of depression of the 16 types with chronic pain.
- Overrepresented among a sample of male therapists.
A. A. Milne
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Edgar Allan Poe
Hans Christian Andersen
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
John F. Kennedy, Jr.
Vincent van Gogh