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Hi Everyone,

I'm currently writing a fantasy/sci-fi series and currently having trouble writing my INFP antagonist and his motivations.

Ironically I am an INFP, yet I'm having a hard time establishing my antagonist's motivation because I don't know what would be a believable motivation for him. I know I want my antagonist to be tragic as he's had to grow up with an abusive father and deals with psychosis.

I'm a little stuck at the moment, so any suggestions would help! :)
 

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Edgelord
INFP 5w4 - ILI - Chaotic Good
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Seeing the injustice in the world, he seeks to bring his own ideals of justice, even if it requires doing absolutely horrible things. Like a Knight Templar but with more personal morals.

At least that's what my INFP antagonist is like.
 

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Not sure if you're into anime, but I believe the character of Nagato for the Naruto Shippuden series to be an INFP villain. Here's a synopsis of his character from his wiki:
Nagato (長門, Nagato) was a shinobi of Amegakure and descendant of the Uzumaki clan. Forming Akatsuki alongside his friends (and fellow war orphans) Yahiko and Konan, Nagato dreamed of bringing peace to the violent shinobi world. However, following Yahiko's death, Nagato adopted the alias of Pain (ペイン, Pein) and, along with Konan, began leading a new Akatsuki; one that would force the world into peace using any means necessary.
Also, just throwing stuff out there, there have been many a time when I have tried to envision an alternate universe where there is an evil version of me roaming around. I imagined he was once an idealist, but pulled a complete 180 and decided he wanted to watch the world burn instead after going through so much pain, and that he would use is ability to empathize with others not as a means to forge bonds and encourage growth, but to manipulate and break and to serve his own petty and vindictive ends. I'd like to think I'm the version that never gave up.
 

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Banned
INFP 9w1 sp/so
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An unhealthy INFP can be very vindictive, their Fi will tell them that everyone who doesn't see things the way they do is immoral and they'll come to see anyone different from them as an enemy.

An INFP holds their personal ideals very strongly, and these ideals aren't always in line with what everyone else wants. An unhealthy INFP villain might be trying to change the world into one that they think is better, doing so in a very brutal and violent way because in their eyes their cause is good so nothing else matters, and this world they're trying to bring about might not be the one everyone else wants. But the very unhealthy INFP will likely see all the people who disagree as evil or misunderstanding their his intentions. Just an example.

A real life example of an INFP 'villain' might be a political terrorist trying to force their own ideology onto the world by any means necessary, because in their head they're doing the right thing, and anyone who disagrees with them is evil.

Even at relatively healthy levels an INFP tends to see themselves as an outsider, and at unhealthy levels they may see everyone around them as an enemy out to get them because they're different. Or maybe the other way round, they may develop a strong hate for people who, in their eyes, bend themselves to the mainstream rules of society instead of being themselves, and they may develop a superiority complex as they see themselves as above the 'sheep' they see around them. This emotional disconnect from the people around him may cause him to be capable of performing all kinds of evils onto them because they're nothing in his eyes.

An unhealthy INFP may be idiosyncratic, self-victimising, overzealous, vindictive and/or self-aggrandising. They'll likely fall into depression as their self-worth crumbles and an INFP villain may take this neurosis out on other people instead of coming to terms with what they need to fix in themselves. Their problems are someone else's fault, or everyone else's fault, a thought that both comforts and angers them, and in order to keep up the delusion they lash out at other people more and more. To do otherwise would be to admit that they're wrong, and this INFP is never wrong. They know they're right. They have to be right or this tantrum they've been throwing will have been for nothing.
 

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Instead forcing character into INFP box you should think about list of traits you want your character to have and then fit their motives around those traits. Is your character vengful, then have your protagonist wrong him in some manner be it knowingly or not, you could make him believe that protagonist is his abusive father, provided that said father eventually left him and story is happening like 20 years later and protagonist is looking similar to father. Hell, if he had abusive father, perhaps make a protagonist a father (or antagonist think that they are) and make antagonist believe they are unfitting one (intentionally or not) such as exposing their child to danger and motive being punishing bad father and/or saving child from harm that was done to him.It doesn't nessecairly protagonist that has to be a father but some character close to or involved with protagonist making them involved in conflict.

As you said it about antagonist not a villain hence motives can range from heroic, well-meaning but misguided/extreme to downright villainous.

Heroic or well-meaning but extreme/misguided motives and character may be a cop/detective/mercenary going after protagonist because for example they did kidnap or is thought to kidnap a child (here psychosis could be explanation for belief that is unfounded in reality) . You could make abusive father a protagonist (for example ruthless mercenary) and motive being bring him to justice for what he has done (to others and him) or someone involved with his father (fellow mercenary in a team).

It's hard to establish a motive for antagonist when we don't know anything about protagonist or protagonists of your story, unless it's still in the open.

Perhaps you may draw some inspiration from this character (careful spoilers from heavy rain)
 

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ENFJ 2w3 7w6 8w9 sx/so — The Free Spirit —
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He sneezed in public and no one said bless you, not even gazuntite.
 
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