Personality Cafe banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

3,573 Posts
Discussion Starter #1

As an INFP, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit into your personal value system. Your secondary mode is external, where you take things in primarily via your intuition.

INFPs, more than other iNtuitive Feeling types, are focused on making the world a better place for people. Their primary goal is to find out their meaning in life. What is their purpose? How can they best serve humanity in their lives? They are idealists and perfectionists, who drive themselves hard in their quest for achieving the goals they have identified for themselves

INFPs are highly intuitive about people. They rely heavily on their intuitions to guide them, and use their discoveries to constantly search for value in life. They are on a continuous mission to find the truth and meaning underlying things. Every encounter and every piece of knowledge gained gets sifted through the INFP's value system, and is evaluated to see if it has any potential to help the INFP define or refine their own path in life. The goal at the end of the path is always the same - the INFP is driven to help people and make the world a better place.

Generally thoughtful and considerate, INFPs are good listeners and put people at ease. Although they may be reserved in expressing emotion, they have a very deep well of caring and are genuinely interested in understanding people. This sincerity is sensed by others, making the INFP a valued friend and confidante. An INFP can be quite warm with people he or she knows well.

INFPs do not like conflict, and go to great lengths to avoid it. If they must face it, they will always approach it from the perspective of their feelings. In conflict situations, INFPs place little importance on who is right and who is wrong. They focus on the way that the conflict makes them feel, and indeed don't really care whether or not they're right. They don't want to feel badly. This trait sometimes makes them appear irrational and illogical in conflict situations. On the other hand, INFPs make very good mediators, and are typically good at solving other people's conflicts, because they intuitively understand people's perspectives and feelings, and genuinely want to help them.

INFPs are flexible and laid-back, until one of their values is violated. In the face of their value system being threatened, INFPs can become aggressive defenders, fighting passionately for their cause. When an INFP has adopted a project or job which they're interested in, it usually becomes a "cause" for them. Although they are not detail-oriented individuals, they will cover every possible detail with determination and vigor when working for their "cause".

When it comes to the mundane details of life maintenance, INFPs are typically completely unaware of such things. They might go for long periods without noticing a stain on the carpet, but carefully and meticulously brush a speck of dust off of their project booklet.

INFPs do not like to deal with hard facts and logic. Their focus on their feelings and the Human Condition makes it difficult for them to deal with impersonal judgment. They don't understand or believe in the validity of impersonal judgment, which makes them naturally rather ineffective at using it. Most INFPs will avoid impersonal analysis, although some have developed this ability and are able to be quite logical. Under stress, it's not uncommon for INFPs to mis-use hard logic in the heat of anger, throwing out fact after (often inaccurate) fact in an emotional outburst.

INFPs have very high standards and are perfectionists. Consequently, they are usually hard on themselves, and don't give themselves enough credit. INFPs may have problems working on a project in a group, because their standards are likely to be higher than other members' of the group. In group situations, they may have a "control" problem. The INFP needs to work on balancing their high ideals with the requirements of every day living. Without resolving this conflict, they will never be happy with themselves, and they may become confused and paralyzed about what to do with their lives.

INFPs are usually talented writers. They may be awkard and uncomfortable with expressing themselves verbally, but have a wonderful ability to define and express what they're feeling on paper. INFPs also appear frequently in social service professions, such as counselling or teaching. They are at their best in situations where they're working towards the public good, and in which they don't need to use hard logic.

INFPs who function in their well-developed sides can accomplish great and wonderful things, which they will rarely give themselves credit for. Some of the great, humanistic catalysts in the world have been INFPs.


INFPs present a calm, pleasant face to the world. They appear to be tranquil and peaceful to others, with simple desires. In fact, the INFP internally feels his or her life intensely. In the relationship arena, this causes them to have a very deep capacity for love and caring which is not frequently found with such intensity in the other types. The INFP does not devote their intense feelings towards just anyone, and are relatively reserved about expressing their inner-most feelings. They reserve their deepest love and caring for a select few who are closest to them. INFPs are generally laid-back, supportive and nurturing in their close relationships. With Introverted Feeling dominating their personality, they're very sensitive and in-tune with people's feelings, and feel genuine concern and caring for others. Slow to trust others and cautious in the beginning of a relationship, an INFP will be fiercely loyal once they are committed. With their strong inner core of values, they are intense individuals who value depth and authenticity in their relationships, and hold those who understand and accept the INFP's perspectives in especially high regard. INFPs are usually adaptable and congenial, unless one of their ruling principles has been violated, in which case they stop adapting and become staunch defenders of their values. They will be uncharacteristically harsh and rigid in such a situation.

INFP Strengths

● Warmly concerned and caring towards others

● Sensitive and perceptive about what others are feeling

● Loyal and committed - they want lifelong relationships

● Deep capacity for love and caring

● Driven to meet other's needs

● Strive for "win-win" situations

● Nurturing, supportive and encouraging

● Likely to recognize and appreciate other's need for space

● Able to express themselves well

● Flexible and diverse

INFP Weaknesses

● May tend to be shy and reserved

● Don't like to have their "space" invaded

● Extreme dislike of conflict

● Extreme dislike of criticism

● Strong need to receive praise and positive affirmation

● May react very emotionally to stressful situations

● Have difficulty leaving a bad relationship

● Have difficulty scolding or punishing others

● Tend to be reserved about expressing their feelings

● Perfectionist tendencies may cause them to not give themselves enough credit

● Tendency to blame themselves for problems, and hold everything on their own shoulders

INFPs as Lovers

INFPs feel tremendous loyalty and commitment to their relationships. With the Feeling preference dominating their personality, harmony and warm feelings are central to the INFP's being. They feel a need to be in a committed, loving relationship. If they are not involved in such a relationship, the INFP will be either actively searching for one, or creating one in their own minds.

INFPs tendency to be idealistic and romantically-minded may cause them to fantasize frequently about a "more perfect" relationship or situation. They may also romanticize their mates into having qualities which they do not actually possess. Most INFPs have a problem with reconciling their highly idealistic and romantic views of life with the reality of their own lives, and so they are constantly somewhat unsettled with themselves and with their close personal relationships. However, the INFP's deeply-felt, sincere love for their mates and their intense dislike of conflict keeps the INFP loyal to their relationships, in spite of their troubles achieving peace of mind.

Unlike other types who tend to hold their mates up on a pedestal, the INFP's tendency to do so does not really turn into a negative thing in the relationship. INFPs hold tightly to their ideals, and work hard at constantly seeing their mates up on that pedestal. The frequent INFP result is a strongly affirming, proud and affectionate attitude towards their mates which stands the test of time.

INFPs are not naturally interested in administrative matters such as bill-paying and house-cleaning, but they can be very good at performing these tasks when they must. They can be really good money managers when they apply themselves.

Sexually, the INFP is likely to be initially slow to open up to their mates. Once their trust has been earned, the INFP will view sexual intimacy as an opportunity for expressing their deep-seated love and affection. More than the actual sexual act, they will value giving and receiving love and sweet words. With their tendency to enjoy serving others, they may value their mate's satisfaction above their own.

One real problem area for the INFP is their intensive dislike of conflict and criticism. The INFP is quick to find a personal angle in any critical comment, whether or not anything personal was intended. They will tend to take any sort of criticism as a personal attack on their character, and will usually become irrational and emotional in such situations. This can be a real problem for INFPs who are involved with persons who have Thinking and Judging preferences. TJs relate to others with an objective, decisive attitude that frequently shows an opinion on the topic of conversation. If the opinion is negative, the TJ's attitude may be threatening to the INFP, who will tend to respond emotionally to the negativity and be vaguely but emphatically convinced that the negativity is somehow the INFP's fault.

For INFPs with extremely dominant Feeling preferences who have not developed their Intuitive sides sufficiently to gather good data for their decision making processes, their dislike of conflict and criticism can foretell doom and gloom for intimate relationships. These INFPs will react with extreme emotional distress to conflict situations, and will not know what to do about it. Since they will have no basis for determining what action to take, they will do whatever they can to get rid of the conflict - which frequently means lashing out irrationally at others, or using guilt manipulation to get their mates to give them the positive support that they crave. This kind of behavior does not bode well for healthy, long-term relationships. Individuals who recognize this tendency in themselves should work on their ability to take criticism objectively rather than personally. They should also try to remember that conflict situations are not always their fault, and they're definitely not the end of the world. Conflict is a fact of life, and facing it and addressing it immediately avoids having to deal with it in the future, after it has become a much larger problem.

INFPs are very aware of their own space, and the space of others. They value their personal space, and the freedom to do their own thing. They will cherish the mate who sees the INFP for who they are, and respects their unique style and perspectives. The INFP is not likely to be overly jealous or possessive, and is likely to respect their mate's privacy and independence. In fact, the INFP is likely to not only respect their mate's perspectives and goals, but to support them with loyal firmness.

In general, INFPs are warmly affirming and loving partners who make the health of their relationships central in their lives. Although cautious in the beginning, they become firmly loyal to their committed relationships, which are likely to last a lifetime. They take their relationships very seriously, and will put forth a great deal of effort into making them work.

Although two well-developed individuals of any type can enjoy a healthy relationship, INFP's natural partner is the ENFJ, or the ESFJ. INFP's dominant function of Introverted Feeling is best matched with a partner whose dominant function is Extraverted Feeling. The INFP/ENFJ combination is ideal, because it shares the Intuitive way of perceiving, but the INFP/ESFJ combination is also a good match.

INFPs as Parents

INFPs are "natural" parents. They accept and enjoy the parental role, seeing it as the natural extension of their value systems. They make use of the parental role for developing and defining their values further, and consider it their task to pass their values on to their children. They take their role quite seriously. Warm, affirming, and flexible, the INFP generally makes a gentle and easy-going parent in many respects.

INFPs do not like conflict situations, and will keep themselves flexible and diverse to promote a positive, conflict-free environment in their home. The INFP is not naturally prone to dole out punishment or discipline, and so is likely to adapt to their mate's disciplinary policy, or to rely on their mates to administer discipline with the children. In the absence of a mating parent, the INFP will need to make a conscious effort of creating a structure for their children to live within.

Although the INFP dislikes punishing others, they hold strong values and will not tolerate the violation of a strongly-held belief. If they feel that their child has truly committed a wrong, the INFP parent will not have a problem administering discipline. They will directly confront the child, stubbornly digging in their heels and demanding recourse.

The INFP parent is likely to value their children as individuals, and to give them room for growth. They will let the children have their own voice and place in the family.

Extremely loving and devoted parents, INFPs will fiercely protect and support their children. If there is an issue involving "taking sidesi", you can bet the INFP will always be loyal to their children.

INFPs are usually remembered by their children as loving, patient, devoted, and flexible parents.

INFPs as Friends

INFPs are warm and caring individuals who highly value authenticity and depth in their personal relationships. They are usually quite perceptive about other people's feelings and motives, and are consequently able to get along with all sorts of different people. However, the INFP will keep their true selves reserved from others except for a select few, with whom they will form close and lasting friendships. With their high ideals, they are likely to be drawn to other iNtuitive Feelers for their closer friendships.

With their strong need for harmony and dislike of conflict, INFPs may feel threatened by people with strong Judging and Thinking preferences. Although they're likely to be able to work well professionally with such individuals, they may have difficulty accepting or appreciating them on a personal level. They generally feel a kinship and affinity with other Feeling types.

4,300 Posts
This is the most encouraging description I've ever read! INFP Women:

10 women would be hard put to it to match her virtuosity. Like a genie in a bottle, each time you summon her up an entirely different woman appears to mystify, delight, beguile & enchant you. She can fix & hold the attention of almost anyone if she so chooses, for she is a delightful conversationalist, witty, provocative, & charming. Tell her your ambitions, your desires, your fears. She makes friends easily & will devote a great deal of time & attention to keeping dear friends happy. Depend on her for the quick charming note, the timely telephone call, & the apt compliment. She will wear her heart on her sleeve for all to see ... but for none to possess. She vows to follow through one job from beginning to end & may honestly try, but she can't for as soon as she gets to the midway point, she begins champing at the bit, eager to turn down that undiscovered path that seems to promise so much more in the way of excitement. A bewildering & complex woman, a lovely vivacious life-enchantress ... she is also subject to dark moods of self-doubt, an absolute terror of the unknown. That's when she needs a strong shoulder to lean on. She is a free spirit. Nothing lifts her spirits more than to arrive at a place she likes or to leave one she doesn't. If she chooses, she can do the job of both career woman & housewife well, but if she's forced to do both she will quickly rebel. She likes luxury. That includes her sex appeal. And she has all the charm & imagination needed to make that weapon work for her. Although she is warm & affectionate, there are many who regard her as cold-blooded. In her relations with men, she often plays what appears to be a heartless game. But an abused lover is usually willing to forgive & forget ... if she will take him back. Those who can keep up with her will find the experience most rewarding. After all, where else can you find a woman who makes your life half as interesting? She's entrancing & exasperating. Her main requirement is a lover who knows how to take his time, for she won't be rushed. She wants to establish her own rate of progress. Her lovemaking mood can change with startling abruptness: she can turn on enough refrigeration to chill the ardor in any man?s veins. Men must allow the right mood to develop, until the uniting oneness of desire. She will repay such patience with her own brand of sexual exuberance & that's all any man could ask for! She is looking for an ideal ... in search for ultimate ecstasy. A relationship for her must be an embracing communion that includes the physical & the spiritual, the romantic & the practical. You need a compass to travel this lady's emotional landscape. Her emotional memory is an inerasable engraving on a steel plate. She treasures the past, yet is always looking forward to the future. Life for her is never merely the here & now. She loves her home & spends delightful hours perfecting it to her own unique taste. Where others are concerned, their confidences are kept in a virtual grave of secrecy. She is warm & inviting. She is a marvelous storyteller of another kind. Listen to her on an evening with close friends when she begins to really loosen up: she controls the mood of her listeners with just a slight alteration in tone, a change of nuance in the phrasing, & the word imagery with which she spins her tale could do credit to any poet. She can't tell a funny story without giggling -- the reaction beginning inside her & bubbling up to her lips, then breaking out into an open laugh which has a silly or hysterical quality. She is loyal to her friends, children & the man she chooses as her love. She expects, in turn, affection from her lover. She needs to be fussed over, snuggled, prized, doted on. She must be wooed with care & patient consideration. She feels it is difficult to give all of herself, although she is very attractive to men because of her ironic care-free modesty coupled with a sympathetic understanding of personal problems. She is that sweet, lovely girl whose image every man carries in a secret locket somewhere in his mind. If you want to win her, don't overlook flowers, candlelight, wine, music & laughter. Weigh your decision carefully, for if you lose her she will always be a vagrant haunting memory, as you may be one of vengeance in her. There are 2 things this woman must have in combination: love & either adventure or security ... depending on her mood! You may not get into her bedroom 'til she's sure of your intentions. When she finds real love, she will go all out for her lover. She is passionately devoted once she has committed herself. However, if she blindly gives this all-forgiving love to one who complains it is smothering, she can easily cast him away. She is receptive, but may need to be encouraged in the subtlest way until her uniquely erotic & sensuous imagination is freed of its inhibitions. She wants so much to act in love as she really feels & to not fear criticism. Her nature is much influenced by the attitude of her partner: if he is understanding & kind, she will unfold to him as an exotic flower to the rays of the sun. She can be a marvelous lover, for she is fully capable of becoming a most satisfying partner because she is deeply sincere & unable to fake an intimate response. The joy she feels at the release of previous restraints will delight any man. She will reciprocate passion with a fervor that will stir his heart & stimulate him to his best performance. She may even become a slave to her sexual pleasures. She is strongly maternal & dotes on admiration, loving to be told how beautiful she is. There is a wonderful part of her that is wanton & wild. This woman is a treasure!

467 Posts
Perhaps in contrast to us going out in the world and exposing our awesomeness?:crazy:
i wish you weren't kidding

edit: onlly because that's what we need to be doing

MOTM Dec 2011
8,651 Posts
Is this from The facebook app gives a different description (so I'll post it also): Description

The Idealist (INFP)

In general, INFPs focus deeply on their values, and they devote their lives to pursuing the ideal. They often draw people together around a common purpose and work to find a place for each person within the group. They are creative, and they seek new ideas and possibilities. They quietly push for what is important to them, and they rarely give up. While they have a gentleness about them, and a delightful sense of humor, they may be somewhat difficult to get to know and may be overlooked by others. They are at their best making their world more in line with their internal vision of perfection. Read more about the INFP life, the INFP at work, or the INFP in love.


INFP children often create their own fantasy world and live very much within it. They may daydream about what is important to them, and sometimes others wonder if they are in touch with reality. They often get lost in their thoughts and books, and may develop a special ability in communicating, such as writing.

They are somewhat reserved, especially in new situations, and they may not even like telling others their names, although they feel special when someone else unexpectedly remembers theirs.

INFPs decide early on what is important to them, what is of value. They tend to rely on themselves for direction and are reticent to ask others for help. They would rather do things themselves, to make sure they are done properly. INFPs have found this to be both a strength and a curse. Depending only on themselves and being careful not to show mistakes to others is important.

As teens, INFPs may have a bit of a rebellious streak. They may argue with those who hold different values than they do. They are also likely to have a small, close set of friends with whom they share good times. In the comfort of those close relationships, they can relax and are often quite entertaining, since they see the world in a different and special way. Their sense of humor is readily apparent. However, unless an INFP finds an appreciation for his or her uniqueness and personal values, he or she may feel like an odd person out.

When they set their minds on things, INFPs are not likely to give up easily, yet because of their outward gentleness, they do not show their determination. They may not take a direct path, but somehow they reach their dreams. INFPs try to get what they want but will strive to have others feel good about it.

As young adults, INFPs may have some difficulty finding the ideal career and the ideal mate, in part because of that very word "ideal." They have a vision in mind of what they want, yet reality may not follow suit. They may make several starts and stops in their career until they find a comfortable place for themselves. INFPs have a need for perfection in connection with their personal values. They become frustrated with those who dwell on trivialities.

INFPs need a purpose beyond the paycheck. They become burned out easily if their job does not fit their value system; they may not feel good enough about what they have achieved and, as a result, may undervalue themselves and their contributions.

In retirement, INFPs need to look back and feel that they have led a worthwhile life that has made a difference. They want time for a variety of activities, including travel. They may also be very attached to their family and enjoy special visits with them.

INFPs at Work

At work, INFPs contribute their creativity, their value system, and their ability to work with others. They are able to see the larger picture and how specific programs fit in. They do not dwell on the trivialities or the details. Their job must be fun, although not raucous, and it must be meaningful to them. They need a strong purpose in their work. They want to be recognized and valued, without undue attention given to them. They may become embarrassed when made the center of attention. As a result, they may undersell their strengths in order to avoid being singled out and made to feel conspicuous. They would rather have their worth be noticed gradually over time.

Work Setting

INFPs like to work with cooperative people committed to the same values that they are. They can become bothered when they see others working at cross purposes, especially when conflict is overt. They do not like competition or bureaucracy. They see what needs to happen in a broad sense and dislike dealing with red tape. They want some privacy and keep a lot to themselves, especially personal information. Calm and quiet appeal to them, as does time and space for reflection. People usually like working with INFPs even though they may not know them well.

Organizing Style

When tasks at hand are important and best done in an organized way, INFPs strive to do so. At times, others are likely to call them hopelessly disorganized. They may lose their keys or forget appointments. Their errand running has no apparent sense of order. It seems as if they go here and there "as the spirit moves them". The INFP teacher may lay the chalk down one place in the classroom and her notes in another, "losing" both, while all the time delivering a wonderfully intriguing lecture.

When they do minor household repairs, for example, INFPs may continually lose important tools. If they start sorting through their tools, they are likely to discover five hammers, when one would have been sufficient. However, it is likely that the search for the hammer also turns up other things. Flexibility and adaptability are characteristics of INFPs. In their quests, they may discover many new things to do or creative twists for solving problems.

INFPs may keep objects because of sentimental attachment and have difficulty parting with them. As a result, their attics may be full of things that are intriguing to them but that others may call junk. Because aesthetics may be important to them, they may move their files and bookshelves out of sight. Practicality is not a driving force for INFPs. Things that traditionally belong together may not be placed together because the INFP does not see it as necessary.

INFPs may have trouble finishing what they start because of their perfectionistic nature. When they do finish a project, they may not consider it done "for good." Projects can always be improved upon, revised, and reworked, and therefore INFPs find it hard to bring tasks to closure. Because they are able to visualize the finished product long before it is done, the actual completion is of less importance.


To perform well at work, individuals may need to use all of the eight preferences at the appropriate time and when required by the situation. Knowing this, people tend to select occupations that allow them to use the preferences that are most natural to them.

INFPs prefer occupations in which they can be involved in making the world better. Having their heart in their work is important to them. These occupations also allow for an element of creativity and flexibility.

While INFPs can and do enter all occupations, some are more appealing to them than others. According to available research, some occupations (in alphabetical order) seem to be especially attractive to INFPs: counselor, editor, education consultant, English teacher, fine arts teacher, journalist, psychologist, religious educator, social scientist, social worker, teacher, writer, and other occupations that engage their values. These occupations are not meant to be an exhaustive list, but serve to illustrate some areas that an INFP might enjoy. If your specific occupation, or one that you are interested in, is not listed here, think instead of its general characteristics and ask yourself how those fit with your type.

INFPs in Love

For the INFP, love is a very deep commitment, and one that is not easily attained. They have ideals, and therefore reality may be carefully scrutinized.

With their ideal firmly envisioned, the first date with that special person is carefully planned and prepared for, and often every aesthetic thing is taken care of. The flowers are in place, the right wine is ordered, and the proper meal is prepared.

INFPs may have difficulty sharing their feelings about others. They keep so many of those feelings inside that they may forget to tell their partner how much they love and appreciate them. They also need reminders of their partner's love.

When things go wrong in a relationship, the INFP takes it to heart but does not readily discuss it with others. They may not be willing to communicate to let others know how they are feeling. When scorned, they are very hurt and may overreact in an almost maudlin way.

3,417 Posts
Interesting that this is listed as weakness

It's a weakness when it comes to relationships. You could be the most amazing person in the world but not a lot of people would know because you could be shy and reserved, it's a beautiful weakness.

They have hard shells around their hearts for a reason, it's to protect the vunerable softness that could easily be teared apart by someone they don't trust, which is why they're cautious at first, too. This hard shell also hides themselves because they are their heart, if you want.

It's a weakness to want to hide who they are, it really is :crying:

But it's still adorable so I'm not complaining. I love shy and reserved people.

13,780 Posts
OP, this is the best INFP description I have ever read.

:) thank you for sharing!
1 - 9 of 9 Posts