I’m an INFP personality type. Conventional paths in life don’t satisfy me. Never have. It feels like my entire life has been a mission to find one thing or another.
First, I had to discover who I was (an introverted idealist with a powerful creative streak). Next, I wanted to know where I fit in on planet earth (nowhere and everywhere). Finally, I set my sights on finding my purpose. This one is still in progress, but it mostly consists of connecting the dots and writing it all down.
The INFP personality type in the wild
You might have noticed me “in the wild”. You probably mistook me for a shy wallflower. Little did you know that beneath my stoic exterior there is fire. Like most INFPs, I’m passionate about my principles. My heart burns with a desire to discover, change, and grow.
Here are some famous INFPs you might have heard of:
John F. Kennedy Jr.
Isabel Briggs Myers
As an INFP personality type, I’m open-minded and open-hearted. I always seek to understand without judgment; yet I’m rarely understood. Comprising only 4% of the population, I’m an enigma to most. That’s why I try my best to offer others the unconditional acceptance I rarely encounter.
Unless you violate one of my core principles, I will accept you for who you are – no matter how odd a human you might be. In fact, I’m drawn to unconventional people because they satisfy my intense curiosity.
A seeker to the core
You see, I’m a seeker to the core. You can find the INFP personality type travelling the world, or simply seeking different experiences close to home. Some personality types look for excitement and adrenaline rushes when they travel. I’m searching for a new perspective.
I’m seeing how many color combinations I can create with my Rubik’s Cube. While an Analyst personality (NT type) searches for a logical solution to the puzzle of life, I want to know how it feels to put the different pieces together. That’s the thing about NF personalities – we are “feelers”. We aren’t driven by logic and reason. We are driven by potential.
The INFP personality type thrives in the realm of possibility. We’re always searching for what “could be”. Our “grass is greener” mentality is both our guiding light, and our Achilles heel. The trouble is, our constant seeking is tiring.
One of our greatest challenges is to balance our thirst for new perspectives with our need to reflect in solitude. Our inner world is our home base. We need quiet to find patterns and make connections. Once we connect the dots in our constellations of thought, we want to share our discoveries with the world.
The INFP gift of self-expression
The INFP personality type has a gift for self-expression. Many INFPs become writers, poets, artists, or actors. We are the ones who speak in metaphors, skillfully using language to create imagery. INFP visual artists use pictures to convey what words cannot express. Many INFPs are drawn to the performing arts because we enjoy “trying on” different personalities. An INFP with a passion for acting is an expert at expressing herself through the language of emotions.
Like everything else we do, an INFP’s creative endeavours are driven by our deeper ideals.
Don’t try to convert me to your cult
Being an INFP personality type means that I need to live life on my own terms. I have my own personal reasons for this, and it’s best not to question them. I may seem calm and easygoing, but I will fiercely defend my principles against anyone who dares to violate them. Though I hate conflict, I’m like a Viking warrior when it comes to protecting my core values.
Don’t even think about trying to convert me to the cult of convention. An INFP is like an orchid that only blooms in unusual places. I wilt in the ordinary world. As Anais Nin put it:
“Had I not created my whole world, I would certainly have died in other people’s.”
I’m an INFP, and convention is my poison. Let me bloom in my own world of possibility.
An truly magnificent article Michaela! This is such a beautiful, true, and an genuine description of an heroic, creative, and a kind personality such is the INFP. 🙂
Thank you Marko!! 😀
This article…nails it. Once I read about the other 3.99999999% of the world also needing, requiring, craving solitude to recharge…my love of camping in my RV…hiking…all made perfect sense. The description of my fierce resistance to anything I perceive as unethical or lacking in integrity…suddenly those “viking Warrior” moments all came into focus. I transition from INFP to INFJ when confronted with deadlines and pressure to get things accomplished making my tribe even smaller. But it all makes sense.
Now, if we can just convince all the Dale-Carnegie types out there, we’ll be pumped!
thank you . it is nice to find someone that know what it all feels like
@Marko Haj zdravo! Love this image had on fb. I feel I’m INFJ. I would definitely enjoy to have this pic (with the same words – perhaps) but with the words INFJ replacing the infp text. Do you know how by any chance? I feel I may have to go over the cognitive functions again just to feel re-reassured of my type. Do you have any sites that are the best to view and have the most down-to-earth accurate information?
How did you find out you’re Infj? Via the cognitive functions how did you figure it out just by simply reading the info and looking at how the stacks are for infj (and the other types) or another method was used to figure out your type via reading the functions?
Very well written Michaela. As an older INFP who greatly embraces and seeks to champion introverts, I applaud you for this description. As life circumstances change and chafe, there can be even deeper seasons of learning more so how to live authentically as an INFP. It is heartening to read your description as one of these challenging seasons has arisen.
Hi Lisa, thanks for your comment! I know what you mean about the challenge of living authentically as an INFP. I hope you learn what you need to learn from this difficult season. xo
Yes, Michaela, after Reading Your article, i have realised i am an INFP. Thank for Superexpressing it…
You’re welcome, lovely! 🙂
It is a challenging season.
As I start reading, I was certain that you were talking about me…. at the end I know you were talking about me… Thank you, now I know I’m not alone….xoxo
No, you’re not alone, Erna! 🙂
This is amazing, Thank You for putting it so well.
You’re welcome, Isa! 🙂
Great Article Michaela! I always get so much insight from your writings!
I love love love this! So well written and so exactly true! These are the words to my feelings that I have a hard time expressing clearly, to even myself. And I agree with the above comment, it is so nice to know we’re not alone!
Thanks Beth. So happy it resonated with you. xo
Wow, very well written. I felt like you were talking about me and It also inspired me to do something great in this world 😉 Thanks ^^
Thanks, Priyal. I hope you do follow your dreams and do something great. 😀
This was by far the best text I’ve read about the INFP. As an INFP I’m searching daily for new ways people can describe my type. You really made me feel listened to!!
I feel all buzzy inside! ^^
So happy to hear that Marcus!! 😀
I really like how you describe everyone.. Thanks for writing it..
You’re welcome, Sherry! 🙂
I wish I had had access to this in my formitive years. I always felt something was wrong with me. It lead me to have terrible self-esteem and anxiety b/c its very hard to explain how this feels to non-INFPS..
My thoughts exactly. I grew up thinking something was wrong with me. People who don’t understand this personality type still think something is wrong with me. But I am now better at accepting myself.
loved this, thanks for sharing!
I could never make sense of my life & my place in it. Now you’ve described me & it makes sense. Thank you so much for an amazing article :)) x
I know what you mean Susan. I’ve definitely felt that way, too. I’m so happy my article helped you to make sense of your life. 🙂 xo
YES. This is the best thing I have read about the INFP type! Everything you’ve written is EXACTLY me. I really wish I could meet you other INFPs out there 🙁 No one else understands!
Everything I’ve read about INFP over the years sounded more like Tarot and Astrology readings, which is fine. Your simple and direct way of bringing all this back to the individual and how we all feel with this condition, helped many of us, including myself. A lot of us fight with balancing these concepts across a wide range of human emotions, having to delve into the “community” when our inner selves just aren’t ready. For an artist, this can be devastating, but understanding the points you brought up will help a lot of people. So, thanks for that, and your shining light.
You’re welcome Stuart! Thanks for sharing your insights on this. 🙂
I loved what you wrote about how “…our constant seeking is tiring.” I sometimes feel I have left a trail of skeletons, i.e. Homes, places, relationships, jobs, etc in my search… These days I am feeling tired. It’s that time for reflection that is so important in making sense of it all…to find the meaning.
Thank you for the beautiful post!
I cried while reading this… I’m an INFP. Thank you for putting into words what I feel and how life is for me. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone in being this way.
Wow! You are talking about me! Finally someone who understands! ?❤️ Thank you so much! God bless you Michaela!
Well said Michaela! It is so nice to know there are other seekers around who need a respite for awhile to allow time to connect the dots so that we can move forward with a better understanding of what to do next. I forget this even though I am retired now and have plenty of time to just BE for awhile. I needed to be reminded of this today.
Michaela your post was so well written and it explained who I am to a ‘T’. I’ve read a lot on the INFP type yet from what you’ve written, you have described more and showed an enlightened and amazing insight into the INFP personality. Your article has been so helpful in knowing what I’ve felt for so long means there’s nothing wrong with me. Thankyou xo.
I can totally relate to this, I am a seeker! And yes it is so tiring. Spot on, thanks Michaela!
I really appreciated your comment about the Rubik’s Cube. As a fellow INFP, I strongly identify with getting enraptured in a problem, not so much to find “the” solution, but because I enjoy the problem and looking at it from different angles (and maybe find my own solution).
First, thank you for this series on personality types. You, Marko, and everyone who contributed did an awesome job. I remembered something important about the MBTI that I hope is as helpful to someone reading it as it was to me. Our personality types are on a spectrum. In some, there is a distinction pronounced enough to just know which we are. For others, it might be a bit trickier.
Going through this series, I identified and tested as INTP, but then I also saw traits of myself in INTJ, INFP, and INFJ. This is pretty consistent with how I am. I feel like I operate in the world primarily as INTP, but while I scored in the extreme on both Introversion and iNtuition, my Thinking and Perceiving were almost in the middle. Literally 51% one time. In combination with this series, I can only conclude that IN is engraved (>85-90% consistently between intervals of testing) but my TP is on hinges with FJ.
In pseudocode, my personality is like: “IN” + (T || F) + (P || J)
And context changes which way the hinge sets. Like in my personal relationships and how I interact with others, I can be decidedly INFJ. I identified strongly with the challenges mentioned, especially being “all in.” I talked to my mom about that today.
This part of the post is what hit me:
“INFJs are the ‘counselors’, the ones who are always there. We gladly sacrifice our own plans and time in order to help someone.”
I tend to help people without even really thinking about it. If I can, then why not? We’re sharing this little rock free-falling around a dollop of plasma and all.
And then my INFP traits compose my spirituality and personal drive. I battle with general anxiety and depression sometimes, but the way I figure it: if I give up on life, I’m essentially forfeiting my ticket to explore what’s out there in the world that I received at birth. That would feel like a waste.
This part in particular.
“Being an INFP personality type means that I need to live life on my own terms. I have my own personal reasons for this, and it’s best not to question them. I may seem calm and easygoing, but I will fiercely defend my principles against anyone who dares to violate them.”
Oh my God, yes. Let me find my own way and my own purpose. I appreciate suggestions as long as they don’t become orders. I can be INCREDIBLY vicious to people who try to make me something I’m not, so when I can, I stay away from domineering folks for their own safety and mine.
I feel like my INTJ traits show up in the way I structure and reason about ideas. My home is the world of thoughts, and I’m particular about the way they’re expressed and organized. I actually have fun being “an efficiency geek.” Granted, the things I get excited about making more efficient can be a bit esoteric and abstract.
And finally, my INTP core:
“‘Everything can be explained.’ This was the sentence my INTP acquaintance repeated numerous times. For INTPs, no stone will be left unturned when their mind gets excited and starts analyzing.”
Nothing else really needs to be said.
So if you’ve taken the MBTI and you find that you fall in the median range on one or more category, consider you might be a bit of both and make it easier on yourself.
If we think of personality as being a compass rather than an anchor, I feel we’ll be better off for it. At least, that’s my intuition tells me may be correct.
This series reminded me I’m some kind of chocolate, oreo, and caramel milkshake. The way they blend makes me who I am. Thank you again for this great exploration of personality types, Michaela.
From reading this and my experience with MBTI, I’d say I’m fairly convinced you’re an INTP.
Really beautiful 🙂
This is the best portrait of an INFP I’ve ever seen. Keep writing Goddess!
I’m so happy and amazed, you tell me my secretes even though you have not seen me before, you know me even more than I know my self, you were truly like me and I wish I do become like you also, thanks a lot.
This hits so true for me! Very well put! I’ve been stuck in a largely conventional path for so long and I have felt dead inside the whole time! I’d like to get into acting (as a hobby first, but if I can make it a career I would love to)! Thank you!
The way I understand INFPs as an INTJ is that they tend to ask “what if” I ask “why”, they tell me, then I come up with the “how to”, then we create the “what.”
They dream it, I build it…..
Their dreams become our reality….
They dream in chocolate cake, I write the recipe, we make the cake and the world is better for it.
If we were books, I’d tell you the best part in chapter one then build on it from there until the conclusion and the story is complete in one novel and then on to the next, yet INFPs make you think the best part is chapter one, yet keep you reading till the end with multiple plot twists through out to make you want to read it all the way through, and leave you with a cliff hanger and a desire to read the rest of the series. Talk about delightful anticipation…. 🙂 Very clever minds you have!! No wonder I’m so intrigued by INFPs.
Simply put NTs are spatial thinkers and NFs are process thinkers. Our points in conversation or writing come at the beginning and yours come at the end. Big difference, yet once we understand how each of us communicate, we can certainly build a bridge between us, especially if you can dream it.
Don’t ever discount your importance in this world, we can’t justify reason without emotion, otherwise virtues would not exist. All feelers play an important role on a global scale, without you. the world would be bland, tasteless and boring.
Keep dreaming of better tomorrows so NTs can make those dreams a reality for you. It’s a win-win!! 🙂
How very insightful and beautiful and inspiring! Reading your comment brought a smile to my face 🙂
As an INFP with a tendency to TP, I most often don’t read chapter one entirely.
I rather tend to jump 100 pages, then continue and somewhere I’ll jump back to some chapter before… 😉
Such a beautiful way of putting it! I’m an INFP as well, and I love how you expressed what it is to be like one!
Sooo truly me..
Hi Michaela, i’m the new innie friend who joined recently and i’m so glad i did. I too am an INFP and could very well relate with your words. Just as you said i prefer to express myself through art and words.
Thanks for sharing the article with us. i feel prouder in being an introvert now.
and OMG! you got me right on the spot!
Wow, you really hit the nail on the head, here. So well put. I feel like sending this to everyone I know and saying, “I am an INFP. This is an INFP explained. Any questions?”
Great article. Sharing on to my page and to INFP group.
It feels so good to read about my own personality type and feel validated, said understanding oneself is inner gold.
Thank you Mikaela for this amazing article. This so describes my total personality. I struggled all through school as the ‘shy, odd girl’ and was bullied for it so much. In my early adult years I pushed hard to do & be what the world said that I should be. Finally after 20 years of working I had a meltdown and had to change my life. I am in my mid 60’s and have finally found comfort in my introverted person. I am very creative and have let that fill my life. I have sons and grandchildren who are very similar enjoying their ‘alone ‘ time and unfortunately suffering from anxiety & panic attacks. My granddaughter brought your article to my attention. I think this revelation could save many a soul. Thank you again for your insight that will help my entire family. You are blessed!
this is so accurate, now i know why i always wanted to be an actress.
very good article! 🙂
This is awesome!! Thank you!
Excellent article. Thanks for writing it. You explained it perfectly.
Thank you! I could relate 100% to this article..and while i kindof knew it.. Having it put down in words helped me accept it better. Love your writing style!
Soooo love the description.
“Our “grass is greener” mentality is both our guiding light, and our Achilles heel.”
“Convention is my poison… ”
Yet, I married someone that thinks in boxes, agreements and social obligations.
Like many said before, it’s tiring. I sadly tend to think it turned me into a Thinker, disallowing the Feeling in a certain way.
After 20years, I’m still not convinced it’s the correct path to follow.
Appreciating yourself and forget the part of being appreciated and understood?
It is tiring, seems deceiving…
Isn’t the grass really greener?