Characteristics of infp personality type

7 Tell-Tale Characteristics of an INFP

Thought to comprise only four percent of the population, the INFP is a rare Myers-Briggs personality type that stands out from the rest. As an INFP myself, I’ve found that I frequently instinctually recognize other INFPs, sometimes after only a few minutes of conversation.

INFPs are complicated, magical, mysterious beings, and for a while I thought (in typical INFP fashion) that something cosmic was cueing me into the presences of others who share my four letters. After thinking about this for a while, I’ve realized there are some more earthly continuities that bind us together.

So, here are seven characteristics of an INFP that will help you recognize when you encounter one of us introverted-intuitive-feeling-perceivers, too.

(What’s your personality type? We recommend this free personality assessment.)

1. We’re selectively observant.

INFPs think about everything — and then think about everything again, reliving it all in their dreams. It’s no wonder so many of us are writers and artists; it helps to have a space where we can externalize at least some of the thoughts buzzing through our heads.

When someone says something that seems unusually or even unnecessarily critical or thoughtful, like a hyper-specific statement about a small detail that most people wouldn’t bat an eye at, I know I might be talking to an INFP. That’s not to say that we’re super-observant — sometimes we’ll miss logistical details because we’re caught up thinking about something much larger (or weirdly specific).

For example, I took the same route to and from school every day growing up, usually spending the whole time staring out the window. But when I started driving myself, I discovered I didn’t actually know the way! During all those years riding the bus, I’d noticed countless details about the trees or specific signs, and of course, thought about many large-scale problems and questions, but didn’t memorize the twists and turns of the actual route.

When someone is deeply observant and sensitive to the world around them but also gets so caught up in the moment that they temporarily forget the existence of time — someone who’s willing to talk about everything until the sun comes up but forgets to check the time of the last train home — I’m pretty sure I know their personality type.

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2. We’re deeply self-reflective.

When someone casually mentions complex personal observations about the nuances of their own mind early on in a conversation, you might be in the presence of an INFP.

For example, Fernando Pessoa, a Portuguese poet and intellectual from the 1920s — whom I firmly believe was INFP — wrote an entire book consisting of observations of his own mind. Called The Book of Disquiet, it’s written from the perspective of several of his alter-egos and contains statements like:

“My soul is impatient with itself, as with a bothersome child; its restlessness keeps growing and is forever the same… I attend to everything, dreaming all the while… I’m two, and both keep their distance.

3. We have a strong sense of compassion and empathy.

Though we spend a lot of time thinking about ourselves, this does not necessarily mean we’re self-centered. Actually, I believe that our self-analytical minds make us very compassionate and open to others, because by observing our own thoughts, many of us (like the aforementioned Pessoa) come to the conclusion that we are fragmented beings, constantly in flux. This allows us to relate to people of many different backgrounds and walks of life — because we’ve seen them all in ourselves.

INFPs tend to worry a lot about how others are doing. We’re the kind of people who will ask if you’re okay, then become convinced that you’re lying when you promise that you really are fine.

Nicknamed “the Mediator personality type,” INFPs will never be content with lives dedicated only to themselves and their own achievements, nor will they be satisfied lodged in systems of inequality and complacence. We truly value compassion in ourselves and others, often above all else.

It pains us greatly when others are in pain, sometimes so much that we take on that pain. This can be harmful, especially in relationships, where we may take on the entirety of the other person’s mental weight. Wanting to be close to the people you love can backfire when you have a mind as open and malleable as an INFP’s, because this sort of exchange can be like carrying another person’s backpack while hiking, then falling down the mountain under the weight of it, thus ending the entire expedition.

When someone seems at once very compassionate and emotive yet also hesitant, perhaps afraid to open up too much, this person might be an INFP.

4. We’re dreamers.

Growing up,  my grandfather constantly said to me, “Earth to Eden,” and I’ve heard this expression from others in countless forms. I’m always “in my own world,” a “space cadet,” etc. When I meet someone who seems “out of it” — distracted, elsewhere — but who also seems to truly want to listen to what I have to say, I might be in the presence of an INFP.

Being dreamy has its perks and consequences. Many INFPs are great writers — J. R. R. Tolkien and William Shakespeare were likely some of our own — and we don’t spend all that time elsewhere thinking about nothing; our imaginations make us artists and visionaries, and they allow us to come up with big, grand ideas about how to make the world a better place.

Unfortunately, sometimes this compromises our ability to deal with the minutiae of daily life, and it’s often hard for INFPs to reconcile the grand vistas we discover in our mind with doing small tasks like cleaning the house, remembering dates, and completing tax forms.

5. We can be quite self-conscious.

Like many introverts, INFPs can be quiet and reserved. Even when we get comfortable around certain people, we’re rarely able to escape the coil of our own self-awareness, which wraps around us like a well-intended but overpoweringly cloistering grandmother’s hug.

INFPs can be a little bit — and I say this with all the love in the world — awkward, unsure of what to do with the collection of bones and flesh we have been given.

Certainly, we can be graceful in situations we are comfortable in. I, for one, have always thrived when performing on stage, and INFPs can ace interviews and presentations when we get into a groove. In conversations, we breathe sighs of relief when we can talk about things we’re interested in or know a lot about, or when we can listen to someone else talk.

But when making small talk with people we don’t know well, we can be identified by visual cues like shifting around on our feet, struggling to make eye contact, and not knowing where to put our hands. When I see someone squirming like an insect under a microscope at a bar or party, I take this as a hint that I’m not alone. Of course, many personality types share this trait (even some extroverts), but when combined with other INFP traits, awkwardness can be a surefire clue.

6. We love people almost as much as we love being alone.

One of my best friends is an INFP. She’s one of the sweetest people I know, yet sometimes she doesn’t reply to me for a week at a time. This doesn’t bother me, because sometimes I do the same thing.

As INFPs, we crave connection on an intense level, but shallow interactions (like simple text messages) can be taxing. We aren’t satisfied with small talk, but once we meet someone we click with, we can easily spend all our time with them.

I sometimes can intuit an INFP’s presence when I meet someone who seems closed-off, even unfriendly, but who opens up in a big way once a layer of ice breaks. Maybe we’ll have a super awkward conversation when meeting for the first time, then suddenly one of us will say something very emotional or unexpectedly revelatory, and then — if the other person takes the bait — the river starts to flow.

Even so, no matter how connected we are to someone, we always have to come back to ourselves and the natural world. We treasure our solitude, partly because we feel no one really understands us except for, well, us — and often we don’t even understand ourselves. Spending time alone and in nature can be immensely healing and re-energizing for INFPs, and we crave a good balance of solitude and meaningful human connection.

7. We’re hungry for meaning and inspiration.

We experience the world intensely, and it doesn’t take much for us to have spiritual, life-changing experiences. On the other hand, if we stick to routines and don’t spend any time stepping out of our comfort zones, we quickly become dissatisfied.

I recognize other INFPs when I come across someone who loves going on adventures, but not of the sort that others typically find interesting. INFPs might love exploring weird parts of the world like abandoned places, and a rundown old mill can be as beautiful as a royal palace to an INFP’s mind. We might enjoy taking road trips and frequenting the kinds of places that are easy to fill with our own creative observations.

There are so few of us INFPs. In a world designed around small talk, hierarchies, and competition, we dreamers have to stick together.

You might like:

  • 19 Signs That You’re an INFP, the Most Idealistic Personality Type
  • The Morning Routine of an INFP
  • Here’s What Makes Each Introverted Myers-Briggs Type Angry

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INFP Personality Type Traits and Characteristics: The Idealist

The INFP personality type is often described as an “idealist” personality. People with this kind of personality are mediators. They tend to be introverted, open-minded, creative, and driven by strong values.

INFP is a four-letter abbreviation for one of the 16 personality types identified by the Jung Personality Test. This test measures concepts similar to the MBTI test (Myers–Briggs Type Indicator model).

INFP Characteristics


The test works by indicating your personality preferences and tendencies in the following areas: 1) Extraversion vs Introversion, 2) Sensing vs Intuition, 3) Thinking vs Feeling, and 4) Judging vs Perceiving. As you might have already guessed, the four-letter code for this personality type stands for Introversion, iNtuition, Feeling, and Perceiving.

  • Introversion (I): How do you relate to the world and focus your energy?
  • Intuition (N): How do you perceive information?
  • Feeling (F): How do you make decisions?
  • Perceiving (P): How do you orient yourself to the outside world?

Some of the main characteristics of the INFP personality include:

  • Loyal and devoted
  • Sensitive to feelings
  • Warm, caring, and interested in other people

Other INFP personality traits:

  • Strong written communication skills
  • Creative nature
  • Prefers to work alone
  • Values close relationships
  • Focuses on the “big picture” rather than the details

INFPs tend to be introverted, quiet, and reserved. Social situations tend to drain their energy, and they prefer interacting with a select group of close friends. While they like to be alone, this should not necessarily be confused with shyness. Instead, it simply means INFPs gain energy from spending time alone. On the other hand, they have to expend energy in social situations. This is why INFPs are considered one of the sensitive types.

INFP Feelings and Conflict

INFPS typically rely on intuition and focus more on the big picture than the nitty-gritty. They can be quite meticulous about things they really care about or projects they are working on but tend to ignore mundane or boring details.INFPs emphasize personal feelings, and their decisions are more influenced by emotions rather than objective information. When it comes to making decisions, INFPs like to keep their options open. They often delay making important decisions just in case something about the situation changes. Again, when decisions are made, they are usually based on personal values rather than logic.

They also dislike conflict and try to avoid it, especially with their partners. When conflicts or arguments do arise, they usually focus more on how the conflict makes them feel rather than the actual details of the argument. As a result, during arguments, they might seem overly emotional or even irrational. However, they can also be good mediators by helping the people involved in a conflict identify and express their feelings.

INFP Personal Values

Because they are so reserved and private, other people can find it challenging to get to know INFPs. They tend to be quite devoted to their circle of close friends and family and place high importance on the feelings and emotions of their loved ones. Much of their energy is focused inward and characterized by intense feelings and strong values. They tend to be very loyal to the people they love and to beliefs and causes that are important to them.

INFPs tend to be very creative, artistic, and spiritual. They are often skilled with language but may prefer to express their thoughts and feelings through writing. Because they have strong ethics and core values, they also become passionate about advocating or defending their beliefs. While they feel strongly about their own values, INFPs are also interested in learning more about others and are willing to listen and consider many sides of an issue. They love meaningful connections and are usually drawn to nature.

INFPs also have strong interests in making the world a better place. In addition to wanting to gain a greater understanding of themselves and how they fit into the world, one of their other personality traits is being interested in how they can best help others. People with this personality type spend a lot of time exploring their own purpose in life and thinking about how they can use their skills and talents to best serve humanity. As a result, they are naturally inclined toward helping professions and careers in which they can use their creativity.

INFP Functions

The four primary functions of an INFP are Introverted Feeling, Extroverted Intuition, Introverted Sensing, and Extroverted Thinking. This functional stack determines all of the typical visible traits of INFPs. Knowing them can be a great benefit to INFPs as well as those around them.

Their dominant function, Introverted Feeling, determines the most notable characteristic of INFPs: that they experience things mainly within themselves. The auxiliary function, Extroverted Intuition, makes them look to the external world to form their sense of self. These two are responsible for the most prominent traits of INFP.

Less dominant is the INFP’s auxiliary function, Introverted Sensing, which gives INFPs their sentimental flavor and feeling for the past. Finally, the inferior function is Extroverted Thinking, which, though not operating at all on a conscious level, can cause INFPs to prefer objective analysis in some situations. This can cause them to end up unexpectedly in scientific or mathematical careers instead of the typical artsy route.

INFP Compatibility

INFPs generally do well with personality types that share their emotional understanding of the world. The best match for an INFP is an ENFJ because they share many core values. Many people see an ENFJ as the perfect partner for the INFP because of complementary traits. For example, the extraverted ENFJ is capable of reaching out to an INFP and overcoming their reluctance toward deeper connection.

Although the ENFJ is the perfect partner for the INFP, other compatible types include the INFJ and the ESFJ. The joint feeling function pairs these sensitive types and allows these matches to have meaningful connections. They have a strong sense of closeness when paired. They can also build an emotional attachment and a deeper understanding of one another. Despite some differences, the three are kindred personality types.

The worst pairing for an INFP is with an ESTP. Despite some apparent similarities, these conflicting personality types are not likely to get along in a long-term relationship. This is because ESTPs focus too much on action and sociability for an INFP’s introverted taste.

INFPs’ tendency toward idealization is particularly relevant in meaningful relationships. This means they tend to be hopeless romantics who put their partners on a pedestal and pay special attention to their needs. This can have both positive and negative results. It sometimes causes INFPs to work very hard to make a relationship fit their standards, but it may also make them view their situation in a rose-colored way that leads to disappointment.

INFP Women

In women with the INFP personality type, the characteristic INFP traits of empathy and compassion are accentuated. INFP women are also principled and creative. They are the Princess Dianas and Audrey Hepburns of the world. Rare and unique, INFP women are indeed one of a kind.

In general, INFP personalities do well in careers that allow them to express their compassion and pursue their vision for the world in a minimally stressful environment. They thrive as artists, teachers, and counselors.

While they have strong values, their empathy allows them to understand other people’s perspectives, making sharing deeply personal thoughts and feelings with an INFP woman seem natural and freeing.


Famous People with INFP Personalities

Based on their lives, behaviors, and works, Keirsey has suggested that the following famous people fit the characteristics of an INFP:

  • Aldous Huxley, author
  • Audrey Hepburn, actress
  • Helen Keller, activist and author
  • J. R. R. Tolkien, author

Other famous INFPs:

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder, author
  • Princess Diana, Princess of Wales
  • Peter Jackson, filmmaker
  • William Shakespeare, playwright

Some famous fictional characters with INFP personalities include:

  • Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes
  • Anne, Anne of Green Gables
  • Fox Mulder, The X-Files
  • Wesley Crusher, Star Trek: The Next Generation

Best INFP Career Choices

Famous INFPs and regular people alike typically do well in careers where they can express INFP traits like creativity and vision. They are naturally inclined toward artsy things, so the humanities is usually a great field for INFP careers While they work well with others, these introverted types generally prefer to work alone. Some possible INFP career path options that might be good career matches include the following:

  • Artist
  • Counselor
  • Graphic Designer
  • Photographer
  • Librarian
  • Psychologist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Social Worker

INFPs also do well in a career path that deals with communication, such as interpreting, copywriting, or UX designing. Although it is important to note that there isn’t just one ideal career path for INFPs wanting to climb a career ladder, there are some jobs that aren’t a natural fit for the sensitive INFP. This includes jobs in law enforcement, sales, law, or any field where their moral compass or true nature might feel out of place.



INFP vs INFJ: How these Two Personality Types Differ

INFP Idealist | Identity Code

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The INFP type is also called Intermediary.

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INFP is a person who:

  • I (introversion) - focused on the inner world
  • N (intuition) - likes to work with ideas and abstractions
  • F (feeling) - trusts his feelings in making decisions
  • P (perception) - prefers freedom and unpredictability.

In Russian corresponds to the type of intuitive ethic introvert irrational.

INFPs strive for harmony in all areas of life, which is why they are often called Idealists. These are creative individuals who are guided by their values ​​and beliefs in making decisions. Reality is seen not as an opportunity to enjoy life here and now, but as the potential to create a better future. Idealists are constantly in search of truth, and seek it on their own, adhering to an individual style.

According to INFPs worldwide:

  • 4% of the total population
  • 5% of women
  • 4% of men

People with this personality type are sensitive, caring and compassionate. Since personal growth is paramount for themselves, they want the same for others. Independent and freedom-loving, Idealists also respect the right of others to self-determination.

INFPs spend a lot of time looking for implementation, generating ideas, setting priorities, and redefining values, and gently encourage others to do the same. These creative people like to find new and new ways for self-expression. But because of their craving for something new, Idealists often remain unreleased due to the inability to put their ideas into practice and complete what they started.

The inner world of a person is the subject of the greatest interest for them. Throughout their lives, they constantly strive to understand themselves and those around them more deeply. Idealists are honest, sensitive, and empathic, sensitive to the moods and thoughts of others, and find it difficult to say “no” and fight back against people who violate their boundaries.

Famous personalities of this type include:

  • Princess Diana
  • Sergei Yesenin
  • William Shakespeare
  • Hans Christian Andersen
  • Joan of Arc

The mundane aspects of life are less interesting for this type, they are more concerned with interesting ideas than practical facts. Idealists are concerned about spiritual life, so their material well-being often leaves much to be desired.

Toward Others Idealists tend to be open and friendly and may have a special interest in beliefs or alternative lifestyles that are unfamiliar to them. This explains their interest in various creeds, social and cultural groups. Idealists try to see the grain of truth in everything, draw parallels and look for correspondences, building and supplementing their concept of worldview.

Tradition does not appeal to INFPs. Idealists prefer to explore values ​​and ideas themselves and decide for themselves what is right. If most people think the same way, this is more reason for them to doubt their rightness, rather than agree with it.

  • Optimism and faith in people. Idealists sincerely believe that people are naturally good, and negative qualities are manifested due to the impact of life's difficulties. Therefore, by working on yourself, you can improve the situation for the better.
  • Orientation towards harmonious relationships . People with this personality type do not seek power, dominance, control, or direction. They are for a dialogic equal approach and cooperation.
  • Open and flexible . People of this type easily adapt to changes, tend to change and circumvent rules that are ineffective and do not work. They also tend not to impose their rules on others. As long as their cornerstone principles are not violated, they will always support others in making an independent decision.
  • Creativity and creativity. With imaginative thinking and the ability to detect patterns, Idealists create coherent concepts and artistic worlds. These are creators with an original vision.
  • Passion and dedication. If they are busy with work that is fully consistent with their values ​​and beliefs, then they devote themselves to their favorite business without a trace.
  • Diligence and patience . They tend to set themselves global goals and go towards them, overcoming difficulties and failures.

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    INFP - Inspired Idealist | GameTree Wiki

    INFPs (also known as Dreamers, Idealists, Mediators, Empaths, Humanists, EII, Dostoyevskys) are determined people who sincerely want to make the world a better place. Their main goal in life is to find the purpose and meaning of their existence. They constantly ask themselves what they can give to humanity. At their core, they are dreamers and idealists with vivid emotions and imagination.

    This type of personality is characterized by individualism, which keeps, as a shrine, its uniqueness and self-expression. Moreover, they hate to be imposed; this is due to their beliefs of equal personal space. Since they value their space but are socially active, they prefer to be in a group of people, but not in the spotlight.

    In these groups, INFPs use their intuition about people. They rely on this intuition in their endless search for the meaning of life. This personality type is very good at turning their thoughts into different forms of art, such as poetry or paintings. In terms of sympathy, they tend not to absorb other people's emotions, but to display the emotions of another person themselves. These qualities, for example, are one of the reasons for the creation of Japanese Anime, which is ardently loved by the INFP. Their idealism translates into high standards for themselves and their work for others.

  • Most often play a supporting role
  • Does not accept racing games
  • Least of all like strategies
  • Most loved open world games
  • Most prefer unusual genres and games

INFPs prefer games with deep character development and great story over fast games that require active skill. These game aspects are most often found in the RPG genre, which, in fact, is especially to the liking of the INFP. When it comes to multiplayer, INFPs prefer cooperative games and support roles in them, as they avoid conflict and do not like to be in the spotlight.

Machines, by their mechanical nature, are completely inhuman. That is why for this type of racing genre is too distant and insensitive.

Despite their abstract and creative minds, which are very well suited to strategy games, INFPs play them much less than other idealists, as the genre is too impersonal for them. However, the situation is very different with open world games, where INFPs are free to create their own stories.

As a dark horse fan, this type is not afraid to waste time on unpopular titles, discovering new and niche games.

Why you need to be a friend to INFPs

1. They will help you understand your best side.

INFPs celebrate individuality, theirs and yours. They will give you the strength to be yourself and not judge yourself strictly for those things for which you are ashamed of yourself.

2. They are loyal and kind.

Getting INFP to open you is a value in itself. What you will discover after is a real friend who will follow you to the ends of the earth.

3. Inspiring to be looked after

In addition to never judging your negatives, INFPs will admire your strengths. This is a real self-esteem boost when someone admires you, which will allow you to achieve even more.

4. They make you shine

INFPs strike a good balance for those who like to be the center of attention. You will also discover something new from their politeness and caring.

5. Artists

INFP is the type who is most likely talented and creative in drawing and as a writer. It can be very exciting to watch a person who creates art.

How to make friends with INFPs

1. Beware of their comfort zone

Although they never judge others, INFPs guard their rich inner world because they value it above all else, which makes them vulnerable. Don't criticize this guy or ask them personal questions once you've met him. Let this guy decide when to open.

2. Open up

If you open up to this type, then they, instead of harming you, will become your loved ones. Everything emotional is sweet nectar for them. For them, what is more important is not what you love, but why.

3. Do a project with them

Since many INFPs love creating characters, writing stories, this is a good activity to share with them. You can join them or take on a different role in the project. The opportunity to share something with them is very close.

4. Discuss big ideas with emotion

For this type of “deep conversations” will help you connect. It can be any topic, both personal and global.

How to make friends if you are INFP

1. Deal with depression

Because you idealize everything and everything, it's easy to lose hope when the rest of the world is not as beautiful and good as you would like it to be. Your type gets depressed more easily than others, so it is important to have good friends who will always support you.

2. Don't keep it to yourself

You have many gifts to share with the world. Often the world is callous, but that's because others are scared too. If you open up first, then others will feel safe too. You are more likely to receive the majority of the criticism for your methods, not your intent. Do not forget that healthy criticism is a help for your self-development.

3. Don't give up

If people have crossed the line, tell them so. It is difficult to express yourself correctly the first time. Given your character, you will most often feel resentment and regret that you did not rebuff a person so as not to offend his feelings.

4. Awareness of space-time

With an inner world and fantasies as deep and rich as yours, it's easy to get lost in the outside world. Writing in a diary or just to-do lists will help a lot so as not to miss anything.

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