They can be! That’s the simplest answer, to be honest.
If we were to look deeper into the matter, which we’re going to, you would realize that this isn’t as big of a shock as it seems to be. INFPs can absolutely be analytical. When it comes to the MBTI, if you’re strong in one thing, it definitely does not mean you have to be weak in the other. That is not a thing.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have made several of my friends, family members as well as colleagues take the personality test (what can I say, I like to have a mental image of a person in mind when I’m writing about a certain personality type – helps me feel more connected to my work, so I’m trying to find all sixteen), and one thing that a majority of the people had in common was one thing, a lack of understanding of the concept.
Let me elaborate. I had a colleague as me, “so if I have the qualities of a feeler, does it mean I can’t be articulate and calculated?” And then a really close friend of mine go, “My wife thinks I can be cold and distant at times, and now I’m gonna tell her it’s in my personality, I can’t help it!”
And honestly, a lot more examples like these exist, which made me realize that there needs to be a disclaimer before I ask someone to take the test next. That one thing that a lot of people fail to understand is, if you are strong in one thing, it doesn’t make you automatically weak in the other. If your results show you’re a thinking type, sure, it means that you prefer to use logical reasoning and articulation to figure out solutions to your problems. But what needs to be understood is that this does not indicate an ability, simply a preference. If a thinking type has a problem, they feel some way about it, right? That’s why they term it as a problem.
For example, if someone gets into an accident in front of a thinking type, they may be more inclined towards using their head and coming up with the logical solution of taking them on a motorbike because an ambulance will take twice as long to come for help. But they were able to consider the accident as a problem that needs to be fixed, because they care about saving a stranger’s life.
What I meant to communicate with the above given example is that an individual doesn’t necessarily have to lack empathy or warmth just because they prefer to use the logical side of their brain more often.
At the same time, just because a feeler type relies more on, well, their feelings, does not mean that they cannot prove to be helpful in a crisis situation. They can come up with creative and analytical ways of doing things more efficiently.
For example, Taylor Swift is definitely an NF, which means that she is an intuitive feeler. But she comes up with some of the smartest ideas to help with her album sales. She wasn’t being allowed to own her own music, so she found a loophole and is now not only rereleasing all of her old music so it can belong solely to her, but she is also adding more music that didn’t make it in the albums the first time around. She is putting out her old work, and rebranding herself. Her ten minutes long version of her old song All too Well was made number 1 on Billboard Hot 100! A ten minute long musical number. If that’s not both creative and analytical, I don’t know what is.
Point is, everybody does everything. It is not possible for a person to do one and not the other and survive. What a type indicates is over time, what a person prefers to do, how they prefer to see the world or deal with their problems more often than not. The MBTI results show percentages at the end, revealing how introverted an individual can be, for instance. But if they are 57% introverted, that still leaves room for 43% extraversion.
At the same time, the individual is labelled as an introvert because they are introverted more often than not, not because they cannot be extraverted.
So, to answer your question, yes, INFPS can be analytical.
For instance, if we were to compare them with INFJs, whose world view comes from the function of Ni (a perceiving function), INFPs lead with Fi (a judging function). This comparison is important because INFPs are generally perceiving types, while INFJs are (obviously) a judging type. But as I said, Introverted Intuition is a perceiving function, which are exploratory in nature, more open to unexpected changes – and while INFJs are considered to be people who have rigidity in their ideas and plans, and like to have control over their lives, the introverted-ness in their intuition actually means that their perceiving function is hidden from the people around them.
On the other hand, INFPs lead with a judging function, while their secondary function of Ne (extraverted intuition) is a perceiving function that they express outwardly. What I’m trying to say is that INFPs are more structured and analytical on the inside, and usually only express their laidback, spontaneous side openly to other people – as a result of which, they appear to not be as structured and controlling as INFJs appear to be, who actually keep their spontaneous, artistic side on the inside (and often don’t appear to be in possession of it, at all).
INFPs and their analytical side.
See, as we already know, INFPs prefer to spend most of their time on their own. An obvious reason for it is that being away from social obligations helps them recharge their social as well as emotional batteries.
But another, lesser known reason for it has to do with an INFP organizing their thoughts and actions to analyse them critically. They are known to be over-thinkers, but their thoughts aren’t as haywire and all over the place as it often appears to be. In fact, the inside of an INFP’s head is an elaborate web of structured, well-thought out, articulate and coherent explanations and thoughts that they rarely ever share with other people.
As I said, they like to analyse their own actions, think through the mistakes they’ve made to hold themselves accountable, come up with better outcomes for haphazard, rushed decisions they may have made under pressure, and even make predictions about the future and better strategies for dealing with problems they may or may not be faced with. Sure, their thoughts are integrated with how they feel about a certain problem, and their decisions are morally inclined, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as an INFP can be analytical when need be.
INFPs are analytical, in a different way.
What do I mean by different? Well, when we think of the word “analytical”, our minds go to a specific definition that has to do with numerical values and numbers. INFPs are not always very numerically inclined. There aren’t many INFP finance guys or accountants, mathematicians, physicists, or even economists. That may be because these introverted feelers do not care for numbers. They are concerned with the human experience, and what makes people happy and spreads peace to the masses. Interest in numbers may awaken if it tugs at the empathy strings in their hearts.
INFPs are incredible with analysing different aspects of the human condition. They are empaths, so they can take one look at an individual – notice their tone while speaking, along with the words being used, facial expressions being shown, and those being hidden yet not well enough, the body language – and know how they’re feeling, as well as what kind of a person they may be.
INFPs are also highly analytical about intangible concepts like literature, music, poetry, movies, and art. They can go on for hours, talking about the masterpiece that is a certain movie, pointing out things about an artist’s work that an overwhelming majority would never be able to, and share insight into philosophical concepts that go over the heads of most listeners.
Analytics are for them curious folks.
And boy, are INFPs curious! You must know that these people like to be given space and the creative freedom to assess and analyse numerous aspects that they can think of, and those that they cannot comprehend. INFPs thrive when they’re presented with questions they don’t have readymade answers prepared for. They are exploratory in nature, and like to experiment with their work and lives alike.
The reason why most INFPs prefer to work on their own is because it gives them the space that they need to be thoughtful and analytical. They tend to fixate on one concept that they don’t completely understand, and they make the effort, go the extra mile, and learn everything there is to know about it.
I have come across INFP coders, data analysts, and even one mathematician. And these people are absolutely content with their work. They like the structure that their work gives them, in their otherwise chaotic minds. Plus, as INFPs they like to constantly challenge themselves, and do better every single day. INFPs tend to become obsessed with decoding complex things and concepts, and learning how unexplainable things work. It fills them with a sense of accomplishment when they push themselves to master skills they either find hard, or are told are not their cup of tea.