Helping an INFP

We all need help and support in our lives, no matter how strong and put together someone may seem. For an INFP, it is very important to have people in their life who can be there during difficult times, because they may not always express their feelings. And if you are that someone in an INFP’s life, the information given below may really help you understand how to help your INFP by getting an understanding of how their mind works. So, let us get started on how you can help an INFP.

Let them share their feelings. 

It is best if we begin with this one first, so that you know that even though INFPs don’t often open up easily, what are the dos and don’ts of getting them to share. 

First of all, I understand that it may get a little frustrating for you to wait for an INFP to open up. But, and believe me when I say this, pushing them to share or forcing them to speak up when they’re not ready is only going to do more harm than good. It is necessary that an INFP is given their space to figure out their own feelings before opening up to other people.

That being said, it definitely helps to let them feel like they’re more than welcomed to be open about their feelings without any judgement on your part. It may help if they feel safe and calm in your presence, so they can be their real selves.

More often than not, an INFP only wants somebody to be there to listen. You do not have to fix everything for the people you love, especially for an INFP, because they might simply need to vent and let everything out, to their head is clear and come up with solutions.

And since INFPs are amazing listeners themselves, they do expect the people they surround themselves with to at least try and do the same for them and lend them an ear.

Be careful while giving advice. 

If an INFP does come to you for advice, be sure to have your diplomat face on. INFPs tend to take everything that is said to them personally, and they get offended by the advice given to them, if they’re made to feel like they’re at fault for feeling a certain way. The words you use and the tone of your voice really makes all the difference in the world.

For example, an INFP friend opens up to you about their new romantic partner smothering them, and asks you how to communicate it to them. You begin your advice with something like, “Maybe you’re just thinking too much into it, they seem to be a really caring person. Are you sure you’re not overreacting?” 

It may be true that their partner is just a naturally caring individual who hasn’t figured out a way to show affection to an INFP the way they wish to be cared for. And not everything in life can be according to how we wish for things to be. We can’t control the way other people are with us. But what we can do is communicate our issues with other people. But being made to feel like they’re at fault simply for valuing their personal space is going to impact an INFP in the most negative way. 

Because now, not only have they been told that them expecting to have their personal space respected is unreasonable, they also will begin to question if they hurt every person in their life by pushing them away. Why? Because as you may know, INFPs are extremely and almost constantly critical of themselves. Harshly communicated advice would only cause them to close up even more. So, it is really important that you’re considerate and empathetic while helping an INFP.

Being appreciated matters.

Not that they would admit to it, but INFPs really live for appreciation. They help people, try to do good, work to make this world a better place, provide their assistance whenever needed, and all they want is for the people in their lives to acknowledge that and show them that their efforts are seen.

Moreover, since INFPs aren’t really good at being organized or thinking analytically, it really encourages them when they are complimented for finishing with a project on time or organizing the bookshelf or their closet. It could be anything they’re not particularly good at. But a little compliment goes a long way.

Help them de-stress. 

If your INFP is under a lot of stress, whatever the reason may be, helping them de-stress would really be incredible for them. You don’t necessarily have to plan an expensive vacation. It could be something as simple as movie night where you can watch something they love. Maybe a long drive with nice music. Or building a fort with sheets, some fairy lights or candles, some snacks and a movie or TV show. INFPs are easy to please. You could give them their space, or simply be there with them during these activities, and just let them relax and be their own, weird self.

Flexibility, not structure.

If you have an INFP in your life, you’d know just how much they despise being caged in or being forced to do things where have to follow a tight schedule with no room to breathe. They need flexibility in their lives, they need to be given the room to use their own creative solutions to deal with problems. And while that may not always be the case in professional settings, it is definitely possible for you to not organize a plan or activity down to a tee, so the INFP can feel comfortable. Simply put, fight the urge to impose structure on an INFP.

When it comes to chores, help them. They do need flexibility in life, but if they have the room to choose to do the dishes whenever, it might never happen. So, instead of forcing a schedule on them, help them with the chore. Put on some music, make it into a fun activity. 

Saving early to avoid entrapment later.

If you’re a parent to an INFP, this one’s for you. Help your child develop the habit of saving from an early age. It’s because as they grow older, they might end up getting maybe a corporate first job, only “temporary”. And before they realize, it has been five years, and now they are stuck. They realize that they belong to a place where they get to unleash their creative side, with a flexible schedule, and the freedom to utilize their ‘out of the box’ thinking. 

And now they’re stuck because they failed to save when they first got the job. Getting trapped is awful for an INFP. There are some personality types who would focus on fulfilling their responsibilities and do what they must, even if they hate a job. This may not be possible for an INFP, and they might hold on to the job for a while for the sake of their responsibilities, but it wouldn’t work long term.

Now, if an INFP hasn’t been taught to save from a young age, this is where friends and especially romantic partners come in. If your partner hasn’t been saving up until now and has been spending however much it is that they earn, you can get them to start now. Saving for five years and then opting out and starting their own work would be a hell of a lot better than wasting more time and continuing to be miserable.

Not letting fears get in the way.

Even if an INFP has enough savings to leave their job and follow their dream, they might still remain stuck in a loop of misery. Why? Because it is not unlikely for an INFP to wait for circumstances to be created for them rather than making the decision to leave on their own. At this point, as a friend or partner to an INFP, you may want to help them overcome their fears; hold on to them, support them as they stand up to take the leap of quitting their job and getting started with creating their own path. 

At the same time, another thing to keep in mind is that once they do begin to work on their own, their fears may resurface and they might want to quit walking down the path of uncertainty and instead may want to take the safe road to entrapment. Because, it is true that success doesn’t get handed to people on day one of trying. It may take some or a lot of struggling. Being there for them during those moments of terror, helping them keep their feet firmly on the ground and continuing to encourage them is the best thing you can do for your INFP friend or partner.

Be encouraging when they take a leap of faith. 

This is the most important way of helping your INFP. When they let fears take over, they might step down from trying to break free of the societal shackles and live their lives the way they want to. They’re a creative bunch. And their true calling could be anything that allows them to let that creativity flow. 

So, if an INFP shares with you that they’re planning to, say, quit law school to pursue their dream of being a writer, do not put fears into their heads. It is more than a possibility that they have really thought things through. Remember, INFPs are highly introspective. They don’t make rash decisions. So, them coming up to you to talk about their plans is not an abrupt decision.

So, above all, simply be their support system. Keep them accountable and in tuned with their true self, so you can help them achieve inner peace, which is the main goal of any INFP out there.

Bibliography. 

Psychologia.co. n.d. 36 Ways to Make Your INFP Happy | Psychologia. [Online] Available at: <https://psychologia.co/make-infp-happy/> [Accessed 5 November 2021].

Myers, I. B. (1962). The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: Manual (1962). Consulting Psychologists Press.

https://www.myersbriggs.org

Drenth, D., 2021. Introverted Feeling (Fi) vs. Ti, Ni, & Fe | Personality Junkie. [Online] Personality Junkie. Available at: <https://personalityjunkie.com/12/introverted-feeling-fi-vs-ti-ni-fe/> [Accessed 1 November 2021].

Cherry, K., 2021. INFP Personality Profile and Characteristics. [Online] Verywell Mind. Available at: <https://www.verywellmind.com/infp-a-profile-of-the-idealist-personality-type-2795987> [Accessed 1 November 2021].

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