Ever wonder if you’re really an INFP? Of course, you did. That is why you’re here. Either that, or you just took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test and you’re confused about your results.
I understand that. If your results showed that you’re an INFP, then hello! I am here, as a fellow INFP, to help you understand yourself better in words and terms that don’t sound alien to your ears.
First things first, the INFP type is known by many names, given to depict some of the defining attributes that all INFPs possess. Just to help you clear your confusion, INFP type is also known as The Idealist, the Mediator, The Dreamer as well as The Healer. The reasons behind why these particular nicknames are used for the INFPs will be explained towards the end of this article.
But first, let’s figure out if you are, in fact, an INFP.
You’re truly an introvert…
The first letter in the abbreviation for this type depicts introversion. If you truly believe yourself to be an INFP, see if any of this sounds familiar:
You get exhausted by any amount of social interaction, and end up needing alone time to help recharge your emotional battery. You’d choose to stay at home in your pyjamas and binge watch a show you’ve watched countless times before, over going to a social gathering. Any day. When you do find yourself being dragged to an event, you’re more than happy being by yourself in a bubble of bliss with either a book, a delicious snack, your phone, or your favourite person, if they go with you.
You despise becoming the centre of attention, especially when you’re unprepared for it, and you find yourself at a loss of words if that ever happens. You feel your feelings internally, and rarely have the words to express them effectively. You hate giving long monologues, despite what they show in movies – a true introvert would never. And, your company is the only company you’re happiest with.
…Who loves people.
That being said, if you’re an INFP, you will know this struggle. You are an introvert, but you are also extremely empathetic. Which means that whether you wish to or not, you always end up connecting with people. And let’s be honest, you always wish to. Human beings fascinate you. You have a natural tendency of getting people to trust you with things they’d never tell people. And you do it all to be able to help them. You get easily emotionally drained, but you would do everything in your capacity as a healer to help people with the support that they need. That’s your dilemma.
But just to be clear, you still prefer one-on-one time with people, and you hate social gatherings, especially where there’s only gossip and shallow topics are being discussed.
You are an empath.
An empath is someone who feels more empathy than an average person. They can recognize the emotions hidden behind an individual’s face, that, too, before they become obvious to other people. And you – if you are, in fact, an INFP – my friend, are an empath. Other types are good at empathising with people, too. But when it comes to you, INFP, it becomes somewhat of a responsibility for you to help people with their emotional struggles. You should be proud of that.
You avoid conflicts.
At any cost. That’s right. If you let people hurt you and still are quick to forgive just so you can avoid getting into a conflict and if you express your anger passive aggressively because you’re afraid to rock the boat, then you are definitely an INFP.
You feel like nobody else.
Yup. INFPs have the dominant Introverted Feeling (Fi) function, which is why it isn’t always evident, the depth to which you feel your emotions cannot be explained using words. You do it using your art; you write stories, poems, draw things, sing, and whatever you do, you always end up revealing just how deep your emotions actually run. You are often referred to as a cave, and you don’t let just anybody in. Only a few people get to see the real depth of yours, and even to them, you don’t reveal the entirety of your feelings.
You’re prone to jealousy.
The one emotion that you actually try to supress is jealousy. But unfortunately, you feel it. The problem is, though, that the empath in you tries to make excuses for the people you’re jealous of… If an ex of your partner tries to get back in touch with them, you’re going to feel for them. Yet, you wouldn’t be able to contain your jealousy. And remember the not wanting to rock the boat thing we talked about? Yeah, so, in order to avoid a conflict, you become passive-aggressive.
You might suggest that your beau give their ex another chance, just to see their reaction, but you’re not going to tell them it bothers you, because you don’t want them to see you become an ugly, green monster. So healthy, no?
You are an optimist but also kind of cynical?
Yes, you always try to see the best in all people and situations, and your default setting is to help people out, instead of meaningless pursuits like becoming rich or popular or getting good grades, etc. But there are also times when your world view becomes dark. You are not blind to the injustices that take place in our world, and finding the motivation to “just keep swimming” is hard to come by, when there’s so much chaos around you. In times like these, it helps if you are surrounded by people who can help encourage you and give you your hope and light back. But we all know that isn’t always possible. Genuine and meaningful connections are often hard to come by…
Moreover, the not wanting to give into the system and not giving up your individuality sometimes leave you feeling like an outsider, like you’re maybe missing out on things by not conforming. It is important, in such times, to remember what really matters, and also, that not all systems are in place to repress your true self. Getting a job that pays well, or trying hard to do well in school are not going to make you abandon your principles that you cling to for dear life.
Anyway, there are many more qualities of the INFPs that can help you figure out if you belong to our family. You may also find some insight below, as I explain a little bit about the reasons behind all the different nicknames that are given to the INFP type. Without further ado, as promised:
A name rightfully given, INFPs are called Idealists because they tend to have high expectations; from themselves, close relationships, partners, as well as from the world. They are not delusional to expect the best from the world, though. It has more to do with how they’d like to see it as a place where justice and good prevails, and there is peace.
This is because INFPs are highly empathetic, and it often mentally and physically pains them to see people suffer at the hands of unjust systems and wrongful actions of a select few. Idealists wish to bring the world into a state of peace, and since there are only four to five percent of their population living amongst us, it is not exactly possible for this type to fix the entirety of the world’s problems.
But that doesn’t stop the Idealists from trying. They push themselves and the people around them to do better every day. They are highly critical of themselves for this very reason.
INFPs are regarded as mediators due to their tendency to avoid conflicts, often at the expense of their own comfort and happiness. They are optimistic and more often than not, try to look for good, even in despicable actions and terrible situations. They are empathetic and have compassion for all, which allows them to see both sides of any conflict that other people might have gotten themselves into. So, they do the best they can, and mediate.
INFPs are known to have the secondarily dominant cognitive function of Extraverted Intuition (Ne), which allows them to have some of the most vivid imaginative skills ever. Their imagination has a world of its own. The extremely rich internal world that they have built for themselves allows INFPs to explore infinite scenarios in exquisite detail. This also helps them engage with the external world better. That being said, it is also very easy for them to lose themselves in their imagination, as their inner lives are a dominant force in their personality.
Hence, the name.
You may already be able to guess, but I thought I’d still explain this one too. INFPs, due to their empathetic nature, are naturally inclined towards helping other people. Because they see the world through the lens of their feelings, they almost have a sense that helps them absorb other people’s suffering and pain, and they have a way with healing the ones hurting. Their artistic tendencies and creativity, be it through music, drawing, writing, poetry or something else, has often proven to help people in the healing process.
INFPs, due to their nature, are highly suitable to become counsellors and therapists as well.
Granneman, J., 2018. 19 Signs that you’re an INFP, the Most Idealistic Personality Type. [Online] IntrovertDear.com. Available at: <https://introvertdear.com/news/infp-personality-type-> [Accessed 7 November 2021].
Storm, S., 2020. 24 Signs that you’re an INFP, the “Dreamer” Personality Type. [Online] Psychology Junkie. Available at: <https://www.psychologyjunkie.com/2020/06/26/24-signs-that-youre-an-infp-the-dreamer-personality-type/> [Accessed 7 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 7 November 2021].