How do you spot an INFP?

Hi there. So, are you simply curious about INFPs? Or have you met some and would like to know if they are one? Do you simply like to be able to go up to people and tell them their MBTI type as a conversation starter? Or maybe you are an INFP, currently going through yet another phase of self-doubt and you wanted to make sure you really are the Mediator type. 

Whatever your reason may be, for being on this page, I am going to help you with spotting an INFP. Since I am one myself, I think it is only relevant for me to speak on behalf of all INFPs out there. I promise I will try not to be too specific with my examples. Okay, let’s go!

The quiet, peaceful bubble of bliss. 

If you come across an individual who is sitting in a corner, either using their phone, or reading a book, or maybe eating some chicken wings while lost in a deep thought, at a social gathering, chances are, you’ve just found yourself to be in the presence of an INFP. 

It is true, when around a lot of people, INFPs are happiest when they are left alone to be in their nice little bubble of bliss. They aren’t always on their own, to be honest. They might have come with a friend or a group of friends, who, if you inquire, will absolutely be the ones that dragged the INFP there. Those friends will be the only people the INFP will be interacting with, unless someone decides to approach them. 

Whenever I am at a gathering where there are a lot of people, I am more than happy to be left alone, because I would rather sit by myself and relax than have to talk to a bunch of people and embarrass myself. 

Putting the ‘A’ in Awkward. 

Speaking of embarrassing oneself in front of people, INFPs are more than capable of managing to do that expertly. From being too uncomfortable to add on to group conversations, to nodding along pointlessly or agreeing with things people say because you didn’t hear them the first time and now you’re too mortified to ask, INFPs manage to sound as well as look awkward every single time. When faced with social situations, they tend to become very clumsy and constantly run into people, walls and doors alike, trip over their own feet, as well as step on other people’s shoes when walking behind them. 

Oh, and when nervous – or basically when around a lot of people they’re not comfortable with – INFPs have a really hard time maintaining eye contact, and they accidentally drop things. A lot.

There have been so many instances when I’ve been called out for being rude for being engaged with my phone at a gathering. Little do they know, I am trying my best not to say something weird!

One time, in university, a guy I had a huge crush on was standing outside the café, so I let my hair down and I thought I’d walk past him like a runway model. I had two water bottles and a couple of markers in my hand. So, I step outside, walk three steps, and trip. Yes, over my own left foot. Saving what is left of my dignity, I gather the things I dropped, and begin to walk again; only to drop the water bottles, followed by the markers. I didn’t dare to look back, but I was mortified.

An entire world on the inside. 

Want to spot an INFP? Know this: their extroverted intuition allows them to have the ability to come up with countless scenarios that they go through, no matter what they’re doing. They have the strongest imaginative skills, and so, it comes as no surprise that inside that head of theirs, there exists an entire world that most people are absolutely unaware of. 

This causes them to often drift off into elaborate scenes that almost constantly play in their minds. So, if you meet a person who is part of a conversation, but is barely aware of what is actually being discussed, chances are, they’re an INFP. 

As a teenager, I was constantly accused of never paying any attention in class. But I had zero control over where my thoughts wandered off to. Now that I am a fully grown adult, I have mastered the art of jumping in an out of my imaginations with the blink of an eye. But does that mean that I am now fully attentive of the tasks or conversations at hand? It took me fifteen minutes to write this paragraph, because I kept thinking about my school years, and imagining all the things I would say to my bullies if I met them today, so you tell me. 

On being approached. 

So, I said that INFPs are not very fond of initiating conversations and would like for someone else to do it for them, right? Well, even on being approached by someone, INFPs don’t automatically become Chatty McChattersons. In fact, they usually don’t appreciate being approached by strangers at all. But since they don’t like to come off as rude, they do talk to the person. They answer their questions with using the least amount of words possible, so that the person can take a hint, or get really bored and end the conversation. 

That love/avoid relationship with humans, tho. 

Though INFPs aren’t the best at holding conversations with strangers, and being around people for too long exhausts them, INFPs are actually really warm and welcoming people. They are empaths and they feel a great deal of compassion for people in general, and especially people that they get to know. They love talking to other human beings, and find them to be fascinating. Their purpose for doing that is to be able to learn all there is about a person, so they can help them the best way possible. 

If you meet a person who is quiet and reserved as part of a group, but is known by the people who are close to them as chatty and often even loud, you should know that you’ve just spotted and INFP.

Passion makes them chatty. 

INFPs are extremely passionate people. They have strong values and beliefs, and guess what? They love to talk about them. If a topic that piques the interest of INFPs is being discussed, no matter how large the gathering is, you will see an INFP participate. It may need some convincing and encouragement from a friend whether physically present, or via text. 

I absolutely despise jumping in the middle of conversations, especially if there are a lot of people with strong opinions. But talk about feminism or how oppressive capitalism can be, and I turn into a public speaker.

Must not separate the art from the artist. 

INFPs may not be the best at expressing their feelings, but they are extremely creative. Which means that they have the ability to create different forms of art. They may be a skilled writer, poet, singer, painter, dancer, or just about anything artistic that one can be. INFPs actually express that endless ocean of emotions that they feel inwardly, through these creative means. 

It is because of this very reason, that separating the art from the artist is simply not possible, because they sprinkle a part of their inner selves on their work. They show the world who they really are, without actually flaunting it. Hiding in plain sight, you know?

Observant, but not really. 

INFPs can be extremely observant of other people’s feelings. They will notice things that other people often cannot. They help people using this skill, and do small things for the people they care about. Like gifting a loved one an electric hot water bottle because they shared that their feet take forever to warm up during winters. 

That being said, INFPs can be extremely inattentive when it comes to noticing their environment and their surroundings. Imagine an individual who, effortlessly notices the way a person pauses for a micro-second before talking about their father, but they fail to notice a traffic signal that has always existed on the road they have taken to work, every single day for the past several year. 

True story, on my way to university with a friend, two years in, I noticed that there was a gorgeous building that apparently belonged to a school that hadn’t been there before. How could it have existed before? I had taken that route for two whole years! But it happened.

If you’re paying attention, INFPs are actually not difficult to spot at all. I hope that the reason why you wanted to know ways to spot an INFP is now clear, and me sharing all of my little anecdotes helped to further deepen your understanding of this rare type of the MBTI. 

Happy spotting!