How do you take care of an INFP?

Whether you’re just a loving friend, significant other, or parent, and you want to learn how to best understand and take care of the INFP in your life, or you are concerned because your INFP is going through something, and you want to know how handle them during these difficult times, I’m glad that you stumbled upon this piece of writing. 

Without further ado, let’s take a dive into how to take care of an INFP, and explore this matter in a general sense, as well as when they’re in a crisis.

The general sense:

On the house front. 

INFPs are not materialistic. They are happy living on their own or ideally with the people they care about and get along with, in any type of house. They do not base their happiness on expensive living spaces, furniture, or even areas. An INFP will be happy living in a two bedroom apartment and sleeping on old mattresses, as long as they have peace in their lives.

They love food. Eating is an intensely emotional experience for INFPs, but they’d pick quality food over food you’d have to sell your kidney to afford, any day. They like having someone who can cook for them, and are very happy with being taken care of in such a way. 

Ideal place. 

It is true that INFPs are not concerned with material things. But when it comes to living, INFPs thrive in places where they can be close to nature. It helps them concentrate better, focus on what matters in life, and the natural settings like a hill station or near a river just helps them feel like they belong. Their personality draws them to natural, peaceful settings. There is no greater feeling for an INFP than to wake up to the sound of birds chirping while a river flows melodiously in the background.

The quiet, and not being able to hear the loud noises of the city, being surrounded by the people they love, and not having to run into people they don’t know is absolutely ideal for these introverts. 

On the family front.

Families that get along. Who doesn’t want that? But for an INFP, having a dysfunctional family is harmful in more ways than one. Being empaths, if an INFP grows up in a home where there is always chaos and their family often finds ways to hurt one another, it can have really dangerous repercussions on their hearts and minds. They feel the pain of each and everyone involved, and it both physically and mentally hurts them to be able to absorb all the negativity that they’re surrounded with. And they avoid conflicts. These empaths are terrified of confrontation. So, they torture themselves when they don’t stand up to, say, an abusive father or a neglectful mother. They are also highly self-critical, so you better believe they torture and blame themselves for every single thing that happens. 

If you are parents to an INFP child, you know what to do. 

And if you have an INFP partner who hasn’t had the happiest family life, you can become their family. You can hold their hand, stand by their side and help them heal. INFPs are truly special people. Do not let this cold world snuff out their light and take away their warmth. 

When in crisis:

Be their safe space. 

An INFP seeks comfort and looks for a place where they can hide and recover when faced with problems. Whether they’re dealing with childhood trauma, have lost a loved one, are feeling extremely sad because they’ve realized they cannot alone be enough to help the world heal, an INFP needs to know that they have someone they can fall back on. 

They need someone who can both provide them with a safe space, and be it for them. By that, I mean to say that INFPs need to know that the person or people they are relying on during a difficult time are going to help them, listen to them, and will not judge them or misunderstand the things they say or do. Taking care of an INFP 101 – be there for them, unconditionally. Let them express their feelings and get some burden off their chest.

Give them the time and space to process emotions.

 Yes, I did just say that you should be there for your INFP. But being there for someone and smothering them are two different things. INFPs feel inwardly, which means that they have a hard time expressing themselves with words. They need time to process their own emotions, see where their head’s at, experience the intensity of their pain on their own before they are ready to open up to other people. 

What they need most is someone who assures them that they’re not alone, while simultaneously respecting their boundaries. Be that person for them. Believe me, this is a part of taking care of them. 

Do not tell them how to feel. 

INFPs do not appreciate being forced to rush or constraint their feelings. They also do not like it when they are told to feel a certain way. Don’t expect them to move on from a tragedy, or think you can help an INFP who is grieving, by telling them your story or that of someone else’s to demonstrate them how far along they should be at any given point. Be considerate of their rate of recovery. 

Communicate, don’t fight. 

That being said, it is understandable that you are also human. If you begin to feel frustrated at any given point while trying to take care of an INFP, it is better that you openly communicate with them, rather than trying to play it cool and bottling up your anxieties and frustrations, only to end up having outbursts that end up causing more harm than good. INFPs appreciate communication. They are compassionate beings, and will surely be very understanding if you’re real with them about your feelings, instead of giving you a hard time for sharing.

What definitely doesn’t help is you picking fights with them at the worst times and aggravating the situation.

Don’t constrain their thoughts, don’t limit them. Offer you own insights, they are always much appreciated. Be authentic always.

Be respectful of their feelings and problems. 

This should go without saying, but like I said, not all of the things that bother INFPs will make sense to other people. If they are going through an emotional crisis and it’s causing them to be depressed, whether you understand it or not, be there for them, and be respectful. Do not dismiss their connection with a pet, for example, one they’ve just lost. Because it is not just an animal they took care of, it’s a part of who they are, their family. 

INFPs get attached to the strangest of things, for the weirdest of reasons. Just stand by their side and not be condescending, and definitely do not mock them for their feelings. 

Let them be near nature. 

If your INFP doesn’t live close to nature, it helps if tou take them to any such places when they’re hurting. Taking them on a vacation, or on a hike to see the sun rising on top of a mountain. Let them sit by a river with their feet dipped in the water, with music, maybe some barbeque, and peace.

It also helps if you take them to a petting zoo, or get them a puppy or a kitten to babysit for a while. INFPs are in harmony with nature, and their healing process speeds up when they have such experiences to look back at.

Plan a stay-cation and get food!

Build them a fort with fairy lights, a TV with a movie that brings them comfort, and food. Lots and lots of comfort food! Taking care of an INFP during a difficult time involves a lot of cake, snacks, and fizzy drinks. 

Help them clean up. 

INFPs aren’t the most organized people to begin with. But they aren’t sloppy either. They like keeping their living space clean and are concerned with their hygiene. Know that an INFP is struggling when their room is a mess, there’s unclean dishes all over their kitchen, and they can’t remember the last time they showered. The mess gives them anxiety to look at, but no matter what, they simply cannot bring themselves to get up and clean. Be their helper as well as their cheerleader, and get them to reorganize their home. 

Get them out of the house. 

They’re usually homebodies, but INFPs can be seriously homebound when hurting. Getting them to dress up and leave the house is a very important step in taking care of your INFP. Go for a little jog in the park with them, or a nice, long drive, a quiet dinner where you takeaway food and go sit in a parking lot and eat; as long as it gets them to step out of their house, you’re golden. 

And lastly, but most importantly:

Be reassuring and supportive. 

This is the best thing you can do to take care of an INFP in crisis. Reassure them that they’re doing great. Tell them that you’re proud of them for handling things so well, and that you are there for them whenever they need you to be. For INFPs, external reassurance that they’re not burdening the people they care about and that they’re not a lost cause can really help calm the storm of self-doubt and criticism that can go on inside their heads endlessly.