According to a brief Google search, very. INFP males are not easily found, because there aren’t many to begin with. According to available data, where INFPs in general exist as 2-5% of the population, male INFPs are only 1 – 1.5%.
As an INFP female, I can confirm that I have never met a male INFP in my life. And even if I had met some, I have a suspicion that they wouldn’t have confessed to belonging to the INFP family, and I don’t think I would ever have been able detect either. So, now that we have established that INFP males are quite rare, let us try and figure out why INFP men are so rare?
INFP traits and societal norms
The society has very clearly defined gender roles for men and women, and even today, if someone is to deviate from said roles, all hell breaks loose. There are masculine traits for men, and feminine traits for women. And there is to be no interchanging or stepping out of the two categories. We’d like to think that the world is now progressive, and such strict rules no longer apply, but the truth is, a large majority of the world still has the same beliefs they did fifty years ago.
Thanks to the ever-prevailing patriarchy, this gendered segregation is still very much in play. And patriarchy doesn’t only impact women or marginalized communities, it also targets men, and it does this so sneakily, that men actually fail to understand how they’re also being oppressed by this system.
INFP males are a group that suffer heavily because of this. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at some of the defining INFP characteristics and I’ll prove to you that societal influences are behind INFP males being so rare.
INFPs are introverts. That is evident from the first letter in their abbreviation. And as introverts, they like to mostly be on their own, and spend time doing activities that they enjoy. They have a very small circle of friends that they share their lives with and trust. INFPs are often perceived as shy, but they’re simply just not comfortable in social settings that involve a lot of people they either don’t know at all, or are well-acquainted with, but aren’t close to.
Being socially active exhausts them mentally, takes it a while for an INFP to recover from. Their introversion makes them seem boring, not lively enough.
Men are usually considered manly when they can handle any situation, whatsoever. The general society doesn’t always comprehend men being anxious or displaying discomfort being around people. Introverts are usually seen as loners, or called losers for not trying hard enough to fit in.
INFP men could pass for being mysterious and brooding, but confident and choosing to stay out of the spotlight. But then their social awkwardness kicks in. Sure, not all INFPs are socially awkward, but I can imagine an INFP finding it difficult to get people to relate to him from a very young age, and eventually growing up with social anxiety.
INFPs are intuitive, and that means they perceive and process their information using their gut and what we often refer to as a sixth sense. Intuitive people tend to provide an insight into the prospect and likelihood of things happening. They use their inner voices to navigate the world around them.
If you know someone who has an “N” in their type, as INFPs do, it may not come as a surprise to you that their concepts are more abstract and future oriented, and that they heavily rely on what their gut tells them. They are also more likely to have a very active imagination. INFPs have a hard time focusing on the information that is presented in front of them, because if their intuition tells them otherwise, there’s no way they’re ignoring it.
Men, in general, are expected to be very detail oriented. They are seen as being more analytical than women, and analytical beings use logic and reasoning to make their decisions, and figure things out in life, not their inner voice! Even if there are men out there who have a very strong sense of intuition and they use it for good, chances are, they’re not very logic-oriented; and that just appears to be very feminine to most people. A man who isn’t analytical? How could he! Imagine an INFP boy being mocked for being intuitive and in tuned with his inner voice. I’d want to change or conceal myself too.
Extraverted Intuition (Ne).
When it comes to INFPs, their secondary cognitive function is Ne, and it facilitates INFPs to have their vivid, endless worlds of imagination that only adds to their depth. They can entertain countless ‘what if’ scenarios, which can help them analyse each and every aspect of a situation before they can settle on a course of action.
It is because of this function that INFPs are likely to lose themselves in their imaginary world. Their inner world is way more exciting and richer than their outside lives, and they do often have a hard time remaining present in the real world, especially in public gatherings.
A man who daydreams and it isn’t about profanities? Unacceptable!
Empathy and Compassion.
Types like the INFPs, where the F is preceded by an N or iNtuition, tend to follow their emotions and base their decisions on what feels right in their heart. These people are extremely compassionate. INFPs are empaths, who can sense when someone needs help and support. Their care comes from a place of warmth, and they tend to be highly protective of the small group of people they consider their people.
Warmth and compassion aren’t usually adjectives that men are associated with. Men often take pride in being free of “all of these girly emotions”. Which explains why there aren’t many INFP men roaming the streets, because they do not fit into the stereotype of being emotionally stunted, physically grown babies. INFP men actually take the time to think about other people’s needs, and so, they are often seen creating safe spaces for people to express their feelings. In the real world, they are often referred to as the “nice guys” or “simps” and are constantly made to feel that no woman would ever wish to be associated with the likes of them.
So, even men who are INFPs wouldn’t feel comfortable being openly empathetic and going around helping people, not when they know it’s not going to help their already almost non-existent social standing.
That being said, INFP men have dominant cognitive function of Introverted Feeling, which essentially means that even though they experience feelings of a great depth, they process these emotions on the inside. They are highly empathetic and care for people in general. However, they don’t always find it easy to express these emotions outwardly. They often appear to be closed off and uninterested due to this very reason. And funnily enough, their cool and brooding, “mysterious” vibe is a result of this function too.
It is true that INFPs they are extremely creative, and often find solace in the arms of different art forms. They are mostly best suited for professions that allow them to let out their creativity. It can be anything from writing, poetry, dancing, candle making, or designing. And as you may know, some of these careers more than others, are considered to be very feminine.
Real men choose the sciences!
Due to their empathetic nature, INFPs are also very well-suited to become therapists and/or counsellors. And it is known that psychology isn’t considered to be the manliest of fields. INFP males who opt for a career in psychology often face a lot of criticism from family, friends, teachers, and colleagues alike, and are often told that this is not where they belong.
In my school, we had one male student in our batch of psych majors. He might have been an INFP, but I never got the chance to find out, because before my introverted butt could reach out, all that pressure got to him, and he changed his major.
INFPs avoid conflict like it’s the plague. They get very uncomfortable when it comes to confrontation. Preferring to keep their peace and getting along with the people around them, INFPs are not generally aggressive people. They want to be able to maintain harmony in their surroundings.
Men, in general, are expected to be aggressive and all up in people’s faces. They are known for taking things they want from other people, and even use physical force to get what they want. Men who are INFPs, often struggle with maintaining a façade to keep themselves from being mocked for being “too soft”. From a very young age, they’re taught to be manly and do manly things. It becomes difficult for the INFP males to continuously resist this, and they find themselves conforming, more often than not, because it helps maintain harmony.
Life really is difficult for INFP males. But however rare they may be, they are loved and appreciated by the people who care about them. In the grand scheme of things, that is the one thing that truly matters.