The Perception of INFP Personality Type

INFPs are often perceived as being very hard to read and comprehend. Some people are in awe of them, and are roped into getting to learn more about the mystery that an INFP can appear to be, while others see them as dull and boring. There are many misconceptions about what INFPs really are like, let us take a look at them and try and explain the perspective of INFPs, and of the people who may know an INFP closely. 

They are very mysterious

Of course this is the first thing we will talk about. INFPs appear to be very mysterious. As I said previously, it is not uncommon for people to come across an INFP and become intrigued to learn more about them. These people are considered to be mysteries, because their dominant cognitive function is Fi (Introverted Feeling), which means that the processing of their emotions is done internally. 

This is why most people find them to be a mystery, because an INFP doesn’t open up about how they’re feeling all that quickly.

They don’t really care about people vs. They are very caring 

This varies from one person to another. INFPs are usually perceived as dispassionate and indifferent towards other people, because they are not known for reaching out to others and helping them. However, INFPs are some of the most empathetic people out there. They simply like to not walk up to strange people and ask them if they need help. Because INFPs are really bad at social interaction, they’d rather not make the first move and talk to someone. 

But it obviously depends. An INFP may not be the hero running up to a kid who just got pushed by a bully and fell on the ground, at school, because all of that attention becomes unbearable for them. But they are absolutely going to talk to the kid afterwards, to make sure they’re okay. They may share their own bullying experiences and try their best to help this person, as long as it isn’t in front of a bunch of other people. 

People who have been helped by an INFP and/or know an INFP closely know just how deeply one can care, and these people will always be found to disagree whenever someone claims that these introverts just don’t care about human people. 

They can also come off as arrogant, distant and cold to people. Until and unless they dig a little deeper and see the warmth and compassion for others that they bring with themselves. 

They are closed off and shy vs. They are great conversationalists and complete weirdoes 

Another set of opposite viewpoints related to the perception of an INFP involves them not being able to converse with people, and not really opening up when asked to share. INFPs are generally socially awkward, and they don’t like being the centre of attention, no matter what. So, when in social situations, an INFP is asked to share personal things about themselves in front of people they may or may not have interacted with before, they usually do come off as shy. When they’re asked questions by an extrovert they’ve just met and only interacted with for the sake of social niceties, they do appear to be closed off.

But that is because an INFP works with the Fi function as their executive one, which means that they process information inwardly, and may not always be able to express things with words, and definitely not when they’re put on the stand by strangers in social settings.

The opposite end of people’s perception of INFPs is that they hold great conversations, and it is true, as long as the conversation is one on one – because that sort of interaction really is an INFP’s cup of tea – and they’re not the ones having to make the first move and initiate the interaction. 

People who know INFPs personally, know that they can be absolute weirdoes when they’re comfortable in someone’s presence. The fact that these introverts are some real oddballs is something most people never get to learn. 

They don’t like to smile

This one is a general misconception, and something that I have been asked about. INFPs love to smile! We are just not always comfortable around a lot of people, especially if the people are rowdy and loud. But those are exceptions for when we’re socially awkward. It may come as a surprise to some, but we love to laugh real hard too. 

I was accused by a guy online, very recently, of faking being an INFP, because in the videos that I share on social media of my birthday and other occasions, I am always smiling. And… where does this even come from, that’s what I’m curious to find out.  

They are very child-like and naïve vs. They are dark and messed up 

INFPs are perceived as child-like, because they tend to cry a lot, and have an extremely optimistic world view. And then comes the perception that paints them as being messed up in the head, because they can say the darkest of things, and become cynical at times. 

These are both accurate. INFPs feel their emotions so deeply, that sometimes when they express them outwardly, they become so overwhelmed, they end up crying. And it happens with all kinds of emotions. The reason why INFPs don’t usually like to share how they’re feeling is because they come off a being too intense and other people cannot usually handle that. Be it positive emotions, which make them seem like very naïve people who have limitless faith in other people and in the collective goodness of humanity, versus feelings of melancholy when an INFP is down, and feels the burden of the world on their shoulders. 

They cancel plans and ghost people

Okay, I have been accused of this so many times, by some really close friends. And it’s not even a lie. This is not me, trying to justify being rude, because I do know it comes off as rude, and for that, I am forever apologetic. 

That being said, INFPs work really hard to come through for their people and try not to be complete disappointments for them, they end up failing anyway. Especially when it comes to talking or making plans that involve a lot of social interaction. INFPs seriously need to be by themselves and recharge their emotional batteries. And their extraverted friends may not be able to understand this, but it really is a serious thing for the INFPs. 

They don’t always have the energy to join their friends on plans that require them to be social, and they do sometimes go completely off the radar, not to be seen, or heard from. But it is all part of the process they need to go through, in order to be better friends. And no, they do not hate you if they don’t talk to you every single day. 

They hate talking about themselves and sharing their feelings

INFPs don’t hate sharing their feelings and talking about themselves. They just don’t always know what to say. It takes them a while to navigate their own emotions, and they do so, internally. So, they may appear to be uncomfortable when asked questions about their lives and feelings, but they’re simply just unsure as to what to say.

Also, INFPs do not open up about their lives to just about anybody. It takes them a long time, and being able to trust someone and know that they connect with them, before they’re able to share intimate details of their lives with them. 

They don’t feel emotions like normal people 

It is true that INFPs don’t feel and process their emotions like other people. Because they have such depths to what they’re feeling at any given moment, that if they were to share their experience with anyone, in a raw, unfiltered form, it would be way too intense for the person to handle. Which is why INFPs often express how they feel about different things through the medium of art. 

They don’t use social media or talk to people online

Au contraire, INFPs are very talkative in the online world. They find it much easier to communicate via texts, memes, photos and even videos – just as long as they get to avoid face to face conversations with people. 

They are self-righteous and pretentious.

It isn’t a surprise that they come off as self-righteous, but the truth is, INFPs genuinely care about helping other people, and do focus a large part of their time on trying to save the world. They also get genuinely and overwhelmingly sad when they’re hit with the realization that one person cannot fix the world, even if they give up their own personal lives to do so. 

INFPs do not appreciate pranks or bullying, and don’t stand for things like that. They also get offended by trolls who hurt people online for no reason. 

INFPs can seem pretentious at times, but aren’t all creative types prone to a little bit of it?

Whether people’s perception of the INFP is accurate or not, I would just like to urge anybody who reads this to at least give an INFP a chance and dig a little deeper. There can be multiple layers to an INFP, almost as if they’re an onion, especially because paying attention to what lies in the depths of an INFP’s soul can bring tears to your eyes, but there’s always a core that reveals itself once you’re done peeling.