INFPs don’t appear to be fearless people, unlike their extraverted counterpart, the ENFP. In fact, most people believe INFPs to generally be cowardly and easily scare-able. This may be because of the way an INFP is perceived by the general public. For being so deeply in touch with their emotions, these introverted feelers are often labelled as weak, and what else comes to mind when we think of someone to be weak? That’s right, being fearful. INFPs get a lot of flak for having such a strong, deep connection with their emotions, whether they’re female or male.
However, it is important to understand that INFPs are not cowardly, at all. I actually believe that being so in sync with how one feels, and trying to regulate one’s emotions is one of the scariest, bravest things ever! So, INFPs may not be cowards, but they, like all other people, are haunted by many a fear. Let us take a look at some of the things that INFPs are afraid of.
Failing to live the ideal life.
You may or may not know this, but INFP type is more commonly known as the Idealist. This name has been given to the INFP, because people who fall into this category tend to be seriously idealistic. These people have very high, often unreasonable standards that they spend their entire lives struggling for. An INFP seeks wonderment and a new goal/dream to constantly keep them occupied. They wish to obtain the perfect house that they buy with their hard-earned money, because of a perfectly fitting job, and they live happily ever after with their perfect, ideal partner.
This gets to their head a lot, because contrary to the belief of the INFP, life as we know it, is highly unpredictable and often disappointing. But an INFP is so enchanted by the perfect life that is just within their grasp, they become sort of oblivious to the harsh realities of life. They are constantly fearful of never being able to live a life where most things as well as people are damaged and dripping with imperfection and flaws.
Social situations and interaction.
Social anxiety is a friend to an INFP. This does not mean that all INFPs have social anxiety or that they can’t interact socially like other people. Simply put, INFPs are introverts. They feel uncomfortable being surrounded by strangers, or people they don’t have a connection with. They struggle with public speaking, and are afraid of becoming the centre of attention. INFPs prefer to either be left on their own, or be surrounded by a small group of people they know and trust.
It becomes a battle for an INFP to interact with a large group of people, and they are often talked over, interrupted or even blatantly ignored. This is where the fear comes from. Since INFPs don’t enforce their presence on to other people, it is easier to dismiss them in social situations. And it is because of this fear, and their lack of confidence in the fact that they have interesting things to say that other people may want to listen to, that most INFPs don’t even bother trying to jump into conversations.
Losing their sanity.
It’s a fact that INFPs feel emotions with a depth and intensity that often leaves other people speechless. Most people cannot even begin to comprehend the kinds of thoughts that go on inside the mind of an INFP. They have a vivid sense of imagination, and they often end up losing themselves in elaborate daydreams and scenarios.
INFPs are afraid – or rather, they’re made to feel negatively about these abilities that they possess – that the way they are, the way their thought process works, and the sort of theories and notions they allow themselves to explore, might one day cause them to lose their minds. INFPs are usually viewed as odd and weird, they struggle to fit in to the “normal” parts of the society, in general. And at times, this realization becomes overwhelming for these intense feelers, and turns into fears, as irrational as they may be.
What? But they choose to be alone! How can an INFP be fearful of loneliness?
If that’s what you’re thinking, we need to understand the difference between being alone and being lonely.
An individual, especially if they’re an INFP, can be all on their own, majority of the time, and be content and at peace. While other times, being around a lot of people can make a person feel like they’re on their own with no support. INFPs have a small group of people they can trust with their lives. They are constantly afraid that at any point, these people who are most important to them are going to realize that the INFP isn’t worth all the trouble, and leave them to be alone and lonely for good.
Calling people and/or picking up calls.
This is something that I have personally noticed in nearly all the introverted types that I’ve come across, but INFPs, especially, are really afraid of making phone calls, as well as answering their phones. They get all fidgety and uncomfortable if they unexpectedly get a call from someone out of nowhere, and even feel uneasy if they are asked in advance to join a phone call. When it comes to making calls, INFPs try to either pass it on to others, or put it off for as long as they possibly can.
I have an INFP friend who once wasted an incredible job opportunity because she was too scared of the idea of giving an interview on call. I don’t know what it is, but INFPs are terrified of phone calls. They hugely prefer texts, emails, and even handwritten letters – count an INFP in for a nice, one on one, face to face conversation, too. Just don’t call them. And don’t even think about video-calling them!
Becoming bad people.
INFPs have a very strong sense of right and wrong. These people do give the benefit of the doubt to other people, but they’re quite hard on themselves. They have a very strong moral compass, which they always keep activated, and criticise themselves constantly. They’re afraid that if not kept in check and under control, they have the tendency to be a villain. They think that they’re capable of unleashing a darkness unto the world that will overshadow all the good things they’ve ever done, combined.
Failing the people they love.
An INFP can learn to live under any circumstances, but they may never not be afraid of failing the people they have made promises to, and become close with. To simplify, if an INFP is close to you and loves and appreciates you, the more of a connection they develop with you, the more their fear takes over. And they become anxious and insecure, and go above and beyond to keep the people who matter to them from becoming disappointed in them.
Deteriorating state of the world.
INFPs are empathetic and highly compassionate people. They can sense the pain of other people deeply, and believe in helping mankind to the best of their abilities.
When they see societies crumble, economies crash, people brutally murdered, and other groups putting blame of all the mess on the victims, the INFP hearts ache. These introverts are very observant of the human condition, and are afraid to see humanity so severely divided.
Being a fraud.
INFPs live in a state of constant and utter self-doubt. They are quick to question their abilities, and are highly critical of themselves. These people have immense talent, but they fail to see just how incredible they can be. They see themselves as talentless, and are afraid that they may never be good enough. This leads to a severe case of Imposter’s Syndrome, and an INFP cannot help but feel like they’re fooling people with hollow potential and false promises of a talent they do not possess.
Causing someone harm.
One of the biggest fears that an INFP has is that they will hurt someone. These introverted feelers are highly aware of the people around them. They are empaths, who can absorb what someone may be feeling at any given moment, based on their body language, expressions, or lack thereof. They understand that everybody has their own battles to fight, and that all human beings go through difficult times. Which is why they prefer to always be kind, and spread as much positivity as they can.
This doesn’t mean that INFPs are perfect and they don’t make mistakes. Even if they end up unintentionally hurting a person’s sentiments, an INFP beats themselves up for causing someone pain for a very long time, and usually find peace once they’ve made it up to said person.
INFP type is an intuitive type. These people are more often than not well-aware of the things that scare them, and they try to make sense of a lot of those things to other people. Because not everything is easily comprehendible and obvious to most other types. So, I hope this piece helped you gain a better understanding into what INFPs may be afraid of.