What is INFP? (7 characteristics)

This blog post aims to answer the question, “What is INFP?” and explore the various dimensions of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality type named INFP that will help understand the answer. 

What is INFP?

INFP is a personality type that stands for Introversion, iNtuition, Feeling, and Perceiving and has the following 7 characteristics – 

  • INFPs are selectively observant.
  • INFPs are intensely self-reflective.
  • INFPs have a  great sense of compassion and empathy.
  • INFPs are dreamers.
  • INFPs can be quite self-conscious.
  • INFPs love people almost as much as they love being alone.
  • INFPs are ravenous for inspiration and meaning.

Who is an INFP?

The INFP personality type was developed by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers, the authors of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®). INFP stands for Introversion, iNtuition, Feeling, and Perceiving, which are four key personality qualities based on C.G. Jung’s work.

Each of the four letters of the INFP code represents a significant personality feature of the INFP personality type. 

INFPs are stimulated by alone time (Introverted), focus on ideas and concepts rather than facts and specifics (iNtuitive), base their decisions on feelings and values (Feeling), and like to be spontaneous and flexible rather than planned and structured (Perceiving).

Because of their empathetic idealism and gentle concern for others, the INFP personality type is often known as the “Healer.” The INFP is also known by the following nicknames:

  • The Thoughtful Idealist (MBTI)
  • The Mediator (16Personalities)

An INFP prefers an unstructured and free-spirited lifestyle. INFP is an introverted and ultra-creative Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality type. The INFP is sensitive, creative, and loyal to their values.

INFPs are creative idealists who are guided by their primary ideals and beliefs. A Healer who is preoccupied with possibilities; the actuality of the time is merely a fleeting concern. INFPs see the possibility of a brighter future and seek truth and purpose in their own unique way.

INFPs are sensitive, loving, and compassionate people who are highly concerned with their own and others’ personal progress. INFPs are individualistic and nonjudgmental, believing that each person must forge their own path. 

INFPs like spending time investigating their own ideas and ideals, and they gently encourage others to do the same. INFPs are creative and frequently artistic; they like discovering new ways to express themselves.  

What are these 7 characteristics of an INFP? 

INFPs are selectively observant.

INFPs think about everything again and again and even end up dreaming about these things. It makes sense that so many of them are authors and creatives. Having a place where INFPs may at least partially externalise some of their racing thoughts is beneficial.

An example of an extremely critical or thoughtful comment made by an INFP is when they are overly particular about a minor detail that most people wouldn’t give a second thought to. 

INFPs are not very perceptive, though. INFPs may overlook logistical details when they are preoccupied with thoughts that are far bigger (or weirdly specific).

Although INFPs are keen observers and very perceptive of their surroundings, they can sometimes get so engrossed in the present that they momentarily lose track of time.

INFPs are intensely self-reflective.

Early on in a conversation, INFPs gently bring up intricate personal insights regarding the subtleties of their own minds.

For instance, Fernando Pessoa, a Portuguese poet and philosopher who is thought to be an INFP, published a whole book about his own mental observations. Its title is The Book of Disquiet, and it’s written from various of his alter egos’ points of view.

INFPs have a great sense of compassion and empathy.

Even while INFPs frequently reflect on themselves, this does not always imply that they are self-centred. Because many INFPs, like the aforementioned Pessoa, come to the realisation that they are fragmented beings who are continuously in flux via self-analysis, INFPs are highly sympathetic and open to others. 

Because INFPs have encountered individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and occupations, INFPs can relate to them. INFPs frequently care about other people’s well-being. 

People with INFP personalities are the ones who will inquire about your well-being and then suspect a lie when you say that everything is alright. 

The INFP personality type, often known as “the Mediator personality type,” will never be pleased living simply for themselves and their own accomplishments, nor will they be contented if they are a part of oppressive or complacent systems. 

Often more than anything else, INFPs genuinely cherish compassion in both themselves and others. When others are suffering, it hurts INFPs a lot—sometimes so much that they begin to feel that suffering themselves. 

This may be detrimental, especially in partnerships where INFPs may absorb all of the mental weight of the other person. An INFP is someone who exhibits both strong empathy and reticence, maybe out of apprehension about being overly vulnerable.

INFPs are dreamers.

An INFP is someone who appears to be “out of it”—distracted, elsewhere—but who yet has a genuine desire to hear other people out.

Dreaminess has advantages and disadvantages. 

The time spent elsewhere thinking about nothing is not spent by INFPs. Because of their vivid imaginations, INFPs are creative and imaginative people who have large, bold ideas about how to improve the world.

INFPs can be quite self-conscious.

INFPs can be reserved and quiet, like many introverts. Even when they become at ease around certain individuals, INFPs are rarely able to break free from the coil of their own self-awareness. The collection of bones and flesh that INFPs have been given might make them feel odd at times. 

When they feel at ease, INFPs may be elegant. When they are in the right frame of mind, INFPs may excel in interviews and presentations.  INFPs communicate about topics they are passionate about, are knowledgeable about, or can listen to in a conversation. 

However, when interacting with someone they don’t know well, INFPs tend to shuffle about on their feet, struggle to make eye contact, and have trouble deciding where and how to position their hands.

INFPs love people almost as much as they love being alone. 

Although short interactions (such as simple text messages) might be draining, INFPs have a deep-seated need for connection. Small talk doesn’t satisfy INFPs, but if they connect with someone, they can spend their entire day with them.

When the ice starts to break, INFPs look distant and even hostile yet immediately start to open up widely. When meeting someone for the first time, INFPs may have an extremely uncomfortable chat before saying something surprisingly heartfelt or revelatory.

But regardless of how close an INFP is to someone, they must eventually return to themselves and the natural environment. INFPs value their alone time, in part because they believe they are the only ones who truly understand them. 

For INFPs, time spent alone and in nature can be incredibly soothing and re-energizing, and they yearn for a healthy mix of seclusion and fulfilling human interaction.

INFPs are ravenous for inspiration and meaning.

The world is experienced strongly by INFPs, and it doesn’t take much for them to have profoundly spiritual or transformative encounters. On the other hand, INFPs rapidly lose satisfaction if they keep to routines and don’t spend any time venturing outside of their comfort zones.

The kinds of adventures that INFPs like are different from those that other people do. An abandoned old mill may be as lovely as a royal castle in an INFP’s eyes, and they may like exploring strange sites throughout the world like these. 

Road excursions and visiting locations that are amenable to their own original observations are likely to be enjoyed by INFPs.

Conclusion – 

This blog post aimed to answer the question, “What is INFP?” and reviewed the features and functions of the introverted and extremely inventive Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality type named INFP to help determine what INFPs are like. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments you may have.

References –

Cherry, K. INFP: The Mediator (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving). (2021,  July 23). Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/infp-a-profile-of-the-idealist-personality-type-2795987#:~:text=INFP%20(introversion%2C%20intuition%2C%20feeling,%22%20or%20%22mediator%22%20personality.

Mediator Personality INFP-A / INFP-T (WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?). 16 Personalities. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.16personalities.com/infp-personality

INFP, The Healer. Truity. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.truity.com/personality-type/INFP

Granneman, J. 12 Secrets of the INFP Personality Type. Introvert, Dear. (2018, January 14). Retrieved from https://introvertdear.com/news/10-type-secrets-of-the-infp/

Drenth, A. J. INFP-T vs. INFP-A Personality Type. Personality Junkie. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://personalityjunkie.com/05/infp-t-vs-infp-a-personality-type/

Why is the INFP personality type called ‘mediators’? Quora. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.quora.com/Why-is-the-INFP-personality-type-called-mediators

INFP-A (Assertive) and INFP-T (Turbulent) Personalities Compared In-Depth. HIGH5TEST. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://high5test.com/infp-a-and-infp-t/

INFP Personality Meaning – Mediator Personality Type.  Harappa Learning Private Limited. (2021, August 19). Retrieved from https://harappa.education/harappa-diaries/infp-personality/

Kennerly, A. INFP: The Mediator. (2021, January 27). Retrieved from https://www.thecareerproject.org/blog/infp/