Why are INFPs misunderstood? (5 reasons)

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

Why are INFPs misunderstood?

INFPs are misunderstood because of the following 5 reasons – 

  • INFPs appear aloof and cold.
  • INFPs appear standoffish and eccentric.
  • INFPs are not taken seriously.
  • INFPs appear uninterested.
  • INFPs disappear often without any notice.

These 5 reasons why INFPs are misunderstood will be discussed in further detail below after taking a deeper look at what INFP means. 

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.   

INFP Personality Type Characteristics Are –

  • INFPs are introverts who are quiet and reserved. INFPs find that being in social situations depletes their energy, thus they prefer to connect with a small number of close pals. While they like being alone, this should not be mistaken for timidity. Rather, it simply implies that INFPs get energy from alone time. INFPs must, on the other hand, devote energy to social circumstances.
  • INFPs rely on intuition and are more concerned with the overall picture than the finer points of a situation. INFPs can be quite thorough about things that are important to them or tasks they are working on, yet they tend to overlook little or insignificant details.
  • INFPs value personal sentiments above everything else and their actions are affected more by these concerns than by objective data.
  • INFPs prefer to keep their choices open when it comes to making decisions. INFPs frequently put off making key judgments in case the circumstance changes. The majority of judgments are made based on personal ideals rather than reasoning.

What are these 5 reasons why INFPs are misunderstood?

INFPs appear aloof and cold.

INFPs have a lot of deep sentiments, but they might be so deep that they stay buried inside them and don’t show up in their facial expressions, words, or tone of voice.

They can be shy and reserved at times. They’re sometimes immersed in their own thoughts, ideas, and feelings and don’t notice what’s going on around them.

But, more often than not, INFPs genuinely care and want to express themselves, but either doesn’t know how or are unaware that they haven’t.

INFPs appear standoffish and eccentric.

INFPs aren’t generally the sort to indulge in meaningless chitchat at a party, and because some of them are socially uncomfortable, they’re more likely to be the lonely ones in the corner.

This is true in practically every scenario in life. INFPs have days when they are completely absorbed with their friends and the rest of the world. 

On other days, they’re lost in their own thoughts, doing their own thing. Or, fending off a panic attack/hiding the inner anguish they’re experiencing without letting others in on it.

INFPs’ ability to connect with friends is strongly dependent on their energy, which is heavily reliant on their emotions’ volatility. INFPs require alone time to reboot and recharge their batteries before they can be sociable.

INFPs may feel compelled to make plans with their friends on the spur of the moment, but when the time comes, they withdraw because their internal system is out of whack and not conducive to human interaction.

It’s generally unfriendly, but INFPs would rather skip a meeting than show up and give our all. They value their relationships and, at times, take them so seriously that they would rather not offend them with their internal issues.

INFPs are not taken seriously.

INFPs are frequently referred to be “childlike” and “sweet,” presumably due to their idealism, which makes them appear innocent. The majority of the time, though, they are none of these things. 

Though idealistic in that they feel things can and should be different or better, and they strive to see the best in others and appreciate their potential, they are all too aware of the reality.

They are, if anything, more serious than the majority. They’re also completely capable of being grownups. They simply go about things in their own manner.

They appear to have few limits at times. They’ll put up with a lot from others since they’re easygoing and friendly, especially if they care about someone or feel needed. However, this does not imply that they are eager to be used.

Some individuals, on the other hand, object to the boundaries they set and strive to ignore them. They require alone time to recharge since they are sensitive introverts.

Boundaries are especially crucial to them since they’re frequently strongly invested with a cause, an art form, or a passion endeavour.

INFPs appear uninterested.

Outside of their immediate network of friends, INFPs seldom make an attempt to bring their powerful emotions, deeply held passions, and well-considered views to the surface and express them in words or on their faces. 

INFPs may believe that who they are and what they’re thinking or feeling are self-evident because they are. However, they might be too delicate to be understood accurately at times.

INFPs must make an extra effort to give others a look into their multifaceted identities that they generally keep concealed beneath the surface, without realising it, to prevent such misconceptions.

INFPs disappear often without any notice.

INFPs are more likely to be socially isolated. They have an inner sacred zone where they withdraw when things get too real for them since they are prone to feeling misunderstood.

Many of them have a large number of acquaintances but just a few actual friends, and even fewer people they can trust and open up to. As a result, they may shut down and shut everyone out when they hit a stumbling block or get overwhelmed or nervous.

It can take the shape of not returning calls/texts/emails from friends, not following through on plans, deleting all of their social media accounts, and living as a hermit for a while until the inner storm passes.

Conclusion – 

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

References –

Moodie, K. Why INFP Females Are So Unique. (2017, May 28). Retrieved from https://personalitygrowth.com/why-infp-females-are-so-unique/#:~:text=INFPs%20are%20some%20of%20the,who%20can%20truly%20appreciate%20them.&text=INFP%20women%20do%20not%20believe,that%20they%20believe%20will%20last.

Fanucchi, D. 3 Ways INFPs are Misunderstood (and What You Can Do About It). Truity. (2021, June 17). Retrieved from https://www.truity.com/blog/3-ways-infps-are-misunderstood-and-what-you-can-do-about-it

Are INFPs misunderstood? Quora. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.quora.com/Are-INFPs-misunderstood

Storm, S. Here’s Why INFPs and INTPs Get Misunderstood. (2018, October 6). Retrieved from https://www.psychologyjunkie.com/2018/10/06/heres-why-infps-and-intps-get-misunderstood/

Chea, C. A Letter to Any INFPs Who Have Ever Felt Misunderstood. (2016, October 7).  Retrieved from https://introvertdear.com/news/a-letter-to-any-infps-who-have-ever-felt-misunderstood/

What do INFPs mean when they say they feel misunderstood all the time? Personality Cafe. (2017, September 11). Retrieved from https://www.personalitycafe.com/threads/what-do-infps-mean-when-they-say-they-feel-misunderstood-all-the-time.119604/page-5

INFP: So Unique. So Syncd. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sosyncd.com/personality-type-guide/infp/

INFPs often experience life sense misunderstood and seldom satisfy people with whom they feel a solid sense of being compatible.  Éole. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.eole.co/infps-often-experience-life-sense-misunderstood/