Warning: This post has “generalizations.” But I can speaking mostly from my perspective, and my own research on INFPs.
I would like to mix things up a bit. I’ve been kind of obsession/ having a curiosity about my own Myers Briggs. I am an INFP (Introverted, intuitive, feeling, perceiving). When I first read my own Myers Briggs, I felt like it boxed me in, limiting my potential. The more I read into it, I relented to the fact that this was me. In fact, it further developed my ability to see and perceive my strengths and weaknesses. For some time, I didn’t realize that I was an introvert. Most of society has had negative connotations of introverts. People who recharge by themselves are introverts. Introverts tend to be stimulated internally being alone, while extroverts need external stimuli, so they won’t be bored. Generally, they feel most energetic, alive, by interacting with others. Not to say that introverts don’t like other people, but that they don’t necessarily need the company.
As an external intuitive type, I tend to be drawn and energized by theories, concepts, and abstractions. This is totally in my arena. Intuitives seem to “know” things, before hearing or reading it in a book. I think it’s important to place both intuitive, feeling together. I think NF’s can see irony from a mile away, quick in making connections, associations, and communicating in metaphors. Perceivers like to do things as they go, picking up new skills quickly. They tend to be sensitive types, quick to laugh, quick to cry.
Introverted feeling is something so difficult to describe. When I stub my toe, sometimes I’m screaming in my mind, jumping around. No one knows what’s going through my mind, by it feels like snow plow dug into my nail. While other types would be expressing emotion with the verbosity of a sailor, introverted feelers internalize and sort through emotions. We have difficult expressing them because of the level of intensity that we feel. We often have to metaphors and images, because we don’t want to downplay the emotion. When an INFP is emotionally charged, they can be quite good at arguments, picking apart every weakness of the other person. They might tie this emotion with a memory of the past, eternally reliving it. They can dwell on emotions, being dragged further into that black hole of emotion. Speaking from experience, I’ve been trapped on the hamster wheel of emotions. But INFP get bored easily of prolonged emotions, they tend to be positive and idealistic as well. They can shift from one state of gloominess, to see the positives from the distant future. They are always looking forward due to their “perceptive” nature. Life is hard from the INFP, but they are truly unstoppable forces, because they are driven internally by emotion.
One of the ways I believe that I’ve been growing as an INFP, is that I’ve been training my “intuitive” nature, and also my perceiving. I recently watched a video, that confirmed a way I’ve been growing since I became an adult. Rather than staying in what they call “hermit” mode, which some INFP’s can be prone to do (being shy, away from others who might know them), they can start exploring the world. INFP’s are also naturally curious too. From what I understand, it is certainly possible for an INFP to be a social-introvert. In fact, they can “pretend” or be “playfully” extroverted. I’ve been able to use my imagination to think in other’s perspective. INFP’s can literally think in another person’s shoes. Once an INFP feels comfortable in their own skin, accepting their own weaknesses, they can overall benefit everyone, or anyone on a team. They can galvanize, energize, renew, and revolutionize any system, structure, in an unconventional way. Being real and authentic to oneself helps in the self-actualization of INFP. Not being afraid to be yourself, will make you more comfortable with your surroundings, and those around you. It can feel a lot less draining to your personality. Moreover, don’t be afraid with disagreeing with others, because you are only disagreeing with their ideas, or thoughts, not with them personally. Try not to take life too seriously, or too personally. Remember emotions come and go. You keep moving, evolving forward.
Friends which will help you grow:
INTJ- One of my favorite types. Always logical, introverted, yet appreciate your sense of wonder, imagination, and loves good humor. They are in fact some of my favorite people because INFP’s often get confused with cold-shouldered INTJs. They are also attracted to deep, and even emotional conversations. Initially, you might not get along with them, but the can end up being your best friends. They can help you come to logical conclusions, refine and shapen your ideas.
INFJ- Very similar to INFPs, except they are extroverted feelers, and introverted thinkers. INFJ’s are often sympathetic, feeling for someone, while INFP’s are empathetic, understanding how someone feels. Therefore, they can process and thinking internally, but also vocalize and express feelings, often in showy ways. They tend to be neat, orderly, but yet they like experimenting with exploring. They clearly know right, from wrong, and tend to be the outspoken advocates for some social change or underdog. They might seem closed minded to you (or cheesy), but they might be one of the only other types who try to understand you. Most INFJs really struggle with knowing their selves, and even fall into depression. INFJs tend to stand within the conventions of society, while INFP’s can be internally actively rebellious. As counsellors they are always listeners and givers of good advice.
INTP- These guys are the logical, nerdy types. Good natured, extremely well-read, they tend to like board games, fantasy novels, ancient and obscure history, or even being scientists. They are quite open to debating ideas, but they shun the spotlight and hate arrogance. INTP’s dress pretty plainly and don’t care much for physical appearances or nice clothing. INTP’s are as intelligent as INTJ’s but are much willing to take risks, and open to alternative life-styles and ideas.
ISFP- My first friends were ISFPs. They are adventurous, good-natural, and playful. They don’t often get depressed, and if they do get sad they don’t dwell on it. They are people in the “here-and-now,” however they love imaginary possibilities as well. They don’t really like talking about philosophical implications, or playing with abstract ideas, but they can be quite factual, smart, and informative.
ENFP- By far, one of the most attractive types for an INFP. They can be melodramatic, and show-offy (demanding attention), but they are insightful, and intelligent as well. They are less “bookish” and “nerdy” but some can be well-read. They are good at persuading others, and improvising more than any type I know. A major weakness is that they easily change their minds, or get bored of a situation, and move on to the next new thing. They tend to look at the bright side of life, or give advice to how one can improve. ENFP’s make INFP’s immediately comfortable because they immediately wear their hearts on a sleeve and have an undeniable sense of charm.
I really hope this entry has helped my fellow INFPs out there. I know life can be shit sometimes. That people hurt you quite often and they don’t know it. That your dreams, and aspirations may sometimes be unrealistic, or otherworldly. Keep on “being yourself” whatever quirkiness that is. Make lots of deep, intimate (real not imaginary) relationships. Try different foods, clothing, languages, activities. Personally, I think we are the most surprising type, although people might tend to overlook us.