The INFP personality type is one of high moral character & outside-the-box creativity. They seek to develop their own philosophy for life & strive to share their ideals with others. This personality type is also highly introverted, meaning they are more concerned with their inner world than dealing with the external world.
The INFP’s also falls into the Delta Quadra, which is a group of 4 personality types that share the same functions, although in varying order. The Delta Quadra includes the following personality types: ENFP, ISTJ, and ESTJ.
In this article we discuss the cognitive functions of an INFP, personality traits, strengths & weaknesses, and signs you might be an INFP. Read more to learn more about this mysterious and mystical personality type!
Cognitive Functions Of The INFP Personality Type
Every personality type utilizes certain methods through which they judge and perceive the world – called cognitive functions. While there are 8 functions total, the top 4 are most evident & make up the person’s ego, an individuals personality type.
These 4 functions are then placed on a hierarchy of temperaments, which describe how much influence a function has in an individual’s function stack. For example, everyone has a hero, parent, child, and inferior function and each slot has its own temperament and way of expressing itself.
The hero slot is typically the persons strongest attribute and they excel at it seemingly without effort.
The parent slot is something that requires work on part of the person but can still develop strongly & provide a valuable skillset.
The child slot is as the name states, innocent, and is a pure expression of the function, although without all the added nuances to get in the way.
Finally we have the inferior function, which doesn’t sound too nice but holds much power over us. Furthermore, the inferior function is where a person’s fear & insecurity exists and despite being the lowest function in the stack, it can bring great happiness if we aspire to develop it.
Introverted Feeling Hero
The hero function is the strongest cognitive function in a personality types stack. The INFP has Fi, or introverted feeling, hero which means they lead with their own personal values. These types have a high sense of moral duty, and are natural philosophers. They may become passionate about social change and progression, or they may teach others their personal philosophy for life.
Fi hero also means that INFP’s hold themselves in high regard and can often put their own feelings above those of others. This is a double edged sword however & at times they can let their personal feelings affect their judgment which can make them self-critical about other’s or their own intentions.
Despite their introverted nature, these personality types hold strong values & are not afraid to tell someone that what they did was wrong or correct them. They always put their true selves forward, no matter the event or who is present. This may be shocking to some, but is also the nature of other personality types with their identity function in the hero slot, such as INTPs, ISFPs, or ISTPs – aka IxxPs.
Extroverted Intuition Parent
The INFP parent function of extroverted intuition (Ne) makes these types highly conceptual & creative, which can lead to unconventional perspectives while seeking a deeper understanding of the world. The pessimistic nature of parent function can sometimes give INFP’s anxiety because it allows them to imagine all of the the possibilities of something bad happening. However, they can use this tool for guiding others and society down the right path to make the world a better place.
INFP’s use extraverted intuition to connect the dots, explore character troupes, and make predictive speculations. They enjoy the concepts of magic, divination, the afterlife, and of course, typology. Because they are highly imaginative, they can be found consuming large quantities of fiction novels, and even writing some of their own.
Overall their INFP parent function allows them to take a creative approach to complex problems. They oftentimes have a unique perspective on what interests them & are always seeking to achieve deep understanding. Finally, it’s they’re Ne which puts them on a quest to seek a purpose filled life.
Introverted Sensing Child
The child function is optimistic in nature. It’s where an individuals innocence lies, and quite frankly, it never runs out of energy. In this personality type, introverted sensing manifests as a strong sense of loyalty, duty, and inspiring endurance that can be framed as one of the INFP strengths. An INFP will stand up for what is right when no one else does, and always be there to protect their loved ones. Overall, these types are very dependable.
Additionally, Si child is all about comfort and at times feel overwhelmed by too much stimuli of the outside world. These types don’t mind staying inside in their PJ’s and cuddling up to watch a movie. They enjoy being surrounded by totems from their childhood that made them happy, like toys, games, and fuzzy blankets.
Nostalgia is also one of the INFP traits that can be observed. INFPs tend to hold their past experiences dearly & can long for past comforts. This nostalgia can come in the form of reminiscing over childhood tv shows, games, or people they grew up with.
Ultimately the Si child holds great potential when developed. It can be a great source of discipline, endurance through tough times, and provide a tack-sharp memory. The child function is “the little engine that could” in all of us.
Extroverted Thinking Inferior/Aspirational
Te is the INFP’s inferior function. This is where their fears & insecurities lie. Despite this personality type having strong values for themselves, all of this can be counteracted by their Te function. Their extroverted thinking can make them afraid of what other people might think of them, or that they are not thought highly of.
They have a deep need to be held in high regard & respected, much like you would expect from an ESTJ with Te hero. In a young INFP, they can be susceptible to group think and convinced or obligated of anything through rational arguments.
This function can also manifest in times of stress where they feel the sudden need to take action and fix inconsistencies in a system. This can also lead them to be judgmental of incompetence in their peers & superiors.
Throughout their lives they make seek out ways to increase their status in the world. This can come in the form of climbing the corporate ladder into executive positions, becoming head of a committee, or just earning a degree from a highly regarded university.
They may not admit to themselves the desire for status, but it’s there. It’s also for the purpose of achieving a higher living standard that their Fi Hero can feel good about, a more comfortable place in the world for their Si child, and overall enjoying the privileges that come with being well-off.
At the end of the day, achieving a sense of control over their life through extraverted thinking & being highly regarded is what brings the INFP personality fulfillment on a personal level.
Strengths of the INFP Personality Type
Throughout their lives, INFP’s are always seeking to answer the question, “How should I live my life?” Everyday adding to their personal philosophies of what it means to be a good person and do the right thing.
INFP’s may read many eastern or moral philosophers, keeping what they like and tossing what they don’t. INFP’s find meaning and purpose when they can spread their vision for a better world. Because of this, you often see INFP teachers, musicians, artists, and writers.
Loyal and Dutiful
While they can take a while to open up to you, INFP’s love to serve others. They often put the needs of their family, friends, and loved ones before themselves. During times of hardship, they will take on roles of responsibility when nobody else does.
With enough practice, the INFP can provide the necessary structure to meet their goals or even raise a family.
With introverted feeling as their hero, an INFP will always make how they are feeling apparent to you. They are not weak to social pressures, and they don’t bother to waste time with people who they don’t resonate with.
They value deep connections with their true friends, and conversations where both parties can be real and speak their mind. If you have an INFP friend or family member that shows acts of kindness towards you, know that they genuinely care and appreciate your existence.
Weaknesses of the INFP Personality
While comfort is good in moderation, too much of it can be a bad thing. If the INFP never developed good habits, they might become stuck in a rut. This rut can become like a vortex, that negatively impacts the INFP’s mental health, and their creature comforts become a coping mechanism for their frequent depressive states.
While we haven’t talked much about the shadow functions, INFP’s have Ni critic. Ni critic has a grip on the INFP that makes them stagnate, especially in their youth. They are critical and unaccepting of their own desires and ambitions. This state of analysis paralysis contributes to the laziness and lack of direction that INFP’s are infamous for.
When the INFP has too many responsibilities to bare, they may lose their kind and carefree nature for a rigid and controlling one. This happens when an INFP becomes too involved in work or projects in their outer world. The idea of achieving and earning recognition becomes more important than the love they had for the project in the first place.
In these situations, INFP’s need a break to be alone and sort out their feelings. Asking for help, stepping back, or taking some time off are great ways for an INFP to get back in touch with themselves.
Weak To Group Think
Data, statistics and numbers are the bane of the moralistic INFP’s existence. In a rational or logical debate, many INFP’s would rather fold than defend their feelings.
When their rational faculties are underdeveloped, they can take others words for truth without verifying for themselves. Hence, they can be susceptible to corrupt ideologies if enough of their peers subscribe to them.
Lastly, these types are poor at dealing with conflict and would rather walk away from or accept a difficult situation.
Visual Typing: How To Spot An INFP
INFP’s first and foremost are quiet types. At a gathering, these types are more likely to be chilling outside with their close friends or sitting alone than socializing.
Through their Fi hero they have a unique style and only wear clothing that resonates with them, rather then clothes on trend. We often see them with colored hair, although not as often as the ENFP.
Se blind spot gives them a laidback, chill, and effortless look. Check for clothes that are a bit too big, untidy hair, or mismatched colors.
On the flip side, their Si child NEEDS to be comfortable! We often note INFPs wearing PJs or sweatpants & big sweaters in the cooler months. Finally, they absolutely love their Crocs to the point where it’s one of our personal memes.
On a different note, INFP’s are not the type to initiate conversations with people. However, because of their passive nature they will respond to others that initiate conversation with them.
In a work setting, these types seem to only talk with the same 2 or 3 people and be closed off to anyone else. Their desk might be decorated with knick knacks, lots of stickers, succulents, and they may have their earbuds in the entire work day. Finally, after work is done, they clock out and skip the weekly company outing.
INFP Interests & Hobbies
As I said before, INFP’s are highly imaginative types. They really do live in a world of their own that no body else understands. They benefit greatly from having creative outlets to put all of their sensitivity into. INFP’s are commonly seen as artists, photographers, musicians, and writers.
Many INFP’s are considered bookworms, reading all the books in a series, or reading their favorite fiction story over and over and over again.
Also, because of their Si they may choose a more traditional path such as teaching, social work or accounting.
INFP Types In Relationships
Because of their independence, many INFP’s are in no rush to get into a romantic relationship. Patience is important when getting to know an INFP because they take a while to get comfortable with new people.
INFP’s can settle down with someone that shares their values, as well as makes them feel safe and comfortable. In a relationship, INFP’s love spending quality time together, and will go out of their way to get you the perfect gift for your birthday.
As far as compatibilities are concerned, we recommend looking into the 4 Quadras which are sets of 4 personality types. INFPs are in the Delta quadra, so you want to seek those in the Bravo quadra which are: ENFJs, INFJs, ESTPs, & ISTPs. These will be the most compatible with you in varying degrees because they have your opposite functions.
Dating within your own quadra is not recommended as it can oftentimes result in conflict. The other 2 quadras are more like half-compatibilities but if you really must go that route, consider the Gamma quadra (ENTJ, INTJ, ESFP, ISFP) as the sensing & desire functions are compatible.
Signs You Might Be An INFP
You consider yourself a highly sensitive person
You live in a dream world with a unique sense of possibilities
You get stressed out by inefficiencies or incompetence
You desire to be held in high regard by your peers
You have a difficult time choosing your life path (or choosing anything in general!)
You like to treat yourself often, after all, you deserve it!
You dress according to how you feel & enjoy expressing yourself this way
INFP Celebrities & Characters
Nirvana – Kurt Cobain
Tame Impala – Kevin Parker
Mazzy Star – Hope Sandoval
Violet Parr – The Incredibles
Eeyore – Winnie The Pooh
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is the perfect match for INFP?
The perfect match for an INFP is their golden pair, the ENFJ. This is both for friendships & romantic relationships. What makes it a perfect match is that they share opposite functions in the same order, so the Fi hero interacts with the Fe hero, and so forth. This means that both parties get exactly what they want or need & there is no competition. It is yin & yang.
Who does INFP not get along with?
The INFP will not get along with an ESTJ most often. This is because they share the same functions in reverse & so there is constant competition & stepping on toes.
Functions in general seek their opposites & so the INFP might be requesting Fe from the the ESTJ, which they clearly don’t have, and this can be aggravating to both sides. Not only that, but they can also compete for status or significance which ends badly as this entails their hero & inferior functions being in conflict.
It’s not all bad though, if they can humble themselves around each other, they can learn a whole lot about themselves. They can teach each other different approaches to how they us their functions & learn new strategies that they might not be implementing. At the end of the day, they secretly aspire to be like the other.
What makes INFPs happy?
What makes an INFP happy is being able to express their emotions, innermost thoughts, & creativity freely. Additionally they want their opinion to be valuable among their peers, to be useful, and to be competent. If they can achieve this, they will feel significant, fulfilled, and in charge of their life. Oh yeah, and they absolutely need to feel comfy at all times… that makes them happy too!
Are INFPs good with money?
INFPs tend to shy away from money and business but they can actually be good at handling these sorts of things. They have extroverted intuition in their inferior/aspiration slot which is something they can be a bit fearful of.
When they aspire with their Te they can become brilliant in business. Furthermore, when they add their Si into the mix, they can excel in anything that involves keeping track of numbers such as accounting, taxes, and budgeting.
Are INFPs prone to anxiety?
Yes, all personality types have anxieties & it can stem from 2 places, the inferior function (where a persons fear exists) or the nemesis function (where a person’s worry exists). We’ve already covered the inferior function above, but as far as their worry, it relates to extroverted feeling in their 5th slot.
Their Fe is in their shadow & they can feel like others are attacking their values at times or worry that they don’t fit in. So if an INFP gets into a very social situation with people they don’t know or like, they can feel uncomfortable & maybe even dreadful.