Introverted (I), Intuitive (N), Feeling (F) and Perceiving (P)
The INFP personality type is nicknamed the "Dreamer" and belongs to the NF Visionary temperament. INFPs are idealistic and deeply sensitive. They are characterized by their loyal and gentle nature. Beneath their easygoing disposition runs a fixed passion for the causes they believe in and the people they care for.
INFPs direct their energy inward. They are energized by spending time alone. They are private and internally aware. INFPs are independent and keep to themselves most of the time. INFPs are Intuitive. They are imaginative, idealistic and creative people. They generate endless possibilities and ideas. Their thought process is profound and abstract. Dreamers live in the future. Dreamers are Feelers that make decisions with their heart. They are driven by emotion. Dreamers dislike conflict and are easily hurt. INFPs are random and spontaneous. They like to keep their options open and dislike feeling confined by rules and schedules.
INFPs are loyal, caring and warm with the people they allow into their inner circle. On one hand they are playful, fun and posses a unique sense of humor. On the other hand they are intense and serious. INFPs are generous with praise and encouragement. They look for affirmation, affection and integrity. They are good at identifying inconsistencies in themselves and others. Dreamers are romantics.
"Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate." — Albert Schweitzer
INFPs love to excel and learn. They grow restless in rigid and impersonal environments. When engaged, they can learn well on their own. Although they might pursue an educational avenue to please others, they are happiest when they are true to their own identity and sensitive nature. They have a need to create and express themselves.
Describing an INFP
INFPs can often be described with these words. They commonly posess the following strengths and weaknesses.
Characteristic of an INFP
- Internally aware
- Loyal and devoted
- Deep capacity to care and love
- Warm and playful
- Excellent at reading feelings and motives of others
- Desires to meet the needs of others
- Tends to react emotionally
- Extreme dislike of criticism
- Tendency to blame themselves
- Has trouble in conflict situations
- INFPs make up 2% of all 16 personality types. INFPs are one of the most rare personality types. Introversion, iNtuition, Feeling and Perceiving are all less common than their opposite preferences.
- 1 in every 66 males is an INFP (1.5% of all males). 1 in every 40 females is an INFP (2.5% of all females). Male INFPs are one of the least common type-gender combinations.
- There are more female INFPs than male. Just over one third of INFPs are male. One reason there are more female INFPs is that females tend to be Feelers (F) while males are more often Thinkers (T).
Introversion is characterized by a preference to focus on the inside world. As introverts, INFPs are energized by spending time alone or with a small, familiar group. They find large group gatherings draining because they seek depth instead of breadth of relationships. Like other introverts, INFPs process information internally. They are often great listeners.
As Feeling people, INFPs are subjective. They make decisions based on their principles and values. They are ruled by their heart instead of their head. INFPs judge situations and others based on their feelings and extenuating circumstances. They seek to please others and want to be appreciated. They value harmony and empathy.
People with Intuition live in the future. They are immersed in the world of possibilities. They process information through patterns and impressions. As Intuitives, INFPs value inspiration and imagination. They gather knowledge by reading between the lines. Their abstract nature attracts them toward deep ideas, concepts and metaphors.
Perceiving refers to a person's adaptability and flexibility. Dreamers are random thinkers who prefer to keep their options open. They thrive with the unexpected and are open to change. They are spontaneous and often juggle several projects at once. They enjoy starting a task better than finishing it. Dreamers play as they work.
INFP Cognitive Functions
Every person engages the world through four Cognitive Functions. The INFP's primary function is Introverted Feeling and secondary is Extraverted Intuition.
Introverted Feeling (Primary)
INFPs use this function most often. When Feeling (F), Dreamers make decisions based on feelings, so the Introverted Feeling function allows them to know what they value. It is the ability to see through others and know what they are like as if the INFP had internal radar. There is a desire to connect when they identify a person with similar values.
Extraverted Intuition (Secondary)
INFPs use of this function is somewhat high. With Intuition (N), INFPs process new information through impressions, possibilities and meanings. Extraverted Intuition allows them to see different paths or ways. When an INFP receives information, they are able to see that there is more than one way to look at things.
Introverted Sensing (Tertiary)
INFPs use this function but to a lesser degree. Through Sensing (S), INFPs process data with their five senses. The Introverted Sensing function allows them to remember data in detail and to compare it with current information. It is the ability to link present experiences to past experiences in search for a connection.
Extraverted Thinking (Least)
INFPs use this function least of the four. While Thinking (T), INFPs make decisions based on logic. The Extraverted Thinking function enables them to organize and categorize items such as thoughts and arguments. It is the ability to see the logical consequences of actions. It follows sequence and organization.
INFPs and Work
INFPs work well in solitude. However, their agreeable and kind disposition allows them to work well with others. They set high standards for themselves and strive for perfection, integrity and honesty. Their job must be fulfilling and meaningful. Otherwise, they lose interest and become discouraged. They are creative and enjoy generating and working with ideas. Their life's work must fulfill their idealism.
INFP Career Matches
People with the INFP personality type may find satisfaction with the following careers which tend to match well with their Dreamer personality.
- Church Worker
- Educational Consultant
- Social Worker
- Physical Therapist
- Fashion Designer
- Graphic Designer
- Social Scientist
- Web Designer
- Human Resources
- Video Editor
- Holistic Health Practitioner
- Speech Pathologist
- Employee Development Specialist
- Albert SchweitzerTheologian, Doctor, Pianist
- Princess DianaPrincess of Wales
- William ShakespearePoet, Playwright
- Henry W. LongfellowPoet
- A. A. MilneAuthor (Winnie the Pooh)
- Laura Ingalls WilderAuthor (Little House on...)
- Helen KellerAuthor, Activist, Lecturer
- Fred RogersMister Rogers
- Dick ClarkTelevision Personality
- John F. Kennedy, Jr.Lawyer, Publisher
- Neil DiamondSinger, Musician
- Tom BrokawTelevision Journalist
- VirgilAncient Roman Poet
- JohnDisciple of Jesus
- James TaylorSinger-songwriter, Guitarist
- Audrey HepburnActress
- Scott BakulaActor (Start Trek Enterprise)
- Lisa KudrowActress ("Phoebe", Friends)
- Aldous HuxleyAuthor
- J. R. R. TolkienAuthor (Lord of the Rings)
- Peter JacksonFilmmaker (Lord of the Rings)
- CalvinCalvin and Hobbes
- AnneAnne of Green Gables
- Doctor Julian BashirStar Trek: Deep Space 9
- Bastian Balthazar BuxThe Neverending Story
- E.T.E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
- Doug FunnieDoug cartoon
- Tommy PicklesRugrats
- RockoRocko's Modern Life
- Fox MulderX-Files
- Deanna TroiStar Trek: The Next Generation
- Wesley CrusherStar Trek: The Next Generation
INFPs are highly idealistic. They defend their values and do not like to have them challenged. They are catalysts for harmony and healing. Their greatest contribution is their ability to be present with another person at a deep level.