mental indigestion

An INFP Profile by real INFPs November 10, 2008

Filed under: Kay poh recommendations — mel @ 9:02 pm
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I always find personality tests fun to do. Anyway, I have been “diagnosed” as INFP since primary school but I never quite liked what I read about this particular profile, it seemed too darned hapless. Anyway, I stumbled across this profile written by an INFP mailing list community who, characteristically, hated the way the established non-INFP psychologists had characterized them. I must say this definitely resonated with me more. So fellow INFPers, read this profile and say “Ah!” all the time. I have bolded the bits which I felt may be true for me.

For INFPs, life is a journey to understand themselves and the world. Where some others may strive for achievements such as degrees and promotions, an INFP tends to consider these as important mainly for their value in making it easier to fulfill the INFP’s life goals.

INFPs value authenticity, acceptance, and the search for meaning in life in both the ordinary events of life and the grand scheme of the universe. One source of sustenance for INFPs are those small, genuine gestures from the heart, be they from loved ones or strangers.

INFPs have many interests and talents. They are generally good at perceiving possibilities for improving the world and understanding others. They are often clear at expressing ideas through language, writing, poetry, and other talents. When an INFP supports a particular project or goal, they can get an extraordinary amount of work done in a short time. On the other hand, INFPs tend to procrastinate and are dissatisfied by detailed work not related to one of their important values. This is one reason INFPs are happier when working at jobs which are related to their values.

Ideas and feelings (and particularly ideas about feelings) form the center of an INFPs existence. As INFPs explore the world, they discover new relationships, concepts, and connections about the universe. This exploration guides INFPs to find values important to themselves.

Many INFPs do not like attempts to impose shoulds and have-tos. These INFPs find absolute systems of rules that everyone must abide to as confining and arbitrary and simply unfair. As such, INFPs may rail against words that imply that a value system can be imposed from the outside.

Sometimes INFPs deny having ideals or principles since it’s possible to equate a reliance on principles with dogmatism and inflexibility. Instead, they prefer to talk about feelings: not momentary emotional states but the personal values on which the feeling function operates.

INFPs often place a high value on harmony, and avoid conflict unless confrontation becomes necessary. Minor, detail oriented, administrative problems are ignored until they stop the progress of any current projects. When his or her projects are threatened, an INFP will either fight for the project/ideal if it’s important enough, or concentrate on another one of his or her interests to avoid a confrontation.

INFPs do not measure life in terms of the number of friends and acquaintances they have but rather by the quality of their friendships. For INFPs, the distinction between friends and acquaintances is very important; an acquaintance is someone they spend time with while a friend is someone with whom an INFP can share ideas and feelings. Their most valuable friends are people who understand their important values and accept them unconditionally.

An INFP’s feelings form the foundations of the individual. They are sacred and binding, in the sense that their emergence requires no further justification. An INFP’s feelings are often guarded, kept safe from attack and ridicule. Only a few, close confidants are permitted entrance into this domain.

INFP’s look at humanity at both the individual (human-to-human) and societal levels. One common discouragement for INFP’s is that societal change often seems impossible. When INFPs become discouraged, they may need some time and space to rediscover their values and a sense of inner peace. The conflict between their ideal world and “reality”, as they see it can cause depression or withdrawal from the world unless they have people that support them in their projects.

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15 Responses to “An INFP Profile by real INFPs”

  1. melch Says:

    isn’t it? and isn’t it so INFP to absolutely dig this (yes, finally someone understands).

  2. […] introvert temperament.  Mel, the blogger at Mental Indigestion, compiled an excellent composite of the INFP, which is a personality type identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. (INFP is […]

  3. nee Says:

    i am an infp myself and yes, small gestures from the heart are the kinds of things that makes me feel like life is worth living. and this “INFPs find absolute systems of rules that everyone must abide to as confining and arbitrary and simply unfair.” ..
    i have actually opened the site where this came from and stumbled onto your page, thanks for sharing this.

  4. melch Says:

    You’re welcome nee 🙂

  5. Gabriela Says:

    Using the search bar in wordpress to come across this was an absolute pleasure. I have never been more satisfied with a depiction of the INFP temperament.

    Thank you for sharing!

  6. Marco Says:

    Gosh I have always questioned everything and always wanted to understand all aspects of my emotional existance, heck I have even wanted to understand my urges for wanting to understand everything.

    I have recently discovered I am an INFP, and I have found some greater understanding of myself through this discovery as it has provided some clarity as to why I behave in certain ways.

  7. melch Says:

    @gabriela: you’re welcome (much belated, infps not good with details heh)
    @marco: glad you find this has helped you become more self-aware 🙂

  8. Rinmer Says:

    Omg! I was sooo amazed by this! I think we’re alot alike (I’m INFP) You’re right. Not alot of people characterize properly and put in slight false information. You know, you kind of sound like me. I’m 14 years old and seem to always use nee or nyaa or some weird sound to my sentence. (Only on computer) xD Do you have any talents anyway? Anything? :O Id like too knoww moree!

  9. Jenny Says:

    Great description of.. me… 🙂 Really, very seldom do I read a matching description – I especially love this part: “Where some others may strive for achievements such as degrees and promotions, an INFP tends to consider these as important mainly for their value in making it easier to fulfill the INFP’s life goals.” This is sooo true! And most of the times I only hear people say that INFPs don’t strive for anything, can not have a career etc. I am mid-career as a sales manager but the reason why I do it is because of where it can get me in terms of reaching my life goals! Thank you for helping put that into words. http://www.dreamersbehinddesks.com

  10. Midori Says:

    Hmm…I like personality tests but I am usually diagnosed as an INFP or an INFJ, I am so confused… but a lot of what you say makes sense.

  11. dweezer19 Says:

    OMG. You just wrote my life story. Although at times I feel like a supreme underachiever, I cannot manage to operate from a “me first” perspective. I desire recognition but have no desire to be popular. What a conundrum! 🙂

  12. mel Says:

    A lot of INFPs seem to like this description a lot! For me, I’m rather bad at (and absolutely dread) “marketing” myself – one reason why Damyanti decided to help me out with the Imaginary Friends book heh.

  13. Francesco Says:

    My original result in MBTI (before I knew how it worked hence could influence it) was INFP with a high Sensate component (I’ve always been very 5-sense oriented) and I too know that page, the author is a good friend of mine who also destroys the myth of INFPs being bad at technical stuff (she’s an ICT engineer or something like that).
    I still am not sure, I tested everything from INFP to INTP to INTJ to (on a paid test) ISFP but most of what it’s written here, especially the parts you highlighted, runs true.
    Once a friend of mine made me a birthday present based on something I had said her a lot of time ago (my insane love for the Blue Harvest family man episode) – I had mentioned that only ONCE and YEARS later she remembered it and yes I distinguish between friends and acquaintances even if I use the term friends (amico) because in my native language (Italian) the word for acquaintance sounds overly distant and standoffish, but for example I like that in Russian the word for friend is reserved for close friends…


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