The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) was developed by prominent psychiatrist Carl Jung. It was propounded by Jung in his now famous work, Psychological Types. MBTI has its foundations in theories of cognitive function and is a psychological categorisation based on Jung’s clinical observations of his patients.
INFP is an acronym which stands for Introversion, iNtuition, Feeling, Perceiving is one of the sixteen categorisations defined by MBTI. Each of the four characteristics answers a specific question as explained here:
INFPs are known to be introverted, reflective and quiet. For socialisation, they prefer coteries of close friends rather than large gatherings of acquaintances. They have a need to spend time alone, without which they might become irritable. This should not necessarily be confused with shyness. Rather they use this time to ponder and process information to develop insights.
Typically their decision-making is driven by intuition and they have a gift for defining priorities. This allows them to paint the big picture very well. Their focus is more on the ‘forest’ rather than the ‘trees’. The mundane is generally delegated. Intuition also guides other spheres of their life and they use these discoveries to constantly search for value in life. They are on a continuous assignment to find the truth and meaning underlying things.
INFPs find it hard to be objective and impersonal. They are influenced by human feelings rather than hard logic. They have an innate sense of right and wrong based on understanding of emotions. Predisposed towards avoiding conflict, they can act irrationally when faced with it. But on the other hand, they have been known to be good mediators as they are able to see through feelings and have a desire to help the people involved.
When it comes to their interactions with the world, they rely on their perceptions. They often delay making important decisions because the situation as perceived by them may change. Also their decisions are based on personal value system instead of logic. They respect history and expend considerable energy in anticipating repeat patterns. They have an aura of ‘other worldliness’ and can be absent-minded as well.
The polite, formal facade of INFPs makes them difficult to know and they might even be misunderstood at first. But as relationships develop, they are recognised as pleasant and warm company. They enjoy good conversation and have a knack for novel expression. The combination of their easy charm and genuine care make them great friends and close confidantes. They are the ‘go to’ people in distressful situations and hence are also recognized as ‘healers’.
Devoted to those in their inner circle, they are often able to mentor and guide their friends through tact and an uncanny ability to foresee the future.
Among the other MBTI categorizations, INFPs tend to get along very well with ENFJ and ESFJ. The contrast offered by extroversion helps them in many social circumstances. The stronger judgement of ENFJ and ESFJ makes for better planning of activities and adds details to the larger picture painted by the INFP.
Since INFPS are introverts, they are particularly adept at other forms of expressions. Their gift for language makes them natural writers. In general INFPs are creative types and often their dominant Feeling drives their desire to communicate, while their ancillary intuition supplies the imagination. Intuition inclines them towards symbolism and they revel in making disparate connections which highlight their intelligence. Insights developed through intuition and experiences from myriad sources drive their action. They prefer working in an environment that values these gifts and allows them to make a positive difference, according to their personal beliefs. Other than artistry and authorship, INFPs do well in social services and also as counsellors and teachers.
Notable people considered as INFPs include: