What is an INFP? Personality Traits, Myths & Cognitive Functions

People with the INFP personality type are introverted, intuitive, feeling and perceiving. The acronym stands for Introvert-Intuitive-Feeling-Perceptive.

This article will discuss what these four words mean to people who have this personality type. 

An Overview of the INFP Personality Type

INFP (introversion, intuition, feeling, perception) is a four-letter abbreviation for one of the 16 personality types identified by the Myers Briggs Type Indicator.

The INFP personality type is often described as the "idealist" or mediator personality. They are creative and driven by high values and morals.

When introverted people are not in the center of attention, they feel detached from their environment. They love to look at life from an outside perspective for a change, whether it be through dreams or by watching movies.

People with the INFP personality type care a great deal about doing what's best for society and using their own skills to help others and humanity in general.

INFPs are also the opposite personality type of ENFJ, when looking into Jung's 8 Function model.

Key INFP Characteristics

  • INFPs often prefer to stay quiet and keep to themselves by spending time alone rather than communicating too much with others. They also need some time for themselves in order to recharge, whereas they gain energy from being around someone else who fills that same role.

  • INFPs place more emphasis on the big picture than the small details. They can be as meticulous as they want when it comes to important projects, but then tend to overlook mundane or boring tasks.

  • INFPs give priority to personal feelings, and this shapes their decisions in a way in which facts are not as influential.

  • When deciding on how to proceed with a situation, INFPs prefer to keep their options open. They often delay making decisions in case the situation changes. When decisions are made they may be based on personal values rather than logic.
  • INFP Strengths

  • Devoted and loyal
  • Sensitive to feelings
  • Interested in others and caring
  • Works well alone
  • Values close relationships
  • Good at seeing "the big picture"
  • INFP Weaknesses

  • Can be overly idealistic and moralistic
  • Tends to take everything personally
  • Difficult to get to know
  • Sometimes loses sight of the little things
  • infps personal values

    INFP Cognitive Functions

    The MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) is based on the personality theory created by Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung.

    Carl Jung’s original personality type theory proposed four psychological components of personality: thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition. People then direct these functions inwardly (introverted expression) or outwardly (extroverted expression)

    According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, every personality type is made of a hierarchical stack of these functions. The dominant function largely controls the person's personality, but it is also supported by other functions like the auxiliary and tertiary ones as well. Inferior functions are those that are mostly unconscious but can still have a large influence in people's day-to-day life.

    INFPs tend to rely on the following four cognitive functions:

    Dominant: Introverted Feeling (Fi)

    INFPs experience intense emotions and have a strong sense of empathy. They are introverts but find it difficult to express their feelings external to themselves. This may sometimes cause other people to not understand the INFP as they can seem aloof or unwelcoming.

    Auxiliary: Extraverted Intuition (Ne)

    People with the INFP personality may use their imaginations and 'what if' scenarios to explore different possibilities before settling on a course of action, looking for big outcomes in the world. This ability helps make them transformative leaders who are excited about making positive changes in the world.

    Tertiary: Introverted Sensing (Si)

    When dealing with information, INFPs may create vivid memories in their minds. They will often replay these memories to analyze experiences in less stressful settings. Such strong emotions will usually arise when recalling memories, so it can seem like reliving the experience itself.

    Inferior: Extraverted Thinking (Te)

    This cognitive function can show itself in an INFP's personality. When faced with stress, they might lose their feeling sense and become pragmatic and detail-oriented.

    Because INFPs are typically governed more by intuition and emotion, they can sometimes find themselves struggling to remain productive and efficient. Learning how to develop the introverted thinking function as well will help them create a sense of balance.

    INFPs You Might Know

  • Audrey Hepburn, actress
  • JRR Tolkien, author
  • Princess Diana, British royal
  • William Shakespeare, playwright
  • Fred Rogers, television personality
  • Personal Relationships

    INFPs are idealists, so they often have high expectations - including in relationships. This can be challenging for any individual to fulfill.

    INFP types are deep thinkers who care deeply about the people in their lives. Although they're reserved, they will often become close and committed to few relationships they form.

    People with this personality also dislike conflict and try to avoid it. During arguments with others, INFPs focus more on how the conflict makes them feel rather than the details. They can be good mediators because they help identify feelings during conflicts.

    It can be very difficult to get to know INFPs in general, but they are usually devoted to their close friends and family. The majority of their energy is focused inwardly and is characterized by strong values and intense feelings. They are often loyal to the people they love or those who share their beliefs or causes.

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    INFP Career Paths

    INFP careers work best when they can express creativity and vision. While INFPs are good at working with others, they generally prefer to do so alone.

    INFPs tend to be very creative, artistic, and spiritual. They often excel at using language but may prefer to express their thoughts and feelings by writing rather than speaking.

    INFPs are enthusiasts in their beliefs and become personally invested in major issues. They care about others as much as they do themselves, but will attempt to understand all perspectives before advancing an opinion.

    Popular INFP Careers

  • Artist
  • Counselor
  • Graphic Designer
  • Librarian
  • Psychologist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Social Worker
  • Writer
  • Tips for Interacting With INFPs


    INFPs generally have a few close friends, and these relationships last for years. The person with the INFP personality type is good at understanding others’ emotions but might find it hard to express their own feelings.

    INFPs are introverted and independent, but crave interpersonal connection. Getting to know an INFP can require patience and understanding, but the rewards can be great for those who have the time to put in that work.


    INFP parents often care deeply and warmly for their children, and have a natural tendency to provide beneficial guidelines that will help them build their own strong values and values.

    Their goal as parents is to nurture their children's individuality and compassion for the world. They may struggle with emotional sharing in order to maintain a sense of peace or power in the home.


    INFPs may find it difficult to form relationships with friends, but once they do manage their loyalty is strong. They may struggle in romantic partnerships due to unrealistic expectations.

    If you partner is an INFP, then they may take people's comments personally and have a tendency to react quickly even if on the surface it doesn't seem like that. They might also struggle with openness and letting others get close to them.

    personality types

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What does it mean to be a Infp?

    INFPs are highly creative individuals. They are very sensitive and empathetic to the needs of others, but can sometimes have a hard time with socializing because they don't always want their feelings hurt or shared too much.

    INFPs often think outside the box about how things could be done in order to stay true to themselves while staying within what is required of them.

    Is Infp a rare personality? 

    Actually, it is not rare at all. It's actually one of the most common personalities that you can find in this world today with a population percentage around 14%.

    What is an Infp female?

    INFP females are sensitive, empathetic individuals who often find themselves driven to help others. They may be seen as "motherly" or kind by those around them and have a strong sense of what is fair and right in the world.

    Why Infp are dangerous?

    It's because they have the ability to see what does not work in a person and that can be dangerous. They don't want their feelings hurt or shared too much, so they often think outside the box about how things could be done in order to stay true to themselves while staying within what is required of them.

    Additional Resources

    Who are the INFPs? (YouTube video by CS Joseph)

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