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INFP (Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perception) individuals, according to the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator, are always looking for the best qualities in others. They are infinite optimists, who love to find mutual respect and peace in any situation. Others perceive INFPs as calm, shy, and reserved, which make them the ideal “referee”. They seek goodness, equality, and balance in the world.
People with an INFP personality type are adept at helping others, and restoring happiness and fairness in the world. One of their most unique qualities is that are not guided by logic or practicality; rather, they value principles, like beauty, integrity, honor, trustworthiness, and virtue. Demonstrating positive qualities, they rely upon the pureness of their heart, not the promise of material rewards or the fear of harsh consequences. INFPs are capable of communicating with others on a deeper level, often using metaphors, symbols, and stories to help others understand their messages. Loved ones and co-workers often refer to this personality type as a dreamer or idealist. Their main objective in life is to understand their purpose.
When it comes to self-expression, INFPs are experts, relishing at the chance to share their knowledge and passion. They are especially adept at focusing their attention on a couple of people at a time, rather than large groups. This characteristic is helpful, because when INFPs become overwhelmed, they can burn out and lose the energy they need to help others. This personality type has a desire to make a contribution to society, but they can also become discouraged by the negativity and realistic complications that exist in the world. If INFPs are not careful, they can become consumed with righting wrongs and neglect their daily responsibilities. However, many of their qualities—creativity, optimism, selflessness, and affection—are uplifting and lead to growth and replenishment.
INFPs account for approximately 4 percent of the general population. Unconditional love and sincere altruism are rare human qualities; however, when INFPs find like-minded people, they experience harmony, peace, inspiration, and never-ending joy. On the other hand, INFPs face a variety of challenges in the workplace. They tend to take their work performances seriously and personally. To INFPs, if their work does not have a positive message or a beneficial purpose, then it simply is not worth doing. This moral principle can be a detriment in the workplace, because it often colors how they see their bosses and the companies they work for. INFPs require both moral and emotional connections to co-workers and supervisors, and they need to work in harmonious environments.
They cannot tolerate monotonous tasks, as they become bored easily. These individuals would rather immerse themselves in a challenging independent project or work with a small team, than to complete a task with a large group of people within a certain timeframe. INFPs are not motivated by money; they desire meaningful occupations that have purpose and make a difference in the lives of others. It is important for INFPs to have jobs that deliver a service that can improve others’ lives, rather than to focus on profit. If an INFP feels that he or she is serving a higher purpose, then he or she will be an invaluable employee and co-worker. INFPs are dedicated and thoughtful workers. One area that INFPs do not always excel in is technology. They are inspired more by creative, inspirational, and human activities, and less by facts, statistics, and logic. INFPs excel in areas that lend themselves to creativity, which means that many writers, singers, poets, actors, and painters have this personality type. In fact, almost all INFPs have dreamt about becoming an author at one time or another. These individuals truly enjoy helping others learn and develop, and they express themselves through visualization and/or writing. They prefer work that has meaning and purpose, so they are typically attracted to fields, such as medical, counseling, research, and human development. They desperately want to make a worthwhile contribution to society
INFPs are idealists, who are always in pursuit of the “perfect relationship”. In fact, they spend a considerable amount of time dreaming about their ideal soul mates and replaying scenarios of what life will be like once they find that person. With such high expectations, it is unlikely that anyone will meet these expectations, so INFPs often stay single until they accept that no relationship is perfect. Once INFPs realize that every relationship takes time, effort, commitment, compromise, and understanding, they are able to establish happy, long-term relationships with people. These individuals truly believe that two people can make each other happy forever, but as they become wiser, they learn that it takes support, love, and effort to make this ideal a reality.
It is also important to note that INFPs are not in any rush to marry; these individuals are either looking for a new partner or trying to improve their current partners and relationships. Once an INFP finds a suitable partner, he or she then starts to compare the actual person to the idealized image of what a partner should be (looks, mannerisms, and beliefs). If the partner does not measure up, then the relationship typically ends quickly. When relationships do end, INFPs are willing to accept the inevitable, as they believe events occur for a reason.
When an INFP is in love, he or she is deeply committed. In fact, INFPs can be hopeless romantics, who are both passionate and respectful of their partners’ needs for independence. A positive aspect of INFP personality types are that when they are invested in their partners and their relationships, they take the time to learn about their partners, helping them to grow. On the other hand, partners and friends can become tired with the constant barrage of criticisms and requests to improve, causing them to leave the relationships.
INFP parents are loving, nurturing, supportive, and warm. They find complete happiness and joy watching their children take in the world for the first time. Moreover, INFP parents savor each and every developmental milestone their children complete, and they provide them with the freedom they need to explore, learn, and grow. The goal of an INFP parent is to teach their children to see the good in all people and things, and to always help those in need. These parents want their children to know that they can make a difference in this world, if they apply themselves.
- R. Y. Langham, PhD, Author Melissa Lavery, MS, Editor