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This INFP personality guide will give you detailed information about the INFP personality and the careers that suit this personality type. Once you take our free AI-powered personality test, you will discover more about yourself and find out which career is right for you.
Why You Need to Know Your Personality Type
Firstly, it is important to understand that personality typing is not designed to pigeonhole a person or to say that one personality is better than another. Each personality has its unique characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses. An empowering personal development tool, personality typing will help you to:
- Understand your thoughts, feelings, and motivations
- Identify your strengths and weaknesses
- Make smarter education and career choices
- Be confident in a job interview
- Be more creative and productive at work
- Maintain happy and healthy relationships
Introduction to Personality Typology
The road to modern personality typology was first paved by Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist, and psychoanalyst. Based on Jung’s work, psychologists Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Briggs created the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI identifies 16 different personalities, and it is one of the most popular methods of personality typing today.
To further explain how people differ in the way they use their cognitive functions, Myers and Briggs use the following preferences for their self-evaluation personality assessment.
- Introversion (I) or Extraversion (E). Where you get your energy from. Do you draw your energy from your inner world or the external world and people?
- Sensing (S) or Intuition (N). How you receive information. Do you prefer to use your senses to receive information from your surroundings, or use your intuition to interpret and add your meaning?
- Thinking (T) or Feeling (F). How you make decisions. Do you take a logical approach, or do you prefer to look at people and circumstances before deciding?
- Judging (J) or Perceiving (P): How you interact with the outside world. Do you prefer to have things decided and organized or do you like to remain open to new information and options?
The letters that are assigned to each of the above preferences make up a four-letter code for each of the 16 personality types. This simple coding system shows you how each of the four preferences interact, and which one you tend to use first.
How you use these preferences can change over time and some of these preferences may be used more often than others.
For example, an INFP person is described as an introverted person who uses intuition, feeling, and perceiving preferences.
INFPs are introverts
INFPs are introverts. They draw energy from their internal world and prefer a solitary life. People who have this personality type are described by others as being quiet, reserved, or even shy, but that doesn’t mean an INFP doesn’t enjoy being around people.
The saying “never judge a book by its cover” is perfect for INFPs, as they are often misunderstood due to their reserved manner. However, don’t be put off by their aloofness. INFPs are curious about human nature, want to learn more about other people, and like to make meaningful connections.
Overview of the INFP Personality and Characteristics
The INFP personality has been given the nicknames “The Idealist” and “The Mediator” as these types of people have an idealistic worldview and a desire to help and support others.
Just because they are easy-going, Idealists are highly principled people who are guided through life by a strong moral compass, and they passionately hold onto their beliefs. When an Idealist supports a charitable cause, they are unstoppable. They will single-mindedly pursue their mission regardless of challenges.
You won’t find INFPs obsessing over small details or getting hung up on the present as they are future-minded people who focus on the “big picture”. Once they form their opinions, they stubbornly stick to their beliefs which can make them seem rigid and unyielding. But despite this stubbornness, INFPs are clever future forecasters who imagine a world full of possibilities.
Mediators are extremely sensitive to other people’s emotions and needs, and they are caring, compassionate, kind, empathetic, considerate, and non-judgmental.
They listen to people’s problems and offer comfort during times of stress, grief, or trauma. If there is a disagreement between people, a Mediator has an amazing ability to see both sides of the story. They will stay calm and successfully bring about a peaceful resolution. But in saying this, Mediators prefer to avoid conflict and they don’t like negativity.
Imaginative and creative, INFPs are gifted problem-solvers. If there is a crisis or an issue with a project, they will offer practical, constructive solutions that no one else has thought of.
INFPs must be very careful with their narrow idealistic worldviews. Every personality type has its weaknesses and INFPs can get very disappointed, frustrated, angry, and depressed when life does not conform to their perfectionistic expectations.
Because they have a sensitive, gentle soul, INFPs can be easily hurt by others when their altruistic actions are not appreciated. They must guard their heart to avoid being manipulated by people who possess a more domineering personality.
One of the major strengths of this personality type is that despite challenges and disappointments, INFPs will try to maintain their sunny, positive outlook on life and strive to make the world a better place for everyone.
Intuition is very important for INFP types as they use this powerful gift to receive information from their surroundings and determine future outcomes. To interpret and add meaning to information, they use their insightful impressions and perceived patterns they have picked up from the external world.
Some INFPs will explain their intuition as having a “hunch” or a “gut feeling” about a situation or person and the strange thing is, they are often right about their “hunches”.
Their intuition may tell them that a certain person is not genuine or has suspect motives, and an INFP may even warn you to stay away from a particular person.
INFPs prefer to make decisions based on their emotions as well as their values, beliefs, and ideals. But while their decisions are primarily based on what feels right to them at the time, they have a paramount desire to consider others, so their decisions will often be subjective to other people’s feelings.
As Perceivers, INFPs are flexible, spontaneous, and highly adaptable. They like to remain open to new ideas just in case circumstances change or a great opportunity arises.
Their carefree, relaxed attitude can make it hard for them to adhere to other people’s plans. As they live in the moment, they can get bored easily with repetitive tasks. Their impulsive nature will often keep them from making important decisions until the last minute.
In the workplace
INFPs prefer to work in careers that are in line with their values and allow them to use their skill set to help others.
Due to their introverted nature, INFPs prefer to work alone but they still work well in a small team where they can provide altruistic support, and their peaceable nature will create a harmonious environment. Although INFPs prefer flexible working conditions, they are happy to work in a structured workplace but only if they can work at their speed, be autonomous, and not be subject to a lot of stress.
Dedicated to self-improvement, INFPs like to learn new things and enlarge their skill base. Becoming better people means they can help everyone to stay enthused, positive, and productive.
Powerful imaginaries, INFPs especially thrive in careers where they can express their creativity. Their creative pool is deep, so they can be relied upon to produce innovative ideas in brainstorming sessions. If there are multiple projects to be completed, INFPs are gifted jugglers. But once they start work, they can get distracted easily, so they need clear instructions and deadlines to help them stay focussed.
Even though they are quiet and may not seek out a leadership position, INFPs make inspiring leaders who see the potential in people. As they are encouraging, intuitive, and possess an incredible understanding of human nature, people will follow them.
INFPs prefer to have a few close friends but their relationships are strong and long-lasting. While they connect with peoples’ emotions, INFPs can struggle with vulnerability and are reluctant to share their feelings with others, and it can take a while to get to them. But once INFPs are comfortable bearing their soul, they will freely share their feelings.
Because they are wholeheartedly committed to their strong values, INFPs passionately defend their own beliefs, but their ethical nature also makes them strong advocates for social justice issues. INFPs are also patient and willing to consider different points of view.
Extremely idealistic, INFPs have high expectations of others so people can find it hard to live up to their expectations. As they are very sensitive, they can get hurt easily and take things too personally. But as a friend or partner, INFPs are incredibly loyal and will consider a friend or family member’s happiness over their own.
INFP Strengths and Weaknesses
- Sensitive to others’ feelings
- Highly intuitive
- Works well alone
- Values close relationships
- Good at seeing “the big picture”
- Can be difficult to get to know
- Has unrealistic expectations
- Struggles with criticism and stress
- Avoids conflict
- Trouble with expressing emotion
- Can be manipulated easily
- Can be unfocused
- Has trouble sticking to a plan
Careers That Will Suit INFPs
This quote from Isabel Briggs-Meyers gives you an indication of the types of careers that will suit the INFP personality type: “INFPs excel in fields that deal with possibilities for people.” INFPs are motivated by a vision for a better future, and they are dedicated to helping people embrace that future and improve people’s lives, so they will be perfect candidates for careers in humanitarian organizations, social justice, and healthcare.
Their caring, gentle nature, and high sensitivity to their environment also make them well suited for careers that involve caring for animals.
INFPs who use their artistic gifts desire to express their altruistic passion through the creative arts so they will be naturally drawn to music, art, and literature, and careers in the media or communication industries.
Popular INFP careers
- Physical therapist
- Social worker
- Special education teacher
- Career counselor
- Mental health counselor
- Nutritionist nurse
- Museum curator
- Fundraising manager
- Human resources manager
- Fashion designer
- Graphic designer
- Interior designer
INFPs have all the necessary characteristics and strengths to make any workplace environment a happier, more productive place. They are ethical, supportive, empathetic, intuitive, and creative, and their positive vision for a bright future inspires everyone who knows them.
Finding the best career to suit your personality type can be a challenge, but when you take a free AI-powered personality test, you will be able to choose a career that is tailor-made for you.