INFP: Introversion, iNtuition, Feeling, Perceiving

At your best

People with INFP preferences have an inner core of values that guides their interactions and decisions.

They want to be involved in work that contributes to both their own growth and inner development and those of others to have a purpose beyond their pay cheque.

INFPs make a priority of living in congruence with their values.

How others may see you

INFPs find structures and rules confining and prefer to work autonomously. They are adaptable and flexible until something violates their inner values, then they stop adapting. The resulting expression of value judgements can emerge with an intensity that is surprising to others.

INFPs tend to be reserved and selective about sharing their most deeply held values and feelings. They value relationships based on depth, authenticity, genuine understanding, and mutual growth. INFPs prize most those who take time to understand their values and goals.

Others usually see INFPs as:

  • Sensitive, introspective and complex
  • Original and individual

Characteristics of INFPs

INFPs primarily use their Feeling preference internally where they make decisions based on their values of self-understanding, individuality, and growth. Moral commitment to what they believe in is crucial to INFPs.

They are likely to be:

  • Sensitive, concerned, and caring
  • Idealistic
  • Loyal to people or a cause

INFPs enjoy reading, discussing, and reflecting on possibilities for positive change in the future. They are curious about ideas and quick to see connections and meanings. INFPs are likely to:

  • Be curious and creative
  • Have long ranging vision

INFPs are fascinated by opportunities to explore the complexities of human personality, their own and others. They tend to work in bursts of energy and are capable of great concentration and output when fully engaged in a project.

They are generally faithful in fulfilling obligations related to people, work or ideas to which they are committee, but can have difficulty performing routine work with little meaning for them.

Potential areas for growth

Sometimes personal circumstances have not supported INFPs in the development and expression of their Intuitive and Feeling preferences.

  • If they have not developed their Intuition, INFPs may not have reliable ways to take in information and may fail to notice the realities of situations. Then they may make decisions based solely on personal values and find it difficult to translate their values into action.
  • If they have not developed their Feeling, they may not take time to go through the inner valuing process by which they make their best decisions, instead going from one exciting possibility to another and achieving little.

If INFPs do not find a place where they can use their gifts and be appreciated for their contributions, they usually feel frustrated and may:

  • Have characteristically difficulty expressing themselves verbally
  • Withdraw from people and situations
  • Not give enough information to others, especially about important values

It is natural for INFPs to give less attention to their non-preferred Thinking and Sensing parts. If they neglect these too much, however they may:

  • Become easily discouraged about the contrast between their ideals and accomplishments
  • Reject logical reasoning even in situations that require it, asserting the supremacy of their internal viewpoint
  • Be impractical, have difficulty estimating the resources required to reach a desired goal

Under great stress, INFPs may begin seriously doubting their own competence and that of others, becoming overly critical and judgemental.

Where you focus your attention: Introversion

People who prefer Introversion tend to focus on their own inner world and experiences. They direct their attention inward and receive energy from their internal thoughts, feelings and reflections.

Characteristics of most people who prefer Introversion:

  • Drawn to their inner worlds
  • Prefer to communicate by writing
  • Learn best by reflection, mental “practice”
  • Depth of interest
  • Tend to reflect before acting or speaking
  • Private and contained
  • Focus readily

Effects of preferences in work situations

  • Like quiet for concentration.
  • Tend to be careful with details, dislike sweeping statements.
  • Have trouble remembering names and faces, tend not to mind working on one project for a long time uninterruptedly.
  • Are interested in the idea behind their job.
  • Dislike telephone intrusions and interruptions.
  • Like to think a lot before they act, sometimes without acting.
  • Work contentedly alone.
  • Have some problems communicating.

How you take in information: iNtuition

People who prefer Intuition like to take in information by seeing the big picture, focusing on the relationship and connections between facts.

They want to grasp patterns and are especially good at seeing new possibilities and different ways of doing things.

Characteristics of most people who prefer Intuition:

  • Focus on “big picture” possibilities
  • Value imaginative insight
  • Abstract and theoretical
  • See patterns and meaning in facts
  • Look to the future
  • Jump around, leap in anywhere
  • Trust inspiration

Effects of preferences in work situations

  • Like solving new problems.
  • Dislike doing the same thing repeatedly.
  • Enjoy learning a new skill more than using it.
  • Work in bursts of energy powered by enthusiasm, with slack periods in between.
  • Reach a conclusion quickly.
  • Are impatient with routine details.
  • Are patient with complicated situations.
  • Follow their inspirations, good or bad.
  • Frequently make errors of fact.
  • Dislike taking time for precision.

How you make decisions: Feeling

People who prefer to use Feeling in decision making tend to consider what is important to them and to other people. They mentally place themselves in a situation and identify with the people involved so that they can make decisions based on person-centred values.  Their goal is harmony and recognition of individuals, and their strengths include understanding, appreciating and supporting others.

Characteristics of most people who prefer Feeling:

  • Sympathetic
  • Assess impact on people
  • Guided by personal values
  • “Tender-hearted”
  • Strive for harmony and individual recognition
  • Compassionate
  • Accepting

Effects of preferences in work situations

  • Tend to be very aware of other people and their feelings.
  • Enjoy pleasing people, even in unimportant things.
  • Efficiency may be badly disturbed by office feuds.
  • Often let decisions be influenced by their own or other people’s personal likes and wishes.
  • Need occasional praise.
  • Dislike telling people unpleasant things.
  • Are more people-oriented, respond more easily to people’s values.
  • Tend to be sympathetic.

How you orient toward the outer world: Perceiving

People who prefer to use their Perceiving process in the outer world tend to live in a flexible, spontaneous way seeking to experience and understand life, rather than control it. Plans and decisions feel confining to them; they prefer to stay open to experience and last-minute options. They enjoy and trust their resourcefulness and ability to adapt to the demands of a situation.

Characteristics of most people who prefer Perceiving:

  • Spontaneous
  • Open-ended
  • Casual
  • Flexible
  • Adaptable
  • Like things unconstrained and open to change
  • Feel energised by last-minute pressures

Effects of preferences in work situations

  • Adapt well to changing situations.
  • Do not mind leaving things open for alterations.
  • May have trouble making decisions.
  • May start too many projects and have difficulty in finishing them.
  • May postpone unpleasant jobs.
  • Want to know all about a new job.
  • Tend to be curious and welcome new light on a thing, situation, or person.