This profile has been created by the
INFP mailing list, and is edited by Charles Shepherd.
© 1994-1998, Charles Shepherd. Used by permission. This document may be freely distributed for noncommercial, nonprofit purposes, as long as this copyright notice is included.
I N F P -- Introverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiving
Version 0.06 (December 1998)
(Note: This is the only type profile in this webspace. There's no point in poking around looking for others.)
For INFPs, life is a journey to understand themselves and the world. Where some others may strive for achievements such as degrees and promotions, an INFP tends to consider these as important mainly for their value in making it easier to fulfill the INFP's life goals.
INFPs value authenticity, acceptance, and the search for meaning in life in both the ordinary events of life and the grand scheme of the universe. One source of sustenance for INFPs are those small, genuine gestures from the heart, be they from loved ones or strangers.
INFPs have many interests and talents. They are generally good at perceiving possibilities for improving the world and understanding others. They are often clear at expressing ideas through language, writing, poetry, and other talents. When an INFP supports a particular project or goal, they can get an extraordinary amount of work done in a short time. On the other hand, INFPs tend to procrastinate and are dissatisfied by detailed work not related to one of their important values. This is one reason INFPs are happier when working at jobs which are related to their values.
Ideas and feelings (and particularly ideas about feelings) form the center of an INFPs existence. As INFPs explore the world, they discover new relationships, concepts, and connections about the universe. This exploration guides INFPs to find values important to themselves.
Many INFPs do not like attempts to impose shoulds and have-tos. These INFPs find absolute systems of rules that everyone must abide to as confining and arbitrary and simply unfair. As such, INFPs may rail against words that imply that a value system can be imposed from the outside.
Sometimes INFPs deny having ideals or principles since it's possible to equate a reliance on principles with dogmatism and inflexibility. Instead, they prefer to talk about feelings: not momentary emotional states but the personal values on which the feeling function operates.
INFPs often place a high value on harmony, and avoid conflict unless confrontation becomes necessary. Minor, detail oriented, administrative problems are ignored until they stop the progress of any current projects. When his or her projects are threatened, an INFP will either fight for the project/ideal if it's important enough, or concentrate on another one of his or her interests to avoid a confrontation.
INFPs do not measure life in terms of the number of friends and acquaintances they have but rather by the quality of their friendships. For INFPs, the distinction between friends and acquaintances is very important; an acquaintance is someone they spend time with while a friend is someone with whom an INFP can share ideas and feelings. Their most valuable friends are people who understand their important values and accept them unconditionally.
An INFP's feelings form the foundations of the individual. They are sacred and binding, in the sense that their emergence requires no further justification. An INFP's feelings are often guarded, kept safe from attack and ridicule. Only a few, close confidants are permitted entrance into this domain.
INFP's look at humanity at both the individual (human-to-human) and societal levels. One common discouragement for INFP's is that societal change often seems impossible. When INFPs become discouraged, they may need some time and space to rediscover their values and a sense of inner peace. The conflict between their ideal world and "reality", as they see it can cause depression or withdrawal from the world unless they have people that support them in their projects.
For some comments on this profile and a other musings about INFPness, see my INFP Musings page.
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1999, 2000, 2006, Elizabeth A. Buie. INFP profile copyright © Charles
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Last updated 30 April 2006, to redo the visual design