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The INFP personality at a glance: Character, strengths and weaknesses

Reading time 10 minutes
The INFP personality at a glance: Character, strengths and weaknesses

Are you one of those people who never lose their faith in the good? Then you could be an INFP personality. The INFP personality type is based on the Myers-Briggs modelwhich occurs between 16 different character types distinguishes. Only about 4 % of all people in the world can be classified as INFP.

In the following article, we will look in detail at the character traits, strengths and weaknesses of this rare personality type.

What does the abbreviation INFP stand for?

The abbreviation INFP stands for the following character traits:

  • I: Introversion (Introversion)
  • N: Intuitive (Intuition)
  • F: Feelers
  • P: Perceivers

Let's take a detailed look at the characteristics of the INFP:

I: Introversion (Introversion)

Introverts are often mistaken for shy personalities. But there is an essential difference: Who introvert The INFP personality type enjoys being completely alone with his thoughts from time to time. This is exactly what happens to the INFP personality type. He doesn't need a constant hustle and bustle around him, but likes to withdraw from the world.

N: Intuitive (Intuition)

Intuitive people have what is colloquially called a gut feeling. Their thoughts often revolve around events in the future. They often have premonitions that can hardly be justified rationally, but afterwards prove to be correct.

F: Feelers

Feelers are ruled by their emotions. They like to take care of other people and want to make sure everyone is doing well. They are not afraid to express their feelings freely.

P: Perceivers

Perceivers appreciate flexibility. Rigid structures are abhorrent to them, they much prefer to keep several options open in life. They observe their environment closely and perceive even the smallest changes. In this way, Feelers remain able to react spontaneously to new situations.

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The INFP personality at a glance

The INFP is the idealist among the Myers-Briggs personalities. People of this personality type try to find something positive in everything. They are convinced that everyone is good and lovable at heart. If the INFP suffers a life crisis, he believes that even this difficult path will lead to something good.

The INFP is usually described as shy and reserved by those around him. This is indeed the case in the outward appearance. In the soul of the INFP, however, dreams and passions bubble. It's just that he doesn't let everyone share in them. However, once you have gained his trust, nothing stands in the way of a very inspiring and profound friendship.

Because of all its characteristics, the INFP is also called a "mediator".

Strengths of the INFP personality

The mediator has numerous concise strengths:

Idealism

INFP personalities are often admired by their family and friends for their optimistic attitude. They do not judge anyone, but firmly believe that external influences drive people astray. In their view, no one is born evil. This attitude can be an advantage in interpersonal dealings. The mediator is very profound.

Flexibility

The INFP wants to shape his life freely according to his wishes. He rejects constricting conventions and regulations that make no sense to him. He does not allow himself to be pressed into any rigid social concept. Of all personalities, the INFP can react most flexibly to new situations.

Open mind

Live and let live - that is the motto of the INFP personalities. They believe that each person should be happy according to his or her own imagination, as long as they do not harm anyone else in the process. Prejudice and skepticism are alien to mediators.

Passion

If the INFP is convinced of a cause, he will put his whole heart and soul into it. He will stand up for his goals and convictions passionately and with full commitment. Due to his introversion, the INFP will shy away from the focus of the public. Nevertheless, he is immediately on hand to drive the respective project forward.

Creativity

The INFP personality combines open-mindedness with idealism. This combination allows the INFP to view the world from an unconventional perspective. INFPs always focus on the big picture. They connect issues that other people cannot see in context. For this reason, many INFP personalities are writers, poets, or songwriters.

Perseverance and foresight

INFP personalities always think ahead. Their introversion belies their perseverance. They don't give up just because initial difficulties arise. INFPs consider all eventualities in advance and are therefore well prepared for problems. A project that is close to their hearts is consistently carried through to the end. There is no doubt about that.

Strengths of the INFP personality

Weaknesses of the INFP personality

As the saying goes: where there is light, there is also shadow. This also applies to the personality structure of the mediator:

Idealism

You read that right: The mediator's idealism can be seen as both a strength and a weakness. The decisive factor is the degree of idealistic conviction. If they go too far, disappointment is inevitable. After all, bad events will always happen in the world. The powerlessness in this regard can strongly shake the INFP personality.

Potential disappointments also lurk in the private sphere. INFPs tend to strongly idealize their friends, family and life partners. Ultimately, however, no one is perfect. The INFP experiences this realization as discouraging and sobering.

Altruism

When INFP personalities are committed to something or someone, they often forget everything else around them. They even neglect their own needs. Other people who do not fit into the intended concept feel pushed back. This may not be deliberate, but the mediator still feels guilty afterwards. Sometimes he wants to give much more than he can.

loss of contact with reality

INFP personalities can be completely absorbed in their fantasies. Sometimes it seems as if they are living in their fantasy world. Although this can be inspiring for the artistic mediator, he sometimes loses touch with the real world. This is especially true when they are engaged in a creative project (such as writing a book).

Necessary, but in his eyes annoying obligations (household, shopping, visits to authorities, etc.) he delays in such phases or does not take them at all. This can go so far that the INFP even neglects his need for sleep or food intake. It is self-explanatory that all this cannot be healthy in the long run.

Easily vulnerable

Mediators take criticism very much to heart. They perceive critical remarks as a personal attack and are unable to see them as suggestions for improvement. In this way, however, they miss important opportunities for personal development.

Conflict avoidance behaviour

INFPs avoid conflict whenever possible. This is due to their great need for harmony. If a conflict cannot be avoided, they try to find a satisfactory compromise for all parties involved as quickly as possible. Although this sounds positive at first, it is very draining for the mediator.

You neglect individual facts

The ability to always look at the big picture of a situation also has its disadvantages. Those who always focus on the big picture may overlook individual important facts. If it turns out that some aspects of an overall picture contradict the mediator's ideals, he or she will find it difficult to deal with this.

You're having trouble making new contacts

It is difficult to really get to know an INFP personality. The image that INFPs convey to the outside world usually shows only a few facets of their personality. Therefore, they are very often completely misjudged by other people. The latter is of course problematic when it comes to integrating into a group or making friends.

Professions for the INFP persoenlichkeit

Career

INFP personalities have a particularly hard time finding a profession in which they flourish. Almost all young mediators dream of a career in the arts - usually as writers. Although they undeniably have the necessary linguistic talent, an authorial career requires a certain amount of luck in addition to talent.

After all, in order to make a living writing, you first have to be discovered. This is where it usually fails (for now). This is by no means to say that the dream is doomed to fail entirely. After all, many INFP personalities have become famous authors and poets. Before that, however, it is necessary to find a compromise in order to finance one's livelihood.

Just how difficult it is for artists in Germany to make a living from their art is demonstrated by a current study.

Since many INFPs see their bread-and-butter job as a financial bridge until their artistic breakthrough, their commitment is limited. However, they work tirelessly for their true professional goal in life.

Which professions are suitable for the INFP?

Most of the time, adolescent INFP personalities struggle with their career choice and are forced to choose any job to earn money. Quitting as soon as artistic success sets in is already stored in the back of their minds. Although this is legitimate, it would be much more purposeful to pursue a fulfilling professional task until an indefinite point in time.

Instead of doggedly committing to becoming an author, INFPs should remain open to using their language talent elsewhere. Language talent is in demand in many professions. INFPs can be great translators or copywriters. These professions usually also provide the flexibility of time and place that freedom-loving mediators value so much.

In addition to all language-based professions, there are still areas of responsibility that aim to help other people. INFP individuals find it very satisfying to experience making a real positive difference. Careers in social work, psychotherapy, physiotherapy and rehabilitation are ideal.

Which professions are not suitable?

INFP personalities should completely refrain from hectic, team-oriented professions (salespersons, clerks, service providers). INFPs cannot thrive in a work environment that drains them mentally and stifles their creativity. This can lead to depression.

There are several interesting and insightful studies.

Relationships

Romantic idealism is also expressed in the INFP personality's choice of partner. Often the INFP has a concrete idea of his or her dream partner. Mediators long for a soul mate who complements them internally. Romantic dream scenarios play out in their imagination - of moments spent together, marriage, a family home and a happy flock of children.

However, finding a person in the real world who exactly matches this dream image proves to be difficult. INFP personalities must learn to understand that a relationship does not work magically, but requires compromise and understanding. Most of the time, they are also willing to see this and commit themselves wholeheartedly to the relationship.

Getting to know each other is the real problem, not the relationship ability as such. Many a potential partner feels overwhelmed by the mediator's demands. If conflicts arise at an early stage of the relationship, INFPs withdraw. It just wasn't meant to be with us, they think to themselves.

INFPs are romantics

Once INFPs are in a relationship, they lose themselves in hopeless romance. They are passionate lovers. Their partner's happiness is their priority. They do not constrict anyone, because they themselves do not want to be constricted. INFPs respect their life partner as an independent person with a need for freedom.

Conflict avoidance in the partnership

The mediator's conflict avoidance behaviour and sensitivity can lead to difficulties in a partnership. INFPs quickly feel personally attacked by their partners. They do not react rationally to a perceived injury, but try to arouse feelings of guilt in the other person. The latter does not always happen consciously.

In this way they bring about exactly what they do not want: The conflict comes to a head because the partner feels manipulated. INFP personalities should try to meet criticism with calm objectivity.

Curiosities about the INFP

Curiosities about the INFP

The INFP character can come up with all sorts of curiosities:

1. male INFPs are among the people least likely to be affected by chronic pain.

2. INFPs have the lowest risk of developing heart disease of all personality types.

3. people of the INFP personality type are second most likely to be unhappy in their married life.

4. INFPs are true language miracles. They learn foreign languages faster than most other people.

5. many INFPs are active in artistic professions. They are particularly represented among writers.

6. INFPs tend to be unhappy during school and training because they feel restricted in their freedom of development.

INFPs are generally the most dissatisfied of all personality types with regard to their professional life. Exceptions to this are all INFPs who have been able to realise themselves creatively.

Source: MBTI Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, 3rd Edition.

Famous INFP people

It is hardly surprising: among the famous INFP people are numerous well-known authors, poets, actors and musicians:

  • William Shakespeare
  • Alicia Keys
  • Björk
  • J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Julia Roberts
  • Tom Hiddleston
  • William Wordsworth
  • Johnny Depp
  • Audrey Hepburn
  • John Lennon
  • Princess Diana
  • Kurt Cobain
  • Carl Rogers
  • Chloe Sevigny
  • Tori Amos
  • A.A. Milne
  • Isabel Briggs Myers (creator of the Myers-Briggs personality model)

Want to find out more about your personality?

There are many different personality models that can help you to fathom your character traits. The DISG test is one of the most frequently used models worldwide. It is scientifically sound and based on the latest research findings. The DISC model distinguishes between four different types of communication:

  • D = Dominant
  • I = Initiative
  • S = Steady
  • G = Conscientious

The knowledge about your own personality type helps you to improve and target communication with your fellow men. This is of great advantage in both private and professional contexts.

Are you curious now? Then do not hesitate any longer and make our free DISG personality test:

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