INFPs have a lifelong quest for meaning and harmony and are committed to their personal values. It is essential to INFPs that their beliefs and actions are totally in sync at all times. While INFPs are quiet and sensitive people, they will be loud and outspoken when their values are challenged.
INFPs value their autonomy and rebel against any system that tries to “define” or “explain” them. INFPs are skilled at anything having to do with people—listening to them, facilitating them, deploying them, training them, motivating them, recruiting them, and counseling them.
INFPs are excellent in supporting roles where people have to be looked after—especially if those people are close to the INFP. Because it can take so long (if ever) to get to know INFPs, others paradoxically may see them as slightly aloof; they engage best when they have allowed someone into their inner sanctum.
- A peacekeeper
- Undertakes a great deal
- Absorbs projects
- Deeply caring
INFPs have two contrary characteristics: curiosity and shyness. They love to know what’s going on and feel excluded if not kept informed, but they do not like to be the center of attention. INFPs always want to be invited to the party—even though the chances are they won’t show up. There is a sensitive, caring side to INFPs, which means they will see the interconnections between people and pick up on the verbal and nonverbal cues.
Areas of Growth
- Take care of important details.
- Try to see beyond own values.
- Be more objective and realistic.
- Develop and use a social network.
Sensitive, caring, and empathetic, INFPs are excellent in supporting roles where people have to be looked after—especially if those people are close to the INFP. Because it can take so long (if ever) to get to know INFPs, others paradoxically may see them as slightly aloof; they engage best when they have allowed someone into their inner sanctum.
- Work that encourages enactment of personal values
- Opportunity to help and affirm others
- Being appreciated and valued as an individual
- Recognition and respect for expertise
- A relaxed and flexible approach to deadlines
- Balancing multiple tasks, demands, and roles
- Rigid structures and time pressures
- Conflict and hostility in the workplace
- Insufficient time to work alone
- Controlling, demanding, or confronting people
A study examined stress causes and type. It turned out that INFPs experienced high stress in connection with work but low stress in connection with health. This puts them in the middle range as far as total stress is concerned. Interestingly, INFPs as a group reported the second lowest occurence of heart disease and hypertension.
To function at their best
INFPs function best when they are managing significant projects from start to finish. They enjoy receiving encouragement and respect for their unique contribution.
Unfortunately, INFPs have the second-lowest marital satisfaction of all types. (INFJs are even less happy.) Why could this be? INFPs have some of the most trouble of all in finding a mate. Do INFPs have a hard time finding the right person, or do they settle for less than they actually want?
It might also be noted here that like all NFs, INFPs tend to idealize their relationships. Imperfections in their beloved may be ignored or else may cause disillusionment when discovered. For now, the question of why INFPs are unhappy with their marriage/intimate relationships remains open for speculation.
INFP at work
The ideal work environment for an INFP is one that is highly people-oriented and encourages harmony, mutual support, and cooperation. Ideally, there would be minimal focus and insistence on rules and procedures.