When it comes to their social lives, Mediators (INFPs) may find themselves caught in a web of contradictions. People with this personality type crave alone time, but they’re also vulnerable to loneliness. They long to feel accepted and well-liked, but they hate the idea of pretending to be anyone but their authentic selves. And while they hesitate to draw attention to themselves, they don’t want to be invisible, either.
The good news is that, in the company of true friends, Mediators can escape the hamster wheel of these insecurities and focus on what really matters. For these personalities, friendship is a precious commodity – an opportunity for two people to lift each other up and change each other’s lives for the better. Mediators truly believe in the old saying that “a friend in need is a friend indeed.” Few things bolster their sense of purpose like being there for someone they care about.
Perhaps because of their intense investment in these relationships, Mediators tend to feel most fulfilled by spending time with a small, intimate circle of friends. Acquaintances may come and go, but this inner circle is likely to include Mediators’ friends for life.
Searching for a Kindred Spirit
Although Mediators are warm and accepting, they don’t always find it easy to make friends. This may be because superficial, casual relationships can leave these personalities feeling a bit empty. Mediators are looking for lasting, authentic friendships with people who share their desire to think and feel deeply, to do the right thing, and to give more to the world than they take from it.
That said, Mediators are capable of befriending all sorts of people. The combination of their Intuitive and Prospecting personality traits draws them to diverse perspectives, which helps them appreciate friends whose experiences and worldviews are totally different from their own. Mediators may actually find it invigorating to connect with someone who, on the surface, has little in common with them.
For Mediators, a true friendship is founded on shared values, not just shared experiences. People with this personality type are unlikely to form strong friendships simply out of convenience. For example, while their affection for their coworkers may be strong, just working in the same office or shop isn’t enough for Mediators to guarantee a substantial friendship. Deeper connections must come into play.
Friends for Life
When Mediators befriend someone, they may secretly (or not so secretly) hope to stay close with that person for life. These personalities are capable of strong, stable relationships marked by passionate support, subtle poetic wit, and a profound level of emotional insight. Long-standing friendships tend to draw out less obvious aspects of the Mediator personality type, including a fierce protective streak. Many Mediators find that they can stand up for their friends in ways that they’d struggle to manage for themselves.
Although Mediators value their friendships, they also need personal space and alone time in order to recharge. At times, people with this personality type may withdraw from even their closest friends in order to reconnect with themselves and restore their energy, as all Introverts must. These departures are usually temporary, but Mediators may need to make sure that their friends don’t feel snubbed by their absence.
Mediators look for ways to improve their friendships and share their affection with those who matter to them. Often, this takes the form of spending quality time with their friends – coming up with grand visions for the future and sharing their secret dreams and ideas with someone they know they can trust. But even when Mediators are entirely on their own, they always hold their friends in their hearts.