When it comes to their social life, people with the INFP personality type (Mediators) may find themselves caught in a web of contradictions. INFPs 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 self. And while these personalities 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, INFPs 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. INFPs 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, INFPs tend to feel most fulfilled by spending time with a small, intimate circle of friends. Quality trumps quantity for these sometimes shy personalities, as they prefer relationships with depth where they can share their wildest hopes, dreams, and fears without having to worry about being judged. Acquaintances may come and go, but their real inner circle likely includes some lifelong friends.
Searching for a Kindred Spirit
Although INFPs 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. INFPs 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. They enjoy delving into deep, philosophical discussions and exploring different ideas, often bridging the gap between reality and the fantastical.
That said, this type is capable of befriending all sorts of people. INFPs’ combination of the Intuitive (N) and Prospecting (P) personality traits draws them to diverse perspectives, which helps them appreciate friends whose experiences and worldviews are totally different from their own. These personalities may actually find it invigorating to connect with someone who, on the surface, has little in common with them.
Friends for Life
When INFPs 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 this personality type, including a fierce protective streak. Many INFPs find that they can stand up for their friends in ways that they’d struggle to manage for themselves.
Although INFP personalities 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 Introverts often do. These departures are usually temporary, but INFPs may need to make sure that their friends don’t feel snubbed by their absence.
All in all, navigating INFP friendships is a deeply personal and emotionally enriching journey. Their friendships are marked by unhindered empathy, intellectual explorations, and an incredible depth of understanding, making them one of the most cherished friends to have.