INFP Personality (“The Mediator”)

INFP personalities are true idealists, always looking for the hint of good in even the worst of people and events, searching for ways to make things better. While they may be perceived as calm, reserved, or even shy, INFPs have an inner flame and passion that can truly shine. Comprising just 4% of the population, the risk of feeling misunderstood is unfortunately high for the INFP personality type – but when they find like-minded people to spend their time with, the harmony they feel will be a fountain of joy and inspiration.

INFP personality

Being a part of the Diplomat personality group, INFPs are guided by their principles, rather than by logic (Analysts), excitement (Explorers), or practicality (Sentinels). When deciding how to move forward, they will look to honor, beauty, morality and virtue – INFPs are led by the purity of their intent, not rewards and punishments. People who share the INFP personality type are proud of this quality, and rightly so, but not everyone understands the drive behind these feelings, and it can lead to isolation.

All that is gold does not glitter; not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither; deep roots are not reached by the frost.

J. R. R. Tolkien

We Know What We Are, but Know Not What We May Be

At their best, these qualities enable INFPs to communicate deeply with others, easily speaking in metaphors and parables, and understanding and creating symbols to share their ideas. The strength of this intuitive communication style lends itself well to creative works, and it comes as no surprise that many famous INFPs are poets, writers and actors. Understanding themselves and their place in the world is important to INFPs, and they explore these ideas by projecting themselves into their work.

INFPs have a talent for self-expression, revealing their beauty and their secrets through metaphors and fictional characters.

INFPs’ ability with language doesn’t stop with their native tongue, either – as with most people who share the Diplomat personality types, they are considered gifted when it comes to learning a second (or third!) language. Their gift for communication also lends itself well to INFPs’ desire for harmony, a recurring theme with Diplomats, and helps them to move forward as they find their calling.

Listen to Many People, but Talk to Few

Unlike their Extraverted cousins though, INFPs will focus their attention on just a few people, a single worthy cause – spread too thinly, they’ll run out of energy, and even become dejected and overwhelmed by all the bad in the world that they can’t fix. This is a sad sight for INFPs’ friends, who will come to depend on their rosy outlook.

If they are not careful, INFPs can lose themselves in their quest for good and neglect the day-to-day upkeep that life demands. INFPs often drift into deep thought, enjoying contemplating the hypothetical and the philosophical more than any other personality type. Left unchecked, INFPs may start to lose touch, withdrawing into "hermit mode", and it can take a great deal of energy from their friends or partner to bring them back to the real world.

Luckily, like the flowers in spring, INFP’s affection, creativity, altruism and idealism will always come back, rewarding them and those they love perhaps not with logic and utility, but with a world view that inspires compassion, kindness and beauty wherever they go.

Mediators You May Know

Richard
3 years ago
I wonder why all of us INFP's feel so concerned about the 4.3 percent of the population that we represent. True, we are a very small minority, and it does explain why I have always felt alone in life generally speaking, but it seems to me that the small percentage makes us feel a bit overwhelmed. Almost as if it justifies our feelings of being from a different planet compared to the rest of the people. I know I've felt that way all of my life. Personally I am glad I am a INFP. It explains a great deal of things about me, including my desire to write, as well as my emersion into literature and the arts. That's all I have to say, glad to know that I am not alone.
Iris
3 years ago
This is so spot-on! The only thing that's different for me is that I don't have any problems receiving criticism. I do tend to take it personally, but I convert it to something relatively positive, it becomes something I just need to pay attention to. Also, this is the only test or whatnot that actually mentions 'us' being able to switch between that 'hermit' and 'awake' state, and that is really typical for me, I've had friends say. Good job on all this, it really helps me in my day to day life!
Abby
3 years ago
this makes sense. I guess I do enjoy being social just a tad more than in the description, but only because I so often feel alone. mostly its spot on.
Shawn P
3 years ago
It's funny I have a hard time dating and always end up with some pretty evil people that my best friend has to point out to me. I also am a good judge in character (except relationship wise for myself) and tend to stay away from people as much as I can and rather sit home or be out in nature alone with my dslr taking photos. I'm glad I found this website because it explains a lot how I think, act, react and feel. I never knew there was a personality type that could describe me until now and also realize why I have very few (2) people I consider friends. I don't connect much with most people
Della
3 years ago
Shawn, the "Quality" of your friends is what really matters....not the "Quantity". I only have a few friends that I share my personal life with.
Lizzy
3 years ago
I have a love-hate relationship with this personality type. On one hand, I'm very proud of my creativity and independence, and my drive to make other people feel better. On the other hand, I hate being introverted and withdrawn all the time, both physically (as in not being with other people) and mentally (daydreaming, getting lost in thought). I've always found the introvert vs. extrovert dynamic fascinating, and despise the fact that our culture caters more to extroverts. Like some of the above, I also suffer from severe depression and anxiety, and I feel like the INFP lifestyle fosters it a little too well. I know I'm at the extreme end of the introversion scale, but I find it nearly impossible to reach out and get help, especially when I feel there are others that need it more. I've poured a lot of this into my writing, however, and it endlessly amuses me that this is the writer's personality type. Makes me feel a bit better that maybe I am cut out for this and I'm not going to end up living in a cardboard box somewhere. I don't know if this is just me, but I find it very easy to get lost in fictional worlds, which can easily lead to obsession. In addition to watching and reading a lot of things, it's also my own worlds I become absorbed in. (Dumb smiling when seeing the Tolkien quote and the Star Trek characters isn't exactly normal.) To me, these characters become real people, of sorts. I get very emotionally attached to books and television shows, which results in a lot of excess emotion over fictional people that others will just laugh at me for. I do know where fiction stops and reality starts, so I like to think I've retained a bit of sanity, but I also know no one who cares as much about things as much as I do. Anyone else feel this way?
Kristin
3 years ago
Yes, Lizzy, it is very easy for me to get lost in fictional worlds, too. It was difficult to finish reading Mockingjay. Katniss was so shell-shocked / PTSD. I was so sad, almost devastated. I didn't realize how badly I wanted the shiny, happy ending for her, and I was a little angry that she ended up in that house, alone, in the rocking chair. But as I continued to read I appreciated how the author showed her slowly beginning to recover and find herself and process the horrific events of her young life. The author really did give her the happy ending, and I admired how it is a realistic happy ending given all the circumstances. When I read, I prefer a series because the story continues, and the characters grow and change and almost become part of my family. I have to be careful because my mind goes round and round in the story even when I am not reading. The same thing happens with some movies and TV series (I was devastated when Rubicon was canceled). I try not to watch many series on TV because it becomes addictive--I want to be lost in those worlds and can obsess if I do not get my "fix". Uggh. I can easily watch a movie several times in a row; I see a different layer in the characters or the cinematograpy or the soundtrack each time.
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