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

4 years ago
Like many of you, the INFP personality is dominant in my life; however, I see other personality types creep in at times. I love to dream and see 'things' how I would like for them to be. In my earlier years, shyness would impede my interaction with others. I have taught myself to overcome this trait, with a fair amount of success. Having said that, I still prefer and treasure my time to myself. In my mind, I think I have solved 90% of the world's problems many times over. I am very adequate with ideas to improve life, but implementation of them is a glaring weakness. I have very few close friends, albeit, being friendly to others comes easily for me. Once you have earned my trust, I am one of those who will stick closer to you than a brother. Empathy and passion ooze from my heart, but very few get to see this side of me. I am very hesitant to show my inner feelings to others, unless I am totally confident and firmly relaxed with them. Music is the soul of my soul. Music says so much to those who let it intertwine with their inner being. I will admit though, I can't sing a lick nor play a tune on any instrument. But inside me, I do both with delicate perfection. So I say to other INFP's, enjoy life wherever you may find it, whether it be with others or alone. No one can withdraw the beauty you intimately hold within yourself.
3 years ago
Beautiful :)
3 years ago
Thank you, Virgil, for summing me (us) up so beautifully. Music has always been the soul of my soul. Thank you, too, for the encouragement of your closing sentence.
3 years ago
Wow, I feel exactly the same way! I totally share the trait about "fixing world problems" but not implementing them. In some ways I am very much a thinker...not only do I dream a lot and have a vivid imagination, I'm always inventing things in my mind (things I believe would actually make life better if I had the means to act on them). I am still working on overcoming shyness and building confidence, and these are the things I have learned in the process (so far): 1. There is nothing wrong with being introverted and needing alone time. In fact, introverts are actually super awesome, and the world could not be as good as it is without us! Embrace that about you. 2. Because we feel so much, we never want to do or say things that annoy others, cause discomfort, or bore people. Because of this, and because it is so easy for us to sense the judgement and criticism that is so prevalent of today, we tend to hold our tongues and just stay silent most of the time - UNLESS we are very comfortable with who we are with. My advise to you others: just because we can sense other's judgement, doesn't mean their judgement of you (or anything else) is correct. Learn to be yourself and say what you wish, despite what someone else will think of you. Risk the world's annoyance and criticism and just be YOU. 3. If you have grown up with critical/judgemental parent(s), chances are you yourself has become the same of yourself. I myself have grown up with a very critical perfectionist father, and this has definitely done a number on my self-esteem. When we are only shown love and acceptance when we are pleasing someone else, it is so easy - especially for us INFP, being the perfectionists that we are - to start to believe we are not good enough or worthy unless we are perfect. Of course that is absolutely impossible, end so we just end up feeling ashamed of ourselves and we try to hide from the world. For anyone out there that feels this way, please read the book "Daring Greatly" by Brene Brown. I am not even finished with the book yet, and I already know it will be an invaluable investment. If you want to get passed the shame of who you feel you are to freely be who you really are, I - again - greatly recommend that book. 4. Learning to love yourself and becoming comfortable with yourself means full acceptance of who and how you are NOW. Whether you are round, thin, square, black, white or green. Whether you are on the hot list or the not list. Whether you are loud or quiet, silly, serious, giggly, goofy, poetic, prophetic, or melodic. Learn to love all the little intricate things that make you you. All the little imperfections. Know that you are flawed, yet PERFECTLY flawed. And it is good. Start loving yourself as you are now. Never say "I will deserve love when I am 10 lbs lighter", or "I need to be popular, have clear skin, be skinny, learn to talk to people, be outgoing, etc. etc., and then I will love myself." Because you won't. You must first love yourself unconditionally (meaning no matter what) and exactly as you are. The first step is making the decision to learn to accept and love yourself as you are. It will be a journey, but it's one worth taking. <3
4 years ago
I feel like this describes me fairly well, but at the same time I love math and logic, yet sometimes I don't. Music is another huge part of my life, yet I'm a huge nerd and hermit with my books.
4 years ago
It's scary because it's accurate. D: I always wondered before on why I am isolated from others but I've got to admit sometimes that I'm the one who withdraws myself from them. My mind never stops thinking about things. Usually, I think of things that if I do that, what will probably happen in the future? I also sometimes think of myself being another person. "What if I'm her/him, will things ever be the same?" Probably I think too much of those because I have low self-esteem, but it is true that when someone bashes on something I believe, I tend to debate with them. I also always lose from quarrels because I'm sensitive that I cry easily. But I always forgive, no matter how bad the situation is but I'll never forget what had happened. Ideas never stop coming out of my head that I always ended up writing or drawing about them or I just think more about it. Hell, it is the sole answer on why I can't sleep well. Since I'm too excited from writing/drawing, it is also true that I miss lunchtime, snacktime and sometimes dinner which is very bad. I have my own original character that I believe his traits came from my personality but I'm rendered shocked when I realized the personality I gave to him was ISFP. Could it be I can be an ISFP too? I love music, a LOT too. I like to listen, sing, dance, compose and even play instruments. I can't imagine my life without art and music! Sometimes I think of myself too as an ENFP person because I talk too much with my friends and I love to have friends. And lastly, I hate too much logical and rational way of thinking. I HATE math. My father says take it as a challenge but I never did it because I hate analyzing and solving especially when numbers are involved.
4 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.
4 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!
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