5 Experiences Every INFP Has Had

IntrovertDear.com INFP experiences

Are you an INFP personality type? If so, you have permission to feel special, because people who fall into this category make up only 4 percent of the population, making it a fairly rare personality type. As an INFP, you’re in some pretty good—and starry—company. William Shakespeare, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Johnny Depp are all examples of famous INFPs. If you’re wondering what INFP stands for, here’s a breakdown of the acronym:

I = Introvert

N = Intuitive

F = Feeling

P = Perceiving

Here are five of the most common scenarios you’ll likely have come across as someone of this personality type, as well as some tips to help you succeed as an INFP and lead as much of a stress-free life as possible:

1. The daily struggle with motivation

One of the core traits of the INFP personality type is a deep-rooted desire to do only what feels authentic. In other words, as an INFP, you find it hard to build up the will to do something if it doesn’t correspond with your core values or what “feels right” to you. Unless something is aligned with your inner beliefs, it can be really hard to work up the motivation to tackle it.

This may be due to your inherent idealism. Unfortunately, reality rarely matches up to all that your (very) imaginative mind can conjure. When it comes to things you believe in, however? That’s a whole different story. For example, sorting through a data-filled spreadsheet may fill you with dread, but writing a piece about a local charity will have you writing through the night. When asked why you can’t work up the motivation for certain things, it’s likely you won’t be able to come up with an explanation better than: “I just don’t want to…”

2. Everyone else is in agreement, but you can’t go along with the crowd

If you don’t agree with the popular decision, you’re not the kind of person who can just go along with things (as much as you want to). Again, this is because you’re strongly guided by your principles rather than more analytical processes. It’s likely you’ll react strongly if you feel something important to you is being betrayed; for example, if you’re asked to fire someone at work who you think does a great job. It’s important to have these grounded values and morals, but it can make things difficult sometimes, especially for someone who doesn’t like conflict.


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“But I want to keep everyone happy.” Sound familiar? This is a classic INFP way of thinking, and you may find yourself constantly in pursuit of the middle ground. However, it may not always exist. Sometimes, it’s best to stick to your values and what feels authentic and right to you.

3. Being overlooked in the workplace

The funny thing is, INFPs are natural leaders. You like to treat everyone fairly, so you are pretty egalitarian in your outlook. This also translates to diplomacy and a desire to let everyone have their say. While this is by no means a negative thing, sometimes colleagues need more guidance. In other words, they expect a boss to step up and be a boss. The INFP’s reluctance to delegate and critique in the workplace can hamper promotion prospects. How many times have you felt overlooked in favor of an extroverted colleague?


It’s also common for INFPs to let a mixture of emotions and high standards affect their work. It’s hard not to take criticism personally, but your natural leadership qualities will shine through if you’re able to compartmentalize the personal from the professional a little.

4. Desperately avoiding conflict

Like many introverts, you avoid conflict at all costs and tend to take things seriously if you do get into any kind of confrontation. Social situations extract enough energy from you already without the added frustration and stress that conflict brings. How many times have you agreed to something you didn’t really believe in, just to avoid an argument?

This scenario becomes especially difficult when you want to please people by aligning your beliefs with theirs, but you don’t feel you’re being true to your authentic self if you do so. You always have a sense of what’s right, and you prefer to go with this rather than what others think you should do.

5. Being so focused on the internal that you neglect the external

We get it. Sometimes, the world inside your head is so much more interesting than the one outside. This kind of creativity is a strength, but it can also mean you struggle with being practical. When you’re wrapped up in your own head, it’s all too easy to neglect essential day-to-day tasks, like taking care of yourself and keeping in contact with loved ones. How many times have you forgotten to text or call someone back due to a new creative project you’re working on?

Hands up if you’ve ever experienced any one of these other typical INFP scenarios:

  • The house is so disheveled that it looks like you threw a crazy party (you didn’t)—but the good news is that you’re on page 100 of your novel!
  • You’re not content with what you have because you’re too preoccupied with the idea of what you should have.
  • You find it difficult to build deep, meaningful relationships because you feel self-conscious around people at first.

Calling all INFPs. Do you agree with the above examples? What experiences have you had as a result of being an INFP personality type? Share your thoughts in the comments and it may help others too. retina_favicon1

Read this: 10 Contradicting Things About INFPs



4 Comments

  • Cyn says:

    Hi Jose,
    Thanks for sharing this article. 🙂 I can identify with every experience you describe to varying degrees, especially the struggle with motivation.
    What exactly are you speaking of when you say, “not content with what you have” ? Are you referring to material posessions, or more than that ?
    I’m not sure whether the following really is due to my INFP personality type: I have great difficulty verbalizing by thoughts and feelings, especially when nervous, agitated. This is a huge problem to me as it hinders me to explain my ideas clearly, get my point across, and stand my ground, which has an enormous negative impact on my confidence, self-esteem, and relationships.

  • tinus bezuidenhout says:

    1. The daily struggle with motivation
    (Maybe because of the influence of ADHD and the fact that, that was a struggle by its self to get under control it is safe to say that motivation comes naturally because of the continuous effort I’ve put into survival.
    Although i still have the urge to do only what feels authentic.
    It is still hard to build up the will to do something if it doesn’t correspond with your core values or what “feels right” to you.
    But i have learned to separate work and personal thoughts and can still on a personal level experience things as having to aligned with your inner beliefs,
    At home it can be really hard to work up the motivation to tackle it.

    Unfortunately, reality rarely matches up to all that your (very) imaginative mind can conjure.
    (I have made peace with this)

    2. Everyone else is in agreement, but you can’t go along with the crowd
    (in reality “career wise” sometimes you will have to. And you have no other choice. As hard as it may be, you have to accept other people are superior in position and that they by superiority have the final say.)

    It is true, it’s not easy doing something you do not believe in or hurting people

    3. Being overlooked in the workplace

    (This i have not found a compromise for. I treat everyone the same but i do show respect to those that are placed in a position of authority.)

    4. Desperately avoiding conflict
    (Me without a doubt)

    You always have a sense of what’s right, and you prefer to go with this rather than what others think you should do.
    (very true)

    5. Being so focused on the internal that you neglect the external

    creativity is a strength, but it can also mean you struggle with being practical.
    (I’m very practical, logical that is caused by ADHD, where we are logical thinking and learn from practical experience.)

    When you’re wrapped up in your own head, it’s all too easy to neglect essential day-to-day tasks, like taking care of yourself and keeping in contact with loved ones. How many times have you forgotten to text or call someone back due to a new creative project you’re working on?
    (this is me on a daily bases, use an app to assist in keeping focused, also a trait of ADHD as we can not keep focus but can also over focus)

    The house is so disheveled that it looks like you threw a crazy party (you didn’t)—but the good news is that you’re on page 100 of your novel! (Also me)

    You’re not content with what you have because you’re too preoccupied with the idea of what you should have. (I made peace with what i have though)

    You find it difficult to build deep, meaningful relationships because you feel self-conscious around people at first.(Also me)

    In all of this, “finding who i am” it is a great and awesome journey to see what i was and what i have become. @41 i realize that the person i was is the person i will be. I have changed some instances to actually just survive in the world we have to live in. And at last i feel no need to wonder what I am, who I am or why i think the way i do.
    Even matching up where the ADHD part of me meets the INFP in me, gave me peace no to say I know now who I am.
    Thank you for your tremendous work in showing people like me where we fit into in this world.
    God bless you.

  • Pippa says:

    So much of this resonates with me and it comes as a big relief to see it spelled out so clearly . I feel more motivated than ever to address the downsides of having such a presonality, especially in my role as a manager who hates conflict like I hate the idea of nuclear war and who personalises everything little bitty thing.
    I tend to find myself more alone in things than feels comfortable, but the idea of being closely involved with others socially and in work setting is also difficult, but I came across the following saying recently that I am taking to heart: .”..if you want to travel quickly, then travel alone, if you want to travel far, then travel together ” So now I just need to find the people who can cope with me and me with them!

  • Carson Hall says:

    I am a very strong INFP and some of these are spot on, but I don’t necessarily agree with all. 1. Motivation – I do have a problem with that, I’m retired and have really never have had much motivation to get anything started that I don’t feel like doing. I have found a way to balance this, I use a kitchen timer for practically everything I do. I limit my fun stuff (guitar, painting, drawing, etc) to 30 minutes at a time. I also set a timer for the things I don’t want to do, and try to get it done in that amount of time. For example: 10 minutes to clean all toilets or tubs, or do the dishes. I also use the site wheeldecide.com to help me plan my day, otherwise I would just do what I enjoy. Also, I have the need to empathize with my cats and husband: How would I feel if I had to step in my toilet with a bunch of pee and poop in it? That gets me to the litter box every day.

    2. I cannot go along with the crowd, and although I don’t like to get in situations where I have to be with others, in my past when I worked, it did cause a lot of problems because I always felt I needed to do or say what was right and not go along with the crowd.

    3. I worked for my local police department and worked my way up from a typist to a supervisor. I loved my work, but not the people I worked with. I did have a hard time fitting in, and the biggest mistake I ever made was becoming a supervisor. I have to disagree that INFP’s make good leaders. I found out that most people like to be micro-managed and that is not my style. Also, if you have other management above you, there is no way they will agree with your style, and most employees are confused by unorthodox INFP ways. I would have to go completely opposite on this one, DO NOT become a “leader” unless it is what you really really want, don’t do it for anyone else like I did. At one point of my employment I was given little “jobs” to do and I learned them and then rearranged how they were done to make them more efficient, which was really fun. I didn’t mind doing some of the more boring tasks because I also did a lot of really great tasks and didn’t have to partner up with anyone (this was before I was supervisor)

    4. Yes, I hate conflict. Another reason why being a “leader” is a bad idea. Although I love my son, I have to admit there are times when I don’t like being around him because he thrives on conflict and it is very stressful.

    5. I have gotten better, but yes, my house looks like a mess. I have a lot going on so cleaning is mixed up with the fun stuff so it isn’t as bad. The use of the wheel decide and the timer really help. I also have a master list of things I need to do which I update regularly. I used to be really bad, dishes piled up, laundry piled up, stuff everywhere, but I have it comfortably under control. As far as not being content with what I have, I do not long for any material items, I don’t desire fame or fortune, so I have zero problem with that. I do dress like my idol (Kurt Cobain) and my hair usually looks messy and dirty like his, and I wear no makeup. Fashion makes no sense to me at all, jeans and t-shirts and an occasional dress with one of my three pairs of shoes is good enough. My husband and I share mens underwear and he is the one who usually throws away the old ratty ones away, I’d wear them until they are in shreds. As far as friends go, I have one. We’ve been friends for 35 years and met at work (she is also an INFP and has similar issues as I do).

    I hope this wasn’t too long, but that is my life experience and how I’ve learned to deal with some of the problems of being an INFP. I just want to add that finding out I was an INFP (when I was 52 years old) it was a life changer for me. All my life I thought there was something seriously wrong with me because I wasn’t like everyone else. My Mom dedicated her life into turning me into a social butterfly, and started me in therapy when I was a teen and I have been going ever since. First to find out what is wrong with me, and now to make peace with my past. I only wish I knew when I was younger, my life would have made sense, but I’m blessed that I found out.

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