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. (Not sure of your personality type? We recommend this free personality test.)
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.
“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.
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Read this: 10 Contradicting Things About INFPs
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