6 Things INFPs Wish They Could Tell You About Themselves

IntrovertDear.com INFP want you to know

Being an INFP personality type has a lot of upsides: we see the best in people, we’re thoughtful and creative, and as idealists, we see what could be instead of what is. But it has its downsides, too, not the least of which is that we’re often misunderstood. And often we’re either too polite or too self-conscious to tell you the truth about ourselves.

(What’s your personality type? We recommend this free personality test.)

So here are a few things that I, an INFP, wish people knew about me. If any of these things don’t apply to the INFPs you know, or if you’re an INFP and disagree with these things, I apologize. I’m not trying to speak for all INFPs—we’re a diverse bunch, and I love that about us. But I think most of these apply to most INFPs, and I hope that you learn something from them:

1. We can become absorbed in our own world. But that doesn’t mean we think we’re better than others or more interesting. In fact, we have a deep respect for all humans, and are intensely curious about people. But because we’re introverts, it can be hard for us to get to know other people. Consequently, we’re curious about ourselves and we spend a lot of time studying ourselves. And the more we know, the more we want to know—and we end up losing ourselves in our inner world.

2. We want to know everything about you. Speaking of relationships, please talk to us about everything. We want to know all about you: your deepest secrets and hidden fears and what makes you tick. We don’t want to talk about the weather. We want to know how you slipped in a puddle when you were 10 years old and broke your knee, and ever since, you deliberately splash in puddles because you want to show that nothing can beat you. We want to know how you once got stuck inside a bookstore when it was raining and ended up finding a wonderful new author and making friends with the bookstore cat. We want to know that when it starts raining at night, you always panic for a few seconds because it sounds like footsteps outside.

3. We feel like we don’t fit in. INFPs are an odd mixture of curiosity, introversion, and quirkiness, so we often feel like we don’t fit in. Hence we either withdraw from the world completely and do our own thing or we try to change ourselves to fit in better. But the hermit will always have a part that wants to be accepted, and the people-pleaser will always have a rebellious streak. When we’re young, we INFPs may mask our true nature in an attempt to fit in. It may take us a long time to learn to act “normal.” Once we’ve learned that, it may take us even longer to realize that we don’t have to act normal. So bear with us as we find our place in the world.

4. Don’t make us question our sanity. My brother once pretended he couldn’t see a soccer field as we drove by it. Of course, he later told me he was joking, but here’s the thing about INFPs—we spend a lot of time seriously wondering if we have a mental illness. We can know we’re completely sane, have doctors tell us we’re completely sane, have family assure us we’re completely sane, but still, we just…wonder. Sometimes a part of our brain is pretty sure that all of life is a vivid hallucination and we’re severely schizophrenic. Other times we’re pretty sure that we don’t experience emotions the same way others do so we must be sociopathic. And for INFPs who really do have a mental illness, it’s worse. So please don’t joke about insanity with us. For us, it’s no laughing matter.

5. Our emotions can confuse us. Just because we know all about your emotions doesn’t mean we have the slightest idea what our feelings are. We know that emotions can be tricky, and when something bad happens—like a breakup or the death of a relative who has been ill for a long time—a person can feel so many things, including anger and helplessness but also relief (along with enormous guilt because of the relief). But if you ask us something like, “Do you feel sad about your dad dying?” there’s a very good chance we won’t be able to answer because we have no idea how we feel, or if we feel anything at all. I went through a period of depression after my father died, but while it was going on, I hadn’t the faintest clue that I was depressed. In fact, I thought I didn’t feel any grief at all. Only years later did I realize that I had been grieving, and even now I’m still not sure how I currently feel about my father’s death. I think I’m at a point of acceptance, but who knows? A year from now I might realize that I’m in denial. If we seem confusing to you, it’s nothing to how confusing we are to ourselves.

6. We have a dark side. A lot of people think that INFPs are bundles of sweetness and light, but that’s not always true. Like any other human being, we can be caring at times but we can also be harsh. We can be the nicest and most tender person you know, or we can be judgmental and downright cruel. That’s because we have bad days too. But you can bet that when we lash out at someone with harsh words, we feel guilty about it later.

In the end, being an INFP personality type is not “good” or “bad.” INFPs are complex, contradictory people who know the world can be a dark place—but we choose to see the light.

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Read this: 10 Contradicting Things About INFPs  retina_favicon1

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    • Kaydee C. says:

      Lovely article! Great job!

    • Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

    • Kat says:

      Thank you, especially for point 6. Reading all the articles about how sweet and all the INFPs are, I was always wondering if I am the only INFP with an inner beast. Or.. if there is any kind of mistake and I am not an INFP at all..

    • I’m glad you liked it! I agree, those articles saying “INFPs are these sweet sugar cookies who melt in rain and need to be protected” drive me crazy, too. Generalizing types as “good” can be as hurtful as generalizing types as “bad,” since it makes it seem like people who aren’t perfect are somehow worse than everyone else of their type, even though we’re actually all imperfect. It’s sweet that so many people think INFPs are precious butterflies….but sometimes it makes me want to tear my hair (or theirs) out XD

    • Kat says:

      Precious butterfly.. haha.. I wish.. on the other hand, it is good to know I have my sweet sugar cookie side too. Well hidden 🙂
      I am looking forward to your next articles.

    • Coolz says:

      Each point hit in the right place but still I cannot figure out who am i and im so lost until now…..

    • karina says:

      I loved it every part of your article, I am an INFP and now I know that I I feel and deal with is part of me that I am not crazy and I am not the only one who feels like this. Thanks!!!

    • If this article helped, I’m so glad! Good luck finding your personality type. The important thing to remember is–personality types are not definitive. Categories always have exceptions. But even if you don’t find your type, who you are is, at your core, a human. A human with loves and hopes and fears. And we are all human. If you don’t seem to fit in, or if you feel different, or lost, that doesn’t mean you’re alone, or that there’s something wrong with you. You are a human being, like all of us. And that means, no matter how different we are, we all share a deep connection that can’t be broken. I wish you the best of luck finding yourself, but always remember that who you are doesn’t depend on who others say you are. You are a human, full of contradictions and insecurities and secrets, and you are beautiful. (sorry for the long post!)

    • Joanna says:

      Thanks for the article. I would like to read more about INFP dark side and how to deal with it.

    • Joel Saito says:

      Pretty spot on article about the emotions, I look at my emotions from all angles and try to decipher them, but it can be really hard to figure out what your feeling because emotions can change so frequently. Some days, I feel super confident and ready to attack the day, and others just kind of blah… Haha, but I still accept those emotions and feelings and try and maintain some type of even keel. Thanks for the Read!

    • Lerato Kgatle says:

      So deeply moved by the 5th point because thats exactly what happened with my fathers death, and i’m still not sure how i feel about it to this day, everytime i think about it i feel bad because i feel like i dishonour him in some way by not giving him a “proper” grieving. It certainly is perplexing but reading this post has definitely sharpened my perspective.

    • Manda says:

      Everything. Even the part about your Father passing. Mine did as well, 3 years ago. Also, I’m so glad to hear someone else is constantly wondering if they’re sane. I feel as if I’ll be that person who isn’t at the 20th High School reunion (if I’d go anyway) because she’s in some insane asylum and she had really been crazy her entire life but never knew.

      Anyway, I’m glad I made that connection with you 🙂

    • cosmicchatr says:

      I questioned my sanity for many, many years. It just seemed like no one else saw the world, or experienced it, in the same way I do. It was extremely hard to connect with people. They could talk to me all day, but as soon as I opened my mouth I would lose my listener. Music helped me get through all that doubt in my sanity. Then I met my husband, an INTJ, and he listened. We didn’t always agree, but just having someone who cared enough to listen to my disjointed, often cryptic, ways of explaining things made it easier to realize I am just different.

      I hope every INFP out there finds that one person who wants to really know them. It makes a world of difference. Thanks for your lovely article.

    • LokiLover says:

      YES! To all of this! Just, all of this!

    • I am an INFJ myself but I can relate to this on several levels. I’m always struggling with wanting to get to know other people around me but my introversion stands in the way of that dream. That’s why I stand in the corner a lot with my drink when it comes to social events. I have a dark side that is coming out more and more to the point where people can see it quite easily at this point. They see the dark clothing and the (14) piercings in my head/face area – it frankly turns them off. Try dealing with that at work. *laughs quietly with a roll of the eyes*

    • Jessie Harris Rex says:

      Probably the most accurate article I have read this far. Especially the questioning my sanity I also wondered if I had a mild form of autism. The dark side also hit home. People think I am this really nice, sweet person when they meet me, but are later shocked at my fiendish sense of humor.

    • Lauren Lagergren says:

      That one about not knowing how we feel when someone dies? When my mother died, I cried at her bedside and at my best friend’s house. But later, I felt empty and have admitted we didn’t have the close relationship that my sister had with her. I’ve searched my feelings and the only thing I kind of grieve is not having that close relationship with her.

    • bo dash says:

      1, 2, and 3 are right on. Number 5, though? Couldn’t be more off the mark. INFPs feel intensely AND more importantly, we know our own emotions very very well. In fact, that deep and abiding knowledge of self, and especially our ethics and our feelings, is one of the hallmarks of being an INFP.

    • TLay Lay says:

      When you consider yourself as a Jedi but already knew you have a dark side too ^^

    • daydreamer says: