INFP

Dominant, Introverted Feeling (Fi): Inwardly focused on evaluating ideas according to their personal values

Auxiliary, Extraverted Intuition (Ne): Outwardly focused on possibilities for enhancing human potential

At Their Best 
People with INFP preferences have an inner core of values that guides their interactions and decisions. They want to be involved in work that contributes to both their own growth and inner development and those of others – to have a purpose beyond their paycheck. They make a priority of clarifying their values and living in congruence with them.

INFPs recognize and honor the emotional and psychological needs of others, even when others may not have recognized or expressed their own needs.

INFPs can be considered the Insightful Enhancers. They use Introverted Feeling (Fi) as their core approach to work and living. INFPs usually take a calm, reflective, personal approach. They tend to quietly work with and help others in a supportive manner.

Insightful Enhancers thrive in situations where they can learn about and understand what is important to people. They often want to express themselves personally in their work. If you are an Insightful Enhancer, you are likely at your best when you are connecting with others and working in harmony.  To gather more information, Insightful Enhancers tend to explore and play with new ideas. This open-ended approach to the world provides input to help INFPs refine and solidify important personal values. Usually, others will see the Insightful Enhancer using this secondary, flexible approach, but this adaptability is guided by and limited to what fits with the INFP’s values. For example, if others push too much against a core value, they will see the normally adaptable INFP become more stubborn and less flexible.

Characteristics of INFPs
INFPs primarily use their Feeling preference internally where they make decisions based on their values of self-understanding, individuality, and growth. Living by moral commitments to what they believe in is crucial to INFPs. They are likely to be:
 
• Sensitive, concerned, and caring
  
• Idealistic and loyal to their ideas

INFPs enjoy reading, discussing, and reflecting on possibilities for positive change in the future. They are curious about ideas and quick to see connections and meanings. INFPs are likely to be:
  
• Be curious and creative
  
• Have long-range vision

INFPs are usually fascinated by opportunities to explore the complexities of human personality – their own and others’. They tend to work in bursts of energy and are capable of great concentration and output when fully engaged in a project. They are generally faithful in fulfilling obligations related to people, work, or ideas to which they are committed, but they can have difficulty performing routine work that has little meaning for them.

INFPs are typically imaginative, independent HELPERS; reflective, inquisitive, empathetic, loyal to ideals: more tuned to possibilities than practicalities. Having Introverted Feeling as their strongest mental process, they are at their best when their inner ideals find expression in their helping of people.

They typically value:
  
• Harmony in the inner life of ideas
  
• Harmonious work settings; working individually
  
• Seeing the big picture possibilities
  
• Creativity; curiosity, exploring
  
• Helping people find their potential
  
• Giving ample time to reflect on decisions
  
• Adaptability and openness
  
• Compassion and caring; attention to feelings
  
• Work that lets them express their idealism
  
• Gentle, respectful interactions
  
• An inner compass; being unique
  
• Showing appreciation and being appreciated
  
• Ideas, language and writing
  
• A close, loyal friend
  
• Perfecting what is important

How Others May See Them 
INFPs find structures and rules confining and prefer to work autonomously. They are adaptable and flexible until something violates their inner values. Then they stop adapting. The resulting expression of value judgments can emerge with an intensity that is surprising to others.

INFPs tend to be reserved and selective about sharing their most deeply held values and feelings. They value relationships based on depth, authenticity, true connection, and mutual growth. INFPs prize most those who take time to understand their values and goals.

Others usually see INFPs as:
  
• Sensitive, introspective, and complex
  
• Original and individual
  
• Sometimes difficult to understand

Potential Areas of Growth 
Sometimes life circumstances have not supported INFPs in the development and expression of their Intuitive and Feeling preferences.

If they have not developed their Intuition, INFPs may not have reliable ways to take in information and may fail to notice the realities of situations. Then they may make decisions based solely on personal values and find it difficult to translate their values into action.

If they have not developed their Feeling, they may not take time for the inner valuing process by which they make their best decisions, instead going from one exciting possibility to another and achieving little.

If INFPs do not find a place where they can use their gifts and be appreciated for their contributions, they usually feel frustrated and may:
  
• Have uncharacteristic difficulty expressing themselves verbally
  
• Withdraw from people and situations
  
• Not give enough information to others, especially about important values

It is natural for INFPs to give less attention to their non-preferred Thinking and Sensing parts. If they neglect these too much, however, they may:
  
• Become easily discouraged about the contrast between their ideals and accomplishments
  
• Reject logical reasoning even in situations that require it, asserting the supremacy of their internal viewpoint
  
• Be impractical and have difficulty estimating the resources required to reach a desired goal

Under Great Stress
Under great stress, INFPs may begin seriously doubting their own competence and that of others, becoming overly critical and judgmental. 


Sources
Introduction to Type, Sixth Edition developed by Isabel Briggs Myers

MMTIC®Murphy-Meisgeier Type Indicator for Children developed by Charles Martin, Elizabeth Murphy, and Betsy Styron

Donna Dunning’s terrific blog

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