INFPs are quiet, creative , sensitive and perceptive souls who often strike others as shy, reserved and cool. These folks have a rare capacity for deep caring and commitment--both to the people and causes they idealise. INFPs guide their behavior by a strong inner sense of values, rather than by convential logic and reason. Forced to cope with this facts-and-figures 'real' world we inhabit, INFPs may appear to have been imported from another galaxy! They gravitate toward creative or human service careers which allow them to use their instinctive sense of empathy and remarkable communication skills. Strongly religious, spiritual or philosophical people, INFPs may see the purpose of their lives as an inner journey, quest or personal unfolding. More practical or rational types may tend to discredit the INFP's sources or understanding as mystical. The search for a soulmate is a preoccupation for many INFPs , who must balance their need for privacy and peace with their yearning for human connection. If there seems to be an air of sadness in the INFP's spirit, blame it on this type's longing for the perfect in all things.





Thanks to Cathleen Victoria Dodd for the INFP discussion to the right. Be sure to visit her sight for exhaustive information on other type inventories! (Many thanks to Loren Golden for sending me Ms. Dodd's new URL.)

INFPs and Stress

INFPs feel internal turmoil when they find themselves in situations in which there is conflict between their inner code of ethics and their relationships with others. They feel caught between pleasing others and maintaining their own integrity. Their natural tendency to identify with others, compounded with their self-sacrificial dispositions, tends to leave them confused as to who they really are. Their quiet personalities further feeds their feelings of depersonalization. The INFP's quest for self-identity then seems even more alluring but increasingly impossible to attain.

As with all NFs, the INFP will feel lost and perplexed at stressful times. As stress builds, INFPs become disconnected from their own personality and perceived place in life. They will lose sight of who they are in relation to time and place. They may not make basic observations, while instead they will focus on the more abstract and symbolic meanings of a particular interaction. This can sometimes baffle those who expect more direct communication and a fairly concrete relationship.

Thanks to Doug Dean



Profile · Occupations Strengths Weaknesses Careers Needs In The Workplace

INTROVERTED-Applies to the way we interact with the world. Introverts are people whose thoughts and ideas are drawn inward. This type scan the external environment and make evaluations based on their inner ideas and mental concepts. They derive their energies from these inner ideas. It is important for them to take time to study and reflect on a subject to get the right idea, before taking action. This type is able to grasp and accept a moral principle in its abstract form. Introverts are territorial and desire space. They draw their energies from activities where they can be alone to meditate or activities that require few people. Introverts can experience a sense of loneliness when they are in a crowd. Some are the most alone when surrounded by people, especially strangers. This type can enjoy being around people, but it can drain their energies. They need to find quiet places and solitary activities where they can meditate and recharge. Many introverts achieve the ability to extravert, but they never become extraverts. Introverts enjoy their private time, and if this is easily invaded, they learn to develop a high level of concentration so as to shut out the external world. Many view them as great listeners, but they may view others as taking advantage of this. They may have problems expressing themselves and are sometimes labeled by others as shy. Many times they will have to rehearse things before they say them. This type may wish to get their ideas out more forcefully and like to state their thoughts and feelings without interruption. They resent ones that blurt out something they were just about to say.

INTUITIVE-Applies to the way we take in information. Intuitive types look for the possibilities in life. What is possible is always in front of them, pulling at them like a magnet. Intuitive types are attracted to fantasy, fiction, and the future. They may enjoy figuring out how things work just for the sheer pleasure of doing so. This type is attracted to pun and word games. They are masters at metaphors and similes. Intuitive tends to think of several things at once and because of this are sometimes labeled as absentminded. This type likes to look at the big picture. They try to read between the lines, not accepting things at face value. Intuitive types tend to trust their hunch, their gut feeling, and this usually prove right, since they are highly in tune with their intuitive powers, their sixth sense. They are creative and imaginative, but are sometimes viewed as dreamers.

FEELING-Applies to the way we come to decisions. Feeling types make decisions based on how others feel. They are empathetic and sympathetic to others needs. This type puts themselves out for others, putting others needs above those of their own. Feeling types value and almost insist on others living in harmony. They will avoid conflict at all cost. This type tries to please others. They will take a comment back if they say something that offends someone else. Feeling types are usually friendly, tactful, and enjoy contributing to the welfare of others. They are personable, being more interested in people than in things.

PERCEPTIVE-Applies to the way we structure our lives. Perceptive types put much value on the open ended. They do not like to come to a conclusion unless forced to and then may still be uncomfortable with its closure. Being aware of how many factors are involved and how much is still unknown, they are terrified at making a rash decision. They hope they can solve a problem simply by understanding it better, by seeing it from all sides and eventually being able to see the thing to do. They love to explore the unknown. They don't like to be pinned down, to plan a task, to make definite statements. They prefer to be spontaneous, to live for the moment. They like to make-work fun or they lose interest in it. They don't believe in deadlines, but use them instead as alarm clocks allowing them to pick up spurts of energy at the last minute and accomplish the task. In conversations they can jump from subject to subject, depending on whatever enters their mind, or whatever enters the room.


INFPs-live their lives focusing on their values. They know what is important to them and protect this at all cost. Their values focus on the optimistic verses the pessimistic, although they are often conscience of the negative. To understand the INFP is to understand their cause. They can work tirelessly toward a cause that deems worthy. They will quietly let others know what is important to them, and rarely will they give up on their purpose. They will go along with the crowd, sometimes even letting decisions be made for them, until someone violates their value system. Then they will dig their heels into the ground and will speak up for their feelings, insisting their values be followed.

INFPs are withdrawn and are sometimes hard to get to know. Some may view them as shy. But those that take the time to get to know them will find them warm and gentle, with a surprising sense of humor. They care deeply for those they consider special friends. Putting forth-unusual sacrifices to help such individuals. They often have a subtle, tragic motif running through their lives -- inner pain and unease which others seldom detect.

INFPs are creative and are constantly seeking out new possibilities. They have a gift with language and usually will express this by means of writing. Their intuitive preference supplies the imagination and their feeling preference giving them the need to communicate. They are gifted at interpreting symbols - being drawn to metaphors and similes. Because of these gifts they often write in lyric fashion.

INFPs work must be more than just a paycheck, it must be fun and must contribute to something that is important to their values. To be the most productive they need a sense of purpose behind their job. They often have to look at the large picture in order to see how specific programs fit in. They are adaptable to changes and to new ideas. They work well with others being conscience of others feelings and relating with most, though not always vocally. They like to work with others who are cooperative and who share their same set of values. They strive for harmony and dislike conflict.

INFPs treasure their privacy and may keep a lot to themselves. They need time and space for reflection. Others usually get along well with them, although they may not know them intimately. INFPs may not always be organized. They may tend to lose things or to forget appointments. Only when they see the importance of organization in a task will they strive to work at it in an organized way to get it done. They can be extremely patient with complicated issues, but may become impatient with routine and details.

INFPs strive for perfection, and this is especially the case when using their feeling preference. They may have trouble finishing a project, because they never find it is good enough. Even when the project must be finished, they may feel the need to go back and improve on it later.

Reluctantly INFPs may accept leadership roles. They lead with their values being their guide. They do not aggressively lead people, but rather work with people to develop their talents and to independently achieve their goals. They have a hard time criticizing others, but will try to motivate them by their appreciation and praise. When conflicts arise, they avoid directly approaching the situation, but would rather wait for the others to work out the situation themselves.

INFPs view leisure activity as very important. However they may have a difficulty separating it from work. If they have a special skill they use at work, they may use this skill in their leisure time to help friends, family or those in need. When they are interested in pursuing a new leisure activity, they may spend a great deal of time researching this activity. Many INFPs enjoy activities that are done alone such as reading, listening to music, or gardening. This gives them the opportunity for reflection and meditation. They may also enjoy social activities with those they feel close to. When they want to be social they can be outgoing, charming and quiet funny, making them a pleasure to have around.

INFPs present a calm and pleasant face to the world around them. Because they are reserved, they may be over looked. But to those that know them they have a view into their warmth and concern and their deep commitments to their values.


  • Actor
  • Artist
  • Architect
  • Church Worker
  • College Professor: Humanities/Art
  • Counselor
  • Editor
  • Educational Consultant
  • Employment Development Specialist
  • English Teacher
  • Fine Arts Teacher
  • Human Resources Development Specialist
  • Journalist
  • Librarian
  • Minister/Priest
  • Missionary
  • Musician
  • Psychiatry
  • Psychologist
  • Religious Educator
  • Researcher
  • Social Scientist
  • Social Worker
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Writer: poet/Novelist

  1. They can do a good job of blending production with compassion for the work force. They enjoy giving freedom for each to develop according to their own personality and are willing to give commendation and have a listening ear for new ideas. They are able to communicate well with others on a one to one basis.

  2. They are intellectually astute, competent, and enriched with idealism.

  3. They have a high need to be of service to others. They enjoy working toward causes they believe in.

  4. They work well alone, and are faithful to their duties and obligations.

  1. When the workplace becomes negative, they may become restless. They can have mood swings between stubbornness and criticism. This is uncharacteristic of their nature and is an indicator of stress.

  2. They are perfectionists. They may be self-critical. They feel there is never enough time to do the job right. They must recognize when to quit, and live with a less than perfect product. They also must realize that others will never fully meet up to their expectations.

  3. They may become discouraged if their work is not geared toward something they believe in. They want control of their projects, and if they lose control they can lose interest.

  4. They may have trouble working in a competitive environment.

  5. They may become unrealistic when planning a project. They may become inflexible when requested to change some of their ideas.

  1. They need work that allows them to express their vision, and lets them work within their own set of values and beliefs.

  2. They need work that gives them control over the product and the process of creating it, allowing them time to fully develop their ideas

  3. They need work that gives them a private space and uninterrupted time, but allows them from time to time to meet with ones they respect, and bounce their ideas off them.

  4. They need work that gives them a flexible schedule, with no restraint to rules and regulations, and allows them to work as they feel inspired.

  5. They need work that is done in a tension free environment, with other creative caring individuals.

  6. They need work that let them be original, and that encourages personal growth and rewards it.

  7. They need work that gives them time to do the best possible job, and that doesn't call for them to do presentations of their ideas before large crowds.

  8. They need work that lets them help others to learn how to grow and develop their full potential.

  9. They need work that allows them to develop deep one to one relationships with people, letting them understand others and discover what makes them tick.

  10. They need work that allows them to fulfill their ideas, without being limited by money, time, or other obstacles.


INFPs enjoy working alone, treasuring the opportunity for contemplation. They enjoy variety in whatever they do. They enjoy taking on new projects and activities, but have a tendency to take on too many things at once. They get a sense of satisfaction from the fact that nothing is constant, which means they can positively influence a cause in a positive or constructive way.

INFPs are loyal and industrious team players. They work hard to achieve team harmony and make their work meaningful. They are encouraged from approval from others, but when criticized they may be deeply hurt, taking such criticism personally.

INFPs can be powerful leaders when dealing with people and drawing people together to achieve their purpose.

INFPs lead with people in mind. They look to the individual growth and development and will look for a way to encourage and support such growth. They may tend to relate with a few special people, being drawn to their causes and goals. They quietly encourage these individuals to achieve whatever they set out to do.

INFPs manage in a very quiet unassuming way, getting personally involved with individuals within the organization. They are at their best dealing with people, drawing out their outstanding qualities. They are naturally tuned into the motivations and emotions of others, having a gift at understanding individual differences.

Because INFPs are focused in on people's emotions and motivations, they become aware of and get involved in their co-workers personal problems. They may feel obligated at resolving disagreements and conflicts among employees, trying to create an atmosphere of harmony. INFPs listen carefully and intently to others, giving them individual attentions and responding with the proper feedback for the needed situation. They masterfully show appreciation and give praise when they find the appropriate opportunity. they direct their praise toward human accomplishment. They are alert to individual potential and look for ways to help individuals meet that potential.

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