The INFP personality type, one of the 16 personality types described by the Myers-Briggs personality test, is one of the rarer personality types, found in 4% of the population.

This personality is often called ‘the idealist’ or ‘the mediator’ and is characterized by a preference for introversion over extroversion, intuition over observation, feeling over thinking, and perceiving over judging.

Here are a few traits you will certainly relate to if INFP is your personality type:

1. We’re good companions

INFPs reportedly make good long-term companions. Although we can usually count their friends on one hand, we’re very caring and protective of those we’ve become close to. We’re fiercely loyal to both people we care about and to our own values.

2. Our values are important to us

Because of our bias for introverted feeling, those with an INFP personality type have a strong sense of what our personal values are and this can be one of the most defining features of our personalities. Though we avoid conflict as a rule, when it comes to defending our values or those we care about, we can become forceful and confrontational.

3. We’re considerate of others

Having a strong feeling preference, INFP personalities are sensitive to the needs of others and are good at perceiving how people feel without being told explicitly. We’re also respectful of others’ need for independence and space, as, being introverted, we have a strong need for our personal space too.

4. We’re hopeless romantics

The feeling bias that the INFP personality type has, combined with our preference for intuition and introversion, makes us very romantic. The preference for feeling makes relationships very important to us, while our introversion means we don’t easily relate to people and look for long-term, exclusive bonds.

This combined with a preference for intuition – which makes us prone to fantasizing, idealizing, and romanticizing people and situations –  means the reality of people and the world can disappoint us.

5. We can be overly confident in our intuition

The dependence on intuition (relying on impressions and then seeking patterns and constructing meaning) rather than on sensing (relying on the information observed exactly as it is and drawing logical conclusions) means that those with an INFP personality traits can be very astute in reading between the lines at best, and paranoid and accusatory of others at worst.

We’re more interested in what’s going on below the surface, and although we often make correct assumptions, we should be wary of being too trusting of our own intuitive abilities and being too confident we ‘know’ things that may not have a grounding in reality.

If we have bad experiences, we can become distrustful of others because of the tendency to pattern seek and connect events in our heads.

6. We should be careful about not misinterpreting people

INFP personalities rely more on intuition than sensing, more on feeling than thinking rationally, and more on what is going on inside their heads than outside. This means we can remember things in a different way to the way they happened.

For example, let’s say you tell an INFP personality something that happens to hit upon one of our sensitivities.

  • We’ll remember how we felt when you said it rather than what you said;
  • By the time we’re finished connecting it to every other bad thing you ever said to us, what you said will be no longer recognizable;
  • When you ask us to repeat what you said originally, it’ll sound ten times worse than what you actually said and you end up wondering when you entered in the twilight zone.

7. We’re great listeners

In most situations, though not necessarily with our nearest and dearest, those with an INFP personality type are genuinely more interested in other people than in talking about ourselves.

We shouldn’t claim this as a sign of our selflessness, as we find searching for patterns in the behavior of people interesting and useful. We believe strongly in the validity of subjective feeling and experience, as that’s what we most identify with.

8. We tire quickly of company however

Because of our sensitivity and introversion, INFP personalities can become quickly exhausted by human interaction.

Too much noise, talking, or sensory stimulation can make us irritable, over-emotional, or even physically ill. This doesn’t mean that we dislike other people, and being sensitive, we’re horrified when people get the wrong idea.

9. We’re often misunderstood at first

The combination of introversion with intuition and feeling makes INFP personalities seem distant and aloof at first. This is partly because of a tendency to live in our own heads, daydreaming and fantasizing, and partly because of our innate shyness and fear of rejection.

Because we’re often heavily armored psychologically, people might assume we’re arrogant or cold. The opposite is usually true on closer acquaintance when we can be warm-hearted and fun.

10. We can be disorganized and impractical

Because of the preference for perceiving over judging, people with INFP have both the positive characteristics of the perceiving type (flexibility, adaptability, openness, etc.) as well as the negative (disorganization, messiness, indecisiveness, etc.).

It’s worth INFP types working hard on our organizational and practical skills to avoid becoming flustered and stressed when having to cope with the kind of daily practical tasks which all of us are called upon to deal with in life.


I used a combination of self-observation and research in this article. Are you an INFP personality type? Do these things apply to you too or do you think I have been overly subjective in my description? Let me know.

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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Jocelyn

    Hi there Caroline:
    You are right on in so many ways. Thank you for such a great article….truly fascinating to receive validation in your article….that I am not going crazy and indeed there are others like myself.

    Keep up the good work.
    Looking forward to your next article.

    Jocelyn Picard

    1. Caroline Hindle

      Thanks Jocelyn, that’s great to hear. I’m so glad you liked it 🙂

  2. Emma

    This doesn’t say a lot about the perceiving preference, so most of it applies equality to INFJs. Would love to see more about what distinguishes INFP from INFJ.

  3. Don

    I am this personality type and find your article well written and applies to me in many ways. I do not believe you were overly subjective. Any personality type description with self observation will contain personal viewpoints and feelings and by the topic’s nature must have subjectivity. That provides more for thought and comparison. Well done.

    1. Caroline Hindle

      Thanks Don for your helpful comment. I really appreciate your letting me know.

  4. Hannah Whatley

    Hi Caroline! I am most certainly an INFP, and am recently discovering that the things we INFPs do and feel are not wrong. I didn’t realize that those things are a part of us. All of these are true for me, but one was especially accurate: I am drained with too much interaction, haha. I love people very much, but I thought there was something I was doing wrong when my brain began to shut down after a certain number of hours or overnight. Thank you so much for posting these articles; I’m so glad there are other INFPs like you out there!

  5. Tiffany

    Wow you lnow me so well!!! Even down to my disorganized clutter! I am always late, does that figure in the equation also???

  6. Stephen Bohanan

    Hi. I am an infj (so just a little different), but 2 of my best friends are your type.. No wonder we love each other! Thanks for the info. Sincerely, Stephen

  7. Jill

    Hello, you nailed it! I identify with every one and shared with my husband so he can try to understand me a little better. I often avoid small talk and situations that would require engaging with neighbors/co-workers. I recently left a job in management after realizing I HATE managing others. I absolutely felt drained at the end of each day and felt like an imposter as a manager. I’m on a path to figure out a career that is better suited for an INFP. Thank you for the insightful article.

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