The real INFP
INFP’s are not ISFJ’s.
The sterotypical INFP is more like an ISFJ than anything else. INFP’s are rarely sweet, typically not unconditionally kind, they don’t hide in the corner shyly and they don’t act cute.
Let’s be honest here, INFJ’s and INFP’s have this reputation in MBTI that niether of them deserve, and more importaintly, it is impossible to live up to. INFP’s are just as far from perfect as ESTP’s, ESTJ’s and ENTJ’s. INFP’s can be really mean, people. Straight up ignorant. Self-importaint. Seething with anger. INFP’s can be way meaner than ENTJ’s, more flippant than ENTP’s, more hostile than ESTP’s, and the big take away is that they often are,
THE AVERAGE INFP, is a person who is openly warm to like max 5 people. To others they keep emotional distance and are only warm when they feel like the other person needs them to be. We feel empathetic when someone opens up, and we’re a sholder to cry on only when the situation calls for it. We don’t want to hear passing gossip or shallow problems, and we’re likely to respond negatively to such things. We’re less open than we’d like, and more cold than we mean to be. Fi, as a rule of the function, is gaurded, its not a constant light shining out and lighting up the world, It’s not a sumptuous river, gushing out life from a waterfall. It’s a deep well, a very deep well, with clear water at the very bottom, and deep waters don’t run still. Our emotions are for the few close to us, and otherwise, emergency situations.
We’re, quite frankly, inapproriately cold and tactless in alot of situations. Being wholly authentic means abadoning social correctness for truity. Which may be a cute concept, but it comes off as cold and alienating in the real world. People act like INFP’s are the shy cutie of the MBTI-scape, but we’re not. (not on purpose at least) Deep emotion really does mean that its not on the surface for INFP’s, Not only that, Fi is a judgement function, so a real charactaristic of INFP’s is being stongly opinionated on certain things. This could be as harmless as fandom or as overtly as huge social issues. INFP’s are the kind of people to ask others to turn off a movie they hate, or refuse to go to a certain place because they had a bad experience there.
For every beautiful thing about INFP’s there is absolutely a not great thing, too, is all I’m saying, and in the case of INFJ’s and INFP’s those things are often ignored. The usually stated downside of INFPs being weak, scared and whiny isint even accurate. INFP’s can be Kylo Ren-esque monsters. It’s true that INFP’s can be CS Lewis-esque enlightened teachers, but alot of them arent. They can be incredibly loving, poetic, inteligent, sensitive, empathic, imaginative and peaceful, and the AVERGAGE INFP contains many of those traits, but the AVERAGE INFP might also posses some traits of being closed of, judgemental, tactless, unharmonious, opinionated, inconsiderate of others, and downright mean.
Honestly, the mark of an INFP isin’t even being caring, loving, emotional and turbulent. It’s being imaginative, prosey, figurative, out-wardly intuitive, and idea-driven. While an INFP spends most of the time in thier Fi, feeling and introspecting, outwardly they interact with Ne. Not only that, they’re likely to explain thier feelings with ideas and figurative language rather than openess. If emotions are fish in a pond, they’re likely to give you a pole rather than a fish. I get so many asks from INFP’s who ask if they’re really an INFP if they’re not outwardly emotional or a mean and nihilistic at times.
A real INFP is a random, erratic, eccentric, head-in-the-clouds philosopher, somewhat deatached from the world and its demands. They have a strong deep heart for a few close people and a cause or two close to them. They’re a bit anti-social and a bit opinionated. They open up when you do. They have a heart of gold that they let a few people see and otherwise let it guide them from deep inside.
I’m not here to say INFP’s aren’t wonderful, or that they shouldn’t be loved and highly-regarded. If you’re a phase 3 INFP who has worked hard to be loving, open and giving, then I love you, I’m proud of you and you’re an asset to us all. However, that’s not what i was talking about. I’m trying to validate the struggle of the average INFP. INFP’s want to be loved, but more than that, we want to be seen for what we are and loved anyway. And when people describe the lovable INFP, they mostly just describe an ISFJ, and thats a little invalidating. Sorry for the stern tone n_n”