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Have you ever struggled to understand a friend or co-worker's unique personality? Then you’re in luck because the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Test was designed to identify people's personality types.
Learning an INFP's strengths and weaknesses helps us relate to people who see the world differently than we do.
Katharine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers developed the assessment tool in 1942 after studying the work of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. Jung believed people's personalities were formed through judgment and perception.
Perceptions result from the information we absorb and judgments are made based on organizing the information, then forming conclusions.
Jung's theories also stated that all humans are either introverted or extroverted. Myers and Briggs simplified Jung's theories into a format that is relatively easy to understand and relates to human beings' everyday lives.
None of the personality types are superior to the others, but learning the different traits of a particular personality type can strengthen our relationships with our friends, co-workers and partners.
Conversely, if you’re the one with the INFP personality, identifying your own strengths and weaknesses can help others understand where you’re coming from.
What is the INFP Personality?
INFP is an acronym describing people whose personalities are sorted into the following four categories: introverted, intuitive, feeling and perceiving. INFPs are also known as mediators. They are fiercely loyal and possess high integrity. According to author and personality expert Dario Nardi, Ph.D., less than 1% of the population identifies as an INFP. He also believes twice as many women as men have this unique personality type.
French writer, poet and journalist Antoine de Saint-Exupery once stated, “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
This quote accurately describes the INFP personality type because they process the world through their perceptions and emotions. This doesn't mean they disregard facts and data or make uninformed choices. Rather, the INFP personality types' strengths lie in their creativity, passion, and curiosity about the way the world operates.
Due to their introverted nature, INFP's may seem aloof or extremely shy in social settings. Yet they're passionate about causes they believe in and much like people labeled INFJ's, humans who are INFP's are also devoted to making the world a better place. Once an INFP gets to know another human and forms a bond, they'll strive to maintain a committed relationship.
They crave deep, meaningful connections and long to understand other peoples' feelings. However, individuals with the INFP personality type prefer maintaining a handful of close friendships and are quite selective about who they allow into their lives. This is motivated by a deep desire to be understood.
Sometimes, socializing and effective communication are a challenge because people labeled as INFP's are extremely sensitive and struggle to express their emotions appropriately. Spending time with other people drains them rather than replenishing their well of emotional energy.
Humans who possess the INFP personality type have strong moral compasses, and are motivated to make a positive impact on the world, and their empathetic nature equips them with the ability to live among people they don't always agree with. They like to help people and can keep a big-picture mentality when solving problems.
Seeing the bright side in any situation is a hallmark of the INFP personality type, and it's a trait that draws others toward them. However, people labeled as INFPs are often too focused on pleasing others and putting their loved ones' happiness above their own. This can lead to resentment and unhealthy relationships.
To develop a deeper understanding of INFP, keep reading to learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of this type of personality.
INFP Strengths and Weaknesses
5 Strengths of the INFP Personality Type
Strength # 1. Compassionate
People who possess the INFP personality type care deeply for others. They are often the first to step up when someone needs help. INFPs value forging relationships with people who share similar values, yet they have an incredible ability to empathize with others. It's not hard for them to live peacefully among people who don't share their same worldview.
Although people who identify as INFP feel deeply and are introverted, they also prioritize the feelings of people they love. INFPs strive to make a positive impact in the world, so they will often champion a cause that's important to their close-knit circle of friends or family members.
Strength # 2. Creative
Authors, poets, and artists are often labeled with the INFP personality type. They use their intuition to channel their observations about the world into their art.
INFPs have vivid imaginations and like to express their emotions through writing. People with the INFP personality type have a tremendous capacity to offer outside-the-box solutions to complex problems.
Strength # 3. Hard-working and Dedicated
Adversity doesn't usually discourage someone who is INFP. They keep working through challenging circumstances because that gives them a sense of purpose. Intense feelings and strong values also motivate them to press on.
Although this personality type prefers to work alone, they are capable of collaboration. They are deeply satisfied when they help someone else achieve their potential.
Strength # 4. Integrity
Personal and moral integrity are extremely important to those with the INFP personality type. They have a strong sense of justice and will work tirelessly to further causes they feel are valuable. INFPs long to find their purpose in life and use their skills to improve the world around them.
Because humans with this type of personality value integrity, they are rarely involved in power struggles or unethical workplace behavior. They prefer to see the team or group prosper, so they make sure everyone involved has the opportunity to be heard and understood.
Strength # 5. Open-minded and Supportive
People with the INFP personality type strive for harmony. This desire helps them listen well and understand other peoples' perspectives. Even if someone with an INFP personality type doesn't agree with the group's decision, they will often be supportive anyway.
The INFP personality type believes deeply in other humans' capacity for personal growth, so they love encouraging people as they strive to achieve their goals.
5 Weaknesses of the INFP Personality Type
Weakness # 1. Overly Sensitive
Sometimes, people with the INFP personality type care too much about what other people think of them. They receive constructive feedback as a personal attack.
This can lead to harsh self-criticism and decreased productivity because their motivation has been derailed by a lack of harmony.
Weakness # 2. Avoid Conflict
The deep desire for harmony compels INFP personality types to avoid conflict as much as possible. When they do engage in conflict, they are more focused on feelings that might be perceived by others as irrational behavior.
In romantic relationships and family settings, prioritizing everyone else's happiness over their own and avoiding conflict isn't healthy.
Weakness # 3. Idealistic
Because INFPs are extremely idealistic, their perception of themselves is not always accurate. This can lead to self-doubt and unreasonable expectations regarding their performance and behavior. They are also deeply curious about the world and want to use their gifts and talents to benefit humanity.
There's nothing inherently wrong with this outlook, but it can be detrimental in certain professional settings where adhering to regulations and prescribed systems are critical to the organization's mission.
Weakness # 4. Value Emotions Over Data
When people with vivid imaginations latch onto a creative idea, they are swept up in the emotional whirlwind of the concept's potential. For other humans with different personality types, this tendency in INFPs can be frustrating.
Some personality types value hard facts and data when making a decision. INFPs like to role-play lots of scenarios in their imaginations. They also rely on their intuition more than other people are often comfortable with.
Weakness # 5. Prone to Burnout
People with INFP personality types are the first to jump in when there's a problem. They are the friends who people rely on for support when a crisis develops, and the glass-half-full optimist who encourages everyone to find happiness and fulfillment.
As a result, people with this type of personality can spread themselves too thin and become burned out. They're so passionate about a creative project or helping others that they neglect self-care.
Final Thoughts on the INFP Personality
It takes time and effort to learn how other people think and feel. That said, the payoff is worth it because deeper connections with other humans can make us happier. Now that you are equipped with INFP's strengths and weaknesses, do you feel you might be a mediator who is passionate, loyal, and dedicated to making the world a better place?
If so, try taking this personality test to assess your type. Then be sure to visit our other articles featuring personality types of famous people who might share traits similar to yours.
Finally, if you want to identify YOUR personality type, then take one of these 11 personality tests to better understand what makes you tick.