Audrey Hepburn, a popular British actress, is known for her exceptional performances in movies such as Roman Holiday (1953), Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961) and My Fair Lady (1964). Off-screen, she was known for her ever-striving, progressive and kind nature. Her personality type can be described as INFP, which stands for Introversion (I), Intuition (N), Feeling (F) and Perception (P).
INFP is one of the 16 personality types proposed by the creators of the Myers Briggs tests, also known as Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). They were highly inspired by Swiss psychologist Carl Jung’s work in the early 20th century. They expanded on Jung’s personality theory and created a practical assessment tool, which people continue to rely on even today. Despite facing criticism for not being grounded in science, MBTI continues to be a popular assessment tool. Read on to explore the meaning of INFP and how such people navigate daily life.
The Different Scales Of MBTI
To fully understand the meaning of INFP, you need to explore its origins. The MTBI is simply an introspective questionnaire that indicates different psychological preferences. The test attempts to understand how people perceive the world and make decisions. This questionnaire is made of four different scales and each scale interacts with the others to inform an individual’s personality type. The four different scales are:
1. Extraversion (E) – Introversion (I)
It describes how an individual interacts and engages with the world around them. Extraverts (also called extroverts) enjoy frequent social interactions and feel good in social settings. Introverts enjoy deep and meaningful relationships and like to spend time alone.
2. Sensing (S) – Intuition (I)
It refers to how people gather information around them. People who prefer ‘sensing’ like to focus on facts and enjoy hands-on or real-time experiences. People who prefer ‘intuition’ like to engage in abstract theories and pay attention to patterns and impressions.
3. Thinking (T) – Feeling (F)
This scale refers to how people make decisions based on information they have gathered through sensing or intuition. People placing greater emphasis on objective data when making decisions prefer ‘thinking’. People who are considerate of others and emotions prefer ‘feeling’ when arriving at a conclusion.
4. Judging (J) – Perceiving (P)
This scale shows how people deal with the outside world. People leaning toward ‘judging’ prioritize structure and firm decisions. People leaning toward ‘perceiving’ are more flexible and adaptable.
INFP personality is the result of different parts of these scales interacting with each other. Let’s explore this personality type in greater detail.
Understanding The INFP Personality Type
INFPs are often described as idealist or mediator personality types. It’s because such individuals tend to be idealistic, creative, introverted and driven by core values. They want a greater understanding of themselves and how they fit into the world around them. The majority of their time gets invested in exploring their purpose and how best they can use their skills to make the world a better place. INFP is known to be the opposite of ESTJ (Extroverted, Observant, Thinking and Judging).
The mediator personality is also defined by core cognitive functions. They feel great compassion and empathy toward others. Before settling on a course of action, they like to explore all possibilities and think deeply about various alternatives. Their decision-making abilities are often influenced by their big-picture thinking. They also like to analyze situations and rely on memory, which helps them replay past events. When faced with stressful situations, they can be realistic and focus on logic instead of emotions.
Here are some defining characteristics of INFP people:
1. They Need To Feel Inspired
One of the key traits of the mediator personality is that people need to feel that they are living in a world that’s meaningful and emotional. When such nuances are present in life, they feel that they are truly living and making the most of life. In the absence of such feelings, they can actively seek out relationships or turn to hobbies that help infuse their life with emotions.
2. They Are In Touch With Their Values
Among all personality types, INFPs are in touch with their values and principles the most. This explains their ‘introverted feeling’ aspect, which is the dominant mental function of their personality. They are often open to multiple perspectives but someone going against their values may not always sit well with them. They tend to center their decisions by doing things that feel right to them. When someone doubts their values, they can start doubting themselves.
3. They Thrive Through Creative Expressions
The INFP type tends to excel at creative expressions and experiences. They are good artists as they explore creative fields such as music, writing or acting. As they are introverted, art becomes a medium of expression. They may not always be able to express their true emotions in casual conversations, which is why resorting to artistic expressions seems like a better alternative.
4. They Can Heal Emotional Wounds
The INFP personality type is highly emotional and tries to find meaning in everything. The combination of intuition and feeling aspects in their personality makes them highly emotional beings. They excel at resolving conflicts and bringing wholeness among groups. Their deep understanding of emotions also prompts them to extend a caring hand to others.
5. They Are Extremely Passionate
When INFPs feel passionate about something, they make sure to pursue it to fulfillment. Their idealism drives them and makes them unstoppable when they have recognized their passion. Their need to find meaning and purpose in life also adds to the process of pursuing their passion.
INFPs tend to grow through new experiences as they continue to seek out meaning at every stage. In short, their experiences and connections shape their lives.
The Good And Bad Sides Of INFP
Every personality type has its strong and weak points. Some traits tend to overpower and lead to negative impacts. It’s important to understand both the strong and weak points of one’s personality as it helps navigate day-to-day relationships and experiences better. Here are the benefits and limitations of INFP:
1. Good Side
- They are highly empathetic beings who care deeply about others’ emotions. They are highly sensitive as well, which makes them thoughtful and kindhearted. They don’t like to hurt anyone, even unintentionally.
- They want to make the world a better place and want to contribute in a way that makes a difference. They are considerate of others’ contributions as well and tend to uplift people around them. They give credit where it’s due.
- Compassion and empathy help them keep an open mind. They aren’t quick to judge and are tolerating and accepting of others. They often become confidants for people as others trust them with their stories.
- They enjoy seeing things from unique perspectives as they thrive in creative expression. They allow their minds to wander and they are drawn to creative pursuits. This is why several artists, whether they are writers or painters or something else, share the INFP personality.
- They are passion-driven and highly dedicated. They hold their beliefs and values close to their hearts. Additionally, their idealism makes it easier for them to keep their eyes on the goal and encourages them to lead a meaningful and purposeful life.
2. Bad Side
- Their idealism sometimes pushes them to be unrealistic. They can have high expectations from people around them or the world. When these expectations aren’t met, they can get disappointed.
- They want to connect with other individuals but don’t know how to. Their introversion makes it difficult for them to put themselves out there. As a result, they may end up feeling isolated or lonely.
- They may be highly creative but this imaginative nature can prevent them from going out and doing things. They find it difficult to resolve problems as they get caught up with related issues because of their vivid imagination.
- They can’t stand conflict and often go out of their way to mediate. This is the primary weakness of mediator personality as the desire to maintain the status quo or please others can be mentally exhausting. This can further blind them to their inner wisdom.
- Given their sense of idealism and passion, they may set high expectations for themselves. When they are unable to meet such standards, they can become extremely self-critical and dissatisfied. This can even negatively impact their dreams and passion.
How Can INFPs Make Sound Career Choices
It’s evident that INFPs are driven by personal values, dreams and visions more than money or status. They are typically motivated by their ideals and passion and excel at tapping their creative potential. If you are an INFP type, you should consider creative industries where you can utilize your imaginative potential. If you want to tap into your compassionate side, you may want to consider healthcare, education or social services.
No matter which career path defines your professional life, you need to understand yourself better to make such life-altering choices. Harappa’s Interpreting Self course is designed to improve self-knowledge and awareness. The tools and frameworks in this online self-improvement course will help you leverage your strengths and accomplish your professional goals. Start your free trial to see the impact!
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