INFPs very often find themselves mistyped. This is probably because this type enjoys trying on new ways of living and doing things, which can result in them moving away from their natural preferences and ways of doing things on a regular basic. This type of experimentation is normal, but it can act as a barrier to the growth of some INFPs, so it’s a problem that they need to be aware of.
INFP General Strengths and Weaknesses
INFPs use introverted feeling as their dominant function. This cognitive function urges them to go inwards, to explore their own beliefs, emotions and motivations. They couple this function with extraverted intuition, which compels them to explore the world and try to find the patterns that make up life itself. This combination of functions makes them incredibly original and creative. INFPs often see and create things that other types would never even think of because they’re so naturally open-minded that nothing is out of reach or ridiculous. This open-mindedness applies to every other part of their lives as well. INFPs use their introverted feeling function to understand and empathize with the people around them. They accept people, in all their variations, and have a live and let live philosophy that other types should try to emulate. This makes them very pleasant people who naturally attract likeminded friends and companions.
INFPs can be a little impractical. They’re so focused on the future and on creation that they sometimes forget that they have to do the day to day activities that keep a life running. INFPs also chafe at guidelines or restrictions, so any system or person that tries to control their daily schedule or get them organized is likely to end up frustrated or ignored. This combination of traits can sometimes leave this type behind on their bills, cause them to ignore their friends, or even result in them forgetting to eat for a few days. This can almost completely derail their lives, but to INFPs the trade-off they enjoy from the time spent creating in freedom is well worth the trouble.
Common Type Confusions
INFPs often experience typing mistakes or confusions. They’re so naturally flexible and open to new experiences and lifestyles that their true nature and preferences can sometimes become blurred. The most common mistype is when they’re typed as INFJs. This problem occurs when people try to type INFPs based on their behavior rather than on their cognitive functions. INFPs prefer a little more external structure than others types who use extraverted intuition as one of their strengths, they prefer to be more open in the way they think and a little more organized in the external world. This can make them seem like Judgers rather than Perceivers and is the primary reason why they’re often mistyped. This error most often occurs because most online tests determine type based on behavioral signs and tendencies rather than the individual’s use of the cognitive functions. That’s why online tests can be a good tool for determining MBTI type, but they shouldn’t be taken as the ultimate authority.
Common Confusions Comparisons
INFPs and INFJs are actually quite different when you look at the way their minds function and this makes sense because they don’t share any functions. But externally, they can look very similar. Both are quiet and like to spend lots of time thinking, both use a decision making process that’s based on emotion rather than metrics and both look at the big picture when it comes to daily life. However, typing based on cognitive functions can reveal the differences and help to distinguish between these types, particularly if you evaluate the dominant function.
INFPs use introverted feeling as their dominant and this encourages them to go inwards, to explore their own thoughts and emotions. It’s a very impassioned and personal function. In contrast, introverted intuition can be quite cold on its own, though less so when coupled with extraverted feeling. This function takes in information and uses it to project into the future. So when thinking, an INFP is likely to be analyzing their own beliefs and emotions and INFJs are probably predicting what how the emotions of others will influence and shape the future. This is a very different focus, and it’s the key to telling these two types apart.
Unusual Type Confusions
INFPs can also be mistaken for INTPs. This may sound like an unusual mistyping, but it’s another example of what can happen when people are typed based on an incomplete understanding of the MBTI system. Both the INTP and the INFP are highly analytical, and spend a lot of their time separating strands of information to get at the truth, no matter how long it takes. INTPs use introverted thinking to perform this analysis and INFPs use introverted feeling, but it can look very similar from the outside. It can also feel quite similar from the inside as the attention to detail and the intense focus is the same.
Unusual Confusions Comparisons
Although the dominant function of the INFP and the INTP can look and even feel the same, they’re actually quite different once you evaluate the end goal of these functions. Introverted thinking looks for absolute truth, devoid of emotional content and anything else that might mess up the data. As a result, INTPs have an unparalleled ability to put aside emotional information and find the objective truth. In contrast, introverted feeling seeks to understand the true meaning of the emotions themselves. Instead of pushing aside the emotions, they dwell on and study them. In fact, INFPs usually have some trouble dealing with pure logic, whereas this is the INTPs preferred type of information.
INFPs are flexible people and this can create some problems when it comes to typing them correctly. However, this doesn’t mean that they should halt their experimentations. In fact, this exploration is one of the best ways for this type to grow. Instead, they should just be aware of some of the potential drawbacks of their flexibility and the problems it can create for correct typing.
- “Introverted Feeling (Fi)“. Jan 16, 2013. (Retrieved Apr 2019).
- Dr. Drenth J. A. “How INTPs & INFPs Can use Extraverted Intuition (Ne) to Cultivate More Meaningful Lives“. (Retrieved Apr 2019).
- “Judging vs. Perceiving“. (Retrieved Apr 2019).
- Storm, Susan. “10 Signs That You Might Be an Introverted Thinker“. Oct 26, 2017. (Retrieved Apr 2019).
- INFP – The Idealist.
- INFJ – The Counselor.
- INTP – The Scientist.