Do I relate to INFPs?

Elise Ann asked: How do you relate to INFPs? you must find us exhausting

I do find you exhausting. You burst out with seemingly random topic changes while I’m still philosophically analysing something you said two hours ago. Also, your emotions…dear me, they are everywhere…

But yes, there are a few ways that I relate to INFPs (not drastic ways, just subtle ones).

The main way that I relate to INFPs in the persistent Fi desire to do the right thing. Of course, we go about it vastly differently, but the goal is the same.

Secondly, there is the often frequent drive for creativity –which, as a writer, artist and Ni user, I relate to regardless of whether the creativity stems from an Ni or Ne function. Both types of intuition can be vastly creative, just in different ways. Many make the mistake of assuming that only Ne is creative, and that Ni is merely a goal setting function –this is based on a limited understanding of MBTI.

Ni presents more of a focused and vision oriented creativity while Ne presents an unexpected and possibility based creativity.


18 thoughts on “Do I relate to INFPs?

  1. Not all INFPs are sensitive and emotionally all over the place (though the majority are…) I myself know for sure I’m an INFP, but I’ve also been diagnosed with AvPD (Avoidant Personality Disorder) and have a Dismissive-Avoidant attachment style, which causes people who are into MBTI and cognitive functions to type me as INTP or ENTP almost 100% of the time. I myself even identified as an INTJ for a long time because I knew I used Fi but wasn’t sensitive like all the descriptions of high Fi said, in fact I’m quite blunt with emotions and very closed off from others, even those closest to me, sadly. And I don’t “feel deeply” or am deeply swayed by emotions like a lot of other INFPs. I guess my point is that not all INFPs are sensitive cry babies (although I don’t blame you for thinking so; I have a few INFP friends and holy. Shit.), but I’m almost sure all of us are mentally all overy the place… that we can’t help! (Gotta love that Ne)


  2. “I relate to regardless of whether the creativity stems from an Ni or Ne function”. This is way too interesting. Could you please elaborate on how the creativity is expressed through Ne or Ni?


    • This question could be answered in many different ways. Creativity is such a broad topic that if you’d like an explanation, you’re going to have to direct my attention to what type of creativity you’re talking about (otherwise I will have to write an entire post to answer it).


  3. As an lNFP l can say my emotions are not all over the place. Even though that does sound interesting… Since Fi is at the top one learns several different strategies on how to control the emotions, which results in my calmn demeanor. I am actually an emotional rock for several different people.

    Lastly, l like not having a plan bc no one knows what l am going to do next. Do l have an idea of what the plan is? Most certainly so…..the best ideas remain with self.


    • What I meant when I said that was that most INFPs have a lot more emotional expression/variation than I do, not necessarily that your emotions are out of control.


      • I know this is way-way over due, but l am sorry for being a passive-aggressive, childish, insensitive jerk. I was just hoping you would write my message off as emotional. I was angry at the world when l wrote that message. I had several visits from the ghost of Christmas past to deal with, but lm glad l faced them head on, which was time consuming, but worth it.
        I’m glad to return to my orginal self, which means l have several projects to finish. Im not a lazy person persay. l know l could do better because l did a better job at managing myself 6 years ago. l do work three jobs and l did go to college last year, but l couldn’t stand it for several reasons.

        l only came on here to say sorry to everyone. I need to keep to my orginal plan. I wish l could tell you more, but you are a busy person and l don’t want to waste anymore of your time.

        Oh by the way, l have 6 members of my family that are either ti/fe or fe/ti. I wish l had one te/fi family member, but it is what is. Besides, 2+2 now equals 5 (topic jump)

        P.S. my real plan last year :Why do you like Shakespeare because l didn’t at first? If you read Macbeth: do you think the witches are evil or good? I have my own alternative theory concerning the witches. I don’t know if you said this but what’s your favorite play? I like merchant of venice.

        (Lastly, you don’t have to reply to this) sorry, it’s so long. Yes, l need to stop reading into things, bad fi.


        • I honestly don’t remember what you’re apologizing for, but thank you for doing so anyway. I admire people who are willing to own up to their mistakes.

          As for Macbeth, I read it as a political jab towards King James I on the part of Shakespeare. James had just come to the throne (unifying the Scottish and English throne) when the play was written and had chosen to marry a Catholic, Scottish woman. The official religion in England was the Church of England, and due to England’s royal history of changing back and forth of religions, this naturally created a bit of religious anxiety amongst the English public. The highlands were notorious for their association with witches, so it’s very likely that the witches are there to suggest the correlation between Macbeth and King James’ Scottish associations. It’s almost like Shakespeare was saying, “Hey there, King James. No pressure, but don’t let your Scottish wife tell you what to do.”

          I don’t have a favourite play, but I’m a big fan of Hamlet, Othello and Twelfth Night. Also Much Ado. And erm…the history plays.


  4. It’s been a while since I’ve posted a comment, so since I’ve stumbled upon the perfect time/place I just wanted to say that I found this article delightful to read and that it really resonates with my experiences with INFPs as an ISFP. In particular, the statement about how they come up with a multitude of new ideas to discuss whilst you are still reflecting on something they said in your last conversation happens to me all the time!

    In fact, whenever I bring this up to them they find it absurd that I’m still thinking about what they said, with their focus being on new perspectives/possibilities (Ne) and mine being on meaning and implications (Ni). I just love the interplay between Ne and Ni, it’s exhilarating fun!

    In terms of exhaustion though, the only thing that INFPs drain me with is their Si. I imagine – let me be honest, I know – this applies to other SP/NJs as well, and that we all have different tolerances for it based on personal differences and the position of shadow Si. For me, whenever an INFP confides in me their personal struggles with their painful past I am immediately empathetic because 1. I care about them and 2. I suffer from an INTENSE hatred of my childhood. All the mistakes, the stupidity, the failures, and the illogical, inexplicable nature of my behavior tends to haunt me whenever something triggers its memory, and what starts as a simple recounting of the past quickly turns to an obsessive nightmarish spiral into self loathing and repressed anger. Whenever I get like this I cannot focus on present (Se) and any hope for a solution to my problems (Ni) gets overwhelmed by shadow Si’s simple irrefutable facts that I’m a failure, I will never amount to anything, my life is worthless, I’m a blight to everyone who encounters me in life, and that everyone in my life would be better off never knowing me (aka my death or lack of existence).

    (**To be honest some of these are true but I just don’t care when I’m balanced. No one gets through this life without bad experiences with other people, so I resolve my tendency to destroy relationships by simply never starting them in the first place. When they do begin anyways, my Ni always knows what will bring the inevitable end [the aforementioned disillusionment I brought up in an article a while back]. Sometimes we are just incompatible, sometimes I unintentionally freak them out with the intensity of my caring [Ni tends to learn everything about the people it loves so that it can be the perfect friend/lover, but to people with Si this can seem unnatural or obsessive], and sometimes I just make decisions in the heat of the moment that we both cannot forgive.**)

    Now clearly, Critical Parent Si (6th function) is an entirely irrational experience that I actively avoid by repressing my past and cutting all ties from it. So you can imagine whenever an INFP starts discussing their past at length or continuously over a period of time (say a week or so) it disturbs this raw spot in my psyche. Eventually, my patience and understanding wears thin as all that archetypal energy comes loose and I quite literally explode – the unlucky INFP becomes the sole target of my ineradicable unconscious rage. This has only happened twice (with the same INFP!), but I think it is a good example of how type interactions between shadow functions look worst case scenario.

    So in response to Elise Ann’s question from an ISFP perspective (inverse of INTJ’s) I can say undoubtedly that I absolutely love INFPs, their depth of feeling, their intense moral conviction (Sometimes! Let’s be honest Fi dom’s aren’t as honorable as you’ve been led to believe ALL the time), their creativity and intelligence, and I love/identify with their predisposition to melancholia which I share as an Fi dominant. Regrettably, their Si tends to exacerbate my Critical Parent and leads to my worst moments as a human being.


    • I get what you’re saying with the Si function. However, I ended up in a family where 4 out of 6 people were Si users (two of them using Si in the upper functions), and because I’m someone who is good at listening and giving advice, I was always the middle-man who ended up hearing about everyone’s personal problems. Everyone in my family got PTSD from something that happened to us about…I don’t know how many years ago (I’m an Se user) so I’m no stranger to helping Si users with cope with their pasts.

      And yes, it is one of the most draining things I can ever do.


      • Thanks for weighing in on this A as it really captures what I said about personal differences, experiences, and the position of Si. We can see one of the major differences between you and me is that I grew up in an environment devoid of Si aside from my own. Hence, most of my experiences with it in others are either nightmarish or existentially debilitating (visits to my ESFJ grandmother always make me uncomfortably self conscious about the meaninglessness of life and ponder the virtues of suicide as she talks endlessly of the things she used to do and the people she used to know 40+ years ago. None of this is bad but to me it’s her way of coping with the sorrow and bereavement of old age; i.e. when is it appropriate to stop suffering needlessly [health wise and socially] and die by choice?). By the way I’m impressed that you learned to deal with your demon function in such an effective manner! That’s no easy feat!


  5. As an ENTJ, it’s hard for me to deal with INFPs as well. I’ve had lots of discussions with my mom and best friend (both INFPs) about how I like to make concrete plans, not tentative ones (and that having any plan in better than no plan).


  6. Did you say artist? What kind of work have you done? Could you post a bit of it here?


    • I’m minoring in visual arts, so yes, I am an artist.

      I work mostly in oil paints and inks, typically portraiture and organic abstraction. Unfortunately, as with my written works, I cannot share any of my artwork on this website due to privacy concerns.


  7. As an INTJ woman married to an INFP man, it can be very exhausting, but also so rewarding given the right two people.

    Yes his emotion are everywhere, every turn of the corner. Yet it helps me balance my emotions and actually engage them. So I actually appreciate that aspect of him, even though it can be so exhausting at times. I actually admire him for being so in tune with how he feels, he has helped me to mature my Fi even more then it was.

    His creativity is so amazing sometimes, he loves to fix things and build things. I love watching his Ne work out problems. It can be very inspirational. Yet frustration when he fails to complete projects, but I help to balance him out and keep him on track. Something he appreciates about me.

    And he can actually keep up with me with my own random topic changes, I have so many tracks going on in my own head that I switch things up at random at times, while still thinking about things in the back of my mind.

    For me personally if you can get past the emotions and get them to think logically, you can have amazing conversations and you get a pretty amazing friend out of it.

    For me it’s all about balance in our relationship, we balance each other out, he is everything I am not, yet we think a like enough that we get along and just get each other on a level that I had never really had before.


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