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(I) Introverted - (N) Intuitive - (F) Feeling - (P) Perceiving
The INFP has two contrary characteristics, curiosity and shyness. They love to know what's going on, feel excluded if not kept informed but do not like to be the centre of attention. The INFP always wants to be invited to the party - even though the chances are they won't show up. There is a sensitive, caring side to the INFP which means they will be see the interconnections between people and pick up on the verbal and non-verbal cues. Yet there is a crusading side to the INFP which would surprise even those who knew the person well. When a personal value, or belief is trodden on, then the INFP can become outspoken and turn on the transgressor. Their values are usually so well hidden that the other person may not realise, but the INFP becomes like a champion of the cause and will be expressive, animated and at times go for the jugular.
An INFP does not like to be categorised. They value their autonomy, and feel 'different,' and any system, (including this one), which tries to 'define' or 'explain' them would be denigrated. The INFP would say, 'You can't put me in a box, I'm different,' indeed they would all say this.
To the INFP life is a long and convoluted quest for meaning and harmony and their personal values are so important to them. This means that it is essential to the INFP that their beliefs and their actions are totally in sync at all times. An INFP is unlikely to take any action which they don’t believe in their heart is right.
Sensitive, caring and empathetic INFPs are excellent in supporting roles where people have to be looked after - especially if those people are close to the INFP. Because it can take so long (if ever) to get to know the INFP others paradoxically may see them as slightly aloof, as they engage best when they have allowed someone into their inner sanctum.
The INFP displays contrary qualities: gentle and caring, yet crusading, social and supportive, yet private and difficult to know. The INFP values most those who take the time, trouble and effort to really get to know them. Only those who are allowed through the INFP 'assault course' will get genuinely close. To others the INFP will seem like a gentle enigma. The INFP will often display their reactions to their feelings, rather than their feelings, and may bottle things up which then leak out at strange moments thus adding to the 'difficult to understand' image.
The INFP does not want to be constrained by rules and regulations, and they dislike the routine. Others will see the INFP as totally flexible, gentle and difficult to understand. The INFP likes to do things in their own way and just get on with it, uninhibited and not wanting to be micromanaged. The INFP would not appreciate criticism or a hard task-master.
The INFP prefers environment that foster harmony and cooperation. If they do not find such environments they will help create them. They are people-centric even though they are introverts, and will look to nurture, care for and support people. They make excellent nurses and carers as they do not get constrained by rules, they are so insightful they pick up the cues on how people are feeling and they genuinely ‘feel’ others’ pain and want to help.
INFPs are superb at supporting members in their strengths, building upon suggestions, underpinning team members, improving communications throughout the team and generally fostering great team spirit.
They are socially orientated and often gentle and sensitive. The INFP has a great ability to respond to people and situations, and to promote team spirit, although they can be indecisive in moments of crisis or conflict. They are genuinely concerned about the welfare of others and this makes them incredibly flexible and adapting to different people and situations. The INFP is very perceptive and diplomatic, building trust easily with other team members. They are superb listeners who genuinely ‘feel’ other peoples’ pain and given their nature they are usually popular team members. The INFP looks out for others and has low ego need for themselves.