Today I’m thrilled to talk about the ultimate Idealist; the INFP. INFPs are gentle, insightful people who care deeply about the human race. They are determined to find their purpose in life, to find meaning, and to make a difference for humanity. INFPs are thoughtful and sincere, and prize authenticity and kindness. A.A. Milne, William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, and Vincent Van Gogh were all INFPs! As you can see, they have a knack for creativity, writing, and expression.
Of course, for the subject of this post I wanted to find out what really bothers INFPs and what particular traits especially get on their nerves. I asked in forums, groups, and checked out my Myers-Briggs® books to get an idea. Here are the five things that got mentioned the most:
“A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
– William Shakespeare, INFP
INFPs value humanity in all its various shapes and forms, and can see nothing more detestable than people who think they deserve better or are somehow “above” anyone else. The INFP sees every individual as full of of possibilities and potential. INFPs are champions of the underdogs, the downtrodden, the misunderstood. They will have an open mind to hearing anyone’s problems or concerns; but they are extremely turned off by arrogance and entitlement.
INFPs value authenticity highly and always seek to be true to themselves and their deeply-held personal values. Dishonesty and pretentious behavior turns off the INFP tremendously. As mentioned above, the INFP will have a very open mind towards nearly anyone – but being yourself, being honest, and being authentic are extremely important to them.
“I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?”
– John Lennon, INFP
INFPs are extremely open-minded and imaginative. They see the world as full of endless possibilities and forces. They often deal with being stifled in their youth by people who find their creative musings and insights “unrealistic” or “impractical”. Because INFPs make up only 3-4% of the population it is often rare that they find people who can appreciate and understand their inner world and imaginative personality.
Being Put On the Spot
“I’m shy, paranoid, whatever word you want to use. I hate fame. I’ve done everything I can to avoid it.”
– Johnny Depp, INFP
INFPs are often shy and reserved and are made incredibly uncomfortable by being pushed into the limelight. While they are drawn to creative endeavors that may bring them attention, they are extremely self-conscious about being the center of conversation or the object of scrutiny. They’d much rather enjoy their creative freedom without the attention that goes along with it.
Poor Listening Skills
INFPs have incredibly strong listening skills; in fact, neuroscientist Dario Nardi, said in his book The Neuroscience of Personality that INFPs “often enter a special listening mode. They are consummate listeners. They thoroughly engage all brain regions that process voice, words, and sounds; moreover, they may easily enter a unique whole-brain state when listening to other people, whoever those people might be.” Because the INFP has such excellent listening skills, they are often disappointed when they aren’t met with the same courtesy by others. They especially hate when people try to jump in and “fix” a problem when they are trying to discuss their feelings or emotions. They would much rather be listened to fully first, then receive empathy and understanding, then solutions.
What Do You Think?
Are you an INFP with an opinion on this post? Feel like sharing your pet peeves? Let me know in the comments!