10 Things That Terrify INFPs – According to 301 INFPs
Fear can be an isolating thing. Many of us who struggle with fears in our day-to-day lives feel alone and even misunderstood in our fears. I’ve often wondered if different fears are more common among specific personality types. I decided to try to talk to as many people as possible about their fears to determine if there were any correlations between type and fear. Do sensors fear different things more frequently than intuitives? What about feeling-oriented people versus thinking-oriented people?
What I Found Out:
There were definitely variations in the major fears of each personality type. I made it my goal to get responses from at least 300 people of each personality type before writing a blog post about their fears. What I discovered is that there were some universal irrational fears (spiders, heights, snakes) but that aside from those, the fears varied drastically according to type. NT types, for example, greatly feared mediocrity. SJ types mentioned insecurity and financial ruin. NF types tended to have more existential worries about meaninglessness and the afterlife.
There Are Always Variations
Not every INFP is the same. For every ten INFPs that mentioned a fear of rejection, there were probably one or two INFPs who said they didn’t fear anything at all. In this post I’ll talk about what the majority of INFPs mentioned as a fear, but I don’t want anyone to assume that just because the majority mentioned these things that ever single INFP will feel exactly the same way. There are a lot more dimensions to people, their environment, upbringing, and beliefs that play into fears over personality type.
The Top 10 Fears Mentioned by INFPs
- Not Living Up to Their Ideals
INFPs are often called the Idealists, and it’s not hard to see why. They have very high standards for themselves and rely on a strong inner set of values. Their internal moral compass is powerful, because of their dominant Introverted Feeling (Fi) use. They also believe in everything they do having meaning and purpose. Numerous INFPs mentioned the fear of getting to the end of their lives and realizing that they wasted their potential, or didn’t do anything significant to make the world a better place.
INFPs are very strong introverts, but the relationships they do have they take very seriously. They form strong emotional bonds with the ones they love, and are very generous and giving in the support they share with the people they care about. Friendship with an INFP runs deep, and they’d rather have a few very close friends over a broad group of acquaintances. The significance they place on their close friendships mean that they are especially affected by betrayal and rejection, and once burned, many INFPs are afraid to face that same rejection again.
“I have a terrible fear of rejection. I am extremely sensitive, and although I try to hide it, there doesn’t seem to be much I can do to change it. I find that when I look back on my past relationships many people have taken advantage of me. I care a lot, almost too much. It makes me feel uneasy about getting close to anyone again.”
– Michelle, an INFP
In my research I’ve found that intuitives, in general, greatly feared insanity more than sensors. I’m not sure what the link is; perhaps it is because intuitives see meanings, and look for patterns and unknown principles and theories and are less focused on what can be grasped via the senses. Sensors focus on what can be seen, felt, tasted, and realized physically in the present moment and may be less inclined to worry about unforeseen possibilities that currently don’t pose a problem.
INFPs get their energy from being alone with their thoughts and ideas. For this reason, being in large crowds of people can be taxing for them and make them feel overwhelmed.
Even though INFPs are introverted and recharge by being alone with their thoughts, they still greatly desire meaningful relationships. INFPs want relationships that are formed on authenticity, trust, and mutual passion and shared interests. This is why an INFP is often dissatisfied with broad, shallow relationships. They are the people who can feel lonely even among numerous acquaintances. It can be hard for them to find like-minded individuals to connect with since they are such a small percentage of the population (only 2%). Many INFPs mentioned a fear of dying alone, never finding a significant relationship, or never feeling understood by others.
- Phone Calls
While INFPs enjoy listening to others and forming connections, they often feel anxious when they receive unexpected phone calls. They often mentioned feeling nervous about having to make phone calls, answer the phone, the doorbell, or engage in social interaction with people they aren’t very close to.
I don’t know that this one needs much explanation. Zombies are just plain scary.
Along with a fear of disease, many INFPs mentioned a fear of germs, paralysis, or physical helplessness.
“I think my Ne (Extraverted Intuition) goes a little psycho sometimes in respect to physical symptoms. I may not really believe that something is wrong with me, but I start thinking of all the possibilities of what could be wrong and I can freak myself out.”
– Derek, an INFP
- Becoming Evil
As I mentioned before, INFPs have a very strong internal moral compass. Living in accordance with their values is of the utmost importance to them. Finding out that they have been adhering to corrupt rules, laws, or ideals is something that can make them feel very anxious.
“I’m afraid of succumbing to my own self-destruction or developing a warped sense of idealism and not realizing it’s corrupt until it’s too late.”
– Andrea, an INFP
- The State of the World
Many INFPs mentioned fearing the current or potential state of the world. War, genocide, greed, environmental collapse; all these things were brought up numerous times. INFPs see the world as having a vast potential for goodness, beauty, and ingenuity. They are often angered and depressed when they see headlines in the news about more corruption, lies, destruction, and persecution.
What Do You Think?
Are you an INFP with an opinion on this post? Do you relate to these fears or feel like sharing your experience? Let me know in the comments!