Did you know that William Shakespeare and Princess Diana had a lot more in common than just their nationality?
That’s because both of them are described as the INFP personality type.
The INFP personality type or the Mediator personality is one of the introverted personalities from the Diplomats group of the 16 personalities as described by the Myers-Briggs Indicator and Carl Jung’s personality theory.
INFPs are emotional healers at heart who crave inspiration, express themselves creatively, and are very idealistic individuals.
They are excited by new experiences and eager to meet people who share similar values as them.
They are drawn towards a simple life, can spend hours in nature, and are big believers of the fact that everyone needs to follow their own path in life.
With a live and let live attitude, this personality type is very open-minded in all aspects of life (from work to relationships), as long as their values aren’t challenged.
Even though they are very reserved around most people, they will have no trouble in getting other people to open up to them.
Interested in learning more about the INFP personality yet?
Keep on reading to find out more about the Mediator’s personality characteristics, strengths, weaknesses, and relationships!
Personality traits of the INFP personality
A person’s personality type (aka INFP-A/T) is essentially an acronym for their preferences in 5 different aspects of life which make up their personality.
These aspects are mind, energy, nature, tactics, and identity. Each of these aspects has 2 categories.
Mind– The mind trait describes how we engage and interact with our environment. This can either be Extroverted (E) or Introverted (I).
Energy- The energy trait describes how we view the world and process it, which is either Observant (S) or Intuitive (N).
Nature- The nature trait describes how we deal with our emotions and make decisions. The nature trait is either described as Feeling (F) or Thinking (T).
Tactic- The tactic trait describes how we tackle our daily tasks and can either be Prospecting (P) or Judging (J).
Identity- The identity trait describes our overall confidence in our abilities and decisions. The identity trait can either be Assertive (A) or Turbulent (T) and varies in every individual.
In INFPs these preferences are introverted, intuitive, feeling, and prospecting.
Now let’s take a closer look into each of these traits tell us about the INFP personality type.
This trait means that INFPs expel energy in social settings and need time to recharge by themselves afterward.
As much as they like getting to know people, after a long week, they would prefer to take the weekend off to relax rather than spend it partying away as a form of resetting.
Most INFPs like the idea of human interaction a lot more than the physical act of doing it.
Despite this, INFPs are still excellent at communicating with people and getting to know them. However, the pleasure of getting to know an INFP is only extended to a few.
INFPs are very intuitive people who prefer to focus on theories, ideas, and concepts rather than practically doing things.
This makes them very creative and imaginative people who not only enjoy brainstorming different ideas but will also constantly look for possibilities around them.
They’re the kind of people to stop on the sidewalk after getting distracted by a sign and spend the next few minutes making multiple scenarios in their heads!
Often, this shifts their focus from the details of places, projects, and people to the general image they form about it in their heads. This image is usually focused on their feelings associated with these things.
On the other hand, they can look at things from different perspectives and understand how they might be perceived by different people, and why.
This trait implies how INFPs prefer to take their feelings and values into consideration when it comes to making decisions rather than logical reasoning.
INFPs hold their values very close to their hearts and will always question whether something resonates with them or not.
They apply the same logic to relationships, people, and careers as well. If any of those go against an INFP’s values or criticizes it, they will not waste their time with it.
Prospecting implies how INFPs prefer to work in a flexible environment rather than a structured one with strict deadlines and schedules.
However, this trait feeds their procrastination and inability to get their tasks done on time because they fail to plan things out.
Strengths of an INFP
INFPs are big believers in paving your own path in life rather than trying to fit in with everyone else. You’ll never find an INFP tied down to social norms or traditions.
Rather than simply following the crowd, and doing something the way it’s always been done, an INFP will look at all the ways they can make it original.
They will also not change themselves for anyone, or to fit in. They value their individuality and have no interest in trying to fit in a crowd that won’t appreciate them as they are.
INFPs are very creative people who love to explore the world of arts, music, photography, poetry, etc.
Often, all of their internalized emotions that don’t get expressed through words are expressed through their creations and work.
They bring this creativity to their work as well, where they constantly think of new and exciting ways to do a certain task!
Act as Mediators
INFPs, like most of their NF counterparts, dislike conflict, a lot. They are peacemakers who are out to maintain harmony and will often act as mediators when fights break out.
As long as a fight or disagreement doesn’t involve them, INFPs usually listen to everyone involved, appeal to both sides, and diffuse the tension without upsetting anyone.
Great secret keepers
INFPs value the conversations they have with people and are usually great secret keepers.
They are very easy to confide in because they tend to be great listeners who would much rather listen to people talk than spend more energy to keep a conversation going.
Although most of the time they’ll probably forget whatever you’ve told them, even when they remember, they’re just not the kind of people to immediately spill all the tea to whoever will listen.
Open-minded and tolerant
INFPs appreciate people who come forward with differing opinions and admire the quality of individuality in others just as much as they do in themselves.
They are very open-minded and will listen to all sorts of different perspectives from people.
They believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt and don’t see the point in judging people based on their likes and dislikes, autonomy, social standing, or wealth.
Instead, they focus on people’s characters and behavior towards others.
Can accomplish big goals
Once an INFP sets their mind on something, whether that’s a new diet plan or a side project, not only do they believe that they can accomplish it but will do whatever they can to do so!
Adding to their incredible charm is an INFP’s consideration, kindness, generosity, and selflessness.
When it comes to people they care about, INFPs have a strong desire to support and care for them, even at their own expense.
They are extremely comfortable people to be around as they are always mindful of their situation and act accordingly to make sure they aren’t hurting or offending anyone.
Weaknesses of an INFP
Give too much to others, and leave nothing for themselves
While this might not seem like a fault to many, it comes to bite INFPs when they exhaust all their empathy, emotional energy, and love on others and leave none for themselves.
They will go out of their way to make sure that their loved ones are happy and taken care of and not realize that they might be sacrificing their own happiness in the process.
Shut down under stress
INFPs shut people out in times of crisis and critique themselves too harshly for their failures.
They feel the need to revert into their hermit shells which inevitably does nothing to make them feel better, and simultaneously worries their loved ones even more.
Even when INFPs want to reach out and ask for support, they usually don’t know how to ask for it without feeling judged because they’re so used to internalizing their feelings.
High Standards and unrealistic perfectionism
Living inside their heads and making up scenarios is all fun and games until INFPs start to idealize people, relationships, and careers so much that nothing in real life seems appealing anymore.
They build up an image of the perfect thing in their heads and this usually leaves them unhappy as they’re constantly chasing their idea of something that might not exist.
A lot of INFPs tend to hold themselves to these high levels of perfectionism as well, where they expect so much from themselves, and dream of achieving so many things that they either overwhelm themselves into not doing anything.
When they do get around to doing things, they end up being disappointed by whatever it is that they’re putting out on the table because it does not live up to their standards.
Can be too stubborn for their own good
The fact that INFPs hold their values so close to their hearts and won’t budge them is what gravitates a lot of people towards them, however, it’s also what leads to them missing out on a lot of opportunities.
As they start to look for jobs, INFPs very quickly realize that there aren’t many jobs that will fully abide by their morals.
In such cases, if an INFP doesn’t have a choice, a compromise is often a good idea, however, the idea seems absurd to an INFP who would much rather walk away with their pride intact than associate with something they disagree with.
INFPS in Relationships
INFPs are often hopeless romantics who love with all their hearts and are excited to explore everything the world has to offer with their partners.
However, finding a partner can be difficult for INFPs because their idealistic brains often have very high expectations from people in relationships.
They are constantly comparing people they meet with those they know, might have known, or even heard about.
And INFPs don’t make it any easier as they are closed off and take a while to open up to people.
Extroverted people who need constant excitement and engagement might be put off by this and not bother engaging with INFPs in the first place.
However, those who stick around and prove to an INFP that they’re willing to be in a relationship will eventually earn an INFPs trust.
Once in a relationship, it’s crucial that an INFP’s partner understands their needs and truly understands who they are as a person for the relationship to be successful.
They are cheerful supporters
INFPS are loving and supportive partners who will be there for all your ups and downs and be your biggest cheerleaders in new adventures.
Even though they are very selective about who they date, when they are in a relationship, they will devote themselves to their partners wholeheartedly.
They put your needs above theirs, your happiness above theirs, and will express their love through cute gestures and cheesy poetry.
Moreover, INFPs are great listeners who genuinely care about your problems, and will either empathize or take action to fix the problem, depending on what you want.
They value growth
INFPs are excited by possibilities and learning new things as they value growth within themselves.
And even though they accept people for who they are, (no questions asked), they still need someone willing to learn and grow with them, without it being a competition.
You need to understand their emotions
One of the most important things an INFP’s partner needs to understand is that the emotions they express might only be a fraction of the intense emotions they feel on the inside.
INFPs will get frustrated if the validity of their emotions is questioned or if they are told to simply get over it because they aren’t expressing how much something might be affecting them.
They need their alone- time
At their core, INFPs are introverts, so even in a relationship, at the end of the day, they’re going to need time off by themselves to recharge and reset.
This is often when an INFP gets too overwhelmed by their surroundings.
Most extroverted people might take this desire for space personally and feel offended, however, that’s never an INFP’s intention.
Don’t mess with their morals
INFP will not appreciate it if you try to attack their values or try to convince them that their way of doing things is wrong.
They avoid confrontations
Of course, in true INFP nature, they avoid conflict so if things go wrong, the chances of them speaking up about it are slim whereas the chances of them showing passive-aggressive behavior, are inevitably much higher.
That’s why it’s important to let an INFP know that in a relationship, you expect honest communication.
If you suspect something might be up or have a problem you’d like to discuss, bring it up gently without using an accusatory tone that might shut an INFP off.
INFPs as friends
An INFP will most likely be the quiet friend in the group who would much rather sit back and let everyone else lead the conversation, while occasionally adding to it.
It’s not that they don’t have anything to say, but they’re often intimidated by the thought of saying the wrong thing or accidentally embarrassing themselves; that is when they’re tuned into the conversation in the first place!
However, they are very good at getting people to open up to them, even if the conversation remains a little one-sided as an INFP barely opens up about themselves,
As with relationships though, INFPs will be incredibly supportive, helpful, selfless, and caring individuals who will be there for you no matter what.
Since INFPs take so long to form solid friendships and relationships in the first place, once those friendships are formed, they mean the world to them.
INFPS genuinely value their friends so much that they will do whatever they can to maintain their friendships as long as it continues to be a positive influence in their lives.
The best part about being friends with an INFP is that they truly give you space and freedom to unapologetically be yourself.
INFPs tend to almost be comfort places for people who feel like they don’t fit in anywhere else.
Whether they lead an alternate lifestyle, have a unique personality, or just stand out in the crowd, an INFP will be more than happy to add them to their small circle of friends as long as they’re genuine and kind human beings.
INFPs as Parents
As parents, INFPs strive to instill a good moral compass into their kids and encourage them to follow their own, embrace individuality and grow into their own people.
Coming from their prospecting trait, strict rules are an easy pass with INFP parents.
They prefer to give their kids the freedom to explore, make mistakes, and learn as long as they aren’t crossing major boundaries. If that happens, then INFP parents can immediately put on their strict face!
Although INFPs will be very good at getting their kids to open up to them, they struggle when it comes to doing the same with their kids, which can make the kids feel like the INFP is a very emotionally distant parent.
However, because INFPs are so selfless, they truly thrive in their jobs as parents, putting their kids’ needs above anything else, and striving to make sure that they provide the best possible life for their kids,
INFPS at work
INFPs are drawn to careers where they can work by themselves, make use of their creativity, and do something they are passionate about.
Anything that requires doing redundant and boring tasks every day is a major no-no for an INFP because they feel stuck in such situations.
Their mind is constantly flooded with new ideas and possibilities, and INFPs need a creative outlet for that in the workplace as well.
Any work that an INFP does, or any job they take needs to align with their values.
If INFPs are working in an environment where certain practices clash with their morals, not only will it sit heavy on their conscience, but the likelihood of them performing their best in a job that goes against their values is very low.
While most people will probably try their best to fit in a particular workplace, an INFP is adamant to stand out. And while it can be a little weird, it definitely makes an INFP a memorable peer, despite their reserved nature.
Additionally, as employees, they are always ready to help out their peers and a genuine compliment in return goes a long way with them.
INFPs are most likely to disregard hierarchies at work and treat everyone the same regardless of the position they hold. You’ll never spot an INFP getting their boss an extra coffee just to get on their good side.
If they’re getting someone coffee, you best believe it’s going to be for the entire floor!
Due to their introverted nature, a lot of the communication that an INFP does at work is through their work.
They find fulfillment in doing work that is of some benefit to others; and if they can’t find such a job, they’ll start a side project that does!
INFPs need a good balance of structure and flexibility in their workplace; Too lenient, and they’ll procrastinate. Too much stress and they’ll get overwhelmed, shut down, and deem themselves a failure.
Although it may not seem like it, INFPs also make great leaders and bosses because they’re able to understand people’s needs and plan out complicated projects.
To most of us, the kind of generosity that INFPs exhibit seems unnecessary, however to them, it’s just another way to do their part in making this world a better place.
If you know an INFP in your life, you’ll know that they will place their loved ones’ happiness above all else.
So make sure you put in the same effort to take care of them and respect them for who they are without trying to change anything.