Re-visiting My Inner INFP: Figuring Out My "Source Code"!

 Hey there. How goes it? I’m finding blogging a bit of a struggle this week. I’ve attempted a couple of posts and wasn’t happy with them so have abandoned them – in typical INFP/me style! 

I have been reading a lot about the INFP personality (Meyers Briggs/Jungian personality types), and having lots of “A-ha” moments all over Pinterest and Youtube (btw I read this great post by Shawna (*post script for new readers this blog is now gone! :-( ) yesterday where she used the term “A-ha moment”, which I had also used in my previous attempt at a blog post and had that whole thing of “Oh we’re on the same wavelength – oh I can’t use that term now, it might seem like theft!” Does this ever happen to anyone else? So I'm sorry Shawna, but it’s true, I am also having the A-ha moments! You, me and Oprah are becoming ever more self actualized! ;-) x

Anyway. I‘ve never really done therapy so I admit this sort of self-analysis isn’t the most natural thing to me. I don’t know about you, but when I first learned my Myers Briggs type, I was pretty un-enthused/disenchanted with it, and as I’ve mentioned before I have even tried to “cheat” it a few times since for a different result. Because being an INFP in this world, sometimes, it hard y’all. (Yeah I grew up in Va., I can just about get away with “Y’all”). INFPs are the dreamers, the idealists, the artists, and the healers (supposedly, in broad terms). Which sounds kind of cool and romantic, but in practical terms can feel like an uphill climb at times in this life. INFP's are anything from 1-4% of the population depending which statistic you read.

This means that how we communicate and perceive/ relate to the world is often deeply different from how other people do, and not always in a pleasant way. It can be very stressful being super sensitive to other people’s feelings as well as our own. We overthink things like crazy. Everything we say and do we mean, and insincerity really flips us out. We lack guile, big time. At the same time we can seem strangely aloof. Expressing our emotions is not a strong suit.

We feel super passionate about causes and get deeply upset about things most people can separate themselves from. I became a vegetarian when I was 12 and stayed one until my early twenties. Somewhere along the line I lost my conviction that eating animals, on a basic level, was wrong. I don’t know why but it was like I woke up one day and it was gone. Everything I do has to have a real belief behind it for me to stick to it.

There is also the functioning in a 9-5 job issue which many INFP’s simply can’t deal with (I have hated most every office job I’ve ever had, with a passion. Like depression, getting IBS from stress, all sorts…there’s a reason I tried to be an actress, because it’s the only thing I’ve ever felt good at besides writing)….um sorry, tangent! Believe it or not INFP's generally express themselves much better in the written than the spoken word!

I really like this video of Andrew Garfield and Carey Mulligan illustrating their INFP/INFJ personality types to a T.  Andrew, an INFP (supposedly, I presume they are basing this one some actual facts), does the typical INFP thing of going off on a small tangent, completely in his own world, and comes out of it almost as though awakening from a dream and realizing he has no idea if what he's saying makes sense. This happens to me ALL THE TIME. Carey, an INFJ, is all about the reassuring/ explaining what he meant in case it got lost in translation. It’s not that what he says is particularly off topic (though we can often go there), it’s just that he genuinely has become so wrapped in his own bubble he no longer knows where he landed in the conversation. 

It’s a very frustrating way to be at times, to say the least. We often live in a fantasy world and can zone out of the present completely. It’s almost like a sort of ADHD. Not to minimize ADHD, but I know what it feels like to watch an entire t.v. show or read several pages of a book and come to, having no idea what’s going on because without even realizing it I’ve drifted off into my little bubble. I know this probably happens to most people sometimes, but it happens to me almost every day. Time can simply drift away from me like I can’t even begin to explain. 

I also shirked the INFP label for a long time, I think, because even though I knew I didn’t mind my own company, I never had trouble making friends, so I mistakenly didn’t really relate to the “introvert” label despite much evidence to the contrary (only child, comfortable being alone/reading books all day/etc.!). 

I have adapted to the circumstance of having to make new friends so many times, from growing up in a Navy town and moving a couple of times before high school, that I have always thought I was socially pretty well adjusted. But as I get older, weirdly, I find it harder to connect with new people. I think because I am becoming more self aware, which is like the last thing an INFP should do? I don't know! I think I just feel like I've made so many true friends in life, and I don't need to socialize just for the sake of it any more (being an old married lady!), so I'm perhaps more picky now about who I allow into my life. Plus I can be shy, something that the INFP hides well in the right situation (there is a sort of Yin/Yang extroverted expression side which I should probably talk about in another post), but is inherently always there.

So yeah, anyway, I have never really thought of myself as super introverted. But really, I totally am. I love good company, but I also love being alone and don't freak out at being by myself ever, really. 

And in typical INFP style I am over 1000 words.Sorry! Obviously I have thoughts, many thoughts, which at present are cluttering up my mind and preventing me from blogging about other stuff. It does make me feel self-conscious to write blog posts like this one that are all about “me”. The post I was trying to write earlier was about the balance of extroversion and introversion in blogging, and how we mustn’t let the extrovert expression (which I agree is also vital to keeping blogs interesting), completely drown out the introvert side of blogging. 

Blogging began as a very introverted thing, a place for writers, largely, to express themselves. And I, for one, think that still has value, is something I still seek out anyway, alongside the glossier, more fun sides of blogging. I just wish they could co-exist more peacefully, that the extrovert world of lifestyle glamour and latte and outfit of the day shots, didn’t sometimes drown out the voices trying to be heard that aren’t as capable or interested in using their extrovert side. I know blogging isn’t a competition, but when you read Pinterest tips for improving your blog and all that sort of thing, the majority of them are geared towards a certain style of blogging, and seem to be pushing us all into one big box which we don’t all necessarily fit.

An INFP in a large group often gets drowned out in conversation. We’re not good at fighting to be heard. And I do think that affects bloggers (speaking for myself obviously but I presume other less extroverted types have felt this way too sometimes?).

I think that’s enough for one day, thanks for reading my ramble! Is anyone out there as obsessed with this MBTI stuff as me? Let me know your type if you know it (if you don't and would like to there is a test here - plenty elsewhere online too :-)

Oh...Youtube is kind of a treasure trove for weird Meyers Briggs this computer animated video of an INFP/INFJ conversation. Anyone who is one of these types might get a kick out of it is it just me or are these computerized women growing more passive aggressive with each other as it goes on?! It's hard to describe but it's super weird! The robotic voices don't help, but everything said in it is pretty spot on for me.

My INFP Pinterest board is here for any INFP's looking for deep quotes and stuff! Actually there's links to some good sites there for all of the 16 types, including this one which is really good, Personality Growth (ok this link is for your MBTI Disney Princess which is just a bit of fun but there's more serious stuff too - mine is Belle from Beauty and the Beast, which is totally my favorite Disney film!)


  1. Hi Steff, I'm here with some INFJ hugs for you. It's funny how in the function stack INFJ and INFP are actually opposite and yet they do so often relate to each other and can even struggle to decide which of the two they are. When I see things in myself that seem outside of INFJ they are either INFP or INTJ seeming traits. I suppose the IN has a lot to do with it and sometimes I feel like an INFJ is someone who is sorta-but not quite INFP and sorta-but not quite INTJ. I have made my pinboard public now and look forward to checking out yours. I also have spent some time on the site personality cafe. LOTS of info, resources and like minded people to chat with there. It had not even occurred to me to check out you tube, maybe because I am more likely to read a book than watch television, so I have been reading articles and looking at websites trying to sift the good from the bad. I also read Carl Jung to better understand what this all grew out of. You can also look into a system called socionics, which is sort of an extension of MBTI.
    Anyhow, I get a lot of what you are saying here. I am and always have been an introvert though that doesn't mean I cannot and don't make friends. Introversion is not the same as shyness. It's about where your energy comes from. My energy is restored by time alone. Extroverts can spend some time alone but they recharge their batteries by getting out and doing things with people, preferably lots of them. I have an extroverted friend where the friendship goes back to childhood. She would call me up, arrange for us to do something and then show up with three other people I was not expecting. I would be so disappointed because I was looking forward to some time alone with her. See, I am as wordy as you are and so I am just going to cut myself off here. I could tell these stories for hours. Thanks for the mention and link in your blog post. Have fun exploring your INFPness and any time you want to chat about it, send me an e-mail. :-)

    1. Thanks for reading Shawna, I'm glad you could relate! I think extroverts really help bring us out of our shells, I've had a mixture in my life, sometimes it seems when I really needed an extrovert friend, like in college, one popped up for me. (Well I think she is an extrovert,I've never actually asked her her type, which I totally should as she was a psych major!) Anyway I also know what you mean about people wanting to hang only in groups, they often seem to function better in a group than one on one. One benefit of the IN I guess is we do like one on one conversation/can forge deep friendships, if we're lucky! Anyway this was a good distraction from my colour analysis pursuit, which has driven me a bit batty! ;-) Thanks for the email offer, if you ever want to email me it's on my google profile (I think!) Steff xo

  2. I was fascinated by this and went off to do the test. I am intp so we are similar (as I have always suspected), both quiet and creative but you are more of a spiritual person whereas I am more geeky. Thank you for sharing this!

    1. Thanks Elinor! I wish I was more geeky, I might have gotten into a better college! ;-0 Glad you had fun with it, I warn you it's a bit addictive (well it was for me anyway!). Steff xo

  3. I am an INFP myself, always have been since the first time I took the test and I remember never liking or wanting to accept it - like, in elementary school people would be like "they're the 'dreamers'" as if somehow being a dreamer equated irresponsibility. I've kind of come to accept it, but you are so so so right - it is an uphill battle - we are a sensitive lot. Obviously there are other factors at play - zodiac (if you believe in it,) mental health, birth order - all the stuff. But yeah, it is a challenge.

    1. My zodiac is kind of the anti-INFP (Capricorn)so other than being a moody introvert I have never related to a lot of Cap "You're so practical and steady and ambitious" type descriptions. I'm an only child, which I don't even know what that means for birth order! ;-0

    2. p.s. I think it's cool that two INFP's have found each other in the blogosphere!:-)