How to Speak "INFP"

  • INFPs are very sensitive to criticism and view everything personally. However, they may never come out and tell you that you've hurt their feelings. If in doubt, stay away from or tread lightly with topics you think they might be sensitive about.
  • Be very careful not to dismiss, discount, or make light of the things they consider important. If you do, you run the risk of damaging your relationship permanently, since INFPs may hold grudges far longer than other types.
  • If possible, find out how your idea, suggestion, or proposal fits in with one of their passions, and try to link the two, or point out commonalities.
  • Give them plenty of time to consider your ideas. Be prepared to discuss the impact they will have on others, including the future implications.
  • If relevant, convey your sincere belief in the values of what you are proposing. If you are not genuine, it will be obvious to them, and they will immediately, and perhaps permanently, reject your idea or proposal.
  • Respect their style of decision making, which usually requires time and privacy to mull things over. Consider alternatives all along the way, change plans as new information is discovered, perhaps even start all over if the central mission or concept is corrupted by too much external influence.
  • Remember that INFPs are process people. Build time for revision, modification, and reflection into any schedule.

from The Art of SpeedReading People, Tieger & Barron-Tieger


INFPs are quiet, creative, sensitive and perceptive souls who often strike others as shy, reserved and cool. These folks have a rare capacity for deep caring and commitment--both to the people and causes they idealize. INFPs guide their behavior by a strong inner sense of values, rather than by conventional logic and reason. Forced to cope with this facts-and-figures "real" world we inhabit, INFPs may appear to have been imported from another galaxy! They gravitate toward creative or human service careers which allow them to use their instinctive sens of empathy and remarkable communication skills. Strongly religious, spiritual or philosophical people, INFPs may see the purpose of their lives as an inner journey, quest or personal unfolding. More practical or rational types may tend to discredit the INFP's sources of understanding as mystical. The search for a soulmate is a preoccupation for many INFPs, who must balance their need for privacy and peace with their yearning for human connection. If there seems to be an air of sadness in the INFP's spirit, blame it on this type's longing for the perfect in all things.

from The Personality Page