Personality Growth

INFP Motivation: How the INFP Can Overcome Procrastination

by Kirsten Moodie | Jun 3, 2019 | Uncategorized

INFP Motivation: How the INFP Can Overcome Procrastination

For many of us motivation can be a challenging thing to conquer, and for some it can be even more difficult to overcome their procrastination tendencies. For the INFP this is certainly something they struggle with, since they have a tendency to become distracted by others things and not really want to focus on the tasks in front of them. INFPs become bored easily but also have rather active inner minds, which can cause them to drift in different directions. It is important for them to learn about strengthening their functions in order to adapt and become better at motivating themselves.

Why the INFP Struggles with Motivation

There are many reasons why the INFP often struggles the motivation, the biggest one is that they are easily distracted. When something new comes their way which inspires and excites them, then the INFP really does find themselves drawn in this direction. They have a hard time maintaining focus on things when it feels forced. They don’t enjoy obligation and feeling as if they are forced to get something done, or get it done a certain way. For the INFP having some freedom is important to them, or else they feel stifled. When they aren’t truly excited about what is in front of them, they really do have a hard time maintaining a sense of focus and finding this motivation.

Not only are INFPs distracted by things which excite them, but they can also become distracted by their own inner minds. They have such rich imaginations and inner worlds, and this makes it difficult for them to motivate to perform certain outside tasks. They have so much going on inside of their minds, so much richness which can keep them distracted and caught up for long periods of time. INFPs really do feel a sense of fulfillment inside of their own worlds and do enjoy a lot of time by themselves. Because of this they may not always feel this sense of outward motivation to get things done, especially tasks which bore them and feel much less rewarding than their own imaginations and minds.

INFPs don’t find it natural to focus on tasks which are repetitive or requires of them and so they do often lose interest. They don’t enjoy these types of boring tasks or projects, which makes it hard for them to really pull this motivation out of themselves. They often feel more inspired by bouncing around a bit, focusing on new things instead of the things which might feel a bit boring. INFPs might want to find motivation, but there are so many other things which just feel a bit more thrilling for the mind and heart of the INFP. This poses problems when there are certain things they really do need to take care of. For the INFP it really does have times where it becomes frustrating, especially when they want to find the motivation but are lacking the inspiration to really push themselves in that direction.

Strengthening Their Functions

A good way for the INFP to work on building motivation is by working on their weaker functions. Sometimes strengthening the functions they struggle with can be a great way to learn to be a bit better at motivation themselves. Te is the weakest functions for the INFP, and this is one which does often help when it comes to motivation. Sometimes the INFP can work on this by reflecting their feelings in a more logical manner. Connecting what they have strengths in to the qualities they possess in much weaker ways.

INFPs may have to attempt to learn certain habit, simply by taking it one day at a time. When it comes to strengthening Te it is best if they come up with little ways to organize their lives and keep themselves on a schedule. While INFPs cannot do this all of the time, simply having certain days which are a bit more scheduled can be helpful. Setting alarms for certain tasks, or even allotting themselves a certain amount of time to just daydream, can help them feel a bit more structured. While it can be a challenge, having these guidelines are often necessary for the INFP. Having some sort of calendar to keep things visually in front of them, is a good way to give them reminders of certain tasks or chores they are forgetting or procrastinating.

Sometimes INFPs can benefit from imitating the structure of others, in order to find ways of really growing their weaker functions over time. They can learn from observing or having people around them who possess stronger Te and are willing to be patient as the INFP grows and learns. They do enjoy growing and having the chance to become a more well-rounded person, but that doesn’t mean the progress isn’t difficult. While they are original people in their lives, that doesn’t mean they cannot use imitation as a means of helping them to motivate and prevent procrastination in their lives. Watching how others do things and emulating them, especially those they respect, can really be beneficial for the INFP.

Finding Incentives for Motivation

For the INFP sometimes incentives can actually be a helpful way to motivate themselves. If there is something truly important for the INFP which they want to get done, they can use incentives to help. They might be struggling to motivate themselves but that doesn’t mean they want to get this task done any less. So coming up with a rewards system and things they cannot allow themselves to have until the task is finished, can be surprisingly useful sometimes. Putting off their satisfaction until they can finish things, can certainly be a way for them to avoid procrastinating things until the last minute.

The important thing for the INFP is to find a balance with their motivation, and to not burn themselves out doing this. While they need to try and grow their weaker functions and focus more on things they need to adapt to. For the INFP pushing too hard in this direction can burn them out quickly, since working on weaker functions can do this for anyone. While trying to strengthen these functions can be truly useful in growing and becoming a better version of ourselves, this is something which should be done slowly and not all at once. INFPs can certainly find ways to motivate themselves better, but they don’t need to attempt to do this all in one day and end up crashing because of it. Balance is important and so they need plenty of time to themselves to dream and even procrastinate on occasion.

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How To Inspire And Motivate An INFP?

How To Inspire And Motivate An INFP?: .

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Written by: Jack Boots

Published on: October 6, 2023

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Understanding INFPs: How to Inspire and Motivate with Empathy

As an expert in psychology and an introvert myself, I understand the unique challenges that introverts, especially INFPs, face when it comes to finding inspiration and motivation. INFPs are known for their creativity, empathy, and deep sense of purpose. However, their introverted nature can sometimes make it difficult for them to feel inspired and motivated in a world that often values extroversion.

In this article, we will explore how to inspire and motivate an INFP by dispelling misconceptions, understanding their unique needs, and providing actionable advice that will help them thrive.

Dispelling Misconceptions about INFPs

Before we delve into the ways to inspire and motivate an INFP, it is important to address some common misconceptions:

Misconception 1: INFPs lack motivation or are lazy

One of the biggest misconceptions about INFPs is that they lack motivation or are lazy. This is far from the truth. INFPs are deeply driven by their internal values and are constantly seeking meaning in everything they do. However, they may struggle to find motivation in tasks or environments that do not align with their values or provide them with a sense of purpose.

Instead of labeling an INFP as unmotivated or lazy, it is crucial to understand their need for meaningful work and create an environment that allows them to connect their values to their tasks.

Misconception 2: INFPs don’t like working in groups

Another misconception is that INFPs prefer to work alone and do not enjoy working in groups. While it is true that INFPs value solitude and introspection, they also appreciate collaboration and genuine connections. However, they may find it draining to constantly be in a group setting, which can hinder their ability to contribute creatively.

To inspire and motivate an INFP, it is essential to strike a balance between collaborative work and individual projects, giving them the space they need to recharge and reflect.

Understanding the Unique Needs of an INFP

Now that we have dispelled some misconceptions about INFPs, let’s explore their unique needs when it comes to finding inspiration and motivation:

1. Read ‘The Owl Within: An Introvert’s Guide To Success’ Here! Use Coupon Code OWL20 for 20% Off – Limited Time Offer

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INFPs are deeply driven by their values and the desire to make a positive impact. They need to feel that their work has a higher purpose and aligns with their personal values. To inspire and motivate an INFP, help them understand the larger sense of purpose behind their tasks and connect them to the positive impact they can make.

For example, if an INFP works as a content writer for a company, highlight the significance of their role in helping the organization communicate its values or impact people’s lives through storytelling.

2. Autonomy and Flexibility

INFPs thrive when they have a certain level of autonomy and flexibility in their work. They appreciate the freedom to explore their creative ideas and approach their tasks in their unique way. To inspire and motivate an INFP, provide them with the flexibility to structure their work and trust in their ability to deliver outstanding results.

For instance, if an INFP is given the opportunity to choose projects aligned with their interests, they are more likely to feel inspired and motivated to excel.

3. Meaningful Relationships

INFPs value deep connections and meaningful relationships. They appreciate working in an environment where they can collaborate with like-minded individuals who share their values and understand their need for introspection. Foster a supportive and inclusive environment that encourages genuine connections and understanding among team members.

For example, organizing team-building activities that involve deep conversations or creating mentorship programs can help an INFP feel inspired and motivated.

Actionable Advice: Inspiring and Motivating an INFP

Now that we understand the misconceptions and unique needs of an INFP, let’s dive into some actionable advice to inspire and motivate them:

1. Communicate the larger purpose

Explain the significance of their work and how it contributes to a larger purpose. Help them connect their tasks to the positive impact they can make, both personally and within the organization.

2. Provide autonomy within boundaries

Offer flexibility and autonomy in their work process, allowing them to explore their creativity and work in their preferred style. Set clear boundaries and goals but give them the freedom to choose their approach.

3. Foster a supportive environment

Encourage a culture of understanding, empathy, and collaboration. Foster relationships based on trust and respect, and provide opportunities for meaningful interaction with like-minded individuals.

4. Recognize and celebrate their achievements

Acknowledge and appreciate an INFP’s efforts and contributions. Publicly recognize their achievements, whether it’s through formal recognition programs, team meetings, or a simple note of appreciation.

5. Encourage self-reflection and personal growth

Promote self-reflection and personal growth by providing resources or opportunities for professional development. Encourage INFPs to explore their personal interests and align them with their work whenever possible.

Inspiring and motivating an INFP requires understanding their unique needs, dispelling misconceptions, and providing them with an environment that supports their sense of purpose, autonomy, and meaningful connections. By embracing these strategies and truly empathizing with an INFP, you can help them unleash their creativity and excel in their work.

Remember, it is empathy and an appreciation for the introverted nature that will enable you to genuinely connect with and inspire an INFP. Together, we can create a world where introverts thrive and contribute their unique perspectives to drive success.

Interested in learning more about introverts? Learn about similar topics here, like:

What are the signs an INFP is in their creative zone?, Why do INFPs often struggle with confrontation?, How can INFPs cultivate a positive mindset?, What are the signs an INFP is feeling disconnected?, Why is introspection a daily need for INFPs?

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Jack Boots, hailing from the sun-kissed beaches of San Diego, brings a unique blend of introspection and adventure to the Introvert Owl family. An avid surfer, Jack often draws parallels between the rhythm of the waves and the ebb and flow of introverted energies. His tales of solitary midnight beach walks and campfire contemplations are a testament to his deep connection with nature. With a knack for capturing the essence of introverted experiences in his writings, Jack's articles serve as a guiding lighthouse for many seeking solace and understanding in their own introverted journeys.

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Why Do INFPs Value Deep Connections Over Superficial Interactions?

What are the signs an infp is in their creative zone.

Here’s what motivates each Myers-Briggs® personality type

Here’s what motivates each myers-briggs ® personality type, here’s what motivates each myers-briggs personality type.

4 min. read

Have you ever been asked what motivates you?

It’s such a loaded question. Some motivators are pretty universal: food, shelter, money, recognition, etc. But beyond the basics, what motivates you might not motivate me—and vice versa.

If you manage people in any capacity, it’s incredibly helpful to understand how motivation and personality connect. Because when a person is motivated, it usually means they’re more engaged, fulfilled, and productive. Before we dive in, let’s brush up on the fundamentals of extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivation.

Think back to your childhood. Perhaps you did your homework or ate your vegetables because you wanted to earn an allowance or avoid getting in trouble. Those are examples of extrinsic motivation . Now think back to a project or task you happily did all on your own—not because someone told you to. These are things you found rewarding. For me, it was creative writing. For my best friend, it was arranging her books in alphabetical order. Both are examples of intrinsic motivation .

Keep in mind that both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation can (and should) coexist. In our adult lives, we typically need a job to earn money (extrinsic motivation). And ideally that job should fulfill us in some way, or at least give us freedom to grow in other ways (intrinsic motivation).

Motivation is impacted by four core preferences

Now that we’ve covered extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivation, let’s take a closer look at how this relates to personality. When we look at motivation through the lens of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ® (MBTI ® ) assessment , it all boils down to preferences. Specifically, preferences for these four things:

  • How you get energy (Extraversion and Introversion preferences)
  • How you organize your life (Judging and Perceiving preferences)
  • How you make decisions (Thinking and Feeling preferences)
  • How you gather information (Sensing and Intuition preferences)

When tasks can be completed in ways that align with your specific preferences, you feel much more motivated to do them—especially at work.

But when company leaders don’t recognize how different preferences play into motivation, it can make people feel alienated and demotivated—even when traditional rewards (like money, recognition, etc.) are in place.

Fortunately, company leaders are becoming more aware of how motivation impacts work. By now, you’ve probably heard of Google’s “nap pods” where employees can go to rest or think during the work day. In other places, “brainstorm rooms” are a thing. It’s a space where people can bounce ideas off colleagues in a fun, low-pressure way. These are both examples of motivators companies use to keep employees engaged and inspired. Thoughtful spaces like these have popped up in workplaces everywhere.

Pretty cool if you ask me. Even still, nap pods and brainstorm rooms aren’t a cure-all. That’s why we need things like the MBTI assessment  to color our understanding of how personality preferences affect motivation.

A bird’s eye view of motivation for the 16 MBTI ® types

The next couple of blog posts in this series will offer a deeper look at exactly what motivates each MBTI personality type. For now, here’s a quick overview for all 16 types:

  • ESTJ: you’re motivated when you can spring into action. You like to organize your work in a way that’s effective and efficient—without concern for future possibilities.
  • ENTJ:  you’re motivated when you can manage processes, organizations, or people. You like to develop plans with long-term goals in mind.
  • ISTP: you’re motivated by activities that rely on your senses and memory for details. You like to work on things that test your ability to problem solve.
  • INTP: you’re motivated when you can interpret ideas through a logical lens. You like to follow your analyses without concern for irrelevant facts and details.
  • ENFJ: you’re motivated when you can develop and implement grand, innovative, long-range plans. You like to plan in a way that promotes others’ growth and development.
  • ESFJ: you’re motivated by finding practical methods for collaboration. You like to work in a way that helps others accomplish their goals.
  • INFP: you’re motivated when you can develop unique ways to express your inner values to the outside world. You like to work with limited external restrictions and oversight.
  • ISFP: you’re motivated when you can live your values in a direct, hands-on way. You like to work in environments where loyalty is prized over competition.
  • ESFP: you’re motivated when you can help the people who are important to you. You like to impact others in immediate, practical ways.
  • ESTP: you’re motivated when you can solve problems efficiently. You like to focus on the present, without having to think of future implications.
  • ISTJ: you’re motivated when you can work independently in a quiet, organized setting. You like to manage your time well and minimize interruptions.
  • ISFJ: you’re motivated by practicality and procedures. You like to share processes with people that will help improve their lives.
  • ENFP: you’re motivated when you have the freedom to set facts and details aside. You like to go with the flow of your inspirations and ideals.
  • ENTP: you’re motivated when you can release external constraints. You like to see how your inspirations lead to logical conclusions.
  • INTJ: you’re motivated when you can devote time to working on complex systems. You like to describe and explain your inner visions for the future.
  • INFJ: you’re motivated by enhancing others’ lives. You like to transform your inner vision into helpful plans and programs.

The MBTI assessment is a powerful tool to uncover and understand all the nuances of our motivations. It’s how we learn to become more engaged and well-rounded colleagues, students, teachers, friends, and partners.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned for more blog posts in this series, where we’ll share real-life stories from people who describe what motivates them.

Until then, consider taking the MBTI assessment  if you haven’t already. Or sign up your whole team  and learn how to work better together. Now that sounds pretty motivating.

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Every INFP is a bit different, but how does this sound?


Your natural gifts make you:

Common challenges:

  • Dealing with emotional overwhelm
  • Struggling with idealism
  • Tendency to self-criticize
  • Conflict avoidance
  • Staying focused on practical details
  • Above all, you value personal integrity. You’re very concerned with living a life that's authentically aligned with your values and ethics. For you, morality isn’t just philosophical—it’s something to be carefully lived every day. But making decisions can take a while since you need to figure out what feels most aligned with your personal values (not simply what society or others say is right).
  • You have a powerful imagination and a rich internal world of fantasy, spirituality, or emotions. But you can often get lost in there , and your level of empathy can be overwhelming as you absorb feelings from others. People are often surprised by just how well you can put yourself in their shoes, but it can be challenging for you to separate your emotions from theirs.
  • You’re an idealistic, creative feeler. You love designing environments, experiences, or art to express yourself or inspire others to experience a feeling. But you can feel melancholic when others don't match your emotional depth. And you can feel disappointed or frustrated with the gap between the ideal reality in your head and the imperfect world around you. It might feel like you’re not doing enough to change the world.
  • You’re a loyal friend who's curious and driven to truly understand others. But, you can also be critical of people who threaten your core values. Your high ethical standards can make you critical of yourself (and others) when you feel like you (or they) have fallen short.
  • You're a seeker of authenticity, striving for emotional honesty and genuine, deep connection with others. You want to understand and be understood on a profound level. But connection can be tricky since you so deeply value integrity, honesty, and clear communication around feelings, needs, and boundaries. You can easily feel drained by people who seem superficial or inauthentic.

Does that resonate? If not, you might try going back to your results page and exploring one of your other highly-rated type possibilities. (Or, if you landed directly on this page from Google, you can take my test here ).

INFP Tip #1:

You have a complex inner world that's always shifting. Fi is a slow function, so it can be easy to feel overwhelmed if you don't take the time to slow down to properly feel yourself.

Make time for creating art or journaling (in your journal, try tracking your emotions, understanding what triggers them, and exploring your reactions).

INFP Tip #2:

To mature your Ne function, practice taking in perspectives from outside yourself.

Try to be curious about dissenting views and values. Ask yourself: Who could I ask about this who sees the world very differently from me?

It might feel safe to stay in your internal world and hang on to your own perspectives that feel right to you, but your growth edge is to slowly push yourself outside your comfort zone by trying on the unfamiliar.

I invite you to join thousands of other NFP's who have subscribed to my mailing list.

I write about topics like these (all filtered through the mind of an ENTP—a fellow Ne function user):

  • Lifestyle & Habit Design  (motivation & energy management; todo list prioritization; easeful decision-making (yes, even for NP-types); habit formation & retention)
  • Mindset & Meaning  (building existential resiliency; rationality + mindfulness; creating purpose; systematically dealing with depression, anxiety, & nihilism)
  • Communication & Social Justice  (making friends as an adult, deepening relationships, escaping small talk, and being an effective ally to people with marginalized identities)

As a thank you for signing up, I'll send you the "tiny-book" I wrote specifically to help fellow NP types with one of the biggest challenges INFP's face: achieving their goals instead of procrastinating.

I'd appreciate your help! I'm always trying to improve my understanding of INFJ's, so could you please answer just one question for me? (And as a thank you, I'll send you a free gift—see the form below.)

What's the biggest challenge in your life that you'd like to overcome?

Now, I'd like you to consider something:

Think back to when you decided to take my test. On the surface, you might have just been curious what type you would get.

But I'm betting there was a reason underneath that: You want to shift something in your life.

You feel lazy, running out of motivation and procrastinating

How would your life be different if you could transform….

  • Disappointment that your goals often feel far away
  • Feeling unsure about your future
  • Struggling with decision-making and finding the right career
  • Making clear progress toward what's most important to you in life
  • Feeling like you're living a life that's fully aligned with your values
  • Getting clear on your mission and purpose , and confidently directing your energy that way

You often feel overwhelmed and too emotionally sensitive

How would it feel to go….

  • Struggling with depression or anxiety , or crying often
  • Feeling like you can't control how much you feel from others
  • Experiencing nihilism or existential angst
  • Learning how to more easefully manage the challenging feelings of life
  • Becoming more discerning and in control of your attunement to others
  • Creating a clear sense of meaning that inspires you

You struggle with confidence, self-criticism, and perfectionism

What would it be worth to shift….

  • Shyness, self-doubt, and social anxiety
  • Trouble feeling understood and setting boundaries
  • Feeling like you're not good enough or not making enough of an impact
  • Self-love , self-acceptance, and more grounded confidence
  • Feeling seen and heard , more ease in making deep friendships, and improved ability to set and keep boundaries
  • Knowing that you're living in integrity , feeling aligned with your values, and making a positive impact

I'm Michael, a coach who helps INFP's transform


I spent most of my 20's and early 30's waiting for my "real life" to start.

I had been completely stuck in my head and out of touch with my feelings and needs. I had no idea how to ask for what I needed to feel deeply nourished.

I was a perfectionist who didn't really understand self-care, and I struggled a lot with decision-making.

I finally couldn't take it anymore, so I devoted three years to pushing myself outside my comfort zone to transform my life. I learned a lot about speaking up for my needs , knowing what I need to feel energized instead of anxious, and finding the right balance between my analytical mind and my embodied emotions.

I created my life purpose, made some dramatic changes to myself and my lifestyle, and finally began to understand what self-love, values alignment, and authentic aliveness feel like.

I'd like to help you feel that too.

What do the top people in every field have in common?

I've worked with Fortune 500 leaders , an Academy Award-winning director , a Mount Everest record holder , and some of the most famous video game designers in the industry.

And I'd like to share a secret with you:

The most successful people get help when they're struggling.

They might look perfect on the outside, but I've seen firsthand that they're grappling with their own challenges—from self-doubt and impostor syndrome to depression and anxiety .

They still hit barriers that they have trouble getting past on their own. And top performers know that they need to put the oxygen mask on themselves first before they're able to most effectively help others.

Just like star athletes benefit from coaching, the top people in every field hire experts to help them improve.

I'd like to help you too.

Our types are a natural fit

I'm an ENTP , so I share your primary information-gathering function of Ne. Just like you, I'm passionate about authenticity, honesty, and deep connection.

But, even though we take in information in the same way, we're very different in how we make decisions. You rely on feelings, and I rely on analytical logic.

I've spent a lot of time working on my feelings, so I believe that I can meet you in that place of authenticity. And, with my rational Ti function,   I'll be able to offer you a different perspective on your challenges along with specific tools and approaches for getting things done.


Leaders at top companies have sought my expertise:


Plus, employees and entrepreneurs from 6 continents —in industries as diverse as crypto, government, education, tech startup, health & wellness, and beyond.

My client list includes executives & founders, product managers, teachers, doctors, consultants, artists, coaches, grad school students, data analysts, a librarian, a zookeeper, and more.

I'd like to earn your trust, as I have with these people:


Michael's program felt very much like Jedi training on Dagobah with Master Yoda.

I feel I have been heard. Michael is truly open minded. His responses were for me specifically and not just for all *NTPs. 

He has been a genuine and honest set of bricks to start building a foundation with. He conveys positive messages in a way that makes me consider them deeply.

I could walk away from working with him at any point and feel accomplished and sated, but I don't because every session has proven useful.

The insights and ideas we shared together took me from a very restless and uncertain Point A, to the trail with a map and the makings of a plan, to a Point B that aligns with my values and needs.

I’m getting stuck in overthinking so much less often.

It’s like my gut instinct is coming to me now with a whole army instead of just a few horsemen.

This experience has been life-changing. Michael is very helpful, respectful, and an interesting person that I look forward to seeing every time.

I love the feeling of calm I experience now. I don’t second guess myself. I realize so clearly that I was irrationally confident before I started working with Michael, and I now feel a deeper sense of confidence that’s more open-minded and curious.

I think a good video game analogy for how I’ve progressed is that I feel like I’m playing my life in first-person point-of-view mode now vs. third person. My relationship with my wife has improved a lot, and everyone in my life has noticed a big change in me.

I’m still the same personality type, but it’s funny to think how subtle changes have shifted so much of how I feel every day.

I don't feel like a different person exactly, but rather that I'm far more of my true self than I've ever been.

It’s hard to overstate how much happier I am.

I like how you can quickly react to my current needs. Sometimes I feel like I struggle with something that does not really have a solution and I mention it and in most of the cases you always found a different angle/approach or offered some alternatives that helped.

The most impactful part of our work together is that feeling that I am backed up - that I have someone I trust, respect and appreciate who I can always consult difficult things with.

I was talking with a colleague, and they commented on my high energy lately and impressive systems I have in place.

They asked what my secret is, and I told them it’s that I’m working with an excellent coach.

This is not at all what I thought coaching would be like.

We ended up doing something totally different than I had been looking for (or thought I needed), but I'm surprised to say it was amazingly effective.

In the time I've been working with Michael, I was elected Vice President of my organization. I’ve felt my perpetual guilt disappear around work , and I find myself worrying less about what I can’t control.

I’ve even had some very philosophical revelations about what life is all about. I feel really good, thank you.

I feel like I am in a great place now after our last session. Everything is falling into place and I feel good.

Overall, all the things I am learning and applying from you and the PQ program are lining up now and MAN I am just happily damn enjoying my life and happy, just like that!

Well, I am seeing some really good changes! ...Makes interactions with strangers SO much more pleasant, and not energy-draining!

It's frickin crazy. I love it. And that's after just a few weeks... !

Thank you so much for being the absolute best life coach ever.

You are an amazing person and incredible mentor/advice-giver all in one and I can’t thank you enough!

I honestly don’t know where I’d be today if not for you.

I’d fallen into such a deep depression and hit rock bottom. It seemed like I wasn’t getting anything important done.

But after talking with you, I feel energized and back on track. I can do this!

I really appreciate your calming demeanor and ability to bring me toward a similar state (even when I have arrived at a scheduled session a bit 'wound up').

Your ability to listen and follow up on important points between sessions is remarkable and it helps to give me the impression of making progress.

I am floored.

This was truly a feeling I don't think I have ever felt before.   I have so much to think about after our session.

This was a truly wonderful experience, thank you.

I knew within 30 seconds of our first call that Michael was someone I wanted by my side.

Here was someone who could finally see me, as I truly was deep down. And that eventually helped me fully see myself.

Back then, it felt like life was acting upon me, and I was suffering professionally and in my relationships.

I really don’t feel any of that now. I had been grasping for solutions through a certain lens, and Michael helped me find a completely different set of lenses that make everything look different.

Those negative feelings haven’t all gone away entirely. But my reality has completely changed , and I feel so much more able to meet them those challenges.

Perhaps you are a person who gets  sucked into tunnel vision  and struggles to remain present and enjoy the process  without obsessing over future outcomes. A person who wishes you had a translator for your own thoughts.

If so, time spent with Michael may be just what you need.  His gentle, open-minded insights make him the perfect sounding board for intuitive persons who face the daily struggle of feeling misunderstood.

Michael has helped me to examine my own thought patterns and motivations more objectively. He is a truly gifted counselor, and time with him has proved to be a valuable step toward acquiring deeper self-knowledge.

I feel lucky to have Michael on my team. We started working together as I was planning a life transition.  He supported me by guiding me past self-doubt and into my body's natural sense of where it wants to go — clarity.

In our ongoing work,  Michael provides open-ended perspectives on situations that I can tend to see as more closed-off.  He has so many tools, resources, and experiences that give me confidence that he can add a lot to my journey. Our sessions give me a boost and let me step forward with some really healthy attitudes.

I want to name that our work together has had a dramatic, tangible impact on my life.

Working with other coaches and therapists before has been helpful, but you’ve given me something significantly different. You’ve changed my life in a very real way and set me on an entirely new path. I’ll be forever grateful.

I kept walking away with one refreshing insight after another . Michael admirably applies praise where deserved and tends to avoid positivity for positivity’s sake. He does not judge – he seeks to understand. His inquisitive nature and mannerisms are a refreshing blend of friendly banter, humor, and understanding that are hard to find and very much appreciated.

There is great peace of mind in knowing that at least one person outside of my family can be absolutely trusted with my most confidential musings about my career.

He has an uncanny ability to say something back to me in a way that’s more coherent than how I first said it. When I hear my thoughts stated back to me it brings a certain permanence, conviction, and power to them I am challenged to replicate on my own.

I can’t thank Michael enough, and I wholeheartedly encourage you to take advantage of his gift.

Oh my God, I’m convinced.

I thought for sure I was an ENTJ. I could never believe that I was an ESFP because I don’t fit into the typical ESFP stereotypes. I managed to get through med school!

But hearing you explain it as you did, it just makes perfect sense now. This explains so much.

I’m afraid of this work I have to do but I know it’s what I need.

Yes, I have clients on six continents.

I commonly work with people all over the world via Zoom. We'll find a time of day that's convenient for both of us.

If you're curious, I live in the United States, in Portland, Oregon (on the PST timezone). I moved here six years ago, and I’ve previously lived in: Washington DC, Los Angeles, Montreal, Tokyo, and a small village outside Hiroshima.

I'm an experienced coach who's helped a lot of multi-passionate, big-picture thinkers.

  • I’ve spent over a decade working with leaders and team members from top Fortune 500 companies (e.g., Google, Siemens, Nike).
  • Outside the corporate world, I’ve helped people ranging from a founder of a popular crypto protocol, to doctors, students, software engineers, aspiring entrepreneurs, and people who haven't yet figured out their deepest passion & life purpose.
  • I created one of the most popular websites in the personality typing world— millions of people (from 193 countries) have trusted my test.
  • With over 500 logged hours of training, I have a background in both executive / life coaching (CTI Co-Active Coaching, Positive Intelligence) and counseling (Hakomi somatic mindfulness, R-CS Re-Creation of the Self).  You can read more about my qualifications here .

If you've struggled to find a coach or counselor who really gets you, I can empathize. It took me a long time to find someone who could keep up with me and go as deep as I wanted to go.

When I found the right person for me, it was pretty clear after only five minutes. If you think I might be a good fit for you, I encourage you to schedule a free sample session  to see how it feels.

I've had a very successful career, so I understand what you need to learn to succeed.

  • I won an Emmy , and I later worked at the production company of an Academy Award-winning director.
  • I worked at some of the top video game companies in the world (Square Enix, Naughty Dog).
  • I’ve managed multimillion-dollar web and app projects for some of the world's most famous brands.

So, I can support you in building skills like confidence, communication, EQ, social skills, decision-making, productivity, achieving ambitious goals, and the other fundamentals you need to succeed at work and at home.

I know what it's like to struggle with depression, social disconnection, and lack of purpose.

I’ve been where you are . Despite my success—an objective outside observer would say my life was amazing— I still felt an existential void for much of my adult life .  It felt like I was treading water waiting for my "real" life to start.

I wondered how other people seemed to be so happy, so fulfilled, and to have so many friends. I struggled with depression, anxiety, nihilism, low confidence, procrastination, and very low motivation outside work.

But I devoted three solid years to changing that, and I learned a lot about what works and doesn’t work. I won't claim that I have it 100% figured out, and I still have hard days. But I’ve found a deep well of motivation in me and a powerful sense of aliveness. And since then, I’ve helped a lot of other people do the same.

I'm committed to creating a safe container for people with a variety of identities. That kind of trust has to be earned, and I'm willing to put in the work to build it with you.

Inclusivity and Equity

We all have complex identities that are impacted by varying levels of access & privilege as well as structural systems of power and oppression. I consider inclusivity and equity to be foundational to my practice, and I strive to continually educate myself to be able to support clients as whole people who may be impacted by a range of issues related to their multi-faceted and intersectional identities.

I'm also a big believer in transparency.

So I can tell you that, at the time of writing:

  • 43% of my clients are people of color;
  • 40% are outside the United States;
  • 55% identify as female, non-binary, or not male.

Here's some of my other experience in the equity space:

  • Back when I worked in the corporate management consulting world, I was Co-Lead of Slalom Portland's internal DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) group —creating educational materials, facilitating workshops, and coaching other consultants and leaders to empower people with the psychological safety, self-awareness, and motivation to create a more inclusive and equitable working environment for all.
  • At the Oregon Country Fair festival, I volunteer as an ally at the Rainbow Connection LGBTQIA+ sanctuary space.
  • Finally, I invite you to read some of my anti-racism work and some of my writing about gender.

Unearned Advantages

I'm a white, heterosexual, cisgendered person, and I use "he/him" pronouns. I was born in Canada and moved to the United States at age 13. But aside from that, it's important to name that my set of identities is most typically regarded as the "default" in the dominant culture of the US . That status has given me a certain amount of power and a variety of unearned advantages (i.e., "privilege").

Because that privilege makes it relatively easy to ignore the systems of oppression and inequity around me, I've devoted a significant amount of time and energy over the past few years to examining the ways I've unconsciously internalized beliefs and habits related to whiteness, maleness, and so on within myself. I'm a part of several communities oriented toward collective liberation and mutual accountability with leaders of color and other historically-marginalized identities.

In terms of working with trauma, I have some basic training, awareness, and knowledge of grounding exercises, but I'm not an expert. This is an important topic to me, and I've been focusing my learning lately on trauma-informed mindfulness and meditation practices.

If you're wanting support with complex trauma, I deeply empathize with you; however, clinical psychotherapy is outside the scope of my practice .


Similarly, I don't have any specific training in working with neurodiversity. However, quite a few of my clients identify as neurodivergent (autistic, ADHD, etc.) and they've appreciated my style and found my coaching to be beneficial.

Sliding Scale

To acknowledge structural inequities and my own unearned advantages, you'll see in my sliding scale that I offer slots in my practice for people who identify as part of historically marginalized groups and have very little disposable income available.

This isn't just one or two token slots either. A full 25% of my clients are paying this greatly reduced rate .

I'm happy to talk about all of this and to discuss any access needs you have via email or during our free sample session (which you can schedule by scrolling down).

I love books and podcasts too, and I've learned a lot from them. But that type of learning only took me so far.

Here's how coaching is different:

You're a unique person, so my coaching is customized.

You're not the same as other people—your mind is structured differently, and what works for them might not work for you.

My coaching will be highly customized for your personality type and—more importantly—for you and the specific barriers and challenges you're facing in your life .

It's not a simple lack of knowledge that's holding you back.

Why haven't you already made the changes you know you need to make in your life?

Here's what I learned the hard way (and what I've seen in all the clients I've worked with):

You aren't being held back by a lack of knowledge. What you really need is ongoing support to change the way you think. To shift how you see the world and yourself.

It's not enough to just read or hear about what you should be doing—you need to experience it.

You need someone who can help you see what you're doing wrong and hold you accountable to make real progress toward change.

Every coach has their own unique flavor and specialty. Some coaches call themselves career coaches, business coaches, high-performance coaches, relationship coaches, etc.

I support people with all those things, but at the deeper root level. By transforming how you understand yourself and how you show up in the world, we can address your challenges in all those areas.

So, I’m a Transformation Coach (or, put another way, a Self-Awareness & Mindfulness Coach ). While I do have a lot of specific advice for business, relationships, etc. as well, my style is more focused on the core person.

Who are you at the deepest level? What do you want your life purpose to be, and are you actually living it in all areas of your life? Are you moving through life in a way that allows you to feel inspired, curious, excited, connected, and fulfilled? Where are your blind spots? How are you fooling yourself? How could you feel happier and make the most of your precious life?

I'm not a "Type A" drill sergeant-type coach.

I'm less focused on maximum productivity at all times, and more on true fulfillment— helping people feel deeply alive and truly satisfied with their lives.

To escape nihilism, overcome depressive thoughts, and feel more connected and aligned with purpose.

If you want someone who's hyper-focused on holding you accountable to rigid goals, I'm not the person for you.

But if you want an ally who will help you tap into your deepest strengths and motivation while also supporting you in a caring way if you stumble, we might be a good fit.

People I've worked with have described me as:

  • Powerfully-present, calm, and grounded
  • Authentic , unpretentious, relatable, inclusive, and open
  • Thoughtful, kind, committed, and non-judgmental
  • Able to see and present a variety of perspectives
  • Highly-logical and sharp , but also very empathetic , sensitive, and emotionally intelligent

Clients often tell me after our first session that it wasn't at all what they were expecting and they were very pleasantly surprised.

What does all that look like?

Dozens of studies have shown that the quality of  relationship between client and therapist is the single biggest predictor of positive therapy outcomes — even more so than the specific modality the therapist is using . I believe the same is true of coaching.

And you can tell a lot about someone just from watching them for a minute or two. So, I invite you to check out the YouTube channel I recently started to get a feel for what I'm like.

Here are a couple of my videos:

What will we do together?

We’ll alternate between tackling specific tactical issues you’re facing (e.g., a recent challenge at work, at home, in your relationships, etc.) and going back to the big picture (your life purpose, career path, and overarching personal growth).

I’m trained in multiple different modalities, which you can read about here .  Depending on the type of challenge I’m helping you with, here are some common ways our session might go: 

  • I’ll use my expertise in personality typing to help you better understand how your mind works . Then I’ll use techniques from Positive Intelligence to support you with mental fitness (like weightlifting but to strengthen your mastery over your mind).
  • I’ll use my coaching and management consulting background to offer you different perspectives and specific advice and suggestions for dealing with the issues you’re facing around things like time management or communication.
  • Finally, I’ll use Hakomi and R-CS somatic counseling techniques to help you get in a deeply mindful state of mind to explore the foundational experiences, stories, and neural networks responsible for the challenges you're facing. This will help you make more fundamental shifts to transform your experience of life, including shifting which thought patterns you most commonly go to . Ultimately, this will reshape how you feel about yourself and your moment-to-moment experience each day.

My unique offering: a blend

Given my training in both executive/life coaching and counseling, I'm able to provide a combination of both (which is uncommon).

I'll use whichever type of technique I think will best serve you in the moment based on the specific issue we're dealing with in that session, what types of feelings are coming up for you around it, and what I know about your unique background.

To be clear though, I'm not offering clinical psychotherapy here. While I do have years of comprehensive training in counseling, it's outside my scope of practice to diagnose and treat mental illness .

Bottom line: In my experience, it's helpful to most of my clients when I bring in techniques from all the various modalities I've studied. But, if you're clear that you want pure coaching, we can make our sessions more analytical and focused on specific tactical advice for your work or life (or, if you're clear that you want pure counseling, we can focus more on helping you feel resourced and grounded, exploring feelings that come up, and tracing them back to past experiences).

( Here's my longer answer about the difference between coaching and counseling and which one might be right for you. Also, many people choose to see me and a psychotherapist at the same time).

Transitioning from counseling to coaching

Have you been in counseling for a while but feel like you might be ready to transition to coaching?

Maybe it's felt like you've been trying to just stay afloat for a while, but now you feel ready to take more proactive steps toward thriving . With my knowledge of both worlds, I've been able to act as a bridge and support several clients through that transition.

What about mentoring?

Many coaches believe in a very "pure" form of coaching —completely focused on helping the client find their own answers.

The coach asks powerful questions to help the client see their issue from different angles. But ultimately, the coach rarely offers their personal opinion. They're more like a mirror.

In contrast, a mentor is more like a role model who has lived experience that you want. They've gone through similar challenges themselves, and they can advise you based on what worked and didn't work for them.

Many people who work with me tend to be similar to how I was before my big life transformation.

For example, prior to that transformation five years ago, I was:

  • Working in tech in Agile , project management , product management , and UX ;
  • Dealing with nihilism from being a strong atheist (but dabbling in Buddhism and curious about psychedelics);
  • Struggling with making decisions since I was stuck in my head and overthinking everything ;
  • Feeling lonely and desperately wanting to skip small-talk , go deeper with people, and find belonging;
  • Having so many interests that it was hard to pick one and choose a career or design a life purpose.

If that's you, I can offer more than just coaching. I can act as a mentor too and give you specific advice based on my own journey and my experience working with others on similar paths.

The ideal cadence

I typically work with people weekly (but some clients prefer twice weekly or once every other week).

I find that a more frequent cadence allows us to stay better connected, and it helps the client stay better on track toward their goals. But, it all depends on how passionate you feel about making changes in your life right now, what other commitments you have, and your financial situation.

The key to transformation

If you're looking for deep transformation, it is possible to rewire your brain to shift how you relate to the world around you and prioritize new habits. However, the key to building new neural networks is repetition. The more often we're able to identify specific thought patterns that aren't serving you and shift them, the more likely your brain will be to make those new pathways the default. 

Bottom line: I'm open to finding the right cadence that works for you , and I only ask that you commit to fully showing up and being open to new perspectives.

You’ve had decades of life to develop mindsets and habits that are now holding you back. It’s only logical that those decades of conditioning won’t be reversed overnight.

How real change works

A lot of people hope for some “a-ha” moment that will change everything in their first or second session. In my experience, lasting change comes more from a series of smaller "a-ha's" over time rather than one big one.

Yes, you will most likely leave our first few sessions with tangible, actionable advice that helps you take some real steps toward change. 

And ultimately, it will depend on how far you want to go at this point in your life. If you're looking for help with something tactical like developing a time management system that works for you, we'll likely make progress quickly. If you're looking for deep  transformation like creating a life purpose or learning how to feel your feelings more, the truth is that it will take longer (and it will be worth it!).

Here are some specific examples on both ends of the spectrum:

  • I had an INTJ client who'd been struggling to find her type and understand what she needed to take action on her goals. In two sessions , I was able to help her feel confident in her true type and better understand what she needed to feel energized more regularly .
  • I had an INTP client who had been struggling with creating stronger habits. He had trouble with work/life balance, and he was torn between all the different ideas he wanted to pursue at once; so, it was hard for him to concentrate on the new habit. In five sessions, I was able to help him begin to focus, and we transformed his approach to language-learning .
  • I had another INTP client who was facing a lot of challenges at work, especially office politics. Over eleven months , I helped him better understand his needs, assert himself more strongly, and get a promotion. Then, we went on to design a life purpose that inspired him , and he realized he needed to make a more dramatic shift in his life, which culminated in excitedly moving to another country.
  • In my case (ENTP), it took around nine months of work with a coach (meeting 3-4 times a month) to go from depression, low motivation, and existential void to finding my people , making authentic friendships, quitting my job , starting an intentional community house surrounded by like-minded people, creating my life purpose, re-orienting my life around that, and feeling more alive than ever before .

Let's figure out together what you need to feel fulfilled and deeply alive.

Great, let's get those answered!

Please email me at [email protected] .

How can I work with you?

Thanks for your interest in coaching with me. Below you'll find information on several types of offerings: one-on-one coaching, group coaching & workshops, and my blog.

One-on-One Coaching

I've put a lot of thought into the most logical, fair, and ethical way to price my services.

Conversations about money tend to bring out a lot of feelings (on both sides), and I want to approach that complexity with the nuance and care it deserves.

So, this will require just a little more work to understand than "pay me $X."

If you're curious, I wrote a whole philosophical article where I break down in detail how I arrived at this set of policies. (All this has evolved a bit too since I wrote that post back in early 2021.)


My pricing philosophy & policies

I intentionally aim to serve a variety of people in my practice—including groups who have historically had less access to coaching due to systemic oppression (e.g., 43% of my clients are people of color ).

At the same time, this is my primary source of income, and I need to be able to run a sustainable business.

So, here's the model I've arrived at:

Sliding-scale (variable pricing):

I offer the same service at multiple price points based on need (honor system, no proof required). But paying the highest price you can afford allows me to offer much lower-priced coaching to people who couldn't otherwise afford it.

Pay for sessions in bundles of three:

This simplifies the bureaucracy and makes our relationship feel less transactional. If paying for three sessions at once feels challenging for you, let's talk about it.

First session is free:

Let's make sure we're the right fit for each other. So much of coaching comes down to trust, chemistry, and connection. Each coach has a different style, so I want to make sure you feel comfortable with mine.

Commit to at least two sessions per month:

Roughly half my clients see me weekly, and half every other week. I sometimes make exceptions to see people less frequently, but that slows our progress and makes it harder for me to stay up-to-date with your life.

Most importantly, let’s be real with each other:

I’m not a big faceless corporation charging one fixed price for a product. And you’re a complex human with a lot of different types of expenses in your life. Let’s have a real authentic conversation about what you can afford that’s fair to both of us. Let's come at this as a team trying to solve a challenge together.


My Sliding Scale

Please do your own research if you'd like a comparison for coaching rates.

But I can tell you that $200-500 USD per session is a common price charged by my peers with similar experience and credentials.

Below are my rates for a 50-minute session (again, this is the same service being offered at each price tier).

Here's what else you'll get by working with me:

  • I'll start off by sending you a detailed questionnaire to help us get to know each other—and, more importantly, to help you get crystal clear on your goals for coaching.
  • I'll customize my coaching style based on your personality type (I'm very familiar with several powerful typing systems).
  • This isn't one-size-fits-all advice. We'll co-create a unique personal growth trajectory just for you. I'll bring in techniques from Co-Active coaching, Hakomi counseling, and much more—whatever is most appropriate for your specific challenges.
  • You'll be the first to hear about my new projects, tools, Mastermind groups, and other offerings.
  • You'll also get access to me via email between sessions (for example, if you'd like me to review your resume or answer a time-sensitive question). And, as we work together, I might share worksheets, articles, or podcasts that make me think of you.

Which one best describes your situation?

Standard rate a.

  • You earn over $170K USD /year
  • Or, you can buy pretty much whatever you want without saving up
  • Or, your company will be paying for this
  • Bonus: By paying this rate, you allow me to offer lower-priced coaching to someone with a marginalized identity (thank you!)
  • You earn over $120K USD /year (before tax, including bonuses)
  • Or, you regularly spend $200+ USD on non-necessities without needing to save up
  • You earn under $120K USD /year (before tax, including bonuses)
  • Or, you regularly spend $50+ USD on non-necessities without needing to save up

$139 USD (limited spots)

Special rate.

  • You earn under $50K USD /year (before tax, including bonuses) and have very little disposable income (after paying for basic necessities)
  • And , you identify as part of a historically marginalized group such as LGBTQIA+ or BIPOC (or you face other systemic discrimination)

$67 USD (waitlist only)

( I'm a big fan of crypto , so I'm open to receiving payment in ETH or BTC—or potentially other cryptocurrencies—as well. Let me know if you're interested and we can talk about how to set that up.)

Group Coaching, Masterminds, Workshops,

I periodically open up spots in my Mastermind program specifically designed to help you solve 3 of the top challenges people come to me with:   focusing down to finish ideas, making decisions, and dealing with cycles of low motivation/energy.

Learn more here.

Also, sign up below to be the first to hear about other new programs, tools, and writing.

I'll likely be opening up a new group coaching cohort soon, so please sign up below to be the first to hear about my new programs, tools, and writing.


If paid coaching doesn't fit into your current financial situation, you can check out my free tools and blog posts .

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Therapy Center
  • When To See a Therapist
  • Types of Therapy
  • Best Online Therapy
  • Best Couples Therapy
  • Best Family Therapy
  • Managing Stress
  • Sleep and Dreaming
  • Understanding Emotions
  • Self-Improvement
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Student Resources
  • Personality Types
  • Verywell Mind Insights
  • 2023 Verywell Mind 25
  • Mental Health in the Classroom
  • Editorial Process
  • Meet Our Review Board
  • Crisis Support

INFP: Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving

An overview of this personality type sometimes called the "mediator"

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

infp homework motivation

  • Characteristics
  • Cognitive Functions


  • Career Paths
  • Interacting With
  • Next in Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Guide ENFJ: Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging

INFP is a 4-letter acronym that stands for Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving. The INFP personality type is one of the 16 different types identified by the  Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) .

The INFP personality type is often described as an "idealist" or "mediator" personality. People with this kind of personality tend to be introverted, idealistic, creative, and driven by high values.

Verywell / JR Bee

INFPs want to make the world a better place and are interested in how they can best help others. They also strive to gain a greater understanding of themselves and how they fit into the world.

People with this personality type spend a lot of time exploring their own purpose in life and thinking about how they can use their skills and talents to best serve humanity.

"This personality type tends to devote themselves when interested in something, but can struggle to maintain enthusiasm when it is something they do not care about or are interested in," says Christopher Hansen , a licensed professional counselor at Thriveworks in Austin, TX.

INFP Compatibility

INFP is the opposite personality type of ESTJ . Other similar personality types include INTP and ENFJ .

Key INFP Characteristics

INFPs are known to be introverted, quiet, and reserved. Being in social situations can drain their energy, and they prefer interacting with a select group of close friends. While they like to be alone, this should not necessarily be confused with shyness . Instead, it simply means that INFPs gain energy from spending time alone . On the other hand, they have to expend energy in social situations.

INFPs typically rely on intuition and are more focused on the big picture rather than the nitty-gritty details. They can be quite meticulous about things they really care about or projects they are working on but tend to ignore mundane or boring details.

INFPs place an emphasis on personal feelings, and their decisions are more influenced by these concerns rather than by objective information.

When it comes to making decisions , INFPs like to keep their options open. They often delay making important decisions just in case something about the situation changes. When decisions are made, they are usually based on personal values rather than logic.

Loyal and devoted

Sensitive to feelings

Caring and interested in others

Works well alone

Value close relationships

Good at seeing "the big picture"

Can be overly idealistic

Tends to take everything personally

Difficult to get to know

Sometimes loses sight of the little things

Overlooks details

Cognitive Functions of an INFP

The MBTI is based on a theory of personality created by Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung. Jung proposed that there are four psychological components of personality: thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition. People then direct each of these cognitive functions inwardly (introverted) or outwardly (extraverted).

In the MBTI, each personality type is made up of a hierarchical stack of these functions. The dominant function largely controls personality, although it is supported by the auxiliary and, to a lesser degree, the tertiary functions. Inferior functions are those that are primarily unconscious but still exert some influence.

INFPs tend to rely on the following four cognitive functions:

Dominant: Introverted Feeling

INFPs experience a great depth of feelings but, as introverts, they typically process these emotions internally. They possess an incredible sense of wonder about the world and feel great compassion and empathy for others.

While these emotions are strong, INFPs tend not to express them outwardly, which is why they can sometimes be mistaken as aloof or unwelcoming.

Auxiliary: Extraverted Intuition

INFPs explore situations using imagination and 'what if' scenarios, often thinking through a variety of possibilities before settling on a course of action. Their inner lives are a dominant force in personality, and they engage with the outside world by using their intuition.

INFPs focus on the "big picture" and things that will shape the course of the future. This ability helps make them transformative leaders who are excited about making positive changes in the world.

Tertiary: Introverted Sensing

When taking in information, INFPs create vivid memories of the events. They will often replay these incidents in their minds to analyze experiences in less stressful settings. Such memories are usually associated with strong emotions, so recalling a memory can often seem like reliving the experience itself.

Inferior: Extraverted Thinking

This cognitive function involves organizing and making sense of the world in an objective and logical manner. While it is a mainly unconscious influence on the INFP's personality, extraversion can show itself in times of pressure. When faced with stress, an INFP might suddenly become very pragmatic and detail-oriented, for instance, focusing on logic rather than emotion.

Because they are typically ruled more by intuition and emotion, INFPs can sometimes struggle to feel productive and efficient. Learning to develop the extraverted thinking function can help people with the INFP personality type create a better sense of balance.

INFPs You Might Know

Some famous INFP people include:

  • Audrey Hepburn, actress
  • JRR Tolkien, author
  • Princess Diana, British royal
  • William Shakespeare, playwright
  • Fred Rogers, television personality

Personal Relationships With INFPs

INFPs are idealists so they tend to have high expectations—including in relationships. They might hold an idealized image in their minds of their perfect partner, which can be a difficult role for any individual to fill.

People with an INFP personality type care deeply about other people. Yet, as introverts, they can be difficult to know. They do tend to become very close and deeply committed to the few that they forge close relationships with.

INFPs also dislike and try to avoid conflict . When conflicts or arguments do arise, they usually focus more on how it makes them feel rather than the actual details. During arguments, INFPs might seem overly emotional or even irrational. However, they can also be good mediators by helping others involved in a conflict identify and express their feelings.

"This personality type does not necessarily avoid people, they simply prefer close friends and small groups and like their alone time," says Hansen.

Because they are so reserved and private, it can be difficult for other people to get to know INFPs. They tend to be quite devoted to their circle of close friends and family and place high importance on the feelings and emotions of their loved ones.

The Bottom Line

Much of an INFP's energy is focused inwardly and characterized by intense feelings and strong values. They tend to be very loyal to the people they love and to beliefs and causes that are important to them.

Career Paths for INFPs

INFPs typically do well in careers where they can express their creativity and vision. While they work well with others, they generally prefer to work alone. 

INFPs tend to be very creative, artistic, and spiritual . They are often skilled with language but may prefer to express their thoughts and feelings through writing rather than speaking.

Because they have strong ethics and values, INFPs also become passionate about advocating or defending their beliefs. While they feel strongly about their own values, they are also interested in learning more about others and are willing to listen and consider many sides of an issue.

Popular INFP Careers

Popular careers for an INFP personality include:

  • Graphic Designer
  • Psychologist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Social Worker

Tips for Interacting With INFPs

If you are friends with an INFP, are somehow engaged with an INFP parent, or are involved in a relationship with an INFP, here are a few interaction tips.


INFPs typically have only a few close friendships, but these relationships are generally long-lasting. While people with this type of personality are adept at understanding others' emotions, they often struggle to share their own feelings with others.

Social contact can be difficult, although INFPs crave emotional intimacy and deep relationships. Getting to know an INFP can take time and work, but the rewards can be great for those who have the patience and understanding.

INFP parents are usually supportive, caring, and warm. They are good at establishing guidelines and helping children develop strong values.

An INFP's goal as parents is to help their children grow as individuals and fully appreciate the wonders of the world. They may struggle to share their own emotions with their children and are often focused on creating harmony in the home.

As with friendships, INFPs may struggle to become close to potential romantic partners. Once they do form a relationship, they approach it with a strong sense of loyalty .

INFPs can sometimes hold overly romanticized views of relationships and may have excessively high expectations that their partners struggle to live up to. They also tend to take comments personally while, at the same time, struggling to avoid conflicts.

If your partner is an INFP, understand that they may struggle at times to open up. They may also be overly sensitive to perceived criticisms and will often place your happiness over that of their own.

Janowsky DS, Morter S, Tancer M. Over-representation of Myers Briggs Type Indicator introversion in social phobia patients . Depress Anxiety . 2000;11(3):121-5. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1520-6394(2000)11:3%3C121::AID-DA6%3E3.0.CO;2-9

Murie J.  Knowing me, knowing you: personality and peer appraisal .  Br J Gen Pract . 2010;60(574):382–384. doi:10.3399/bjgp10X502001

Pestana JV, Codina N. Being conscious of one's own heroism: An empirical approach to analyzing the leadership potential of future CEOs .  Front Psychol . 2019;9:2787. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02787

Yang C, Richard G, Durkin M. The association between Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and psychiatry as the specialty choice .  Int J Med Educ . 2016;7:48–51. doi:10.5116/ijme.5698.e2cd

Traynor RM, Holmes AE. Personal style and hearing aid fitting .  Trends Amplif . 2002;6(1):1–31. doi:10.1177/108471380200600102

Goby VP. Personality and online/offline choices: MBTI profiles and favored communication modes in a Singapore study . Cyberpsychol Behav . 2006;9(1):5-13. doi: 10.1089/cpb.2006.9.5

Myers, I. B. (1998). Introduction to Type: A Guide to Understanding Your Results on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator . Mountain View, CA: CPP, Inc.

The Myers & Briggs Foundation. (n.d.). The 16 MBTI Types.

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."


How To Be A Successful INFP: Tips And Strategies

Are you an INFP struggling to find success in your career or personal life?

As one of the 16 personality types in Myers and Briggs’ typology, INFPs have a strong need to act authentically and live in congruence with their values. However, this can often lead to feeling unmotivated or unfulfilled in traditional work environments.

But fear not, there are ways for INFPs to find success and purpose in their lives. In this article, we’ll explore tips and strategies for INFPs to thrive in mission-driven careers, manage their inner critic, and honor their deeply held values while navigating the constraints of everyday life.

So, let’s dive in and discover how to be a successful INFP!

How To Be A Successful INFP

1. Find a mission-driven career that aligns with your values

INFPs thrive in careers that allow them to make a meaningful contribution and connect to their values. This may mean exploring non-traditional work environments, such as collaborative workspaces or digital platforms, where you can express your creativity and independence.

Consider careers in healthcare, psychology, social work, or the creative arts. These fields offer opportunities to make a positive impact on others while also honoring your deeply held values.

2. Manage your inner critic

As an INFP, you may struggle with self-doubt and negative self-talk. It’s important to recognize when your inner critic is firing up and learn how to manage it effectively.

Practice self-compassion and reassure yourself the same way you would reassure a friend. Remember that your self-critical thoughts are just thoughts and not necessarily true. Don’t let them sap your motivation or hold you back from pursuing your goals.

3. Embrace different perspectives

While it’s important to honor your deeply held values, it’s also important to be open-minded and embrace different perspectives. Don’t let your idealism turn against you and prevent you from making changes or achieving your goals.

Practice using your intuition, empathy, and adaptability to explore different viewpoints and find common ground with others. This will help you grow as a person and expand your horizons.

4. Use your strengths to your advantage

As an INFP, you have many strengths that can help you succeed in both your personal and professional life. Use your self-awareness, intuition, empathy, adaptability, curiosity, and open-mindedness to your advantage.

For example, if you’re pursuing a creative career, use your intuition and curiosity to explore new ideas and push boundaries. If you’re working in healthcare or social work, use your empathy and adaptability to connect with patients or clients on a deeper level.

5. Practice self-care

Finally, don’t forget to practice self-care! As an INFP, it’s important to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally.

Make time for activities that bring you joy and fulfillment, such as playing music or spending time in nature. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family who understand and appreciate your unique perspective on the world.

By following these tips and strategies, INFPs can find success and purpose in their lives while staying true to their authentic selves. Remember, success is not just about achieving external goals but also about living in congruence with our values and finding fulfillment in our daily lives.

Understanding The INFP Personality Type

INFP (introversion, intuition, feeling, perception) is one of the 16 personality types identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. People with this personality type are often described as “idealists” or “mediators” and tend to be introverted, creative, and driven by high values.

INFPs have a strong need to act authentically and will never be truly happy unless they are true to themselves. They spend a lot of time exploring their own purpose in life and thinking about how they can use their skills and talents to best serve humanity.

One of the key strengths of INFPs is their ability to achieve independence and pursue career paths or goals that are outside the norm. They have a natural inclination towards entrepreneurship or freelance work, where they can take creative risks and enjoy testing themselves.

INFPs also have a tendency towards self-doubt and negative self-talk. It’s important for them to manage their inner critic effectively and practice self-compassion. By recognizing when their inner critic is firing up, INFPs can reassure themselves and not let negative thoughts hold them back from pursuing their goals.

INFPs are known for their idealism and strong values, but it’s important for them to be open-minded and embrace different perspectives. By using their intuition, empathy, and adaptability to explore different viewpoints, INFPs can find common ground with others and grow as individuals.

Finally, practicing self-care is crucial for INFPs to maintain their emotional and physical well-being. They should make time for activities that bring them joy and fulfillment and surround themselves with supportive friends and family who appreciate their unique perspective on the world.

Finding Purpose And Meaning In Mission-Driven Careers

INFPs are driven by a sense of purpose and meaning in their work. They want to make a positive impact on the world and connect with their values in their careers. Finding a mission-driven career that aligns with their values is crucial for INFPs to feel fulfilled and motivated.

Careers in healthcare, psychology, social work, or the creative arts can be a good fit for INFPs. These fields offer opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives while also allowing INFPs to express their creativity and individuality.

INFPs should also consider non-traditional work environments, such as collaborative workspaces or digital platforms, where they can work autonomously and have control over how and when to complete a project.

It’s important for INFPs to manage their inner critic and practice self-compassion. Negative self-talk can hold them back from pursuing their goals and making a meaningful contribution to the world. By practicing self-care and surrounding themselves with supportive friends and family, INFPs can overcome self-doubt and negative self-talk.

INFPs should also embrace different perspectives and use their strengths to their advantage. Their intuition, empathy, adaptability, curiosity, and open-mindedness can help them connect with others on a deeper level and find common ground.

Ultimately, finding purpose and meaning in mission-driven careers is essential for INFPs to feel fulfilled and motivated. By following these tips and strategies, INFPs can find success while staying true to their authentic selves.

Managing The Inner Critic: Overcoming Self-Doubt And Procrastination

As an INFP, you may find yourself struggling with self-doubt and procrastination. Your inner critic can be particularly harsh, causing you to doubt your abilities and hold back from pursuing your goals. Here are some strategies to help you manage your inner critic and overcome self-doubt and procrastination:

1. Recognize your inner critic

The first step in managing your inner critic is to recognize when it’s firing up. Pay attention to the negative self-talk that arises when you’re feeling anxious or uncertain. Notice the patterns in your thinking and the triggers that set off your inner critic.

2. Challenge your inner critic

Once you’ve recognized your inner critic, challenge it with evidence-based thinking. Ask yourself if the thoughts you’re having are based on facts or assumptions. Look for evidence that contradicts your negative beliefs.

For example, if you’re feeling like a failure because you didn’t complete a project on time, remind yourself of all the times when you have succeeded in the past. Focus on your strengths and accomplishments, rather than your perceived weaknesses.

3. Practice self-compassion

Be kind to yourself and practice self-compassion. Treat yourself as you would treat a friend who is struggling with self-doubt. Remind yourself that it’s normal to have doubts and fears, and that everyone makes mistakes.

4. Break tasks into smaller steps

Procrastination often stems from feeling overwhelmed by a large task. Break tasks into smaller steps to make them more manageable. Set realistic goals for each step and reward yourself when you complete them.

5. Use deadlines to your advantage

As an INFP, you may find that deadlines help motivate you to get things done. Use this to your advantage by setting deadlines for yourself, even if they’re self-imposed. Hold yourself accountable for meeting these deadlines and use them as a way to track your progress.

6. Take action

Finally, remember that the best way to overcome self-doubt and procrastination is to take action. Don’t wait for motivation to strike – create it by taking small steps towards your goals every day. Even if you don’t feel like it, force yourself to take action for just a few minutes each day. You’ll be amazed at how quickly motivation can follow action.

By managing your inner critic and taking action towards your goals, you can overcome self-doubt and procrastination and achieve success as an INFP. Remember to be kind to yourself and stay true to your values as you pursue your dreams.

Honoring Values In Everyday Life: Tips For Authentic Living

As an INFP, it’s essential to honor your values in everyday life to live an authentic and fulfilling life. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

1. Identify your values

Take some time to reflect on what values are most important to you. This may include things like creativity, compassion, authenticity, or social justice. Once you’ve identified your values, make a conscious effort to align your daily actions with them.

2. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness can help you stay connected to your values and live in the present moment. Take a few minutes each day to sit quietly and focus on your breath. This can help you stay centered and make more intentional choices throughout the day.

3. Set boundaries

As an INFP, you may have a tendency to put others’ needs before your own. While it’s important to be compassionate and empathetic, it’s also crucial to set healthy boundaries.

Learn to say “no” when you need to and prioritize your own needs and well-being. This will help you stay true to your values and avoid burnout.

4. Be true to yourself

Authentic living means being true to yourself and expressing your unique perspective on the world. Don’t be afraid to speak up and share your thoughts and ideas, even if they go against the status quo.

Remember that authenticity is not about being perfect or having all the answers. It’s about being honest and vulnerable with yourself and others.

5. Practice gratitude

Gratitude can help you stay connected to what’s most important in life and cultivate a positive mindset. Take some time each day to reflect on what you’re grateful for, whether it’s a supportive friend or a beautiful sunset.

By honoring your values in everyday life, you can live an authentic and fulfilling life as an INFP. Remember that success is not just about achieving external goals but also about staying true to yourself and finding joy in the present moment.

Building Strong Relationships As An INFP

Building strong relationships as an INFP can be challenging, but it is also deeply rewarding. INFPs value authentic connections and meaningful relationships, and they are fiercely loyal to those they care about. Here are some tips for building strong relationships as an INFP:

1. Be true to yourself

INFPs are known for their authenticity and sincerity. It’s important to stay true to yourself and your values in any relationship. Don’t compromise your beliefs or values for the sake of pleasing others. Instead, find people who share your values and interests and build relationships with them.

2. Communicate effectively

INFPs tend to be reserved when it comes to expressing their feelings, but effective communication is crucial in any relationship. Practice expressing your thoughts and feelings in a clear and respectful manner. Listen actively to others and try to understand their perspective.

3. Practice empathy

INFPs are naturally empathetic and compassionate. Use this strength to connect with others on a deeper level. Try to see things from their perspective and understand their feelings and motivations.

4. Be patient

INFPs tend to take their time when it comes to building relationships, but this patience can pay off in the long run. Take the time to get to know someone before committing to a deeper relationship. Don’t rush into anything before you’re ready.

5. Set boundaries

INFPs tend to be sensitive and caring, but it’s important to set boundaries in any relationship. Be clear about your needs and expectations, and don’t let others take advantage of your kindness.

By following these tips, INFPs can build strong, meaningful relationships that honor their values and bring joy and fulfillment into their lives. Remember, building strong relationships takes time and effort, but it’s worth it in the end.

Overcoming Challenges: Coping With Stress And Burnout As An INFP

INFPs are sensitive and empathetic individuals who may struggle with stress and burnout. Here are some tips for coping with these challenges:

1. Take alone time and sensory experiences

When feeling stressed, INFPs can benefit from taking a warm bubble bath or engaging in other sensory experiences. This can help them access their tertiary Sensing side and find some peace and quiet to think things through.

2. Recognize the signs of stress

INFPs tend to appear quiet, distant, rigid, tense, and critical when they are emotionally overwhelmed. By recognizing these signs, INFPs can take steps to manage their stress before it becomes overwhelming.

3. Take small steps to overcome procrastination

INFPs tend to procrastinate until there is not enough time to do everything. To overcome this tendency, INFPs can take small steps towards their goals, even if they don’t feel totally ready. This can help them reduce stress and build confidence.

4. Target inefficiencies with a plan of action

INFPs may become stressed out by inefficiencies in their personal or professional lives. To overcome this, they can create a plan of action to target these inefficiencies and then execute it.

Finally, INFPs should prioritize self-care to prevent burnout. This may include engaging in activities that bring joy and fulfillment, surrounding themselves with supportive friends and family, and taking care of their physical and emotional health.

By following these tips, INFPs can cope with stress and burnout while staying true to their authentic selves.

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INFP Cognitive Functions: Personal Growth & Self-Discovery Guide for the INFP Personality

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INFP Cognitive Functions

INFP Cognitive Functions explain the behaviour of the INFP personality. Dominant Introverted Feeling (Fi) & Auxiliary Extroverted Intuition (Ne) shape the personality of INFPs. Tertiary Introverted Sensing (Si) supports the INFP personality.

The Inferior Extroverted Thinking (Te) coupled with the four shadow functions (Fe, Ni, Se & Ti) are the problem or ignored areas for the INFP personality.

In this article we will undertake a comprehensive exploration of the INFP Cognitive Functions and embark on a journey of Personal Growth & Self-Discovery for the INFP Personality.

Drawing from Jungian psychology and ego development theories this article will provide INFPs with valuable insights for self-realization and personal growth.

Table of Contents

What are MBTI Cognitive Functions?

Based on Carl Jung’s ‘Psychological Types’ theory, MBTI Cognitive Functions serve as the foundation for understanding the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) Personalities.

There are two primary cognitive activities undertaken by the brains – Processing Information & making Decisions on that Information.

The cognitive functions used for Processing Information are called as the Perceiving functions and the cognitive functions used for making decisions are called as the Judging functions.

There are two Cognitive functions dealing with Perceiving (P):

  • Sensation (S) is the Cognitive Function in which we take in sensory stimuli to identify what is out there.
  • Intuition (N) is the Cognitive Function in which we understand the meaning of the stimulus by identifying patterns & connections from the stimuli.

Similarly, there are two Cognitive functions dealing with Judging(J):

  • Feeling(F) is the Cognitive function with which we decide how we value the particular cognitive stimulus
  • Thinking(T) is the Cognitive function with which we decide what action we should take in response to that particular cognitive stimulus

In the words of Carl Jung – “ Sensation establishes what is actually present, thinking enables us to recognize its meaning, feeling tells us its value, and intuition points to possibilities as to whence it came and whither it is going in a given situation. ”

Each of these Cognitive Function can be Introverted(I) or Extroverted (E). Hence, Thinking can be either Extroverted Thinking or Introverted Thinking and so on. This gives the eight function MBTI cognitive model as developed by John Beebe .

As per Jung Personality of a person is formed when the brain of a person starts showing a habitual preference for one of these Eight Cognitive Functions .

The Dominant Cognitive Function for the individuals shapes the personality of that individual. The Auxiliary Cognitive function broadens the personality of the individual. The tertiary cognitive function supports the personality of the individual. The inferior and the shadow cognitive functions causes problems to the personality of the individual.

In this article, we will dive into the INFP Cognitive Functions stack and explore how the INFP personality can use the INFP Cognitive Function stack personal growth and self-discovery.

For jumping to personality development guides for other MBTI personality types use the following table:

To know more about MBTI Cognitive Functions, click on this link ->  MBTI Cognitive Functions

INFP Cognitive Functions Stack

The following is an overview of the INFP Cognitive Functions Stack:

Now, let’s take a deeper look at these Cognitive Functions and their development.

Introverted Feeling (Fi): The Dominant Function of INFP Cognitive Functions Stack

Overview of introverted feeling (fi).

Introverted Feeling is a cognitive function that involves being attuned to one’s inner values, emotions, and personal beliefs.

Individuals who possess a strong preference for Fi have a deep sense of individuality and an internal compass that guides their actions and decisions.

People with dominant or auxiliary Introverted Feeling have a natural inclination to align their behavior with their deeply held personal values.

They have a keen awareness of their own emotions and are highly attuned to the emotional nuances of others. They prioritize authenticity and strive to maintain inner harmony and integrity.

Overview of Dominant Cognitive Function

The dominant cognitive function represents the primary lens through which an individual engages with the world and organizes their experience.

It is typically the most developed and conscious function within an individual’s psyche, often manifesting as their preferred mode of operation.

The dominant function contributes significantly to an individual’s core identity, shaping their behaviour, values, and aspirations.

On receipt of the stimulus, the Dominant Function will automatically take over the processing of the stimulus, unless balanced by auxiliary and other functions.

When the dominant function is introverted, the individual directs their attention inward, emphasizing subjective experience, personal meaning, and inner reflection as sources of information and decision-making.

If the stimulus requires excessive outwards interaction, then there will be a habitual reluctance/avoidance of this interaction unless the extroverted auxiliary function is well developed.

In contrast, when the dominant function is extraverted, the individual tends to focus their attention and energy primarily on the external world.

They are more inclined to gather information from their environment, engage in objective analysis, and make decisions based on external data.

If the stimulus requires excessive inward introspection, then there will be a habitual reluctance/avoidance of this introspection unless the introverted auxiliary function is well developed.

Introverted Feeling as the Dominant INFP Cognitive Function

As the dominant cognitive function, Introverted Feeling shapes the way INFPs interpret and engage with the world around them.

Fi offers a deeply personal lens through which INFPs are profoundly attuned to their internal moral compass and values. This intrinsic focus ensures that INFPs prioritize authenticity and inner congruence above all else.

With Introverted Feeling, INFPs are constantly evaluating experiences, situations, and interactions against their core beliefs and values, ensuring that their actions and decisions are in alignment with their true self.

This strong internal value system makes INFPs incredibly empathetic and compassionate individuals, as they can easily resonate with the emotions and sentiments of others.

One of the core strengths of INFPs is their unwavering commitment to their principles, even in the face of external pressures or societal expectations.

Their dedication to their beliefs often leads INFPs to be deeply introspective, mulling over their feelings, passions, and moral stands.

In this world of introspection, the inner world of an INFP becomes richly intricate. Their thoughts are often tinged with emotion, aspiration, and a quest for personal understanding.

While this intense self-reflection can lead to profound insights, it can also cause INFPs to feel isolated or misunderstood, especially when they perceive the external world as being in conflict with their internal values.

However, as they mature, INFPs learn to bridge the gap between their inner world and external realities, striving to create harmony between their principles and the demands of everyday life.

The introspective nature and focus on personal values give INFPs a passionate and idealistic aura, drawing others towards their genuine nature.

Another significant aspect of Fi in INFPs is their ability to empathize without merging their feelings with others. Their strong moral compass aids them in standing up for injustices and advocating for causes they believe in.

Moreover, Fi fosters a deep love for individuality in INFPs. They are champions of personal expression and are drawn towards causes that emphasize human rights and individual freedoms.

INFPs often find solace in artistic expressions, seeing art as a medium to express their innermost feelings and beliefs.

The following is the overarching impact of Introverted Feeling (Fi) as the Dominant INFP Cognitive Function:

  • Authenticity and Moral Alignment: At the core of every INFP is a deep-seated need for authenticity. They strive to remain true to themselves, often prioritizing their personal feelings and values above external expectations. This alignment with their inner compass makes them principled and often seen as having high integrity.
  • Deep Emotional Understanding: INFPs often experience emotions intensely and are adept at introspecting these feelings. This self-awareness helps them navigate their emotions and aids them in understanding themselves better.
  • Passion and Idealism: Fueled by their dominant Fi, INFPs are passionate about their beliefs and are often idealistic, always hoping and striving for a world that aligns with their values.
  • Empathy and Compassion: While they have a strong internal focus, INFPs are deeply empathetic. They can understand and resonate with the feelings of others without losing their own emotional individuality.
  • Advocacy and Justice: INFPs are often advocates for causes they believe in, and they have a strong sense of justice. They are likely to stand up for the underdog and work towards creating a harmonious world.
  • Individualistic and Non-conforming: INFPs value their individuality and often resist conforming to societal norms that don’t align with their personal beliefs. They thrive in environments that allow them to be themselves.
  • Search for Depth and Meaning: Just as they are deeply attuned to their emotions, INFPs seek depth and meaning in their external world. They are drawn to profound topics, artistic expressions, and meaningful connections with others.

Impact of having an Introverted Dominant Cognitive Function on INFPs

It is important to understand that since the dominant function of INFPs is introverted, introversion will always dominate their lives, unless they learn to balance it with their auxiliary function.

Being introverted is a fundamental aspect of an INFP’s personality, as it refers to their preferred orientation and source of energy. Here are some ways in which being introverted impacts the personality of INFPs:

1. The Inner World Reigns Supreme: For the INFP, introversion magnifies the depth and vividness of their inner world. While the external world buzzes with stimuli, INFPs often find their richest experiences occur internally. Dreams, ideas, values, and emotions weave a tapestry that INFPs spend a lifetime exploring.

2. Deep Reservoirs of Reflection: Drawing upon their dominant function, Introverted Feeling (Fi), INFPs possess a profound capacity for introspection. They frequently evaluate experiences, ideas, and interactions against their internal value system, seeking alignment with their authentic self. This continuous introspective journey allows them to develop a keen sense of self-awareness.

3. Sensitivity to Surroundings: INFPs, with their introverted nature, can be highly sensitive to external environments. Overwhelming stimuli, such as loud noises or crowded spaces, can drain them quickly. This sensitivity, while challenging, also provides them with an ability to appreciate beauty, nuances, and subtleties that others might overlook.

4. A Need for Solitude: Solitude is not just preferred—it’s often essential for INFPs. It’s during these quiet moments that they recharge, reflect, and process their emotions. Being introverted means that INFPs require periods of solitude to balance out social interactions.

5. Authentic Relationships: While INFPs might not be the most outgoing type, they crave meaningful and authentic relationships. Surface-level interactions can feel unsatisfying. Instead, they seek connections that offer depth, understanding, and mutual respect. Their introverted nature guides them towards quality over quantity in relationships.

6. The Challenge of Expressing Themselves: Being introverted can sometimes pose a challenge for INFPs when it comes to expressing their feelings and thoughts, especially in unfamiliar settings. They might often feel that words fail to capture the depth and nuance of their internal experience.

7. The Shadow Functions: John Beebe’s Typology Model suggests that individuals have both conscious and unconscious cognitive functions. For INFPs, their extroverted shadow functions (like Extroverted Feeling) might manifest in moments of stress or conflict. When this happens, they might find themselves behaving out of character, driven by unprocessed external emotions.

8. A Journey Towards Balance: While introversion defines a core aspect of the INFP experience, personal growth often involves integrating aspects of extraversion into their lives. By understanding and occasionally embracing their extroverted shadow functions, INFPs can achieve greater balance and flexibility in their interactions with the world.

Now that we have understood how Dominant Introverted Feeling (Fi) impacts the personality of INFP’s lets understand the pitfalls of failing to balance the Dominant Function with other functions.

What happens when INFP’s fail to balance their Dominant Introverted Feeling

When INFPs fail to balance their dominant function, Introverted Feeling (Fi), with their auxiliary and other functions, it can lead to a range of challenges and imbalances in their personality and interactions with the world.

Here’s a detailed look at what might transpire:

  • Overwhelm of Emotions: An unbalanced Fi can lead INFPs to be consumed by their emotions. They might ruminate excessively on feelings, leading to bouts of melancholy, anxiety, or existential crises. While introspection is natural for INFPs, excessive introspection without external grounding can lead to a feeling of being “stuck.”
  • Isolation: INFPs might retreat from the world if they lean too heavily on their introverted feeling. Avoiding social interactions or circumstances that challenge their values can result in feelings of loneliness and isolation.
  • Difficulty in Decision Making: INFPs, when over-reliant on Fi, might struggle with decisions as they continually seek internal alignment and authenticity. They may overthink choices, worrying about how each option aligns with their personal values or how it might emotionally impact them.
  • Struggle with Objective Analysis: Fi is a subjective function, rooted in personal values and feelings. An over-reliance can make it difficult for INFPs to view situations from a detached, logical standpoint, which can be especially problematic in situations that require objective analysis.
  • Conflict Avoidance: In their quest for internal harmony and alignment with their values, INFPs might avoid conflicts, even when confrontation is necessary. This can lead to unresolved issues in personal and professional relationships.
  • Misunderstood by Others: Others might perceive INFPs as overly sensitive, irrational, or unpredictable when they’re heavily leaning into their Fi without a balance from their other functions.
  • Neglect of Practical Matters: Over-indulgence in the emotional and value-based world can sometimes lead INFPs to neglect day-to-day tasks, responsibilities, and practical matters. They might struggle with routine tasks that don’t resonate with their internal value system.
  • Difficulty Adapting to Change: If changes or new situations seem to clash with their deeply-held values, INFPs might resist or have difficulty adapting. They may become inflexible or struggle with transitions.
  • Shadow Function Activation: When dominant functions are out of balance, it can lead to the emergence of shadow functions. For INFPs, this might mean uncharacteristic displays of critical thinking (shadow Introverted Thinking) or becoming overly concerned with external validation (shadow Extroverted Feeling).

To counteract these challenges, it’s essential for INFPs to engage with their auxiliary function, Extraverted Intuition (Ne).

This function helps them explore new ideas, remain open to possibilities, and interact more fluidly with the external world. Developing their tertiary and inferior functions can also offer a more balanced approach to life and decision-making.

Mature Vs Immature expression of Dominant Introverted Feeling Cognitive Function in INFPs

When Fi is maturely expressed, it leads to profound insights and personal growth. However, an immature expression of Fi can present challenges and hinder development for INFPs. Let’s explore the characteristics of both

Mature Expression of Introverted Feeling (Fi) in INFPs:

A mature expression of Fi in INFPs is characterized by a deep understanding and respect for both their internal world and the external world they navigate.

They become adept at merging their profound sense of self with a nuanced understanding of others, leading to enriched personal relationships and meaningful contributions to the world around them.

Here’s what a mature expression of Introverted Feeling looks like in INFPs:

  • Deep Self-awareness: Mature Fi users have a profound understanding of their emotions and values. They can pinpoint why they feel a certain way and can articulate these feelings with clarity.
  • Balanced Authenticity: While staying true to oneself is a core tenet for INFPs, maturity brings about an understanding that authenticity doesn’t mean being rigid. Mature INFPs learn to express their authentic selves while respecting the context and the feelings of those around them.
  • Constructive Internal Boundaries: Instead of becoming overwhelmed by emotions, mature INFPs set internal boundaries. They acknowledge their feelings without letting them control every decision or reaction.
  • Empathy for Others: A mature Fi lends itself to deep empathy. INFPs can step into another’s shoes, understanding that while they have a strong value system, others do too, and it may differ from their own.
  • Value-driven Action: Mature INFPs don’t just introspect about their values; they act on them. They find ways to make a meaningful impact, channeling their strong internal beliefs into tangible contributions to causes or communities they care about.
  • Flexible Morality: While they have a strong moral compass, mature INFPs also understand the nuances of life. They recognize that situations can be multifaceted, and while they’ll never compromise their core values, they can navigate gray areas with discernment.
  • Effective Communication: While they are introspective, mature INFPs learn to communicate their feelings and needs effectively. They understand that for others to respect their values, they first need to express them coherently.
  • Resilience in the Face of Criticism: Earlier in life, criticism might deeply wound an INFP. With a mature Fi, they still feel the sting but are better equipped to process it, understanding that others’ opinions are based on different value systems and not taking it as a personal affront.
  • Seeking Harmony: Mature INFPs actively work towards creating environments of harmony. They navigate conflicts by seeking mutual understanding and are often the bridge-builders in divided situations.
  • Continuous Growth: INFPs with a mature Fi recognize the importance of growth. They remain open to introspecting and refining their beliefs and values as they gather more experiences and knowledge.

Immature Expression of Introverted Feeling (Fi) in INFPs:

An immature expression of Introverted Feeling (Fi) in INFPs can manifest in a variety of behaviors and tendencies that can pose challenges to themselves and their relationships.

Immature expression of Fi in INFPs centers around an overemphasis on the internal world of values and emotions without adequately engaging with the external world and its complexities.

Here’s what an immature expression of Fi might look like in INFPs:

  • Emotional Overwhelm: INFPs with immature Fi might become consumed by their emotions, making it hard for them to see situations rationally or objectively. Their emotional states could dictate their actions without filtering through reason.
  • Rigidity in Values: While having a strong moral compass is a virtue, an immature Fi might make INFPs too rigid or inflexible in their values, leading them to be intolerant of viewpoints or lifestyles that differ from their own.
  • Misunderstanding Criticism: INFPs in this state might take criticism extremely personally, seeing it as an attack on their character rather than constructive feedback.
  • Avoidance of Conflict: To protect their sensitive inner world, they might avoid conflicts at all costs, even when confrontation is necessary for growth or resolution.
  • Struggle with Decision-making: Being too introspective and over-relying on their feelings can lead to paralysis by analysis. They might overthink decisions based on how each choice aligns with their feelings, leading to procrastination.
  • Over-identification with Emotions: An immature Fi can cause INFPs to identify too closely with their emotions, leading them to statements like “I am sad” instead of “I feel sad,” making it harder to distance themselves from negative emotions.
  • Isolation: When feeling misunderstood or unable to align their environment with their inner values, they might isolate themselves, missing out on opportunities for growth through interaction.
  • Dependency on External Validation: While it’s paradoxical to the nature of Fi, immature INFPs might seek validation from select trusted individuals to affirm their feelings and values, making their well-being contingent on others’ perceptions.
  • Difficulty in Practical Matters: Being too engrossed in the realm of feelings and values can make them neglect practical and mundane tasks, leading to challenges in daily life.
  • Black and White Thinking: They might perceive situations, people, or even themselves in extremes, struggling to see the gray areas or nuances.
  • Fear of Change: Any change perceived as a threat to their value system might be met with resistance, even if the change is beneficial or inevitable.

Personal Growth and Development of Introverted Feeling (Fi) in INFPs:

For INFPs to foster personal growth and cultivate a mature expression of Introverted Feeling (Fi), they need to harness their strengths while addressing areas that might hinder their personal and interpersonal experiences.

Here’s a roadmap for INFPs in this developmental journey:

  • Self-awareness and Reflection: Regularly set aside time for introspection. Journaling can be particularly effective for INFPs, allowing them to process emotions, understand triggers, and clarify values.
  • Seek Feedback: It might be challenging, given the sensitivity of INFPs to criticism, but gathering feedback from trusted individuals can offer insights into blind spots and areas for growth.
  • Develop Practical Skills: Balance the abstract with the tangible. Learn time management, financial planning, or any other practical skill that balances the often ethereal world of Fi.
  • Engage with Different Perspectives: Reading, traveling, or simply conversing with individuals from different walks of life can expand understanding and bring nuance to deeply held values.
  • Set Healthy Boundaries: Learn to differentiate between your feelings and others’. While empathy is a strength, absorbing everyone’s emotions can be draining. Setting boundaries helps protect emotional well-being.
  • Embrace Change: Life is dynamic, and holding on too tightly to comfort zones can hinder growth. Engage with change, understanding that it doesn’t necessarily threaten values.
  • Practice Mindfulness and Grounding Techniques: Given the intensity of the Fi experience, techniques like meditation, deep breathing, and grounding exercises can help regulate emotions and stay present.
  • Seek Therapy or Counseling: A professional can provide tools and perspectives to navigate the intense inner world of Fi, especially if the INFP feels stuck or overwhelmed.
  • Engage in Collaborative Activities: Participating in group activities, whether artistic, athletic, or service-oriented, can teach compromise, understanding, and the balancing of personal values with group dynamics.
  • Cultivate Extraverted Intuition (Ne): As the auxiliary function of INFPs, Ne is a gateway to the external world. Exploring new ideas, brainstorming, and engaging in creative endeavors can balance and enhance the Fi experience.
  • Practice Active Listening: Instead of projecting personal feelings onto others, practice listening without immediately relating it back to personal experiences. This hones empathy and understanding.
  • Set Personal Goals: Having tangible goals, whether related to personal development, career, or hobbies, can provide direction and a sense of purpose, helping to navigate the vast internal landscape of Fi.
  • Learn to Differentiate Between Feelings and Facts: While feelings are valid, they aren’t always indicative of external realities. Developing the skill to differentiate between the two can lead to more objective decision-making.
  • Celebrate Small Achievements: Given the INFP’s propensity for idealism, they might sometimes feel they’re falling short. Recognizing and celebrating small wins can boost morale and motivation.

Developing a mature Fi involves a dance between the rich inner world of the INFP and the external realities of life.

By fostering self-awareness, building practical skills, and embracing external experiences, INFPs can cultivate a deeply resonant yet adaptable and effective way of moving through the world.

Extroverted Intuition (Ne): The Auxiliary Function of INFP Cognitive Functions Stack

Overview of extroverted intuition (ne).

Extroverted Intuition is a cognitive function that involves being attuned to possibilities, connections, and patterns in the external world.

Individuals who possess a strong preference for Ne are curious, imaginative, and open to exploring multiple perspectives and options.

People with dominant or auxiliary Extroverted Intuition have a natural inclination to see beyond the present and consider alternative ideas, viewpoints, and outcomes.

They enjoy brainstorming, generating creative ideas, and making connections between seemingly unrelated concepts.

Overview of Auxiliary Cognitive Function

The auxiliary function serves to support and complement the dominant function.

The auxiliary function is also conscious and well-developed but is used in a more controlled and deliberate manner. Unlike the dominant function which is entirely automatic, a deliberate effort is required to use this function.

When the dominant function is introverted, the extroverted auxiliary function is used to deal with the world. Because, introverts are using a limited auxiliary function, hence they feel drained after using the auxiliary function for some time.

The Auxiliary function provides balance and assists the dominant function in various ways.

Extroverted Intuition (Ne) as the Auxiliary INFP Cognitive Function

As the auxiliary function for INFPs, Extroverted Intuition (Ne) plays a critical role in shaping their interactions with the world around them.

While their dominant function, Introverted Feeling (Fi), dives deeply into personal values and emotional landscapes, Ne offers a window to the outer world, illuminating potentialities and connecting seemingly disparate concepts.

1. Exploration of Possibilities: Ne provides INFPs with a natural curiosity about the world around them. This function constantly seeks out new ideas, patterns, and potential outcomes. INFPs often have a “what if?” mindset, always looking for alternative perspectives or novel solutions to problems.

2. Connecting the Dots: Ne is adept at finding relationships between seemingly unrelated pieces of information. This allows INFPs to be innovative and creative thinkers, often surprising others with unique insights and perspectives.

3. Broadening Horizons: While Fi might make INFPs introspective and somewhat reserved, Ne pushes them to explore, whether that means traveling, reading widely, or simply trying out new hobbies and activities. This creates a dynamic balance between internal reflection and external exploration.

4. Empathy and Understanding: Combined with Fi’s depth of emotional understanding, Ne enables INFPs to imagine themselves in others’ positions readily. This makes them incredibly empathetic, as they can see multiple viewpoints and understand diverse feelings and motivations.

5. Fluidity of Thought: INFPs with a strong Ne can shift their perspectives easily, often playing devil’s advocate in discussions. They can debate various sides of an argument, not necessarily because they agree with them, but to explore them.

6. Open-mindedness: Ne-driven INFPs are open to new ideas and experiences. They resist forming fixed judgments about people or situations until they’ve considered a multitude of angles.

7. Appreciation for Symbolism and Metaphor: INFPs are often drawn to symbolic narratives, like myths, legends, and allegories, where Ne helps decipher the broader meanings and implications.

8. Procrastination and Indecision: On the downside, the myriad of possibilities that Ne presents can sometimes be overwhelming, leading to procrastination. INFPs might find it challenging to settle on one path because they see the potential in many.

9. Adaptability: In changing circumstances, the flexibility of Ne helps INFPs adapt. They can pivot their approach or perspective to fit the current context, making them resilient in the face of change.

10. Thirst for Learning: Ne drives a lifelong love for learning in many INFPs. They’re often self-taught in various areas, driven by a desire to understand the broader patterns and connections in the world.

Challenges and Growth:

While Ne brings a wealth of strengths to the INFP, it can also pose challenges. Its hunger for possibilities can make INFPs restless, always searching for the next big thing without grounding themselves in the present. They might also spread themselves too thin, jumping from one project or idea to the next without seeing anything through to completion.

How does Extroverted Intuition (Ne) differ in Dominant Vs Auxiliary Roles

Extraverted Intuition (Ne) manifests differently when it functions as the dominant cognitive function compared to when it serves as the auxiliary cognitive function.

Understanding these differences can help auxiliary users to learn the gaps in the expression of their auxiliary function and how they can learn from the dominant users to help mature the auxiliary function.

A mature auxiliary function is of utmost importance for leading a more balanced and fulfilling life.

Ne as a Dominant Function:

When Ne is in the dominant position, as seen in ENFPs and ENTPs, it’s the primary lens through which individuals perceive and interact with the world. These individuals are natural explorers of ideas and often have a restless energy about them.

  • Constant Exploration: Ne-dominants are perpetually in exploration mode. Their minds are always active, jumping from one idea to the next. They thrive on novelty and often seek out new experiences, perspectives, and possibilities. This restless curiosity often leads them to be jack-of-all-trades, as they find it hard to stick to one thing for too long.
  • External Processing: ENFPs and ENTPs, with dominant Ne, tend to process their thoughts externally. They might think out loud or need to discuss their ideas with others to clarify and refine their thoughts. They derive energy from these external interactions.
  • Adaptable and Spontaneous: Dominant Ne users are typically very adaptable. They are comfortable with uncertainty and can easily pivot when faced with new information or unexpected changes. This adaptability can sometimes be perceived as inconsistency.
  • Depth vs. Breadth: Ne-dominants often favor breadth over depth. They are more interested in exploring a wide range of topics superficially than delving deeply into one. This is not to say they lack depth, but their natural inclination is to spread their energy across various interests.

Ne as an Auxiliary Function:

When Ne serves as an auxiliary function, as seen in INFPs and INTPs, it acts in service to the dominant function, providing balance and breadth. While these individuals still value exploration of possibilities, they tend to do so in a more focused or reserved manner.

  • Supportive Exploration: For INFPs and INTPs, Ne acts as a supportive tool. It helps them explore and gather ideas, but always in relation to their dominant function (Fi for INFPs and Ti for INTPs). This means their explorations have a more purposeful or directed quality.
  • Internal vs. External: While Ne-dominants are inherently extroverted in their exploration, Ne-auxiliaries are more introverted. They may spend more time reflecting on the ideas and possibilities they’ve gathered before expressing them externally. This is because their primary orientation is towards their inner world, with Ne acting as a bridge to the external.
  • Depth and Focus: Unlike Ne-dominants, auxiliary Ne users often favor depth. They might explore fewer topics but will dive deeper into those they’re passionate about. This deeper exploration is guided and filtered by their dominant function.

Contrast of Extroversion vs. Introversion:

The primary difference between Ne-dominants and Ne-auxiliaries lies in their energy orientation. Ne-dominants, being extroverted, gain energy from their interactions with the external world. Their extroversion is not necessarily about social interactions but about engaging with external ideas, patterns, and possibilities. This is why they might constantly seek novelty and change.

In contrast, Ne-auxiliaries, though they use Ne to engage with the world, are primarily introverted. They need more time alone to process their experiences, feelings, and thoughts. Their explorations with Ne often serve to enrich their inner world rather than consistently pull them outward.

What happens when the Auxiliary Extroverted Intuition Cognitive Function is underdeveloped in INFPs?

When the auxiliary Extroverted Intuition (Ne) cognitive function is underdeveloped in INFPs, several implications arise in their personal development, behavior, and interactions with the world.

INFPs rely on Ne to provide a balance to their dominant Introverted Feeling (Fi) function. Without a well-developed Ne, their cognitive processes can become imbalanced.

Here’s what might occur:

  • Over-Reliance on Introverted Feeling: Without the balance provided by Ne, INFPs might become overly absorbed in their internal world of feelings, values, and personal beliefs. While introspection is natural for INFPs, an imbalance might cause them to become overly self-focused, potentially leading to excessive rumination or self-criticism.
  • Reduced Openness to New Ideas: Ne is responsible for sparking curiosity, exploring new ideas, and being open to external possibilities. Underdeveloped Ne might make INFPs less receptive to new perspectives, causing them to become more set in their ways or resistant to change.
  • Difficulty Seeing the Bigger Picture: Ne helps INFPs to connect the dots, see patterns, and consider various potential outcomes. Without a well-functioning Ne, they might struggle to see beyond the immediate situation or to consider alternative solutions to problems.
  • Struggle with External Exploration: An underdeveloped Ne could result in INFPs feeling overwhelmed or anxious about exploring the external world. This might lead to them avoiding novel experiences, which in turn limits their personal growth.
  • Difficulty in Decision Making: Ne aids in brainstorming, considering alternatives, and foreseeing potential outcomes. An INFP with an underdeveloped Ne might find decision-making to be daunting due to a lack of clarity in envisioning potential futures or consequences.
  • Less Engagement with the External World: Ne propels INFPs to engage with their surroundings, share their insights, and collaboratively brainstorm. Without this outward energy, INFPs might become more isolated, limiting their interactions and missing out on enriching experiences.
  • Stunted Creative Expression: Many INFPs are naturally creative, often driven by the possibilities and patterns perceived by Ne. If Ne is underdeveloped, they might struggle with creative expression, feel blocked, or lack inspiration.

To achieve a balanced and fulfilling life, it’s crucial for INFPs to cultivate and develop their auxiliary Ne function.

This doesn’t mean suppressing their dominant Fi but rather allowing Ne to complement and enrich it.

By doing so, they can navigate the world with a harmonious blend of introspection and exploration, drawing from the strengths of both functions.

How INFPs can develop their Auxiliary Extroverted Intuition Cognitive Function (Ne)?

Developing the auxiliary Extroverted Intuition (Ne) in INFPs can lead to a more balanced personality and enhanced decision-making, creativity, and interactions with the external world.

Here are several strategies that INFPs can employ to cultivate and strengthen their Ne:

  • Embrace Novelty: Ne thrives on new experiences. INFPs can feed their Ne by actively seeking out new activities, traveling to unfamiliar places, or trying out different hobbies and pastimes.
  • Engage in Brainstorming: INFPs can practice brainstorming sessions where they allow their minds to wander freely, connecting disparate ideas. This could be done alone with tools like mind maps or in group settings where diverse viewpoints can spark inspiration.
  • Consume Diverse Content: By reading widely, watching different genres of films, or listening to a variety of music and podcasts, INFPs can expose their Ne to a broad spectrum of ideas and perspectives. This helps in fostering a more adaptable and flexible mindset.
  • Engage in Discussions: Joining discussion groups, forums, or clubs where people share and debate ideas can be a wonderful way for INFPs to exercise their Ne. It encourages them to see different angles of a topic and to think on their feet.
  • Practice Improvisation: Activities like improvisational theater or music can be great for honing Ne. They require real-time, spontaneous responses and tap into the capacity to see myriad possibilities in any given moment.
  • Keep a Possibilities Journal: INFPs can maintain a journal where they jot down ideas, observations, and questions about the world around them. Over time, they’ll notice patterns, connections, and potential areas of exploration.
  • Limit Over-Analysis: While introspection is natural for INFPs, they should be cautious of excessively analyzing every situation. Sometimes, it’s beneficial to step back and let intuition guide the way without letting dominant Fi overshadow Ne.
  • Learn from Ne-dominant Types: Spending time with ENFPs or ENTPs, who have Ne as their dominant function, can provide INFPs with insights into how to effectively harness and express extroverted intuition.
  • Challenge Assumptions: Ne is about exploring every facet of an idea. INFPs can strengthen it by regularly challenging their assumptions and beliefs, asking “What if?” and allowing their minds to explore alternative scenarios.
  • Meditation and Mindfulness: While this might seem counterintuitive, grounding practices can help INFPs clear mental clutter, making it easier for Ne insights to surface. By being present, they might notice more about their environment, sparking intuitive connections.

Mature Vs Immature expression of Auxiliary Extroverted Intuition (Ne) Cognitive Function in INFPs

The journey towards empathetic mastery for INFPs lies in the development of their auxiliary Extroverted Intuition (Ne) cognitive function.

Mature Expression of Extroverted Intuition (Ne) in INFPs:

A mature expression of Ne in INFPs represents a harmonious blend of introspective depth and expansive breadth. It adds dynamism to their personality, allowing them to navigate life with both passion and flexibility.

Here’s how a mature Ne expression manifests in INFPs:

  • Adaptive Mindset: Mature Ne in INFPs allows them to be more adaptable and open to change. They can adjust their plans based on new information, circumstances, or opportunities that come their way without feeling overly unsettled.
  • Curiosity-Driven Exploration: A mature Ne leads INFPs to a deep-rooted curiosity about the world. They’re eager to learn, ask questions, and explore diverse areas of knowledge, often becoming quite knowledgeable in a variety of subjects.
  • Seeing Potential in Others: INFPs with a well-developed Ne can readily identify and believe in the potential of others. They can inspire and encourage people to pursue unexplored avenues or possibilities.
  • Innovative Problem-Solving: They approach problems with creativity, often proposing innovative and out-of-the-box solutions. Their ability to see multiple angles and possibilities helps them address challenges in unique ways.
  • Holistic Thinking: Mature Ne allows INFPs to see the bigger picture. They can understand how different elements interrelate and can foresee possible future scenarios based on current trends or patterns.
  • Balanced Introspection: While INFPs naturally introspect due to their dominant Fi, a mature Ne ensures they don’t become overly self-absorbed. Instead, they can balance introspection with an outward focus, drawing insights from both their inner values and external observations.
  • Appreciation for Diversity: INFPs with mature Ne tend to be more accepting and appreciative of diverse thoughts, cultures, and perspectives. They understand that there’s a myriad of ways to approach life and value the richness that such diversity brings.
  • Constructive Dreaming: While dreaming and envisioning are natural for INFPs, those with a mature Ne channel their dreams constructively. They’re not just lost in daydreams but use their visions as a springboard for tangible actions and projects.
  • Balanced Decision Making: While their decisions are still rooted in personal values (Fi), a well-developed Ne allows them to consider a wide range of options and potential outcomes, leading to more informed and holistic decisions.
  • Energetic Engagement with the World: Mature Ne pushes INFPs to actively engage with the world, be it through travel, social interactions, or pursuing novel experiences. They’re invigorated by newness and enjoy the thrill of discovery.

Immature Expression of Extroverted Intuition (Ne) in INFPs:

Immature expression of the auxiliary function, Extroverted Intuition (Ne), in INFPs can manifest in various ways that may hinder their personal growth and relationships. Here’s what an underdeveloped or immature expression of Ne might look like in INFPs:

  • Overwhelm and Indecision: INFPs with immature Ne might feel overwhelmed by the multitude of possibilities and options in any given situation. This can lead to procrastination, indecision, or an inability to commit to a single course of action.
  • Flightiness: There might be a tendency to flit from one idea, project, or interest to another without seeing any through to completion. This inconsistency can stem from being easily distracted by the allure of something new.
  • Overreliance on Internal Values: While having strong internal values is typically a strength for INFPs, an underdeveloped Ne might mean they rely too heavily on these without considering external inputs, leading to a narrow or biased view.
  • Misreading Situations: Immature Ne can sometimes cause INFPs to misinterpret signals, jump to conclusions, or make connections that aren’t actually present, leading to confusion or misunderstandings.
  • Excessive Daydreaming: While dreaming is natural for INFPs, an immature Ne can lead them to get lost in fantasies without taking any real-world action. They might spend more time imagining alternate realities rather than dealing with their current one.
  • Fear of Unknown Outcomes: Instead of embracing uncertainty and potential, an underdeveloped Ne might make INFPs overly cautious or anxious about unforeseen consequences, limiting their willingness to take risks or try new things.
  • Impulsivity: On the flip side, without a balanced Ne, INFPs might also act on a whim without considering the ramifications of their actions, leading to unintended consequences.
  • Over Sensitivity to External Feedback: An immature Ne might cause INFPs to take feedback or criticism more personally than intended, especially if it contrasts sharply with their internal values or beliefs.
  • Difficulty Adapting to Change: While a developed Ne aids adaptability, its immature expression might make INFPs resistant to change, especially if they perceive it as a threat to their internal world or values.
  • Social Withdrawal: In situations where they feel overwhelmed by external stimuli or are unable to process the multitude of external possibilities, they might opt for withdrawal, avoiding social situations or new experiences.

Recognizing these tendencies is crucial for INFPs on their journey of personal growth. By being aware of these potential pitfalls, they can work towards developing a more mature and balanced expression of their Extroverted Intuition.

Personal Growth and Development of Extroverted Intuition (Ne) in INFPs:

For INFPs, their auxiliary Extroverted Intuition is not just a tool but a bridge between their profound inner values and the dynamic external world.

Through conscious nurturing and development, they can transform this bridge into a vibrant pathway, leading to enriched personal growth and a fulfilling journey of self-expression and connection.

The development of Ne is usually blocked by a dominant Fi with its tendency for extreme introversion. Ne development can also be blocked by immature expression of other cognitive functions of INFPs such as their tertiary Si or their inferior Te and other shadow functions.

In INFPs, if Ne is not getting naturally developed then they need to train their minds for Ne development.

This can be achieved by making Ne development a project on its own. Here are some strategies for refining the Auxiliary Ne:

  • Active Exploration: Ne thrives on exploration. INFPs can benefit from actively seeking out new experiences, be it travel, workshops, or even engaging with diverse literature. Such experiences provide fresh stimuli, enriching the Ne’s database.
  • Structured Brainstorming: While INFPs are natural brainstormers, structure can help hone this skill. Setting aside dedicated time for idea generation, followed by a filtering process, can ensure a more targeted and productive intuition.
  • Grounding Activities: Balance is key. Grounding activities, such as meditation, mindfulness practices, or even physical activities like gardening or pottery, can help INFPs stay rooted while they explore various intuitive avenues.
  • Collaborative Endeavors: Team projects or group activities provide a platform for INFPs to share and refine their intuitive insights. Feedback from others can offer a reality check, guiding their Ne towards more practical and actionable ideas.
  • Limit Distractions: In this age of information, it’s easy for Ne to get lost in a sea of irrelevant data. Curating information sources and taking regular digital detoxes can help INFPs keep their intuition sharp and relevant.
  • Creativity as an Outlet: Engaging in creative pursuits, whether it’s writing, painting, music, or any form of artistic expression, can channel the INFP’s Ne constructively.
  • Challenge Conventional Thinking: Playing devil’s advocate or engaging in thought experiments can help INFPs stretch their intuitive muscles, making their Ne more robust and flexible.
  • Seek Mentoring: Engaging with mentors, especially those who exhibit strong Ne, can provide insights, guidance, and strategies to nurture and refine this function.
  • Engage in Future-Planning: Setting aside regular intervals for planning and envisioning the future can provide a structured outlet for the INFP’s intuitive foresights.
  • Reflective Journaling: Capturing intuitive insights, patterns noticed, or even dreams can provide clarity and help in recognizing the growth and patterns in Ne development.

The Transformation of Maturing Ne

As INFPs invest time and energy into nurturing their Ne, they will begin to notice:

  • Enhanced Decision Making: With a refined intuition, choosing between possibilities becomes more straightforward and aligned with their deeper values.
  • Greater Implementation: Ideas begin to find a tangible form, leading to increased productivity and satisfaction.
  • Deeper Connections: Understanding patterns and connecting abstract dots enables richer interpersonal relationships and deeper understanding of societal dynamics.
  • Balance Between Dreaming and Doing: While their rich inner world remains a treasure, it is complemented by meaningful actions in the external world.

Introverted Sensing (Si): The Tertiary Function of INFP Cognitive Functions Stack

Overview of introverted sensing (si).

Introverted Sensing is a cognitive function that involves being attuned to past experiences, memories, and details.

Individuals who possess a strong preference for Si rely on their internal database of sensory information to make sense of their current reality.

People with dominant or auxiliary Introverted Sensing have a natural inclination to draw upon their past experiences and memories as a reference point for understanding and navigating the present.

They have a keen awareness of details, patterns, and routines. They value stability, tradition, and a sense of continuity.

Overview of Tertiary Cognitive Function

The tertiary function serves as a bridge between the dominant and inferior functions, offering a counterbalance and contributing to a more well-rounded personality.

While not as prominent as the dominant or auxiliary functions, the tertiary function plays a significant role in shaping an individual’s worldview and decision-making processes.

Introverted Sensing as the Tertiary INFP Cognitive Function

The tertiary Introverted Sensing in INFPs offers depth to the INFP personality by anchoring their dreams and values in the richness of lived experiences.

While Tertiary Si might operate in the background, its influence is profound, shaping the INFP’s journey through life with the wisdom of the past and a sensitivity to the present.

In the dance of cognitive functions, Si plays the essential role of grounding the INFP, adding stability to their intuitive flights and emotional depths.

As a tertiary Cognitive Function, Introverted Sensing (Si) influences the personality of INFPs as follows:

  • Connection to the Past: INFPs with a developed Si will often have a deep sense of nostalgia. They may cherish traditions, find comfort in routines, and frequently reference past experiences in decision-making.
  • Detail-Oriented Memory: When INFPs tap into their Si, they can recall past events with vivid clarity. This ability can manifest as an attention to specific details, often remembered based on how they felt during those experiences.
  • Grounding in Reality: While INFPs naturally lean towards future possibilities (thanks to Ne), their Si brings them back to the present moment, helping them make more practical decisions based on past experiences.
  • Consistency and Routine: INFPs may find solace in certain routines or practices that have proven comforting or beneficial in the past. This might contrast with their Ne, which craves novelty, leading to an inner tension between the familiar and the new.
  • Physical Sensitivity: Si can also make INFPs more attuned to their physical surroundings and bodily sensations. They might develop distinct preferences, such as for specific types of food, comfort items, or environments based on past positive associations.
  • Reluctance to Change: When Si is overly dominant, it might resist the explorative nature of Ne, making INFPs hesitant to embrace change or new methods, preferring to stick to what’s known and proven.

Balancing Si with Other Functions:

For a holistic personality development, INFPs must integrate their tertiary Si with their dominant Fi and auxiliary Ne. This integration allows them to:

  • Use their past experiences (Si) to inform their value-based decisions (Fi).
  • Contrast and balance the lure of new possibilities (Ne) with the lessons from the past (Si).
  • Achieve a synthesis where they can dream and explore (Ne) while staying rooted in practical realities (Si).

How does Introverted Sensing (Si) behave as an auxiliary cognitive function in INFPs?

The position of a cognitive function within an individual’s function stack in the MBTI greatly influences how that function manifests and is utilized by the individual.

While dominant and auxiliary Si-users lean heavily into their past experiences to navigate the present, tertiary users like INFPs experience Si as a more subtle, grounding force, often in tension with their explorative Ne.

Understanding these nuances helps in appreciating the multifaceted nature of cognitive functions and their manifestations across different personality types.

Introverted Sensing (Si) in Different Positions:

  • Primary Lens of Perception: For ISFJ and ISTJ individuals, Si is the primary lens through which they view and engage with the world. Their experiences are deeply internalized, and they have a keen ability to recall past events, details, and patterns with vivid clarity.
  • Trust in Past Experience: These types often look to the past to guide their present actions. They value tradition, consistency, and rely heavily on what they know to be tried and true. This can make them resistant to rapid change, preferring stability and predictability.
  • Detail-Oriented: Being Si-dominant means having an acute attention to detail. Whether it’s in their personal environment, in recalling past events, or in work tasks, they’re meticulous and thorough.
  • Supportive Role to Dominant Function: In ESFJs and ESTJs, Si supports their dominant function (Extroverted Feeling for ESFJ and Extroverted Thinking for ESTJ). This combination allows these types to be both people-oriented or task-oriented (respectively) while also valuing past experiences and traditions.
  • Practicality: With Si in the auxiliary position, these types often use past data and experiences to inform their decisions. They value efficiency and effectiveness based on what has worked before.
  • Balancing Exploration with Tradition: While they might be open to new experiences or ideas, especially if it serves their dominant function’s goals, they’ll often weigh these against past experiences to ensure they’re making informed decisions.
  • Subtle Influence: For INFPs, Si is not at the forefront of their decision-making or perception. However, it provides a grounding influence, subtly pulling them back to past experiences and known comforts.
  • Nostalgic Tendencies: INFPs can be deeply nostalgic, cherishing personal memories and the feelings associated with them. This can also manifest as a certain adherence to personal rituals or comforts.
  • Inner Tension with Ne: There’s an ongoing dynamic between the INFP’s auxiliary function, Extroverted Intuition (Ne), which is curious and explorative, and the tertiary Si, which seeks comfort in the familiar. This can create a push-pull effect where the INFP is torn between exploring new ideas and retreating to known comforts.
  • Less Reliance on Tradition: Unlike Si-dominant or auxiliary users, INFPs don’t necessarily adhere to societal or established traditions but might have personal rituals or values influenced by past experiences.

What happens when Introverted Sensing is underdeveloped in INFPs?

When the tertiary function, Introverted Sensing (Si), is underdeveloped in INFPs, it can lead to several challenges and imbalances in their personality and behaviors. Here’s what might manifest:

  • Difficulty Learning from the Past: One of Si’s primary roles is referencing past experiences to inform present actions. An underdeveloped Si might mean the INFP frequently makes the same mistakes or falls into recurrent patterns without recognizing or learning from them.
  • Over-reliance on Ne: With an underdeveloped Si, INFPs might lean too heavily into their auxiliary Extroverted Intuition (Ne). This could manifest as them always chasing novel experiences or ideas without grounding themselves in previous knowledge or understanding.
  • Struggle with Routine: Si also plays a role in appreciating routine and consistency. Without a balanced Si, INFPs might find it challenging to stick to routines, which can sometimes result in them feeling chaotic or scattered.
  • Lack of Practical Grounding: While INFPs are naturally inclined toward the abstract and theoretical thanks to their dominant Fi and auxiliary Ne, Si offers a balance by grounding them in tangible realities. If Si is underdeveloped, they might struggle to implement their ideas in practical ways.
  • Overwhelm with Sensory Details: Si, as a sensing function, helps process sensory details and experiences. An underdeveloped Si might mean the INFP gets easily overwhelmed in sensory-rich environments or struggles to process too many details at once.
  • Nostalgia Overdrive: While Si is related to past experiences, an underdeveloped Si in INFPs might manifest as them idealizing the past excessively, leading to feelings of melancholy or being stuck in bygone days.
  • Difficulty Maintaining Physical Health: Si is also somewhat connected to internal bodily sensations. INFPs with an underdeveloped Si might neglect their physical health, overlook signals their body is sending them, or struggle with consistent self-care.
  • Challenges in Organizing and Structuring: Si provides a sense of structure and order. Without it, INFPs might find it hard to organize their lives, work, or personal spaces, leading to inefficiencies or feelings of being overwhelmed.

How does Extreme Introversion kick-start the Fi-Si loop in INFPs?

As the dominant function of INFP’s is introverted, there is a tendency for INFP’s to become extremely introverted.

Extreme introversion refers to a state where an individual predominantly operates in their inner world and reduces interaction with the external environment.

While introversion is a natural preference for INFPs, extreme introversion means they might be avoiding external stimuli to an unhealthy degree.

When an INFP becomes excessively introverted – whether due to stress, trauma, or simply unhealthy habits – they might start to bypass their auxiliary function, which is extroverted.

As a result, they become trapped in a self-reinforcing cycle between their dominant and tertiary functions, both of which are introverted.

Thus Fi-Si loop refers to a situation where an INFP gets caught between their dominant function, Introverted Feeling (Fi), and their tertiary function, Introverted Sensing (Si), bypassing their auxiliary function, Extroverted Intuition (Ne).

Dynamics of the Loop:

  • Introverted Feeling (Fi) : This function is all about personal values, inner emotions, and authentic self-expression. When overused or in isolation, it can make INFPs overly self-focused and ruminative. They might become hyper-aware of their feelings and get stuck in a cycle of introspection without a clear way out.
  • Introverted Sensing (Si) : Si recalls past experiences, drawing upon history and internalized sensory information. For INFPs in a Fi-Si loop, this might mean continually referencing the past, reliving prior emotions, or getting stuck in nostalgic feelings. The loop can cause them to feel trapped in their history, constantly revisiting old wounds or idealizing bygone times.
  • Absence of Extroverted Intuition (Ne) : Ne is vital for INFPs as it allows them to see possibilities, generate new ideas, and connect disparate concepts. It provides an external focus, pulling them out from their inner world. When it’s bypassed, the INFP’s worldview can become limited and overly introspective.

The Effects of the Fi-Si Loop:

  • Rumination and Overthinking : INFPs might find themselves continuously mulling over past events, especially negative ones, unable to break free from those emotional memories.
  • Stagnation : Due to a lack of Ne-driven exploration, INFPs might feel stuck, unable to move forward or see beyond their current situation.
  • Increased Sensitivity : The loop can amplify negative emotions, making INFPs more prone to feeling hurt, offended, or upset by minor issues.
  • Resistance to New Experiences : Relying on past experiences (Si) and personal feelings (Fi) without the balancing influence of Ne can make INFPs wary of new experiences or changes.
  • Loop Reinforcement: The more INFPs stay within the Fi-Si loop, the stronger it becomes. The loop reinforces itself as they become increasingly disconnected from external reality and social interactions

How INFP’s can break the Fi-Si Loop?

Breaking the Fi-Si loop for INFPs requires a conscious effort to engage with their auxiliary function, Extroverted Intuition (Ne), and to incorporate external stimuli and activities into their routine. Let’s explore several strategies that INFPs can employ:

  • Embrace Novelty : Encourage the seeking out of new experiences. This could be as simple as picking up a new hobby, traveling to a new place, or even experimenting with different types of cuisine. Ne thrives on novelty and will be reinvigorated by new information and experiences.
  • Engage in Brainstorming & Creative Activities : Activities that stimulate the brain, such as mind-mapping, brainstorming, or even doodling, can ignite Ne. Whether it’s taking up a creative writing class or joining a group discussion on varied topics, these activities can help INFPs to break out of rumination and view situations from a fresh perspective.
  • Mindful Practices : Mindfulness and meditation can help INFPs stay present and avoid getting stuck in past memories. Grounding exercises can pull them out of rumination and back into the current moment.
  • Physical Activity : Engaging in physical exercises like jogging, dancing, or even just a brisk walk can shift focus from internal emotions and memories to the external environment. Nature walks can be particularly beneficial, combining both physical movement and sensory stimulation.
  • Seek External Feedback : Talking to trusted friends or a therapist can help INFPs gain an external perspective on their thoughts. These individuals can provide a sounding board, helping the INFP recognize when they’re spiraling and offering an alternative viewpoint.
  • Limit Triggers : Recognizing and limiting exposure to triggers that cause excessive rumination or nostalgia can help. This might mean limiting certain music, movies, or even interactions that send the INFP into a Fi-Si loop.
  • Establish a Routine : While Ne thrives on novelty, Si appreciates some structure. Establishing a balanced routine – one that incorporates both familiar activities and new experiences – can provide stability without feeding the loop.
  • Engage in Learning : Picking up a new skill or subject to study can engage Ne by presenting new concepts and challenges. It allows the INFP to focus on external information and process it in novel ways.
  • Artistic Expression : Encouraging external modes of expression, such as painting, music, or writing, can serve as an outlet for emotions and insights. It channels the introspection of Fi and the memories of Si into tangible forms, often providing clarity and relief.
  • Socialize More : Even if it’s just in small groups or one-on-one, socializing can pull INFPs out of their internal world. New conversations and perspectives can stimulate Ne, making them consider other viewpoints and possibilities.

Breaking the Fi-Si loop is a continuous process that requires self-awareness and effort. Recognizing the signs of being in a loop and proactively seeking balance will ensure that the INFP is leveraging all their cognitive functions harmoniously for personal growth and well-being.

Mature Vs Immature expression of Tertiary Introverted Sensing (Si) Cognitive Function in INFPs

Mature expression of introverted sensing (si) in infps:.

When Si is maturely developed in INFPs, it provides a stable foundation, anchoring their rich emotional world and vast imagination to the tangible experiences of the past. It allows them to move forward with a sense of continuity and grounding.

Here’s how a mature expression of Si looks in INFPs:

  • Rich Inner Archive : Mature Si provides INFPs with a well-organized internal database of past experiences, knowledge, and lessons learned. This repository aids in making informed decisions and understanding situations based on historical context.
  • Consistency and Routine : While they naturally embrace novelty due to Ne, a mature Si allows INFPs to also see the value in routines, traditions, and consistency. They can create structures in their daily life that provide stability and comfort.
  • Holistic Reflection : INFPs with well-developed Si can effectively reflect on past events, recognizing patterns and lessons. They can reconcile with past traumas, understanding them not just emotionally but also contextually.
  • Detail-Oriented : INFPs become more attentive to details. They can recall specific nuances of experiences, conversations, or readings which can aid in their creative or problem-solving endeavors.
  • Value for Tradition : While they’re naturally innovative, INFPs with mature Si can appreciate and respect traditions and established methods. They can recognize the wisdom and stability that tradition can offer.
  • Practical Implementation : Often dreamers, INFPs can leverage Si to ground their dreams and visions in practical steps. They become adept at translating their ideals into actionable plans based on past experiences.
  • Enhanced Empathy : Drawing from their own past experiences, they can empathize on a deeper level with others, understanding and relating to their struggles or joys.
  • Balanced Decision Making : While they primarily make decisions based on their values (Fi) and possibilities (Ne), a mature Si enables them to also consider past experiences and the practical aspects of a situation.
  • Resilience : With a well-developed Si, INFPs can draw strength from past challenges they’ve overcome. This sense of historical victory instills resilience and a belief that they can weather future storms.
  • Appreciation for the Present : By understanding the past deeply and seeing its connection to the present, INFPs can deeply appreciate the current moment, seeing it as a bridge between what was and what could be.

Immature Expression of Introverted Sensing (Si) in INFPs:

An immature expression of Si in INFPs can manifest as an over-attachment to the past and a resistance to the present.

This can hinder their growth, creativity, and ability to adapt. However, with awareness and intentional development, INFPs can balance and mature their Si, allowing it to effectively support and enrich their dominant Fi and auxiliary Ne functions.

Here’s how an underdeveloped or immature Si can manifest in INFPs:

  • Over-reliance on the Past : INFPs might get excessively stuck in past experiences, especially negative ones. They might dwell on past mistakes, regrets, or traumas, inhibiting their ability to move forward or be open to new experiences.
  • Resistant to Change : While INFPs are generally adaptable due to their Ne, an immature Si might make them unusually resistant to change, especially if they’re overly attached to specific routines or ways of doing things.
  • Detail Overwhelm : INFPs might become overly fixated on minor details, struggling to differentiate between essential and non-essential information. This can lead to them missing out on the broader perspective.
  • Difficulty Letting Go : Immature Si can lead to difficulties in releasing old habits, possessions, or memories that no longer serve them, leading to unnecessary emotional baggage.
  • Physical Disconnection : They might become less attuned to their bodily needs or sensations. This could manifest as neglecting physical health, irregular eating or sleeping habits, or not recognizing when they’re exhausted.
  • Paralysis by Analysis : An underdeveloped Si can make INFPs overthink decisions based on past experiences. They might ruminate on all the times a similar decision led to unwanted outcomes, making it difficult to take action.
  • Misplaced Nostalgia : There might be an idealization of the past or a yearning for “the good old days,” even if those times had their own challenges.
  • Avoidance of Practicality : INFPs might ignore the practical aspects of life, dismissing routines, and consistency as unnecessary or burdensome.
  • Sensory Overwhelm : In unfamiliar or chaotic environments, INFPs might become unusually overwhelmed due to an inability to filter sensory input effectively.
  • Black and White Thinking : Based on past experiences, they might prematurely judge situations or people, categorizing them rigidly based on limited prior encounters.

Personal Growth and Development of Introverted Sensing (Si) Cognitive Function for INFPs

For INFPs, the journey to developing their tertiary Si is both challenging and rewarding.

By embracing the past as a foundation and not a limitation, INFPs can harness the power of Si to enrich their present and envision a future that aligns seamlessly with their core values.

As with all growth, the path requires patience, self-awareness, and consistent effort. But with time, the INFP can find a harmonious balance between their dreams and reality, aided by the stabilizing force of a matured Introverted Sensing function.

1. Recognize the Value of Si: Before embarking on this developmental journey, it’s essential for INFPs to recognize and appreciate the value Si brings to their lives. Si, at its core, is about internalizing past experiences and using them as a reference for future decisions. It grounds the INFP, provides stability, and offers a touch of practicality to their otherwise abstract thinking.

2. Create Routines and Habits: One of the most practical ways to nurture Si is by establishing routines. INFPs often shy away from rigid structures, but a gentle, self-crafted routine can provide them a sense of security and predictability. It could be as simple as a morning or bedtime routine or setting specific times for meals.

3. Engage in Mindful Sensory Activities: Activities that require focused attention on the senses can help INFPs connect with their Si. This might include cooking, gardening, pottery, or even slow, mindful walks in nature. By tuning into the sensory experience, INFPs can learn to appreciate the present moment and the richness of the physical world.

4. Reflect Constructively on the Past: Instead of dwelling negatively on past experiences, INFPs should practice constructive reflection. This means revisiting past events with an aim to extract lessons, understand patterns, and gain insights for future growth.

5. Ground Yourself in the Physical World: Si is closely tied to the body and its sensations. Regular physical activity, be it yoga, dancing, or simply stretching, can be immensely beneficial. It not only promotes physical health but also allows INFPs to become more attuned to their bodily needs.

6. Seek Feedback from Sensing Types: Engaging in discussions with dominant or auxiliary Si users (like ISFJs or ISTJs) can provide valuable insights. Their natural inclination towards detail, practicality, and past experiences can offer a fresh perspective and challenge the INFP to see things differently.

7. Set Aside Time for Practical Tasks: While INFPs might prefer delving into abstract concepts, it’s beneficial to allocate time for practical tasks, be it organizing their space, planning the week ahead, or learning a new tangible skill. Over time, these tasks become less daunting and can even provide a sense of accomplishment.

8. Embrace Change Gradually: Resisting change is a common trait in an immature Si. INFPs can work on this by making incremental changes in their lives. This gradual approach can help them adapt without feeling overwhelmed.

Expression of Inferior and Shadow Cognitive Functions

Beyond the Dominant, Auxiliary and Tertiary Cognitive functions lies the unconscious and immature cognitive functions.

These include the Inferior function and four Shadow functions.

Inferior function is the least developed cognitive function in the top four functions.

The four Shadow functions are unused and underutilised by the brain and fall into the unconscious.

Being in the unconscious, the expression of these Inferior and Shadow functions are either Repressed or Overcompensated.

  • Repressed: The individual ignores, denies or suppresses the Inferior & Shadow Cognitive Functions, dismissing them as irrelevant or undesirable. Consequently, this may lead to an overemphasis on the Dominant function, resulting in rigid behaviours and a narrow perspective.
  • Overcompensated: In contrast to repression, overcompensation occurs when Inferior & Shadow Cognitive Functions become exaggerated and take control over the individual’s behaviour. This may lead to impulsive or reckless decisions, driven by the fear of inadequacy and the need to prove oneself.

Integrating these Inferior & Shadow functions helps individuals achieve a more balanced and harmonious relationship with their dominant traits, leading to enhanced self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and healthier decision-making.

By embracing the wisdom of the unconscious and the influence of past experiences, individuals can embark on a transformative journey towards self-discovery and inner harmony.

Extroverted Thinking (Te): The Inferior Function of INFP Cognitive Functions Stack

Overview of extroverted thinking (te).

Extroverted Thinking is a mode of thinking that focuses on organizing and structuring the external world according to logical principles and efficient systems.

Individuals who possess a strong preference for Te tend to prioritize objectivity, effectiveness, and practicality in their decision-making and problem-solving processes.

People with dominant Extroverted Thinking have a natural talent for analyzing and evaluating information in a logical, systematic, and objective manner.

They value efficiency, productivity, and results. They are skilled at setting goals, developing action plans, and executing tasks in a methodical and organized manner.

Overview of Inferior Cognitive Function

The inferior function represents the psychological territory that individuals often struggle to access or develop due to their preference for other dominant functions.

It typically resides in the opposite attitude (extraversion or introversion) and the opposite cognitive function (thinking, feeling, sensing, or intuition) to their dominant function.

The presence of the inferior function can introduce various challenges and tensions within an individual’s personality.

These challenges are rooted in the individual’s unconscious resistance to engage with the inferior function and the discomfort that arises from accessing unfamiliar aspects of their psyche.

Hence, the Inferior function is either repressed i.e. ignored, denied or rejected OR the inferior function is overcompensated i.e it’s expression is exaggerated, impulsive, immature and driven by need to prove oneself.

Extroverted Thinking (Te) as the Inferior INFP Cognitive Function

In the depth psychology understanding of personality, the inferior function serves as both a point of vulnerability and a potential gateway to deeper personal growth.

For the INFP, Te represents the objective, logical, and external organization of thoughts and the environment, which contrasts sharply with their dominant Fi’s subjective, values-driven introspection.

Here are some of the challenges INFPs face due to their Inferior Te:

  • Overwhelm with Practical Tasks: INFPs may feel out of depth when handling tasks that require swift, linear decision-making or systematic organization, especially if they’re outside their comfort zone or familiar environment.
  • Uncharacteristic Outbursts: Typically known for their calm and reflective demeanor, INFPs can surprise those around them with sudden and intense displays of criticism or assertiveness. This can be a reactive expression of their suppressed Te trying to take control.
  • Struggle with External Organization: An underdeveloped Te can manifest as difficulty in organizing external spaces, managing time efficiently, or setting and maintaining schedules. Procrastination, especially on tasks requiring structured thinking, might be more frequent.
  • Difficulty in Objective Decision Making: INFPs might sometimes find it challenging to make decisions based purely on objective data, preferring instead to rely on their personal values or feelings. This can sometimes lead to perceived indecisiveness.
  • Inefficient Task Execution: There might be a tendency to get lost in the nuances of a task or to focus too much on certain details, making them less efficient in task execution than they would be with a more developed Te.
  • Challenge in Articulating Thoughts: Even though INFPs have profound insights and a rich inner world, they might sometimes face challenges in articulating their thoughts, ideas, or feelings in a concise and logically structured manner, especially when put on the spot.
  • Over-Sensitivity to Criticism: A less mature Te can make INFPs more susceptible to external criticism, especially if it’s presented in a blunt or unfeeling manner. They might interpret it as a personal affront rather than constructive feedback.
  • Difficulty Setting Boundaries: INFPs, especially those who haven’t tapped into their Te, might find it challenging to set clear boundaries, leading to situations where they might feel taken advantage of or overwhelmed by others’ demands.

By recognizing these challenges, INFPs can work on consciously developing their Te function, not to the extent of overshadowing their dominant Fi, but enough to achieve a more balanced and holistic approach to life’s situations.

How can INFPs develop their Inferior Extroverted Thinking (Te) Cognitive Function?

Developing one’s inferior function is a journey of personal growth and balance. For INFPs, enhancing their Extroverted Thinking (Te) means cultivating a more structured, objective approach to life, complementing their naturally strong introspective and values-based orientation.

Here are some ways INFPs can develop their inferior Te:

  • Embrace Routine and Structure: Although routine might feel restrictive to INFPs, introducing a modest amount of structure can benefit them. This can be as simple as establishing a daily or weekly routine, setting clear goals for the day, or organizing their workspace.
  • Practice Time Management: Using tools like planners, calendars, or digital apps can help INFPs allocate time efficiently. They can set specific time slots for tasks, ensuring they don’t get lost in ideation without action.
  • Seek Feedback: INFPs should invite objective feedback on their projects or ideas. By welcoming constructive criticism, they can refine their perspectives and ensure they are on the right track.
  • Engage in Debates: Engaging in friendly debates or discussions can help INFPs practice looking at things from a logical standpoint, separate from their personal values. It helps them articulate their thoughts more concisely and consider multiple viewpoints.
  • Break Tasks into Steps: INFPs can benefit from breaking larger projects into smaller, manageable steps. This allows for a systematic approach, making it easier to track progress and stay organized.
  • Collaborate with Te-dominant Types: Working with individuals who have dominant Te, like ENTJs or ESTJs, can provide INFPs with insights into logical decision-making, efficiency, and structured approaches.
  • Educate Themselves on Logical Frameworks: Reading books or attending courses on logical reasoning, project management, or any systematic framework can help strengthen their Te.
  • Self-reflection: INFPs should periodically assess situations where their emotions took precedence over logic. Recognizing these instances and understanding the underlying triggers can guide them towards a more balanced response in the future.
  • Set Boundaries: To prevent feelings of overwhelm or burnout, INFPs should practice setting clear boundaries. This can be in terms of time, energy, or commitments. It helps them be more effective and assertive.
  • Practice Concise Communication: INFPs can work on communicating their ideas more succinctly and directly. This might involve preparing ahead for discussions or writing down their points to ensure clarity.

Developing Te doesn’t mean suppressing or devaluing the dominant Fi. Instead, it’s about achieving a balance that allows INFPs to navigate the world with a combination of heartfelt authenticity and effective pragmatism. This integrated approach can lead to more fulfilling relationships, personal growth, and professional success.

How does extreme stress cause Grip behaviour in INFPs?

In the MBTI framework, the “grip” experience refers to an individual becoming unusually and uncharacteristically dominated by their inferior function due to prolonged stress or pressure.

For INFPs, their inferior function is Extroverted Thinking (Te). When INFPs are in the grip of their inferior Te, they might behave in ways that are quite foreign to their natural preferences.

Causes of Grip Behavior in INFPs:

  • Chronic Stress: Long periods of unrelenting stress, without adequate relief or coping, can push an INFP into grip behavior. This can be due to personal, professional, or health-related reasons.
  • Feeling Overwhelmed: Situations where INFPs feel they have too many responsibilities without a clear sense of how to prioritize or handle them can lead to grip behavior.
  • Consistent Invalidations: Regularly feeling invalidated, especially about their deeply-held values or feelings, can lead INFPs to become increasingly stressed.
  • Loss or Grief: Major personal losses or significant life changes can plunge INFPs into their grip state.

Manifestations of Grip Behavior in INFPs:

  • Obsessive Thinking: INFPs might become fixated on external data, details, or organization in a rigid and unhealthy way, becoming critical and pedantic.
  • Impulsiveness: Contrary to their typically introspective nature, they might make hasty decisions without their usual thorough contemplation.
  • Increased Criticism: They may become uncharacteristically critical and blunt, both towards themselves and others, often focusing on inefficiencies or mistakes.
  • Overexertion: INFPs might throw themselves into work or tasks, believing that sheer hard work can resolve their inner turmoil.
  • Withdrawal: An overwhelmed INFP might become socially withdrawn, avoiding interactions even with close friends or family.
  • Neglecting Emotional Needs: They might dismiss or undervalue their own and others’ feelings and values, which is at odds with their usual empathetic nature.

How can INFPs come out of Grip Behaviour?

Emerging from grip behavior requires understanding, self-awareness, and actively seeking balance.

For INFPs who find themselves dominated by their inferior function, Extroverted Thinking (Te), due to prolonged stress or challenges, the following steps can be beneficial in breaking free from this grip:

  • Self-Recognition: The first step is recognizing the grip behavior. INFPs need to be self-aware enough to notice when they are acting uncharacteristically critical, impulsive, or neglecting their emotional needs.
  • Prioritize Self-Care: Engaging in self-care activities, such as reading, journaling, spending time in nature, or indulging in creative pursuits, can help INFPs reconnect with their dominant function, Introverted Feeling (Fi).
  • Seek Support: Talking to trusted friends or family members can provide an external perspective, helping INFPs recognize their grip behavior. Sometimes, merely verbalizing feelings and challenges can be cathartic.
  • Limit Stressors: Whenever possible, INFPs should try to identify and reduce sources of chronic stress. This might mean delegating tasks, setting boundaries, or even seeking a change in environment.
  • Break Tasks into Manageable Steps: Instead of being overwhelmed by the bigger picture, breaking tasks into smaller, achievable steps can help. This approach utilizes Te in a healthy way, making it an ally rather than a source of stress.
  • Reconnect with Values: Reflecting upon and revisiting personal values and feelings can help INFPs recalibrate. This might mean reviewing personal goals, meditating, or seeking spiritual connection.
  • Seek Professional Help: If grip behavior is persistent and affecting daily life, seeking therapy or counselling can be beneficial. A professional can provide tools, insights, and coping strategies tailored to the individual’s needs.
  • Acceptance and Kindness: INFPs should remember to treat themselves with the same compassion and understanding they typically offer others. Accepting that everyone has moments of imbalance and that it’s okay to seek help is crucial.
  • Engage in Novel Experiences: Since Extroverted Intuition (Ne) is the auxiliary function for INFPs, trying something new or changing up routines can help break the grip of Si and re-engage Ne.
  • Stay Physically Active: Physical activity, whether it’s regular exercise, yoga, or even just walks in nature, can help in clearing the mind and reducing the physiological impacts of stress.

Emerging from the grip is a process, and it’s essential for INFPs to remember that they have the inner resources and resilience to navigate challenges. With patience, understanding, and the right strategies, they can find their way back to balance.

How does Mature expression of the Inferior Cognitive Function – Extroverted Thinking (Te) look like in INFPs?

When INFPs maturely integrate their inferior function, Extroverted Thinking (Te), into their cognitive function stack, it manifests in a number of positive and constructive ways. A mature expression of Te in INFPs can be described as follows:

  • Efficient Action-taking: Instead of getting lost in their inner world of values and feelings, mature INFPs can use Te to execute decisions and take tangible actions towards their goals, effectively turning their visions and ideals into reality.
  • Objective Analysis: While INFPs naturally prioritize personal values and subjective experiences, with mature Te, they can also assess situations objectively. They can weigh pros and cons, consider data, and make logical decisions when required.
  • Organizational Skills: The chaos that sometimes surrounds the INFP’s inner world gets a structure. They become better at organizing their time, setting schedules, and managing tasks.
  • Healthy Boundaries: A mature Te helps INFPs to assert themselves and set clear boundaries. They become more capable of saying “no” and standing up for themselves when their values are compromised.
  • Clear Communication: While they might naturally communicate in abstracts and emotions, mature INFPs can convey their thoughts in a straightforward and concise manner when the situation demands it.
  • Problem Solving: Mature Te aids INFPs in approaching problems methodically. They can devise systematic plans, break tasks into manageable steps, and lead efforts if necessary.
  • Balanced Decision-making: While they will always prioritize their Fi values, mature INFPs can also factor in logical and practical considerations, resulting in well-rounded decisions.
  • Collaboration: Recognizing the importance of collective effort, INFPs with developed Te can work efficiently in teams, valuing the input of others and coordinating efforts for a shared goal.
  • Embracing Constructive Criticism: Instead of feeling personally attacked, mature INFPs can see constructive criticism as a tool for growth. They appreciate feedback that helps them improve and reach their objectives.
  • Flexibility in Thinking: While they have a strong sense of internal values, mature expression of Te allows INFPs to adjust their views and plans based on new information or changing circumstances.

A mature expression of Te in INFPs doesn’t overshadow their dominant function, Introverted Feeling (Fi), but rather complements it. It offers a balance between their rich inner world of values and the external world’s demands, allowing them to navigate both realms with grace and efficacy.

Extroverted Feeling (Fe): The Opposing Shadow Function of INFP Cognitive Functions Stack

Overview of extroverted feeling (fe).

Extroverted Feeling is a mode of decision-making and interpersonal engagement that focuses on understanding and responding to the emotions, needs, and values of others.

Individuals who possess a strong preference for Fe are highly attuned to the emotional climate of their environment and prioritize maintaining harmonious relationships.

People with dominant or auxiliary Extroverted Feeling have a natural ability to empathize with others, understand their perspectives, and create a sense of emotional connection.

They are skilled at reading social cues, assessing the emotional needs of those around them, and adjusting their behavior to promote harmony and cooperation.

Overview of the Opposing Shadow Cognitive Function

The opposing shadow function refers to the opposite orientation of the dominant function.

Being unconscious, the Opposing shadows cognitive possibilities are either ignored or viewed with suspicion and distrust.

This places a cognitive block on the personality of the individual as they fail to understand the benefits of a mature expression of the shadow.

Hence, the Opposing Shadow function is either repressed i.e., ignored, denied or rejected OR the opposing function is overcompensated i.e., its expression is exaggerated, impulsive, immature and driven by need to prove oneself.

By acknowledging the presence of shadow and consciously engaging with it, individuals can broaden their perspectives, enhance their adaptability, and find greater balance in their decision-making processes.

Through shadows integration, individuals can unlock new avenues for personal growth, creativity, and a more holistic expression of their unique personalities.

Extroverted Feeling (Fe) as the Opposing Shadow INFP Cognitive Function

As INFPs primarily rely on Introverted Feeling (Fi) as their dominant function, Extroverted Feeling (Fe) occupies the shadow position.

INFPs and Extroverted Feeling (Fe)

  • Natural Resistance : Given that Fi is about authenticity and personal values, INFPs have a natural resistance to the collective harmonizing nature of Fe. INFPs prioritize personal authenticity and may see the conforming tendencies of dominant Fe users (like ESFJs and ENFJs) as insincere or overly focused on external approval.
  • Distaste for Collective Norms : INFPs might have an aversion or skepticism towards things that are done “because that’s how everyone does it.” They might be resistant or even rebellious against societal norms or traditions they feel don’t align with their inner values.
  • Challenges with External Harmony : INFPs might find it challenging to create or maintain external harmony at the expense of their own feelings or beliefs. While they deeply desire personal harmony and understanding, they can be hesitant or even unwilling to compromise their inner values just to fit in or to appease others.
  • Projection : One of the primary ways shadow functions manifest is through projection. INFPs might see and judge the negative aspects of Fe in others without recognizing that they, too, sometimes exhibit these behaviors, especially under stress or when feeling threatened.
  • Stress & Defensive Behaviors : When feeling particularly insecure or defensive, INFPs might overly use or misapply Fe. This could manifest as an uncharacteristic desire for external validation, becoming overly accommodating, or being hyper-aware and sensitive to group dynamics and hierarchies.

The Impact of Shadow Fe on the INFP Personality:

  • Emotional Intensity : When confronted with situations where they believe they have to conform or when their deeply held values are challenged, INFPs can exhibit an unexpected emotional intensity. This might come across as outbursts or moments of assertiveness.
  • Avoidance of Confrontation : Even though they value authenticity, their shadow Fe might make them avoid direct confrontation, especially if they perceive it might disrupt group harmony.
  • Struggling with Feedback : INFPs may struggle with feedback that they perceive is aimed at making them conform to societal norms rather than constructive individual growth.
  • Overemphasis on Authenticity : While authenticity is vital for INFPs, an underdeveloped or shadowy interaction with Fe can make them overly resistant to external input, seeing any advice as an attempt to compromise their true self.

INFPs, with their dominant Fi, have a rich inner world that cherishes individual values and authenticity. The opposing shadow of Fe brings challenges but also opportunities for growth.

By recognizing and integrating the positive aspects of Fe—like understanding group dynamics, considering collective needs, and fostering external harmony—INFPs can achieve a more holistic approach to relationships and societal interactions.

The dance between Fi and shadow Fe, when navigated with awareness, can lead to profound personal development and deeper connections with others.

How can INFPs develop their Opposing Shadow Extroverted Feeling (Fe) Cognitive Function?

Developing the Opposing Shadow function, especially for a complex type like the INFP, requires patience, self-awareness, and a willingness to step outside one’s comfort zone. While it’s essential to understand that INFPs will never use Fe in the same natural way as dominant Fe users (like ENFJs or ESFJs), they can still tap into its energy in specific contexts to enrich their personal growth and improve interpersonal relationships. Here’s how:

1. Recognize the Presence of Shadow Fe: The first step in working with a shadow function is to recognize when it’s operating. Shadow Fe might manifest in INFPs as an unexpected sensitivity to group dynamics, a sudden desire for external validation, or a reactive push against perceived conformity. By identifying these moments, INFPs can start to integrate this energy more healthily.

2. Seek Feedback: While INFPs deeply value authenticity, they can benefit from occasionally seeking feedback about their actions and decisions. This doesn’t mean compromising their values, but rather understanding how their actions might be perceived by the collective, helping them navigate social situations more effectively.

3. Engage in Group Activities: By purposefully engaging in group activities or community service, INFPs can practice tuning into the group’s needs and harmonizing with others. This is a safe way to exercise their Fe without feeling they are betraying their core values.

4. Develop Active Listening Skills: Active listening is a skill that revolves around understanding others without imposing one’s own viewpoint. For INFPs, this can be an excellent way to tap into the empathetic side of Fe, allowing them to connect with others deeply without the necessity of conformity.

5. Practice Empathy: While INFPs are naturally empathetic due to their dominant Fi, practicing empathy in a more externalized way—by truly attempting to understand others’ feelings and perspectives—can help them relate to others better and develop their shadow Fe.

6. Reflect on Moments of Conformity: It’s essential for INFPs to differentiate between moments when they are choosing to harmonize with others for the greater good and moments where they feel they are being inauthentic. Reflecting on these situations can help them find a balance.

7. Explore Artistic Expressions Involving Collaboration: Engaging in group artistic projects, like theater, dance, or music ensembles, can allow INFPs to practice blending their individual expressions with that of a group, allowing a gentle exploration of Fe dynamics.

8. Study Dominant Fe Users: Observing or interacting with dominant Fe users (like ENFJs and ESFJs) can give INFPs insights into how Extroverted Feeling operates. This can be an opportunity to learn and perhaps even adopt some beneficial Fe-oriented behaviors.

9. Embrace the Journey: Remember, integrating shadow functions is a lifelong journey. The goal isn’t to master Fe but to understand its influence and harness its energy when beneficial.

How does Mature expression of the Shadow Cognitive Function – Extroverted Feeling (Fe) look like in INFPs?

The mature expression of shadow Extroverted Feeling in INFPs is not about replacing their dominant Fi but about complementing it.

It offers them a broader toolkit to navigate the complexities of interpersonal relationships, group dynamics, and societal expectations.

The journey of developing Fe provides INFPs with a richer, more balanced perspective of themselves and the world around them.

Here’s what mature Fe looks like in INFPs:

1. Balanced Individuality and Harmony: Mature INFPs understand the importance of maintaining their individuality while also valuing group harmony. They recognize that sometimes, the collective good can coincide with their personal values. In such cases, they might willingly prioritize group harmony without feeling they’re compromising their authenticity.

2. Enhanced Empathetic Connection: Though INFPs are naturally empathetic, a mature Fe allows them to resonate with others in a more externalized manner. They can pick up on group emotions, moods, and values, making them more attuned to social atmospheres and dynamics.

3. Effective Communication: A mature expression of Fe means INFPs can communicate their deep feelings and values in ways that are accessible and relatable to a broader audience, bridging the gap between their rich inner world and the external world.

4. Willingness to Compromise: While staying true to their core values, mature INFPs with developed shadow Fe recognize the occasional necessity of compromise, especially in close relationships. This doesn’t mean losing their essence but ensuring that the relationship’s fabric remains intact.

5. Active Participation in Group Dynamics: INFPs with mature Fe feel more comfortable engaging in group settings, understanding the importance of shared experiences and the joy it can bring. They might actively participate in group discussions, events, or projects without feeling overwhelmed or overly defensive of their individuality.

6. Recognizing the Value of External Validation: While INFPs are primarily self-referencing, mature Fe allows them to appreciate and sometimes seek external validation, understanding its importance in certain contexts, like career advancement or relationship reassurance.

7. Constructive Feedback: INFPs with a mature shadow Fe can provide feedback in a manner that is both honest and considerate, ensuring that their words foster growth without unnecessary harm.

8. Acceptance of Social Protocols: Though they might not always agree with certain social norms, mature INFPs recognize their importance in maintaining social cohesion. They might choose to adhere to these norms in specific contexts, seeing the broader picture of social harmony.

9. Enhanced Leadership Qualities: While INFPs are not stereotypical leaders, those with developed Fe can take on leadership roles that prioritize emotional well-being, harmony, and collective values, leading with empathy and consideration.

Introverted Intuition (Ni): The Critical Parent Shadow Function of INFP Cognitive Functions Stack

Overview of introverted intuition (ni).

Introverted Intuition is an inwardly directed, intuitive perception of patterns, possibilities, and connections that are not immediately apparent to others.

It involves the ability to deeply grasp underlying meanings, implications, and future outcomes without relying on concrete sensory information.

Individuals with a strong preference for Ni have a natural inclination to see beyond the surface-level details and focus on the hidden potential and underlying concepts.

People who possess Introverted Intuition as their dominant function often have a heightened sense of foresight and a knack for recognizing patterns and trends.

They may have a strong sense of destiny or a future-oriented perspective.

They are inclined to think in terms of possibilities and are adept at synthesizing disparate information to form holistic understandings.

This function allows them to effortlessly generate insights, make connections, and envision multiple outcomes or scenarios.

Overview of the Critical Parent Shadow Function

The Critical Parent function resides in the inferior position of an individual’s function stack, acting as a counterbalance to the Auxiliary function.

It manifests as an internal “voice” that evaluates and judges the individual’s thoughts, actions, and decisions, often leading to feelings of guilt, self-doubt, or shame.

Being in the unconscious, the Critical Parent Shadow function is either repressed i.e. ignored, denied or rejected OR the Critical Parent Shadow function is overcompensated i.e it’s expression is exaggerated, impulsive, immature and driven by need to prove oneself.

Introverted Intuition (Ni) as the Critical Parent Shadow INFP Cognitive Function

In Jungian Depth Psychology and particularly in John Beebe’s model, the “Critical Parent” or “Witch/Senex” position is the fifth function in an individual’s cognitive stack.

For INFPs, this function is Introverted Intuition (Ni). It is termed as the “Critical Parent” because its influence often emerges as internal criticisms, nagging doubts, or worries about the future.

Let’s delve deeper into how the shadow function of Ni manifests in the psyche of an INFP:

1. Pessimistic Projections: When INFPs are under stress or when their primary functions are not being satisfied, Ni can manifest as an overly pessimistic view of the future. These projections are not based on external data (as it would be with their auxiliary Ne) but rather from an internal sense of how things “might” or “should” be. It can lead INFPs to get stuck in a loop of negative outcomes, which may never come to pass.

2. Obsession with Hidden Meanings: INFPs may find themselves obsessing over underlying meanings or patterns in situations or relationships, interpreting personal experiences with an overly analytical lens. This could lead to a tendency to overthink decisions or read into situations more deeply than necessary.

3. Doubt in Personal Intuition: Ni in the critical parent position can make INFPs question their own instincts and insights. This might cause an internal tug-of-war, where they feel unsure about trusting their judgments or following their heart.

4. Perfectionism: Ni might cause INFPs to envision an idealized, “perfect” version of an outcome. When reality doesn’t align with this vision, they might experience deep dissatisfaction, even if the actual result is more than adequate.

5. Ruminating on Past Mistakes: While INFPs tend to be future-oriented with their Ne, an unhealthy Ni might lead them to fixate on past mistakes, constantly playing scenarios over and over, thinking of how things could have been different if another path was chosen.

6. Disconnection from Present Reality: An overactive Ni can make INFPs feel detached from the present moment. They might be so engrossed in internal visions and meanings that they overlook the immediate external world.

7. Skepticism of External Intuition: INFPs might become skeptical or even dismissive of external possibilities and new ideas (Ne), instead relying heavily on their internal perceptions and visions (Ni), leading to a more closed-off attitude.

For personal growth, it’s essential for INFPs to be aware of this shadow function. Recognizing its influence allows them to differentiate between genuine intuitive insights and the more critical, doubting voice of their shadow Ni.

The integration doesn’t mean eradicating this voice but understanding it as a part of the self, which, when balanced, can provide depth and a richer internal dialogue.

How can INFPs develop their Introverted Intuition (Ni) – the Critical Parent Shadow Cognitive Function?

Developing the Critical Parent shadow function, particularly Introverted Intuition (Ni) for INFPs, involves recognizing, understanding, and integrating this deeper layer of the psyche into conscious awareness.

It’s a challenging endeavor, as shadow functions often manifest in less conscious and sometimes problematic ways.

Nevertheless, a mature integration of Ni can enrich the INFP’s perspective and enhance their intuitive abilities.

Here are some steps INFPs can take to develop and integrate their shadow Ni:

1. Awareness and Acceptance: Begin by acknowledging the existence of Ni as a part of the cognitive toolkit, even if it’s in the shadow. Understanding its influence, especially during stressful times, is crucial.

2. Meditation and Reflection: Practices like meditation can help INFPs delve deeper into their internal processes. This can assist in distinguishing between the optimistic exploration of Ne and the more profound, singular vision of Ni.

3. Journaling: Writing down dreams, visions, and profound thoughts can provide a platform for Ni to express itself. Over time, patterns may emerge, offering insights into the deeper, more symbolic aspects of the INFP’s psyche.

4. Engage in Solo Ideation: While group brainstorming caters more to Ne, solitary brainstorming or ideation can encourage the focused, visionary aspect of Ni. Delve deep into a topic without external interruptions.

5. Seek Feedback: Sharing and discussing one’s intuitive hunches or visions with trusted individuals can be enlightening. They might provide an outside perspective, helping to refine and clarify the Ni insights.

6. Study Ni-Dominant Individuals: Look to INFJs and INTJs, who lead with Ni, for examples of this function in action. Observing or conversing with them can offer insights into how Ni operates.

7. Limit Sensory Overstimulation: Occasionally, it can be beneficial to limit excessive external stimuli to allow Ni a clearer channel for expression. This might involve reducing screen time, seeking quiet places, or engaging in sensory deprivation practices.

8. Engage in Symbolic Activities: Activities like tarot reading, studying archetypes, or engaging with mythology can offer a structured way to tap into the symbolic realm that Ni often inhabits.

9. Reframe Negative Projections: When faced with overly pessimistic visions of the future or ruminations on the past, challenge these thoughts. Try to reframe them in a more balanced way, considering both potential pitfalls and opportunities.

10. Seek Professional Guidance: Working with a therapist, especially one versed in Jungian psychology, can help INFPs navigate the complexities of their shadow functions, offering personalized guidance on integrating Ni.

How does Mature expression of the Critical Parent Shadow Cognitive Function – Introverted Intuition (Ni) look like in INFPs?

Mature expression of the Critical Parent Shadow Function, particularly Introverted Intuition (Ni) in INFPs, manifests as a deeper understanding of the world that complements their dominant and auxiliary functions.

When fully developed and integrated, shadow functions can serve as useful tools in an individual’s cognitive toolkit, even if they don’t come as naturally as the primary functions.

Here’s how a mature Ni might manifest in an INFP:

1. Holistic Understanding: While INFPs typically enjoy exploring various possibilities (thanks to their auxiliary Ne), a mature Ni allows them to converge these possibilities into a cohesive understanding or vision, looking beyond the immediate options to a singular underlying theme or outcome.

2. Balanced Visionary Insight: INFPs with a well-developed Ni can access deeper insights or visions about the future. These visions tend to be more focused and singular compared to the explorative nature of Ne. They’ll be able to weigh their broad-ranging ideas (Ne) with focused insights (Ni), leading to more balanced and grounded visions.

3. Deeper Introspection: While INFPs are naturally introspective, a mature Ni can take this introspection to a profound level, allowing them to see patterns and connections in their personal growth journey and life’s experiences.

4. Enhanced Empathy: Though INFPs are already empathetic, integrating Ni might allow them to understand people on a deeper, symbolic level. They may pick up on unspoken intentions, future possibilities, and the core essence of an individual, transcending surface-level impressions.

5. Integrating Past Experiences: INFPs with mature Ni are better at synthesizing their past experiences into their current understanding. They can see how past events have shaped them and make connections that offer profound personal insights.

6. Reduced Overwhelm: While immature Ni might manifest as being overwhelmed by pessimistic visions or negative ruminations, a mature Ni can better navigate these feelings. INFPs can take these deeper insights and balance them with their natural optimism and exploration.

7. Strategic Decision Making: A well-developed Ni can assist INFPs in making decisions that are more in line with their long-term visions and goals, rather than being purely reactive or overly explorative.

8. Appreciation for Symbolism: INFPs with mature Ni may develop a deeper appreciation for symbolic content in art, literature, and life. They can derive profound meaning from symbols and archetypes, enriching their creative and imaginative endeavors.

Extroverted Sensing (Se): The Trickster Shadow Function of INFP Cognitive Functions Stack

Overview of extroverted sensing (se).

Extroverted Sensing is a cognitive function that involves being attuned to the immediate sensory experiences and the external environment.

Individuals who possess a strong preference for Se are highly aware of their surroundings, enjoying the present moment and engaging with their senses.

People with dominant or auxiliary Extroverted Sensing have a natural inclination to live in the “here and now.”

They are often energetic, action-oriented, and focused on sensory experiences. They are adept at noticing details, taking in sensory information, and responding quickly to their environment.

Overview of the Trickster Shadow Function

The Trickster is situated as the seventh function in the cognitive stack, opposing the Tertiary function.

It represents an archetypal energy that challenges the individual’s ego identity, leading to unpredictable and paradoxical thoughts, behaviours, and beliefs.

The Trickster is characterized by its playful nature, often leading to situations where it seems to be both helping and hindering simultaneously.

Being in the unconscious, the Trickster Shadow function is either repressed i.e. ignored, denied or rejected OR the Trickster Shadow function is overcompensated i.e it’s expression is exaggerated, impulsive, immature and driven by need to prove oneself.

Extroverted Sensing (Se) as the Trickster Shadow INFP Cognitive Function

When Se takes on the role of the Trickster, it often catches the INFP off guard, leading them into unforeseen pitfalls or blindsiding them in some way.

Here’s how Se as a Trickster function influences the INFP personality:

1. Overwhelm with Present Realities: INFPs thrive in the realm of ideas, future possibilities, and internal values. When they are thrust into a situation demanding immediate attention to details or rapid response to sensory stimuli, they may feel overwhelmed or out of their depth.

2. Misperception of External Details: INFPs might occasionally misread or overlook tangible details in their environment. They could forget where they placed an item, misjudge their physical abilities, or not notice changes in their immediate surroundings.

3. Impulsiveness in Unfamiliar Situations: Although INFPs are generally contemplative, when the Trickster Se catches them off guard, they might become unexpectedly impulsive, making decisions without their usual thoughtful introspection.

4. Resistance to External Pressure: The INFP might feel irritated or even rebellious when external situations (especially forceful, sensory ones) demand conformity. A loud environment, physical pressures, or sudden demands can cause them to retract or push back.

5. Occasional Sensory Indulgences: When the Trickster Se takes hold, an INFP might dive deep into sensory pleasures without their usual restraint. This could manifest in bouts of binge-eating, overspending, or any form of sensory excess.

6. Neglect of Immediate Surroundings: In its shadow form, Se may cause INFPs to neglect their immediate environment. They might forget to engage in routine chores, or not notice a cluttered room.

7. Misjudgment of Situational Dynamics: In stressful moments, INFPs might misinterpret real-time events. This isn’t about misunderstanding people (which is more of an Fe issue) but about misjudging situations. They could underestimate time constraints or be caught off-guard by sudden changes.

8. Desire for Tangible Outcomes: In its shadowy grip, INFPs might exhibit a surprising and uncharacteristic urge for tangible results or external validation. They could become fixated on materialistic outcomes, which is at odds with their typically introspective and values-driven nature.

The Trickster function serves as a reminder that even within the depths of our psyche, there are aspects that can throw us off if not understood and integrated.

For INFPs, it’s essential to recognize when and how this Trickster Se is influencing their behavior or perceptions.

By being aware of its mischievous ways, they can work towards understanding it, not being blindsided by it, and even harnessing its energy when appropriate.

How can INFPs develop their Trickster Shadow Extroverted Sensing (Se) ?

Developing the Trickster Shadow function is a complex endeavor. Given that this is a deep shadow function, it is not directly accessible in the way dominant or auxiliary functions are. However, with conscious effort, INFPs can integrate and develop their Extroverted Sensing (Se) to avoid being blindsided by its more challenging aspects. Here are some strategies:

1. Engage in Sensory Activities: Activities that demand a heightened sensory presence can be beneficial. This includes dancing, cooking, painting, or any hands-on craft. These allow INFPs to tune into the external world and become attuned to the immediate sensory details.

2. Mindfulness and Meditation: Mindfulness practices focus on being present in the moment, which is the essence of Se. By regularly practicing mindfulness or meditation, INFPs can cultivate an awareness of their external environment and become more in tune with the here and now.

3. Physical Exercise: Engaging in sports or regular physical activities can help INFPs tap into their Se. Whether it’s yoga, jogging, or team sports, these activities can ground them in their bodies and the external environment.

4. Travel: New environments can stimulate the senses in unexpected ways. Traveling forces one to be more alert and responsive to the external environment, allowing INFPs to practice and engage their Se.

5. Limit Overindulgence: Recognizing when they’re succumbing to sensory excess (like binge-eating or overspending) is crucial. By setting boundaries and being mindful of their tendencies, INFPs can prevent the Trickster from leading them astray.

6. Journaling: INFPs can benefit from documenting moments when they feel overwhelmed or taken off-guard by sensory details. Over time, patterns might emerge, helping them anticipate and manage such situations better.

7. Seek Feedback: Talking to friends, especially those with strong Se, can provide insights. These individuals can offer a different perspective on situations, helping INFPs see what they might have missed or overlooked.

8. Practice Adaptability: By intentionally placing themselves in unfamiliar situations, INFPs can practice responding to the moment. This doesn’t mean they should constantly step out of their comfort zone, but occasional challenges can be growth-inducing.

9. Regular Environment Checks: Setting regular intervals to scan and organize their immediate environment can help. This practice ensures they’re not overlooking significant changes in their surroundings.

10. Limit Overthinking: Given the introspective nature of INFPs, they may overthink situations. Practicing decisive actions, even in minor day-to-day decisions, can help them tune into Se’s real-time, responsive nature.

How does Mature expression of the Trickster Shadow Extroverted Sensing (Se) look like in INFPs?

In Jungian psychology, especially when exploring the shadow functions, it’s important to understand that these functions are generally less developed and less conscious than one’s dominant or auxiliary functions.

As such, a “mature expression” of a shadow function, especially one as deep in the shadow as the Trickster, won’t look like a highly developed primary or secondary function.

However, it would involve a certain balance, awareness, and lessening of the negative impacts traditionally associated with it.

For INFPs, Extroverted Sensing (Se) as the Trickster function can often manifest in various tricky and unconscious ways.

Yet, with awareness and intentional work, a mature expression of Se in INFPs might look something like this:

  • Presence in the Moment: While INFPs are typically future-oriented or drawn to their inner world, a mature Se expression would allow them to be present, enjoying the sensory details of the current moment without feeling overwhelmed.
  • Adaptive Response: Instead of feeling blindsided by unexpected changes in their environment, mature Se would allow the INFP to adapt more readily, even if it’s outside their comfort zone.
  • Appreciation for Aesthetics: While INFPs naturally appreciate beauty, a mature Se might manifest as a heightened sense of aesthetics, enjoying arts, nature, and sensory experiences more deeply.
  • Physical Grounding: Instead of neglecting physical needs or sensations, the INFP would be more in tune with their body. This could mean addressing physical discomforts promptly or engaging more regularly in physical activities.
  • Reduced Sensory Overwhelm: While INFPs might typically feel overwhelmed in highly stimulating environments, mature Se would allow for better management of sensory input, knowing when and how to withdraw or adapt.
  • Pragmatic Action: While decision-making for INFPs is often values-driven and introspective, a mature Se could bring a dose of practicality, allowing the INFP to make choices that are both in line with their values and pragmatically effective.
  • Less Trickery: The Trickster function, by its nature, can be misleading. Mature Se would involve recognizing when they’re being led astray by misreading sensory cues or over-indulging in sensory experiences and taking steps to correct course.
  • Engagement with the External World: While the INFPs’ natural inclination might be towards introspection, mature Se would encourage more regular and rewarding interactions with the external world, whether that’s nature, art, or social environments.

Introverted Thinking (Ti): The Daemon Shadow Function of INFP

Overview of introverted thinking (ti).

Introverted Thinking is a cognitive function that involves the internal analysis, evaluation, and organization of information based on logical principles and frameworks.

Individuals who possess a strong preference for Ti have a natural inclination to seek clarity, coherence, and precision in their thinking processes.

People with dominant or auxiliary Introverted Thinking have a deep desire to understand the underlying principles, systems, and structures that govern the world.

They engage in critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving with an emphasis on logical consistency and objective criteria. They value intellectual rigor and strive for accuracy and precision in their thoughts and ideas.

Overview of the Daemon Shadow Function

The Daemon is situated as the eighth function in the cognitive stack, opposing the Inferior function.

It represents an archetypal energy that dwells in the deepest realms of the psyche, often remaining largely inaccessible and unconscious.

The Daemon is associated with aspects that are essential yet often elusive to the individual’s conscious understanding.

Being in the unconscious, the Daemon Shadow function is either repressed i.e. ignored, denied or rejected OR the Daemon Shadow function is overcompensated i.e it’s expression is exaggerated, impulsive, immature and driven by need to prove oneself.

Introverted Thinking (Ti) as the Daemon Shadow Function

Given that the INFP is primarily driven by their dominant Introverted Feeling (Fi) which is concerned with personal values, emotions, and authenticity, the impersonal, analytical nature of Ti can often be quite foreign and elusive.

How INFPs View Their Daemon Introverted Thinking (Ti):

  • Foreign and Elusive : INFPs might find the critical, detached analysis of Ti unfamiliar and sometimes unsettling. It’s not their natural way of processing information. Instead of dissecting an idea for logical consistency, as Ti would, they’re more inclined to weigh it against their personal values.
  • Defensive Mechanism : When INFPs tap into Ti, especially under stress or when feeling threatened, they might become hypercritical or fall into a mode of over-analyzing, in an attempt to understand and control their environment.
  • Ambivalence : Given that Ti is deep within their shadow, INFPs might have mixed feelings about it. They can admire its precision and clarity in others but might feel frustrated or even guilty when they recognize it within themselves, especially if it comes out during moments of stress.

Impact on INFP Personality:

  • Overthinking : While INFPs are introspective by nature, under the influence of shadow Ti, they can become stuck in a loop of over-analyzing and second-guessing their decisions, particularly if they are feeling insecure.
  • Detachment from Emotions : Under the grip of shadow Ti, INFPs might detach from their natural empathetic and value-driven state, becoming uncharacteristically cold and analytical.
  • Challenging Personal Values : An activated Ti might push an INFP to question and critically analyze their deeply held beliefs and values. This can be destabilizing but also transformative if approached with self-awareness.
  • Internal Conflict : The contrast between Fi and Ti can create internal turmoil. While Fi wants to stay true to personal feelings and values, shadow Ti might push for detached logic, causing confusion.
  • Potential for Growth : As with all shadow functions, when recognized and integrated consciously, Ti can offer INFPs a new perspective. It can encourage them to strengthen their arguments, refine their beliefs, and approach problems with a more balanced perspective.

In the transformative language of Jungian psychology, confronting and integrating the Daemon function can lead to profound personal growth.

For INFPs, this involves reconciling their deep-seated values and feelings with the analytical, detached nature of Ti.

When navigated with self-awareness, this integration can allow INFPs to achieve a richer understanding of themselves and the world around them.

How can INFPs develop their Daemon Shadow Introverted Thinking (Ti) Cognitive Function?

Developing the Daemon Shadow function, particularly Introverted Thinking (Ti) for INFPs, is a challenging yet rewarding endeavor.

Integrating this shadow aspect can lead to more balance, clarity, and depth in the INFP’s cognitive process.

Here are some steps and strategies that INFPs can consider:

  • Self-awareness : The first step to working with any shadow aspect is recognizing it. INFPs should strive to become more aware of instances when they slip into a Ti mode, especially during stress. Journaling or reflective conversations can help in identifying patterns.
  • Study Logical Frameworks : Dive into subjects that emphasize logical consistency and critical thinking, such as philosophy, mathematics, or computer programming. Engaging with these fields can provide an INFP with a structured approach to understanding Ti.
  • Engage in Debate : While it might be outside their comfort zone, INFPs can benefit from engaging in intellectual debates. This not only exercises Ti but also helps them understand how it feels to think in a detached, analytical manner.
  • Practice Detachment : While it’s essential for INFPs to stay true to their values, they can occasionally practice viewing situations without emotional involvement, focusing solely on facts and logic. Over time, this can help integrate the analytical nature of Ti.
  • Seek Feedback : Interacting with strong Ti users (like INTPs or ISTPs) can be beneficial. They can provide feedback and demonstrate effective use of Ti in real-world scenarios.
  • Mindfulness and Meditation : Mindfulness practices can help INFPs stay present and recognize when they are shifting into shadow functions. Being conscious of these shifts can help in understanding and eventually integrating them.
  • Challenge Personal Beliefs : INFPs can occasionally play devil’s advocate to their deeply held beliefs. This exercise can help in critically examining and refining their values, ensuring they are grounded in both feeling and thinking.
  • Acceptance : Understand that it’s natural for Ti to feel foreign and sometimes uncomfortable. Accepting it as a part of the self, rather than resisting or fearing it, is essential for integration.
  • Seek Balance : Remember, the goal isn’t to replace dominant Fi with shadow Ti but to achieve a balance between feeling and thinking, allowing for a more holistic decision-making process.
  • Therapy or Coaching : If an INFP finds it challenging to confront and integrate shadow functions, they might consider seeking therapy, especially from practitioners familiar with Jungian depth psychology or MBTI.

How does Mature expression of the Daemon Shadow Cognitive Function – Introverted Thinking (Ti) look like in INFPs?

Mature expression of the Daemon Shadow Cognitive Function, especially Introverted Thinking (Ti), in INFPs manifests as a harmonized blend of their dominant Fi and their shadow Ti.

Instead of these functions working against each other, they can complement one another, enabling the INFP to navigate the world with greater nuance and clarity.

Here’s what this mature integration might look like:

  • Balanced Decision Making : While their core decision-making process is rooted in personal values and feelings (Fi), mature INFPs can seamlessly incorporate logical analysis (Ti) when required. This doesn’t mean they’ll compromise their values, but they can approach situations with a balanced mix of emotion and reason.
  • Critical Self-Reflection : Mature INFPs can critically assess their beliefs and values, ensuring they’re not only deeply felt but also logically consistent. This introspective process helps in refining and solidifying their personal identity.
  • Nuanced Understanding : A well-integrated Ti allows INFPs to dive deeper into topics, understanding them not just emotionally but also structurally. They can grasp intricate details and make sense of complex systems or theories.
  • Clear Communication : While INFPs are naturally gifted in expressing their feelings, integrating Ti allows them to articulate their thoughts with precision, making their communication more effective, especially in debates or intellectual discussions.
  • Open-mindedness : A mature Ti integration helps INFPs remain open to alternative viewpoints. They can entertain a thought without accepting it, allowing them to engage with diverse perspectives while staying true to their values.
  • Problem-Solving : In situations that demand a solution-oriented approach, mature INFPs can set aside their feelings momentarily to dissect a problem logically, coming up with efficient solutions.
  • Self-Regulation : INFPs with a mature expression of Ti can recognize when they’re slipping into emotional overwhelm and can employ logical strategies to ground themselves.
  • Informed Advocacy : Passionate about causes close to their heart, a well-integrated Ti ensures that their advocacy is not only heartfelt but also informed, well-researched, and methodically planned.
  • Tolerance for Ambiguity : While INFPs prefer clarity in their values and judgments, a mature Ti allows them to be comfortable with ambiguity, understanding that not all questions have immediate answers.

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After graduating from IIT Kharagpur and IIM Lucknow – I have spent over 15 years in building a Balanced, Healthy & Productive Life using the power of Mind-Body Hacking Techniques.

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Introvert Spring

The INFP Procrastination Problem

by Michaela | 7 comments

Anyone can struggle with procrastination, but for the INFP personality, it can be an especially tough habit to break. I should know.

I am an INFP who has been self-employed for seven years. That is seven years of engaging in a daily battle with my own willpower. Sometimes I win. Often I don’t. This is frustrating, to say the least.

If you’re an INFP procrastinator like me, you know how it feels to desperately want to finish (or start) a project and be unable to bring yourself to just F’n do it.

You might spend hours, days, or even weeks putting off a task that takes only ten minutes. Phone calls, emails, and tedious technical tasks might be some of your favorite things to procrastinate. Not only that.

You may find yourself procrastinating bigger more important things that you actually want to do. For example, I recently received this comment from an INFP reader named Kely:

“I am an unhealthy INFP . Escapism and procrastination are eating me up. I have been stuck for almost 3 years now with my undergraduate thesis. I hate myself for escaping and procrastinating but most of the time, I’m not doing anything about it. I hate it.”

I know how you feel, Kely! And I’m sure many INFPs can relate. Because INFPs are idealists with an intense need to create, feeling blocked can be especially difficult for us. 

Sometimes, it can feel like our whole life is one big long procrastination party. And we do NOT like parties. 

INFPs need purpose

Another thing about INFPs is that we need to feel a sense of purpose. We are a lot like INFJs in that way. Oftentimes, our purpose involves putting our creative work out into the world. 

When the procrastination monster stops us from creating, we can start to feel lost and despondent. Our creative spirit won’t be satisfied by TV, snacking, and scrolling. 

Even activities that may seem productive, like cleaning, answering emails, or journalling are actually counterproductive when we use them to put off what our soul NEEDS us to do. 

Healthy distractions 

I am an INFP who has become almost religious about my habits and rituals. I have many morning routines that I rotate through, including yoga, visualizations, and writing. 

These rituals are meant to set the stage for more focus and creativity throughout the day. But if I’m not careful, I can use them as a distraction from the real work I want and need to do. 

Being in lockdown has made the procrastination struggle all the more challenging. Every personality type is facing the realization that more time does not necessarily equal more productivity. 

More hours in the day simply means more hours to ruminate, procrastinate, and then get down on yourself for your lack of discipline. 

Even though I still struggle with procrastination, I’ve discovered a few ways to move past it and get important sh*t done. 

How to overcome procrastination

Make sure you actually want or need to do it.

As I mentioned, INFPs need to feel a sense of purpose. We also tend to have extreme difficulty focusing on activities that we’re not genuinely interested in. Rather than fighting this innate quality, try to work with it by choosing activities that you are passionate about.

Of course, some tedious tasks are unavoidable. If you really need to do something that you don’t want to do, the next tips will help.

Make it more fun or interesting

People tend to procrastinate tasks that are boring and tedious. If you’re a highly creative INFP like me, anything that seems like a left brain activity can seem daunting. 

Taxes, budgets, business planning—these are all things I love to put off. Talk to my accountant and he’ll agree.

That’s why I try to make anything I don’t want to do as enjoyable as possible. For example, I have a weekly money date during which I listen to an audio from a money mentor, set money goals, and look at my finances. I try to keep it simple and casual, so I don’t build it up to be this big scary thing. 

Other ideas for making tedious activities more enjoyable is to listen to music (I listen to om meditation music while I write), go outside and work under a tree, or make your workspace into a little haven with plants, essential oil diffusers, and beautiful art. 

I do all of the above and it works…until it doesn’t. When my usual tricks don’t work, it’s time to take a closer look at what the real problem is. 

Get to the root of the problem

There can be many reasons why you procrastinate a particular activity. We’ve already covered not actually wanting/needing to do it, and plain old boredom. Other reasons can include:

  • Being disconnected from your bigger WHY for doing it
  • A lack of structure in the activity or the way you approach it
  • Fear-based resistance to the task 
  • A lack of intrinsic rewards
  • A lack of meaning
  • The task is too difficult

Once you know what the real reason behind your procrastination is, you can make appropriate changes. 

Revisiting your bigger WHY or purpose behind a task is always a good idea. Why is the activity important to you, and how does it support your bigger goals?

Chunk it down

If a task seems too difficult or daunting, it helps to chunk it down. I sometimes use Francesco Cirillo’s Pomodoro Technique. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals that are 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.

Because getting started is usually the hardest part, the Pomodoro Technique is great for tricking yourself into breaking ground on a task. 

Use the 5 Second Rule

In Mel Robbins’s book, The 5 Second Rule , she explains how to use a countdown method to stop procrastinating. 

When you want to do something, just count 5,4,3,2,1 and do it before your brain has time to talk you out of it. And that’s it. How she wrote an entire book to explain this method is a mystery to me, but it works!

Make it easier or don’t do it

Sometimes a task is just too difficult to commit to doing it consistently. For example, I have always had dreams of becoming a successful YouTuber with hundreds of thousands of subscribers. To do that you must post videos consistently, once a week at least. 

Although my videos usually do well, for me the process of filming and editing videos is so difficult and overstimulating that I’ve never been able to do it consistently. 

I had to come to accept that I need to either make my videos extremely simple (just me talking to the camera) or do a podcast instead. 

And that’s exactly what I did! I started a comedy podcast called Michaela Up Close that I post on YouTube, as well as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher. 

I hope you found these tips helpful! If you’re an INFP who procrastinates, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please do share in the comments below.

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8 Signs of an Unhealthy INFP

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I’m an INFJ and don’t let the “J” fool you; I also struggle from procrastination. It’s so hard 😭😭😭. I think my reason is that I don’t really trust myself and my abilities and that I can accomplish my dreams.


Sometimes, when I procrastinate, and act only when I feel ready, I proceed with confidence and quality and efficiency. Best of all, I remind myself to do whatever, my way.

Bruce Peterkin

I identify as an INFP too, and I’ve just spent another day putting off an easy task! There’s a quote by Fritz Perls which goes (something like) “perfectionism is a defence against shame”… I see myself in that too.

It’s not easy, it is painful when “on paper” it seems we have talents, but in practice block ourselves from achieving.. just quit my best paid job ever, because the lack of meaning was a real grind. Did a 3-year degree course, and dropped out before cashing in, because no amount of willpower could get me to write up the last case study. That was a serious loss of time and money, but my mind has a mind of its own (which is the mind of stubborn donkey).

Willpower, guilt and going broke are not enough to make myself do something – doesn’t seem like there is a difference between “can’t” and “won’t”.

– I find always that talking it through with someone helps, to be able to say honestly what I’m avoiding and why, seems to break the cycle. – Breaking tasks down. – I once employed a friend to just sit in the same room while I wrote something, asking me what I was doing, and what the next paragraph was about.. it was worth the money!!


For me, INFP, procrastination can set in when I need to respond to people, via mail or sms. Especially I f I have waited a few days, I start to feel guilty about not responding and then it becomes worse. In the end, I can put off responding entirely, all the while feeling like a jerk and irrational. It can get really bad sometimes, where I have basically broken entirely with a person because I felt it was easier than responding. It’s really bizarre.

Wan Kim

Hi I am an INFP too, and I struggle a lot from procrastination 😭 I am supposed to do my homeworks and practice piano too, but today I’ve been in the dumps because I was being lectures by my parents on how I act and procrastinating on doing a simple task; paying my school fees. I told my parents that there’s still plenty of time to pay the school fees and my ESTJ/ISTJ dad was super unhappy about how I do things and procrastination. My mood had been destroyed since then and I am procrastinating because I don’t feel like doing my homework and practice piano, even though I am interested in music since I’m a music student. I hope I better at least do something today or else my workload will definitely pile up and it’s gonna be worse.


Was very helpful ….of understanding why I procastrinate, I am rather someone like the author of this article……it gets to a level way too often ,that is harming me and ones around me,

missing deadlines of all kinds,hoping for the luck that it can be done in a blink of the eye…..

I have to state that “luck” also came on my help,in risky situations

For instance, I had to send some docs in physical form/on paper/.

I came to the local Post Office on the following day that it should have been posted. the lady at the desk looked at my terrified face,and after I explained the situation I was in,she came up with the solution ,that without the option “signed for”,she can set the timestamp a day ealier ,and she did …so I was able to post the docs within the deadline… a day later…timetravelling……….;) is good that I found this blog,now I must go through it,seems worth

Luck is the INFP superpower 🙂

Susan L Barnabe

What is INFP, please.

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Grace Blair

Missing Your Motivation? Here's Why

Motivation is hard to find when other needs are unmet.

Posted August 4, 2021 | Reviewed by Hara Estroff Marano

  • What Is Motivation?
  • Find a therapist near me
  • Maslow's theory of motivation suggests why we may sometimes feel unmotivated.
  • A lack of motivation is often a result of other physical or emotional needs being ignored.
  • Focusing on meeting other needs may help bring back motivation to achieve your goals.

Do you ever find yourself staring at your to-do list, intimidated by its size but too overwhelmed to begin checking off boxes? Yeah, of course you do.

Motivation in our daily lives can be extremely hard to come by. There are some days where you feel like a superhero as you plow through your tasks like some unstoppable machine, and then there are days where you feel like that unstoppable machine just ran you over. Those days, motivating yourself to get things done feels impossible.

Everyone wishes on those days that motivation could come down deus-ex-machina-style and spontaneously inspire us to tackle the day. However, on the days when motivation is missing, it may be less important to focus the absence of motivation and more important to look at what other needs are not being met.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Twentieth-century psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed the theory that human needs are intrinsically prioritized and that some needs must be fulfilled before others can be of concern (Maslow 1943). He proposed that needs are more or less hierarchical in nature, with survival and safety most basic, lying at the bottom of his famous pyramid of needs, and more abstract requirements such as self-fulfillment and psychological needs towards the top.

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Maslow also examined how these needs relate to our sense of motivation in life. Maslow’s original hierarchy included five layers of needs–physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization–each of which must be fully satisfied before the next layer of needs could be tackled. He concluded that we are motivated by our needs, whether these needs are tangible or psychological, and that motivation to continue ‘upwards’ will be absent when lower needs are not met.

Although Maslow eventually adjusted his theories to be less rigid—he later withdrew his belief that one stage of needs must be fulfilled entirely for those above it to be acknowledged—there are many critiques of his theory and his research methods. Nevertheless, the concept of psychological hierarchies remains an arguably vital piece of modern-day understanding of psychological motivation.

Why Am I So Unmotivated?

Taking a page out of Maslow’s book, it is important to consider what other things you feel when you find yourself lacking motivation. Although motivation sometimes feels fleeting, your motivation is likely drained because some of your other physiological and psychological priorities are unmet. The unsatisfied needs could be related to your environment, your relationships, your emotions, or something different altogether.

Personally, I find my motivation at its lowest point when I am hungry or tired, or when my anxiety and emotional turmoil are at a high; achieving my goals seems irrelevant during these moments. Motivating myself to do the “extra stuff” feels impossible when I’m in this state, so my to-do list goes untouched except for the essential tasks. Everyone’s needs might be prioritized differently, but it is important to consider what needs you might not be acknowledging that inhibit your motivation to proceed.

Although it is unrealistic to expect the world to pause and our to-do list to shrink while we sort out our body's and mind’s requirements, we can still take a moment to take stock of our well-being when motivation runs low. Like missing car keys, sometimes things turn up once you stop looking for them and fixating on their absence. Next time you find yourself looking for your long-lost motivation, consider taking the time to ask yourself what else is missing too.

Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), 370-96.

Grace Blair

Grace Blair is an undergraduate student at the University of Florida. She is a journalism major who studies biological sciences, as well as a runner, musician, and graphic designer.

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  • INFP Overview
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The INFP at Work

At work, the INFP is not particularly driven by money or status, preferring work that aligns with their personal values and allows them to help others. INFPs are typically motivated by vision and inspiration, and want to engage with projects and causes that feel important to them.

INFPs enjoy the process of creative problem-solving, and want to understand complex issues. They appreciate innovation, and want to come up with original ideas to improve circumstances for people. An ideal job for a Healer allows them to express their individuality in the way they work, and takes advantage of their ability to see unique solutions.

INFPs enjoy working autonomously and having control over how and when to complete a project. They often enjoy participating in teams, although they want to be free to put their own personal stamp on their work. When they do work with other people, it's important to the INFP that they be cooperative, supportive, and flexible, and that they have similar passion for their ideals.

INFP Career Stats

  • Second lowest average income of all the types, at $31,508
  • Most likely of all types to stay home with their children
  • Fourth lowest in job satisfaction out of all the types
  • Slightly more likely than average to be self-employed

The INFP on a Team

The infp as a leader, top careers for the infp.

Caring, creative INFPs tend to choose careers that let them express their individuality and their personal values. Many INFPs work in helping professions, where they can bring their compassion and empathy to others. INFPs also frequently choose to work in creative and artistic occupations which allow them to think freely and be their unique selves.

Top careers for the INFP include:

Arts, Design, and Communications

  • Fine Artist
  • Fashion Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Multimedia Artist or Animator
  • Film Editor
  • Interpreter or Translator
  • Photographer
  • Public Relations Specialist

Community and Social Service

  • Mental Health Counselor
  • School or Career Counselor
  • Community Service Manager
  • Social Worker

Business and Management

  • Human Resources Specialist
  • Training or Development Manager

Science and Health Care

  • Anthropologist
  • Psychologist
  • Sociologist
  • Chiropractor
  • Nutritionist
  • Genetic Counselor
  • Massage Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Speech-Language Pathologist
  • Veterinarian
  • Veterinary Technician

Education and Library

  • Archivist or Curator
  • Elementary School Teacher
  • Preschool Teacher
  • Professor or College Instructor
  • Special Education Teacher

INFP Careers to Avoid

It is important to note that any personality type can be successful in any occupation. However, some occupations are well suited to the natural talents and preferred work style of the INFP, while other occupations demand modes of thinking and behavior that do not come as naturally to this type. Occupations that require the INFP to operate outside their natural preferences may prove stressful or draining, and often sound unappealing to INFPs who are choosing a career.

The following occupations have been found to be unpopular among INFPs, based on data gathered from surveys of the general population.

  • Military Officer
  • Police Officer
  • Materials Engineer
  • Electrician
  • Systems Analyst
  • Sales Manager
  • Financial Manager
  • Cost Estimator
  • Engineering Technician
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Licensed Practical Nurse

Molly Owens Molly Owens is the founder and CEO of Truity. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley and holds a master's degree in counseling psychology. She began working with personality assessments in 2006, and in 2012 founded Truity with the goal of making robust, scientifically validated assessments more accessible and user-friendly. Molly is an ENTP and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she enjoys elaborate cooking projects, murder mysteries, and exploring with her husband and son.

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  1. INFP Motivation: How the INFP Can Overcome Procrastination

    A good way for the INFP to work on building motivation is by working on their weaker functions. Sometimes strengthening the functions they struggle with can be a great way to learn to be a bit better at motivation themselves. Te is the weakest functions for the INFP, and this is one which does often help when it comes to motivation.

  2. How INFPs Can Overcome Procrastination and Stay Motivated

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  3. How To Inspire And Motivate An INFP?

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  4. Here's what motivates each Myers-Briggs® personality type

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    Introverted intuitive. INFP type personalities rely heavily on our own intuition to guide us through life. We are highly intuitive when it comes to understanding other people's motives and emotions. Although not usually detail-oriented, INFPs can be very observant of the emotional states of those around us. We might not be able to remember ...

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    1. Open up to the world of possibilities. One of our strongest functions is extroverted intuition (Ne). This function enables us to look at possibilities and to form ideas by taking in information from the outside world (as opposed to the world inside our heads). By using Ne more frequently and allowing ourselves to embrace new experiences, we ...

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  10. All About the INFP Personality Type

    The Healer. The INFP personality type is Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving, which means they are energized by time alone, focused on big picture ideas and concepts, led by their values and feelings, and spontaneous and flexible. This combination of personality preferences produces people who are open minded, creative, and deeply ...

  11. INFP Motivations

    INFP personality types tend to be motivated and energized by... INFPs tend to enjoy being able to lend a helping hand to those around them. They are skilled listeners who often find motivation in making sure others feel heard and appreciated. Their natural attentiveness and conscientiousness helps them show great care toward other people's needs.

  12. INFP: Personality Type, Characteristics & Cognitive Functions

    Cognitive Functions of an INFP. The MBTI is based on a theory of personality created by Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung. Jung proposed that there are four psychological components of personality: thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition. People then direct each of these cognitive functions inwardly (introverted) or outwardly (extraverted).

  13. Mediator (INFP) Productivity Tips: Focus and Relevancy

    Mediator personalities are likely to find two barriers to getting things done: focus and relevancy. Sometimes the two may intertwine and work together to prevent Mediators from pursuing a more productive path. As Prospecting personality types, Mediators may always be on the hunt for something more stimulating in which to sink their teeth.

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    INFP (Mediator) is a personality type with the Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Prospecting traits. These rare personality types tend to be quiet, open-minded, and imaginative, and they apply a caring and creative approach to everything they do. Although they may seem quiet or unassuming, people with the INFP personality type (Mediators ...

  15. How To Be A Successful INFP: Tips And Strategies

    4. Use your strengths to your advantage. As an INFP, you have many strengths that can help you succeed in both your personal and professional life. Use your self-awareness, intuition, empathy, adaptability, curiosity, and open-mindedness to your advantage. For example, if you're pursuing a creative career, use your intuition and curiosity to ...

  16. INFP Personality Type: Traits, Motivation, Functions, Development

    The INFP-A is often more self-assured, exuding an air of confidence, resilience, and composure even when facing challenges. They are less likely to worry about their decisions or be affected by external criticism. On the flip side is the INFP-T subtype which tends to second-guess themselves frequently due to a lack of internal assurance.

  17. I have a theory about why INFPs may have motivation issues : r/infp

    The INFP is known as the Idealist, the Mediator, and the Healer of the Myers Briggs theory. ... My reasoning to why I have no motivation is because as a child, everything was always done for me. And when I grew up a bit (never did homework, didn't clean room, etc.) my parents didn't really do too much about it. I was just labeled 'lazy and ...

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    INFP Cognitive Functions explain the behaviour of the INFP personality. Dominant Introverted Feeling (Fi) & Auxiliary Extroverted Intuition (Ne) shape the personality of INFPs. Tertiary Introverted Sensing (Si) supports the INFP personality. The Inferior Extroverted Thinking (Te) coupled with the four shadow functions (Fe, Ni, Se & Ti) are the problem or ignored areas for the INFP personality.

  19. What Does an INFP Need to be Happy at Work?

    INFP. Your unique personality type is suited to particular kinds of roles in the workplace. INFPs - people with preferences for Introversion, Intuition, Feeling and Perceiving - seek work that aligns to their personal values and allows them to help others. When your career choices are driven by your values, without actually trying them out ...

  20. The INFP Procrastination Problem

    A lack of structure in the activity or the way you approach it. Fear-based resistance to the task. A lack of intrinsic rewards. A lack of meaning. The task is too difficult. Once you know what the real reason behind your procrastination is, you can make appropriate changes. Revisiting your bigger WHY or purpose behind a task is always a good ...

  21. Missing Your Motivation? Here's Why

    Key points. Maslow's theory of motivation suggests why we may sometimes feel unmotivated. A lack of motivation is often a result of other physical or emotional needs being ignored. Focusing on ...

  22. The Best Careers for INFP Personality Types

    The INFP personality type is Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving, which means they are energized by time alone, focused on big picture ideas and concepts, led by their values and feelings, and spontaneous and flexible. This combination of personality preferences produces people who are open minded, creative, and deeply committed to ...

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