Thoughtful Idealist

INFPs at a Glance

People with INFP preferences often enjoy devising creative solutions to problems while making moral commitments to what they believe in. They typically try to help others with their growth and inner development to reach their full potential. Words or phrases that describe people with INFP preferences at their best are highlighted in the MBTI® Type Head below:

INFP Type Head
INFP Type Head

INFPs at Work

People with INFP preferences enjoy helping others develop and learn, and often express their creativity through writing or art making. They are drawn to working in organizations where they are able to work autonomously and flexibly. Working for an organization that is congruent with their values is of key importance to them. The opportunity to develop one-to-one relationships is also attractive to them. People who prefer INFP like doing work that has meaning and enjoy working with people who share their values. They are likely to be attracted to jobs or careers in counseling and human development, as well as in the literary or visual arts.

People with INFP preferences are driven by their very personal inner values, which might not be apparent yet shape most of their decisions, including which jobs or careers they choose. The middle letters of their type (NF) taken together indicate that they are motivated to make a difference in the world. They try to make a profound difference in the lives of the people around them or around the world, but often this is behind the scenes. They typically choose some type of helping career or, when that’s not possible or practical, will have many philanthropic pursuits to express this need.

Jobs That Typically Appeal to INFPs

Common Careers
Commercial art director
Social science research assistant
Veterinary assistant
Musician, singer, music director, composer
Technical writer
Artist/visual artist
Craft artist
Graphic designer

Interested in learning more? Whether you’re looking for career fit or info on how to improve your job performance, register for and get career insights designed to help you be your best you.

INFPs and Leadership

People with INFP preferences make up about 2% of leaders while representing almost 6% of the general population.* Their preferences may help them hold themselves and their organization to their values as well as consider many approaches to learning new things. While INFPs can enjoy leadership opportunities where they can inspire and motivate others, they can also get discouraged when people get overly critical and drill down into details.

*Note: Global leadership sample includes 960,000+ supervisors, managers, and executives; global sample representing the general population includes 21,000+ individuals. See Introduction to Myers-Briggs® Type and Leadership (2015).

NF Leaders:
Inspiration for the Future

NF individuals tend to consistently bring future-oriented development and inspiration of people.

In their day-to-day, NF leaders are likely to excel at:

  • Inspiring and motivating individuals
  • Coaching and developing the potential of others
  • Identifying future needs and opportunities for others
  • Being open to new ideas and experiences

INFPs and Stress

People with INFP preferences will typically become stressed by the factors highlighted in the MBTI® Stress Head above. In these circumstances they may tend to become cynical, aggressive, and prone to acute self-doubt. During initial stress they may start to feel sorry for themselves as well as get a bit “preachy.” Download and share the INFP Stress Head to remind you (and your colleagues) about the things that stress you.

INFPs and Personal Relationships

People with INFP preferences tend to be selective and reserved about sharing their deepest feelings and values and sometimes can be difficult to get an accurate read on as they internalize their thinking. Their partner, peers, family members, and friends will likely see them as sensitive and introspective.

Find out more about Types and Relationships

Comparing Personalities
Interested in learning more about how INFPs compare to other types? Register for and compare all types to each other across various areas, including decision making, spending time together, expressing yourselves, and making plans.

INFPs and Conflict

People with INFP preferences tend to “quickly pick up any disagreements between others, and are often aware of the human dynamics at play” during conflict (Introduction to Type® and Conflict, p. 30). This can work well for them when they need to “read the room” to help keep the conflict from getting worse. However, it could backfire when their need to have everyone get along results in the conflict not being dealt with head-on.

The FP conflict style of people who prefer INFP works when others’ feelings need to be handled gently. However, it could fail when the approach is too indirect and, as a result, the conflict never gets resolved.


Who are some famous INFPs?

Unless they have taken the MBTI assessment and shared their personality type preferences, it’s impossible to know. Anything else is just speculation, and we call it “type-casting.”

Where do our data come from?

All figures and data are representative of our own assessment samples collected at the time users take the Myers-Briggs personality assessment.

Think you might have INFP preferences?