What it's like to be an INFP
by gwen rose harris
A little while ago, a friend of mine introduced me to an online personality test. I took it for fun, not realizing at the time that it would open up a not just a whole world of self-discovery, but immense insight into the people around me.
Personally, I’m not really into horoscopes, I’m not religious, and I’d probably say I’m usually pretty skeptical about ‘tests’ like this, purely because the results never seem to be spot on. But, I’m super interested in human psychology and how we all interact, and I’m still in absolute awe at how accurate the results of this test are.
So firstly, if you haven’t taken the test and you’d like to; you can take it here:
In simple terms, the basic idea behind this test is that we can all identify with one of sixteen different personality types. And whilst I whole-heartedly believe that we are all amazing and unique individuals, I have to say it just feels so damn good to be ‘understood’. The results of the test cover strengths/weaknesses, friendships, relationships, parenthood, workplace and more.
If you’re interested in personality types, there’s endless amounts of research you can do around your own, but I wanted to just talk a little bit about what it’s like to be an “INFP” or, a “mediator”. I’d love to know if anyone else out there shares the same traits/thoughts/feelings, or if you totally don’t and you’re a completely different personality type. Hit me up on Insta @abcdefgwenx if you’d like to chat about it!
1) We are very aware of everyone around us
I am constantly aware of how others around me are feeling. This isn’t like an “I’m so selfless” thing – I just naturally anticipate everyone’s reactions before I speak or do, and can instantly tell if someone feels uncomfortable, awkward or is not enjoying themselves. I often find myself diffusing awkward situations, laughing at people’s jokes that will fall flat, or leaving the conversation before an argument breaks out. This is really great in social situations, but can be a huge burden when it comes to trying to relax + have fun, because I’m always on edge that my actions will bother someone in some way. In general INFPs have a good gut instinct, and are usually described as chilled out to be around, even though inside their brains are working overtime.
2) We are hugely introverted
INFPs have a rich, rich inner world. Whilst it might not look like it, I’m constantly thinking (literally ALL the time). About life, about ideas, about all sorts of stuff. But unless you pry, you probably won’t know what’s on my mind. It’s not because I don’t want to tell you, I just don’t feel the need to voice it. I often feel like people mistake my quietness for coldness/disinterest, when it’s quite the opposite. I love seeing friends and doing fun stuff, but in general it drains me, and I defo need a healthy dose of ‘me time’ to recover. I feel like, unintentionally, I have definite ‘layers’, and only those who I’m very close to will ever see the whole & real me.
3) We’re kind of drawn to sadness
Sad films, sad music, sad poetry, tragedy. I’m not a sad person, but I feel emotions intensely, and find myself drawn to things with sad undertones. Often I think this happens when I am actually not sad, and just love to drift off into other people’s worlds. Music is a huge part of my life for this reason. I sit and listen to music as if it was a film at the cinema, and my playlists probably know me better than most people do.
4) Logic is annoying to us
INFPs can be great at tasks that require logic; they can be intelligent and sensible, just like anyone else. But generally, we excel at intuitive tasks over logical ones. We follow our hearts, not our heads. This is often a downfall for me when it comes to being organized, and it is usually the source of argument between me and my family, who are all very logical. I often find if someone argues with something I have said, they are fighting against my emotional response with logic and problem solving.
5) We hate being the center of attention
In general INFPs don’t like the limelight, which is funny because our hobbies often lead us there. We also dislike self-promotion and appearing cocky, and highly value authenticity, so we find it difficult to be in environments where people are ‘fake’ or presenting a façade. There is nothing I dread more than having to present publically, to be put on the spot, or to be watched whilst I do something. The inner stress is unreal!
So, there’s a little bit of insight into what it’s like to be an INFP (this really doesn’t even scratch the surface..!). It’s one of the rarer personality types, but I feel that Gold Hand is a place that fellow INFPs might flock to. Where are you all hiding?! As I mentioned earlier, I’d love to hear from you about your personality type if you’re interested in this, so feel free to find me at @abcdefgwenx!
You can take the test here.
author + artist, gwen rose harris
Forged from Diet Coke and hair dye, Gwen is a part time fashion design student and full time creative nerd. She loves to support her local music scene, and can often be found mysteriously hunched over a guitar. Gwen enjoys making stuff, glitter and listening to loud vinyl. She’s handy with a needle and thread, but can't be trusted with your house plants!