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Being INFP






INFP Advantages: Authenticity

Being an INFP can make life easier not harder.

No matter what MBTI type, people want to be happy and to feel fulfilled. Fulfillment comes from meeting our Six Needs. Happiness derives from feeling we have a control over the direction of our lives. INFPs have natural qualities that make both easier.

Some of those qualities are Authenticity, Adaptability, Intuition. This post focuses on authenticity.

How Authenticity Improves Our Lives

Being authentic means being genuine with yourself and with others. Authenticity requires that a person be honest about themselves and their motivations.

How many times in our lives have we gone after a goal and realized that goal wasn’t what we wanted? It was what our parents wanted or what society expected or what we thought would make us look cool. Being more honest doesn’t mean that we would change our actions, but it would make us more aware of our values.

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Five Stages of INFP

As INFPs, we live in an internal dream world of our ideals where everything exists the way we think it should be. When reality forces us to wake up, it feels a little like dying.

Elizabeth Kübler-Ross in her book On Death and Dying, wrote that people experience five stages of grief when they are confronted with significant loss like receiving news of terminal illness. As the real world begins crowding into the INFPs idealized world, INFPs realize that we have to let go of the our idealize version of the world. In doing so, we move back and forth through the stages until we wake up.

Stage 1: Denial

“If I can’t make a living doing what I love then I’d rather be dead.”

The denial stage manifests as avoidance of facts. Denial is wanting the Reward without knowing the Rules. Denial is wishful dreaming while refusing to look at how those dreams manifest.

INFPs in denial believe that writing their first book will somehow automagically translate to being able to eat and pay rent as a writer through some series of serendipity. INFPs in denial believe that if the right person was in their life then everything will work out.

INFPs in denial know their desired Reward such as “I want to write books for a living” but can’t answer questions about the Rules such as “do you know how much an average Times bestselling author makes?” They don’t want to know the answer because the answer brings them closer to waking up.

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Four success qualities of INFPs

Success is the achievement of a desired outcome. Whether it’s to become a best selling author or getting the world to leave you alone, success requires actions to achieve those goals. So why do some INFPs get better outcomes then others?

All MBTI preferences have strengths and weaknesses. The strengths move us two steps forward. The weaknesses bring us one step back. Successful INFPs nurture strengths and mitigate weaknesses. Nurturing strengths means improving those qualities that give us the outcomes we want. Mitigating weaknesses means finding ways to compensate for those qualities that move us from our goals.

Whatever it is we want to achieve, INFPs have four qualities that bring us closer to our goals. It’s these qualities if nurtured, bring us better outcomes.

1. INFPs are self-aware.

INFPs know when something we’re doing feels wrong. I may not know if I’m doing it right, but I definitely know if I’m doing it wrong.

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These are my INFP thoughts

Someone asked me on Twitter how I became so knowledgeable about INFPs. The question makes me a little uncomfortable because it infers that I have some expertise with INFPs. I don’t. I’m just very knowledgeable about me as an INFP.

I read Type Talk and Please Understand Me when I was 20 and fell in love with personality psychology. I read Myers and Briggs’ Gifts Differing. I read Please Understand Me 2. That’s the extent of my formal knowledge of the MBTI, and on top of that I disagree with the books.

I’ve always disliked the various descriptions for INFP. Some of it was true some of the time. Other parts didn’t apply at all. One sentence described me incredibly accurately and the next would be way off base. I quickly decided that the MBTI types were really MBTI stereotypes. I don’t mind stereotypes. Stereotypes are generalizations and generalizations can be useful, but they have no nuances. They don’t take explain the gradations and the exceptions. The INFPs throughout my life are all very different even though we share certain common behaviors.

That’s got me to thinking over the last 20 years of why INFPs are so different. Why are some Christians and others are Wiccans? Why are some more successful in their careers than others? I wrote this blog to share those thoughts about INFPs.

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You are what you believe

I have a System. It works for me. It’s still an idea in progress, but for an INFP what isn’t?

I will try to explain it briefly because I see all things through this System view.

  1. The System exists. It is made up of relationships between people and things and ideas.
  2. The System is made up of smaller systems like government and game shows.
  3. The smaller systems are made up of Games.
  4. Games have Rules. You play the Games with the Rules to get the Reward (happiness, a job, physical objects, self-improvement goals, or just wanting to be left alone are all Rewards).
  5. If you don’t want the Rewards, don’t play the Games. If you don’t want to play the Games, don’t whine that you’re not getting the Reward.
  6. You don’t have to play by all the Rules, but you have to learn the Rules in order to break the Rules. Breaking the Rules is necessary to maintain your individualism.
  7. Rewards are not specific to a particular Game. You can choose another Game to get your Reward if you don’t like the one your currently playing.
  8. Not all Rewards and not all Games are available to everyone. Sorry, but life isn’t fair. Deal with it.
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Perfection is the end not the beginning


I venture that the most important part to any blog would be the actual posts. Too bad I haven’t been writing many. How typically INFP of me.

Considering that INFPs like things open-ended, it’s a bit ironic that we have this tendency towards perfectionism. I want everything to be just right before I dive in, whether it’s finding the perfect time to begin or making sure everything is exactly right before I continue further. Isn’t perfection the end and not the starting point?

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What I learned as an INFP tonight at a seminar

I just got back from a wealth lecture about 2 hours ago. I love going to events from this particular company because I went to their almost-free three day seminar two years ago and I thought it was amazing and life changing. And no, I’m not mentioning the name of the company because that’s not the point of this blog entry.

A few years ago, my wife and I attended their 3-day financial seminar. Tonight’s lecture reminded me of the that seminar which sticks in my mind to this day. As an INFP, it was one of the harder things I’ve had to do.

I’m in my late 30s and I probably wouldn’t have gone in my 20s when I thought I knew everything. INFPs like to find their own way because it’s about the journey and that so opposite of what this seminar was. Seminars are about someone teaching you their particular way of doing things. I’ve always been a bit rebellious about being told how to live my life.

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What being an INFP doesn’t tell you

I’ve never liked the term personality test applied to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Each letter of the MBTI signifies a behavior preference. The letters tell me what I prefer to do, not who I am.

For example, I’m a risk taker. Before I had children, I did many high-risk activities for recreation like rock-climbing and martial arts. Which letter combination of INFPs indicates that I liked doing activities that have risk of physical injury? I’m very social with my friends. My wife and I hold dinner parties every other week. We often invite people we’ve just met in order to get to know them better. Which letters of INFP indicates that I like to be social?

I’ve read many descriptions for INFP. They’re all very flattering, but they’re also very general. Many of those descriptions seem to have some archetypal heading like Healer or Dreamer as if one word could encompass the sum of any one person. I value my ideals but I’m not an Idealist. I’m very pragmatic when it comes to daily living. When I read INFP descriptions, I see the exceptions. I see the parts that apply to some INFPs but not all. I also see parts that could describe anyone not just INFPs.

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