INFPs and OCD Behavior




The Care and Feeding of INFPs, part 3

Our OCD comes from over-thinking

INFPs think too much. We’re information gatherers. The strength of our Perception score determines how far into overdrive our secondary cognitive function of External Intution (Ne) runs. INFPs with high Perception scores get stuck in the “what if”.

When we get stuck, the external doesn’t get processed by our Introverted Feeling (Fi) so we don’t move on. We lose touch with our Ideal and our Ideal Self. We start losing track of those things that we have built towards that ideal life we wanted. We start getting anxious that our tenuous grasp on our ideal life is slipping further away so we fall into OCD behavior.

For example, when I was in my early 20’s before I had a girlfriend and learned how to have balanced relationships, I would over-think situations meeting girls. Was this person a potential girlfriend and not just a friend? Was that an I-think-you’re-cool-smile or was that an I-wish-you-would-ask-me-out smile? What action I took depended on how I interpreted body language, word choice and all the minute details of my interactions. A brief phone call or a passing hello turned into hours of analysis later.

Ideally, I wanted girlfriend who loved and understood me. My over-thinking was causing that ideal to slip away. If she was the one, shouldn’t this entire process be natural and I shouldn’t be obsessing? The more I obsessed, the more un-ideal the situation was becoming. To lessen my anxiety, to stop thinking so much, I attempted to control my external environment by imposing order. I would be obsessive about washing dishes or putting books a certain way. A myriad of little quirks sprung out of nowhere all because I was over-thinking a relationship that didn’t even exist yet.

Obsessive compulsion is caused by anxiety. INFP develop that anxiety because when we get stuck in thoughts that we feel are moving us away from our Ideal. It’s much like being stuck in traffic when we have to be somewhere. Where we have to be is our Ideal. Being stuck in our heads is analyzing the traffic. Are the cars starting to move? Maybe we won’t be that late. Maybe we’ll give it just a couple of minutes. We look for more information instead of deciding we have enough information to move on.

If we had decided that we’re stuck, we could have made new plans, called and rescheduled. Instead INFPs hold onto this Ideal destination whether it’s the perfect person or the perfect job or the perfect life. We think we can still have that perfection if we can impose some order through repetition of sometimes quirky behavior.

OCD behavior is exhibited in many different ways among INFPs. Usually, the OCD behavior has minimal impact to our lives during our over-thinking phases. Eventually INFPs let go of whatever is taking so much energy. However, if that over-thinking phase persists too long, INFPs have a tendency to shut down.

The Signs:

1. Refusal of the new. INFPs love experiences especially new ones in areas we enjoy. If an INFP loves trying new restaurants and turns down the opportunity to do so then it’s a sign that the INFP is over-thinking. We turn down new experiences we love because our brain is too busy to enjoy the new experience. If we try something new when were in an over-thinking phase, we’ll miss out because we’re only partly present.

2. Control of environment. For me, it’s massive cleaning. For others, it could be organizing of the trivial. INFPs will try to compel order onto things of little consequence. The reason why we act upon things of little consequence is because we know that if we make a mistake, it won’t matter.

3. Withdrawal and isolation. INFPs ignoring important relationships is the biggest sign of trouble. INFPs do need alone time, but if we feel more tired after the alone time then our thoughts are too preoccupied to let us recharge.

The Solution:

The only way INFPs can break out of the over-thinking/OCD cycle is to make a decision. We need our Fi to kick in to determine if something feels right or wrong. You can’t make that decision for us but you can make it easier for a decision to be made.

1. Impose order for us. Do the laundry, wash the dishes, take over the trivial or better yet get them done when we’re not looking. If an INFP can’t get caught up in OCD busy-work, we’re forced back into our heads where we’ll have to confront our issues.

2. Bring perspective. You bring perspective by living your life not ours. I like hearing about how other people live and approach their life. People that are passionate about how they deal with problems and how they embrace successes, give me something solid that I can relate my life against. Seeing someone living their life in front of me creates a sharp contrast to living in my head that’s causing the disruptive OCD behavior.

3. Make us a better offer. Offer us a distraction. When the INFPs that I know are in over-thinking mode, I get them out. We do stuff like hiking, dancing, going to a bookstore to get them out of their head and into their bodies. Offering distractions isn’t difficult because we don’t want to be alone in our heads during these phases.

It’s only when INFPs over-think for extended periods that cause disruptive OCD behavior. Most of the time, our OCD comes across as mild quirks. Those quirks don’t go away. You’re just stuck with them so enjoy.

The Care and Feeding of INFPs

Part 1 – INFPs need alone time
Part 2 – Speaking INFP

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57 Responses to “INFPs and OCD Behavior”

  1. E.

    Sep 2, 2010

    3:28 pm

    Yup. I agree whole-heartedly and relate. The one thing that my friends will immediately call out is the over-analyzing….


    Corin Reply:

    Luckily. I’ve tend to keep the over-analyzing to myself so as not to drive my friends crazy.


  2. Stephanie

    Sep 4, 2010

    10:19 am

    Hahaha, I enjoyed reading this. I’m currently in the overanalyzing mode of a relationship and just thoroughly cleaned my house from top to bottom. What did he mean by “Sure”? Is he being short with me for a reason? Is he driving? Does he really want to see me? This isn’t going to work. Ahhh…I often wish I was another type.


    Corin Reply:

    It’s usually when I’m over-thinking my life that I get into trouble. Also, when I start new projects that I excite me where I get OCD and then calm down when I actually do start work on my project.


    Stephanie Reply:

    This is true, actually beginning the work (who knows if it will ever be finished) has a calming effect. However, wrt the over-thinking, I am learning to work with it. I DO over-think things, call it a flaw or what have you, but I’m learning to voice some of it. I’m not sure if as an INFP you’ve experienced the “Should I or shouldn’t I – send this message/call this person/ask for this/go there with them” feeling. I tended to try to avoid “bothering” people with myself…but now I’m working on getting over that. I condense my over-thinking into well written thoughts in emails or letters, and then make sure I give those to the people I care about rather than keep them to myself. It has helped me avoid being used, confront someone about an issue they need to address, and share my thoughts without becoming emotional. I do it quick (press send or give the letter) like pulling off a band-aid, and have found that rather than getting me into trouble, I’m respected for speaking up, and get rewarded with completely honest communication. It just helps open the door sometimes. I hate inauthenticity and shallow/meaningless friendships…if it takes a bit of my over-thinking to change the feel of a relationship OR close the door on it…I’d rather over-think! Just some VERY recent thoughts on the subject. 🙂


  3. Kerri

    Sep 9, 2010

    2:52 pm

    I entirely relate. I am frequently stuck in my head. Very deeply. I gravitate towards isolating activities, such as research; history, archaeology, medical research – that sort of thing. When I eventually notice that I’m not living in balance, I begin to crave grounding activities like exercise or dancing. I am currently a stay at home mom, and it is hugely challenging. I can come up with an innovative ideas, or find fascinating connections between abstract concepts. But get my son off to school, or face the horrifically odious task of dinner preparation, and I am completely out of my element. I feel very unqualified for everyday life, and this is very frustrating.


    Corin Reply:

    I still haven’t quite got the day-to-day down. Luckily I have systems in place for doing things. I have a system for cleaning, a system for cooking. So when I’m not at my best, I can just go into mental pilot and follow the systems I’ve worked out for myself.


    elly Reply:

    I understand more than words can say. I know you posted this comment a long while ago, but I’m praying for you and myself that we can learn to cope with this cyclical pattern that is evident in the many facets of living (worklife, homelife, etc.)


  4. L. A.

    Sep 25, 2010

    2:06 pm

    I completely identify with this. When I’m in over-thinking/over-analyzing mode, I can’t even enjoy my most cherished pass-time — imagining and writing — because I’m too busy analyzing the process and my intended outcome…


    Corin Reply:

    Sometimes I catch myself trying to over-think a situation. I usually go and do something else until I regain some perspective.


    L.A. Reply:

    Yes, I must usually get up and go for a walk, and to prevent my continuing to over-think the situation I’m contemplating, I must bring something to do to distract me…


  5. holly

    Nov 4, 2010

    7:56 am

    Ah, this blog is a revelation. I just discovered it while doing a search about INFPs and depression, as I’m dealing with that right now, and this post perfectly identifies exactly why.

    I’m dating the love of my life, and he’s wonderful, but he doesn’t understand everything and I always feel like he should be doing more and trying harder. (He’s not taken the test recently, but I think he’s an ISTJ.) Like you said, I want to control my external situation instead of not overthinking so much. You put into words exactly what I’ve been scared to say–the feeling that if this really is it, shouldn’t it come naturally and shouldn’t I not be obsessing. Even thinking that thought has sent me at times on a mental spiral of doom that ends with my having to break up with him because I can’t get over myself and then being heartbroken and lonely, but not only that, losing out on what looks like it could be the best thing that ever happened to me.

    Anyway. Thanks for indulging my overthinking, and thanks for your voice. I’m subscribing to your blog.


    Rookbrains Reply:

    I’m sorry, I had to reply to this. I have also just come across this blog, whilst doing a search about infp’s and depression, which is something I’m dealing with at the moment.

    A very momentous period of change and growth occurred a while back in my life (well, came to a poignant point, and continues on from there), revolving around a previous relationship with what I thought to be an istj, and how I have come to look at the breakdown of such. Please, do not take the past tense shown on that one to mean anything about your own situation. A good portion of the growth came from looking back, and understanding where I was getting stuck with over-analyzing, and where I was pushing my own ideals and way of viewing things onto him, and how I dealt with the difference between functions and ideals. This is still very much an area of understanding still in progress – there’s still a lot I can’t get my head around, leading to a fair bit of over-analysis to try and solve the situation (ah, over-analysis of over-analysis… :P), and a fair bit of despondency and general reinforcement of negative world views, but…. we’re getting there with it.
    Ah, yes, mainly why I felt compelled to post this was due to the impulse to express the feelings I get from the concurrences that happen when I do more infp-ey flavored internet soul searching. You find such startling simularities at times. You know you’re an infp when…..


  6. Aelthwyn

    Nov 9, 2010

    5:44 am

    Another time I start obsessively organizing things is when I am procrastinating. When there is something that I ought to be doing, but I don’t feel like doing it or can’t work up the right mood and focus for it, I tend to distract/occupy myself in meaningless oganization of folders on my computer, or doing dishes. Not that those things aren’t good too, which is why it helps put off the nagging in my brain about doing the other thing, whatever it happens to be. It’s almost like trying to appease the ‘obligation gods’ with an offering other than the one requested – lol!


    Sandi Reply:

    YES!! You said it sister!! I am posting a response as I realize but unconcerned with the age of this blog. I have utterly identified with each and every comment I have read on this blog as well as the blog itself. I am so thankful to have found the personality test a few days ago. I blindly discovered while on an distracting/procrastinating/overthinking internet search for answers that I did not even know the question too. No doubt about it INFP all the way through. Only now I do not feel so alone with an ever raging internal war within every facet of my being mixed with being an ever steady positive presence for all in my external world. Feeling like it was always me misunderstanding others is the reason I always felt misunderstood. The inability to understand time in any format other than my own has been the hardest challenge and for some the go to for my immediate discredit. Thank You for this eye opening Blog as well as to all of you who so openly responded!!


  7. Ashley

    Dec 11, 2010

    2:09 am

    Absolutely relate to this 100%. I have learned that because of over-thinking, I can’t stay in the house all day. Especially for long periods of time alone. The other day I decided to stay home and relax for my day off. All of the walls ended up scrubbed and I had a headache and felt exhausted from thinking too much. I’ve been suspecting that this also may be why people perceive me as forgetful or flighty. When I misplace my phone and keys, It’s not that I don’t have a brain, its that I am so deeply preoccupied. 😉


  8. Jessica

    Dec 20, 2010

    6:16 pm

    hahahah this is great! I just found out i am an INFP today, this is EXACTLY what I do and its great to see theres people out there who think just like me.


  9. Prachee

    Jan 9, 2011

    10:37 am

    Ha ha! This was really helpful! When I’m over-thinking, I do the most useless thing in the world: I play solitaire. Right now, there is a deadline for a research proposal hanging over my head, but I can’t get down to it because I’m scared it won’t turn out right. I love the project, but the feedback I’ll get after it’s submitted is what’s scaring me. So, I have been spending hours and hours playing solitaire!
    I guess I should just jump right in and start writing without thinking about what the outcome will be. Thanks, Corin.


  10. Jennifer M.

    Jan 31, 2011

    2:18 pm

    Hi – great post! (Stylish Thirties here – I just started a new blog so am using a new email. Lol.) I love what you said – “If she was the one, shouldn’t this entire process be natural and I shouldn’t be obsessing?” I’ve always figured my obsessing about whT a guy smiling at me means was because I’m female, but maybe it’s because I’m infp! Very interesting. I have, in my more logical moments, realized that if he really did like me, I wouldn’t have to analyze it to death – I’d just know. But those realizations are far and few between. Thank you for the reminder! It makes a lot of sense too that sometimes that fixation can actually cause the ideal to slip away. Definitely something I do a lot – great to be aware of that.


  11. Jennifer M.

    Jan 31, 2011

    2:22 pm

    Oh and also that made a lot of sense when you said how we like to hear what your life is like, not how you think my life should be. I don’t know about you, but I get really defensive when someone starts telling me how to live my life. I feel like they’re not listening to me. If they talk about their life though, I will always compare it to what works in my life, and often that will bring the clarity that I’m seeking.


  12. Jenn G

    Apr 22, 2011

    5:38 pm

    Thank you so much! I have been studying my dh’s personality (INFP) to try to understand what he is currently going through and this has helped immensely. My dh has been under a lot of stress due to illness and he obsesses over the strangest things. He has to do something a certain way or things have to be just right before he can relax, especially at bedtime. He spends a lot of time thinking about his health and everybody else’s health around him. He hasn’t always been this way, just now that he’s trying to come to terms with his physical problems.


  13. Oliver

    May 5, 2011

    10:29 am

    Hahaha! Oh my gosh I can relate to this so well, this might explain my constant and debilitating indecisiveness about minute decisions in my day to day life. Even if I try to reason with myself and tell myself: “Wtf are you worrying about it’s probably nothing.” I still do it. XD


  14. Miss B.

    May 31, 2011

    6:10 pm

    Hey, I’m having an ocd, overthinking time right now. I usually start writing lists, and planning instead of doing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve planned things while watching others just doing it. It’s great to know others feel the same. This blog is lovely. Thank you for your words!


    Kay Reply:

    I do the exact same thing. i’m working on my new list as I type lol


  15. kathleen

    Jul 7, 2011

    9:05 am

    I wonder if the minimalist lifestyle movement gets caught up in OCD obsessions – ie counting every item you own and listing it, trying to get it under a certain number… So much of minimalism is about keeping external commitments to a minimum so you can focus on what you love to do – classic INFP territory. But the counting compulsions so many minimalists have – (as do I)…. maybe this blog post explains it.


  16. SJ

    Aug 4, 2011

    4:49 am

    Hi Corin, I’m glad that you wrote about OCD. I’m an INFP too. I was wondering if there was a connection.

    I had an OCD when I was a young girl. I was ridiculed for it. I thought I was crazy. I never knew it was OCD but I would act very funny like covering my mouth all the time when I talk (so no germs would come in), smelling my hands after someone touches it and running to the nearest sink to wash it, soaking my hands and feet in a basin full of water the whole day to make sure they were clean. It was a big problem for mother, so she asked her friend’s help. Her friend told me that if I didn’t stop what I was doing, I would become a mermaid. I was so scared and stopped altogether. I resorted to repetitive and compulsive thinking and daydreaming. It’s like I needed an outlet for the OCD. To distract me, I would read. But the problem is that I would buy too many books even if I could not read them all. It became an obsession and a compulsion. Sometimes, I would just read short articles online. It might seem harmless, but then I would read too many and stay up all night and have little time left for sleep. It seems my head is telling me that I need to read as many as I can.

    Now, I’m really trying to be just practical. A conscious effort to be practical so it would balance me out. It’s really hard.

    Thanks, it’s a great article.

    This is so true. “The reason why we act upon things of little consequence is because we know that if we make a mistake, it won’t matter.”


  17. James

    Sep 6, 2011

    4:41 am

    Hi – well done on a very interesting and well written article 🙂 I’m an INFP (or maybe INFJ, not totally sure), I also suffer from OCD. I agree with a lot of what you said but in my experience OCD is not something I have any control over whatever way you try to frame it or think about it. I agree, it is about getting stuck and overanalysing but I simply have no control over it, as the anxiety it generates can be absolutely unbearable. I know I overthink, but I absolutely have to because of the intolerable anxiety caused by the OCD. Having said that, the distraction of writing this is helping! So, in the end I’m not totally sure what I’m trying to say. Maybe this is it – I do agree with your analysis and observations but I don’t think OCD is something that can be eradicated by rethinking it or by adapting your approach to life. I think it’s an illness that you have to learn to tolerate and live with. That’s the approach and the attitude that helps me most.


    Heather Reply:

    I also believe/d that OCD was not under my control. The book “Brain Lock” is very helpful for gaining a perspective, and gaining some control.


  18. Heather

    Oct 12, 2011

    8:38 am

    I’ve been re-reading this post and just wanted to mention a book that a friend just recommended. Now, I haven’t read the book so it sounds silly that I am mentioning it, but wanted to see if you have read it, as it ties in well with this post. It’s called The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, by Barry Schwartz. Anyhow, it’s next on my list and it sounds like a good read for INFPs.


    Corin Reply:

    That book has been on my list for a while. I think it coincides with Harvard professor Dan Gilbert’s happiness research. I wrote a post about happiness means limiting your ability to change your mind.


  19. Kristi

    Dec 2, 2011

    8:00 pm

    Oh I am so happy to read this LOL. My Dr. just informed me she think I may have OCD and of course, I obsessively worried about having OCD. For me, I get stuck on “health issues”. I overanalyze the living **** out of a minor twitch or random bump…..and can’t move on. I am an INFP to the core and well, it’s nice to see I am not the only person with the problem of overanalyzing, repetitive thoughts…..


  20. Patrick Kruse

    Jul 20, 2012

    10:29 am

    Such a nice post. You’re right, I’m learning that I need to stop over-thinking and just make a decision. I guess that is one reason never to give a girl your number. In my defense, it was a situation where I didn’t really have time to ask for hers. Sometimes it’s hard when you’re waiting for someone else to make a decision and wondering if you could have done something better. Anyway, processing things using Fi is sometimes very strange…my family and friends tends to think my decision-making is very impulsive.


  21. Lilly

    Aug 10, 2012

    5:40 pm

    I think idealism becomes another way of saying that the glass is half empty. It’s hard for me as an INFP to make this statement, but I feel it is true nevertheless.


    May-Trix Reply:

    I’ve just come to the same realization, however you’ve said it perfectly!

    Great post – its very comforting when you can genuinely relate with other people and your situation. My family must be so frustrated with me and the over-anaylizing of everything. I thought of myself as an optimist, but then realized that I reserve that priviledge for others… not myself.

    I like answers…logic. Now that I’ve come across my INFP status, I feel empowered to make some positive changes in my life. Hopefully they won’t only be thought of in my head,lol


  22. jpick

    May 15, 2013

    2:34 pm

    Have you ever considered writing for INTP’s??? I think most of your posts ring extremely true for INTP’s as well.


    Corin Reply:

    I’m really glad you can take something away from what I write. However, INTPs process with Ti so the resulting behavior may be similar but the why’s behind the behavior are different. I don’t understand INTPs in more than a cursory manner.

    I’ve spent 20 years talking to INFPs starting from Yahoo Groups to Friendster to MySpace to to GlobalChatter to Personality Cafe to Facebook. In all that time, the same conversations about the same issues show up. I wrote this blog to address what I consider the causes those issues because no one else was.

    If there’s a need for an INTP blog, you should consider writing one because you see the need.


  23. Rich

    Jun 12, 2013

    7:56 am

    I just want to thank you for this post. I have been having problems with this my entire life. I just took the Meyers-Briggs and discovered that I am an INFP. I have to admit reading this I had to just cry. I am in that stuck space and have been for a few years. I often have wondered what is wrong with me? Why can’t I move forward? OR When I have a list of things I want to do it seems to get lost. That may be TMI.

    Thank you.

    You have a new follower.. I will be reading previous and future post for any resources and ideas to help myself.


    Corin Reply:

    It’s a complicated question of why you can’t move forward? It really depends on what stage of your life you’re in. I know the reasons why I can’t move forward.

    1. It’s more perfect in my head than I know it will be in real life so why do something when it’s not going to be perfect.

    I overcame this by redefining perfection and letting go of trying create perfect things.

    2. Nothing on my list inspires me. Sometimes the goals I have seem like busy-work just to keep my life interesting. That’s when I have to go back to the basics: what kind of life do I want to create? What do I think is missing from my life? Will anything on my list move me towards those things?


  24. Molly

    Jul 15, 2013

    8:19 pm

    Oh my. This blog is fantastic, I feel less crazy already. Thank you so much!
    I have to say, this is something that is so bewildering and frustrating to me.

    I actually deal with it on a very regular basis– I’m a ‘creative’ by profession, which basically boils down to having to reconcile the best ever design/plan with deadlines. At the worst, most dramatic times I find myself raving or throwing a tantrum about how it will kill my soul if I’m forced to have a time frame on a project that I know won’t give me the chance to do it justice. Very often I feel so stressed and pressured over deadlines, then insecurity over whether what I do will be liked or not, then MORE stress and pressure over deadlines, because if I drop the ball and don’t hit it 100% on the nose the first time it’s either epic fail or epic re-do– which we don’t have time for, and if we do, then why couldn’t I take the time I needed in the first place?!? I’m sure that the fact that I’m trying to access my inner sea of tranquility and wonder in a bustling, crazy place with people who want to talk to me and interrupt me all the time. This all leads to fairly erratic behavior– when I experience the stuck phase you’re talking about I walk around like a zombie, deep in thought with a ‘Don’t talk to me, I’m super busy’ frown on while busily organizing nonsense. A far cry from my usual self. I’m fairly sure that most of my co-workers here think I’m moderately to totally nuts. lol

    I wish I could get a handle on over thinking things… or better yet, the happy balance between over-thinking and being careless. It’s difficult.


  25. Faith Hall

    Mar 18, 2014

    11:51 am

    This was so incredibly helpful. I just graduated from college in December and took a full-time high school teaching job in a very low income school district 15oo miles away from home. I am so ridiculously stressed out because of the job and began forgetting basic life necessities (i.e. leaving my wallet at home when I go to the grocery store, forgetting to pay my electric bill, etc.) and a couple weeks ago I flipped out and bought two notebooks and began compulsively writing down everything I was spending money on in one book and any other random thought or idea I had in the other notebook. I also began over-organizing my school office, classroom and my apartment. I had never been like this before so I was freaking out a little bit as to why these things were bothering me so much. And then I came across this post and it explains a lot of my behavior, and hopefully I can now realize that when I have these momentary moments of extreme anxiety where I need to control everything in my life that it indicative of a deeper issue and work towards dealing with the stress differently.


  26. @ndy

    Mar 24, 2014

    4:48 am

    Great article, thanks for sharing.

    I’m INFP working in I.T. Looking back I think I’ve pushed people away and stressed my self out at work due to my over analysing behaviour. I realise I need to control it and learn to let go. I try to make ‘forgive and forget’ my daily mantra and also try not to let paranoia raise it’s ugly head to often….got to stop listening to everything!

    Now that I know I’m an INFP I think I know what direction I should take in life. Looking back I have always enjoyed helping people experiencing emotional strife. So two careers that seem to be a good choice are a social worker or a psychologist…Problem is I think social work = poor pay and huge amounts of emotional stress.

    Being a psychologist on the other hand would prob pay more but would mean doing another degree along with additional year for masters or doctorate….I’ll be in my 30s by the time a qualify. I’m also not that much of a fan of sitting down for long periods of time studying either 🙁 What to do?

    I’m not religious so, clergy is of the cards.


  27. Five5x

    May 31, 2014

    7:30 pm

    I never really suffered from OCD being an INFP, although I did have one OCD or extremely annoying habit that would pop up at least once a week. As an INFP I am a bit of a perfectionist and constantly up there in my head. I found that certain triggers would cause me to run the same scenario in my heard over and over again until it was right. It would always involved me telling someone something and what I needed to say. It was always hypothetical and never something I actually needed to do in real life. I would run them over and over again in my head, sometimes for hours until I said what I needed to say without screwing it up. I just couldn’t stop myself until I felt satisfied, but I never really felt satisfied.

    I didn’t really understand it was a bad habit until I was on some happy pills for a few months. I would still play a scenario in my head, but I was happy doing it once and it was enough. I realized afterwards that I never felt okay just saying what I had to say just once. That’s when it clicked that I had a problem. Now that I don’t take any meds, I find myself doing it again and most of the time I don’t realize it, but I am working on just being happy saying it in my head, once.


  28. Juls

    Jun 10, 2014

    12:41 am

    You said you had systems in place for cleaning and cooking. I’m curious, what are they? I am so disorganized in these areas…


  29. Rich

    Jun 10, 2014

    7:45 am

    I’m in my office now almost in tears after reading this… Not because it made me sad I do that enough on my own but it really just crystalize me and my dysfunction. I feel stuck and yet hopeless on how to move forward on and with a myriad of things…. I am so disorganized my thought run skip to and fro from topic to topic etc…

    Woosah… I have to try and focus for the day in this mundane legal job… I so wish I made a different decision instead of law school….


  30. yosh

    Aug 3, 2015

    6:25 am

    I realized I’m an INFP about an year ago, and since then, I’m always researching who I am, what is my personality, what is my tendency, what is good for me and bad, what…what…what….lol

    I tend to over-thinking about schedule, particulary weekly schedule. I always think I have tot do this by the weekend, and this, and this, and this………….. I often have a great wish to finish off all the task I organized by the deadline and attempt to do that with great energy, but soon after I realize they can never be completed!!!
    Then, I begin to rearrange the schedule……….

    great post, great advice.

    Thank you


    Emmanuel C Ruiz Reply:

    I feel the same way! I found out I was INFP a few months ago butthen again I was in denial saying to my self that not me! So redid my test today same thing came up. This explaine why Im always drained out sometimes because I think to much of “what if” I do this I do that or that one my mind is not set to one always looking for something new…


  31. Kari P.

    Dec 30, 2015

    9:43 am

    I’m an INFP. I’ve taken the test several times just to make sure. The last few times I’ve taken i was hoping it had changed. It is not easy being this way! There are struggles for sure. I like to read about it because it helps me to feel validated or “normal” in a sense but I think most INFPs feel anything but normal, except when talking to each other. It can be depressing and isolating for sure. However, focusing on the difficulties, for me, tends to make things worse. Maybe a conversation on positive ways to cope? Positive traits? Successes?


  32. Martina

    May 24, 2016

    3:00 pm

    This is the first time I have been reading something which explains me the reason behind my never ending headache…
    The truth is that I have nerver looked up for blogs about INFPs…I have been driven to hate INFPs. I have been disgusted by INFPs and refused of being one for a long time.
    Recently I could guess the type of my boyfriend understanding how he gets depressed and unhealthy, so I thought, why not to try the same with me? And this is the proof.
    I have my head spinning for the whole day and I feel like my tongue is twisted and restless.
    I cannot agree with anyone, I answer everyone’s statements with opposite statements, there is no truth, I disagree with everything and everyone. I have struggled for my whole life to find a mid-way, and now this mid-way is swallowing me.
    Moreover, I am so incohert that I want to be always right. I can’t be contradicted, even when I am contradicting myself… I drain the energy of whom I discuss to..I tend to dig into an issue with annoying persistence. I make people exhausted.
    The point is that for the first time I have no idea of how to solve this.
    I try to order things around me but I am also exhausted at the moment…And ordering just make this tendency of controlling people stronger…maybe I am just so angry.


  33. edddeee

    Jul 10, 2016

    12:14 pm

    Thank you Corin for this insightful post. I totally relate with it.


  34. James

    Sep 21, 2016

    7:57 pm

    I actually have diagnosed OCD. I’m 17 years old, and wonder if I’m INTP or INFP. I’ve tested as both, numerous times, and I assure you, I’ve studied the functions. (After nearly two years, I’ve almost over-studied them.) I’ve read nearly every article that a Google search will yield. My question is, how would you most distinctly differ an INTP from an INFP? Actually, after reading over what I’ve written, I think it would probably be a good idea to elaborate more. I completely relate to the ideal-reality conflict, and in fact, before even coming across that, I had said many times to close friends and family that I: “am in constant battle with reality,” that is, I struggle to reconcile my ideal self with my actual self. I don’t necessarily relate to the preoccupation with humanitarian causes, ( though it’s not that I’m aloof to them, they’re just not my main focus,) but I would say that on the whole I’m a compassionate and sympathetic person. Actually, the phenomenon that you described, of “Waking State,” I actually just experienced today. I was sitting in the library, sipping coffee, writing a paper, and reading, and I felt this overwhelming sense of wholeness, of harmony, of identity. It was pure bliss, and I felt completely aligned with my ideal self. Anyway, if you do read this response, I would be elated if you responded. Thanks!


    Tiff Reply:

    Hey James,

    If you want to figure out whether you’re an INTP or INFP, I would recommend looking into cognitive functions. Each type has 4 functions, ordered from dominant to inferior. The functions for INTPs are Ti>Ne>Si>Fe, and the functions for INFPs are Fi>Ne>Si>Te. They share the same auxiliary and tertiary functions, but you can do some research to find out whether you use dominant Ti or Fi (this would be the function you rely on most) and inferior Fe or Te (this function pretty much only shows up when you’re stressed). Good luck!

    -An INTP with diagnosed OCD


  35. Joseph

    Feb 5, 2017

    8:14 pm

    I’m an INFP and I have been diagnosed with really, really bad OCD. and i think it does kind of spin out of my personality, or at least has a big opportunity to attach to my personality because i’m an infp.


  36. Stephen H.East

    Feb 9, 2017

    10:12 am

    You train the subconscious to give up it’s secrets. Read the patients repetitive thought pattern aloud as they free associate, in brief word groups, Spread it out over the course of three and a half months till they act out the repressed experience(s) and relate it to the therapist. Get the patient to face it so the therapist can reverse it. Make sure the patient follows through or they could end up in worse shape like me. Learn more at (Oct 24,2016 post) Yes I had OCD.


  37. Mindy

    May 10, 2017

    5:58 pm

    So now I realise that I’m actually normal!! I used to think i was crazy analysing everything!! Thanx for a well written article.


  38. Lorna

    Jul 15, 2017

    4:36 am

    Thank you! I have a 10yo INFP. I find her so perplexing at times. This was super helpful to read to gaining understanding of how she ticks.


  39. Allan J

    Apr 21, 2018

    2:16 pm

    As an INFP with OCD I can say that doing things for me will not force me to confront my issues. It will make it worse… I would forever feel like things weren’t right and/or needed checking to make sure it was ‘clean’ or ‘right’… or even feel like I was forcing someone to do something to the detriment of my relationship.

    Other than that… a good article.


  40. Rasmus

    Aug 21, 2019

    2:20 am

    Wow, this was really good. I feel like I’m overthinking alot because I see the consequences you mentioned in my life. Wish me luck breaking out.. I guess not staying in days in a row and always trying to be out doing something with the body is a good way to get free. I’m an INFP but I’ve never really felt excited for new stuff in a continual basis, as your wrote, I’ve always been kind of anxious and afraid of things.


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