Are INFPs Mysterious? (A Complete Guide)

In this guide, we will answer the question “Are INFPs Mysterious?”. We will also delve into understanding other interesting aspects of the INFP personality type.

INFP essentially stands for Introversion (I), Intuition (N), Feeling(F), Perception (P). Oftentimes, people tend to associate the term “mysterious”, with the INFP personality type. The INFP person might appear to be distant, cold, and silent. Many find it difficult to delve into an engaging conversation when they first meet an INFP. “What is it that goes behind this mysterious persona?”

Are INFPs Mysterious?

In general, the INFP person is often considered to be mysterious. People associate terms like “cold”, “distant” and “aloof” with the INFP personality. However, in reality, INFP persons are some of the warmest individuals. Individuals belonging to the INFP personality type are honest. They do not shy away from being open and revealing their authentic self to others. Although, they may not be comfortable opening up to strangers. Resultantly, they may appear to be shy and mysterious. In the midst of their loved ones, the INFP person has no difficulty revealing their fun, goofy selves.

Mysterious Much?

Introverted Feeling (Fi) is the dominant function of the INFP personality type. Due to this element of introversion, the INFP person is often lost in their inner world. They are naturally more in tune with their inner-selves, reflecting on life and understanding themselves better. As a result, they might appear to be aloof and mysterious to those around them. 

Further, the INFP person takes time to open up to new people. Initially, they are unlikely to engage in a full-blown discussion with someone they have just met. This can be met with the perception of an INFP being silent and barely amiable. However, once they get to know you, the INFP will not hide away from being their real self. In fact, they will swim to the very depths of your being, trying to understand you. Contrary to the image of a cold, mysterious, and indifferent image that appears on the exterior, the INFP person is a truly empathic and caring person. They seek out deep and meaningful connections in their lives. However, sometimes an unhealthy INFP can be overly-withdrawn from the world around them.

Carl Jung rightly outlines the sense of mystery associated with the INFP person (personalityjunkie.com) :

“They are mostly silent, inaccessible, hard to understand; often they hide behind a childish or banal mask, and their temperament is inclined to melancholy…Their outward demeanor is harmonious, inconspicuous…with no desire to affect others, to impress, influence or change them in any way. If this is more pronounced, it arouses suspicion of indifference and coldness…Although there is a constant readiness for peaceful and harmonious coexistence, strangers are shown no touch of amiability, no gleam of responsive warmth…It might seem on a superficial view that they have no feelings at all.

Of course, this sort of outer presentation belies what we know about INFPs’ inner world, which is abundant with life and feeling. It is also true that many INFPs compensate for their lack of Extraverted Feeling (Fe) by invoking their auxiliary Ne. When wielding Ne, INFPs are more outwardly open, receptive, quirky, and engaging”.

INFP Cognitive Functions

Let us delve into understanding these cognitive functions better.

The functional stack of the INFP personality type can be described as follows:

Dominant Function: Introverted Feeling (Fi)

Auxiliary Function: Extraverted Intuition (Ne)

Tertiary Function: Introverted Sensing (Si)

Inferior Function: Extraverted Thinking (Te)

Introverted Feeling (Fi)

The INFP person is in tune with their inner world. This allows them to develop a clearer sense of self with each new feeling, experience, or idea they encounter. They are in touch with the workings of their inner self. For an INFP, this function allows them to deeply reflect on their life. This enriches their understanding of themselves. The dominant function of Introverted Feeling (Fi) fuels the INFP person’s ability to care and empathize. These deeply caring individuals are drawn towards helping animals, people, and individuals who are unable to look after themselves. They do not veer away from fighting injustice. If they are deeply inspired, the INFP person will helm initiatives like research and charity to inspire change in the world.

Despite being in tune with their inner world, many INFP persons feel their journey towards understanding their selves is incomplete. This feeling of incompleteness leads to confusion when settling down on a path in life. The INFP person feels they do not know themselves well enough to commit to a path. They feel that they will be able to live their lives authentically when they develop a deeper and more complete understanding of themselves.

Auxiliary Function: Extraverted Intuition (Ne)

This element of the INFP personality caters to their desire for new possibilities and ideas. It plays an important role in the INFP person’s desire to understand themselves. Individuals belonging to the INFP personality type churn out possibilities from the mundane. They will see a path, where others fail to see one. Oftentimes, they may not be aware of what they are seeking. The function of Extraverted Thinking allows them to carry a sense of anticipation and excitement while approaching life. They expect to stumble across new possibilities and ideas along the journey. 

This also contributes to the INFP person’s love for exploring and traveling. Exploring brings a sense of discovery to the INFP person. They are stirred by the possibility of learning, discovering, and finding inspiration in the adventure. They anticipate the many fruits of learning that travel brings and enriches their lives.

The Ne function that charts out possibilities for the INFP person also fuels their creative pursuits. The INFP person is considered to be very creative. As an INFP, you may find yourself dipping your toes in various creative pursuits. The ability to imagine enriches their ability to create beautiful work.

Extraverted Thinking can function in an expressive or receptive manner. When Ne takes the expressive route, the INFP person may find it hard to coherently put their point across. While these ideas have taken shape in the INFP mind, they seem to bounce from one idea to another while talking about it.

When the function of Extraverted Thinking (Ne) operates receptively, the INFP person is able to interpret information effectively. They gather the information, scanning for patterns and possibilities. Activities like reading, entertainment, research, and insightful conversations, help the INFP person engage this aspect of the Ne function.

The INFP person enjoys having insightful conversations with others. While engaging with people, INFP individuals tend to ask questions that allow them to delve deeper into understanding them. They are interested in exploring the qualities of the person and hear stories that have shaped their lives. This makes the INFP a good listener. The INFP person is genuinely interested in understanding people. They seek to learn about people without viewing them through the lens of judgment and criticism.

The Ne provides the INFP person with the ability to seek and explore possibilities, carry a sense of curiosity, and nurture their imaginative and creative pursuits. However, sometimes the Ne function can create trouble in paradise for the INFP person. Due to the function’s tendency to constantly seek out ways, the INFP person may have trouble settling on a conclusive answer. Even when they have made a decision, they are unlikely to be 100% sure. There will be a considerable amount of doubt and uncertainty hovering around their decision. “Is this the right thing to do?”. “Could I have done more?”. This might make them feel like they have not made any progress in life and may not find what they are looking for.

Tertiary Function: Introverted Sensing (Si). 

This is touted to be a conservative function. It encompasses the INFP person’s concern for the past. This includes traditions and conventions. The INFP person will explore traditions and its many facets. Instead of accepting it blindly, they take the time to understand its length and breadth and interpret its meaning. They are able to embrace it completely, only if it resonates with their personal values.

The Si function also influences the INFP person’s relationship with money and material goods. The INFP person is a minimalist. They take the path of leading a simple life. This allows them to invest their time in pursuing their passions. These minimalistic tendencies also influence the INFP person’s sense of style in general. The INFP person is more likely to re-use and recycle pre-existing objects. They are masters at recreating new pieces from old ones. This applies to furniture, art-pieces, home-decor!

The Si function allows the INFP person to explore their inner being, which exists outside of thought or the outward stimuli. The Si plays a role in helping the INFP perceive their internal bodily sensations. Resultantly, INFP individuals are drawn to activities like meditation, Ta-Chi, and Yoga. These allow the INFP person to explore their mind-body connection.

The Si allows the INFP person to bring together their past experiences and lessons. This prevents the INFP person from repeatedly making mistakes. They are able to identify mistakes of the past while approaching the future. This facilitates a sense of confidence in themselves, leading to the development of their self-concept.

Inferior Function: Extraverted Thinking (Te)

The INFP personality type’s inferior function is Extraverted Thinking (Te). In general, the inferior function for any personality type operates on an unconscious level. Despite this, the inferior function does play a role in shaping the personality type.

The function of Extraverted Thinking (Te), is considered to be a left-brain function. It is marked by elements like structure, organization, management of time, and finances. This function may pique one’s interest in physics, mathematics, policies, law, and organizational roles. The INFP person might find themselves occasionally drawn to careers in mathematics, sciences, computers, engineering, and accounting. This is contrary to the typical creative-pursuits inclined INFP.

Generally, the INFP is seen as disorganized and veering away from practicality. However, the INFP person may not wish to be seen this way. They enjoy incorporating a system in their life. The inferior function of Extraverted Thinking (Te) which caters to organization and structure, is not their dominant function. Hence, while the INFP person may wish to nurture a sense of organization in their external environment, they may find it difficult to do so. The INFP person may struggle to effectively manage finances, maintain order at home, implement effective disciplining rules for children at home, or manage the logistics of situations.

Despite Te not being their strongest function, the INFP person might do a fair job at handling situations that demand system and organization. Their contributions might heap small, but effective results. Excelling at smaller tasks leads to a feeling of having some control over their lives. In the presence of multiple Te demands, the INFP person can feel overwhelmed.

Why is this blog on Are INFPs Mysterious? important?

INFP individuals can often be termed as mysterious, aloof, and difficult to understand. However, they can be extremely engaging, quirky, and fun once they get close to you. It is important to understand how different elements add to the INFP personality.

Conclusion

In this blog we answered the question “Are INFPs Mysterious”. We delved into the cognitive functions that make up the personality type, understanding how each of these functions shapes the INFP person.

FAQs: Are INFPs Mysterious?

Are INFPS spontaneous?

Yes, INFP persons are random and spontaneous. They do not like being confined to rules and schedules (personalitymax.com).

Are INFPs old souls?

INFP persons are considered to be old souls. They seek out deep and meaningful connections in the relationships. This sometimes makes them feel out of place in the world and disconnected with the times (personalitygrowth.com)

Who should INFPs marry?

For the INFP, their natural partner is considered to be ENFJ or ESFJ. The dominant function f the INFP, which is Introverted Feeling, is best matched with a partner with a dominant function of Extraverted Feeling (personalitypage.com)

How does an INFP show love?

The INFP person prefers quality time as a love language. This is followed by words of affirmation and physical touch. An INFP person shows their love by spending time with the ones they care about (thoughtcatalog.com).

References

Here’s How Mysterious You Are, According to Your Personality Type

INFP Personality Type: The Creative Seeker 

https://personalityjunkie.com/infp-personality-type-profile/

Divya is currently a Clinical Psychology Trainee in a Master of Philosophy program and holds a Master’s in clinical psychology. She has a special interest in Personality studies and disorders, having researched the subject before, and Neuropsychology; with an additional interest being Mood disorders. She likes to write about Psychiatric issues, having worked in multiple specialty setups during her time as a clinical psychology student, and in her free time she likes to cook and read.

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