INFP – the worst type to be?

December 15, 2008 at 10:44 am (INFP, Psychology) (, , )

I consider INFPs to be the least adapted to our society.

It’s easier to be an E than an I.

Between N and S, I cannot say that it is easier or better to be an S, but I know that there are more S people out there, so that makes N a minority (which makes us feel understood by less people).

It is harder in my opinion to be an F: most companies (especially big ones) and most jobs have – at least in my opinion – this kind of impersonal feeling that I thing is much better suited for the T people.

Finally being a P is less productive than being a J and we all know that our world today is a lot about being productive and efficient.

OK. So that places us in a tough spot. Basically we are not well suited for the world that we live in. We cannot achieve great success, not by this worlds standards.

BUT, and this is a big BUT, if we are true to ourselves we realize that we INFPs define succes much different than other people do. WE DON’T NEED SUCCES BY SOCIETY STANDARDS.

Would I like to be the manager of a big comapny – a position that most career oriented people dream of -, would I? No. There would be far to much responsibility, to much structure, etc. I KNOW that I would hate my life if I was an important manager.

For me, any job that has to do with the bussiness world feels like “inner” suicide. The moment that I stop dreaming of doing something that I love, I feel that I have “quitted on myself”.

I feel it is highly important for INFPs to be true to themselves and to others. I believe that if we are true to ourselves we instantly find an answer to the question: what do I want to do with my life? FIND THIS ANSWER and try not to let it go. Keep it in mind, it will help you during difficult times. It will keep you motivated. It will keep you focused.

What do I want to do with my life? I want to help others be their bests.

Hey… I am not yet where I want to be. There are still so many obstacles that I need to pass. I still have a hard time dealing with people that I don’t know or I don’t like, with this bussiness orientation that is everywhere, with administrative tasks, with my lack of organization, with my moments of self-confidence (that seems to go away when I need it most).

But I am much more satisfied with following a dream goal of mine that with following “society-standards-success”. I would rather be a failure at what I want to do then be a success at something that I did not want to do.

If you are an INFP, follow your heart.

No matter what, I know I want to say at the end of my life: “I did it my way”. And I know it will feel great.

PS: I realize that what I am saying means in a way that I might never achieve anything, that I might never have enough money, etc. Basically I am not traveling the well known path – the one that society designed. I know, but still, following my heart and being a failure will feel TO ME at the end much better than being a succes while thinking that I was not brave enough to follow my heart, to dare and follow my dreams.



  1. yeshim said,


    Thank you very much for answering my question as a post…I know , it really feels good to follow my heart , but when I do that, I just feel doubtful about myself that what if I’m wrong, what if I just don’t have enough confidence and that’s why I’m keeping my self out of the business, the real world?What if I’m a dependent personality, an avoidant?Doubts in me holds me back to be me, myself…I still cannot earn money, live with my family and 24 years old…Career, marriage, children…All of them waiting for me to be on the way…Also the big recession in the world affected my employment πŸ™‚ Anyway, if we are INFP, we have to get used to be us, right?But shouldn’t we improve our other temperaments like sensing, thinking and judging?Because i think, if we improve these, we can be a more peaceful INFP inside, feel much more confidence in ourselves.I know, understanding other personalities is also a plus, to get to know our personality,and I totally agree that i cannot be an ENFJ, ISTJ, or sth.However, if I become more able to live in this world’s facts, I may turn out to be much more successful INFP.Am I right or wrong, I don’t know the answer actually.I just don’t know what it means to have self development maybe.Is self development means to improve our own temperaments, or to extend our temperaments in order to become more us?Because we will be aware of ourselves that we won’t be a manager, an enterpreneur, a salesman, but at least, we will know that the reason we don’t want to be is not that we are unable to be, we just don’t want to be…

  2. infpidealist said,


    Again, my following post – “INFP experiment” – is a reply to your comment.

  3. Annie said,

    Wow, that is encouraging to hear at a time when (at 19) I am going to a community college and have to decide (under a lot of pressure from my parents, as you can imagine!) where I can (don’t you hate how money determines so many of the choices offered to us?) or would like (or parents would like…sigh) to transfer to in a year. Plus, I am a very artistic person, and the world does not pay artists very well…But most other jobs terrify me. Sitting at a desk..Every day?? That will be my life?? Yeah, my INFP is showing…At least it’s encouraging to hear that I’m not alone in my indecisiveness and fear of structure and interpersonal occupations. Having a dream (err I mean deciding upon one) and heading towards it sounds like the most optimistic plan. It’s just so hard to hold onto it.

  4. Annie said,

    ha I didn’t mean “interpersonal” there, the spell check failed me there. Make that “impersonal” occupations!

  5. Ci_Fu_Dunnzo said,

    Life as an INFP certainly is more difficult that many of the other personality types, however i believe there is no better or worse. I agree with some of the things you said such as that INFPs should live their lives by their standards and not worry about success and standards of the society we live in.

    It is the perhaps to most important thing in our lives to be ourselves, however i believe that expecting this to lead to an instant answer to our deepest questions will only lead one to being let down and more pain. There is no key answer in life, we learn new things about our world and ourselves everyday and i think that accepting the fact that perhaps some of our questions will never be answered will help us be content and happy.

  6. TooOldToBeDreaming said,

    this is very refreshing. I’m an extroverted/introverted nfp, which is weird in itself. Probably .1% of the population is similar, so it’s hard to find good advice. I guess i lean more toward the introverted side, and i can completely relate to not wanting the big business manager job… for me it’s not because of the responsibility- that doesn’t scare me. I just could never see my self needing to keep that level of responsibility for something that doesn’t matter, at least it doesn’t matter to me (i mean, who cares about money?).

    What I am saying is that you will never be successful in anything that you are not passionate about. That comment is meant specifically for Annie- I’m 25, and I’m just now making MY OWN decisions, because I too often would sucumb to Parental Pressures and Societal Standards in the past.

    So, Annie, do what it is that makes you happy. What I found works better is if you do it from an angle that appears to conform. For example I like to write. People don’t understand it, so what have I done? I started recording music with the intention to distribute records, and maybe write lyrics for other performers. This way I hold the intention to do what I want, and also to conform to what this world wants from me, which is to be just another money hungry slob haha. Hopefully i’ll never become that person, but success is scary enough, so if you aim to be successful, do it in an area that you feel comfortable, and competent.

  7. Ryan said,

    I am an INFP. I was in a successful band until May 2010. I was kicked out, because the other guys had less morals than me. They still are a-holes. I am extremely sad every day. I was in the perfect job. I traveled making best friends with the fans. I didn’t care about making money, but our CD’s and otherly merch seemed to sell itself. I was getting to minister to hurting kids that I picked out at shows. I was there for a lot of people, and suddenly my own brother (the complete opposite of me) kicked me out over the phone. I haven’t found anything to do since I was booted from the band. I am sad, because the band has their CD in every Hot Topic in America now, and they’re touring prodigiously. I can’t get a new job, because it’s symbolic of me being stuck in a bad spot for years. If I could get a temporary job to work at until I return to do Liberty University online for the Bible major, I would do landscaping or construction where I might get some instructions on a general task at the beginning of the day to work on all day being creative at the effort. I would be making things for people that they would enjoy, which would make me happy. I would be able to listen to audiobooks and podcasts while doing my work quietly, not bothering anyone around me. numberpeoplecall at google mail. What are you doing to cope with having the worst personality type? Please keep me in your prayers!

    • Josiah said,

      Hey, I am currently helping in a band right now, but I know that it won’t last because of college and such. I think that if it’s really something you are passionate about, you should start something on your own. I know it’s not extremely likely that it will go far, but I think it’s worth it. I know as an INFP that I would rather be poor and doing what I love rather than have all the money in the world, but be doing something I don’t love.

  8. mark said,

    I’m a 48 year old INFP male and have been unemplyed for two years.I was miserable at my last job of(inside sales) and how I was in the restaurant business for 25 years I’ll never understand. I totally identify with your assesement of an INFP and how it is better to fail at something we love than succeed at something we we’re not comfortable with. I’m a musician and time flies by when practicing or playing and it is a calling that gives me much gratification.Unfortunatly I’m broke and have no income and might have to join the wage slave train soon.When reading articles like this I realize I am not alone.Apparantely we make up 4 to 5 % of the population ,yea we are looked on different or not understood but to be true to oneself is to respect oneself and if you don’t respect yourself who the hell will!

  9. Kazza said,

    Again, it’s great to hear I am not alone in the world!! INFP is not the worst type to be – it’s the best! Most people aren’t even aware of most of what you guys are talking about – most types miss the point of life completely and have the mid-life crisis over it eventually! Always remember – being INFP is a gift, not a disability. Live every day to bless, like no one else can.

    I am also a musician. I work an 8 to 4 now in enviro science, so I am doing something I believe in there – but I am also in a part time Jazz band, which is Sooo much fun!
    Don’t worry bout the jobs and the money. Take a deep breath, then enjoy the magic of just being, not doing. Every second, feel everything. You’re alive! Live, love yourself, pray, bless. Chuck out the idea of being like anyone else very again!

    • Merry Merrell ;) said,

      Kazza, I loved your quote – “Take a deep breath, then enjoy the magic of just being, not doing.” I’m in a job that requires me to be super extroverted right now. It’s very difficult to sit in an office with people completely different than you and in a career you don’t enjoy, but I’m letting it be for now. I will get out soon and I’ll enjoy my off time until then. (Plus I think our company is about to tank and I’m about to get laid off) – but no worries! Life will keep on keepin’ on, I have support/savings, and I now have a new mantra to just “be”. πŸ™‚

  10. messytruth said,

    Lovely, Kaza!

  11. Ø said,

    I’m an INFJ. We’re not necessarily all that much more productive or efficient than you, and I daresay we may be less adaptable πŸ™‚ I think a lot of this is relevant to the NF temperament in general. Thanks for the blog.

  12. Thomas said,

    Yes, what helps to is to realise that some of the greatest and diverse people on this planet were infp. It requires to work harder but you can get so much further if u keep on striving. Shakespear, John f kennedy, aldous huxley! Let them give u fire..

  13. karthik said,

    vow … Its like reading my definition of life …

  14. rt said,

    I have to tell you that in my 20’s i felt the same career-wise. I settled in IT. It’s not the perfect job for an idealist but I do get to help people. I was offered a management position and have learned that as an INFP, you can be an excellent leader. INFP’s lead from the front, INFP’s lead not for power but to teach people ways to help others, INFP’s empathize with their co-workers and help them progress to their potential.

  15. Dyl said,

    You should help people to be the best INFP. I like you blogs very much and I wish they were longer with more guidance and tips! Anyway thank you for writing about INFP.

    • infpidealist said,

      Thank you!

  16. David said,

    I am an infp, I sit behind a desk all day and I feel like a lion in a tiny cage. I have to find a way to get out of this. I previously worked with kids, I am. A creative and I love autonomy, but i have to make money for my family to live….I have to put them first, but the years are slipping by…

  17. Also an INFP said,

    Isabel Myers, one of the creators of the Myers Briggs test, was INFP, and look what she achieved in helping define people’s personalities.

    INFP’s tend to be very gifted individuals (like this blog’s creator at programming), however, they tend to look more meaningful purposes. I think the key for INFP’s to do better in this society would be to use those gifts for purposes they find meaningful. Sometimes society may not think what they do is valid, but at least they’re achieving a goal we fellow INFP’s we find valid.

  18. Sheeva said,

    This is an old post, but I must express how conforming it is to know that there are people out there who are so similar to me and who I can really relate to. The fact that I’m not alone brings calmness and joy to my heart.
    Thank you.

  19. tamobl said,

    I’m a 25 N.E.E.T INFP. There’re a lot of strange things happen to me recently. I want to help all ppl around me to get a better life but a lot of disappointed things happen. I wonder if that’s someone trying to tell me that I’m on the wrong way. I lost many of my beloved things. Everything becomes so dark, cold and distant. Yes, I want to suicide, but this is wrong, right? Killing yourself is killing others. You’re embodiment of God, you’re a Universe! You have many living in your body. They’re working very hard to make you survive!
    I’m sorry to make you read that. Actually I’m very very tired now. I want to do many things, I want to help many people but I just got more and more pain. I wonder how do I suppose to live. Why do God make me know those things then he necessitates me to stay in silent?…
    Thank you…

  20. cheriesteele said,

    Interesting post, thank you for that. The word failure is tricky, if you are doing what you want to do with your life and would you feel that you should be doing, doesn’t that make you a success?

    • Mark said,

      Sure does, as long as one can sustain shelter and pay the bills.

  21. Herbgirl said,

    As a 38 year old INFP, I look back on my challenges and victories in life and am happy to be here. For I realize our life was given to be enjoyed in the best way possible. So always remember it does not belong to us to intentionally stifle or even put an end to it.

    It hasn’t been easy not knowing what career or field I wanted to be in. I tortured and grieved myself not only deciding but for even having the decision to decide what career path to follow which at dirt seemed so important to setting me on the path to life as a teen. I ended up trying many different careers and fields of interest. Many said contrary things like I was being irresponsible and it’s going to look bad on my resume. That made feel worse. But I knew in my heart of hearts I just had to go through this process. And I’m glad I did. I found a woman who’s profession was to create resumes for people along with advice on how to get the job and answer the interview questions. Looking back things just seemed to fall in place for me. If you experience a low or some confusion, please listen. Really listen to what your body is telling you. Sometimes you just have to ignore the naysayers and go find your quiet space and draw out of yourself that picture of what YOU look like ten years from now.
    What clothes are you wearing? What are you doing? Speaking? Working with your hands? Listening? What’s going on around you?
    Make your vision/dream board like I did and then watch your life fall into place.
    I now enjoy the best work possible in a business that own. I help people emotionally and physically with natural alternatives. I feel like a success but sometimes I just worry unnecessarily. And then I realize, all I really need to do is go find my quiet spot away from people’s inner most thoughts and health problems just to “recharge my inner battery” all to start the new day with work I love and people I can help.

    • infpidealist said,

      Thank you! Great comments. Great advice!

  22. said,

    I am an INFP. On occasion I test as ENFP. But I’m not sure being an INFP makes you less adapting to our current world. I have a good professional career and am quite successful in many areas of my life. I am organized and plan as well. The only con – and it’s a big one – is emotional instability. I feel like an emotional hurricane on the inside. But there are many pros to being an INFP. I generally prefer being an I, although I can be an E too. Being intuitive means your smarter! Feeling is good because a lack thereof would make life really boring (all thinking?). Perceiving doesn’t mean you don’t make decisions. It means you need more information before coming to a conclusion. You are more open-minded. Judgers tend to be more hasty in arriving at a conclusion. Plus – INFPs don’t judge people. We tend to be very understanding. We make great friends and are gentle souls.

  23. Cletus Kassady said,

    Im an INFP/INTP but ive found i flip back and forth between those traits sometimes I test to the INFP side sometimes to the INTP side but most of the time Im tied between the two which was very confusing at first cause there are some pretty significant differences on how those types handle emotions and interact with people and build relationships and such but after time I figured out that they dont have to conflict at all I just needed to make my own way for both of them to work together and I havent been happier since. now I can use the impersonal logical INTP side of me to explain something to someone without having to offend anyone by being too insensitive and I can be very sensitive and supportive without having to worry about others thinking of me as being biased or irrational. Ive experienced both sides of the coin though as far as the T/F preference and I definitely have to say when im full INFP mode and Im having to live in the “real” world not the one of my fantasy it is literally hell and Ive come to the same conclusion that one of the hardest types to be with the way society is orchestrated must be an INFP. second hardest ISFP and third INFJ but those two could be switched I haven’t determined definitely which seems to have it worse in society today but given the INFJ has the judging preference required by society’s standards to be “successful” Id say they rank number three on the list of who has it the hardest. and also as stated before i’ve felt life’s struggles as both just INFP and just INTP and while they were both very difficult I had a harder time pulling through and felt more outcast as an INFP. as an INTP things were hard too but I could usually rationalize everything away. and now that im operating out of both at once instead of one or the other i still have struggles but theyre a lot easier to accept and deal with cause I feel more secure in who I am and can be more optimistic about my life problems casue I can be confident that Ill be ok no matter what cause as long as Im happy I am successful. I wasn’t truly happy till I made my own way instead of following the two different directions I was being pulled in, and I find the middle path almost always allows more freedom and adaptability when making a decision which of course being a very heavy Perceiver I find very appealing. long story short screw society make your own path to follow your heart if the path that’s already there doesn’t work for you and also if you do that maybe the trail you made will be found by someone else stuck on the wrong path and give them an alternate route to follow too.

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