INFP-A vs. INFP-T: Personality Traits and Differences
by Lisa Sparrow
As an INFP, you’ve probably met some people with your personality type. Although they are pretty rare, INFPs seem to gravitate toward each other, likely because they often engage in hobbies, careers, and other activities that tend to amass similar people.
That said, chances are you’ve met at least one INFP that didn’t look like your typical Mediator. Perhaps they were more outspoken, confident, or laid-back.
Yep, those types of INFPs also exist—they’re known as the INFP-A subtype!
So, keep reading and find out all about the distinct INFP-A and INFP-T identities, including their strengths and weaknesses, key differences, the best and worst jobs for them, and more!
Comparing INFP-A and INFP-T Identities
You’ve probably noticed that your personality test result came with an “-A” or a “-T” attached to it and already figured out that INFP stands for Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, and Perceptive. But what about that single-letter tail at the end?
In short, INFP-A indicates an assertive INFP, whereas INFP-T signifies a turbulent INFP.
These are called personality type profiles, identities, or subtypes, and they essentially define how likely you are to experience negative emotions. In other words, they determine your level of emotional self-regulation or a lack thereof, but you can also see them as the temperament, energy, or “flavor” of your personality.
Simply put, INFP-A personalities tend to be more emotionally stable than INFP-Ts, but the differences between them go beyond that. They also manifest in how these personalities cope with stress, perceive themselves, and act in social situations.
Still, despite their differences, both INFP personality subtypes use the same cognitive functions:
Because of this, INFP-A and INFP-T personalities have more similarities than differences.
Now, given how sensitive INFPs are, it’s very likely that people with this personality type have a natural inclination toward turbulence. This also becomes apparent when we look at Google Trends data:
Significantly more people all around the world look for information on INFP-Ts, which may suggest that indeed, turbulence is more prevalent among INFPs than assertiveness.
INFP-A vs. INFP-T Strengths and Weaknesses
Although INFP-A and INFP-T personalities share many similar characteristics, their distinct identities bring about different strengths and weaknesses that affect them in all areas of their lives. Let’s check them out!
INFP-A Strengths & Weaknesses
Some of the strengths unique to the INFP-A subtype include:
- Self-confidence. INFP-A personalities exude natural self-confidence that shows they fully believe in themselves. This powerful self-assuredness makes them stress-resistant, as they know they’re capable of effectively dealing with any adversities.
- Self-acceptance. INFP-As accept and love themselves exactly as they are—with all their flaws and all. While this can make them somewhat reluctant to work on themselves, self-acceptance makes their lives much easier since they don’t bash themselves for making mistakes.
- Relaxed attitude. Carefree and easy-going, people with the INFP-A personality rarely, if ever, feel stressed out. They take life as it comes and don’t worry about things beyond their control.
- Positivity. Since they’re generally relaxed and confident in themselves, INFP-As tend to have an optimistic attitude toward life. They focus on the bright side of life and rarely have regrets.
Still, these INFP-A strengths come with specific weaknesses, such as:
- Overly independent mindset. Given how self-confident INFP-A personalities are, it’s no surprise that they can be extremely individualistic. This can lead them to ignore people’s feedback or reject help even when they need it.
- Inattention to detail. As intuitive personality types, INFPs tend to focus on the abstract rather than specifics. That said, INFP-A people are especially prone to overlook small but important details.
- Carelessness. Sometimes, the relaxed attitude of INFP-A personalities can cause them to be rather careless. They may act without thinking, unintentionally hurting others, while still refusing to admit their fault.
- Reserved nature. INFP-A personalities are prone to keep their emotions to themselves, which makes it more difficult for them to connect with other people. At times, they may appear aloof and unapproachable.
INFP-T Strengths & Weaknesses
Like INFP-As, INFP-Ts are gifted with certain personality strengths. The most prominent ones are:
- Emotional vulnerability. Although INFP-T personalities are highly sensitive and prone to experiencing intensely experiencing negative emotions such as sadness, they’re emotionally open and expressive. Because of this, they come across as honest people and can easily connect with others.
- Compassion. Since INFP-Ts feel emotions deeply, they are also sensitive to other people’s feelings. They are genuinely interested in other people and their experiences, which is why they’re also great listeners who are eager to comfort and help people.
- Focus on personal growth. INFP-T personalities are often afraid of failure, but this also makes them eager to grow and improve. They make sure not to repeat mistakes and work hard to become better versions of themselves.
- Open-mindedness. Unlike most INFP-As, INFP-T people are open to hearing different points of view and ideas. They aren’t quick to judge and don’t have the “my way or the highway” kind of mindset that INFP-As sometimes display. Instead, they prefer to listen to other people’s opinions and see whether they have any merit.
That said, like everyone else, INFP-T personalities also possess some weaknesses, including:
- Lack of self-forgiveness. INFP-T personalities lack the self-confidence that INFP-As have. Due to their self-critical nature, INFP-Ts are prone to blaming themselves—sometimes even without a good reason.
- Self-doubt. INFP-T personalities often struggle with self-doubt and insecurities. Because of this, they can become overly reliant on other people’s moods and opinions.
- Susceptibility to stress. Generally speaking, it doesn’t take long for INFP-Ts to become overwhelmed, especially when they’re dealing with a lot of responsibility or negative people.
- Overthinking. INFP-T personalities tend to analyze each and every aspect of their lives—so much so that sometimes it leads to overthinking and anxiety.
6 Key Differences Between INFP-A and INFP-T Personalities
As mentioned above, INFP-A and INFP-T personalities show their differences in nearly all social situations, be they relationships, friendships, or careers. On top of that, they also differ in self-confidence, emotional expression, and approaches toward stress.
So, let’s dig deeper and see how the differences between INFP-A and INFP-T identities manifest in real-life situations.
INFP-A vs. INFP-T Self-Confidence
Simply put, INFP-A personalities are more confident than INFP-T identities. They know exactly who they are and are comfortable with it, so they’re rarely concerned about what others think of them. They’re also more likely to openly share their opinions, even when they differ from other people’s stances.
Meanwhile, INFP-T personalities can be confident, but they are prone to experiencing bouts of self-doubt and worrying about how people perceive them. Their sense of self depends more on external validation than on their own opinion of themselves. As a general rule, INFP-T subtypes want others to like them and can feel rather insecure or discouraged when this doesn’t happen.
INFP-A vs. INFP-T Emotional Expression
As Fi-dominant individuals, people with the INFP personality type are in touch with their emotions. However, there’s a big difference between INFP-A and INFP-T personalities in terms of emotional expression.
The INFP-A personality is characterized by assertiveness, so they’re more likely to share their thoughts with others. That said, they can be more reserved and less emotionally expressive. This can lead them to bottle up their feelings, which is never good.
Meanwhile, the INFP-T personality has less emotional control, meaning that people with this identity usually express their emotions more openly. They may not be comfortable talking about them, but you’ll see in their facial expressions how they feel. They’re also prone to crying whenever they’re sad or angry.
While this may seem immature to some people, INFP-T personalities are generally better at processing negative emotions since they don’t push them away.
INFP-A vs. INFP-T Under Stress
Although stress is never pleasant, INFP-A personalities are usually more effective at dealing with it. They believe there’s nothing they can’t overcome, which allows them to stay calm in most situations.
However, under extreme stress, they may refuse to address the problem, ignore the situation, and wait until it passes, as they tend to avoid negativity as much as possible. Ultimately, this can worsen the situation.
On the other hand, the first instinct of INFP-T personalities is to blame themselves for whatever caused the stressful situation to happen. Needless to say, such self-criticism can make their lives rather difficult, especially when coupled with their tendency to overthink.
That said, INFP-T personalities can become more resistant to stress by practicing self-forgiveness and understanding that stress is an unavoidable part of life and not necessarily their fault.
INFP-A vs. INFP-T in Relationships
In relationships, INFP-A and INFP-T personalities make equally caring and incredibly devoted partners, but there are certain differences you should know about.
INFP-T personalities are more emotionally open and vulnerable with their partners. Although they fear conflict, they don’t mind calmly discussing difficult topics, which allows both partners to get things off their chests. Sometimes, however, INFP-T personalities can confuse their partners by crying when talking about serious topics, but it’s just their natural emotional expression.
Meanwhile, INFP-As tend to be emotionally reserved in relationships. They may avoid uncomfortable topics and outright deny that something is wrong, as they tend to focus on the positives and refuse to cloud their minds with negativity. While this can cause some relationship problems, INFP-A people are generally more certain and honest about their needs and wants.
INFP-A vs. INFP-T in Friendships
Essentially, INFP-As are more independent and thus rely on their friends less, whereas INFP-T personalities are more likely to consider their friends’ opinions.
For example, when INFP-T personalities have a problem, they’re more likely to ask their friends for help or advice. That said, sometimes—especially when they’re unhealthy—they can become too dependent on their friends.
INFP-A personalities, meanwhile, tend to deal with problems on their own without asking for their friends’ support. They may also be less eager to hear opposing points of view, as they strongly stand by their beliefs.
INFP-A vs. INFP-T in the Workplace
Although both are idealistic, INFP-A and INFP-T identities at work differ in:
- Perfectionism. INFP-A personalities are more laid-back when it comes to their responsibilities and performance, while INFP-Ts are prone to perfectionism and self-criticism.
- Leadership. INFP-A personalities are more likely to feel comfortable in leadership roles, but they typically make less demanding leaders than INFP-Ts.
- Teamwork. INFP-Ts are more cooperative and eager to consider other people’s ideas, whereas INFP-As are less adaptable and tend to stick to their opinions.
- Decision-making. INFP-As are usually more decisive than INFP-Ts since they trust themselves more.
- Feedback. INFP-T personalities are much more sensitive to feedback than INFP-As. While INFP-Ts might take negative feedback to heart, they are also more likely to improve than INFP-As.
Best and Worst Jobs for INFP-A Personalities
Regardless of their subtype, all INFPs strive for a career that:
- Is meaningful and gives them enough autonomy
- Resonates with their values
- Enables them to use their strengths, such as creativity and empathy, for the benefit of others
Nonetheless, INFP-A and INFP-T personalities tend to excel in different jobs thanks to their unique differences.
INFP-A personalities generally do best in jobs that give them more independence, such as:
- Academic Advisor
- Graphic Designer
That said, INFP-A personalities should avoid jobs that require strong attention to detail, including:
- Data Analyst
- Quality Assurance Specialist
Best and Worst Jobs for INFP-T Personalities
Unlike assertive INFPs, INFP-T personalities are more detail-oriented and enjoy working with people. For these reasons, they often become excellent:
- Mental Health Counselors
- Special Education Teachers
- Human Resource Managers
- Social Workers
That said, INFP-Ts often rely on other people’s opinions and struggle with making decisions. Because of this, they should generally avoid jobs that require them to make important decisions every day, such as:
- Police Officer
- Air Traffic Controller
FAQ on INFP-A vs INFP-T
#1. Are INFP-As and INFP-Ts compatible?
INFP-A and INFP-T personalities are likely to be compatible, as they mostly share the same traits but also have different strengths and weaknesses. As such, a relationship between an INFP-A and an INFP-T can result in a deep emotional connection and enable both partners to learn from each other.
#2. How rare are INFP-As and INFP-Ts?
The INFP personality type is somewhat rare—it’s thought to make up around 4% of the population. Most INFPs seem to naturally lean toward turbulence, which means that the INFP-A personality is rarer than the INFP-T identity.
#3. Are INFP-T romantic?
Yes, INFP-T personalities are usually rather romantic. They take relationships seriously, hoping to meet their one true soulmate with whom they can share their lives. Because of this, they often come across as hopeless romantics who dream of a fairytale-like love.
And that’s a wrap—now you should be fully familiar with the INFP-A and INFP-T personalities!
Before you go, it’s important to note that neither of them is better or worse than the other. INFP-A and INFP-T people simply have some differences in self-confidence, emotional expression, and other areas.
Thanks to these differences, they have specific strong and weak points, but one thing remains true regardless of their subtype—all INFPs are sensitive, value-driven individuals.