INFP Strengths and Weaknesses + Tips to Grow as an INFP
by Lisa Sparrow
People with an INFP personality type are typically keen on personal growth. If you’re one of them, chances are you are no different, constantly looking to learn more about yourself and enhance your personality.
But let’s be honest—self-improvement is virtually impossible if you aren’t aware of your strengths and weaknesses.
Well, if you want to learn about the key INFP strengths and weaknesses at work, in relationships, and in other spheres of life, we’ve got you covered!
In this article, we’ll cover:
- 8 INFP Personality Type Strengths & Advantages
- 5 INFP Personality Type Weaknesses & Disadvantages
- 4 Tips for INFP Personal Growth & Development
8 INFP Personality Type Strengths & Advantages
Let’s start our analysis of the most prominent INFP strengths and weaknesses by taking a closer look at the unique strengths people with this personality type should foster. Here are the strong points of the INFP personality type:
As feeling personalities, people with an INFP personality type are sensitive and in tune with their emotions. Because of this, they can easily relate to other people’s feelings and put themselves in their shoes. INFPs may not be aware of the physical details in their environment, but reading the atmosphere in the room comes naturally to them.
Since INFPs are deeply concerned with people’s emotional well-being, they make incredibly caring friends and romantic partners. Pain and suffering are the last things they want to see in their loved one’s eyes, so you can count on them to always be there to hear you out, comfort you, and offer spot-on advice.
While compassion lies at the core of most feeling personality types, dedication is a unique INFP strength. Although they’re typically quiet and withdrawn, nothing makes INFPs come out of their shells as much as supporting a cause that’s close to their hearts.
These personalities strive for a meaningful life, and many are terrified of merely existing without any purpose. Since they want to change the world for the better, they often find their calling in activism. Being a part of something bigger—especially if it can bring positive change and make history—ignites the passionate, devoted, and ambitious side of the INFP personality type.
Thanks to the specific combination of INFP cognitive functions, people with this personality type are highly creative and imaginative. They have a rich and colorful inner world and a unique way of interpreting life, which usually leads them to pursue arts. While they often can’t express their feelings in words, finding the right creative outlet enables them to give form to their emotions.
Unsurprisingly, many INFPs choose careers in the creative field. At the very least, they look for jobs that don’t restrain their creativity. Given that they typically engage in artistic activities from a very young age, it is not all that uncommon for INFPs to become famous writers, artists, actors, musicians, and movie directors.
Like ENFPs, their extroverted counterparts, INFPs are known for their open-mindedness, which stems from their auxiliary extraverted intuition (Ne) cognitive function.
Despite having strong principles and opinions, people with an INFP personality type are eager to listen to different points of view. And, while they may wish that more people thought like them, they believe that every person has a right to their individuality. Needless to say, they rarely judge people and usually get along with different people as long as they respect their beliefs.
That said, one of the first signs of an unhealthy INFP personality is losing their receptivity to different ideas. Once an INFP catches themselves becoming more judgmental toward people who don’t share their views, they should take it as a red flag. A little introspection goes a long way in helping INFPs steer clear of their dark side.
People with an INFP personality type are guided by introverted feeling (Fi), their dominant cognitive function that is mainly concerned with subjective values. No matter the situation, INFP personalities always make it a point to make decisions based on what aligns with their beliefs. To them, there’s hardly anything more important in life than sticking to their morals.
Thanks to their integrity, INFPs are very reliable people. They may come across as chaotic and unpredictable, but this isn’t quite the case. In reality, you can accurately predict how an INFP will act in one situation or another once you learn what matters to them.
Although INFPs place high value on personal relationships, they tend to be independent in most matters of life. Besides needing plenty of alone time to recharge their social batteries, they also pride themselves on being independent thinkers who aren’t easily influenced by other people’s opinions. This is true for both INFP-A and INFP-T personalities, provided that they’re healthy.
Generally speaking, INFP personalities are free-spirited—they want to do things their own way and don’t like being told what to do. Having that in mind, independence can sometimes become their weakness, as some INFPs may become too individualistic and averse to authority.
#7. Emotional Intelligence
High emotional intelligence is another INFP strength that stems from having a well-developed Fi cognitive function. People with an INFP personality type are emotionally literate by nature, which explains why they’re great at identifying their emotions and understanding where they come from. This allows them to handle and process their feelings in a healthy way.
Most importantly, mature INFP personalities don’t ignore negative emotions. Intense anger or sadness may lead them to cry and thus baffle some people, but INFP females and males don’t equate tears to weakness. On the contrary, they’re more than aware of the benefits of crying and often encourage others to release their emotions instead of burying them inside.
As we mentioned, people with an INFP personality type are individualistic and loyal to their beliefs. As such, it’s no wonder that authenticity is among the most notable INFP strengths.
INFPs are proud of their uniqueness and don’t try to conform to social norms and standards. So, when an INFP is nice to you, you can rest assured that their kindness is genuine—they couldn’t care less about what’s socially acceptable.
On top of that, most INFPs constantly question who they are. They want to make sure that their personality is truly theirs and not a product of social conditioning. Needless to say, they’re very invested in self-analysis, self-improvement, and identity development!
5 INFP Personality Type Weaknesses & Disadvantages
Now, let’s check out the other side of INFP strengths and weaknesses. Here are the key weaknesses people with an INFP personality type should work on:
#1. High Sensitivity
While the sensitivity of INFPs can be seen as a strength—after all, it makes them empathetic—no one can deny that it’s also one of their biggest weaknesses.
To say that INFPs’ sensitive nature makes their lives much harder than they should be would be an understatement. Many people with this personality type are so sensitive to other people’s feelings that they believe it’s their responsibility to make others happy. It goes without saying that this can be rather exhausting.
On top of that, these people are also very sensitive to criticism. A harsher comment can trigger their insecurities and send them down a spiral of self-doubt, which can be difficult to recover from.
Idealism is another INFP trait that is both a blessing and a curse. People with this personality type are dreamers and visionaries: in their minds, they envision the perfect world and the ideal society they aspire to be a part of. Sadly, reality doesn’t always live up to their idealistic vision.
Because of this, INFPs often have a hard time accepting the truth and seeing life and people for who they are—not for what they could be. They may also set themselves unachievable goals or pursue dreams that can never be implemented in real life. And, like ENFJs, they are susceptible to falling in love with people’s potential, which often lands them in unhappy relationships.
Given how compassionate and soft-hearted INFPs are, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they can be easily taken advantage of. Although seeing the best in people and being eager to help are both positive traits, the truth is that not all people deserve the kindness of INFPs. Still, people with this personality may be completely blind to this fact, which may cause them trouble.
Since INFPs are genuine people, they don’t expect others to lie or manipulate them. They simply can’t fathom the idea that some people may pretend to be someone other than who they actually are. Unfortunately, this makes them very vulnerable to being exploited by people with bad intentions. As such, INFPs should be very selective about who they let into their inner circle.
Self-criticism is a common weakness that mostly turbulent INFPs fall victim to. While INFP-A personalities have no difficulty accepting themselves as they are, INFP-Ts can be quite cruel to themselves. Even the smallest mistakes can make them needlessly judge themselves and doubt their own abilities.
Of course, it doesn’t help that INFPs are idealistic, as they are prone to hold themselves up to unrealistic standards. At worst, such perfectionistic tendencies can lead them to burnout and disappointment in themselves, which may also prevent them from chasing their dreams.
#5. Lack of Practicality
Due to their dreaminess and boundless imagination, people with an INFP personality type can be rather absent-minded.
They tend to live much of their lives in their heads, daydreaming, coming up with different theories, analyzing themselves, and so on. While this may sound odd to some people, it all boils down to the fact that extraverted thinking (Te) and extraverted sensing (Se) are some of the weakest INFP cognitive functions.
Because of their dreamy natures, INFPs often struggle to handle the practical side of life. They find it easier to philosophize on the meaning of life than to do laundry or pay the bills—these things simply slip their minds!
Still, no one can escape dealing with the mundane tasks of everyday existence—not even INFPs. As such, they can greatly benefit from developing their Te and Se functions.
4 Tips for INFP Personal Growth & Development
Once you’ve learned about the key INFP strengths and weaknesses, you’re ready to find out how to make the most of them! So now, let’s go over some tips that can help INFPs nurture their strengths and downplay their weaknesses.
#1. Consider Other People’s Perspectives
Although INFPs are typically open-minded people, both unhealthy INFP males and unhealthy INFP females are prone to disregarding people’s opinions if they go against their views.
The worst part is that some INFPs decide to cut people they don’t agree with out of their lives, essentially creating an echo chamber. In turn, they become even more rigid, as the people around them only reinforce what they already believe in. Sometimes, this can even make INFPs come off as arrogant and self-righteous!
The truth is that this isn’t natural for INFPs. They’re supposed to be open-minded people who challenge everything, including their own thoughts. For this reason, it’s crucial that INFPs maintain balance between their dominant Fi and their auxiliary Ne by taking other people’s opinions into consideration.
#2. Be More Open to Criticism
Perhaps the biggest difference between a mature and an immature INFP can be seen in their reaction to criticism. While no INFP enjoys being criticized, mature INFPs can take it without getting their feelings hurt. Even better—they use it to fuel their personal growth!
Many INFPs immediately become defensive after being criticized, which prevents them from seeing any benefit in it. As such, the key to learning to accept criticism as an INFP is to change your perception of it. Essentially, INFPs should learn to view constructive criticism as a catalyst for personal growth instead of a character attack.
#3. Learn to Manage Expectations
Since INFPs are highly idealistic, it’s vital that they learn how to manage their expectations to avoid disappointment. Although INFPs dream of an ideal world, they should learn to accept it with all its flaws. This way, they can learn to handle the realities of life and set realistic expectations for themselves and the people around them.
For example, INFPs often think that they can’t be with someone who doesn’t share their political, religious, and other views. Although it may be a hard pill to swallow, they may never meet a person who shares all of their beliefs. Still, it doesn’t mean that they’re destined to be alone.
In reality, INFPs may be surprised to learn that if they give love a chance without expecting perfection, they may build happy and healthy relationships with different people. Yes, even those who don’t always agree with their views!
#4. Try to be a Leader
Many INFPs shy away from leadership positions, believing that they simply aren’t made for them because of their introverted natures. Well, newsflash—you don’t have to be loud or extremely confident to be an excellent leader!
In fact, INFPs possess many traits that can help them become great leaders, including integrity, emotional intelligence, and creativity. Although it may be difficult for them to put themselves out there and try out leadership roles, this is one of the most effective ways for them to boost their personal growth.
Besides, INFPs love to get out of their comfort zones once in a while, so they have no excuse not to give this one a go!
Congratulations—now you know not only what the main INFP strengths and weaknesses are but also how to develop your personality as an INFP!
So, here’s a summary of the most important points we covered in this article:
- Some of the most prominent INFP strengths that set this personality type apart from others are integrity, authenticity, and dedication.
- Impracticality, hypersensitivity, and a tendency to self-criticize are among the most common weaknesses of people with the INFP personality type.
- INFPs can boost their personal growth by making it a point to consider other people’s opinions, trying out leadership roles, and learning to accept criticism and manage their expectations.
INFP Strengths & Weaknesses FAQ
#1. What do INFPs struggle with?
Given that idealism is one of the biggest INFP weaknesses, they often struggle to stay realistic and accept that the world—and their lives—may never be what they envision it to be. They also tend to struggle with procrastination, time management, and day-to-day responsibilities.
#2. What is the INFP weakest function?
The weakest primary INFP cognitive function is extraverted thinking (Te), which explains why INFPs are quite disorganized. That said, their least developed function is introverted thinking (Ti), which is why INFPs often worry that people underestimate their intellect.
#3. What are INFP strengths at work?
The most prominent INFP strengths at work are creativity, willingness to help, and openness to different opinions. Also, INFPs are equally capable of working alone and working in teams, which makes them very flexible.
#4. What are INFP weaknesses at work?
Some of the most common INFP weaknesses at work are the inability to accept criticism, lack of attention to detail, and poor organizational skills. Some INFPs are also prone to self-doubt.