One misconception which I would like to end right here and now, is that INFPs are the overly sensitive little weaklings sobbing in the corner. This needs some clarification.
Firstly, due to our dominant function being introverted feeling (Fi), all of our emotions are directed inwards. I guess we’re the typical example of the phrase ‘swallow your feelings’. So, if you see somebody publicly weeping over a lamb chop, do not immediately think ‘Ah, INFP’. Because I think this is very unlikely. The INFP, when upset, will approach the world with their best poker face, calmly walk away, lock the door behind them and then weep over the lamb chop.
PDEs (Public Displays of Emotion) are not the property of the INFP. For that particular awkwardness, you’ll have to look to the extraverted feelers.
Admittedly, yes, we are sensitive. But I believe that this is due to our kind hearted nature. For the INFP, unless you can do something with your whole heart then it’s not worth doing at all. We are the ones who put all of our eggs in one basket, emotionally, so when the eggs crack, it’s no yolk! [laughs to one’s self] We care so very much about our friends and family, so when they hurt us we are cut deeply.
Again our Fi means that we only open up to those we trust, and when these people betray that trust we introvert our feelings once more. This might seem like we’re sulking, but honestly, if you’re mean enough to deliberately hurt someone then you have no right to complain about getting a reaction because of it. And trust me, we always know when you meant to do something.
The INFP’s main concern is the genuine. A friend who is cold one minute and loving the next is not a real friend to the INFP, and we cannot trust somebody unless they are a real friend. Constancy is key. Likewise, no matter how close you might be to an INFP, if you hurt them badly enough, or do not behave like a friend as you should, they have no qualms about retracting your friendship.
So yes, we are not so forgiving of others as other types are, so in this respect we may be sensitive. But do not for one minute think that this means you can walk over us. INFPs will bend over backwards for their friends, but at the first hint of being used, the INFP will flee. Likewise, if you think you can push the INFP around, you will find yourself in hot water.
I am a formidable opponent in an argument. Rather like a ferret. And whereas I am usually laidback, if you encroach on the INFPs beliefs or values and try to emotionally blackmail them, you will find them uncharacteristically cold and decisive. “And then the cage comes down!” Betrayal can cause the INFP to completely cut ties, and they will not look back.
INFPs will not initiate a fight but they will be damned if they let you end it. Hell hath no fury like an INFP on the defensive. The dreamy INFP will go straight for the jugular, and trust me, they know all of your insecurities, know exactly where to hit a nerve. They don’t consciously make a note of these, but it is hard to not know when you understand people so well. They might not get credit for it, but, when riled, the INFP is the world’s greatest public speaker. But this is only when they care about the topic at hand. If you are argumentative and try to get us worked up over a misplaced plate in the laundry cupboard, you’re barking up the wrong tree. The INFP, as with relationships, is a switch. Completely and utterly obsessed or remarkably disinterested.
It’s the INFP paradox 🙂