INFPs, also known as “mediators” or “healers”, are one of the 16 personality types identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Guided by a strong inner moral compass, INFPs are altruistic and sensitive individuals who truly value authenticity in themselves and others. While they may appear quiet and reserved on the surface, there’s an entire world of imagination, dreams, and deeply held values thriving within them. When it comes to relationships, INFPs long to connect with someone who speaks the language of ideals and vision, sees past surface realities into the profound truths beneath, and is willing to share in life’s poetic beauty.
Finding like-minded souls who can truly understand them and share their vision of authentic living is no easy feat for these dreamy idealists. Naturally, some personality types align well with INFPs, while others may encounter challenges understanding their ways. Let’s explore how different types interact with and relate to INFPs, and the possibilities and limitations of these relationships.
INFP’s Bonds with Fellow NFs (Intuitive-Feelers)
Of all personality types, INFPs tend to be most drawn to other NFs – those emotional idealists who share their depth, empathy, and vision for a better world. Let’s explore the dynamics and compatibility of INFP with each Idealist type:
- INFP and INFJ
INFPs and INFJs are highly compatible due to their shared disdain for shallow relationships and their shared capacity for experiencing emotions on a meaningful level. Both have introverted personalities, and understand the value of space and alone time. They have a mutual understanding of intuition and are able to pick up on subtle cues and unspoken feelings, allowing them to connect on a deeper level than many other personality types. Moreover, INFJs’ organized approach can also bring a sense of stability and structure to the sometimes dreamy and idealistic nature of INFPs.
However, there may be a few potential areas of conflict between them. INFPs tend to follow their hunches without worrying too much about where they lead to, whereas INFJs are more concerned with closure. This can lead to INFPs seeing INFJs as rigid, and INFJs seeing INFPs as impractical. They also lack conflict resolution skills and tend to avoid confrontation rather than talking about the issue. That being said, both types are highly understanding of each other’s needs and emotions, and can definitely get past these bumps in the road.
- INFP and ENFJ
Though different in expression, INFPs and ENFJs both share a core desire to connect with others in an authentic and meaningful way. Both types share assertiveness and warmth, and they are driven by a desire to be helpful to others. INFPs, with their empathetic nature, have a natural ability to mirror the emotions of others, which can help ENFJs reflect on their own feelings and priorities when they become overly focused on fixing external problems. On the other hand, ENFJs, with their confident and outgoing leadership qualities, are instrumental in helping INFPs manifest their visions by translating ideas into actionable steps. At their best, the INFP provides the dream while the ENFJ helps turn ideas into reality.
The tension in this pairing may arise from the ENFJs’ high energy levels overwhelming the more introverted INFP. INFPs value their individuality and alone time and may see their emotionally expressive ENFJ partner as too clingy. However, with INFPs showing a little more visible signs of affection and communicating their feelings to their partner, the relationship is likely to be balanced and strong, rooted in mutual compassion, understanding, and a sense of comfort.
- INFP and ENFP
This highly compatible relationship between INFPs and ENFPs stems from their shared cognitive functions (that are arranged in the opposite order). Both types are adaptable and creative thinkers, but INFPs lean towards independence and reservedness, while ENFPs are generally more outgoing. ENFPs need someone to be spontaneous with, and hence, appreciate INFPs’ laid-back attitude and their willingness to go with the flow. ENFPs encourage curiosity in INFPs and provide them a supportive environment for exploring their visions, ideas and hunches. In turn, INFPs help ENFPs be more reflective, and stay grounded and connected to their core values and emotions. Together the INFP and ENFP feel they have found someone who truly understands their experience of the world.
When there are wide differences in an INFP’s and ENFP’s values, it can create challenges, as both types hold their principles strongly. However, open communication and understanding can help them navigate these issues and strengthen their relationship.
- INFP and INFP
The relationship between two INFPs can be incredibly harmonious and fulfilling, as they possess a deep understanding of each other that surpasses any other type. Sharing the same hobbies and creative interests, they have a profound appreciation for the ideas and emotions expressed by their partner. They support and encourage each other’s intuitions and love exploring new ideas and unconventional thinking together. The fact that both are independent individuals contributes to their compatibility. They are two mirrors reflecting each other’s hopes, dreams, vulnerabilities, and complexities. Through shared values and deep empathy, they embark on a journey of self-discovery and mutual growth.
However, these strengths can also become weaknesses when it comes to conflict resolution, as both may struggle with expressing their true feelings, leading to unresolved issues and potential resentment over time. Additionally, day-to-day tasks and responsibilities may pose a challenge, as neither INFP is particularly inclined toward mundane routines. Compatibility may also be affected if both individuals become too rigid in their beliefs, clinging stubbornly to their own notions of right and wrong. Nonetheless, open communication, the division of routine tasks, sharing their inner worlds, and expressing appreciation for one another can help create a strong and fulfilling partnership between two INFPs.
INFP’s Interactions Beyond the NF Realm
While not outright incompatible, the remaining types often have a little harder time grasping the essence of the INFP and may ultimately frustrate their search for depth and meaning:
INFP and Sensing Personalities
Some sensors find themselves in delightful harmony with INFPs, while others may struggle to bridge the gap between their perspectives. Initially, the practical and grounded nature of sensors can help offset the idealistic and imaginative tendencies of INFPs. For example, sensing types often excel in tasks that require attention to detail and following established procedures. When paired with an INFP’s imaginative and creative nature, this combination can lead to a more well-rounded approach to problem-solving and goal achievement.
This can be great in a workplace setting, but in personal relationships these differences in approach and priorities may start to create friction over time. Sensors may grow frustrated with what they perceive as the INFP’s indecisiveness or their focus on emotions and abstract ideas rather than practical matters. Those who excessively prioritize immediate sensory experiences may struggle to understand the “head-in-the-clouds” nature of INFPs. Similarly, INFPs may feel stifled or restricted by the sensors’ emphasis on the present, their fixed routines and conventionality. These contrasting preferences can lead to a lack of understanding and dissatisfaction within the relationship.
INFP and NT (Rational) types
The Rational temperament in the MBTI encompasses four types: INTP, INTJ, ENTP, and ENTJ, all of which share the traits of being intuitive (N) and thinking (T). While some sources argue that NF-NF pairings yield the highest compatibility, several authors contend that the Idealist-Rational pairing is truly the match made in heaven, where the hearts of NF meet the minds of NT. This combination offers a substantial foundation of mutual understanding and shared values, as their Intuition creates a strong connection. Additionally, each type can learn from and be captivated by the differences they bring to the relationship, further enhancing their compatibility.
INFPs’ relationships with the Rational types can vary depending on the context, particularly in workplace and personal life. In the workplace, the dynamic between INFPs and NTs can be especially complementary and beneficial. INFPs’ strengths in empathy, creativity, and understanding emotions can harmonize with the analytical and logical approach of the Rational types. INFPs often bring a fresh perspective and innovative ideas, while the Thinking (T) element of Rational types contributes critical thinking and strategic problem-solving skills. Moreover, both types have a mutual appreciation for abstract ideas and insights due to their Intuition (N) function. The combination of these different strengths can lead to effective collaboration and well-rounded outcomes.
When it comes to their personal relationships, some Rational types may have trouble getting along with INFPs in the long run. While INFPs operate according to their internal sense of ethics and desire for authentic relationships, NTs prioritize logic and practicality over emotional considerations, which can directly clash with the sensitive and idealistic nature of INFPs. INFPs may not mind it too much in the workplace, but in personal relationships they may frequently feel criticized and misunderstood, unable to bridge the divide between cold logic and human needs. However, the relationship can still be a source of growth and learning, with Rational types gaining insight into the emotional realm and INFPs benefiting from their partners’ logical analysis and thinking.
INFPs’ compassionate and intuitive nature can be a source of deep understanding and empathy, and they are at their best when these qualities and their deeply held values are truly appreciated by their partners. Hence, this type typically finds great solace and similarity with other NF (Idealist) types. For the more adventurous INFPs, pairing with NT (Rational) or sensing-dominant types can present valuable opportunities for fresh perspectives and personal growth. The S-N difference, however, might be the most significant barrier and point of disappointment later on in the relationship, as INFP is the type that places a great deal of values on depth and abstract thoughts that a sensing partner might not be able to meet to a satisfactory extent.
Overall, compatibility goes beyond personality types alone and requires open communication, mutual respect, and a willingness to embrace differences. The key to successful relationships lies in recognizing the unique strengths and challenges of each personality type and embracing the opportunity for personal and collective growth.