Underneath the INFP Persona - Getting an INFP to Open Up
THE INFP PERSONA. When you first meet an INFP, you may think them to be quiet, reserved or even dull. At times it is hard for an INFP to open up to other people. Most of the time, it is just that they are so caught up with their own inner world and feelings. Because of this, they have little time or interest in the world around them.
I think first of all, the chance of getting to know the INFP personality type is quite slim. I think most people don't even tend to notice INFPs exist. And if they do, they are often too stressed and too caught up on the specifics of their day. You're probably too busy to recognise the magic of this personality type. The INFP personality type is one you can only spot if you are truly on that wavelength.
The INFP Persona
People who only know an INFP in a shallow manner will often describe the INFP in the following manner:
Shy, withdrawn, the INFP persona first strikes you as quiet and aloof. They seem not to participate in the loud cheerful banter of the group. If they do, it is often in a halfhearted manner. They seem even bored by the group and the people around them. At times, they seem even standoffish or morally rigid. The INFP mask is their indifference and inattentiveness. The INFP truth is their big heart and strong values.
They seem to be ethically opposed to the group. Their rebellious nature can annoy people who see conformism as a necessary end to maintaining an effective, streamlined and hierarchical society. Often, because of this, they don't even tend to participate in normal day to day events. You often find INFPs skipping class, or sitting in the far back where they won't be seen.
It's not really that the INFP has a persona, it's that their presence is so ethereal. The times they visit reality are rare occurrences to begin with. When they do visit, it is usually only with one foot on the ground, and the rest of their presence hidden. The INFP mask is their invisibility. It's not that you fake anything. It's that you just generally don't reveal yourself to other people.
Under The Skin Of The INFP
The real connection with an INFP is purely mental. If you can prove your worth, the INFP will freely show you the content of their imagination. Whimsical and quirky, INFPs will reveal an at times random and always creative mind. Their ability to paint new worlds and new places in vivid color is in stark contrast to their inability to communicate and express themselves to a stranger. Compared to the INFP persona, that can feel grey or dull, the real INFP is fascinating.
Where the INFP stumbles to form a coherent sentence explaining their day to day plans, the INFP can tell you the sock size of their favourite fictional character. And while the INFP is generally ineffective and passive in fast-paced, productive environments, the INFP in a more personal setting is a highly talented and empathetic individual who will stubbornly stand their ground on matters close to their heart.
Yes, the INFP seems almost impossible to control. It does not matter what rational arguments you can possess to get them to stop their resistance. You will not reach them by a message of pessimism. For the greater good is not a valid argument in a discussion with an INFP.
Getting past the INFP Mask
How do you capture the interest and attention of an INFP? I think first by letting them know that you notice them. If you can make an INFP feel seen and heard, that is already something very special and precious. I think many INFPs feel invisible and like there is nobody at their wavelength. So if you can just be there - where they are - that's a great first step.
The other, crucial part, is to be prepared to follow them in their rebellion. What I mean here is that you show a willingness to entertain and hear their unique perspective and that you can show them that you take it seriously. Recognise that the INFP is morally and emotionally invested in what they want and that in going against or disregarding their feelings, you also fail at experiencing a connection.
Even if you disagree with them, show them a willingness to compromise and to follow them despite the fact that you disagree, because you consider the two of you a team. Don't be afraid of being honest and letting them know when you feel differently, but still honour their presence and show them humility. Let them know that you admit that you could be wrong - and that you are willing to be proven wrong.
Discovering the INFP Wonders
If you let an INFP guide you, they can take you to unexpected wonders and special places. The INFP is a person who can open you to new experiences and to trying out new things. It is not that the INFP is always right - sometimes they are wrong or misguided, but it's that the journey is more valuable than the destination. The INFP is fundamentally a compass and so they help point us in the right direction.
It's not always that the INFP will know where they are going - or that they can explain or rationalise their arguments in a logically coherent way, but it's that they are prepared to go anyways. This is a sign of the INFP courage. Isn't it brave to want to do what you feel is right?
Check out the video on the INFP dark side.