Home | The INFP Stereotype Vs The INFP Flow Type

Hey everyone, I’m Erik Thor, an expert on using personality psychology for flow and personal development.

The INFP Stereotype Vs The INFP Flow Type

The goal of the MBTI Flow Types is to describe you at your best rather than to stereotype who you are in more general terms. Are you the INFP stereotype or are you the INFP flow type? Or are you perhaps, both?

The INFP Stereotype vs INFP Flow Type

The INFP StereotypeThe INFP in Flow
Shy, sensitive, often misunderstood, prone to procrastinate. A black sheep. Struggles to fit in. Often clumsy. INFPs are morally rigid types that refuse to compromise.Values integrity, deep conversation and freedom to improvise. Most happy when they can be themselves. Enjoys self-expression and learning. Needs novelty and change. Growth is important to the INFP.

These two definitions could not be anymore different because one suggests that INFPs are a certain way and can only be a certain way. The first is a box, the second is a colour palette. The traditional MBTI has a habit of boxing people in using rough stereotypes that may fit some but often not all versions of a personality type. I use values to define people because values are consistent, while behaviour is more fluid. People can change but the classic MBTI often can’t explain these changes.

The INFP Dichotomies

The INFP StereotypeThe INFP in Flow
An introvert
An iNtuitive
A Feeling type
A Perceiving type
Strong introversion
Moderate iNtuition
Strong feeling
Moderate Perceiving

Personality type is a scale and while INFPs are clearly introverted types, they are practical intuitives that think of more direct, hands-on ways to express their abstract thoughts anad ideas. INFPs are clearly Feeling types that value their emotional life and honesty and personal integrity. INFPs are however, just moderate in their perceiving preference, meaning they can appreciate some healthy routine and organisation in their day to day life. In the classic MBTI, you are defined purely by basic letter combinations with no attempt to distinguish further.

The INFP Cognitive Functions

The INFP StereotypeThe INFP Flow Type
Introverted Feeling as dominant
Extroverted iNtuition as auxiliary
Introverted Sensing as tertiary
Extroverted Thinking as inferior
Introverted Feeling in Flow
Extroverted iNtuition during growth
Introverted Sensing at work
Extroverted Thinking during stress

Where the classic MBTI has focused on just counting and saying things like “The INFP is Introverted Feeling 80% of the time, Extroverted iNtuitive 60% of the time, Introverted Sensing 40% of the time, and Extroverted Thinking 20% of the time” I usually distinguish more between the functions as states. The INFP is mainly using Introverted Feeling during flow and Extroverted Thinking during stress.

The INFP uses Extroverted iNtuition more during growth or when setting goals, and introverted sensing more at work or as a tool. INFPs value Introverted Feeling highly and Extroverted iNtuition somewhat highly. The INFP does not value Introverted Sensing or Extroverted Thinking more than as a tool or as something to avoid or control.

The use of these functions can vary. If you have a bad job or are in an unhealthy environment, you may use Extroverted Thinking and Introverted Sensing more than what is healthy.

The INFP Mental states

The INFP StereotypeThe INFP Mental States
Always the same / UnclearWhen happy, self-expressive, individualistic, honest.
When pushing themselves to grow, creative, explorative, and initiative-rich.
When bored, focused on health, routine, and organising
When stressed, aggressive, work-centric, and competitive

This all inspired me to make an INFP subtype test. Check back in a few days and I hope you can soon figure out which INFP subtype you are!

Also check out this video with tips for happiness as an INFP!


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