It Is Hard Being An INFP


It Is Hard Being An INFP

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It is hard being an INFP (Check out the Myer-Briggs Personality Test if these four letters mean as much to you as leaves at the bottom of a teacup).

I mean REALLY hard.

Every day I feel like I am actually an alien masquerading as a human.

INFPs should live and be nurtured in a magical, ethereal land (see above image) where dreamers are appreciated, not trapped in the bell jar of reality. It may be fine for other people but it suffocates our souls.

Gah. It’s so hard to explain the torment. It’s like you’re on an entirely different wavelength from everyone else around you. And I don’t mean INFPs on are on a more intellectually or morally superior level. No, we’re just different from the norm. A little unconventional. And we know how much society hates that, don’t we?

When other people chase after money, INFPs look for passion, fulfillment and meaning. No, seriously. If money wasn’t needed for basic necessities such as food, we couldn’t give a damn about it. I can’t understand this consumer driven society. It’s just stuff. It’s just money. Just why is it so important to people? Mentioning this in public is not the best idea. I get sneered at for being unrealistic. And the conflict between passion and money is a never-ending war inside of me… Things like fame and money entice people enough to make them chase after them all their lives…and then on their deathbed they realize their hands and hearts are empty.

I’m also so sensitive I’m unsuitable for existence. One wrong word cuts me to the bone and I will mull over it miserably for days on end. I hate conflict so much that after going through one I feel like I’ve run a marathon. I just hurt so easily, there’s no emotional skin. I blush, I blunder, I make a fool out of myself and I can feeling the judging stares burn into my skin.

I care so much it hurts. I care so much I use up energy involuntarily. I try not to think about people or animals who are suffering not because I’m heartless but because it makes my chest tighten with agonizing empathy.

Whenever I talk to people, it’s like there is always this barrier. Always. Everyone else seem so carefree, like they belong, the words flowing out of their mouths with ease but me…I have to fake my way through it. No one around me wants to talk about the things I want to: death, existence, love, humanity, how insignificant Earth is, how the universe is so large it’s frightening, why we are here on this earth anyway and whether it all means anything. It’s too ‘morbid’ for light conversation and people just prevaricate my philosophical questions to go talk about the latest movies or whatever.

I can read people relatively well. I can tell which people are genuine and goodhearted, which are artificial and selfish. I can see through people’s masks. But no one else seems to see it. I knew this girl who was so artificial and arrogant when I was in school. But everyone loved her and thought her to be brilliant. No one saw through the façade. I felt like such an outsider, like I was seeing a ghost no one else saw.

I’m not an efficient person. My table is a mess. I never remember to wash dishes. I forget things. I’m always at the butt end of jokes because of this, that ‘scatter-brained’ person who is eccentric and can’t do anything properly.

When it’s one of those days where I’m engulfed with the meaninglessness of existence and slightly gloomy, I’m labeled as being depressed and pessimistic. I’m told to see the ‘silver lining’ and to be happy and jolly and optimistic and all smiles and gapped teeth. As if you’re defective if you aren’t happy-go-lucky most of the time.

I just have all these ideals and dreams and they’re like fragile glass windows through which I see the world. And life shatters them and I become jaded and cynical.

I think about existence and life and other deep topics which are not socially acceptable to voice and the burden of all this pondering weighs upon me every day.

Books and writing and creativity are my life blood. They pump me with feeling and energy to live another day in the real world.

I don’t know where I’m going with this post. I just can’t seem to put into words this feeling of being isolated and different, like no one understands. I’ve been to psychologists who have been nice enough but once I voice my concerns about death or something and they smile at me with only their mouths, I know I’m talking to the wrong person.

I don’t know. It’s just hard. I don’t know what else to say. People don’t know what it’s like sometimes unless they’re in an INFP’s shoes. It’s like the world is full of robust butterflies and among them are these tiny little white moths who are the INFPs and they are batted and bruised and pushed this way and that by the butterflies and the wind and life forever and ever.

I don’t know what else to say. So I think I’ll just stop now. This is probably a horribly boring and aimless post. I’m sorry.


402 thoughts on “It Is Hard Being An INFP

  1. thank you so much for this post! I was feeling really bad because it seems like none of my friends really gets me completely and I was wondering if anywhere someone felt the same way as I do…founding this post and all the comments from INFPs all over the world gave me strenght. Life as an INFP can be pretty hard but I’m sure all of us, one way or another, will figure this out! 🙂

    -Italian INFP teenager

  2. The end spoke to me…. even after spilling our feelings, hoping for reciprocity…or even a basic level of interest or understanding… we just end up apologizing.


    Thank you for sharing!

  3. You sound like a very deep and interesting person. You’re definitely not alone on feeling like an outcast, I feel like that sometimes. This is my experience as an INFP:

    Working with a lot of different people has helped me relate to people a lot better. I realised that loads of other people have such interesting insights once you use small talk to segue into deeper conversations. I’m still pretty closed wrapped in my own thoughts but I’m more aware of it now. Sometimes I feel lonley but I just make effort to reach out to my friends amd ensure they don’t feel lonely either.

    Contrary to your post, I’m generally not sensitive and have very thick skin. Possibly to do with my upbringing. I very very rarely give away my feelings though. Only when I’m very drained, low, and insecure do I get sensitive about little things. But generally, I easily brush things off and let them deal with their own spitefulness with whatever insecurities they have.

    Like you, I am naturally messy and have a hard time maintaining things, but as I’ve got older (24), I am more able to keep things tidy and minimal. Especially as clutter stresses me.

    Money wise, I am not chasing after it. Completely with you on that! Empty hand and heart is spot on. Material things for show don’t interest me. I need practical things – and food. I do however save my money very well as I’m not frivolous with it. I always have in mind to save it for something I value like study, travel, future housing, and neccesities.

    That’s great you can read people well. That is a really important skill. I’ve not been great at that which has lead me to bad experiences. But through those i’ve got far better. I can easily read people interacting with each other. But when interacting with me, I suddenly can’t tell. So I rely on watchimg people before they talk with me.

    Finding out recently I was an INFP has clarified a lot about myself – now I realise I’m not alone! Also I realise that perhaps I am the one to bring another introvert into the ‘understanding sphere’ rather than wait around for someone to get me. If that makes sense. I’m thinking nowadays that all these INFP drawbacks can be worked on with time, effort, and maturity. I’ve come far but have a long way to go.

    All the best. 🙂

    • Thank you, and, phew, that was a long comment! Thank you, so much, for your compliments, and for understanding what it is like to be an INFP, and a human being, on such a deep level.
      I wish I could say the same, that other people have excellent insights, and while that is true, most of the time, when I talk about the environment, or animal cruelty, I begin to not understand other people a little bit, because they seem so easily to excuse what seems to be such evil and damaging acts. But that’s just me.
      It’s wonderful that you have such thick skin. I think that’s a wonderful trait to have, and am very jealous.
      As for money—I’m so glad you share the same views! I am exactly the same: don’t have much money, but do save it up, very well, and use it to pay for necessities and housing. As I am still quite young, I haven’t gotten enough money to travel or do other things, like give money away to charities, yet; but that day is coming, I’m sure of it.
      That’s very interesting, how your brain works. I’ve never experienced that—the closer I am to someone, the better I can read them (and I hope you don’t consider that bragging; I do hate people that brag, and would be very sad if you thought I was doing that). Anyway. Sorry for this terrible ramble. Ah, look at me, apologising again!
      I just really loved your interesting and insightful comment, I really did. xx Take care. Have a Merry Christmas. Thank you.

  4. Thankyou so much for writing this! I am also an infp and I often feel alienated in this world. People think I’m dumb, but I really feel that’s not true. I just exhaust my mind with all this internal conflict to the point where I have a hard time processing what other people are telling me. Again, thanks for making me not feel alone.

  5. Holy shit! As an INFP woman who similarly feels disconnected with the world, you described me to a T. Though, I feel much more of an outcast because I’m one of the minority INFPs who are into math and science. I do not have a natural flair for languages or the arts and I’m hardly creative. The only thing I’m creative at is overthinking the 100 different ways a possible situation could go wrong and worry about it. But that’s just my anxiety. Sighs.

    • Haha! I can relate! Anxiety is totally the worst, the absolute worst. It’s amazing that you’re into the maths and sciences—that is very unusual for an INFP! I think you might be a little more T (or thinking) dominated than most INFPs, but, that’s okay, you’re still here, you’re one of us! Welcome to the club: it’s close-knit one, and we all like to comfort one another. xx

  6. I agree with most what you say but I’m worried about what you say “I’m labelled as being depressed and pessimistic”
    I thought you were a woman with faith and you should have a supernatural vision about vision. It is the only way to change that pessimistic nature. Perhaps, you are too young yet. I use to be that pessimistic too but I improved it through prayer and spiritual books. Then you learn that nothing is for worse, all it for the better even those things that seem to be awful.
    You must understand that our lives are like a movie, and you only see this scent but God knows the whole movie. What is happening now is making you ready for what is coming next.
    I think that we introverts, once we nurture & develop our spiritual side are very good realising this supernatural vision which helps us to know the way and to help others along the path with our special sensitivity, patience, listening and care for others.
    You have born to help others, that is why God has given you your introverted nature.
    So thank God how you are and let others benefit from it.
    Happy New Year & allow me to wish you that you could feel something for someone special and cuddle together on the couch under a blanket watching your favourite movies and series on TV and collecting music and books together.
    A hug,

    • Thank you. I have no words for how beautiful and kind a person you are; thank you so much for your care, and concern. I used to be a very pessimistic person, but, after gaining more understanding of life, I do believe, exactly as you say, that there is a greater purpose in life, no matter how evil things may seem. I think you are such a wonderful person. Thank you for writing, and I hope you have an absolutely wonderful year. x

      • I hope you a wonderful year too.
        Knowing how young you are, I envy you, for the knowledge you already have about yourself at your age. I wish I would know about my personality and temperament at your age. We didn’t have so much information on the internet and I couldn’t read in English. We didn’t know where to find information about what worried us.
        Now, I think that if I had had the knowledge I have now I would avoid so many mistakes. I would choose an art or humanity career. Perhaps, we more confidence I would be able to have a stable relationship with a soul-mate or at least I would be able to contact people like you and me.
        So, don’t be pessimistic, you have tools & people we, introvert, didn’t have before. And overall you are so young, that even if you make mistakes you have time enough still to learn and amend things.
        A hug.

      • Thank you. But I think, even though you may be older than me, that it is never too late to make some changes in your life, and switch from one career to another, or start dating, so, please, don’t feel the slightest bit unhappy about it—you still have plenty of time! Even if it just means indulging in more artistic passions as a hobby, any kind of work towards your goals is good. I really wish you a wonderful year, and a great life.Hug. ❤

  7. Firstly, this is beyond an aimless post. Writing these words are forever needed to be read by other INFPs in the world so we know others like ourselves exist. So we don’t feel so alien like in this world. Absolutely eloquently written. You have captured all the floating thoughts in my head I have of myself so accurately in one post. Keep writing this stuff down. It matters more than you know ♥️

    • I am! I just wrote another one, and I keep doing what I do because I know thousands of people like you exist, who might be positively impacted by my small posts. I hope you know you are never alone—and that to dream, is to live. Take care. ❤ ❤

  8. I think we’re the butterflies, love- the best things in life are hard. Love, kids, achievement. Our life is harder, and all the more gorgeous when we stick it out. ❤️

  9. I felt everything you wrote. Thank you for posting. I don’t feel quite as alone now. You are not alone. I’ve been trying to find words to describe my personality type and this pretty much sums it up.. it’s lonely sometimes even when surrounded by people. Sending much love and good vibes your way. thank you again.

    • You’re very welcome! I hope that you know you are never alone, not for one minute. I recently wrote another post about dreamers (or INFPs), and I think you would like it. Take care. x Remember—keep dreaming, because we need to keep living on stardust and moonlight.

  10. You’re not alone fellow infp. I’m an overthinker so I would usually talk myself out of posting this, but it’s good to feel that you’re not alone. Im just learning to embrace my uniqueness and it’s a really interesting experience. I find myself observing things and thinking about those deep questions and I don’t really feel weird about it anymore. Good luck on your journey , this post really is inspirational.

  11. INFPs unite! We are the spiritual guides and the healers that help others find deeper meaning, connection and joy. The world needs us! Yes, we will be made fun of by those who thrive on shallow systems. We can even have compassion for those who hurt us, knowing they are hurting themselves in the process. It can be exhausting to process so much on a daily basis and have so little to show for it: dishes, bills, jobs, bah! Our work is largely in the spiritual realm.

  12. Wow….so I’m not alone? I wish all the INFPs could meet one day at a beautiful place…with a lot of good books to read of course. Hehe 😉

    • Same here! Well, not really—but, even though I know there are infps where I live, I haven’t been able to meet any yet. It seems we’re all scattered everywhere, daydreaming inside our rooms with books and things.

  13. Wonderful writing n yes, towards the end you sounded just like me (INFP). We keep trying to get other people to understand us. It’s so hard verbally to express. We feel such connection deeply to everything n empathy others do not. It is a blessing and a curse.

  14. OMG! I know this is an ancient post, but lately I have been on this quest to attempt to realize self which includes being an INFP. This resonated with me sooo much on every point made. This perspective speaks to the finite day to day challenges that I experience so accurately. I truly feel like an invisible being that exits in an alternative dimension that just flickers in and out of peoples reality. Know one ever wants to go as deep as I do about anything! And my poor self, I hardly have the sense that I am doing so until I look at my innocent victim who’s eyes are now wandering or messing with there phone trying to survive another interaction with me. lol. I instantly stop!, and it never seems to bother the other person at all, I believe they were just waiting me out anyway!. I have never met anyone that understands how I think. I end up withdrawing quite a bit into my own world, self isolation, not answering phones because I cant take another mundane conversation about some stupid viral video on FB or small talk or so repetitive life situation that someone has etc. I never watch tv because I sometimes feel over whelmed by the tragedy and illusion that it projects, I feel I take it on inside and it becomes too much particularly lately. Sometimes I wish my planets rocket ship would just come for me, and I would gladly get on

    • Same! No, it’s alright, though this post may be ancient, the blogger attached to it is still very much active. You’re totally right: mundane conversations, dealing with social awkwardness; these are just part and parcel of being an INFP in everyday life. I am hoping for the rocket ship to come as well—let’s hope it comes soon. x

  15. Hi, I just wanted you to know that you are very brave to write this post. Im a 13 y/o infp in sweden and all that you said were really relatable ( dont know how to write it) you are not alone and we other infp’s always have your back ❤ 🙂

  16. I love this. Great job! Its nice to know others can relate to my “wierdness”. Another thing i love, more than the actual post, is the fact as i read threw the comments all of your beautiful words and kindness your giving every one in your replies. I relate to that. Your so used to sitting in the dark your self you cant stand to see anyone sitting there either. So u show up burning bright to be their light. Were the type who shines our brightest when were lighting the way to help others. For that i am proud to be an infp. Atleast were not the misery loves company types of people. And so what if we cant exactly save the entire world, as long as we never stop trying to save those in it, we’ll always be able save ourselves. We’re the healers and the dreamers of the world. We are needed.. the healing is for the rest and the dreaming is to keep us at our best. So continue to shine bright, you beautiful light!

    • Thank you so much! Your light shines very brightly, too. I hope you have every happiness in this world. You’re right; I can’t bear not replying to a single comment, and always try my best to reply to every single one, even if it kills me, or I have other things to do. It’s because I don’t like leaving people feeling like they don’t matter. I always like to reach out to and care for people. Thank you for reaching out. You’re right. We are the creative ones, the healers, the dreamers, and we will keep on shining, no matter what. Take care. x

  17. I don’t think I have read anything that spoke to me as much as this. It was as if I had written it myself. Thank you for capturing exactly (at least for me) what it feels like to be experiencing this life and world as an INFP.

  18. You are among the individuals I truly feel a connection with; not many people even acknowledge my emotions and thoughts — let alone accept them for what they are. I’m always either told that I’ll eventually grow out of this “phase” when in reality this simply is who I am as an individual. No two people are one and the same, and that’s just what makes humans beautifully individualistic and unique; true to themselves. There’s nothing wrong with being more inclined to reach for the deep end of the conversation and to be in touch with your emotions and intuition from time to time. The shallow end of the spectrum where all of the superficiality lies is utterly gruesome and I tend to reluctantly steer clear of engaging in these mundane discussions. If only those around me could understand. I sincerely offer you my humble gratitude…you have my admiration, recognition, and the warmth of my heart, fellow INFP.

    • I forgot to finish a point where I was saying that I’m always either told that I’ll eventually grow out of this “phase”, or that I need to get a grip of reality. I hate when this happens haha.

    • Aw, your comment truly touched my heart, and you’re completely right: it’s perfectly fine to want to speak on deeper issues and topics, rather than just focus on superficial things. Let them engage in their mundane discussions, while our tongue speak of the moon and the stars. Thank you. Lots of love from a fellow INFP

  19. hello hello, so many comments already, but just wanted to drop by to say that you reflected all the thoughts floating in my mind exactly. and it’s funny how you kept saying you don’t have the words to express how you feeling because you just did so beautifully 🙂 peace~~

  20. I am an infp and I can relate to all of this perfectly.Thank you so much for writing this post I thought that I was alone and weird.If all people saw the world like infps saw it ,it would be a better place.

    • Thank you for reading. Yes, if everyone saw the world we did, perhaps it would be a much better place to live in. You’re not alone and weird—you’re perfectly alright, just like the rest of us. Take care.

  21. Hey!

    I’ve been quiet forever I’m feeling this way. It’s like I have two close friends and I mostly talk to them but they can only be available so much for me.
    You put my feelings into words. Thank you so much for this post and no it’s not boring or anything negative that you’re been worrying about, I love it. I don’t feel that alone anymore.
    Right now, I’m living in Paris, I hope I can meet you someday? ✌🏼
    Take care and we’re all in this together ❤

  22. This is my first comment i have ever left on a post and it’s because your post made so much sense to me. I struggle to put everything going on in my head into words so that was an awesome read for me. Thanks!

  23. Really great post !! you know i have to confess,i hate being an INFP,i hate it when i care about the people around me but they don’t reciprocate with the same amount of kindness i give them,which is why i decided to keep to myself more ,you know as in being more withdrawn which is really depressing you know when you can’t be yourself and do the things you genuinely feel like doing,and i hate it when my mind goes into overdrive which is ALL THE TIME ,it’s like all the processing power is consumed by my inner-thoughts which leaves none to the outside world ,you know to the people i am talking to ,which is the reason i come up as stupid ,but really i am not , i know i am at least average when it comes to intelligence and holding a conversation.sorry for droning on i don’t make it a habit to talk about myself to people i don’t know , but being an INFP cripples you socially,and deep down i know there is a way to be happy and to see it as gift instead of seeing it as a curse,and i look or this every single day ,so do you have any advice you can give me ,please?

    • Yes! The best advice I can give you is to try and find something that grounds yourself in your daily life, be that God or a belief in the universe, and to always love yourself and stay true to yourself no matter what, even when it’s hard. And I know how hard it is. I’m such a daydreamer I make mistakes at work until my co-workers act coldly towards me, and I need to have the self-love to be able to soothe myself and overcome hurdles like this. It’s okay to be bumbling and awkward—-that’s part of our charm. So take care of yourself first, and the rest should follow.

  24. I can’t even begin to type my emotions right now…Your post has tears running down my cheeks because finally someone gets it!! Thank you so much for saying what I wish I could’ve!!

  25. I wish i live in such place too. I can’t explain how difficult it is for me being in the second most populated west wannabe country (INDIA) which doesn’t respect it’s own traditional ways which are awesome in my opinion for INFPs when i read all these books i feel i should have born in such period, i would have been at peace! Iam fed up of my life! I feel like a tired wore away sponge which can easily be thrown away in dustbin! Iam still surprised at myself for still being alive after absorbing all the negativity and pain. When i was a kid i felt blessed but I feel cursed now.

  26. Are you my inner self coming out and writing all this? I always relate to what INFPs tell but this is even more hit the nail thing! You are spot on! I don’t even blame whatever super power is responsible for this. I am determined to sail this ship no matter what. I only wish there are more INFPs around. Is it for asking too much?

    • Thank you, I’m so glad you could relate, we’re totally not alone in this! Unfortunately, INFPs tend to be quite rare, especially in extroverted cultures, so we all tend to congregate on the internet.

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