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10 Things That Terrify INFPs – According to 301 INFPs

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10 Things That Terrify INFPs – According to 301 INFPs

Fear can be an isolating thing. Many of us who struggle with fears in our day-to-day lives feel alone and even misunderstood in our fears. I’ve often wondered if different fears are more common among specific personality types. I decided to try to talk to as many people as possible about their fears to determine if there were any correlations between type and fear.  Do sensors fear different things more frequently than intuitives? What about feeling-oriented people versus thinking-oriented people?

What I Found Out:

There were definitely variations in the major fears of each personality type. I made it my goal to get responses from at least 300 people of each personality type before writing a blog post about their fears. What I discovered is that there were some universal irrational fears (spiders, heights, snakes) but that aside from those, the fears varied drastically according to type. NT types, for example, greatly feared mediocrity. SJ types mentioned insecurity and financial ruin. NF types tended to have more existential worries about meaninglessness and the afterlife.

There Are Always Variations

Not every INFP is the same. For every ten INFPs that mentioned a fear of rejection, there were probably one or two INFPs who said they didn’t fear anything at all. In this post, I’ll talk about what the majority of INFPs mentioned as a fear, but I don’t want anyone to assume that just because the majority mentioned these things that ever single INFP will feel exactly the same way. There are a lot more dimensions to people, their environment, upbringing, and beliefs that play into fears over personality type.

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The Top 10 Fears Mentioned by INFPs

  1. Not Living Up to Their Ideals
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    INFPs are often called the Idealists, and it’s not hard to see why. They have very high standards for themselves and rely on a strong inner set of values. Their internal moral compass is powerful, because of their dominant Introverted Feeling (Fi) use. They also believe in everything they do having meaning and purpose. Numerous INFPs mentioned the fear of getting to the end of their lives and realizing that they wasted their potential, or didn’t do anything significant to make the world a better place.

  1. Rejection
    abandoned

    INFPs are very strong introverts, but the relationships they do have they take very seriously. They form strong emotional bonds with the ones they love, and are very generous and giving in the support they share with the people they care about. Friendship with an INFP runs deep, and they’d rather have a few very close friends over a broad group of acquaintances. The significance they place on their close friendships mean that they are especially affected by betrayal and rejection, and once burned, many INFPs are afraid to face that same rejection again.

“I have a terrible fear of rejection. I am extremely sensitive, and although I try to hide it, there doesn’t seem to be much I can do to change it. I find that when I look back on my past relationships many people have taken advantage of me. I care a lot, almost too much. It makes me feel uneasy about getting close to anyone again.”
– Michelle, an INFP

  1. Insanitygrip-stressIn my research, I’ve found that intuitives, in general, greatly feared insanity more than sensors. I’m not sure what the link is; perhaps it is because intuitives see meanings, and look for patterns and unknown principles and theories and are less focused on what can be grasped via the senses. Sensors focus on what can be seen, felt, tasted, and realized physically in the present moment and may be less inclined to worry about unforeseen possibilities that currently don’t pose a problem.
  1. Crowds


    crowd

INFPs get their energy from being alone with their thoughts and ideas. For this reason, being in large crowds of people can be taxing for them and make them feel overwhelmed.

  1. Loneliness

    loneliness

Even though INFPs are introverted and recharge by being alone with their thoughts, they still greatly desire meaningful relationships. INFPs want relationships that are formed on authenticity, trust, and mutual passion and shared interests. This is why an INFP is often dissatisfied with broad, shallow relationships. They are the people who can feel lonely even among numerous acquaintances. It can be hard for them to find like-minded individuals to connect with since they are such a small percentage of the population (only 2%). Many INFPs mentioned a fear of dying alone, never finding a significant relationship, or never feeling understood by others.

  1. Phone Calls
    phone

    While INFPs enjoy listening to others and forming connections, they often feel anxious when they receive unexpected phone calls. They often mentioned feeling nervous about having to make phone calls, answer the phone, the doorbell, or engage in social interaction with people they aren’t very close to.

  1. Zombies
    zombie

    I don’t know that this one needs much explanation. Zombies are just plain scary.

  1. Disease
    disease

Along with a fear of disease, many INFPs mentioned a fear of germs, paralysis, or physical helplessness.

“I think my Ne (Extraverted Intuition) goes a little psycho sometimes in respect to physical symptoms. I may not really believe that something is wrong with me, but I start thinking of all the possibilities of what could be wrong and I can freak myself out.”
– Derek, an INFP

  1. Becoming Evil
    Alone-Time

    As I mentioned before, INFPs have a very strong internal moral compass. Living in accordance with their values is of the utmost importance to them. Finding out that they have been adhering to corrupt rules, laws, or ideals is something that can make them feel very anxious.

“I’m afraid of succumbing to my own self-destruction or developing a warped sense of idealism and not realizing it’s corrupt until it’s too late.”
– Andrea, an INFP

  1. The State of the World

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Many INFPs mentioned fearing the current or potential state of the world. War, genocide, greed, environmental collapse; all these things were brought up numerous times. INFPs see the world as having a vast potential for goodness, beauty, and ingenuity. They are often angered and depressed when they see headlines in the news about more corruption, lies, destruction, and persecution.

The INFP and Stress

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What Do You Think?

Are you an INFP with an opinion on this post? Do you relate to these fears or feel like sharing your experience? Let me know in the comments!

Find out more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type,  The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic, and The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!

 

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Discover the ten things that deeply scare INFPs. #MBTI #Personality #INFP

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Susan Storm is a certified MBTI® practitioner and lover of all things psychology-related. She is the mom of five beautiful children and loves using her knowledge of personality type to understand them and others better! Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest to learn more about type!

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95 Comments

  1. the video nailed it with the observation that too many demands on an INFP’s time is very stressful. One thing at a time, please! and yes, I hate making those phone calls, especially if it’s to a zombie. just can’t….

    1. I believe my greatest fear as an INFP, is the fear of being alone. I enjoy my alone time to reflect. However, I worry constantly, about finding someone who truly understands me. I think because of my list of values, finding like minded people, is almost an impossible task. I often wonder if the way I think and feel, pushes people away. When I was a child, this was an innate sense that “something was wrong with me”. As an adult, it’s more of feeling of appearing too intense or emotional. I have to say, reading this blog has allowed me to realize there are more individuals out there like myself, and the world feels a little less lonely.

      1. I think they key to your fear would be acceptance. Once you accept yourself for having high values and standards perhaps it will be easier for you to be more confident because you would start to like yourself more and understand that you are unique. Once you understand the above it would be easier for you to accept that others are independent individuals that also are allowed to have their own set of values even though you don’t agree with them. Accepting people for who they are is the best gift you can have for another person because you know how much it means to be able to feel authentic around someone else.

  2. I do contemplate life and hope that I don’t leave anything on the table when I go. I don’t fear crowds -I just avoid them and the phone. I don’t fear insanity, or disease and I have a healthy family history. Not Loneliness or rejection, but LOVE my alone time – relished “my freedom”. I know I’m not evil but wonder if my inner core is bad- which is weird as I don’t do anything bad ???….uggg. The state of the world. I wish I could if I might just have all the hate gone!

  3. I would say fear of rejection is a the top. I’m an older middle aged INFP. I’m become more realistic, I think. I’m am no longer afraid of living up to some “ideal”. I avoid crowds. Loneliness- No. I like being alone. Phone calls, not really. I’ve had jobs where I had to answer many calls. You get used to it. Zombies – that’s just stupid. They don’t exist. I don’t watch Zombie movies. They are just so idiotic. Disease – no, I rarely ever think about that. Becoming evil- I used to think about that in my 20s, but that’s gone now. State of the World – I’ve rarely worried about that. My ISTJ husband does, though. I don’t watch the news much. I can only affect what is around me. I concentrate on that. On the people and animals that I come in contact with. I do give to charity organizations, however. But…don’t think about the state of the world much. Just my little piece of it.

  4. My fear is getting stolen or stalked on. And definitely demons or scary creatures I made up.. I can’t sit outside at night without someone else there. I hate loneliness and the world’s current state. Germs and war scare me too.

  5. Yeah… Its kind of true, zombies have been in the top list of my irrational fears years before I ever stumbled onto this article.
    – gruesome open wounds, shifted bones etc, disturb me greatly. Moving objects under skin and sharp objects near eye also. I can’t look. Okay with blood. Phantom sensations are likely to happen. Mostly deep down I think its perceived lack or knowledge and ability, to help fix it, ease suffering, fear to cause even more harm by doing something wrong. Dramatic increase of anxiety, directionless empathy and a sense of helplessness. Most of it is unconscious and would translate into additional hesitation and doubt stalling the fight of flight reflex.
    – they will never stop. Conflict avoidant as much as possible and protective of their values INFPs are ill prepared for this.
    – they can’t be argued with. So, nope, inferior functions, very possible lack of applicable skills, co-op, or you kill your emotions and embrace your inner cold blooded psycho because he’s the only one who will not overthink this. But you know, Se sucks, so you’ll probably get infected soon enough this way anyway,
    – at some point you would be faced with a decision to kill someone you care about, or if killing or harming (permanently) an innocent is something that you feel strongly about a part of your soul would have to die also.
    – Enneagram Six paired with Ne would keep me ‘entertained’ through out the Apocalypse, providing branching clutter of narratives of each person dying/being infected and domino possibilities after that every time there is a suspicious rustle or things are going well and tranquil for a while.
    – Somewhat lower on a totem pole is the anticipation of getting infected myself and the people around turning on me. Not suicidal, but sometimes inability to see options from a very dark place makes me apathetic and less attached to the continued survival without outside input.

    Least likely apocalypse to survive. Give me misunderstood beings any day.

  6. Zombies are just terrifying. I believe it is the thought of a zombie apocalypse happening that scares me. I think about what I would do in a zombie apocalypse and the answer so far is cry. I care deeply about people and the world. With the fact being zombies “were” people, people you know and love. Overall it’s just terrifying.

  7. Oh wow. Yeah, aside from Zombies and Disease (although physical helplessness and paralysis do scare me a bit), I felt each and every one of these in my soul…

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