Today we’re going to take a look at the INFP flirting style – and on the way, we’ll hopefully de-bunk some of the stereotypes about this incredible type.
The internet: MBTI® is a useful typing system. Just don’t trust the stereotypes.
Also the internet: Is that sobbing I hear? Must be an INFP.
INFPs are more than humble, sensitive recluses hiding out in the woods to avoid reality. Sure, some don’t mind being perpetual captives of a cozy cabin with endless writing supplies (and maybe a few cute, fuzzy bear cubs rolling around in the snow outside their window for effect), but that’s quite the surface level observation of these intriguing types. As is the way of Introverted Feeling, you’re going to have to dive a bit deeper than “contemplative hermit” when considering their perspective.
INFP’s have sharp values that cut out all the bologna society deems appropriate. Their center is highly individualistic as they consider the innate traits and considerations that go along with being human. INFPs are the very cogs clicking within a moral compass. They care about doing right by all lifeforms and making the hard, ethical decisions that others won’t. Regardless of the consequences. Often, INFPs must weigh the cost of righteousness against their comfort. Needless to say, they often choose the former. “The hard right over the easy wrong,” seems to apply here.
SPOILER ALERT: Others don’t always respond well to an INFP’s strong conviction.
Take one step into a type forum and you’ll see that INFPs have a rap sheet longer than your friendly neighborhood serial killer. Sad, annoying, and selfish are just a few common terms I’ve seen floating around.
But those balloons are about to pop.
Cause these killas are innocent until proven guilty.
INFPs want, more than anything, to do right by people. They want to help others explore their desires and needs. “What you care about matters,” slips from the lips of many an INFP. At their core, they want to motivate you into being yourself. They wish for you to act according to your own needs, not to follow the guidebook of the social sphere.
If an INFP could, they’d probably put that thing through a paper shredder.
Then recycle the pieces.
Much like ENFPs, INFPs dive into the depths of those they care about. They are near-constantly judging the waters that lie within souls, always seeming to find the gems within others that even they can’t find in themselves. However, INFPs near-constantly work to dive deeper within themselves in syncopation. From conversing with others and learning about them, INFPs will discover more layers within themselves.
INFPs are like onions with infinite rings. Battered and deep-fried in the cleanest grease (possibly plant-based) with a side of your favorite dipping sauce (also possibly plant-based). If one is interested in you, bring your appetite.
They Win Your Trust
INFPs are a lot like ISFJs and INFJs when it comes to feeling comfortable before flirting. They like to cyber stalk their love interests, but can be somewhat shy with them in person until communication has opened up a bit. You’ll find that INFPs make this open communication flow happen rather quickly.
Most humans: Hi, I’m Jen. I like pickles. Do you? We should hang out sometime!
INFPs: Hi, I’m Jen. Why are you here on this planet and what inspires you to wake every morning instead of succumbing to either bitter melancholy or false elation? We should hang out sometime so I can learn all of your deepest secrets and fall madly in love with the best parts of you!
*cough*…someone likes to fast track things a bit, don’t they?
When an INFP is interested in you, they will question you from all angles. They want to know what’s behind the mask that you show the general public. They are least concerned with your persona and know there is something deeper hidden within you. To be a bit melodramatic, INFPs want to swim through your darkness until they find the light within you.
Even if you feel like you’re a tough cookie to crack, I have good news for you. INFP searchlights never lose charge.
They Really See You
When a smitten INFP latches onto you, you might be all they see when you’re around. As the backdrop blurs, they will absorb as much of you as they can. Every crinkle of your nose and every movement of your hand will be noted and cherished.
Those greedy vampires.
INFPs like finding clues in you that have some connection to underlying meaning. They can’t help but catalogue all the nuances to your deeper emotional spectrum. You might look like you’re smiling brightly on the outside, but an INFP will know whether that expression matches what is going on inside of you. With a little time around you, they’ll quickly learn what bits of your presentation are real and which are an act.
Once these patterns are learned, INFPs will not let you lose yourself. They will emphasize the importance of staying true to what’s innate in you. They don’t want you to put on a show for anyone, not even themselves.
There are few things more refreshing than an INFP’s assurance that your authentic self is worthy of being known.
They Make You Feel Safe
If you talk to an INFP for more than a few seconds, you’ll quickly gather how important psychological safety is to them. They want others to feel at ease when speaking to them. As though their minds and hearts are in hands that will not crush them.
In the eyes of an INFP, you are but a baby bird with a small little beak that needs protecting.
Even when you do nothing but squawk.
Feel cute yet?
Although INFPs get some flack online for being the personified emo subculture, there is something to the fact that they can easily live inside someone else’s pain. If one loses a grandparent or learns they are to suffer from a terminal illness, INFPs are the ones there with you. They can feel in their own heart the depths of which your life is spiraling. I’ve seen INFPs attached to the “imagine walking around in their shoes” adage quite often and I agree with it, to an extent. I do believe that it goes a bit further though. INFPs don’t merely take bits of you and parade it around, they engulf your emotive sphere and know it, almost like they’re wearing your skin.
There’s a prison movie (we all love those) called The Green Mile where an inmate named John has the ability to absorb the pain of others by way of curing them. For example, Paul (the main prison guard in our story) gets a serious bladder infection. When John notices Paul (one of the nicer guards in the facility) going through this pain, John reaches out and absorbs the infection into himself. Thus, Paul no longer has the infection, John does.
I see the emotive sphere INFPs take on much like this, wherein they see the pain others go through and absorb it for them. INFPs can’t help themselves. Much like Atlas from Greek mythology, they seem to carry the weight of the sky on their shoulders.
You might not want them to, knowing the repercussions pain can have on someone, but an INFP who is interested in you will perform this level of self-sacrifice for you consistently. Just to know you are safe and okay.
They Show You Who They Really Are
This may seem counter-intuitive, but an INFP’s will to be themselves is one of their greatest gifts to others. However, few people are actually allowed into their depths. What others get to see usually equates to their convictions. INFPs will not shy away from what they believe, no matter the negative effects it brings them. Their introversion might leave a quiet, kind impression on others until someone steps on a firm boundary or value they hold dearly.
Stepping across the line will set you directly on a landmine.
You can try to run from the impending judgment, but you’re not the gingerbread man.
The INFP is going to catch you.
But there is more to the INFP than the moral yardstick they use to whip others into shape with or the quiet wonder we see in them as they gaze into the starry night. They tend to hold more of themselves back than they show. Case in point: INFPs are often hesitant to share their creative works as they fear that their emotion translated into tangible form might be too telling. They fear others might assume or connect too much about them.
Yet if an INFP is truly interested in you, they will slowly give you the pages to their book. They may tell you things they have never told anyone. Show you their art or creations. Even cue you in on ways they have personally failed to keep to their own honor code. This is pivotal as INFPs are quite sensitive to criticism. What would be worse for someone with such a strong moral alignment than to be told that they’re a bad person, after all? By the person they care the most for no less?
If an INFP is placing this level of trust in you, there’s no going back.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Find out more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type, The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer, or The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic. You can also connect with Jami via Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter!
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