"INFP" Themes and Relationships

By Linda V. Berens Ph.D. and Dario Nardi Ph.D.

Personality Type:    INFP - Harmonizer Clarifier
Temperament:   Catalyst (NF)
Interaction Style*:    Behind-the-Scenes
Likely Social Style: Amiable

How to use this Personality Type Description

INFP Snapshot

  • Theme is advocacy and integrity.
  • Talents lie in helping people clarify issues, values, and identity.
  • Support anything that allows the unfolding of the person.
  • Encourage growth and development with quiet enthusiasm.
  • Loyal advocates and champions, caring deeply about their causes and a few special people.
  • Interested in contemplating life’s mysteries, virtues, and vices in their search for wholeness.
  • Thrive on healing conflicts, within and between, and taking people to the center of themselves.

Themes and Relationships
for each Personality Type
by Linda V. Berens, Ph.D.
and Dario Nardi, Ph.D.**


INFP Theme

For Harmonizer Clarifiers, life is a process of uncovering mysteries, the mysteries of life—personal values and meanings and the meaning of life in general. They like learning about people, why they do what they do and who they are. They want to relate on a deep level, to be touched deeply and to resolve issues. Exploring moral questions like what is right and wrong and the battle between good and evil fascinates them. Knowing people’s intentions helps them feel comfortable with their relationships.

They enjoy getting reacquainted with themselves. To not have a sense of congruence with their values and unity with oneself is worse than death. They must have a sense of integrity and wholeness.

They have a talent for facilitative listening and knowing what is behind what is said. When they listen deeply to another person, they help that person clarify their identity, their wants, and their needs. They want to help others enjoy who they are, accept themselves, and believe in themselves. Sometimes it is hard to turn off the deep listening, and they pay a price for presenting a more acceptable, conventional persona to the world.

Life is full of paradoxes and they are constantly balancing opposites. They can be fun and playful yet serious and intense. Others rarely glimpse the whole, rich tapestry of their lives. They often relate to others through stories and metaphors to connect differences and to provide gentle encouragement. Stories tap into that wordless internal world that is the source of knowing what is right and important.

Their thought processes tend to be relational and integrative. “Going with the flow” helps them connect the seemingly unconnectable, life’s many opposites. They often start in the middle of an idea, grasping its importance, and love to have the freedom to flow from one thought to the next. They have a way of knowing what is believable.

Their incredible ability to be present with another on a deep level requires a different sense of time than structured time. They often speak of struggling with structure, forever trying to get their lives in order.

INFP Relationships

For Harmonizer Clarifiers, relationships are about selfdiscovery— each person learning more about who he or she really is. There is an idealism in the process of relating, and everything has a symbolic significance. They want the other person, the group members, or the community to have a sense of purpose and ethics. They will just know when they are getting the “real” person in the relationship. Integrity, validation, and affirmation are very important. They can be an enigma, with many aspects of themselves for different relationships. Sharing beliefs is important. They are often disappointed if the other person or the group doesn’t share their beliefs and will then tend to withdraw and be silent. There is a lot of self-reflectiveness about how to “be” in a relationship, and they may miss the moment for connecting; so much is internal, but they want so much to connect they may do it indirectly.

In their close relationships, they can be very subtle and are often the most romantic. Others may miss the significance of their symbolic gestures. When the other person is right with them, the person is totally right, and when the other person is not, then that person is totally wrong. They expect the relationship to be deep and meaningful. When it is, they are willing to commit.

This concludes "Themes and Relationships for INFP,"
A Personality Type Description.

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**The Personality Type Description shown above is wholly owned and copyrighted by the authors Linda V. Berens Ph.D. and Dario Nardi Ph.D. and is used herein with their permission.

For a complete set of Personality Type Descriptions by Linda V. Berens and Dario Nardi please see: "The 16 Sixteen Personality Types - Descriptions for Self-Discovery"

*Interaction Styles as developed by Linda Berens, is a powerful lens with which to better understand people. For a complete understanding of Interaction Styles see:
"Understanding Yourself and Others, An Introduction to Interaction Styles"

Practitioners, Organizational Development Consultants, HR Managers, Leadership and Teamwork Trainers,
click here for professional level training by Linda Berens in:
Interaction Styles, Temperament, and Personality Type