Want to forge a better relationship with the INFPs in your life? Clueless as to how to go about this? Let’s take a look at what INFPs need most:
Acceptance. INFPs end up feeling different throughout their life, so what they need most from you is acceptance. They need a place to be valued, loved, and seen. Life can teach us to be bitter, tough, and detached, but INFPs are never going to be this way. When everyone else has given up, the INFP is looking for ways to bring compassion and connection back into the world. Don’t shame them or further alienate them for being themselves. Let them know that they are loved and they’re okay.
Validation. Your INFP is likely to have Words of Affirmation as their love language and need to hear often that they are valued and appreciated. Don’t hold back on telling them how you feel. INFPs may need extra validation and support due to the fact that they are so sensitive and often misunderstood, so if you’re close to one, don’t underestimate their need for this.
Reassurance. Sometimes INFPs struggle with feeling that something is missing or that they’re not enough, so create a supportive environment for them by reassuring them of their importance to you. INFPs have a lot of gifts to offer to the world but these gifts can get swallowed up by the harsh realities of life. Don’t let your INFP get too discouraged by this. Remember their preference for Words of Affirmation and affirm them often.
Connection. INFPs are very personal and introverted, but they also need connections with others. Though an INFP may be more content with a connection that takes place in their imagination than INFJs would be, they still need external connections to feel grounded.
Understanding of empathy. Leading with Fi means that INFPs filter everything through their personal value system, which means that everything is personal to an INFP. They can be very empathetic because of this, often mistaking others’ emotions for their own. They feel things on such a deep level that they can easily get overwhelmed by strong or negative emotions from those around them. On the plus side, they are quick to identify with your struggles and needs. They want to help and show you that they care.
Creative space. Let your INFP have the space for a giant imagination and plenty of creative outlets to express themselves. INFPs are frequently artists, writers, or musicians so encourage this in them. Don’t make them feel bad for choosing an artistic career over a more practical or logistics-based one. If you have an INFP in your work space, allow them to bring their creative assets to the project or team. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Intellectual stimulation. These people are incredibly intelligent and often score at the top of their class, and you better believe this is a huge source of pride for them. Whatever the topic is, you can be sure an INFP is learning all there is to know and finding a way to bring this knowledge to others. INFPs make great teachers and intellectual explorers because of this. Never make them feel stupid because they think differently than you do!
Emotional room. INFPs have big emotions and need to have the space to feel, experience, and express these emotions. They can get incredibly stifled in environments that require them to keep their emotions small or unexpressed. If you have an INFP in your life, know that this is part of their way of being in the world.
Respect. This type is sensitive to disrespect and can tell right away when they aren’t being valued or taken seriously. Never act like their contributions don’t matter even if you find their ideas less than practical. INFPs are big dreamers and like to explore possibilities. They don’t limit themselves to what’s already known or been done before.
Flexibility. If you rush or box in an INFP, you may get a bad reaction. They like the time and space to come to their own conclusions and think deeply about things. It’s true that they can forget to engage in the physical world and may let real life stuff fall by the wayside, but instead of shaming or controlling them, gently encourage them to take on tasks they feel they can handle. Be supportive and appreciative for what they accomplish.
Belonging. Don’t forget the INFP’s need to feel loved and connected. They make great partners and awesome friends, but they need to feel that same sense of connection from you. Make them feel special and give them a sense of belonging, and you’ll have a friend for life.
That should bring some clarity into your relationships with INFPs. Feel free to share below if you’re an INFP and have more to add!