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My editor is an INFP. He is crazy, but he doesn’t know he’s crazy.

The first crazy thing he did was email me out of the blue and ask if he could be my editor. This is what he wrote, “I have no experience editing but I love your writing and the only way I can figure out how to be able to read more of it is to be your editor.”

Maybe he didn’t write that exactly, but something like that.

He is not going to edit this post, so when he reads that, he will smile. It will be a slow, slight smile, but it will be a big smile inside. That’s how he is. Very little happens on the outside, but lots and lots on the inside.

The first thing he edited he cut 75% of what I wrote. I immediately saw he was right. And then I wondered what I had published earlier that he would have cut. All of a sudden I felt like there is no way I could write without him.

That was seven years ago. Neither of us is very good at having friends. We are both too weird, but in opposite ways. He is too weird because everything has to be about meaning, and deep purpose. I am weird because everything has to be about money and how I will expand my empire. We meet in the center as an oddly matched support system.

We don’t talk about being close friends, but when I am too sad to do anything, I call him. I say, “I can’t write. I’m too sad.”

When he went through a divorce, he was nearly incapacitated. Some weeks I talked to him every day about his personal life. But then I’d send him a post about resumes or a tirade about someone’s book, and he’d edit without missing a beat.

Talking with him on the phone is like talking to the wall. The long silences make me ask, all the time, “Are you still there?” And I have to remember to stop talking to give him space to think. And. Then. To. Talk. But it’s always worth the wait.

My editor is funny and smart and so well read. He is a great editor when my life is startups, he is a great editor when my life is interpersonal drama, and he can even edit post after post about my garden without jumping to the conclusion that no one cares.

Although every time I write about my hedge, he says the post is boring. So I am sneaking the hedge into this post. Do you see in the picture how I cut a tiny passage for little kids?

I tried to be in a reading group with him because he was reading such cool books. I read Junot Diaz but he was reading so much faster than I was. It was too much pressure. He reads and reads and reads. And then he thinks. And then he reads. And I know I’m lucky that he stops in between to edit.

When I found out he was an INFP I told him it’s impossible. I would never like an INFP. They are too sensitive. He was quiet. No response. For anyone else that would mean I insulted him. For him it just means, “That’s okay. I’m fine.” So I talked over him, of course, to tell him why he is not an INFP. But he is.

He is flexible, calm and intolerant of fakery, and miraculously, he also gets paid a lot. Not from me, of course. I mean, I pay him but believe me, he is not editing me for the money. He gets paid a lot in his day job, which is compliance. He makes sure the rules and the systems to follow the rules are in sync. At first I thought this was a terrible INFP job, but then I realized his job is to create a calm work environment. And that makes sense to me, because he creates a calm environment for me, as well, and I think that’s what really makes him a great editor.

I will force him to make a special appearance in this course. He will talk about how to get along with people who are pushy, intolerant, and obsessed with achievement. But really, this course will show you how to think more deeply about the purpose of life, and then set your own life up in a meaningful way while still being able to pay the bills:

Session one: Understand how you fit into the world around you. 
Other people are not like you. And it’s not just that they are different, but often they don’t even speak your language. Luckily, you are an incredibly flexible, sympathetic person, and you are able to understand them. This session will show you how to use the gifts you’re born with to help people understand you. Everyone does, actually, want to understand you – once you know how the INFP personality type relates to each of the other types, you’ll have a clear picture of how to connect in a meaningful way with anyone.

Session two: Get paid for work that makes you feel good. 
You need a job that allows you to be authentic and harmonious in your everyday life. This session will show you how to find that. You work best in ways that are unconventional. For example, you are best in bursts rather than working at a slow, steady pace. And you thrive under a last-minute deadline. You are very valuable when it comes to generating ideas, but you are overwhelmed in a loud, boisterous brainstorming session. This session will give you a clear picture of the work environment that is best for you. Then I’ll tell you how to get it.

Session three: Create the ideal family for you. 
Your sixth sense about what feels right will be a good guide for finding a mate. You are unique, and you need to rely on your instincts rather than conventional wisdom. This session will show you how to rely on your instincts with confidence when it comes to your personal life. No one is a better guide than you, but that’s not the message you get from the outside world. Your high expectations are both inspiring and frustrating to yourself and those around you. This session will show you how to channel your strong values and high ideals to create a caring and harmonious home life.

Session four: Ask me anything! We can talk about anything that’s on your mind.

Remember, the cost of the course is $195.
Sign up now!

90 replies
  1. ADV
    ADV says:

    I am not sure I’m an INFP or an INFJ. I always score INFJ on the “real” MBTI paper test and the Kiersey Sorter. But, someone whom I know who is a guru on MBTI stuff says I could be ENFJ, ENFP, or INFP, but she doesn’t think INFJ. I am between INFJ and INFP I think. From the description I could still very much benefit from this course.

    • Rosie Jones
      Rosie Jones says:

      I can help you if you want. I went through this same phase and eventually realised I was an INFP. I invested a lot of time researching the cognitive functions. INFJ’s are: Ni, Fe, Ti, Se and INFP’s are: Fi, Ne, Si, Te.

      Fi and Fe:

      – Fe is being highly attuned to others’ feelings; Fi is being highly attuned to how others make you feel (though you would also be good at detecting others’ moods too.

      – To empathise, Fe involuntarily absorbs emotions around them all the time and then uses Ni to sort through them. Fi decides to understand how someone else is feeling by mirroring that feeling within themselves. For example, that would think of an experience similar to the one their friend is feeling and understand their feelings by how they felt in that situation.

      – Fi tends to be more black and white in terms of morality and when something is wrong, it is wrong and there are no excuses. Fe tends to see things more often in shades of grey and tends to value harmony over values in a group.

      – Fi is also often less easily embarrassed than Fe because Fe users are more affected emotionally by their surroundings.

      Ni and Ne:

      – Ne likes to use metaphors and compare experiences to others like them. They are good at juggling lots of ideas in conversations and don’t mind jumping from topic to topic. Ni prefers to stay on one topic. Ni often has strong gut instincts about the future.

      Si and Se:

      – Si in INFPs is nostalgic and sentimental. I love looking through old diaries and scrapbooks and become quite sentimental about certain objects from my childhood etc. Se is inferior in INFJs so may present itself as an unwillingness to follow trends as they are fleeting.

      Te and Ti:

      – Inferior Te makes underdeveloped INFPs have an aversion to hierarchy and structures and rules. I hated teachers at school placing rules that seemed unnecessary on me and would vent this to my friends a lot. It also presents itself as a disdain for orginisation. However as they grow up, INFPs can find it soothing to organise things and become better at using this function. Te also can make INFPs speak bluntly at times especially when defending their values. It also means they like to use their mouths and hands to think. It is easier for me to clarify what I mean to myself when I’m talking to myself or using hand gestures.

      – Ti doesn’t need to use their hands or mouth as much to think. In conversations they may draw back and think quietly and be still for a few moments.

      Sorry that’s all I know! I’m not as good at understanding INFJ functions as I don’t have them but I hope this helped.

  2. blueray
    blueray says:

    Hey this is great, thanks Penelope! This is the one I’ve been quietly and thoughtfully waiting for :-)
    Will each session run for extra time so we can ponder what you’ve just said and come up with deep and meaningful questions?

  3. Erin
    Erin says:

    I always test as INFP, but I work with a woman who also tests that way and we’re like oil and water. I don’t love, but I seem to be really good at our office work and I’m very attentive to detail. She, well, we work on a team and I spend a lot of time working around or correcting her mistakes. This has made me question if I really am an INFP or, as one blog I read suggested, if my inferior function of external thinking has taken over. I am otherwise a fairly dreamy, sensitive person who loves meaning. I don’t know if my Te takes over to help me survive a corporate environment. I’d be interested to know your thoughts on this in the class.

    • Melissa
      Melissa says:

      Erin, I think it means that you are a smart INFP and the other lady just…isn’t. But it’s very INFP of you to not want to make that judgment call.
      (And very INTJ of me to want to step in and help an INFP by judging somebody.)

      • MBL
        MBL says:

        I love this comment! So much so that I clicked your link. The sold out straw bike helmet is awesome!!

      • Erin
        Erin says:

        Haha! Thanks for saying that, Melissa, but I actually had to edit my wording in my post because I was afraid what I originally wrote sounded too bitchy. Honestly, I work in healthcare and I’m obsessive about things being done right not only because of the headache it can cause for us when we have to fix it, but the headache it can cause for our patients and their families. I get quite stressed and irritable by people who seem to be cool with half-assing it.

        • MBL
          MBL says:

          Oh how I would love to institute something like “First Draft Friday.” Think of the time it would save! However, the ensuing remorse wouldn’t be worth it. I never, ever send my first draft when I am pissed. I don’t put a recipient in the address section to avoid accidentally doing so.

          Honestly, I can’t imagine an INFP working in healthcare and not being really, really conscientious if failure to do so could hurt people. Are you sure she is one?

  4. LeAnna
    LeAnna says:

    I read over the post and course description and all I can think is “Wow! INFPs are so lucky to have this course.”

    It feels like it was put together with lots of love. It’s like a gift you’ve made for all the INFPs in the world. :) Your description of them has made me understand them better, too. Much appreciated!

  5. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    Your relationship with your editor describes my marriage. (I/ENTJ married to INFP) I laughed out loud at some of your comments…especially the long silences on the phone. Tht still drives me batty after 17 years. But I love my sensitive guy. I do wish he could find meaningful work and people that can see his value. My guy also has a very high IQ and a Phd in philosophy. He’s a high school teacher and bored out of his mind most of the time. But no one seems to see how valuable he is. They just run roughshod over him and he doesn’t advocate for himself.

  6. MBL
    MBL says:

    As an uberINFP great deal of this post says really resonates with me, except:

    “When I found out he was an INFP I told him it’s impossible. I would never like an INFP. They are too sensitive. He was quiet. No response. For anyone else that would mean I insulted him. For him it just means, “That’s okay. I’m fine.” So I talked over him, of course, to tell him why he is not an INFP. But he is.”

    My long silences mean–I am trying really hard to think of a way to politely let you know that you have really hurt my feelings or pissed me off without saying something that may hurt your feelings or that I might regret. But, for me it most certainly does NOT mean “That’s okay. I’m fine.” And if someone had said that to me it would mean “FU.”

    But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln…

    I am curious as to whether or not he would have scratched that paragraph.

    • Melissa
      Melissa says:

      As an INTJ with a few close INFPs in my life, I want to reassure you that it’s very unlikely you will offend someone, to the degree that you feel offended, when you call them out.

      And to be fair to Penelope, it can be very hard to tell the difference between the INFP silence of quiet contemplation, the silence of INFP self-contained day-dreaming, and the INFP silence of pondering how to best tell-you-off-without-offending-you.

      • MBL
        MBL says:

        :D Thanks!

        Cheat sheet: If you give it a minute, something will happen. If you get disconnected (they hung up), or they suddenly remember “that thing I am supposed to be doing,” or you next hear a hissing intake of breath being sucked through teeth=they are pissed. If you next hear “wait, what did you say”=intrigued by what you said and off on a tangent or bored with what you were talking about. And “hmmmm” means quiet contemplation.

        But assuming it means acquiescence or tacit approval well…You’ve been warned!

        • YesMyKidsAreSocialized
          YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

          I hate talking on the phone. My silence means that I would rather be texting. :) (INTJ)

          • Leslie
            Leslie says:

            Looking forward to this course. I am almost 100% IN and taper to the middle on FP. My husband is an INFP as well, (less “I” than me) which means we totally get each other but also drive each other crazy with each of us trying to find the perfect career and/or make a living doing what we love with integrity (art, writing, entrepreneurship).

            You wouldn’t find either of us falling silent in conversation, although I used to do this in work meetings until I realized that it made everyone uncomfortable.

            My husband is a very people-oriented INFP with a gift for talking, joking and making other people feel comfortable.

            I learned to navigate the world of work very well as an INFP carving out my own way of working and excelling at seeing connections others didn’t and presenting info and solutions in a way that got other people’s attention. Working as an entrepreneur has been somewhat challenging as the bottom-line money part gets crowded out by the idea and idealistic part.

            My husband, an artist with an MFA, has struggled far more than me in finding a career that works, spending many years in IT that really sucked the life out of him and is now winding down on its own.

            We INFPs are a varied bunch. I’m convinced that if we can figure out entrepreneurship it’s a great route for many of us.

            And interesting how much being “weird” or “odd” resonates with our type.

    • The Editor
      The Editor says:

      So I’m weighing in: she did not offend me. And I would have let that paragraph go, no problem. Everything P wrote about our early years (first editing assignment and so forth) is accurate. As for why my INFP clicks with P in general, I’ll save that for the course. But it does.

      • MBL
        MBL says:

        Thanks so much for delurking! Well, unless this is your alias.

        I really appreciate your response and I am relieved that she correctly read your intent. I just couldn’t believe how thrown I was by the statement. However, given that the hardest part about my being an INFP is being criticized for being “too sensitive”–point ensured. It is my very core and having been told that it is “wrong” or inappropriate or “too much” just really sucks. (At the risk of looking even more ridiculous) I spent hours crying and trying to hide it from my daughter, because really, how do you explain “Someone on the internet, who wasn’t talking directly to me, said they didn’t like people who reacted like I do and that is why I am sad. And snippy.”

        I was/am, just completely thrown by the fact that no other INFPs have posted that they had a similar (although hopefully milder) reaction. I mean, does that mean I get a prize for being THE most dysfunctional INFP? Yay me!

        Anyway, thanks again!

        • MBL
          MBL says:

          I can only answer based on the two classes I have taken. They start at 8pm Central Time and are scheduled to last an hour. But sometimes run late, so I would block off until at least 9:45. That way you won’t freak out if it starts a bit late.

  7. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    What about INFPs that are in committed relationships? Everyone is always falling in love with the INFP ladies in my life so I suspect that they are more likely to be coupled up than single. How can they work with what they’ve got to create a more harmonious life?

    • Caitlin
      Caitlin says:

      What do you mean by, “How can they work with what they’ve got to create a more harmonious life”? I want to know what you mean so that I can respond. :)

    • LPR
      LPR says:

      I am also an INFP, one who my friends always called the Universal Soulmate. We’re great at seeing who people are and what they need, and that led to a lot of guys connecting with me in a way they weren’t used to.

      I went through a lot of serially monogamous relationships that ended generally when I realized that though they thought I might be great for them, they weren’t great for me. My family just assumed I’d never get married. Finally found a wonderful INFJ and married at 37.

  8. Good dog
    Good dog says:

    The long silences make me ask, all the time, “Are you still there?

    Yes. This is really annoying. Thank you for the perfect article. It’s really useful and I enjoyed reading it !:)

  9. Jim Grey
    Jim Grey says:

    I’m INFP too. Strong INF, but weak P. When you look at the scores on my MBTI, I’m super close to J. This has saved my ass in the work world. I play J at work, and am very good at it. I am the king of schedules and plans and driving toward the goal. But the minute I walk out the door, all I ever want to do is follow my nose in my personal life.

    I’m 48. It took me until now to reach a place where I finally feel comfortable in my own skin. It has been both an enormously painful and incredibly fascinating and enriching journey. It involved being married to and, thank God, divorced from someone who knocked me around, it involved addiction and recovery, and unbelievably I’ve been able to find deep meaning in all of it. I have leveraged every last little bit of it to figure out my career, build incredibly solid relationships with my sons — one of whom has Asperger’s syndrome and has been in many ways one f the greatest challenges of my life, and find outstanding love with someone who truly appreciates my considerable strengths.

    Holy crap did I enter adulthood full of confusion and self-loathing. The world is not kind to the INFP. Here’s hoping your class helps other INFPs figure themselves out well before they get to be as old as me. There’s an enormously satisfying life out there for all of us as soon as we figure out how to channel our great strengths into a life of deep meaning and service.

    • MBL
      MBL says:

      Wonderful comment! I was hoping you would respond.

      My guess is that being a strong P is a great crippler for a lot people. At least in the world in which we live these days. Not sure about that, though. It could just be my ADD/INFP combo.

      Raising my Aspie daughter has lead to my greatest personal growth by a long shot. Striving to help her become the best version of who SHE wants to be rather than my idealized version of who I think she could/should be is really hard! I struggle with helping her to smooth the Aspie edges that might unintentionally hurt or offend others (which causes her great distress if she finds out,) while helping her maintain her healthy self esteem, wonderful quirks, and trust in her own judgement. It is a really tricky line.

      I always appreciate your insights/viewpoints and am so glad that you have fought your way into a good place.

        • MBL
          MBL says:

          I got sucked into your beautifully written (shocker!!) blog the other night. Today when the radio weather report was given the announcer used–with degree, without degree, without degree, with degree, and with degree. Two hours later the same announcer used–with, without, without, without, with.

          I wonder WWCS? (What Would Chip Say?) Well, I guess he would say “Stop that!”

          And then I started thinking “Hmm, I wonder how much leeway they have for starting the weather? Do they have to backtime it?”

          So, errrr, there’s that!

          • MBL
            MBL says:

            I link-frogged my way through. They are well worth seeking out. Especially the career ones that were in real time, but reading them now and knowing where you currently are. You have been blogging for a LONG time!

            My in laws have a hobby farm in the tri state area so we drive though Indiana ALL the time. I think I may have make some time for Michigan Road. Your photos are lovely.

    • The Editor
      The Editor says:

      Exactly hitting the nail when you say, “the world is not kind to the INFP.” I’m 49 and still working out the damage. . .

        • MBL
          MBL says:

          I’ve always assumed that things are even more rough for male INFPs. I wonder if that necessitates a greater development of one’s J side.

          • The Editor
            The Editor says:

            Well. . .yes. Male INFPs are often considered too feminine I think, by both men and women. I have finally found happiness by choosing another INFP woman. :) She gets me, completely.

          • Jim Grey
            Jim Grey says:

            Others would say we’re definitely in touch with our feminine side. I dunno, I feel all man. But I’m definitely not a “man’s man” — hunting, swilling beer, watching football.

            My girlfriend is ISTJ, btw. What makes it work is that we both have done a lot of work on ourselves.

  10. Katharine Di Cerbo
    Katharine Di Cerbo says:

    I loved this post.

    It sounds like your editor has a bit of J in him. How else would he manage a compliance job and an editing job – both very detail oriented jobs!

    I work hard to strengthen my J so that I an function in the world. But I feel like I would never be comfortable having someone else rely on that aspect of me – they’d be so disappointed!

    • Jim Grey
      Jim Grey says:

      An INFP can bend himself right into the J side of life when s/he’s doing something that reaches deeply held values. Actually, an INFP can bend like a pretzel for something s/he really believes in.

      Value pivoting has been so important in my life. Example: my last job, things got really bad. I had been there to help build a solid software engineering department, something I value. But then it became about taking good care of my people in a very challenging environment, something else I value. I stayed too long for my own good health doing that!

      • Penelope Trunk
        Penelope Trunk says:

        I like the term “vaulue pivot”. I’ve never heard it before, but it makes sense to me. And it’s so very INFP because of all the types that focus on values, few would have the flexible thinking to pivot those values when necessary.

        Penelope

      • Katharine Di Cerbo
        Katharine Di Cerbo says:

        Yes, that makes sense. I can understand that.

        By value pivoting you mean essentially framing your situation to fit a deeply held value so that you can keep your J working for you? Although in your example as you said you might have gone overboard (I hope you’ve since recovered!).

        But yes, that is clever. I’ll have to keep that in mind.

        • Jim Grey
          Jim Grey says:

          Yes, that’s it: reframing a situation so I can participate in it based on some other value I hold. And it’s not just allowing me to play the J, but play whatever I need to play to uphold that value.

          One value I’m learning to build is my own health and calm. When upholding some other value affects health and calm, I have to keep weighing when health and calm becomes the more important value. When it does, it’s time to exit whatever situation I’m in.

    • The Editor
      The Editor says:

      My earliest MTBI scores were more J than P, but after reading more and more and not relying on the tests alone, I realized that I am more P (whenever I want to do something, I do it) than J (damn but I love making and clearing lists). I’m also flexible in the T versus F department, but that’s learned behavior, not natural.

  11. Cindy Allen
    Cindy Allen says:

    I’ve been waiting for you to address us INFP’s. I was curious what you would say, knowing you are nothing like me. I thought maybe you wanted to avoid us, being so different from you : ) However, it’s interesting to me that my 21 year old ENTJ (that’s what you are right? Or, is it INTJ….) son and I totally click. We are both huge readers and deep thinkers. We have great conversations. He’s an engineer who hopes to learn how to harness the earth’s natural electro-magnetic energy, or rule the world, or work for Google. I am a writer/artist/entrepreneur who wants to be free to create my art and my business with as little interference as possible.

    Whatever. Where was I……

    Oh yes, the silences! Right! My brain goes down a lot of rabbit holes. A sudden silence in a conversation could mean a number of things. If it’s a sensitive situation, my brain is running down all the scenarios of how I could respond and the resulting consequences of each. I don’t like to blurt, especially if it’s a touchy subject. If something is stumping me, I know to sleep on it. Voila, morning solutions. If something sparks my imagination, I’m gone….I’m running a little movie in my head or connecting what might seem like random dots. One thing is connected to the next, then the next…..and, in a minute I’m off somewhere in a completely different place from where I started. My insides are rich and fun. I crack myself up.

    My boyfriend can tell when I’m off and running in my head just by looking at me. He jogs me back, “Where did you go?” It helps. He gets it. He’s not irritated or rude about it. But, it brings me back. “Oh yes, right, the car…..”

    I think though, that I’ve figured out how to run my life in a way that suits me very well. I get up at 4:00 to read and write. If I’m in the groove I hit the gym (solitary stuff, of course. I run, hit the weights…) and get on with work. Lots of morning alone time. Then, I spend the day around people, but I get to check out mentally quite a lot. It’s perfect.

    I have a business I started 6 years ago that has quadrupled since last February. I just won an award, “The Best of 2015”. I plan on doubling within the next 6 months.

    I find it endlessly interesting and challenging to build a business. I’ve always done better working for myself then others. Corporate environments suck my soul. I want freedom. I want to figure it all out. I want to have an idea and see how it goes. I love problems, it’s a great opportunity to improve things.

    The people issue is a bit of a nut to crack; hiring the right people, giving them the right amount of direction, etc. If other businesses can find ways to hire the masses and make it work, I will too. It’s just that….I get really irritated with people who don’t appear to like to think. It’s mind blowing. I’m working on it….figuring out the people issue. Maybe that’s where these classes of yours would help me. I’ve thought about having my new hires take the Myers Briggs, so I know what I’m dealing with right off the bat.

    I need to go to bed…..I got up to go to the bathroom at 2:30 am, and ended up here…… Maybe I should paint…It’s nice and quiet and dark…..

    As much as I hate rules, structure and systems, I have realized the necessity of them in a work environment that is growing and requires people to duplicate a quality of service. (especially people who seem to like to be told what to do and don’t want to think things out for themselves…I don’t get it. It makes me nuts. But, I’ve accepted it and am structuring my business to accommodate it)

    So, I learned something about why businesses have what I used to think of as silly rules….I get it now. That’s what I find interesting about being an entrepreneur, the process of building a business is a wonderfully interesting creative project. And, I learn so much as I figure things out along the way. I love problem solving.

    I don’t do well working for others. I don’t do well in a corporate environment. I buck the system every chance I get and get fired. I don’t bother trying to fit in. I have no desire. But, but…..building my own? Well, that’s another story.

  12. Cindy Allen
    Cindy Allen says:

    Sheesh…..I’m sorry, I didn’t mean those last several paragraphs to appear. I wish I could edit that ….. sorry…..

  13. Xenia Levitsky
    Xenia Levitsky says:

    I can’t commit to that time slot or that much cash right now. But what you offer sounds really useful. Would you ever consider writing a book about this subject? It would be helpful to have something like that to take around with me to read when I have alone time, which is sporadic.

  14. Joyce
    Joyce says:

    This is good news. I signed up for Paypal a few months ago just to buy this course, but apparently I still a need a credit card or debit card to continue with this transaction. So I applied tonight for a debit card that links with Paypal and hope I can get it tomorrow morning. I hope I can still register in time to get the discount.

    In the past, I always felt out of place at school because I just wanted to listen and read. I was called “out of the blue” in high school because I always say things that are not connected to the subject at hand. At one Christmas party, I even won an award called “Right to Remain Silent.”

    Contrary to type, I studied law to help my family. Now I do litigation for labor, estate, and civil cases with the goal of an amicable settlement if this is favorable to clients. Maybe I can work in compliance like your editor. I still do not like conflict, but my work seems better when I remember that I am here to help.

  15. Jane Dolan
    Jane Dolan says:

    I would not miss this course for anything!

    If you love Penelope’s writing, you will LOVE a live course even more–god, it’s been too long since there as been an offering I could not resist.

    Yes, Penelope might not like us (ha!) but she is curious–and who would not be, knowing most of the great artists are/were INFP’s.

    No doubt about it, it can be painful to make a go in the world, but once we accept our weirdness, why would we EVER trade those traits in to fit in — No way!

    My favorite quote:

    “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd.”
    ― Flannery O’Connor, Collected Works: Wise Blood

  16. Jennifa
    Jennifa says:

    Looking forward to the course, although I have also looked forward to numerous self-help books, TED videos, and various religions, and never seem to find what I am looking for. Is PT’s webinar going to be it?! :)

    We shall see, it is all part of the journey. I would like, for two seconds though, to feel like I got somewhere.

    ~An Eternally searching INFP

  17. Kesh
    Kesh says:

    Being an INFP is tough when it comes to a 9 to 5 job. I am a workoholic and the only things that I dread in a workplace are the tea breaks and birthday parties. Plus cubicles are so much better than open offices. Sad thing, more and more workplaces are choosing to take the open office approach as they think it leads to better team building. I mean, when will we have offices run by INFPs who understand introverts better and create workplaces to suit our needs. I am sure the productivity would skyrocket.

  18. MBL
    MBL says:

    Soooo, I signed up. Is there anyone signed up who is J enough to create a Facebook group prior to the course. In the last class I took, we talked about it, but no one actually did it and then it was over.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Great idea. I’ll make sure there’s a Facebook group. It’s SO SO interesting to see how each type manages their Facebook group during and after the course.

      Penelope

      • Ken
        Ken says:

        Great idea! I took one of the MBTI webinars and someone created a FB group. I participated. But after a couple weeks, no one was on it anymore. So sad :-(

  19. Lauren
    Lauren says:

    I’ve tested INFP my whole life (or the part of it where I was aware of the Meyers-Briggs) until last year when I started testing ENFP. It seems like ENFPs are even weirder, if that’s possible, so maybe I’m just getting weirder, which, okay. I ‘m not sure what to make of it, though. Should I take this course?

  20. Stef
    Stef says:

    I’m trying to decide if I need to take this course. I always test as an INFP, but its like I don’t want to accept the results. The descriptions always make us sound like mealy mouthed pushovers. I am more conscientious than most people, but I’m also sarcastic, and I often piss off the people that I’m closest to. I feel like it would be more fun to be an ENFP or and ISFP. But I keep getting the same results on the tests, so it must mean something.

    God knows I can’t figure out what to do with myself career-wise. Everything I care about seems really hard to monitize, and I suck at self-promotion. But I’m in the childcare (and later, probably homeschooling) phase of life, so a career is sort of an afterthought these days.

    • Erin
      Erin says:

      I’ve questioned being INFP a lot too. I’m sarcastic and a bit misanthropic. A lot of the problem with MBTI is who’s interpreting it. A lot of descriptions describe us as sweet, bleeding-heart, flaky hippies. Our “idealism” is not a love of the world that many people interpret it as. It’s that we have an ideal of how the world should be and the world often doesn’t live up to it. I think that’s where a lot of my misanthropy comes from. I was relieved to find in an Internet search that it can be quite common among our group. Honestly, the description at Personality Junkie has been the one I found makes the most sense. My only issue is still the career suggestions. I would love the artsy jobs that are suggested for our type, but I have little to no skills in the arts. I excel at office work, much to my dismay. Honestly, it’s seems like our “type” is the hardest to get a firm grasp on.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Most people are disappointed in some way about their type. Part of the goal of each of these courses is to make people love their type. I have found that when someone does not like their type it’s because they are looking at their type through the eyes of other people — like what someone told you you SHOULD be or what someone told you you SHOULD want. But really, what is right for them is not right for you, and there is no reason to internalize other peoples’ shoulds. Every type is essential to our community/society/civilization. It’s why 16 types evolved. Of course the useless types did not survive evolution.

      INFPs are essential to what makes us human — all the things that differentiate us from animals are most pronounced in INFPs. Seriously. It’s like this is the most evolved type. We’ll talk about that in class.

      Penelope

      • Priya Logan
        Priya Logan says:

        Thanks so much for this ! I have just found your site – I have done several of those myer briggs tests and I am always an nfp to the 95% though I hover at 50ish % around the e or i – I home educate my three children and on the ideals side I am totally all for it but I am a bit of a dreamer who likes migrating to my inner world from time to time and its factoring that plus all the million mundane things in that I struggle with and also curtailing my 100 new plans that I become fixated on during a new week ! I love my kids but ironically I can degenerate to nag extraordinaire after a week of not being able to be creative and when stress mounts!

  21. Hendo
    Hendo says:

    Wow. My partner is an INFP and he is so many of those things as well! He has to have soooo much time to think… years… about what he thinks about things. He’s got excellent ideas, he doesn’t like the pushy people, and although he comes across as dreamy he does use his work to help others, and his hobbies are very creative (and what he really wants to do). And I often think he is crazy, because he is convinced that his way of seeing the world is normal, when it really isn’t. He is this kind of person: He would say, ‘The sky is green’, and when you say ‘Oh like it’s going to snow or something, yeah that is kind of greenish grey – you know most people agree the sky is generally blue,’ and he would look at you like you are the crazy one and state that no, the sky is green. I’m an INFJ and we have lots of similarities but it’s funny how that P/J makes such a lot of difference! (Yes, I do plan and organise everything.)

  22. Robbin
    Robbin says:

    I haven’t tuned in in a while. I always enjoy your posts. And though I am 53, as an INFP, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. My interests are so diverse and I can’t seem to stay focused on anything for any length of time. I’ve always wished someone would just TELL me: THIS is what you are meant to do. Do it!

  23. Ken
    Ken says:

    I am sooo sooo excited for this webinar! I hope this will be eye opening and give me the encouragement to be a more fulfilled and successful person.

  24. Joyce
    Joyce says:

    Hi Penelope!
    I hope you can talk about how to:
    1. handle depression,
    2. start freelancing, and
    3. build survival skills,
    in relation to INFPs.
    Thank you!

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Definitely. These are great topics for INFPs and we will spend a lot of time on these issues. Thank you for the suggestions!

      Penelope

  25. Lorie
    Lorie says:

    Loved the article. I am very much an INFP. Finding out about personality type through my work in career and employment counselling really helped me to understand, accept and help both myself and others more fully reach our potential. It seems many more people relate to personality type then don’t from my 25 years of experience. I know that all of us, in any personality type, can take things to extremes, and I can be overly sensitive and, it has taken me awhile to not take things too personally. I have learned to value my sensitivity and acknowledge the courage it takes to stay in touch with my heart and balance it with my tendency to think things through and I usually make clearer decisions with better results than if I am either too much feeling or too much thinking. I am attracted to your (Penelope) very direct style and love that although you my not relate to us, you are appreciating us and helping us INFPs to better appreciate and understand ourselves. Thank you! It sounds like a great course.

  26. Joyce
    Joyce says:

    Hi, Penelope and Melissa! Thank you for the INFP course. I like your previous responses of one sentence each.

    1. Thanks for talking about how other types think of INFPs. I talk to people according to their type. For Judgers, I talk about work. For Sensors, I talk in details. For Intuitives, I talk more openly about ideas. While I understand them, it seems hard for them to understand us. HOW WE CAN HELP OTHER PEOPLE UNDERSTAND US AS INFPS?

    2. Thanks for talking about freelancing. I have to learn about online marketing and charging fees. It seems easier to be an employee. I work in a small law firm so I have a lot of alone time. HOW CAN AN INFP TRANSITION FROM BEING AN EMPLOYEE TO FREELANCING?

    3. Having a degree or license gives me instant authority even though I do not have the confidence. But it is tiring to be confident all the time. HOW DO I FIND WORK WHERE I DO NOT HAVE TO BE CONFIDENT?

    4. I do not date, and I am happy with my life as it is. But I feel guilty about my status because my mother doesn’t have grandchildren and INFPs supposedly make great parents. HOW CAN I PUSH MYSELF TO DATE, MARRY AND HAVE CHILDREN?

    Thanks again! Joyce

    • Cindy Allen
      Cindy Allen says:

      Joyce,
      May I offer some input based on personal experience as an INFP who can relate to your questions? I don’t want to hijack your question. I’m no expert. I am just another INFP who has been where you are….take it or leave it…..

      HOW WE CAN HELP OTHER PEOPLE UNDERSTAND US AS INFPS? I’ve just learned to be myself and be okay with it. The older I get and the more I understand myself. I think that being an INFP is a gift. I know what I need to feel healthy and good in my life, so I set things up that way. Period. If others don’t get it, so what. Some will. Some won’t. Take care of your needs (being alone when you need to be, checking out, etc…). It’s important.

      HOW CAN AN INFP TRANSITION FROM BEING AN EMPLOYEE TO FREELANCING? As an INFP, I’ve always found it much easier to work for myself than someone else. If you need to transition out of the security of being an employee, start a side gig. Work on it in your off hours to get things off the ground. You don’t have to take the whole leap at once, if it is not feasible. Start small. See if your idea and your skills are marketable. There are some fantastic resources out there to teach you what you do not know about getting started (I have one I’d love to share, but don’t know if I’m allowed to do that here) Mostly, as a one-man-band, it’s easy. Get a little basic information about what others charge for the same services and go for it. Just begin it. Get a small side job. Do it. Figure out what worked, what didn’t. Tweak. Get another client. Learn from it. Make mistakes. It’s fine. You will make mistakes. It’s okay. You will learn as you go. One day you will look back at your beginning mistakes and shake your head, maybe be embarrassed at what you didn’t know…..It’s okay. It’s part of the process.

      HOW DO I FIND WORK WHERE I DO NOT HAVE TO BE CONFIDENT? I’m going back to my previous suggestion, start something on the side. Your confidence builds as you achieve something. If you get freelance work and have a happy client, it builds your confidence. Baby steps. Start somewhere.

      HOW CAN I PUSH MYSELF TO DATE, MARRY AND HAVE CHILDREN? This one I’ve got……I’m the poster child. Trust that, as you build a life you love (and gain some confidence), and go about doing the things you love, the people who should be in your life, will be attracted to your life. And, I’m not talking romance. Just create something you love with your life. Be a healthy animal, if that makes sense. As you get healthy and confident and solid as a human being, you will be more likely to attract healthy, confident solid people. If you get to the point where you think it might be nice to meet someone, open your mind to the idea. I don’t think you need to force it. Just open yourself to it. As a fellow INFP, who thought she wanted to be alone for the rest of her life, I have found that with the right partner, sharing my life with someone is better than alone. Big shock to me. Of course, I get plenty of much needed space…. : )

      Kids…..I disliked kids intensely for years. I had zero interest. Finally, in my early 30’s I decided I should make a firm decision about it before it was too late. I pictured what I wanted my life to look like in 20 years. And, it included having my own family.

      It was the best decision ever. My boys are, by far, a huge, source of meaning and joy in my life. Odd as it seems to type this in a public forum. Yes, I do think I’m a great parent. It just seems to be a good gut instinct I have for it. What a mistake it would have been to pass this up, for me.

      Good luck! Baby steps….you can do this.

      • Joyce
        Joyce says:

        Hi, Cindy Allen! Thank you very much! Your reply is very kind and encouraging that I had tears in my eyes. I believe it was just my fears talking that time. I just have to remember to respect and love myself as I do to other people.

        I just read an interview with Gloria Steinem at Elle magazine and remembered your advice to take baby steps. Here’s an excerpt:

        “It’s especially ridiculous to think you have to be successful when you’re so young. You should be able to adventure and not worry so much about achievement. Don’t you think it’s partly that young women think they have to have these big careers before they have a child? Don’t you think that’s part of it?”

        “But nobody can have it all if it means doing it all. And anyway, who wants it all? Frankly, it sounds terrible. You’re a unique person. You should do what you’re suited to do. We all should. It’s the only way to be happy. That pressure is all outside. It’s external.”

  27. Joyce
    Joyce says:

    Hi, Penelope! You said this comment in the fourth video of the INFP course: “If you have a roomful of INFPs solving your problems, you should be slitting your wrists right now.”

    This was an unkind and unhelpful thing to say. There was no blunt advice or useful analogy here. This was just mean. I would really appreciate a public apology, especially to blueray. Thank you.

    Joyce

    PS. You said that we should make a list of our talents. Here is a short list:
    1. Listen well (I)
    2. Empathize with people (F)
    3. Think about the big picture (N)
    4. Accommodate other people (P)
    5. Respond to their needs (P)
    6. Want to help people (F)
    7. Live with meaning (N)

    We may not make as much money as you ENTJs, but we INFPs do our best to be kind, listen to and help people. If more people lived like INFPs, we can avoid a lot of problems so solving them wouldn’t be necessary. Thank you. :)

    • MBL
      MBL says:

      Joyce, you are not alone. I, too, was upset. I asked Melissa for her to please tell blueray that we wanted him to join the FB group and/or give him my email.

      blueray, if you are seeing this: I am so very, very sorry that I didn’t speak up during the webinar. I was truly stunned and kind of in shock at what was happening and hoping that they would see your comments that clarified your question. When it didn’t happen, I was so overwhelmed at all that was going on that I began to question my memory of what had actually happened. And then it was over and you signed off. Some of us stayed on the sidebar for another hour and half and your situation came up. When I looked at the tape I was even more appalled and saddened than I had been before. I feel like I was on an episode of What Would You Do and failed. At least John Crawford stepped up and passed. I thought you handled it so well!! I would have crumbled. I really, really hope that you join the facebook group.

      • Joyce
        Joyce says:

        Hi MBL! Here is Penelope’s reply: “Hi Joyce.
        I’m sorry you were offended.
        This is actually something we talked about in the course – taking offense when people don’t meet your expectations.

        Of course the statement was hyperbole- I would not want anyone to kill themselves. But also there is truth in the idea that a roomful of INFPs will not be full of solutions. Just look at the list of your strengths below.

        Other people have strengths like
        1. Make fast decisions
        2. Solve complex problems
        3. Implement strategy
        4. Lead people to a single goal

        So of course relative to these people INFPs are not good at provoding solutions.

        Similarly, most other types are not as concerned as you are with being kind and considerate.

        So just as you don’t want to be reprimanded for not having my strengths, I don’t want to be reprimanded for not having your strengths. We can each fail where the other person is strong.

        Penelope”

        • MBL
          MBL says:

          I realize that PTs response was not addressed to me. However, I was a witness, a client, and participant so I have a valid viewpoint.

          It was not a situation where we were being overly sensitive. The behavior was, in fact, offensive. I think it would have been to most people, but, given that it was to a group of INFPs, anyone even moderately well versed in MBTI would know that that behavior would not facilitate “Stress Reduction for the INFP.”

          INFPs are creative, big picture, problem solvers. Right? Don’t ask us to implement the solution, but do ask us to help. We are happy to and good at it. INFPs excel at counseling and that is what blueray was looking for. In fact, a suggestion from the “roomful of INFPs” elicited a “that could work” from blueray. INFPs actually LISTEN and ask follow up questions and incorporate that into their suggestions. Blueray’s follow up answers clarified things and showed that the ENTJ response was galloping off in the wrong direction by making assumptions and taking pot shots along the way.

          Per the above blog post that solicited customers for the webinar “You are very valuable when it comes to generating ideas…” I agree. In the session it wasn’t like 4 “leading people to a single goal” it was helping ONE person with a PERSONAL VALUES/priority question. And someone in the group did, in fact, solve it.

          I understand that an apology will not be forthcoming. but I would like to apply what you preached in the seminar. You said that we need to allow room for letting other types meet us where we are rather than scrambling to accommodate them. Did I understand that correctly? In the webinar there was no evidence of your meeting us and we had to adapt to and adopt your methods to get our questions acknowledged. I never did get a clear answer as to how we are supposed to do that if most people aren’t voluntarily meeting us. We were basically yelling in the sidebar and it still wasn’t working well and was very stressful.

          This is me taking action to get my needs met. Even if that only means articulating my experience.

          –the squeaky wheel (is that right?)

  28. Joyce
    Joyce says:

    Hi guys! I wrote an email for Penelope asking for my money back for the INFP course. Sorry, this looks like a long contract review.

    “Hi Penelope!

    Thank you for your reply. Quistic courses have a 100% money back guarantee. I want my money back.

    These are the objectives that you set for the course and my comments about how you did not meet them. Also included are your other comments and my response to them.

    1. “This session will show you how to use the gifts you’re born with to help people understand you.”

    You did a good job in showing how the different personality types relate to the INFP, but you did not say how we can relate to each of them specifically so that we can be understood.

    I already understand about MBTI so I talk about work with TJs, details with S types, feelings with NFs, and ideas with NTs. I was looking for similar solutions from you, but I did not get any value from your course on this topic.

    2. “This session will give you a clear picture of the work environment that is best for you. Then I’ll tell you how to get it.”

    You also did a good job in describing good work environments and classifying different kinds of work. Your insights about freelancing, blogging, and writing were great. But you did not say how INFPs can specifically get the best work for them because your advice was more on how any person can apply for these kinds of work.

    It took Cindy Allen in a blog comment and Jay Wigley on the fourth day to tell us how to specifically apply for work that is best for INFPs. Start small on the side. It’s all right to make mistakes. Talk about the big picture. So for me, you did not meet this objective on the second day.

    3. “This session will show you how to rely on your instincts with confidence when it comes to your personal life.”

    Although you preached about self-acceptance in the course, you told us how to deal with our personal lives as though we were ENTJs. Demand people for what you need. Make strong boundaries. Set a timeline for marriage. While you may have good advice, you did not talk about how we can rely on our instincts with confidence.

    Our instinct is to listen, understand, help, and adapt. How can you teach us how to rely on our instincts with confidence when your advice goes against our instincts? You did not meet this objective in your course.

    Again, Cindy Allen’s single blog comment was more useful on this topic than your course. Trust yourself. Do things that you love. You don’t need to force it. Just be open. Picture what you want in your life.

    Even Jay’s relationship with a fellow INFP shows that your advice for him to marry an ENTJ is wrong. Your advice to him also goes against your objective for INFPs to trust their instincts with confidence.

    4. “This session will show you how to channel your strong values and high ideals to create a caring and harmonious home life.”

    Your advice to accept ourselves and find a provider was great, but this is incomplete advice. Blueray has a valid point. Not all INFPs or even other Feeling types can marry providers. In the same way, not all Thinking types marry those with Feeling personalities for emotional support.

    Moreover, your advice to marry ENTJs may be good on paper but I have yet to see it work in real life. I admire ENTJs but it seems that they do not want anything to do with us as Fs. People cannot just turn off their dominant personalities just because they are at home. Your blog is evidence of that, despite your claim otherwise.

    For an INFP who is married to someone who is not a provider, my advice would be simple: Learn to live on less. Move to a less expensive place. Homeschool.

    You already gave similar advice in the Mailbag and Education sections. So I was surprised why you got mad at blueray when you can have just given him your usual advice to live on less money.

    5. “If you have a roomful of INFPs solving your problems, you should be slitting your wrists right now.”

    I wrote a suggestion for the course about how to handle depression in relation to INFPs. You said this was a helpful suggestion. I did not watch the entire fourth video live so I was shocked to hear you saying this in the video. Instead of learning how to handle depression, I heard this comment. It was tragic to hear this even though it was hyperbole.

    6. “I’m sorry you were offended.”

    Thank you for your apology. It is accepted. I am just surprised on how you can take depression so lightly. I never slit my wrists, but I was depressed in college. I cannot joke about depression after having experienced it.

    Perhaps you can extend the same apology to blueray and to other people who heard it.

    7. “So just as you don’t want to be reprimanded for not having my strengths, I don’t want to be reprimanded for not having your strengths.”

    We are INFPs. We are used to being reprimanded. What I don’t understand is how you can give advice to INFPs when you have such disrespect for us.

    My boss is ENTJ and we just let her reprimands slide because she doesn’t know any better. But you claim to be an expert on MBTI. Now I am not sure if you really understand INFPs or are just pretending so that we can pay and listen to your webinar. That’s why I’m asking for my money back.

    8. “INFPs are essential to what makes us human — all the things that differentiate us from animals are most pronounced in INFPs. Seriously. It’s like this is the most evolved type. We’ll talk about that in class.”

    You did not talk about this subject at all. We did not feel that we were the most evolved type in your course. Rather, we felt that we cannot solve problems when in fact we solve problems all the time. Maybe the problems we solve do not involve much money so you don’t consider them as problems.

    You seem like a good person, Penelope, so I was surprised to see you make offensive comments, especially in an INFP course.

    Based on the foregoing reasons, your INFP course did not meet the objectives you made. You did not reduce the stress of INFPs, instead you increased it and made me wish I was another type.

    I will email you later with suggestions, but I want my full money back from the INFP course. Thank you.

    Joyce”

    • cindy Allen
      cindy Allen says:

      Joyce,

      I’m happy my input was helpful to you. I imagine part of it was that I’m an INFP and “speak INFP”. I’m sorry you were so disappointed in the course. But, I cannot help but think there must still have been a lot of good information shared even though you were put off by the parts you were offended by. No one class and no one person is going to have the perfect solution to your personal set of circumstances.

      I’m thinking that you are feeling vulnerable right now and are looking for solutions to your situation and it’s frustrating when you don’t find exactly what you need. I understand that. I understand wanting to find “the answer” to what is not working for you. The thing is, there isn’t “one” answer, there are many. As you take steps out of where you are and toward where you want to be, you will find more and more pieces of information that will help you on your journey. Assimilate them as you find them, toss what does not work and keep going. It’s an ongoing process to find, and apply, what works and find what does not.

      “You did not reduce the stress of INFPs, instead you increased it and made me wish I was another type.” Here’s how I look at it. I am an INFP, but I’m still an individual person. Being an INFP is not a “sentence”, but a set of generally true characteristics of this type. I am still my own person, as are you. You are not locked into anything just because you are a specific personality type. You are you. You have control. Use the information to increase your self knowledge so you can get where you want to go.

      Though Penelope said we aren’t good at complex problem solving. I find that I do thoroughly enjoy problems that crop up in my business. I don’t know if what I encounter qualifies as “complex” problem solving, but I do see it (literally, in my head) as a puzzle with moving pieces that need to be arranged and rearranged until they are in the best pattern.

      I am ambitious, independent and intend to continue to increase my income exponentially. Do I like the idea of a start-up that requires VC funding, the type of business Penelope finds so exhilarating? Hell no. I cannot imagine anything I would hate more. (Yes, the slit wrist analogy comes to mind here. I have no desire for that life whatsoever) However, I do love building my business my way. I’ve had no outside funding. I build and grow it as it makes sense and when it feels right, etc…It’s a very organic approach. It gives me the life I want and the day to day work of what I have chosen allows plenty of meditative activities. God, I love that part…..I guess my point is, I’m building a business in a way that suits my personality type.

      As far as income, do not despair my fellow INFP. I just took a look at income breakdown in the US…My personal income, entirely from a business I started 6 years ago, is in the top 10% of the country. I’m not rich, but my needs are met, and then some. I’m happy with the direction I’m going. I’ve got traction now and getting to the fun part…..now it’s about raising the bar. “Let’s see where I can go with this now….” I’ve worked long and hard to get here. I still have moments of crying in the shower from exhaustion. But, that pretty much tells me that I’m on the verge of a growth spurt. So, difficult as it is, I look forward to what will come of it once I get through it. It’s exciting.

      I abhor the idea of finding a person to support me financially, and have always bristled at the idea. I’ll stop myself here because I could go on a rant. I’ll just say that, to me, the most compelling reason for being alive is to create. I want to see what I can do with the gifts I’ve been given. And, it will look very different from what an INTJ or all the others would do or create. What I do and build will always be very INFP, but I love that. I love that I know who I am and what my strengths are. And, what I create and do will be worthy and valid, even if its not fortune 500. I don’t aspire to that. It’s not my measuring stick.

      Part of what I use my business for is to provide business opportunities to women who would otherwise feel they had no options. I love that. I also look at my business as improving the quality of life for those I serve. How very INFP of me………

      As an aside….after I read your response here and started thinking about it, I took the pot of coffee upstairs to pour my man a cup. He was sitting in bed reading something on his phone, a financial document. Really? On Sunday morning? A financial document? I had just finished looking up arts events and wanted to go to a talk on the Wyeth exhibition at the art museum. Then, I launched into art history and pulled up pieces to show him. Then, it was back to the technical/political stuff he was reading.

      I laughed because what had been on my mind was personality type and the need to balance ourselves out by who we surround ourself with. I cannot deny that living life with this person (almost 3 years now) who is very, very different from me has made my life so much better. His technical expertise, organization ability, love of routine, structured way of doing things is an incredible blessing to me and balances my life out in a really good way. I now I do the same for him. Before meeting him I thought I wanted to be alone forever……

      It’s not just the INFP’s who have weaknesses, every type does. And, we all benefit from the perspectives and input of the “others”. Trying to do it all and be it all on our own leaves a lot missing. Bringing that balance into the picture by surrounding ourselves with people whose strengths balance our own, whether it be a life partner, friends or business associates, really rounds out life in a great way.

      I do wish you well on your journey, Joyce. I do know you are searching, and that’s the important part. Things will come together eventually.

      • David
        David says:

        Dear Ms. Allen (Cindy, if I may),

        I just wanted to say that reading your various comments about INFP Life have made me feel more hopeful about having a grounded perspective wherein I recognize and can even celebrate my strenghts and both acknowledging and actively seeking ways to deal with my weaknesses. It sounds hard fought, hard won, and well-deserved…please keep these mini realistic-pep-posts (if that makes sense) coming as you’re inspired to post.

    • MBL
      MBL says:

      Joyce, I appreciate your sharing your response here. I agree with most everything you have written. Although I would not have read “I’m sorry you were offended.” as “I’m sorry I offended you.”

      However, I did not come away wishing I weren’t an INFP but glad that I’m not an ENTJ (of course, that is knowing what I know via an INFP disposition–were I only aware of life as an ENTJ (per PTs description) then I would probably be as self-congratulatory as she says she has observed that they are.) I re-watched the sections of her suggesting an ENTJ partner and it seemed to be from the point of view of “would and ENTJ accept an INFP, yeah, I think so, therefore that would be a good match” without the realization that it might well be a good match FOR THE ENTJ, but horrible for the INFP–the audience. Correct me if I am wrong, but PT described ENTJs as “souless” and “mercenary.” In what universe does that sound like a good fit for an INFP?!? And that might be great info, but not for the scope of this course. PT specifically said that an INFP would be a poor match for an INFP–but her only INFP exhibit, Jay, seems really content with his INFP (he has a whole lotta T and J going on and it is a sample of one, but…)

      Speaking of which, Jay seems really nice, but not an INFP poster boy and PT was still saying she doesn’t believe that he is one. From what I could see he deals with PT by talking over her and not caring about who gets credit for the work. Fair enough, but dealing with this blog is a side job for him, so it isn’t really applicable to relationships or primary income situations. He is doing this help make the message better and isn’t dependent upon the money and can walk away at a moments notice.

      I am not saying that there is nothing of value in the webinar. The sidebar was great fun, but I honestly don’t see how the third objective was met:
      —Your sixth sense about what feels right will be a good guide for finding a mate. You are unique, and you need to rely on your instincts rather than conventional wisdom. This session will show you how to rely on your instincts with confidence when it comes to your personal life. No one is a better guide than you, but that’s not the message you get from the outside world. Your high expectations are both inspiring and frustrating to yourself and those around you. This session will show you how to channel your strong values and high ideals to create a caring and harmonious home life.—

      What I heard in the actual webinar was that you should become pragmatic, follow the exact same timeline that she tells other types to follow, look for a breadwinner, and make emotional connections outside of your relationship. “you may as well march to the drum that everyone else is marching to” How is that showing “how to rely on your instincts with confidence when it comes to your personal life”? Whether it is good advice or not, it is NOT meeting the criteria of the sales pitch.

      Obviously, some people got enough value out of the webinar and others did not. I don’t want to deter people who might get value but do want to spare INFPs who are particularly sensitive. (I guess that is what it is that makes the difference.) I was NOT okay listening to half a dozen pointed, unnecessary jabs at a paying client whom she knows to be sensitive. Spoiler alert: “after we rip on blueray….” “blueray, who I worry was so whiny that his girlfriend kicked him out” “it does an INFP good to be a squeaky wheel. there was no downside” “everybody should end this evening by going to their spouse and being really annoying about something you really want because it worked for MBL and blueray. Well, not so much for blueray because he got kicked out of his relationship. But I happen to know that MBL is in a good relationship…everyone be more of a squeaky wheel!” I know that these things were said on the fly, but this was the night before the other comments directed towards blueray. So she just built on it. I never did find out why trying to get an answer to a question that numerous clients had was being “annoying” from us, but would be “assertive” in other types.

      It feels weird to post these direct quotes, but I think people need to be able to go into the course with a better idea as to what they are paying for. I’m sure these sorts of jabs appeal to many people and/or they might not even register as inappropriate, but this info is specifically for INFPs and I think some may appreciate it.

      I honestly get value from PTs blog and the commenters here are really great. I honestly want to PT do well and think that, if she believed it were in her best interest, she would tailor things a bit more to her audience.

      In the interest of speaking the language of ENTJ Penelope, I will look at this as a simple business transaction and be requesting a refund also.

      If this is an overreaction or being too sensitive or having expectations that are too high, then so be it. They don’t call INFPs The Idealists for nothing.

  29. Tauseef Alam
    Tauseef Alam says:

    Hi Penelope,

    This is really helpful. I was waiting for this kind of article since long and finally found it on your blog. Looking forward to read more articles from you soon.

  30. Margaret
    Margaret says:

    HI! whoaaaa you generated a lot of discussion on this post! Another INFP here. I love how you wrote INFP create calm environments. It is so true! I love connecting everyone and I feel like although I don’t contribute in practical matters, I contribute atmospherically, if that makes sense? If only we can write that in our resume! haha!

  31. Jim
    Jim says:

    The part about how INFPs are extremely valuable for generating ideas but are overwhelmed in a loud, boisterous brainstorming session really resonated with me. I think that INFPs are methodical thinkers that take time to pick apart a problem. This can lead to people thinking they are stupid or slow but it couldn’t be further from the truth – their mind is simply working to arrive at a solution that they feel satisfied with.

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