A Few Random Thoughts on the INFP Male.
This short article about the INFP male should be considered supplementary. If you are new to MBTI personality types and are unfamiliar with INFP’s, there are numerous articles and videos from which you can familiarize yourself with the basics up to the more complex details of the functions. Knowledge of the workings and developmental stages of the functions has its place in MBTI but those specifics are exhaustively boring to an INFP’s because the method we use to learn involves expanding upon logic by finding the connections between ideas as opposed to the more widely used method of learning which involves a process of reductionism in which one idea is understood by dissecting its components.
Reductionism is torturous to an INFP because it is too damn slow and completely beside the point of acquiring new knowledge. This is especially true when dealing with existential matters where an INFP feels most at home. The exhilaration INFP’s feel as we leap from one existential idea to the next like intrepid spiders weaving masterful webs in a paradise setting of butterflies and rainbows, only to be dismayed as the other personality types crash blindly through our webs in search of a needle of no consequence in a haystack of their own making. Sometimes they raise their heads out of the sand just long enough to scoff at what INFP’s are doing. Myopic types are not want to see the forest for the trees.
The reason I’m not focusing on female INFP’s in this article is that I am unable to relate to them. I’ve never met one and there aren’t many around so one must try to get a feel for them through forums and videos. A great many of those women are simply too young to build a comprehensive model from. They often remind me of figures in an impressionistic painting, sort of fuzzy, abstract and perhaps too feminine and timid to come across as anything more than quirky or whimsical. In general they have wholesome vibes, good taste in practical clothes and a genuine love and concern for others. Their downside is that they seem to inherit a tendency to wallow in an almost aristocratic malaise as one by one all the people in their lives fail to live up to their expectations. I would imagine that a soft-spoken INFP woman might be really good at making ASMR videos. I just happen to find ASMR extremely annoying.
The INFP male is a Sigma male that often gets mistyped as a Beta male. The reason for this is that people who do not know the difference between a Sigma and a Beta will often make assumptions based on their own ignorance. If an INFP male is seen to be avoiding conflict, it’s easy to understand how the confusion arises. So why do INFP males avoid conflict in the first place? The reason is simple. Engaging in conflict requires that one must divert all concentration to the outside environment. To do this one must be locked in a physical state of readiness akin to the instincts of fight or flight. Fight or flight instincts are a state of mind that, more evolved humans, recognize as regressive behavior. Unfortunately, Alpha peacocking is still attractive to women in their sexual prime and so the regressive behavior is rewarded. The Sigma male does not need to compete to maintain his confidence. He is satisfied knowing that he is an equal to the Alpha and can reap the same rewards without exposing himself to all the risks. Certainly not all Sigma males are created equal and I can only speak to the plight of INFP’s.
What it all comes down to is that INFP males are more prone to be observers of reality than active participants. This is partly due to our great interest in studying the people that come into our lives. We get a quick sense of people when we first meet them and can tell almost instantly if we are going to dislike them. However, disliking a person does not detract from our interest in studying them from afar. Every new face offers a piece to the grander puzzle of life and INFP’s are very keen on completing that puzzle. Unfortunately many INFP’s do not realize how uncomfortable they can make others feel by casually observing them. It is a natural human instinct to realize that someone is quietly examining your quirks, no matter how innocently, especially if that person is an oddly dressed INFP with a weird glint in his eye. On the other hand, people that are in need of someone to share their problems with can easily mistake an INFP’s curiosity for empathy. Not that INFP’s lack empathy, we are just more interested in what makes you click than the actual problems you face.
Eventually every INFP male reaches a point in time where he must cast aside his disguise and rise to the occasion. Imagine a group of soldiers in the heat of battle have just lost their commanding officer, under such conditions a Sigma INFP wouldn’t think twice to lead the charge and take the hill. In this respect I have read that INFP women are much the same. When the need arises, lives are at risk or an injustice is in the works, INFP’s will raise their swords to bullies, corruption and even the occasional PTA member without a moment’s hesitation. Yet none of that wasted energy is empowering. We are not raised to another level of mental maturity. All we feel is exhausted and in desperate need of alone time and quiet contemplation. Nor do we seek praise for our efforts. Often when people compliment me on my efforts in any endeavor I nod and smile politely so as not to be rude but on the inside I am slowly backing out of the room. It just feels uncomfortable to be complimented in that way. It’s hard to describe the feeling, sort of like wearing wet jeans or driving someone else’s car, it just feels wrong.
Another thing that might confuse people about INFP’s is their lack of jealousy as a motivating factor. No human is a stranger to jealousy entirely. INFP’s may long to improve in some intellectual or artistic way, but money and material gains always come attached with a certain degree of filth that doesn’t agree with spiritual harmony. If others have more, we are genuinely happy for them and that is the end of our thoughts on the matter. I have known many people in my time that have no concept of how to function without jealousy as their motivator and because of this they doubt the word of INFP’s. Few things will trigger an INFP more than being called or thought of as a liar so I advise friends and foes alike to choose your words and judgmental looks carefully.
Lastly I would like to cover what I consider to be a misconception about INFP’s. It is said that we prefer feelings to logic but that is not true. Logical reduction is not inspiring and although INFP’s thrive on inspiration we do not dismiss things for lack of it. We are often very thorough in our studies despite the tedious nature of it. What does happen when we make the connection between two seemingly unrelated topics of study, is an internal sensation quite like a brain zap, almost as if we can feel the birth of a new neural pathway between the left and right side of the brain. Because this is a rewarding experience it is probably common for INFP’s to just say that they feel they are right rather than to creep people out by explaining the weird sensation in their brains.
One should also take into consideration that the current abundance of information available about MBTI types is skewed by a somewhat dysfunctional online community. Introverts contribute more to MBTI data than extroverts and a lot of those introverts are neither mature nor healthy. Personality disorders abound in online forums and although those people are good at keeping interest in MBTI alive, one must take a pinch of salt before drinking the Kool-Aid.
Conan De Moe