While previous “From An INFP’s Perspective” posts have been about showing what certain cognitive functions look like as they are being used from an INFP’s perspective, this post and maybe a few others will illustrate what certain INFP struggles and “quirks” look like, again, from an INFP’s perspective.
And so, in this post, I will discuss the INFP’s struggle to warm up to new people.
INFP’s are “notoriously difficult to really get to know,” as 16 Personalities says. Many MB-TI websites discuss how INFP can seem cold and aloof to other people, which may lead to misjudgments of the INFP’s character. For instance, new people may think that INFPs are cold and not compassionate, detached from the world and people around them. INFPs may be seen as arrogant or uncaring because of this.
While this misunderstanding is false, I know very much so how and why people think this when first meeting an INFP.
Of course, INFPs are reserved, self-conscious, and very private about their inner lives. On the surface level, this explains why INFPs seem cold. INFPs, though they don’t like being called shy, are really often just “shy”, in some of the stereotypical sense of the word. They have trouble connecting to other people in the beginning.
However, much can be explain on a deeper level, so onto the actual perspective of the INFP when the INFP meets a new person.
This can go many different ways. Either, like at my work place, a new person comes in and I try to get to know them, or I’ll be new somewhere else and other people will try to get to know me.
Here goes the perspective part of this post. (hey, alliteration)
If I’m ever in a situation where I meet someone new, whether I am talking to someone new at work or I’m new somewhere meeting other people, I will try hard to figure out this new person’s personality. I really don’t mind small talk if that’s what it takes to get to know someone new.
Most of the time, if I continue to meet this person, I may appear cold and aloof to them as I don’t like being “direct” with them. Perhaps they won’t like my personality or me or my manner of behavior. And honestly, sometimes I am just shy. I don’t know how to act around this new person. I’m trying to figure out their personality.
Sometimes, I’ll do this personality-deciphering unconsciously. Some people including me may chalk my behavior up to just pure shyness or quietness, but at the bottom of it, I think I’m just trying to understand this other person..
If this person is being direct with me, showing their personality, I’ll be able to mimic it and be direct with this person via their personality. I’ll copy their tone of voice, their mannerisms, and their way of saying things. I’m not trying to get them to like me on a surface level. On a deeper level, perhaps I am just trying to get them to like me, but I’d rather not show my personality to new people if I don’t have to.
Even if we don’t become friends or close friends, if I see them often like at work, I can get to know them better by mimicing their personality, figuring out what they’re like that way.
The closer we get to being friends, the more comfortable I’ll feel around them, and I’ll let my true personality begin to show.
INFPs may seem cold and aloof at first, and though I don’t know if I can speak for all INFPs, INFPs are carefully trying to figure out what your personality is like. They want to be liked by other people and by you. Unless you’re blatantly saying things and doing things that go against an INFP’s beliefs and values, then do not interpret the INFP’s coldness as a fact that they don’t like you. It’s very hard for an INFP not to like someone based on just a first impression.
It’s very hard for INFPs to be direct with new people. While they want to get to know you, they’re scared that you might not like their personality or tastes. While INFJs may seem cold and aloof because they want to get to know you but they’re not sure they can trust you, INFPs just want to get to know you but aren’t sure if you’ll like them. In that case, show your personality to the INFP. The INFP will feel much more comfortable around you because they’ll have a means of communicating with you via your personality and tastes.
We INFPs may take a while to get to know, but once we feel comfortable around you, we’ll show our true colors.