Have you ever wondered why something you thought wasn’t a big deal annoyed your INFP friend? Or why you, as an INFP, find certain things other people don’t even seem to notice the most irritating part of your day?
The Myers-Briggs® types are a tool for talking about how our minds work. They describe the mental processes that we use most comfortably, and these “functions” come together in unique ways for each personality type. Because of the special way our brains operate, each personality type has different things that they typically find annoying.
Of course, even if a group of people share a personality type there will still be plenty of individual differences. For example, some INFPs might not have a big problem with people who make assumptions about them or others. In general, though, most INFPs are going to find the 10 things on this list extremely irritating.
1) Inauthentic People
This is the first point mentioned in a video made by an INFP from the UK titled “Things That Really Annoy INFPs.” It’d be a good video to watch if you’re interested in the subject of this post. Because INFPs place such a high value on authenticity in themselves they also find a lack of authenticity annoying in others. In fact, Personality Hacker’s nickname for an INFP’s preferred cognitive function of Introverted Feeling is “Authenticity.”
INFPs tend to approach the world from the inside-out (as do introverts in general). One thing I found very interesting about this video is the INFP who made it said that she thinks INFPs are annoyed when they see in other people things that they fear or don’t like in themselves. It’s not just that INFPs are annoyed with people who are inauthentic and hypocritical (though that’s definitely the case). They’re also annoyed when the inauthenticity of others forces them to confront something inside them that doesn’t match-up with the authentic version of themselves that they want to be.
2) Being Criticized For Their Personality
Many of the criticisms commonly leveled against INFPs are connected with their natural personalities. “You’re too sensitive/emotional,” “Get your head out of the clouds,” “Stop being so idealistic,” and other statements like these target core aspects of how an INFP’s mind naturally works. Basically, they’re being told there’s something wrong with who they are on top of criticizing what they’re doing. That sort of thing can hurt deeply and it’s also very irritating.
While none of us should use our personalities as an excuse for behaviors that need to be changed, we also shouldn’t feel like we’re being asked/forced into needless change just to fit other people’s ideas of how we “should” be. Criticism and harsh words can hurt INFPs deeply and when those words are leveled against their authentic selves it’s even more hurtful and annoying than usual.
3) People Who Make Assumptions
This point is closely connected with the first two on this list. INFPs find it annoying when other people make assumptions about them. Like many introverts, INFPs often find that other people incorrectly interpret their quietness by filling-in the INFP’s silence with their own assumptions. Many times, those assumptions are not accurate and these inaccurate assumptions annoy INFPs. This is partly because it reinforces their feeling that they’re misunderstood by other people.
INFPs also find it annoying when people are quick to make assumptions in general. INFPs are imaginative, open-minded sorts of people (a trait that’s closely associated with their co-pilot function of Extroverted Intuition). They have trouble understanding those who make quick and/or narrow minded judgements or who assume that their first impression is necessarily the right one.
4) Cruelty, Inequality, and Injustice
This point is the first one included in the Introvert, Dear’s article about things the INFP personality absolutely hates. It’s that high on their list because this is a very important point for INFPs. People of this personality type have a particular dislike for selfish, self-righteous, and judgmental people who hurt others and take things out on them unfairly.
Though they generally go about it in a more quiet way than ENFPs (a type often nicknamed “champion” or “crusader), INFPs are just as likely to get deeply invested in helping other people. An INFP’s annoyance at seeing selfishness, cruelty, injustice, and inequality will move them to take real-world action to help others in as many ways as they can. They may also campaign for causes that they care about deeply with don’t involve other people so directly, such as animal rights or climate change.
5) Refusing to Listen or Care
INFPs tend to be empathetic people who are very good listeners. As such, they’re highly sensitive to people who do not demonstrate similar skills especially when it seems to be done in a deliberate and/or malicious way. INFPs find it very annoying when people (especially someone they should be able to trust) refuses to listen to them. What makes it even worse is when someone refuses to care.
People who dismiss the INFP’s thought and feelings as unimportant are both hurtful and annoying. INFPs will also notice if someone is displaying a lack of empathy for other people (not just the INFP) and they’ll find that annoying as well.
6) Being Too Social
All introverts need time to recharge away from other people. This seems especially true for INFPs. It’s not enough for them just to get out of busy social settings. They need alone time away from even their closest friends, family members, and romantic partners. If INFPs don’t get enough alone time they feel like shutting down. INFPs need plenty of time to get away from others, reconnect with themselves, and regain their energy. Without that time, they’ll be more and more annoyed by everything that irritates them.
Also, when INFPs do spend time with others, they prefer to spend their social time connecting deeply with one person or small groups. They don’t particularly enjoy large social events or small-talk-level interactions, and often find such things annoying.
7) Not Having Meaningful Time For Themselves
This point goes along with needing alone time but it’s not quite the same thing. INFPs don’t just need time alone. They also need time where they can focus on their passions. As individual, imaginative, and often highly creative people INFPs need an authentic outlet for the things that they’re passionate about.
INFPs have a deep craving to do things that make them feel fulfilled, satisfied, and excited about something. They need lives that are full of meaning and inspiration, and will quickly find themselves annoyed if they feel stuck in monotonous routines that don’t speak to their authentic selves. Of course, routine is part of everyday life (at least to a certain extent) and can’t be avoided entirely. But to avoid getting annoyed and depressed, INFPs need to balance the time spent on mundane things with time spent in a way that’s meaningful for them.
In general, INFPs are gentle and sensitive people who prefer if their relationships and environments remain peaceful. They find it annoying when they’re in situations where there is conflict around them, especially if it’s happening consistently. Work environments where there is constant bickering, gossip, and lack of respect among employees will be very irritating to an INFP.
INFPs also dislike conflict within their close, personal relationships. The closer the relationship is, the more conflict with someone will affect an INFP. Their reaction to conflict can go beyond simple annoyance, too. INFPs embroiled in conflict can be come anxious and even ill because it’s so upsetting (something I personally sympathize with because INFPs share this trait with my personality type, INFJ).
9) Being Put on the Spot
Like many other introverts (and some extroverts as well), INFPs don’t generally like to have the spotlight turned on them. This is especially annoying if someone expects them to perform, share their ideas, or deal with lots of attention from others without any warning.
Most INFPs would rather go about their lives without much public recognition. It would mean a lot more (and be far less annoying) to the typical INFP to have someone privately acknowledge their talents and contributions than to have a public spectacle made of it. In addition, INFPs often struggle to express themselves well when spontaneously called upon to share their ideas and they may find themselves annoyed if someone tries to force them to share without giving them time to think first.
10) People Who Mishandle Facts
As part of my preparation for this blog post, I read through part of a forum thread where INFPs talked things they find annoying. One thing that surprised me at first was how many mentioned they find it annoying when other people confuse facts and opinions. The stereotype of INFPs is that they make decisions with their feelings and tend to place a lower value on logic. However, it seems that for at least some INFPs people who confuse opinion with fact annoy the hell out of them.
I think this point is connected with INFPs’ cognitive functions Introverted Sensing (their tertiary function) and Extroverted Thinking (their inferior function). Though these functions are not an INFP’a strongest or most comfortable mental processes, they do use them well enough to recognize when something doesn’t make sense and to be irritated by people who don’t handle facts in the right way. It’s especially annoying when the facts are mishandled in a way that hurts other people and/or misrepresents causes that the INFP cares deeply about.
What are the things that annoy you most as an INFP? Let us know in the comments!
Featured image credit: Gerd Altmann via Pixabay