The idealistic hero. The… idealistic hero.
INFPs are almost always cast this character. They hold an optimistic view of the world despite everyone’s doubt, and though can be a bit naive, they often are proven to see truth where others overlooked it.
If there’s an innocent child character, there’s a 99 percent chance they’re an INFP. Since writers shouldn’t be completely predictable, here’s some things to consider when crafting an INFP character.
(I don’t know any INFPs myself, so I’m going off what I know of the functions: Fi, Ne, Si, Te)
Make Them Villains
The number of villainous INFPs is way too small (when Funky MBTI in Fiction tried to count them, there were only about five confirmed). Write them ruthlessly fighting for their twisted morals, driven by their Fi. They see the world through Ne, so they can immediately come up with different ways to see a situation. When stressed, lower Te might be over-controlling, giving them a fatal flaw.
Now I want to write an INFP villain…
Make Them a Military Leader
Another typing site, The Book Addict’s Guide to MBTI, mentioned there are few to no military leader INFPs. I don’t know about you, but that makes me want to write one. Just like with the villainous version, their Fi could make them completely committed to the cause and their Ne can see the various possibilities for defense/attacks.
Remember Fi isn’t ‘Good’
And by ‘good,’ I mean ‘morally correct,’ ‘kind,’ etc. Neither is Fe. Just because someone’s a feeler doesn’t mean they’re nice or sweet; the functions don’t determine what conclusions you’ll draw, just how you’ll come to them. Some Fi users will decide the world is worth saving, others won’t. Fi users, in particular, can come across as ‘cold’ and ‘blunt’ because they’re generally motivated to stay true to themselves over group harmony.
INFPs aren’t Tragic Butterflies
There’s a stereotype that Fi-doms are complete emotional messes. They may be statistically more likely to fall into that category than other types (I’ve seen no research) because they feel things so intensely, but usually don’t know how to express it (introverted function vs extroverted function). That doesn’t mean there aren’t happy Fi-doms out there, and happy Fi-dom characters waiting to be written. This stereotype is less likely to crop up in sci-fi/fantasy, but it’s one to be aware of.
Great INFP Characters:
Lucy Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia; Faramir from Lord of the Rings; Frodo from Lord of the Rings; The Little Prince from The Little Prince
Remember, these are just things to consider. If your main hero turns out to be an idealistic INFP, great! …if you spend time to make them a good character. Then go for it!
Do you have any favorite INFP characters?