March 6, 2014 by philipbullitthughes
It’s that time again, time for the long awaited post about one of my all time favorite personality types—the INFP. But first, I would like to take a moment to apologize for dawdling. I recognize that it has been quite some time since my last post. No, I have not forgotten to write. I have just been doing writing of a different sort. I recently completed a novel using the sixteen personality types to map out each of my characters. More to come about that, but it is my hope that my readers will enjoy seeing their personality type come to life in a world as unusual as they are. So stay tuned!
Now, enough about my book. Today we are going to talk about those rare and soulful Healers, the INFPs. One INFP who stands out as a prime example is Disney’s adaptation of the Chinese hero of yesterday, Hua Mulan.
INFPs are perhaps the most interesting type of all. Soft-spoken, sensitive, intelligent, kind, these individuals offer a depth of empathy few can employ. While they might appear collected and cool on their exterior, their minds are often a typhoon of emotion, swirling them from one feeling to the next.
Unfortunately for the INFP, many feel misunderstood, and if raised in a family that values the concrete and is obtuse about feelings, they will wither like a flower in the torrid sun. Such is the case with Disney’s protagonist.
Like most INFPs, Mulan feels as though she is set apart from society. Raised amidst a culture that values submission, silence, and conformity, Mulan is torn between two ideals. She is independent, opinionated, and strong-willed, and her natural inclinations are a far cry from what her family wishes of her. So, in an effort to please her family and rid herself of the aberrational stigma attached to her nature, she kowtows to their demands.
Mulan starts her day like many INFPs, running around in a frantic tizzy in a last stitch effort to make sure everyone in her life is happy while simultaneously maintaining some sort of balance in her own life. Feed the chickens, pray, get washed up, find a husband. None of which she is actually sure she wants, mostly because she is told she wants these things rather than making her mind up herself.
And thus she lives, day after mundane day, hoping that no one will figure her out.
But then everything changes. Her father, a war hero of old, is called forth in service of the Emperor. War is upon them, and a male from each family must serve. It is then that the reality of Mulan’s character surfaces. Her father is too old to go to war, and would most certainly be killed. She throws off the ties that bind her, and she surreptitiously takes her father’s place, disguised as a male.
And so she begins her quest, a few close friends at her side. Abstract companions are always the INFPs friend of choice, and Mulan is no exception. With the help of an ancestral dragon, a cricket, and her horse, Mulan transcends the confines placed upon her and rescues the Empire from certain destruction.
It is only when Mulan is set free from the ties that bind her that she truly blossoms. Her creative, innovative, and inspiring ways of doing things is adopted not only by her comrades, but ultimately resonates with the entire nation.
INFPs are natural people-pleasers. They want everyone to be happy and will go to great lengths to make sure those around them feel valued and accepted. However, this can be to their detriment. In looking out for others, they often forget to take care of themselves. INFPs need to have freedom, freedom from judgment, scrutiny, and above all else, freedom to be themselves. If you know an INFP, appreciate them for their depth, their quirks, their creativity, and their undying compassion and empathy.