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Articles > The INFP in Relationships

INFP in Relationships

Most INFPs share a common interpersonal style and set of challenges.

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Most INFPs share a similar interpersonal style, and this style impacts most of their relationships, including those with friends, families, work colleagues, and romantic partners.

Your interpersonal style describes your social tendencies in terms of dominance, submissiveness, warmth, and coldness. This style impacts how you interact with others, and in turn, it can affect how they act around you.

The circular graph below shows the average interpersonal style of INFPs. The vertical, up-down axis shows their style in terms of dominance, with a highly assertive style at the top (Assured-Dominant) and a highly passive style at the bottom (Unassured-Submissive).

The horizontal, left-right axis shows their style in terms of warmth, with a cold and impersonal style on the left (Cold-Aggressive) and a friendly, empathetic manner on the right (Warm-Agreeable).

Typical interpersonal style of the ISTP
How the INFP typically falls on common interpersonal dimensions

The shaded blue area shows the typical interpersonal style of INFPs across eight dimensions. Notice that the blue area is closely aligned with the middle circle. There are no dimensions in which INFPs are extraordinarily high or low. As a group, INFPs are unusually balanced in their interpersonal style.

One interpretation of this balance is that INFPs often appear as socially well-adjusted. In terms of their interpersonal warmth, they can compromise and show affection when appropriate, but they can also push back and make demands when necessary. In their social dominance, they will happily lead others and take charge when given the opportunity, but they can step back and follow if needed.

Of course, there will be individual INFPs who are relatively high or low on some of these dimensions, leading to some particular interpersonal challenges. But as a group, INFPs do not seem to share any of these extremes.

As a group, INFPs tend to vary considerably on two dimensions that are closely tied to social relationships: Agreeableness and Neuroticism. Some INFPs are highly agreeable and less neurotic, others INFPs are highly neurotic and highly disagreeable, and others can be anywhere in between.

Because this group varies so much on these two dimensions, it’s unlikely that any description of their relationship tendencies would be accurate for most INFPs. For example, highly disagreeable INFPs will be more likely to avoid close and intimate relationships for several reasons, but only some INFPs are highly disagreeable. Similar problems arise with INFPs lack of consistency in Neuroticism/Emotional Stability.

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