Can INFP read minds? Hmm… In many cases, it appears that they can!
Among the 16 Myers-Briggs Personality types, INFPs are one of the naturals in grasping people’s emotions and motivations. What’s more, it’s undeniable how they’re passionate about understanding human connection and subjectivity.
So, people’s pain, happiness, and anger? Lies and awkwardness? Definitely, INFPs have the aptness to read such nonverbal cues. Their minds always reel around the question “Why?”
“Why do her eyes appear so sorrowful? Why isn’t he his usual chatty self? Why is this person trying to guilt-trip us?”
They pierce through people’s true intentions, detect lies, and manipulation. They smell the stinking fakeness a mile away. Dang, isn’t this an INFP superpower?
But how? In this post, we’ll delve into 4 truths about how INFPs read (or misread) other people’s minds.
However, please note that although it seems mystic, well, INFPs are not clairvoyant. They have other ways to read the people around them, and if you’re an INFP, this will help you understand not only yourself, but how you connect with other people, too.
Are you ready? Here we go!
4 Truths About INFPs Reading Other People
1. More than reading people’s minds, INFPs read emotions better.
INFP mind readers — I like the sound of that. Cool!
But okay, let’s stop for a while and face the truth.
Yes, INFPs may predict someone’s thinking and actions, but it’s not because they’ve magically peeked into other people’s minds. Rather, INFPs need something more reliable. Something more observable. Perceiving factors like visible emotions, patterns, and expressions.
When it comes to reading these cues, you bet INFPs do a pretty good job.
They easily detect sadness, nervousness, or genuine excitement by people’s tone of voice. They look at gestures, twitching eyes, and interrupted behavioral patterns.
Whether someone is being randomly extra today to make an impression or concealing something beneath the surface, INFPs are adept at picking up on these subtleties.
They hear the tension in the silence. And sense hints of passive-aggressiveness and sarcasm.
INFPs notice the changes in pitch, a person’s warmth that turned into indifference, and a person’s pain after experiencing humiliation.
They recognize when someone tries to avoid a topic, if they’re uncomfortable, and if they’re all drained out after a party. INFPs feel when you’re upbeat and happy, and is the first one to realize when you’ve gone too quiet on social media and have shut down.
They spot all of these, as if they have emotion sensors tucked within themselves.
Amazingly, it’s a skill INFPs have long cultivated due to how they view the world as a default. As introverted feelers, the realm of emotions becomes INFP territory. These Dreamers dwell long enough in the realm of morals, values, and emotions, so it’s no wonder they can distinguish it from other people, too.
It’s this “INFP superpower” that allows them to differentiate between falsehoods and truths, as well as discern ill intentions from genuine ones.
2. INFPs, as empaths, can live in other people’s lives.
Since INFPs seek meaning and depth, it’s easy for them to read between the lines.
They don’t only sympathize, but immerse themselves in someone else’s situation. In their minds, they can draw vivid images of your narratives and strongly sense the grief or pain associated with your experiences.
By recreating the unfolding events within their minds, INFPs are inclined to take it to a personal level. They start to grasp your current feelings, understand the challenges you’re facing, ponder where they could help, and are emotionally compelled about how they can soothe the pain.
When you tell them you’re bullied at work, an INFP constructs an image of your experience, subconsciously internalizes a familiar feeling of humiliation and helplessness, and feels what you feel as if they’re being tormented the same way as you. Their response? A deep breath and anger towards the people who made you experience that way.
If an INFP witnesses your grief over a passing loved one, they too shed tears, deeply affected by the intensity of such a sudden loss. They can see themselves in your shoes, fear it too, and share your grief at a personal level.
INFP’s empathy is deep. So deep, that it compels them to offer all the help they can give to see you through until you overcome your situation. No wonder, they’re called the Healers of MBTI.
You may also like: Why Would An INFP Lose Empathy?
3. INFPs can’t read people who hide their emotions.
I know I’ve said INFPs seem to have the superpower of reading people. But hold up. Don’t celebrate, too soon. Just like how Superman is weak against kryptonite, INFPs have weaknesses, too, in regards to reading others.
Later I realized that INFP’s evaluations aren’t always accurate.
See, these empaths can read emotions, right? Right.
But, what if the other person’s good at masking it? Yep, this is where INFPs may become ineffective detectors.
For example: our fellow INFPs.
Interestingly, while people can easily find INFPs on the Internet, the truth is, that it’s not as easy to spot them in real life. They’re covered in mystery, and can hide a huge part of them really, really well!
Did you know, I never realized my INFP friends carried the same personality as I am, not until they mentioned it?
I salute them for keeping things private, but I can’t help feeling kinda “betrayed.” It struck me that my “closest friends” didn’t really open up to me like I thought they did. They’ve hidden many parts of their lives so I never would have thought they were INFPs.
Well, I can’t blame them. I did the same, so maybe it’s a tie?
Ha! This is why we often find ourselves labeled as one of the most misunderstood personality types!
So you see, just like my friends, many INFPs are not “very emotional” types who publicly express their emotions, create scenes, or enjoy being the dramatic star of the night.
Rather, these empaths have learned to manage themselves, wear masks, and regulate their bursting emotions to appear ordinary, cheerful, and easygoing individuals, far removed from the center of attention.
That said, with emotions hidden, INFPs’ emotion sensors could be rendered faulty.
Indeed, there are moments when they can read someone’s mind. But if you’re talking to other NFs who express emotions in one way, but think the other way, and don’t even flinch about covering up their true feelings… how accurate can we be?
I honestly find it difficult.
I’ll be the first one to admit that I misjudged most of my friends. They were not the happy-go-lucky teammates I perceived them to be when we were young. It’s only recently that I realized how much pain they have endured.
How sensitive they are, and how emotional they can be. But before? They left no traces. It’s the same with me. I gave them no clues.
That said, it will be hard for INFPs to read others who are professionals at masking their emotions.
It would also be hard to distinguish lies from truths from those personalities whose emotions are on the low end of their cognition. Boy, when a Thinker is smart enough to play with emotions, it’s scary. I know someone who slapped me with lies without batting an eye. And the sad thing is, I believed her. *sigh*
Her story was so heartfelt and lengthy, and I saw her as a friend. But one day, I discovered that none of her stories were hers. All lies. Now, being with her in the same room gives me the creeps.
Therefore, I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage fellow INFPs not to rush in forming judgments about people. Who knows, the persona they display to the world may only scratch the surface of their true selves. It’s more than what meets the eye.
4. INFPs can read other personality’s emotions, too, but may struggle to understand the motivation.
Have you ever formed close connections with Sensors like ISFJs, ESTJs, or ISFPs?
Sensors are often straightforward and frank, making them relatively easy to read.
But what makes it hard to deal with them is not their emotions. It’s their values clashing against ours. It’s like, you know very clearly what they want, but you can’t push yourself to agree. No!
Oh boy, I couldn’t count the times Sensors – even the people closest to me – get to my nerves. Not because they’re being mean, but because I very much struggle with how different their belief system and values are.
Based on my personal experiences, it was mostly a clash (and took a long time to find the middle ground).
For instance, I’ve struggled to comprehend why ISFJs are so willing to assist others, to a point where I feel they’re being taken advantage of. I’ve even suspected that their altruism might be a facade, but it turns out they genuinely find fulfillment in giving sooo much!
Then here comes some ESTJs who always demand structure. It’s overwhelming how obsessively they pursue it and it’s draining my soul dry.
And also, I can easily read my ISFP friend’s thoughts because they’re quite direct. However, we have differing views on what’s considered impressive and cool.
I find it perplexing why he dislikes the movies I enjoy, just as he can’t fathom why I don’t appreciate the “must-watch” recommendations he’s offered. He made fun of my hobbies and preferences, and so I did the same. Friendly banters. But ugh, sometimes, some issues get on my nerves because he can be too stubborn, too.
So yep, INFPs can read other personalities’ emotions and intentions, but sometimes, when they clash with our values, we instinctively recoil from understanding them at all!
Yes, there are instances where INFPs may fall short in their attempts to read people, particularly those who are secretive and private.
However, INFPs’ mind-reading abilities can be attributed to their ability to delve deep into emotions. So frequently, they accurately assess individuals and discern behavioral cues.
I believe that such skill is beneficial not only to INFPs. When used right, it would be a bridge where INFPs can deliver their warmth and healing to those who are secretly hurting.
That’s it. I hope this post gave you insights. 🙂
INFPs are mind readers. They read their own minds… and then procrastinate for hours! Lol. To overcome procrastination, check out my “Not Lazy, Just INFP” E-book. 🙂