The Dark Side of INFP Personality

INFP Dark Side
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You know who the INFPs are. They are the most compassionate, empathetic, and peace-revering type among the 16 Myers-Briggs personalities.

However, as we talk about human nature, we must realize that everyone has the capability to be destructive – even the gentle INFPs.

Can INFPs be evil? What does the dark side of INFPs look like? Unfortunately, INFP’s dark side starts within their critical beliefs which then amplifies to the real world.

When pushed in a rut, destructive INFPs revenge with severity and without any remorse. They become insensitive and indifferent about other people’s feelings. 

When my Dark Side as an INFP Emerges

As I grow older, I tend to experience a rollercoaster of emotions. I feel either heightened optimism or grueling indifference. My enthusiasm gives me hope to reach my dreams. It’s a satisfying emotion and I think I can take over the world.

But when the INFP dark side emerges, the indifference I feel towards the world cages my emotions until I don’t feel a thing, except for guilt – guilt that I’m not sharing the same sorrow with others despite the world breaking down.

When INFPs realize too much darkness in this world, they sometimes surrender to its ideals. Passionately driven INFPs can create an army that will follow their vision. It becomes more dangerous when such dark, yet passionate INFPs advocate wrong idealism to people.

The Dark side of INFP Personality

Important disclaimer: I’m not generalizing every INFP. We have INFP-As and INFP-Ts who respond differently to situations like success and challenges. The dark sides of every INFP can be unique to their experiences and discoveries of the world.

But if an INFP turns to her dark side, it’s quite a worrying story. Let me tell you what happens.

Here we go:

1. Self-centeredness and Selfishness

It’s something I didn’t want to admit before. “Selfish? Who? Me?” Of course, I’m denying it! Everyone sees me as the kind and gentle one of the class.

But as much as we want to deny it, INFP’s primary cognitive function is Introverted Feeling (Fi) which means we have strong attachments to our morals and own ideals. We want everything filtered out through our own standards and it’s the subtle start of INFP’s massive selfishness.

Putting themselves first above all.

One dark side of an INFP is they think about themselves most of the time. Selfish INFPs would not help others at the expense of themselves. They will find themselves asking, “what’s in it for me?” If an act doesn’t make them feel good, INFPs think twice about helping others.

In comparison, the optimistic INFPs never turn down requests. They are yes-people. They take requests to avoid offending anyone.

But when INFPs start embracing love for themselves, they start distancing themselves until people can no longer tell them what to do. INFPs hate being abused so they may abandon anyone who does so. If no one meets their standards or satisfies their values, they will leave.

Nonconformity heightens to the point they’re turning rebellious or irrational. They have their own ways and no pep talk will stop them from doing what they want.

I remembered being the “yes-man” when I was younger. However, as I try to do my best to accommodate everyone, these people start passing all the responsibilities onto me. I endured it, but soon I saw the circumstances as abusive to my physical and mental health.

For the first time in years, I asked myself “Why does it all have to be me?”  I was burnt out and I started seeing people who put me in that position with resentment.

It was a hot afternoon when I said my first “no” to my classmates. It was so liberating. But since then, people find it hard to reach me out and I’ve had a sense of freedom. And I loved it.

2. Obsession with Idealism

The Dark Side of INFP Personality

We daydream, replay scenarios, and monologue a lot.

INFPs are idealists and it’s a cool name to tag along with our personality.

However, some INFPs take idealism too far that they confuse real life with imagination. As a result, when INFPs see the reality too far from what they idealized, it discourages and paralyzes them.

I remember myself drawn into a plan like delivering stage plays and fabricating our thesis project. I’ve set up my plan. But when the people around me didn’t follow what I had in mind, it wears my motivation down.

When INFPs are too drawn with their imagination, they neglect the truths about reality, that life is a trial-and-error game. Nothing comes perfectly on the first try.

Since INFPs are obsessed with the perfection they created, when they face the imperfect real world, they have tendencies to back out and leave everyone hanging.

Idealism in Jobs

No amount of money, positive talk, or motivation can stop INFPs from leaving a job where they find no meaning. They have tendencies to quit jobs without 2-week notice. For them, the priority is to recover themselves and no one else. This dark side of the INFP personality may cause harm to co-workers and the organization itself.

Idealism in Relationships

INFPs don’t fall in love with the person. But they fall in love with the idea of the person. They create a perfect image of their partners, praise them, and get obsessed with their character. But when their partners drift away from the perfect image, they start to fall out of love.

“You’re not the same person I fell in love with.” An INFP might just tell you this.

They won’t suck up your negative behavior. Immature INFPs aren’t patient enough to wait for your ultimate change. “If you want to continue this relationship, do this, do that.”

And if their idea of you gets stained, for example, you cheated, or you didn’t meet her expectations, the relationship would probably reach its end.

Related Post: Do INFPs Cheat? The Dark Side of INFP Idealism

3. Dropping what doesn’t feel right

If you’re an INFP, how many times have you canceled a plan at the last minute?

How about leaving a job when there weren’t any large issues at all? If INFPs find no meaning in what they do, they feel useless and lost.

Because INFPs are all about passion, the unhealthy ones tend to drop everything that sucks the enthusiasm out of them. They don’t realize triumph and they avoid struggles at all costs.

It’s not that they really can’t perform tasks. They just won’t. Forcing them to do a job they started to hate sucks the energy, talent, and motivation out of them. They become clumsy, unorganized, and unproductive.

4. Seeing people as bad

For INFPs, people are bad as a default. They’re cautious at the first meet and immediately build 10-feet high walls.

It’s not easy to befriend an INFP. They think there’s a “catch” when people draw close to them.

Because of this, INFPs maintain only a small circle of friends whom she has tested through time. Often, these are people who have like personalities.

As for the others, if they don’t pass the INFP standards, being acquaintances might be the best position you can reach. Immature INFPs will make you feel safe, but in reality, they know from the start who and who won’t enter their sacred circle of friends.

5. INFP anger means Mental, personal, and physical attacks

In the first stage, INFPs translate anger to silence.

When you anger an INFP, they will start ignoring you like you don’t exist at all. Their cold shoulder ruins you mentally which makes it even worse than a verbal argument.

It will take time before anyone experiences the second phase of an INFP’s anger. Unfortunately, it’s quite aggressive. When a person they dislike continues with their menacing attitude and insensitivity, INFPs retort to pugnacity and physical force. 

When an INFP reaches the limit, they punch you straight in the face, throw things at you, or pop your tires without any remorse. And also, get ready to be emotionally torn down because they will slap you with the ugly truths, not of your appearance, but about your whole being.

After the big outburst, they will be like, “you deserve it”.

I, myself, had slapped people with the harshest comments. My words were not meant to be an insult. I don’t target appearances because that’s shallow. I attack the core of their being with truths and shatter them into pieces until they realize how much of a useless person they’ve been. Along with these comments, I’ve punched a few classmates who kept low-key bullying me even after I told them not to.

My anger wasn’t impulsive, it was collective that when I burst it out, no one can stop me but me. I’m not proud of it, but yeah. This is how INFPs vent out overflowing anger.

Fortunately, those guys became more sensitive and careful with their words whenever they talk to me.

6. Manipulative

INFPs are the masters of emotions because they know so much about what, how, and when to feel things. Moreover, they are empaths that feel emotions deeply. They connect dots and realize the roots of someone’s joy, fear, or anger.

And with such a gift, manipulation may be one of INFP’s darkest sides. They can make people acknowledge what they believe in. INFPs know how to play hard to get in relationships. Lastly, they can easily guilt other people for their wrongdoings.

But these are the traits of destructive INFPs. On the other hand, the optimistic ones usually refrain from blaming and making people feel accountable.

7. Advocating wrong Idealism

I’ve been really cautious about what to believe in nowadays. I found my belief system changing at a quick rate. For example, today, I’d mention a significant concept to my friends, but the next few days, new information debunks it completely and my beliefs would change once again.

It’s dangerous when an INFP doesn’t recognize the harm of what they believe in. INFPs have tendencies to create an army of believers. Charismatic INFPs present powerful visions. Unfortunately, if an INFP is fed with wrong information or preaches the wrong idealism, it’s literally a dark side at the end of the road for everyone who trusts that INFP.

8. Perfectionism

INFPs are perfectionists, but we’re not the best implementers. Thus, many of our ideas are wasted and it disappoints the daydreamer inside of us. When we get disappointments, we retreat.

INFPs aren’t sturdy pillars people can rely on. Again, we’re the source of ideas, but other personality types are more suited to implement it. When INFPs see the people around them slacking, it easily tarnishes their excitement and motivation.

When I was younger, I passionately founded a theatre club at our high school. I wrote the scripts, directed the play, and assigned the roles. I did everything I can. However, when my club members start to show up less, I slowly lost interest, too. In the end, the immature INFP in me backed out.

Some interpret it as procrastination or laziness. But this INFP trait is an issue with perfectionism. They can’t handle how much reality can drift away from their perfect fantasies. Thus, it leads them to procrastinate and give up.

“This won’t work!” an INFP would say. And then this immature INFP will abandon the current work and move on to start a new one. If they, again, find fault in their plan, they will leave it and the cycle goes on. This is why INFPs are known to be project starters, but not finishers.

9. Too overwhelmed or indifferent

The past few years were rough due to the Pandemic, lost jobs, and death of loved ones. I do shed a tear every now and then, but sometimes when I hear more problems trying to come my way, I’ve become so indifferent and lifeless about it.

People’s chaotic on social media because of politics, viral videos, and the latest trend. The me before would’ve commented and jive in the conversations, spreading positivity.

I recently looked at my Facebook memories from 9 years ago. Wow, I was so optimistic back then, telling people to smile despite the problems.

However, an INFP who has felt enormous anxiety and pain may just feel numb or indifferent. I sometimes feel guilty because I forgot how to be empathetic with my friends.

I questioned the existence of life. What makes this life important? I felt like I’m living in an illusion and everyone’s emotions are overrated.

Fortunately, this INFP phase eventually passes. It’s not a  permanent feeling. When an INFP discovers new meaning, this excites them and brings them back to life. Real-quick, I must say.


Experience makes a lot of difference to an INFP. As I’ve told you, INFPs self-reflect too often to the point that their belief system changes at a quick rate. 

However, becoming an INFP is truly a paradox. Whatever an INFP feels today would probably change in a minute, a day, or a week. The dark side of INFPs appears and recedes from time to time.

Are INFPs bad? For me, INFPs are still gentle and compassionate people with episodes of terrible dark sides, just like most people. Although we, INFPs, have weaknesses, we still are as good as any other personality type.

That’s it. Thanks for reading, God bless! 

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The Dark Side of INFP Personality

4 thoughts on “The Dark Side of INFP Personality

  1. I think that very few people realise the darkness of an INFP. In friendship groups we’re often classed as the ‘innocent’ friend which is weirdly pleasing but also frustrating. I think our un-anticipated dark side makes us particularly dangerous, in a poem I wrote ‘nobody knows the fire that burns within.’ Darkly, when someone does something that makes me angry, I take comfort in the fact that I could rip them to shreds without them even knowing. It’s probably what keeps me at bay.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Mary!

      I agree with you, specifically about the unanticipated character. People are used to seeing our kind nature that they didn’t realize what lies beyond. In the shadows, there’s critical thinking, the accumulating anger, our strong judgment, the biases, and our displeasing opinions. Interrupt our quiet and they’ll see our “dark side” in one big outburst.

  2. Thank you so much for this article Mathias. I greatly appreciate your knowledge about our/my darksides, every single line your wrote is more than correct to describe myself. I totally agree. Reading your article, it feels like you know me, you know what happened to me & you know how i reacted.

    Knowing my dark sides may help me to control my emotions better, and help me to make more wise decisions. I need to train myself.

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