INF is a temperament that emerges when — whether by nature or modulation — the Introverted, Intuitive and Feeling attitudes of personality are exalted, and the Extroverted, Sensory and Thinking attitudes are depreciated. INF is not a type, but an overarching disposition that reflect what cognitive aspects a person’s focused on at this stage in their life.
The INF temperament is reflective, highly sensitive, impassioned, romantic, idealistic and affected by life in a very acute way. The INF leaps beyond the physical, existing disconnected from the immediate and immersed in the symbolic significance of things. They strive for intensity and chases after an inner image; seeing always what life and people could be like “if only.” They will give high credence and value to the subjective world of feelings, and will nurture an active self-awareness.
INF’s will ask “who am I, really? …what is the nature of my soul? what is my meaning or purpose in this life?” and will pay attention to the answers that arise from them. The INF is driven to know the bowels of the human soul; to understand what it means to be human and to know what their own inner essence is. This may take the form of an immersion into the primordial, wherein lie unparalleled insights into humanhood, or at times also inner demons. The INF contends deeply and seriously with the question – dilemma – of the soul; it’s injuries, desires, disappointments, and longings. All of these are felt with a sobriety that’s unmatched by other types. This can lead many INF’s into a sort of self-obsession as they battle through a maze, guided at times by images or dreams. At their worst, INF’s can become consumed in their own wailings especially if they come to feel who they are is something less than ideal or unacceptable. They may turn their attention toward inner transformation and the physical world may be ignored as they pursue this aspiration with reckless abandon – immersing themselves in art, poetry, music and all manner of theories that can help them make sense of the complexity of the human heart. Their level of affect toward life may be felt as a heavy burden; one they cannot easily contain or control.
Whether it’s through art, poetry, fantasy or mythology, the INF temperament often develops a psychic connection to the archetypal. As Jung first made note, the intuitive type is she which has a direct channel into the unconscious. Often driven by imagery, visions or impressions, the INF will be guided by a type of felt divinity. They may become religious, and if they are not religious then they are at least spiritual and have a reverence for something greater that is in control of our lives. The INF is open and receptive to the information they might receive from the Divine. They may dabble in the I-Ching, Tarot, Astrology or Palmistry in their quest to seek answers and this can at times veer into occult arts. The INF will be able to find depth of meaning interwoven into seeming obscure sources of information. When not properly balanced with the sensory attitude, they may become too deeply engrossed in this domain and begin to construct far-off theories about what is happening or what might be guiding the events in their life. They may become superstitious, believing perhaps in the literal manifestation of spirits (whether as ghosts, demons or angels). In other cases, they may become energy readers, mediums or come to anthropomorphize all elements of life and discover that all things (animate and inanimate alike) have a life-essence. In extreme cases like these, the objective (E) is wholly depreciated for the subjective factor, and intuition is taken above the sensory. Feeling is applied to all dimensions of life, leaving little room for the sterility of the thinking function.
The INF will also have empathic qualities. Connected to their aforementioned heightened sensitivity to joy or suffering, they may feel the pain of others as if experiencing things from their own perspective. Although this temperament is introverted, through the feeling attitude they have a personal connection to the rest of the world. This feeling will transcend space/time and soulfully connect them to others they care for on a universal level – creating a somewhat psychic connection. And this empathy is not just for humans but also for animals. They may be animal lovers and advocates of their rights. They may have a connection or kinship to nature and be forest dwellers, hikers or explorers of various sorts.
As they are deeply affected by such things, this can even translate to physical pain. The INF may suffer from literal effects or conditions as the stress of the heart translates to nervous pain of the body. In the worst scenario, this overload can cause anxiety attacks, eating disorders, digestive disorders, and other nervous conditions such as depression. The world will seem like too tragic, heavy and acute of a place when they cannot turn off their empathic abilities.