INFP-ness: A curse, blessing?

Our dear friend, Seth Roback, shares his insight on the INFP Facebook group about what is an INFP’s role to the world.

Driving into work today I got an insight about us INFPs. I know that a lot of us struggle in terms of understanding the purpose of our lives. We see life as having so many layers of understanding through the logging of all our emotional and mental states that our actions seem completely pointless in the grand scheme of things. There were times that I felt I was a human being who served no purpose except using up more of our planetary resources. I thought this because I didn’t volunteer or participate in many things that other people do. I didn’t belong to any high school clubs. I didn’t stand for a particular cause. I didn’t make much money to help people in my family. I loved to create things but I never marketed what I created. I didn’t push it out there for other people to enjoy. So what the hell am I doing. It came to me.

We serve a purpose that is very, very powerful in the world. We love with all of our hearts the people in our lives. We may gain fame and notoriety but that is not what drives us. We give our love to people around us and especially to children. This has a domino effect. The results aren’t necessarily seen in our lifetime but we spread a healing through society. I think it is a healing that will save humanity from destruction. I believe that us INFPs have kept human beings from going extinct many times throughout history. But here’s the rub, we can’t put a finger on what it is that we contribute. It is too difficult to say in just a couple words. We are not “nice” necessarily to people. We can avoid people who drain our energy. Regardless it is an internal unbreakable conviction inside us that love is the answer. We suffer the slings and arrows of sentient existence. We often carry the pain of this world on our shoulders. However, we are in touch with our feelings and through our emotions we release the suffering and create healing.


And no the “healer” role isn’t really a job title that is easy to make money from. Like myself, INFPs may not want to have anything to do with counselling or healing of any sort because it is too overwhelming to do that day in and day out. We may choose to be invisible like myself – an IT guy who works in back offices and network closets because I need lots of time to myself to think, emote, and process the world around me. So what service do I provide people? I don’t even see friends hardly ever. I don’t belong to any church or civic community. I don’t volunteer at the soup kitchens. It looks like I don’t do shit for anyone. It came to me that I am a father, a husband, a son, a nephew, and a friend once in a while, as well as a Facebook poster in INFP land. However, when people talk about me they light up – they always have. I am not trying to blow my own horn but it’s true. I feel that my love has spread to them even if I barely talk to them for some reason the fact that I exist gives them hope because I am a bastion of love. I hold the fort. And when I look at my influence on my kids (I am not a perfect father by any means) and how they will affect people in the same way will save humanity from its demise.

All of us as a collective are doing this all the time. This is a subtle infiltration into all of society. This is more powerful than leading marches (though they have their place) waging crusades, etc. We hold and protect the heart in ourselves and in others. It is like the subtle power of dripping water that can penetrate rock and accumulate into streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans and can tear down and build up any structure regardless of how strong it is. We bend with the tides and follow the path of least resistance. Our influence cannot be subverted or stopped because it is everywhere being spread silently. It is very hard for tyrannical governments to weed us out because it is just in our being. So if you are wondering, dear INFPs, what purpose you serve and why you are alive, don’t be frustrated that it is practically impossible to put to words. Just know that you are here because of your heart and that is the best reason of all to be here.


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