As an INFP, reading is one of my favorite ways to relax. Not only do I love enjoying fiction or a graphic novel, but I also enjoy reading things that help me to learn a little more about myself. Below are my favorite books that are about or are related to living life as an INFP.
I’ve sort of listed these books in order. The first few books are about learning what it means to be an INFP. Next are a few more books about self-discovery that may appeal to INFPs, and the last few books are about creative and emotional challenges that INFPs may face. Then at the end, I mention some extra books.
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This is a good overview of the cognitive functions of INFPs and what all of that means. I like the book written by Priebe on ENFPs a slight bit more, but this book is still quite good. And I like the reminder at the end of the book that INFPs are needed in the world, and what we feel and think matters.
After the introduction, it’s time to dig a bit deeper. This book goes into the role that inferior functions play in different personality types for better or worse. From this book, I learned how much of impact my inferior extroverted thinking can have on me.
Tranquility by Type by Susan Storm
After learning about inferior functions, this book is a good follow up. It’s short and to the point, but I found the section on dealing with stress as an INFP more helpful than I expected. I have a whole new view of my stop-and-go action when it comes to taking on personal projects.
Not all INFPs are highly sensitive, but many are. If you’re often overwhelmed by sounds, smells, or textures, or you are often deeply moved by art and nature, you may be highly sensitive. Take the HSP questionnaire to see if this book is for you. Finding out about my high sensitivity has helped me to make my environment less draining, and I’ve learned that half of what I thought was social anxiety was actually over-stimulation. As a high sensation-seeking HSP, I also learned why is so important for me to add more peace and quiet space to my day.
While recovering from your introvert hangover in solitude, do some reflective journaling exercises from this book. I really enjoyed this book’s approach to self-reflection and discovery with its combination of beautiful art and simple drawing and writing exercises. And if you’re struggling with reaching goals, this book is a good place to start analyzing your expectations.
If you’re an INFP with overwhelming emotions, this book has some great journaling exercises to bring back emotional balance. Whenever I feel left out or like I’m not fitting in with others, I like doing the writing exercise from the chapter on rejection along with the other tips. For me, it always does the trick.
How to Be Everything by Emilie Wapnick
INFPs also use extroverted intuition which means our minds are always coming up with new ideas and connections. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with the ideas and potential projects. This book works to take care of the overwhelm. There are some good suggestions here not only on how to merge together varying interests into one project but also how to find the time to dabble in ideas and projects that are interesting to you.
This book is also for those who are overwhelmed with ideas. How to Be Everything and Refuse to Choose are similar but different. One covers information that the other doesn’t, and that amazes me. Between these two books, you will be finding your way to personal project peace.
My favorite idea from Refuse to Choose is the Scanner Daybook. I’ve never written down all of my ideas until I got myself a Daybook. The act of writing down my ideas and growing them has been so helpful. Not only do I avoid starting on meaningless projects, but it also gives me a place to play with my ideas until I’m like, “I’m ready to really do something with this!”
The Quiet Rise of Introverts by Brenda Knowles
Joy at Work by Marie Kondo & Scott Sonenshien
L’art de la Liste by Dominique Loreau
The Clutter Connection by Cassandra Aarssen
And of course, a moment of shameless self-promo… Idealist Dreams: How I Learned to Plan as an INFP by Arcadia Page
Follow the Rabbit Holes!
As you read these books, you may run into other ideas and topics you want to explore. Don’t ignore that urge. Follow the tangents that take you off track. You will be amazed by what you discover.