The Humpback Whale – INFP

The eyes that appear to be staring intently at nothing in particular, the quiet strength found in the bending but not breaking tremor of their voice, these are the marked traits of the Humpback Whale. From the outside, these reserved individuals might be hard to distinguish from their Panda siblings, but upon speaking with a Humpback Whale, especially on a topic that matters to them, you will find that the illusion quickly dissipates, and that timid, distant space cadet you initially thought was a dwarf star, has now exploded into a full on supernova.

The Old Soul

Anne Frank

I need to have something besides a husband and children to devote myself to! I don’t want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met.

– Anne Frank

It always seems like Humpback Whales know more than we do, and infinitely more than they let on. Perhaps it’s because they’re not tethered to society as so many of us are. Like their Baboon siblings, Whales prefer to work outside the social system, commonly as writers, poets, artists, independent business owners, etc. However, whereas the Baboon needs constant human interaction—some would say attention—to function, Whales are quite content to spend their time in deep introspection, with their books and insights to keep them company. It is this robust inner life that often gives the impression that a Humpback Whale, when interacting with the rest of society, is a philosopher amongst a confederacy of dunces. Their natural inclination to look past surface appearances and expectations, often leads them to being the first person to recognize a moral dilemma that is plaguing society. For the Humpback Whale, a corrupt status quo is something that needs to be purged, though not through revolution—as a Baboon might—but through self-reflection. In times of materialism, they preach emotional well-being. When school becomes merely a truck stop on the path to gainful employment, Humpback Whales encourage students to take the road less traveled.

The Dreamer

Grady Tripp

As for me, I lost everything: my wife, my book, my job, everything that I thought was important. But I finally knew where I wanted to go.

– Grady Tripp (“Wonder Boys”)

The most disconnected of all the NFs, a Humpback Whale lives a fantasy-filled childhood that usually extends to their life as an adult. Though daydreaming is vital to their emotional health, the practical manifestation of imagining alligators dancing with hippos while on a conference call with the boss, or envisioning an escape to a life less than ordinary during a session of number crunching, never goes well. It is imperative that Humpback Whales find professions or hobbies that give them an opportunity to utilize their powerful imaginations. Otherwise, they might find themselves meandering aimlessly through life like an emotional vagabond, devoid of purpose. This might be inevitable, however, because despite their best efforts to ground themselves, there will always be a little chaos in the life of a Humpback Whale. With their eccentricity, spontaneity, and openness to new experiences, accidental adventures are bound to happen.

The Outcast

 Dostoyevsky

The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.

– Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The easiest way to distinguish a Humpback Whale from other reserved NFs is their noticeable disregard for societal norms such as the education system, typical nuclear family values, and conventional standards of fashion and beauty. Most Humpback Whales also frown on “commercialized” entertainment, as they feel its only purpose is to prop up and justify the artificial values that they so despise. This puts them squarely at odds with society in general, and unlike Giant Pandas, Whales will not compromise their values to better integrate themselves within the social structure. This can force them into the outskirts of society, persecuted and alone. Or worse yet, the Humpback Whale will succumb to the social pressure and begin doubting their convictions, while simultaneously kicking themselves for not being authentic enough. For this reason, it is not uncommon for them to take part in hobbies that help them come to grips with their spiritual confusion, like yoga—though they wouldn’t be caught dead in Lululemon gear—or meditation; that these activities sometimes find their way into the mainstream says a lot about the Humpback Whale’s influence on culture. Communing with nature is another sanctuary for them. There is a definite naturalness in hiking through a dense forest of pines or relishing the way a cool stream of water feels on the feet, and nature, in all its unpretentiousness, seems to give the INFP not only a sense of peace, but something far better: a renewed confidence in their own authenticity.

The “Hero”

Joan of Arc

I am not afraid; I was born to do this.

– Joan of Arc

The most intriguing fact about Humpback Whales is that they are the archetype for the mythological hero. From fictional stories to non-fictional accounts to fictional accounts of non-fictional stories, human history and pop culture are filled with soulful, self-sacrificing characters like King Arthur, Frodo Baggins, Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker, and Joan of Arc. INFPs might appear to be an odd choice for a hero. On average, they’re not physically imposing, nor are they quick on their feet—literally or figuratively. What they do have is a humble heart, an open mind, and a self-assuredness that whatever is happening to them is happening for a reason, and it is that faith that gives them the ability to see it through.

9 Comments

  • Infp girl says:

    What are the names of the two last movies of the infp shown on your idealists video please?
    Btw is there a youtube version of that vid?
    Thanks

  • Anne Frank is usually typed as ENFP.

    • INTPchick says:

      An ENFP would never bother to write in a diary :/

      • Welp, she was alive in WWII so that’s a bit of a reason maybe I don’t know

  • Whenever and wherever i take the test i get INTP but looking back at when i was in school i definitly can see myself has an INFP, i think my own pre-conceptions about people and paranoia played a major role in me being bullied and vulnerable.

    • Hi Anonymous,

      Abstract-minded individuals (Rationals and Idealists) do often feel left out of our social structure. On the surface, Owls and Humpback Whales can appear similar, but they often desire very different things. I recommend reading the description of Rationals (one of which is an Owl-INTP) and Idealists (one of which is a Humpback Whale-INFP) to ascertain which one you are closest to.

  • I am generally an enfp but I am confused as to whether I am. Every other test I get infp bar the 16personalities website where I get 3% into extroversion.

    • Hi Rachel,

      Try not to look at it through the dichotomy of either “E” or “I”. The differences between a Baboon and a Humpback Whale often manifest themselves in very different ways. Do you find yourself to be naturally aggressive? How quickly do you tend to make friends? At your worst, are you self loathing? Or are you reckless with the way that you push the ideas that you believe in (a side question is: do these ideas change often?)?

  • Im an ENFP but I got INFP… slightly accurate and I have gotten INFP before but I’ll stick with ENFP

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