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 are hard to distinguish from their Panda siblings—they’re even hard to distinguish sometimes from their distant cousin, the Hunter Butterfly. But upon speaking with a Humpback Whale, especially on a topic that matters to them, you’ll 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, spiritual healers, and small business owners. 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 frequently gives the impression that a Humpback Whale, when interacting with the rest of society, is a philosopher amongst a confederacy of dunces.

The Humpback Whale’s natural inclination to look past surface appearances and expectations usually leads them to being the first person to recognize a moral dilemma plaguing society. For Whales, a corrupt status quo is something that needs to be purged, though not always through revolution—as a Baboon might recommend—but through self-reflection. For a Humpback Whale, there is no great calamity occurring outside of ourselves that cannot be fixed by looking inside of ourselves. In times of war, they sue for peace. During a period engulfed in materialism, they preach emotional well-being. When school and education become merely a truck stop on the highway 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 Shamans, 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, from their number crunching cubicle, a swashbuckling exit out the window and an escape to a life less ordinary, never goes well.

It’s imperative for Humpback Whales to 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 and forever journeying to parts unknown, both in the physical and spiritual world. This could 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


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 the Giant Panda, the other reserved Shaman, 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 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 to 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’s not uncommon for Humpback Whales to take part in hobbies that help guide them through their spiritual confusion, like yoga—though they wouldn’t be caught dead in Lululemon—or meditation; that these activities have found their way into the mainstream says a lot about how the Humpback Whale’s authenticity is commonly appropriated into “cool” culture. Communing with nature is another sanctuary for them. There’s a definite realness to 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 Humpback Whale not only a sense of peace, but something far better: a renewed confidence in their own authenticity.

The “Hero”

Joan of Arc

I do not fear the soldiers, for my road is made open to me… It was for this that I was born!

– Joan of Arc

One of the more intriguing facts about Humpback Whales is that they’re the archetype for the mythological hero. They are who Joseph Campbell was writing about in The Hero with a Thousand Faces—though there are plenty more than a thousand Humpback Whales walking amongst us. 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 Humpback Whales like King Arthur, Frodo Baggins, Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker, and Joan of Arc.

A Humpback Whale 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. It is that faith that not only gives them the confidence to take on the most demanding of challenges, but also the strength to see them through.


  • 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?

  • 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

  • The problem with this is that the words I chose to associate with my personality were things I desire to see in other people and myself. In reality, my actions turned out to be different from what I want to achieve in myself. The problem is, I don’t usually see this until I go back and reflect on events in my life, as well as the way I do things or solve problems.

    I got the Humpback Whale, though through reflecting on what I’ve done, thought and felt so far, I feel more like the Owl. In previous tests, I’ve often been placed as an INTP, or an INTJ when I’m depressed.

    I get that this test is attempting to find people’s “true” MBTI type, but the result I got feels so off because I have no idea how to describe my personality with words: it’s always been easier to rank my preferences, as they do in other tests.

    This all so sounds unclear, but maybe I can’t articulate myself well. As a fluent English speaker in a mostly non-English speaking area of my country, my former teachers always gave me creative writing tasks. In high school, I wanted to quit and write for a living because I’d been doing it all my life. I tried it; however, I felt horribly out of place. Later, I found myself employed in a call center with a technical and impersonal job that I would never have considered as a student. I found myself flourishing under the pressures and the demand to constantly learn new policies and techniques. Although surrounded by many in a service job where I spoke to hundreds of people, I never felt like my brain was being prodded violently with a fork. My being placed as an INFP in this test reminds me of when I was desperately trying to conform to how I was expected to be as a child. Even the Spider would have felt like a more comfortable fit than the Humpback Whale.

    I don’t mean to be so personal here; I just hope that my input will be of some use to your project.

  • Hey the videos you make are great! I shared them on a mbti Facebook group that I am apart of. Hope they enjoy them too. I’m an infp and always felt a kindred spirit to like Skywalker

  • I benefited very much from this information. I took the test openly, not knowing what to expect, and was really surprised to see that I am still an INFP!

  • “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.”

    Jesus, Muhammad and Hitler were NF.

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