INFP Conflict: Dealing with and Managing Conflict as an INFP

Conflict is simply a natural part of life, whether it is something we enjoy or not. Conflict is part of how we come to conclusions about things and sometimes how we advance in our careers or relationships. For some people, conflict is where they thrive and is certainly not something they are afraid of. These people enjoy debating and realize that sometimes conflict is how they grow and improve themselves. There are other people who become stressed with conflict, and really hate being around stressful situations. For these people criticism is difficult and exhausting, and so they would rather avoid it at all costs.

INFPs definitely are not fans of conflict, as it causes them a lot of stress. There are certainly reasons why conflict can be so challenging for them, but INFPs just aren’t comfortable with criticism. For them it is something which goes deeper than they often even realize, and so it is just natural for them to walk away when things get too heated. This doesn’t mean they are incapable of dealing with conflict, especially if they have an inner belief which they need to stand up for at all costs,

They Avoid

When it comes to conflict INFPs are known for avoiding it, and trying to find a way around this. They don’t like being around people who are constantly drawn to discord, instead they would rather people who enjoy keeping the peace. INFPs can become deeply offended by people who enjoy conflict, since it feels like they are being attacked by their constant need to argue or shake things up. It’s not that they are incapable of dealing with conflict in certain situations, they just don’t want it on a constant basis. INFPs become exhausted by constant discord, especially when it feels strained and like people are upset around them. They might try to find ways to escape or avoid this entirely, not wanting to be around it. If the INFP can find ways of deflecting and distracted people from the conflict situations, they will do their best to make this happen. They can be good at deflected and finding ways of steering the conversation elsewhere, but if that doesn’t work the INFP will find other ways of escaping the discord when they are feeling overwhelmed or drained by it. This can be another major reason why INFPs like to be alone and keep to themselves so much, as it does help to avoid this type of strain.

Why They Struggle

INFPs have strong inner morals, and this can make it difficult for them to deal with situations where they have discord around them. They don’t like when people try to challenge their inner beliefs, or try and force the INFP to change their minds. They prefer to be around people who don’t just attack their way of thinking, which is why INFPs do keep to themselves sometimes. They aren’t afraid of standing up for themselves, but there are situations where this ends up feeling overwhelming and exhausting. They don’t want to be in a situation where their morals are constantly being challenged and people around them are attempting to embarrass or shame them for it. When people come against their moral beliefs in hopes of changing their minds, this becomes much more frustrating for the INFP than a simple debate or disagreement. It makes them angry and that really isn’t how they want to feel.

INFPs also are not fans of criticism or feelings of rejection, and so conflict can stir these feelings up. When they disagree with someone and have this person reject them or put them down for it, it can be very hurtful for the INFP. They would often prefer to avoid this type of criticism or rejection from people, especially when it is from someone they care for. For the INFP the idea of entering into this type of debate and dealing with conflict from it, can feel a bit pointless or wasted. There are certainly times when they believe in what they are saying and feel it needs to be expressed, but they weigh this out depending on just how strongly they feel about the circumstances around them. 

How to Deal with Conflict

For the INFP the hardest thing to overcome is often learning how to step into conflict situations willingly. While there is nothing wrong with being someone who wants to keep the peace, there are times when conflict is entirely necessary. A big time when conflict is needed, is often in the workplace or in relationships when there is a time for growth ahead. A big part of dealing with conflict for the INFP is in accepting their feelings and focusing on that instead of what the other person did wrong. Recognizing your part in the conflict or being able to see someone else’s side, can be an important step towards reaching common ground. 

INFPs are naturally focused on learning, and so learning about the best ways to cope with their discomfort in conflict situations, is an important step for them. There are tools that can be used to overcome those fears of rejection, and ultimately help the INFP accept that things might get a bit messy in the process. Conflict cannot always be dealt with in clean cut ways, sometimes it causes stress and discomfort along the way. It is important to search for common ground, and at least attempt to work towards something positive in the end of these struggles. This is especially true in relationships, since INFPs have a tendency to avoid arguing with their partner whenever they can. They need to become more confident in their connection, realizing that even in the conflict that doesn’t mean things are going to end badly. Communicating those feelings with their partner can really help them make that next step towards dealing with conflict more rationally. INFPs can also benefit from journaling those feelings, in hopes of understanding what makes them so fearful of conflict situations.