This is a common phenomenon. As far as I know, every human being does it often.
This thread is specifically in regards to how INFPs do it. I've read in many descriptions, and heard from them directly, that it's a major theme in their lives, and if they don't do it more than most, they at least notice themselves doing it more than most.
The masks are as much a part of the person as the "real self" (or the face, by this metaphour), it's simply that the "real self" is something the person is more comfortable with, identifies with more, is what they show to themselves (when alone), and is the consistent theme that doesn't change like the masks do. It is their "core", so to speak.
The various masks I am familiar with:
Unlike when actually being those traits, using them as a mask I feel a big internal conflict, but currently find it difficult to stop. Especially if the interaction is rapid (anything aside from email/forum writing). This is aggravated further by, if the "face" starts to show, I retreat fast or regret it later. It leads to isolation, lack of intimacy, much regret, people getting a false impression, being misunderstood and many other negative things. Taking the masks off however, seems worse.
So what do you think of all this?
Are INFPs more prone to masking?
Do they just notice it more/are more concerned with it?
Or are they nothing special when it comes to this?