I'm new to all this stuff, but it took me a lot of research to settle on the fact that I am an INFP instead of an INFJ. This is partially because of the INFP talent for being able to imagine what it feels like to be other people. Ultimately I identify waaaay too much with Fi & Ne to be an INFJ.
That being said, I can't speak to what INFJs lack, but I can give credit to where INFPs shine IMO. For me:
We live in a constant state of empathy. When I interact with others I feel aspects of them they might never share with anyone else. Along with being able to feel people's secret bits, I'm also inherently accepting of whatever I find, which generally makes people feel seen and accepted within moments of meeting me.
I trip people out when their antisocial pets claim me as their boyfriend. The first time I met my ex's best friend, his massive dog refused to leave my lap and growled at him whenever he got too close to me. All I could really do was go red and repeatedly apologize hahah.
As mentioned above, our imagination is visceral. When well evolved, our accuracy of insight is frightening.
We can exude feelings and change the vibe of a room. I refer to this as the energetic air freshener. I have even been able to share with a friend, the tingles I get from listening to good music.
To me, the world feels alive, important, cartoonish, and much larger than society chooses to see. If there were such things as spiritual or extra-dimensional entities. the first person they would meet would be an INFP.
We drift into people's lives randomly, unconsciously say something poignant or offer the space for that person to express themselves, and suddenly that person starts transforming into something amazing.
We can mirror people (often intentionally). When the person is loving and good this is great! There is this point I can reach however, where I almost don't feel like myself anymore, because who I feel like inside is a reflection of the person I am with. Something that helps me though is accepting the feelings as my own and being grateful for the person for exposing me to a growing experience.
People who think INFPs are weak or lack intelligence have completely missed the point, or lack the skills to comprehend us. And that's okay as long as we don't buy into their paradigm. We are not weak at all, we battle dragons and demons every day. Sometimes the battle is ours, but often it's yours. We are also very intelligent, spending our lives dancing with concepts so dynamically abstract, divine, and impossible they can barely be expressed through art. It is rare that language can embody what we see and many of us long for a day when technology becomes so advanced we can actually share what we see with others.
Where beautiful intuitive insights bubble up from the depths of an infinite ocean within every INFj, INFP is the infinite ocean. (spooky and ethereal music)
INFP's and INFJ's are the feelers I've gotten along with best in my life so far. Basically every one of them I've met. The types I generally open up to the easiest and know I won't be judged, just.. intuitively. So more power to them!
So far in real life though INFP's and I have been drawn to one another more than any.. there's also something in that idealism I can find sweet, as long as it's not aggressive and inconsiderate of my logical observations. Which it hasn't been yet. Deep empathy I admire when I'm so detached usually. The INFJ I know was a bit more hardlined on the way she understood things which was a bit annoying. INFP a bit more flexible in some ways basically, but otherwise some of the most interesting types.
I may be on the side of the Angels, but don't think for one second that I am one of them. - Sherlock
There's also this common idea that INFJs are "better" because people think of them as these emotional/rational super hybrids. Whereas, INFPs are thought of as these silly/idealistic/hopeless romantics who have no logical processing abilities.
In order to make actual INFPs feel better about being an INFP (because it's not a bad thing FFS), what strengths do INFPs have that INFJs lack?
Better is relative. Better at what? Yes, INFJs are an emotional/rational hybrid, which makes them atypical. But we pay highly with the cost of recurrent depressions, highest rate of marriage dissatisfaction and sometimes one of the most unlikable personalities. You know those emotional dead INFJs? I dislike them profoundly. At the other side there are the political correct INFJs. These are worse than the first kind. Stay away from this kind the most. They are fake and intellectually neutered. Their biggest feature is their complete lack of a recognizable personality. Sad empty shells. The truth sets you free.
There are INFJs that have a lot to like about them. I like those that are at the border of feelings and rationality. This is because feely ones aren't be cold assholes and the rational ones don't value political correctness over reality. Being in the middle is the sweet spot. There are plenty of INFJs that I consider to be shit.
I like INFPs more than I like INFJs. I get along better with Fi users because I let them do their thing and only assist them when they need to step into Fe territory (like interpreting other people intentions). Life is harder for INFP than it is for INFJs because of the difference between Fi and Fe. Fi is for personal values, Fe is for group values, but I find Fi to be more interesting and reliable than the constant changes of the group values. What's wrong with hopeless romantics? The only thing I'd look out for is naivety. Sometimes over idealization may lead to disappointment. INFPs are cool. Well, most of them, rather.
I like INFPs more than I like INFJs. I get along better with Fi users because I let them do their thing and only assist them when they need to step into Fe territory (like interpreting other people intentions). Life is harder for INFP than it is for INFJs because of the difference between Fi and Fe. Fi is for value, Fe is for group values, but I find Fi to be more interesting and reliable than the constant changes of the group values. What's wrong with hopeless romantics? The only thing I'd look out for is naivety. Sometimes over idealization may lead to disappointment. INFPs are cool. Well, most of them, rather.
Yes, I like how you've stated this, regarding intentions. I basically live in the default of good intentions unless revealed otherwise, and it can occasionally take me a long time to see a pattern of bad intention (well, mostly to believe a pattern of bad intention, part of me doesn't want to believe bad intention). Ergo the naivety you mention. I rely on a sense of inner emotional authenticity from others to try to compensate for the lack of seeing these patterns of intention as readily.
And thanks for looking out for INFPs in Fe territory. That's nice of you to do.
"Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
― Eleanor Roosevelt
"When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad."
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching