The people having a NF temperament tend to be future oriented. They are interested in new possibilities, particularly ones that relate to people. They are naturally hopeful that the world is going to get better and that everyone will live in peace and harmony. When reality fails to live up to this ideal, they can become extremely disappointed and disenfranchised.
While they are concerned about everyday things, like seeing that everyone is fed, they are more concerned about seeing that everyone has the opportunity to develop their full potential. If there are special circumstances, then rules are made to be bent a little.
Often their speech is peppered with abstract concepts such as truth, love and peace. They can rhapsodize over a good theory. They are less concerned about the details of day-to-day living. The details have to be taken care of, but seeing the big picture is much more fascinating.
The animal metaphor that is associated with NFs is the dolphin. Dolphins have a complex means of communication. They are playful and fun-loving animals. There have been numerous stories of dolphins rescuing humans in distress. Some people have found it very exciting to swim with the dolphins and hitch a ride on their dorsal fins.
NFs long to be authentic. They don't like to pretend they are something they are not, as it is usually very stressful for them. They are not very interested in social position and just want to be accepted for who they are. Wearing a uniform or following a dress code is not comfortable for them, although they will do so to please others who are important to them. They don't see the need to dress in certain ways just to impress others, e.g. teachers wearing suits and ties to set them apart from their students.
As learners, NFs are most interested in subjects that promote personal growth—theirs and others. They like helping others to learn. They enjoy small group discussions. In their writings, they tend to focus on the big picture and like to use metaphors to get across their points of view.
In school, NFs, above all, like to please and they want to know that the teachers really care about them. They may take subjects that are of no particular interest to them, but they perceive the subject to be important to a parent or a mentor. Some NFs have even followed careers that were of little interest to them personally just to please a parent.
During their teen years, NFs are often drawn to creative activities such as drama, the arts and writing for the newspaper. They can be unconventional in their behaviour and their dress. They may have a deep need for privacy, using their time to sort out the meaning of life.
As adults, NFs are warm and caring for those around them, with the emphasis more on the development of others, rather than their physical needs. Their intuitive sense is very strong. They have the knack of knowing what motivates another person. NFs can excel at diplomacy and use this intuition to their advantage.
Another core need is to be empathic to those around them. Often NFs end up in work that involves counseling, teaching and psychology. Even if they are working as an accountant, NFs bring that element of human compassion that belies the more usual bottom line approach to the job.
Above all, life must have meaning for NFs. What is the meaning of life and what is their part in the grand scheme of things is a lifelong quest for NFs. They strive all their lives to “become.” Some even become workshop groupies, believing they have found the Holy Grail, that is until the next new exciting idea comes along.
As lovers and spouses NFs are very caring and considerate. They are usually more aware of their partners' needs and will do everything they can to satisfy those needs. They are more likely to suffer in silence if they cannot get their partners to understand what the problem is between them. Above all, they want a harmonious relationship. They will put up with a great deal before admitting a relationship has come to an end. NFs are often attracted to NTs particularly for their intellectual approach to life. Even NFs have to learn to appreciate the differences of others.