As an INFP, I have learned that one of my main personal traits (and flaws) is a strong tendency towards idealism when it comes to other people. I allow the small things, the charming, the idiosyncratic, the sentimental, to strongly color my opinion of whether a person is trustworthy. Facts, behavior, logic and things of that nature are, to my mind, not powerful indicators of reality. What seems most real to me is what I find in moments. Seeing a person smile sweetly to themselves when they think nobody is watching them, as they enjoy some private joke or secret happiness. I think: I get that person. I get what is happening to them now. I relate to that. And then, magically, I skip to “that person is like me. They feel what I feel, therefore they must also intend what I intend.” I empathize with their emotions, I rationalize behavior, and I idealize the relationship. Basically, I’m no Sherlock Holmes.
Leo Tolstoy once said, “it is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.” I try to remember the wisdom in that, but I also have to recognize that there is no way to change my basic nature. I will always see other people as good. It’s who I am. We can only deny our nature, not change it.
All this makes for very interesting character research. Are the characters I create as complex as I am? Do they do things and feel things that are contrary to reason, but congruent with their basic nature? Do they have conflicting emotional layers? Do they sometimes act against their better judgment? Are they consistent in some things, but inconsistent in other things? Do they have flaws?