For those of you who know me, but sometimes don’t understand me, I thought I would enlighten you. Several years ago when I first began my doctoral work, we had a class where we had to find our personality type by taking some assessments, and also review our classmates’ personality types. This was very interesting to me because I have always been puzzled by how other people react to situations and also by their motivation and choices. I could only see the world from my perspective. Then, I found out that my perspective was less than two percent of the population. I was the odd man out and didn’t know it.
For me, life is intense. I feel things very deeply. When I bond with someone and let down my guard, it is usually a lifetime bond. This leaves me open to getting hurt very easily. When I dedicate myself to something…I am dedicated. I cannot watch homeless puppy commercials or little children on the other side of the world who are starving because I want to sell everything I have and immediately send the money. I cry at Hallmark commercials and Kodak moments. (For those of you too young to remember, this is when we didn’t have digital cameras.)
When I love, I love with all I’ve got, but it takes me a while to trust. When trust is betrayed it sets me back a lot…sometimes to the point I can become physically ill. In those times I have to draw my strength from a higher power.
I have a few close friends and many acquaintances. I am a giver…sometimes to my own detriment. I have a few close friends who have stronger personality types and sometimes I don’t understand them at all, but they keep me grounded. I love to dream and plan and idealize and sometimes reality checks are extremely difficult.
Although I seem to be a person who interacts with many people, I must have my alone time. I need moments to myself and sometimes when I cannot have that I will just become very quiet. When I am not sure how to express what is on my heart or in my mind I can also become very quiet. When I am angry I become quiet and sometimes I cry. I cry more over being hurt and angry than anything else. I internalize more frequently than express what I am feeling.
My written word is much more apt to express how I feel than my spoken word. Sometimes I find myself at a loss when the conversation becomes personal or difficult. Yet, sometimes I can hurl sarcasm with the best of them as long as I know it will be accepted in humor or as a sparring match. If I throw out words that are hurtful, you can be sure they are coming from a place of deep hurt that cannot keep them inside any longer.
All of this I deal with every day of my life. Perhaps that is why I work with preschoolers. They still believe in fairy tales, kisses to heal boo boo’s, and they take great joy in simple things. A cupcake is heaven to them and to be able to run and jump and play, color, paint, and sing pretty much makes life excellent for them.
So that is who I am. That is how God made me. Yet, He continues to shape me and balance me and teach me to use what He has made to the best of my ability. Sure, I may have snowmen painted on my fingernails which means I am not really all grown up inside, but when the situation arises, I am capable of making adult decisions. And Jesus said that unless we become as little children, we cannot see the kingdom of heaven. I figure I just have a head start on the rest of you.
So, if you have been wondering why I act the way I do or questioning how I approach things, please read my personality type below. Then, take the test to see what personality type you are and it may help you to see the world from someone else’s perspective. It sure helped me. I just thought I was dropped from a time machine into another century and no one knew it, but it is just that God made me special. He made you special as well. Variety is the spice of life. If we were all alike the world would be a boring place.
Life may be a little more difficult for me since I am in the low percentile, but I wouldn’t change the way I view things to be more accepted or more mid-stream in the personality percentage. I cannot imagine viewing life any other way. It may make for a heart wrenching journey at times, but that is who I am. I also know Who I belong to and that makes all the difference in the world.
Until next time,
Otherwise known as an INFJ personality type
Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging
by Marina Margaret Heiss and Joe Butt
INFJs are distinguished by both their complexity of character and the unusual range and depth of their talents. Strongly humanitarian in outlook, INFJs tend to be idealists, and because of their J preference for closure and completion, they are generally “doers” as well as dreamers. This rare combination of vision and practicality often results in INFJs taking a disproportionate amount of responsibility in the various causes to which so many of them seem to be drawn.
INFJs are deeply concerned about their relations with individuals as well as the state of humanity at large. They are, in fact, sometimes mistaken for extroverts because they appear so outgoing and are so genuinely interested in people — a product of the Feeling function they most readily show to the world. On the contrary, INFJs are true introverts, who can only be emotionally intimate and fulfilled with a chosen few from among their long-term friends, family, or obvious “soul mates.” While instinctively courting the personal and organizational demands continually made upon them by others, at intervals INFJs will suddenly withdraw into themselves, sometimes shutting out even their intimates. This apparent paradox is a necessary escape valve for them, providing both time to rebuild their depleted resources and a filter to prevent the emotional overload to which they are so susceptible as inherent “givers.” As a pattern of behavior, it is perhaps the most confusing aspect of the enigmatic INFJ character to outsiders, and hence the most often misunderstood — particularly by those who have little experience with this rare type.
Due in part to the unique perspective produced by this alternation between detachment and involvement in the lives of the people around them, INFJs may well have the clearest insights of all the types into the motivations of others, for good and for evil. The most important contributing factor to this uncanny gift, however, are the empathic abilities often found in Fs, which seem to be especially heightened in the INFJ type (possibly by the dominance of the introverted N function).
This empathy can serve as a classic example of the two-edged nature of certain INFJ talents, as it can be strong enough to cause discomfort or pain in negative or stressful situations. More explicit inner conflicts are also not uncommon in INFJs; it is possible to speculate that the causes for some of these may lie in the specific combinations of preferences which define this complex type. For instance, there can sometimes be a “tug-of-war” between NF vision and idealism and the J practicality that urges compromise for the sake of achieving the highest priority goals. And the I and J combination, while perhaps enhancing self-awareness, may make it difficult for INFJs to articulate their deepest and most convoluted feelings.
Usually self-expression comes more easily to INFJs on paper, as they tend to have strong writing skills. Since in addition they often possess a strong personal charisma, INFJs are generally well-suited to the “inspirational” professions such as teaching (especially in higher education) and religious leadership. Psychology and counseling are other obvious choices, but overall, INFJs can be exceptionally difficult to pigeonhole by their career paths. Perhaps the best example of this occurs in the technical fields. Many INFJs perceive themselves at a disadvantage when dealing with the mystique and formality of “hard logic”, and in academic terms this may cause a tendency to gravitate towards the liberal arts rather than the sciences. However, the significant minority of INFJs who do pursue studies and careers in the latter areas tend to be as successful as their T counterparts, as it is *iNtuition* — the dominant function for the INFJ type — which governs the ability to understand abstract theory and implement it creatively.
In their own way, INFJs are just as much “systems builders” as are INTJs; the difference lies in that most INFJ “systems” are founded on human beings and human values, rather than information and technology. Their systems may for these reasons be conceptually “blurrier” than analogous NT ones, harder to measure in strict numerical terms, and easier to take for granted — yet it is these same underlying reasons which make the resulting contributions to society so vital and profound.
Beneath the quiet exterior, INFJs hold deep convictions about the weightier matters of life.Those who are activists – INFJs gravitate toward such a role – are there for the cause, not for personal glory or political power.
INFJs are champions of the oppressed and downtrodden.They often are found in the wake of an emergency, rescuing those who are in acute distress.INFJs may fantasize about getting revenge on those who victimize the defenseless.The concept of ‘poetic justice’ is appealing to the INFJ.
“There’s something rotten in Denmark.” Accurately suspicious about others’ motives, INFJs are not easily led.These are the people that you can rarely fool any of the time.Though affable and sympathetic to most, INFJs are selective about their friends. Such a friendship is a symbiotic bond that transcends mere words.
INFJs have a knack for fluency in language and facility in communication. In addition, nonverbal sensitivity enables the INFJ to know and be known by others intimately.
Writing, counseling, public service and even politics are areas where INFJs frequently find their niche.