Tuesday, January 10, 2017

INFJ - Personal Introspection

For the past year or so, I've been doing a lot of personal introspection.  Trying to work out why I do the things I do, make the choices I make, why I feel the way I feel about things and people.  Maybe that's not quite right.  It might be more direct (if a bit more dramatic and cliche) to say I'm really just trying to understand myself. Find myself?  No matter how you describe it, I'm finding more and more that figuring out who I am is becoming almost an obsession.  How can I teach Bunny and Bug how to be true to themselves, if I have no idea what that means?  How can I model it for them if I have no idea who I am?

A few years back (for reasons that now escape me) I took a Myers-Briggs personality test.  I immediately forgot the results right after taking the test and never looked back.  I didn't even think about it again.  I happened to be surfing the web a few weeks ago, and with all this introspection, I thought I'd take the test again and see what the results were.  Now, I'm not one to go in for things like this.  As Sheldon would say, it's all just a bunch of superstitious hokum.  But I have to say that I've found the results surprisingly accurate.


Per the Meyrs-Briggs website:
The purpose of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality inventory is to make the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people's lives. The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment.
The mother-daughter team broke behaviors down into 8 basic personality traits that are mixed and matched to create a complete personality profile represented by a 4 letter code.
Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I).
Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).
Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).
Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).

While the results aren't ever likely to be 100% accurate, in my case, they're pretty damn close.  There are a ton of different sites online to take the test.  The test on the Meyrs-Briggs site isn't free, so I took this test.  Just to remove the hokum factor, I took a few different tests from other sites I found online, all with the same results.

My results: INFJ

I prefer to focus on my own inner world: Introversion (I).  I prefer to interpret and add meaning to information: Intuition (N). When making decisions, I tend to look at people and special circumstances over hard logic: Feeling (F). And when dealing with the outside world, I prefer to get things decided instead of staying open to new information and options.

According to the Myers-Briggs website INFJs are characterized as: Vision and meaning oriented. Quietly intense. Insightful. Creative. Sensitive.  Seeks harmony, growth. Serious. Loves language, symbols. Persevering. Inspiring.

And that's a lot of words that conceivably could describe a lot of different kinds of people. So I looked at the description from the website I used to take the test.:
The INFJ personality type is very rare, making up less than one percent of the population, but they nonetheless leave their mark on the world. As Diplomats, they have an inborn sense of idealism and morality, but what sets them apart is the accompanying Judging (J) trait – INFJs are not idle dreamers, but people capable of taking concrete steps to realize their goals and make a lasting positive impact. INFJs tend to see helping others as their purpose in life, but while people with this personality type can be found engaging rescue efforts and doing charity work, their real passion is to get to the heart of the issue so that people need not be rescued at all.
(You can read more about my personality type here iffin' you wanna.)

But it wasn't until I started looking on Pinterest (You know, the ultimate authority on everything!) that some things started to make sense. OH SO MUCH SENSE!


YES! Have you met me??


So Me.


Umm can we say this whole introspection thing trying to figure MYSELF out??


Every interaction I've had with another human - Ever.  And sometimes animals.


And you guys wonder why I have such a hard time forcing myself to go out and spend time with people!


Without a DOUBT.  I have felt this on SO many occasions, like I'm some sort of personality chameleon, which sounds cool but is mostly just confusing.


The list of meme's that really capture me to my deepest core are unlimited.  There are a few points that don't quite match up but everything else is so spot on, I can't deny the accuracy.  I challenged a few of my friends/family to take the test and see if the results matched up to who they think they are.  And pretty much everyone agreed with the overall results with some minor differences, but nothing that would put them in any of the other categories.  It really was interesting seeing what my friends and family results were in comparison to who I know them as.  I had only one friend take a guess about me, and she was DEAD ON. She's a teacher and her husband is a psychologist (psychiatrist?) so I'm really not surprised she was able to figure me out.  Now if only she could help ME figure  me out.. that would really be something!

I'd be very curious to see if anyone takes the test and has results that are absolutely not how they see themselves.  And someone I know suggested the idea that just because you're this specific personality type NOW, doesn't mean you might not be something different as you grow and change over the years.  That kinda surprised me too.  I even suggested to one of my friends who's known me since high school that I would LOVE to see what he thought my results might be just to compare how he saw me then, to who I am now.  But alas (what a great word alas!), he didn't take a guess, so now we'll never know.

I think the one the struck me the most was this one:


Honestly, if I never have small talk again, how happy would I be? I just want to know people, to find the connection between us.  I have plenty of 'acquaintances' from the kids' schools, activities and my job, and being the emotional chameleon that I am, I'm certainly capable of functioning perfectly in these surface social interactions.  But it isn't what I crave.  It's not what makes me happy.  And I would gladly take a handful of really good friends who I've found a close connection with through REAL conversations over being 'popular'.  I'm just not sure how to get it.  Must be an INFJ thing.  

Seriously... Thoughts?

PS. Anyone want to get a coffee and talk about whatever for a few hours? 

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