The first question you’re going to ask is, “What in the heck are you talking about, Tiff?” Well, it’s not as simple as a single sentence response, so let’s start from the top and work our way down, ok? The alphabet soup at the top up there is a series of letters that stand for a certain aspect of my personality, based on the traits assembled by Isabel Briggs Myers, and her mother, Katharine Briggs. There’s a personality test you can take (it’s not a small test, folks, don’t expect one of those “post to facebook” type of things here) that will help you identify yourself based on your preferences in certain situations.
You can find a full description of each of the personality types (there are 16 of them) here, if you think you can figure yourself out just from the descriptions. Good luck.
Here’s how you can break me down… I’m an INFJ. You can find that descriptor here.
The short version is that I prefer:
Introversion (I)- being around new people makes me nervous. I don’t like making phone calls. I prefer typing my responses to everything and avoiding face-to-face interactions, as much as possible. That doesn’t mean I don’t like hanging out with my friends, because I absolutely do. It means I’m more anxious about doing it, though, and that, when I show up, I’ve had to convince myself that it’s worth going and doing this thing. I will be the person at a party on the couch petting the dog, not the one dancing on the coffee table.
Intuition (N)- I know things intuitively. I take in information from around me, emotions and expressions, mostly, and use that information to glean meaning. No, I’m not Sherlock, but I can usually tell you how something is going to go before it happens. I’m really good at reading people and instinctively know details about things to which I’ve never been exposed. Sometimes, it freaks me out, too.
Feeling (F)- I usually let how I feel about something dictate how I handle it. That doesn’t mean I’m an emotional drama queen, however. With my personality type, the N and the J (that part’s coming) influence this one, a lot. I pick up on other people’s emotions (the N is playing in here) and can very easily empathize with them. Keeping people happy is something I strive to do in order to maintain peace in my environment. Sometimes, this means I find problems that don’t exist. Go figure!
Judging (J)- This doesn’t mean what you think it means. I’m not judging you. This is more a decision making guideline. It’s how I process information that I take in. My brain needs things to be orderly and make sense. Chaos doesn’t sit well with me. I can’t stand asymmetrical designs. The movie needs to follow the book. My vacation needs an itinerary. Let’s not get this confused with my organizational skills, however. I try to keep things organized and sometimes I’ve successful, but other times I’m really lazy or my depression rears its ugly head and keeping things neat and orderly is just not going to happen. Besides, I also have two small children and a very P husband in this house. It’s not going to make my J habits an easy thing to do! However, I make deadlines. I usually blow those deadlines out of the water. And if I don’t, it gnaws on my conscience like a tick.
Now, this is not an easy personality to have. It’s borderline a disorder in itself. There’s so much in the N and F zones that need freedom and unrestricted space, where the J demands organization. I crave comfort, but also get driven crazy by the dishes in the sink. I want to go out and experience life with friends, but a weekend is my limit and there’s gotta be quiet time in there somewhere or I’ll go bonkers! I want to believe that everyone is inherently good, and the reality that they’re not is just a freakin’ nightmare. I am extremely creative, but when things don’t fit the way they should, I can’t move past it until they do. I want to know what’s going on in the world, but watching the news makes it impossible for me to think about anything positive for hours afterwards.
This personality type is found in less than 3% of the population of the world. It’s rare! Strangely enough, I’ve met a TON of people who are this personality type in the last six months, which means either there are a lot more of us out there, OR I’ve found the niches that we INFJ’s hide in. Either way, it’s nice to know I’m not alone.
I am curious, though, about how many of us INFJ’s have a mental disorder. I suffer from depression. I can’t be alone, there…
Until next time!