Like so few before me, I’ve recently discovered that my Myers-Briggs personality type is INFJ.
(There’s a chance that this shifted of course. But I think I have been lying to myself about who I am in one key area, which caused me to answer the question untruthfully. I’ve now retested myself several dozen times – the only worthwhile assessment left to take is the official one and they all agree. The screenshot above is from my test this morning. Because of course I had to confirm before posting.)
This kind of pisses me off at the same time that it’s a huge relief. I’m pissed because I think of myself as more logical than intuitive. But upon further examination I realize that this isn’t true.
Like most INFJs, I just know things. There are certain things I just intuitively understand. If there’s something wrong with your cell phone or web browser or brand new gizmo I can … I was going to say figure it out but that is wildly inaccurate. I look at your phone or web browser and know, just know, exactly what the problem is.
I’m stubborn and science minded, so when I know someone is going to depend on or pay me for my knowledge, I verify and back up my findings with logic and research. I’ll even go so far as to get someone to poke holes in my theories and discoveries. If I’m going to then make an ebook out of my answers, I go through testing and conduct private case studies, even if the research agrees with me, because I’m stubborn and don’t want to open myself up to liability.
But rare is the time that my findings don’t match what I sought.
Knowing I’m IFNJ helps me feel like less of a weirdo
I’ve always known I was different. But everyone has always known they were different LOL.
For me, these two discoveries freed me in a way it’s hard to articulate:
1- there is such a thing as introversion and that it’s not actually shyness, it’s just about how you receive and deplete your energy and
2- that things I thought were crazy quirks that no one would ever understand or even believe, are actually personality traits.
It’s the rarest personality type, and yet our little minority takes to the web in droves. We tend to think and ponder so long, trying to find exactly the right way to say something when in verbal conversation. But through whatever creative expressions we vibe with it’s almost instantaneous.
I think with my fingers. The keyboard is vastly easier for me to communicate with than my mouth is. No one sees the 8 revisions of what I typed. And because, knowing I had this issue, I became a fast touch typist, no one is the wiser.
Now, not being a freak doesn’t mean I think I’m better than anyone. I share this personality type with Martin Luther King and Ghandi.
But also Hitler.
Why is my personality type important – why is yours? Because not knowing makes us fix the wrong things.
We’re not the types to sit by and just let bad things happen. We like meaning and we want to change the world, and we actually DO. But see again: Hitler. Unchecked? Our version of utopia isn’t always for the better.
In my mission to have a happy life and to figure myself out, I honestly thought the best thing for all concerned was to learn how not to be so weird.
I thought I was the problem.
I thought I was too sensitive.
I thought I gave too much of a crap about people.
I thought I was too quiet. It never occurred to me that the world was too loud for me, and that this was okay.
So instead I have spent half my life trying to develop a thicker skin and learn how to be meaner and more selfish, instead of realizing that it’s fine to be sensitive, to enjoy the richer, deeper experience I have of life because I feel things more. I feel other people’s moods and emotions and I thought that I was completely nuts.
Yet there’s a whole world of other people out there who not only empathize, but receive and even process the emotions of other people, overlapping or even overtaking their own. With this gift I could have learned how to be receptive to the negative energy of other people and get rid of it.
Instead I often tried to self-medicate or waste money on therapy for a problem that’s really a blessing.
I have spent half my life – literally over 20 years – believing that I was unnatural. I tried to make myself natural so I could help more people, only to find out that I had the tools to help people already if I’d just stop trying to re-program myself out of my gifts.
Knowing yourself IS important, as is having an ongoing exploration of who you are if you wish. Because if you know yourself, and you know the difference between something being wrong with you and something being different about you, it affects the way you relate to the world and what you can do in it.
That’s whether you hope to just be happier or more productive or efficient or just be able to have friends, fall in love or even have less family drama.
But especially if you want to be happier.