“Mirror mirror, on the wall. Who’s the rarest of them all?”
Meyers-Briggs personalities…. what are they?
Well, there are essentially 16 personality types that are characterized using 4 categories:
- Introverted (I) vs. Extroverted (E)
- Observant (S) vs. Intuitive (N)
- Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)
- Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P)
Through a series of questions, you rate yourself on a scale, trying not to leave any neutral answers. They encourage you to be totally honest, even if you don’t like the answer, and so do I. My test results were eerily accurate and extremely in depth. Answering honestly, gets you the most accurate results, and trust me, you want them. They give you famous people with your same personality type to compare yourself to, and offer you a whole book (to buy, of course) that explains your specific personality type.
***If you have never taken the Meyers-Briggs 16 Personalities Test, I invite you to take your test now, before reading any further. >>> 16 Personalities Test
The INFJ type… That’s me!
Introverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging. Meyers-Briggs says that my personality type makes up less than 1% of the population. For some, that might seem like a bragging point. For others, that might feel extremely lonely. For an INFJ, it’s both. You see, the INFJ personality type is like a walking contradiction.
- We are extroverted introverts – we love being around people because we find them fascinating. However, people and their constant problems are exhausting.
- We understand people’s emotions, yet we often don’t understand our own – we are extremely empathetic and can feel and understand others emotions sometimes better than they can. Which is why we often become counselors for other people. When we say “we see you for who you are”, we mean it. However, when it comes to understanding our own emotions, we get lost and overwhelmed. We feel as though we are meant to understand, but never be understood.
- We are deeply emotional beings, but don’t know how to express those emotions – this paradox is often magnified when it comes to the people we love the most. We feel deep feelings for the ones we love. However, when we think of ways to express those feelings, they seem small in comparison to what we’re actually feeling, so we end up not expressing them at all. We crave deep relationships, but have trouble opening up to people.
- We want to feel heard, yet we struggle finding the words to say – so instead, we often times write. We write letters, blogs, and journals, and hope that they make a difference in someone’s life.
- We have big, philosophical thoughts, but we also worry too much about the small things – We ponder philosophical things like, what’s the point of all of this? does my life even matter in the grand scheme of things? what would be different in my life today if _______ hadn’t happened 100 years ago? However, we also obsessively overthink about the smaller things in life like, what did _______ mean when they said _____? did I come across too ______ in that conversation? Why haven’t they responded to my message yet?
- We’re other-wordly and philosophical, yet we crave earthly experiences – Deep, meaningful discussions with people are like our bread and butter. However, we still crave worldly experiences like planning a wedding, having children, traveling, and eating good foods. This yearning often clashes with our desire to be different.
- We’re in love with the idea of spontaneity, yet we NEED things to be planned out – a part of us wants to be that wandering, gypsy soul. The idea of just jumping the car and driving to an unknown destination is exciting. We would totally be the type to up and quit a job all of a sudden, when the need for more in life kicks in. However, as spontaneous as these things seem from the outside, we have already calculated risks and planned a roadmap far ahead of time.
- We are creatively analytic – we love art, culture, music, and creative things. However, we analyze everything. How will this be perceived by others? Will this action lead me to my end goal? We are strategic and highly rational.
- We are selective perfectionists – we obsess over things like grammar, but completely forget things like responding to texts. We keep a relatively tidy house because clutter stresses us out. However, we always have that one “safe” place that is completely neglected (for me, it’s my car).
- We want to make the world a better place, yet we have never felt as though we truly belong here – this goes back to being “meant to understand, but not be understood”. We desperately want to change the world for the better, but this world has never felt like home to us. (This is one aspect that makes me extremely thankful for my faith).
Sooooooo yeah. It’s complicated, to say the least.
INFJ’s can burn out easily if they don’t have a cause that they are passionate about, and they are extremely sensitive to criticism of their character and/or efforts because they almost always have a bigger reason for doing something. However, INFJ’s have many strengths. They are passionate dreamers that have the ability to put their dreams into action, and inspire others to do the same. Because everything they do is so calculated and driven by pure motives, they have the ability to actually change the world. It comes as no surprise that members of the INFJ personality type include Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Theresa.
But let’s talk about something to be cautious of with INFJ’s for a second…
The INFJ Door Slam
Through my research, I have discovered something that psychologists call “The INFJ Door Slam”. Like I said before, INFJ’s feel things incredibly deeply and are extremely sensitive. However, they also crave deep connections with people, and people can sometimes be….. crappy, to say the least. The INFJ Door Slam is the result of an INFJ letting someone in who repeatedly, whether directly or indirectly, continues to hurt them. After many repeated offenses, with no signs of remorse or desire to change, an INFJ will decide to cut all ties emotionally to said person in order to protect themselves from any further pain.
Now, as a Christian I feel like this isn’t something we should necessarily accept as “that’s just how I am”. Speaking from experience, the INFJ door slam is mentally and emotionally exhausting, and I don’t believe that’s what God wants for us.
Jesus said, “love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” – Matthew 5:44
What’s your personality type?
I encourage you to take the 16 personalities test and get to know yourself better. Understanding yourself is kinda like therapy… freeing.