If you’ve been friends with me for longer than a period of one week, I can almost guarantee that we’ve talked about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator at least once.
I discovered this personality test my freshman year of college, and I can definitively say that it is the one thing that has helped me become comfortable with myself and how my brain works.
To most of the population, the Myers-Briggs might seem like just another personality quiz. It’s a quiz that doesn’t give them any new information, and it isn’t important to them. However, taking this test changed my life, truly.
My result was “The Advocate”, and INFJ.
This is an interesting result because INFJs only make up 1%-2% of the global population. While teaching UK 101 this semester I tested this statistic by giving the Myers-Briggs as an assignment to all of my students. Out of 35 freshmen, only one was an introvert, and none were INFJs. Considering that these were all business students, this study could have been slightly skewed!
This is one of the many reasons why the Myers-Briggs saved me. I had gone through my entire life, all of my 18 years, feeling completely misunderstood and a little alone. This was amplified when high school rolled around. I never cared about anything that anyone else my age cared about. I felt like everyone’s mother, like I had to take care of everyone around me even though I was the same age, or even younger than some of these people. As a high school student, the top priority for most people is usually fitting in. I knew, deep down, that I didn’t fit in. I knew that I didn’t see the world the way all of my peers did. However, I didn’t yet know that being rare and unique was a positive thing. I tried to change my interests, the way I behaved, and the way that I thought so that I could be like everyone else.
This is actually a talent of the INFJ. We have the ability to be a chameleon in social situations. It doesn’t mean that we’re inauthentic, it just means that we’re trying to make the people we’re interacting with feel comfortable.
Once I discovered my type, I began to research everything about the way my brain works. When you’ve gone your whole life thinking that you’re some kind of alien, having someone understand you, even if it’s through an article, is astounding.
I learned what each letter of my acronym means:
I get my energy from being alone. In fact, most social situations are draining for me. That could be a typical school day, church, a family dinner, or any other social event that most people would enjoy. These events are exhausting because as an introvert, I absorb the current emotions of all of the people around me. As the only introvert in my group of friends, I am almost always in a state of mental and emotional exhaustion. This form of exhaustion actually can present itself through physical ailments as well. For me, this ranges from being nauseous to migraine headaches.
This is one of the most difficult things about being a college student while being introverted. This is the time of my life where I am constantly surrounded by people, and expected to participate in social interactions almost 24/7. Knowing that I am an introvert helps me to combat this exhaustion, and prepare for it in advance.
As an intuitive, I see the world and process information through my intuition, not the information that my five senses give me. This intuition is focused inward for an INFJ, and helps me put together words, nonverbal clues, the environment, a person’s tone if they’re speaking, and patterns of behavior in a matter of seconds.
I’ve always been the person who could determine whether or not I like someone in a matter of minutes. This is my introverted intuition at work. I have the ability to see someone’s true motives, even if they are masters at creating a mask for themselves.
I’m also usually the person who can determine if someone isn’t a great person. By this, I don’t mean society’s versions of good or bad, I am specifically talking about my morals. The way that someone carries themselves, the way they speak to their inferiors, the way that they act in stressful situations gives me a clue as to whether or not they will fit into my life, and whether or not they abide by the same morals that I do. It may be surprising, but most people don’t fit into this category for me.
As a feeler, I make decisions, and cope with my emotions by asking myself how my decision will affect the people around me. I don’t think logically when making decisions. As an INFJ, I am in the company of great people and a few infamous people. A few examples are: Thomas Jefferson, Mahatma Gandhi, Adolf Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, J.K. Rowling, Remus Lupin, Albus Dumbledore, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Plato.
It may be difficult to compare some of these people, but one thing that they all have in common is a passion for what they did, whether that be good or bad. This is the same way that I make decisions. If, and when, I am passionate about something, all logic goes out the window.
P.S. I like to think of myself as more of a Remus Lupin than an Adolf Hitler.
This last aspect defines how I approach life as a whole. If you are a Judger, this means that you prefer control. You like to plan and be organized. You are thorough, and like predictability, structure, and closure.
When discussing this with my UK 101 class, I made the comparison between mine and Zach’s closets. Mine is color coded by item type. I have a place for everything, and I notice when the smallest things are out of place. Zach is a Perceiver, he doesn’t care as much about planning, organization, and control. For example, his bed and the chair in his room have become his closet!
During my research I also discovered that Pinterest is a fantastic place for INFJs and other types to create images that portray what life is like for us! Below you’ll find some of my favorites. If you would like to see more of these, you can check out my INFJ Board!
I hope that you all have enjoyed this post, and that maybe you’ve gotten to know me a little better! Also, I would love to know what your Myers-Briggs type is in the comments below! If you’re curious about more habits of introverts, I have linked a Huffington Post Comic all about us! Enjoy!
Thank you for being here with me, and reading with me! I hope that you all have a fabulous day!