No, not your number – the somewhat insulting question we’ve all heard whether it was directed at us, or depicted in the media. What I want to know is, what are your letters according to the Myers-Briggs Personality Test?
By the time I took that test (for the first time), I wasn’t even slightly surprised to find it tell me I am an INFJ. Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, Judging. I don’t think any personality test could define me better, and I guess that was the point.
I’ve known from a young age that I’m what most would describe as “shy,” and for years, that’s how I defined it too. Until I realized that I’m not the slightest bit shy. In fact, if you were to suggest to some of my closest friends that I’m a shy person, they’d probably laugh at you as they recall how loud and talkative I can be with them. What I am is introverted, and this test put it into words for me.
All through college, I went to probably 10 or 20 parties, and I stayed friends with the group of 10 wonderful people I met in my first month living in my freshman year dorm. To this day, I’ve only been to a few of the bars in my town, and I tend to only want to go to one of them. I have a better time with a group of three people than I ever will in a crowd. And by senior year, I was pretty upset about that – if there was any one thing I could change in an instant, that was it. I wanted to want to go out on Friday night, to go to parties at frat houses and spend hours getting to know people I’d never met before. But for me, it was exhausting – I had fun while I was there, spending time with my friends and meeting new people. And it wasn’t as though I was quiet or somehow on the edge. But by the end of the night, I wanted to go home. I couldn’t spend one more minute at that party, and all I wanted was to sleep.
But do you know what else my INFJ personality says about me? It’s not a one-sided definition, and that’s one of the things I love about it (you know, apart from the Quizilla tests we all took back in middle-school that told me, point blank, “you are Ariel” or a cat, or the color orange, or any number of other outcomes that was intended to suggest my personality). INFJs are multi-dimensional, and they’re difficult to classify as one or the other. We are both creative and responsible, artistic and logical, holistic and analytic, at least according to this pretty in-depth description of my “type”.
I am intuitive, in that I’d rather focus on the whole picture, rather than each detail of it (maybe this is why I’m awful at puzzles?). I prefer my personal experiences and feelings over fact and proven logic (does this explain why I absolutely never plan anything, and would rather fly by the seat of my pants, as they say?).
As it turns out, INFJs make pretty good bloggers (and teachers, ministers, counselors, journalists, team leaders….), so maybe that explains why I couldn’t let this piece of the Internet go, and why so many of us here in the Blogosphere say we’re introverted. For all the things I sometimes wish I could change about myself (my lack of decision-making skills, my disposition towards introversion and the occasional, ever so quiet and ridiculous fear that this may lead to my ending up alone piled over in cats one day), there are things about this personality type – my personality type – that I love (my forever being in the gray of life, between creative and responsible, spiritual and scientific, artistic and logical).
So…what are your letters? Of the 16 personality types, which are you?