I am a total nerd about personality quizzes. From the ones in magazines to Buzzfeed quizzes, and whatever else I can get my hands on. Ever since I heard of the Myers-Briggs test, I’ve been slightly obsessed. Essentially the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator a really advanced personality test that categorizes you into one of 16 possible types. INFJ is one of those types. The test itself is rather extensive, but the results are extremely accurate.
So here’s a quick explanation for the not-so-random letter combinations.
The possible combinations come from the following:
Extrovert or Introvert
Sensing or iNtuition
Thinking or Feeling
Judging or Perceiving
So for me being an INFJ means that I am introverted, I base information through intuition, I make my decisions based off of feelings and structure most everything based on my judgments. Statistically, INFJ’s are the most uncommon personality type with only about 1.5% populating the United States.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE: I think it is necessary to state that I do not think that God favors one personality type more than the rest. He is a God who loves equally and that reaches beyond gender, age, and yes personality types. Also, there are quite a few articles trying to decide what personality type Jesus was, and I think that they are insane thinking they can put God in a box like that. They are just trying to simplify what is incomprehensible. Remember that Jesus was fully man and fully God, he had a personality but not one that could be constrained to four letters. That’s just one part derived from the Trinity that we as humans can never fully understand.
Okay then, let’s get started. Being an INFJ I have a rather rare set of personality traits. This can be really cool for me because I like to be thought of as unique (or hipster). I like deviating from the norm just a little bit, so I don’t fall into the trap of being a “carbon copy”. This being said I was never the popular girl, in junior high or high school. In a way, I was okay with it because I didn’t want to live in that way, but it would’ve been nice to be popular without giving up what I liked, ya know. You see it in the movies like that; The quirky girl/guy who no one pays attention to ends up getting the most popular cheerleader/football star by the end of the movie. It’s nothing short of a modern Cinderella story in a perfect Disney world, but it was always the ideal scenario that played in the back of my mind throughout high school.
I still love being thought of as different and having such a unique personality type, but sometimes I feel as though no one can really understand me. I know it sounds super cliché, but hear me out. Being an INFJ, I often have a super hard time getting all of my thoughts out. I even have a hard time understanding all of my thoughts for myself so to try and explain them to other people is nearly impossible. If my inner monolog had a transcript, I’m pretty sure this is what it would look like.
Friend: Hey, what’s up?
Me: *over analyzes every thought I’ve had within the past day, tries to remember what I had for dinner last night, wait am I sad right now or am I just indifferent, I don’t know how to accurately answer this question, I think I might be hungry, I can’t talk about politics, major news events, or what’s actually running through my mind, but I can talk about the homework I’m working on right now, even though I’m currently on Pinterest, but I think I might still be upset that it took 10 minutes for my drink to come out at Starbucks this morning*
Me: Um, nothing much. You?
This is why I’m really bad at small talk. If I don’t know you well enough to really tell you how I’m feeling then all that comes out is a surface level reply of “good.” If I know you well enough to tell you how I’m really feeling, you better prepare yourself for a 10-minute long run-on sentence of me trying to explain how my day is going. Be prepared, because there is no in between.
This is also one of the reasons I like writing so much. Here I have time to sit down and organize my thoughts. I can reflect on things and maybe be able to answer the question “why?”. I think the most frustrating thing in a conversation is when I wait too long to come up with the perfect response and then see that the conversation has already moved on. I find that it is a pain and a blessing that my thoughts are really complex. I can contradict myself because I tend to easily see both sides of an argument. This being frustrating because I struggle with picking which side I agree with more. This happens more and more often depending on how controversial the topic is.
Because of my lack of being able to understand my own thoughts and emotions, I seek refuge in my ability to understand other people better than myself. I wish I knew who said this, but I found it on Tumblr and it speaks to me on so many levels.
“I can assure you I understand you, but I can also assure you, you don’t understand me. I don’t mind.”
It’s like I don’t even know me, so how could I expect you to?
I also find myself mimicking other personality types when I’m surrounded by them, which is apparently common for INFJ’s to do. I see what is at the core of someone’s personality and feed off of it. Yes, I know this can add to the complexities of my own personality, but I love how it makes it easier for me to understand others. It’s like I get to walk in that person’s shoes for a while. This can make a big difference for me when I am sharing Jesus with people. It takes the phrase “meeting them where they’re at” to a whole new level.
I know it sounds like I’ve complained a lot in this article, but there is a point to it, I swear. I did not write this for anyone to feel sorry for me because “no one understands me.” I just want to try and help people understand their INFJ friend or to let a fellow INFJ know that there is someone else out there who feels the same way. I also might’ve written it for me, so I can see my thoughts written out and be able to understand them more clearly. Yes, I know I spend too much time in my head. Yes, I know I am a hopeless romantic. And yes, I wish that I could just know what I’m feeling and know how to tell people. But the point of all this is not to want to change into an extrovert who can communicate her thoughts properly but to encourage you in your quiet, bookish ways. There’s nothing wrong with you because you would rather sit at a coffee shop for hours and people-watch than hang out in a large crowd.
But for now, that’s just a quick glance into the eternal black hole (aka my mind).
Love and hugs,
Feature photo thanks to HKF photography.
P.s. Here are some random facts about INFJ’s I found: Some famous people with my personality type are Martin Luther King jr., Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Nicole Kidman. And INFJ’s are nicknamed “the advocate”.