Today is Rara’s holiday, and she is hosting a party for International Label Day!
Everyone is invited, and feel free to peruse the label-wearers already there.
It’s a party, after all!
I am warning you now, this is not a quick read. This goes in depth about me and who I am.
I am many things.
I could have said any number of things, so why did I label myself an INFJ?
Because it’s me, completely.
Whoa whoa whoa. Hold the phone. What the heck is an INFJ?
In order to explain that, I have to explain something else.
I don’t want to go too much into the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) right now, although it’s fascinating stuff. Suffice to say that everyone falls under one of sixteen personality categories based on personal preference of Introversion/Extroversion, iNtuition/Sensing, Feeling/Thinking, and Judging/Perceiving. Each personality type is summed up into four letters.
Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeler, Judger. INFJ.
That still doesn’t explain what an INFJ is.
Sheesh, you’re pushy. I’m getting there.
Introverted: pretty self-explanatory. I get my energy from being alone, as opposed to being around people. If I’m tired or cranky or hungry or… not at my best, I really just need to be left alone to recharge.
I am not antisocial.
I am not shy.
I am not awkward. (Okay, maybe I’m a little awkward.)
I am not a snob, or “too good to be nice”.
I am an introvert.
Intuitive: this means I pay more attention to the patterns and possibilities I see around me, as opposed to the information given to me by my five senses.
Short version: I have my head in the clouds.
Feeler: no, this doesn’t mean I don’t think. I think quite a bit. But my knee-jerk reaction to new situations is, “How do I feel about this?” as opposed to, “What do I think about this?”
Judger: “judger” does not necessarily mean I’m judgmental. It means I like order instead of chaos; I prefer having a plan to just winging it; once I make up my mind, it stays made up, and so forth.
Okay, got it. So what is an INFJ like?
Well, like me. Sort of. Let’s see what others have said about it:
Though affable and sympathetic to most, INFJs are selective about their friends. Such a friendship is a symbiotic bond that transcends mere words. – TypeLogic
It is hard to manipulate an INFJ as they evaluate the motives of other people very carefully, especially when dating. It is very rare that INFJ is tricked or talked into something they did not want. – 16Personalities
INFJs are gentle, caring, complex and highly intuitive individuals. Artistic and creative, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities… They know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. They are usually right and they usually know it. – PersonalityPage
Honestly, trying compress several pages of personality profiles into a handful of quotes doesn’t nearly do it justice.
An INFJ is extremely intuitive, and this is their defining quality. They (I) have a strong gut sense that rarely goes astray. For me, it manifests as an extreme discomfort and the wet-cement-in-my-stomach sensation when something is about to go very, horribly wrong.
Because of their keen perceptiveness, INFJs are rarely fooled by facades or fakery. They can readily see beyond appearances and apprehend an individual’s deeper motives and intentions, including any underlying ego issues. In fact, INFJs can often see the truth about people more clearly than those people can see it in themselves. – PersonalityCafe
I once told a friend that she kept people at a distance, especially with dating, because she was afraid of being hurt. She tried denying it, but after a while said, “I have to go think about this. I’ll talk to you later.”
A couple days afterward she sent me a message saying, “You were right, and that scared me.”
An INFJ is a rescuer. They help others because others need help, not because the INFJ wants attention or recognition.
I once drove for six hours in the middle of the night and got lost in a city I was unfamiliar with because someone needed a place to stay after getting kicked out of his house. A couple of friends who accompanied me thought I was insane after the first few fruitless hours of searching, and wanted to turn around and go home. I continued driving, knowing I needed to find the person so he wouldn’t have to walk 260 miles in the dark, along the highway, with no food or water, to my hometown.
I later married him, and he loves telling people that I saved his life.
You’ve gotta have some weaknesses. What are they?
There are some downfalls to being an INFJ; for one, that perfectionist streak always tells me, “You’re not living up to your full potential. You’re doing something wrong. You’re worthless.” It gets old after a while.
INFJs tend to be rather sensitive, and any sort of conflict is more than a little alarming for them/us/me.
Most INFJs tend to be scoffed at for their strong intuition, and I can verify that yes, intuition is rarely taken seriously in a society that only listens to logic and reasoning. Because of this, many INFJs are private and secretive, particularly about matters sensitive to them.
Interestingly, INFJs have a more difficult time when it comes to perceiving and understanding their own emotions. – PersonalityCafe
Yep. When my husband asks me what’s wrong, I usually end up saying something like, “It’s–I’m–hargabledhagack. Grawr!” Somehow, he understands that I’m frustrated/irritated/annoyed/impatient/upset/irked/offended/restless without me actually being able to put my finger on it. It’s only after a lot of introspection and thinking that I can actually say, “Oh, I’m annoyed because of ____.”
Depression is also common in INFJs because they frequently feel misunderstood and outcast by the other fifteen types.
So why is it a label you’re proud of?
It means I am capable of helping others better themselves somehow. It means it’s in my nature to Do Good, and nothing makes me happier. It means my intuition is my strongest trait, that I didn’t lose that ability as I got older.
I’m proud of the label because it is me, in my entirety; all of my complexities and paradoxes summed up into four simple letters.
I’m proud of the label because it isn’t static — although it is already who I am, it gives me something to aspire to be.
How do I know you’re not making this all up?
Because these guys said so:
Bonus: you can find your MBTI (or double check it) here.
Whew. Sorry for the verbiage. Did you read the whole thing through or just scroll to the end? (I won’t be angry if you did, promise.) Do you know your MBTI?
Update February 06, 2014:
If this caught your attention, I wrote a post about cognitive functions, which explains why you are who you are. The Petals of A Rose: Cognitive Functions.