A Rose By Any Other Label

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 am a daughter,
a sister,
a wife,
a pet-owner,
a writer (sort of),
a hobby-blogger (duh),
a confidante,
a friend,
a listener,
an Aries,
a dog,
a crier,
a try-er,
a liar,
a magic-bean buyer.

Pardon my nose.
Pardon my nose.

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.


59 thoughts on “A Rose By Any Other Label

Add yours

  1. Thank you for this. I was recently on a trip with my son and he complained that I “speculate” a lot. I thought about changing but I just can’t. I just seem to know these things about what is “really” going on. I’ve known I was an INFJ forever, but I haven’t given it much thought lately. It’s just ME. I don’t have to change!!!


  2. I did this a while ago. Forgot my reading until i looked up the results I saved. I’m a fellow INFJ. Makes sense why I felt a connection to your descriptions. But ESFP was on the page as well. Not sure which one I did first. Obviously I felt one of them was incorrect πŸ™‚


    1. There’s a pretty big difference between INFJ and ESFP, but if you felt a connection to my descriptions you’re probably the former. πŸ˜‰


  3. I don’t remember what I was as I did it years ago. Probably changed now as I’m not the person I used to be. Rara sent me over btw. I like what I’ve read so you’ve got a new follower.


  4. No one else but an INFJ would really understand you – My willingness to do ll I am able – for people is misunderstood as an effective boost for my low self esteem – no I do not love myself much I am intelligent, ex-University – member of MENSA – INFJ – WTF no one is perfect


      1. Sad and dull world we might have – if we were all perfect – there are people I have met who thought they were – by inference – PERFECT – they could not understand a vew of someone who thought differently from them


    1. As my ENFP cousin said, “It’s liberating to know why you do things the way you do, and that there are others like you,” and I couldn’t agree with him more. πŸ™‚
      I’m glad you enjoyed it!


  5. Took the test decades ago. According to that one, we were only an extremely small percent of the population. It was comforting to see the long list of other INFJ’s on the site you referred to. I took the test again to see if 30 or so years had made a difference. Still the same. I’m always intrigued by the percentage rating. I’m borderline F now. As a younger person, I was borderline I. Guess life can alter you a bit, but doesn’t change the core of who you are. Interesting. Glad to meet you, young INFJ!


    1. Apparently INFJs still only make up 1-3% of the population, but it certainly is nice to see so many people to look up to.
      “Guess life can alter you a bit, but doesn’t change the core of who you are.” I think you hit the nail on the head with that one. πŸ™‚


      1. I have been interested to read all the comments – also – having a look at the Tests I had to be invited to join British MENSA – being told I was in the top 1 % meant very little to me – bey9ond being bullied for a freak by some sibs and step-sibs – now wondering if since only 1 – 3% are INFJ – is there any relationship (?) between your Myers=Briggs and your IQ – my Test Cattel-B says results were 157 – thankfully I am no longer in awe of the elders and sibs who called me a freak – but I would like some feedback – should I start another discussion thread


      2. MBTI has pretty much nothing to do with IQ. I’ve met some extremely intelligent ENFPs and some incredibly stupid ISTJs. Intelligence is intelligence and personality is personality. So really, there isn’t a correlation between the two.
        That’s pretty impressive to be in the top 1% though!
        Siblings can be cruel — I was teased mercilessly by mine. πŸ˜‰


      3. I think that’s why I felt like such an out of place odd-ball growing up. As an adult I’ve finally realized that what I really am is unique and special. I’m glad to see you’ve discovered that truth early in life. Revel in your individuality! πŸ™‚ Love your blog by the way!


      4. I’m glad you enjoy it! πŸ˜€

        It’s sort of a difficult switch from “I’m a loser and nobody understands me” to “I’m unique and that’s okay”, but it’s certainly been a worthwhile one. πŸ™‚ Although my family still seems to think I’m an oddball. But that’s just family, I think. πŸ˜‰


  6. Thank you for writing this – I’m an INFJ too, according to a few tests I’ve done, but mostly because whenever I read the type descriptions, it sounds so much like me and my desire to make a difference to the world. I struggle a lot with low moods because I often feel as though I’m falling short of my potential. Definitely driven by intuition. Especially in recent years, I’ve learnt a lot about myself and who I am.


    1. When I first read the type description for INFJ, I thought someone had taken the essence of who I was and posted it online for the world to see. It was pretty alarming at first, haha. πŸ™‚
      I totally understand feeling like you’re not living up to your potential. I wrote about that a little bit in a different post; although the topic is slightly different, the message applies in a lot of aspects of life. πŸ™‚


  7. That… was beautiful. I myself am an INTP. Basically, it means that I’m an idealist of sorts and spend a lot more time in my head than in the real world. This is both my strength and my downfall.


    1. My oldest friend is an INTP, and my husband is the extroverted version of you. πŸ™‚
      I totally get what you mean about spending so much time in your head. Sometimes it’s just difficult to relate to the “real” world, right?
      I’m so glad you liked my ramblings about being an INFJ. πŸ˜€


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