So…I changed. Is this normal?

knowyourletters2

Remember back when I was talking about the Briggs-Myers test and knowing your letters? When I was first introduced to the idea, I took the test multiple times and always got INTJ.

Well, recently I took the test again, because I’ve been thinking that I react emotionally to a lot of things, and being INTJ, that wasn’t ok. So I retook it and was very, very careful to answer according to what I actually do in life, rather than what I guessed I would do based on my preconceived notions of my personality. Make sense? I’ve always thought INTJ was best – even after saying how I appreciate all the others, blah blah blah…I was still happy to be INTJ.

But in reality, I’m INFJ. Not that big of a difference, but it definitely explains me much better. I found a great site that breaks down all the types, and honestly, this explains me to a ‘T.’ Let me show you…

“As an INFJ, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you take things in primarily via intuition. Your secondary mode is external, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit with your personal value system.”

– Very true. I put a good deal of stock in my value system which is based on my faith. I am most agitated when something I or someone else does directly affects that system.

“INFJs place great importance on having things orderly and systematic in their outer world. They put a lot of energy into identifying the best system for getting things done, and constantly define and re-define the priorities in their lives. On the other hand, INFJs operate within themselves on an intuitive basis which is entirely spontaneous. They know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand.”

– Perhaps this is why I’m always Over-Planning and Dreaming Excessively? I love re-defining priorities, re-evaluating my career track and life goals, and generally altering my plans. But I also do intuitively know things, and most of the time I am right – this happens at school a lot, actually, which tends to make people think I’m smarter than I think I am.

“This is something of a conflict between the inner and outer worlds, and may result in the INFJ not being as organized as other Judging types tend to be. Or we may see some signs of disarray in an otherwise orderly tendency, such as a consistently messy desk.”

– Yup. Yup. Always.

“INFJs are concerned for people’s feelings, and try to be gentle to avoid hurting anyone. They are very sensitive to conflict, and cannot tolerate it very well. Situations which are charged with conflict may drive the normally peaceful INFJ into a state of agitation or charged anger. They may tend to internalize conflict into their bodies, and experience health problems when under a lot of stress.”

– This is so true it hurts. I react to conflict and criticism very poorly, and have always wondered why. During a particularly hard year, with relationship and work stress, I acquired some weird heart and muscle disorders that have all but disappeared now the sources of stress are gone. Go figure.

“INFJ is a perfectionist who doubts that they are living up to their full potential. INFJs are rarely at complete peace with themselves – there’s always something else they should be doing to improve themselves and the world around them.”

– No wonder I read so many self-help books.

I know this was long, and perhaps it was more for me to be able to explain to myself about me, but I hope you enjoyed it. If you’re also an INFJ, congrats. Or not, I don’t know. I’m just happy, because I think I’ve finally found my letters.

otter.

Taken from Personality Page.

(This site said this is the rarest type – I thought INTJ was, but I guess I was wrong…)

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know your letters

knowyourletters

No, not the alphabet. I mean the four letters that relegate you to a specific sixteenth of the population. I am talking, of course, about that infamous Briggs-Myers test, beloved by many a major corporation and psychology professor.

In my youth (*cough) and ignorance, I discarded the idea of this test as psycho-babble and drivel, useless in the real world. Then I read about it, and, uh, changed my mind. Since then, I have taken many variations of this test, and come to the conclusion that they KNOW me, man, because how else could they accurately describe my strengths and weaknesses? Maybe there’s something to this personality profile thing after all.

If you aren’t familiar with the test, there’s no better way to familiarize yourself with it than in the book itself, Gifts Differing by Isabel Briggs-Myers. It’s an incredible read, and if you can get past the many charts and statistics (I skipped them), you’ll be in for a really eye-opening description of how our personalities determine how we interact.

Why is it important? Good question. Not only will it help you learn about and appreciate the differences in people, it will help your interactions with very different people. Being an INTJ myself, I never had much use for people who made decisions (or didn’t make them – indecision blegh) based on their feelings. I use logic, and empathy or emotions weren’t all that important to me in determining things. I still prefer my method cause it’s mine, but I no longer dismiss others’ opinions as invalid.

Here in Taiwan, I live in very close quarters with one person who’s as like me as she can be, and two people who are near enough total opposites. Fortunately, our team leader had the foresight to plan meetings where we all shared our communication preferences and personality quirks, biggest pet peeves, how we unwind, and so on. It was tedious but extremely helpful. Of course, that doesn’t eliminate the pet peeves, but it does at least mean we aren’t at each other’s throats about them. I don’t have to feel guilty about wanting to get away because we’ve established that I need that to relax.

If you’re in a similar situation or on any team, really, it might be a good idea to have a meeting to share your personality quirks. Share your faults and weaknesses. Take the test and share results. See what others have to say. If you think it’s a waste of time and it doesn’t matter, you should DEFINITELY do it, cause you’re probably a jerk.

I’m an INTJ, as I said. It’s the rarest type of woman, only comprising 0.5% of the population. Male INTJs are 1.5%. I feel vastly under-represented here. I’ve had to deal with a lot because of being this way. People used to annoy me beyond belief, and I took a lot of pride in keeping myself all superior and more-logical-than-thou. It’s taken time and lots of self-digging to see how wrong that is, and how isolating. Now, I love people, and I enjoy lots of different kinds of people. I can’t live with some of them, but I can be friends.

The most important thing to remember is that you have faults. Every personality type does. Find them. Fix them. Validate everyone, and don’t look down on others just because they think and interpret differently than you. Knowing your letters does not give you an excuse for being rude in the name of “That’s just how I am.” You have faults, and once you know about them, you have the responsibility to change them.

otter.