Sunday, May 25, 2008

Am I your type?!

I am an INFJ.

I = Introversion - Interest in ideas in your mind that explain the world.

N = Intuition - Interest in what can be imagined, seen with “the mind’s eye”

F = Feeling - Interest in knowing what is important and valuable

J = Judgment - Interest in acting by organizing, planning, deciding.

This is according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which reports a person’s preferred ways of attending to the world and making decisions. For INFJs, the dominant quality in their lives is their attention to the inner world of possibilities, ideas, and symbols. Knowing by way of insight is paramount for INFJs, and they often manifest a deep concern for people and relationships as well. INFJs often have deep interests in creative expression as well as issues of spirituality and human development. While the energy and attention of INFJs are naturally drawn to the inner world of ideas and insights, what people often first encounter with INFJs is their drive for closure and for the application of their ideas to people’s concerns. INFJs are people-oriented Innovators of ideas; serious, quietly forceful and persevering; concerned with the common good, with helping others develop.

Ideas and symbols are real. I live for insight and imagination and move freely in the inner world of ideas. Reasoning is abstract, conceptual, complex and metaphorical. I naturally take multiple or creative perspectives on people, situations, and problems. At times there may also be a philosophical, romantic, or even mystical quality to the way my mind works. Introverted intuition gives a certainty to insights, and with development of extraverted feelings may work in a determined way to make my visions a reality.

Feelings provide me with a way of giving structure to and critiquing my vision, and thus my visions are often about possibilities for people or for humanity as a whole. Though feeling is important and necessary, intuition is primary and it pulls me to look to patterns and to possibilities. Feeling puts my future-orientation in a people context, and thus issues of self-realization and human development are often of great importance. I am usually concerned in an ongoing way not only with my own growth but with the growth of others as well.

INFJs are deeply concerned with fellowship and harmony, and with development of feeling, I am caring and compassionate. I am concerned with what is good for people, and I often see people’s hidden beauty. I can be exquisitely empathic, and my sensitivity may almost border on the psychic; at times I may even feel a need to shut out my perceptions of what others are experiencing.

INFJs usually have a love of learning and are typically academically inclined. No matter what the field, INFJs have great powers of concentration which makes us excellent researches. We need work that provides opportunities to make use of this creativity, insight and ability to organize.

INFJs are often quiet observers of people and the human condition. We have an ability to capture the essence of an interaction, a people situation, and to be aware of the timeless qualities of the human condition. We may express these insights in art or writing, and often have facility with the written or spoken word, and with foreign languages.

In relationships, INFJs can be quiet and insightful friends. Idealists at heat, we greatly value trust and authenticity in relationships. At times, hwoever, others my experience INFJs as certain of - or even stubborn about - our own correctness. Though we typically are concerned with maintaining harmonious relationships and with pleasing others, we are surprised to hear that others view us as pushy or controlling. Others may also experience us as hard to know or easily hurt, and confrontations and conflict can indeed be terribly painful for us. We are private individuals who ay share only a small portion of our inner world with others, not only because we may have difficulty verbalizing our inner experiences, but because we believe others may not understand our insights.

We need development of extraverted feeling to tell us which of our visions or dreams are the most important to pursue. Development of thinking and sensing will help us take a hard-nosed look at how we can translate our inner images into outer realities.

Under stress, INFJs may compulsively attempt to organize our outer world but achieve no real embodiment of our visions and ideals. We may also be or appear to be surprisingly critical, perfectionistic, or moralistic. Under stress, we may also become self-absorbed in our inner world, have difficulty articulating our needs, and become exceptionally self-critical. Under extreme stress, we may become over involved in physical experiences (too much exercise), or neglect our physical experience (eat too little), or may possibly drive ourselves to exhaustion.

You now know more about me and other INFJs than you could ever possibly need. I would very much like to hear from you if you’ve ever been typed by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. As an Introverted type, I am interested in ideas in my mind that explain the world!

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