April 19, 2015

My INFP Personality

One thing about bloggers, it's sometimes hard to know exactly who's behind the words. Here's my attempt to kind of show my readers who I am outside of the blogosphere because it may explain why I write what I write and why I feel a certain way about various ideas and topics.

My co-workers and I were talking about personality types a couple months ago and one of my co-workers suggested that I take a personality test. I had taken a personality test years ago to add to my Myspace profile, but of course that's unreliable. I went home that night and took two personality tests (see one of my test results here)  just to see if I would get different results but they both came back the same. These types of personality tests came from the ideas of famed Psychologist Carl Jung, however, fellow Psychologists Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers put these personality types together based on Jung's teachings/ideologies. There are 16 different personality types and with both tests I was diagnosed as an INFP...So, what does that mean?

I - Introverted

Above everything else, I'm an introvert. I don't do well with large crowds or gatherings, I like to have a small group of deep relationships rather than a bunch of acquaintances, and socializing is tiring for me rather than invigorating, as with extroverts. The first test that I took said that I was 90% introverted, which even surprised me. I think 90% is a bit over the top, I'd say I'm about 80%. I know that doesn't make much difference, but 90% just makes me seem like a hermit and I am not! I like to go out sometimes, only if the conditions are right. Why am I an introvert though?

I was reading this dating advice column and the person asking for advice said that he was an introvert and didn't like going out. The person giving the advice said that being an introvert is fine, but you should figure out if you're really an introvert or is it that you're just self-conscious and lacking self-esteem. As you probably know (if you read my blogs), I have struggled with self-esteem issues for a long time, but I've always been an introvert, even as a child. I didn't even like large family parties and events and it's just tiring being around so many people. It's tiring trying to start and keep conversations going. With extroverts, they seem to improvise and feel a rush of adrenaline when it comes to juggling conversations and people, for introverts it's hard because socializing is very taxing. I would say that my introversion has some ties to my self-esteem, but I think it's just in my DNA to be an introvert.

According to truity.com, Introverts enjoy:

  • Contemplating ideas and experiences
  • Being in calm surroundings
  • Exploring a subject in depth
  • Reflecting on thoughts or feelings
  • Maintaining distance and privacy
  • Quiet and solitude

N - Intuition (sometimes S - Sensor)

Actually with this part of my personality I am in between the two options, but I identify most with being intuitive. This means that I rely on the bigger picture rather than the smaller, technical details and I dwell more on the future than the present.

Specific traits are:

  • Observing patterns and connections
  • Interpreting meaning
  • Imagining potential
  • Ideas and concepts
  • Innovation and creativity
  • Possibilities for the future

F - Feeling

I'm a feeler, I feel emotions more than anything else. I lead with my heart rather than my head or logic. I don't believe in black and white and I always believe there's some gray areas. I wouldn't make a very efficient judge.

Specific traits are: 

  • Acting out their ideals
  • Engaging their emotions
  • Considering the impact on people
  • Seeking harmony and appreciation
  • Serving others
  • Making authentic decisions

P - Perception

This means that I'm a person who likes to make plans but I'm also open minded enough to where those plans can be adjusted. This is pretty accurate because I am a huge procrastinator. I started this blog about 2 months ago and I'm just now posting it, ha!

Traits of a perceiver:

  • Be free to do what interests them in the moment
  • Make the rules up as they go
  • Have the freedom to be flexible
  • Brainstorm options
  • Do things when inspiration strikes
  • Go with the flow and enjoy surprises

All of these descriptions pretty much describe what I'm like. INFPs are emotional people and they're idealists, which means they see the good in most situations. We're also very imaginative, open-minded, and hope to 'heal' mankind with our dreams and aspirations. INFPs are also much better communicating through writing versus through speaking, which is why I chose the very fitting visual above. Some of the issues with being an INFP is that we're very over-analytical, too idealistic/dreamy, and very unorganized. These negative traits describe me as well.

One of the main traits of being an INFP is that we latch on to people who we like. As I said, we're emotional and once you appeal to our emotions it's hard for us to let go. I spent a long time thinking I had an obsessive disorder, because once I liked someone I almost became addicted to them, especially with friends. I remember in middle school I hung out with this group of girls and I felt so sad when school was over and I had to go home, because I wanted to be around them as much as I could. They shared things with me, they liked me, we had a great friendship and I just latched on to them. Some people can be friends with someone (or a group of people) and not talk to them for days or even weeks and just pick back up where they left off, but that's not me. I still do that today, and I realized it just this past week.

I've been talking to this person and I think we have good conversations. I live for good, deep conversations and I like listening to people so it works out because this person is a natural talker and entertainer. I really like talking to people who open up to me, it's the best feeling in the world to have someone want to talk to you, to have someone want you to listen to them because they value your ear is simply amazing to me. So, this person and I have been talking a lot more in the past few weeks. This week I realized that I was so excited to be able to talk to this person again, I couldn't wait to figure out what we would talk about next. One of my personality traits is that I like deep relationships and when it comes to friends I'm very selective. I also think I'm very spiritual when it comes to friends, I have to feel your positive spirit before anything else. I also like people who are expressive and not expressionless. I don't like conversations that scrape the surface, I want something more. It's strange because as easy as it is for me to latch on to someone, it's just as easy to detach from them, especially when they bruise my emotions. Another thing about INFP folks is that we care deeply about people, but it's hard to express that when people think over-caring means crazy (see my blog about being clingy here!). I actually think it's another down side of being an INFP.

All in all, I think my love for blogging and writing in general stems from my introversion and introspection. I think a lot about things and I can't really express them verbally how I express them in writing. I also like connecting with emotions, which is why a lot of my blogs are emotion-driven. I think personality tests help you learn a lot about yourself and even your actions. I do also believe that a person's personality is quite fluid and changes probably a few times during a lifetime. INFPs only make up a small portion of the US's population (between 4-6%), which explains why I've never really met someone who I'm emotionally compatible with. I encourage you guys to take a test just to see where you are and it might help you sort of find who you are.