I am an "INFJ", which in Meyers-Briggs-speak is Introverted INtuitive Feeling Judging. I love consistency, and my temperament has remained consistent over the 15 or so years since I first took the test. What's interesting though is that over the course of those years, I've taken the test several times and each time, these particular characteristics have grown stronger. For example, when I first tested, I scored only 51% on the introverted scale. Now my score on introversion is 78%!
Contrary to popular opinion, in the world of MBTI, introversion and extroversion have little to do with whether you talk a lot or are the life of the party. To some extent, it has to with how people process information - extraverts tend to "think out loud", while introverts tend to process information internally. It also has a lot to do with how you relate to people on an "energetic" level. One MBTI coach explained it to me by saying that when their emotional batteries need recharging, extroverts need to be around other people. Conversely, introverts' emotional batteries are more likely to be drained by prolonged interaction with people, and when they need recharging, they typically need time alone.
For as long as I can remember, I've always felt "different", somewhat out-of-place. If I believed in reincarnation, I'd presume that I'd lived a wonderful life in another space in time and that I felt more comfortable there than I do here. When I was assaulted and dealt with the aftermath of PTSD for years, I thought that explained it. Then, when I was diagnosed as bipolar, I knew that had to be the explanation. Except that even among the bipolar community, I'm quite different from most of the people I've met or read through their blogs.
But when I started reading about INFJs again over the past few days, time and time again I found myself saying "Yes! That's me!" Being an INFJ isn't necessarily a good thing or a bad thing, no more so than being a Pisces or a Virgo, but finally I see who I am - how I think and feel, in a "quantifiable" way. It's sort of like when you know you're not well, but you can't quite figure out what's wrong. There is something liberating about getting a diagnosis. Suddenly all of those seemingly unrelated symptoms begin to tie together and things start to make sense. That's how I feel about my MBTI temperment. I shouldn't have been surprised to learn that mine is the rarest of the 16 temperments, representing only about 1% of the population. Even that is comforting because it explains the isolation and sense of "differentness" that I often feel but could never quite articulate.
It was also validating for me to learn that INFJ's are usually extremely intuitive (I scored 75%). One INFJ profile noted the following: INFJs have uncanny insight into people and situations. They get "feelings" about things and intuitively understand them...This is the sort of thing that other types may scorn and scoff at, and the INFJ themself does not really understand their intuition at a level which can be verbalized. Consequently, most INFJ's are protective of their inner selves, sharing only what they choose to share when they choose to share it.". If you've been reading my recent posts, you know how timely that message is for me.
Quite a while back, Marja from Roller Coaster asked me to share more information about myself. I haven't done that yet, I'm not sure why, but I never forgot that she'd asked. Then there was another blogger who shall remain nameless who e-mailed me off-line shortly after I started this blog. After several e-mails, I mentioned that I was an African-American woman. We laughed until we cried when she admitted that when she'd first started reading my blog, she thought I was a white male - an incredibly sensitive one at that! So, now that I've read several different profiles on INFJ and have really had a chance to focus on "who" I am (as opposed to what I've done), I think I'm ready to share more of myself. If you're interested in learning more about me, I'll be posting to my About Me page soon.