Over the past week or two, I have been investigating and coming to terms with my Myers-Briggs personality type. As an INFJ (introversion, intuition, feeling, judging), my personality type represents approximately 3% of the total population and ~1% of males. It is the rarest personality type, and quite frankly, the more I learn about it, the more everything begins to make sense.
Here are a few quotes from various websites and sources which I believe sums me up well….you’ll forgive me if I don’t quote.
“INFJs are, by definition, rare, reserved, and unlikely to initiate anything, which means that many of them can end up alone and misunderstood.”
“INFJs consciously choose the people that are close to them. They would rather have a few very close friendships as opposed to numerous superficial ones.”
“An INFJ’s allegiance is no trifle. If an INFJ wants to stick by you, it means they really like you. Do not violate that gift.”
“INFJs usually keep several friends, and that’s all they require. The good news is that we don’t need a large social circle to feel satisfied with our interpersonal lives. The bad news is if we don’t have that little circle, contrary to what appearances convey, it can be agonizing. We’re sometimes mistaken for aloof, but we’re anything but. Introvertedness makes us reserved and less willing to express fondness for others, but the F factor reflects our need to have at least a few sincere folks in our lives who truly get us and the desire to make others happy, and when that need goes unmet for long enough, INFJs become prone to antisocial behavior and even depression. We tend to be picky about the company we keep, which complicates the friend-making process. Get us running with the right crowd, though, and we can be as jovial and fun-loving as the most outgoing extroverts.”
“INFJs have an extremely complex internal value system. An INFJ will see if you ‘fit’ into their world, and they’ll bend their own rules if they really like you. INFJs tend to have very high standards, but are also very accepting once they trust you and know you’re safe.”
“However, the closer one gets to an INFJ’s heart, the more their standards will apply to the other person, which can sometimes create issues.”
“They often have darker periods where they close up. They can become monk-like and reclusive. It doesn’t mean they don’t like you, it just means they need to recharge.”
These are just a few of the quotes that I really relate to. My so-called inner circle tends to change based on various factors. When I go home to Pennsylvania to visit family, I often see old friends. These interactions can be downright awkward or strained. It’s not because I don’t value these friendships, but because they are no longer in that inner circle. My ability to open up becomes more difficult.
There will be times when I’m hanging with friends and I don’t say anything, I just listen. I know it can be often difficult for me to open up, and that it can be a very slow process. This can be indicative of that process. It may also mean that I need to just be by myself for a while. I can go days without interacting with people in a personal setting. This is part of my recharge process.
Various different things can emotionally and mentally wipe me out. Weekends where I have activities constantly booked, large parties, traveling…. This is one of the reasons I believe that I am such a homebody. It also explains why I don’t enjoy going out to the bars or clubs anymore. Those experiences are just too mentally draining.
You may ask how I can go to Disneyland so often, but I can’t go to the gay clubs? It’s a valid question. As an INFJ, I tend to pick up on the emotions going on around me, and I channel them. My mood can often change by the collective mood of a crowd. It’s cliche to say, but Disney tends to be a happy, uplifting place. People truly enjoy the experience of being there whether they are young or old. A club on the other hand can offer a range of emotions further heightened by substances. In one corner there may be a couple in love, and others are joyously letting loose on the dance floor. But there is always another side…drama with a capital D, cat fights, the judging, the rejection, or just being a drunken hot mess. I’m more sensitive to all of this than other personality types and it does emotionally and mentally exhaust me.
This insight to me is enlightening, and I want to share it with others because it explains why people might perceive me as being a bit different or reserved. While all of this did seem a little negative, there are many positives to being an INFJ. We are fiercely loyal to our friends, family, and beliefs. We stick by you and are always there to help in any way we can. We are the listeners, the go to people when you need to chat or and someone to lend an ear. We are harmony builders and seek to create balance in relationships and situations.
So hopefully this provided you a little insight to who I am as a person. I’m sure I’ll write more blogs about my struggles as a INFJ, but in the meantime, if you would like more information, check out these websites: