19 March 2009

Know Thyself

I remember taking a Myers-Briggs personality test in the early 1990s as part of a "team building" exercise at my then-current job. My BFFs, Carrie and Nancy, have been using the MBTI lately in either their writing or their personal lives, so I decided to give it a shot and find out if I've changed or not; this time, I'm taking the test for me, as part of who I am, rather than who I think I want to be in a work environment.

My results? I'm an INFJ - Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging.

Here's what Wikipedia says about me:

"INFJs are conscientious and value-driven. They seek meaning in relationships, ideas, and events, with an eye toward better understanding themselves and others. Using their intuitive skills, they develop a clear vision, which they then execute decisively to better the lives of others. Like their INTJ counterparts, INFJs regard problems as opportunities to design and implement creative solutions.

INFJs are quiet, private individuals who prefer to exercise their influence behind the scenes. Although very independent, INFJs are intensely interested in the well-being of others. INFJs prefer one-on-one relationships to large groups. Sensitive and complex, they are adept at understanding complicated issues and driven to resolve differences in a cooperative and creative manner.

Accounting for 1–3% of the population, INFJs have a rich, vivid inner life, which they may be reluctant to share with those around them. Nevertheless, they are congenial in their interactions, and perceptive of the emotions of others. Generally well-liked by their peers, they may often be considered close friends and confidants by most other types. However, they are guarded in expressing their own feelings, especially to new people, and so tend to establish close relationships slowly. INFJs tend to be easily hurt, though they may not reveal this except to their closest companions. INFJs may 'silently withdraw as a way of setting limits,' rather than expressing their wounded feelings. This behavior may leave others confused and upset.

INFJs tend to be sensitive, quiet leaders with a great depth of personality. They are intricately and deeply woven, mysterious, and highly complex, sometimes puzzling even to themselves. They have an orderly view toward the world, but are internally arranged in a complex way that only they could understand. Abstract in communicating, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. With a natural affinity for art, INFJs tend to be creative and easily inspired. Yet they may also do well in the sciences, aided by their intuition."

Oy. That's me to a "T". Especially the part about silently withdrawing as a way of setting limits when my feelings are hurt. I'm going through that right now, and this is exactly how I'm reacting. Kinda scary, actually. Enlightening, but scary. Then again, that's what enlightenment does - shows you the truth. How we react to that truth defines depth of character.

How am I reacting? Right now, I'm going to have another cup of tea and meditate on this. More to come.


Nan said...

Wow- cool. I agree, this pretty much is how I see you as well. (In case you wanted outside confirmation...) I guess the beginning of it all is to know thyself. You have a great start!