I’ve been trying to figure myself out for a long time. Reading articles about personality and birth order, taking test after test. I am always trying to figure out why I do and say the things that I do. Imagine my surprise the other day as I was reading Listful Thinking’s newest post, and she made note of her personality type, which got me to wondering – was I still the same personality type as I was 8 years ago? I’ve taken the Myers-Briggs Personality Test a few times in the past, and it’d always come up as INTJ, but while it “mostly fit”, some of the descriptions never felt right to me. I decided to give the test another try, after all it had been eight years, just to see what the results were. I really read the questions and thought about how I interpreted them, answering honestly. The results that I got this time were for INFJ.
INFJ stands for Introverted Intuitive Feeling Judging. The descriptions I found myself reading of the INFJs really hit the mark; one description even stated that INFJs are essentially the rarest personality type, with around 1% of the human population falling into that category. The alleged rarity explains why I’ve felt that I haven’t met anyone remotely close to me personality-wise. Further reading into the personality type found me having numerous “Aha!” moments as I read traits that I have that I felt were weird and inexplicable. They’re explainable – just rare! Huzzah!
I’ve always felt like a “black sheep”, having friends but rarely any that fell into “close friend” category. I was recently talking to my friend Dazylady, about how I perceive people and situations. I think the majority of the human population is full of shit and has an ulterior motive behind their actions. I can be smiling at someone, having a lovely conversation with them, and the entire time a voice in my head is asking “What’s their angle?” Why is it that they are talking to me? What do they want? What is motivating them? The “Bullshit Detector” is always running, just waiting for me to hit the button that loudly sounds off the “BULLSHIT Buzzer”. Guilty until proven innocent.
I trust people “as far as I can throw them.” So, it’s not that I’m not trusting… but my trust goes only so far. If I know what people are after, what their motivation is, then I know how to categorize them and what to say and do in accordance with their motives. I know how to protect myself from having to grab my ankles and get screwed. I think this may have ruined more than one relationship in my past because I couldn’t fully “let go” for anyone – even DH – and he knows this and I’m grateful he’s as patient and understanding as he is. To my closest friends reading this (and DH, who won’t), fear not – I know you’re genuine in intentions, that’s why I consider you close friends (and a great husband).
My friendships fit into a rigged dartboard with only myself in the Bullseye and my friends as the darts. Some get very, very close to hitting the center circle, but no one ever gets inside. Even DH. Even my family. I categorize friends. Sometimes people take aim at the dartboard, hit close in and then their true selves are shown and I take hold of their dart with firm grip and toss it back out. Rarely does their dart ever land as close to the Bullseye as it did that first time. A few darts/people are close friends (good, genuine people), some are good friends, some just friends, some acquaintances, and then there is the rest. I came upon that epiphany regarding friendship last week before retaking the personality test. Now, after taking it again, my pondering and musings make a lot more sense. People’s reactions to me and things I do or say also make sense. Clarity is a wonderful thing.
Rarely do I feel that I come across people who are patient enough to “get me”. Personalitypage.com’s includes in their description of INFJs: “They are deep, complex individuals, who are quite private and typically difficult to understand. INFJs hold back part of themselves, and can be secretive.” I never give everything to any one person, even here, Dear Readers… you don’t get everything, my “all”. Don’t put all your eggs into one basket, as it were. The hot/cold switch my personality takes throws people off, and though my closest friends know me for being a warm and caring person, I know that I come off as aloof and uncaring at the same time.
The description goes on further, covering how INFJs see themselves: “…INFJ is a perfectionist who doubts that they are living up to their full potential. INFJs are rarely at complete peace with themselves – there’s always something else they should be doing to improve themselves and the world around them. They believe in constant growth, and don’t often take time to revel in their accomplishments.” Oh, how true this is. I’ve been creative for a very long time. I’ve been writing for for over two decades, churning out short stories and poetry. Drawing animals and people; singing and playing my trombone. Yet, always upon completion, while what I’ve created might be very good, in my head the mantra was, and still is, “It could be better… it’s not good enough.” My singing always could be better, stronger. My trombone playing, while it was good and I played every note, there was always one section, one measure, that I didn’t get “just right”. Even my “To Do Lists” that are as long as my arm, once accomplished and seeing all the items scratched through… it wasn’t enough. I could have done more.
Most of my writing and drawings ended up in the trash because they weren’t good enough; this creates one very discouraged and frustrated person (and also points to one of the major reasons I have such a hard time with compliments). I rarely sing in public, let alone around friends or even DH, because while I know I have great pitch and timing – I’m not “good enough”. What I find interesting is that I’m the most enthusiastic cheerleader for my closest friends, praising them up and down, but for myself, rarely is anything “good enough”. Looks like I have some work to do on accepting my accomplishments as “good enough” when they are just that.
I posted on Facebook the results of my test, and it received a large number of comments, friends and acquaintances, chiming in with their personality types; so I put it to you Dear Readers – what are you? When you read the description, did you have an “Aha!” moment?