Monday, July 28, 2008

I’m an INFJ – What about you?

When I tell people I'm an INFJ, almost everyone asks what I mean. INFJ is my Myers Briggs personality profile, and the letters stand for Introversion, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging. While I won't go into the details of each of these "types," I'll summarize as follows.

I – Downtime, or reflection, is my energy source
N – With less interest in details, I tend to look for the “big picture”
F – I empathize when making decisions
J – My preference is for order and structure, and for things to be settled

Great news! According to Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type by Paul D. Tieger & Barbara Barron-Tieger, good "arts" careers for INFJs include Playwright, Novelist, and Poet. So at least I've confirmed writing is a good fit for my personality type!

But that's not what's prompted me to write about personality type.

At a writers' group meeting several weeks ago, we talked about our great chemistry and how each member contributes a different skill set. Gary talked about Dorlana's ability to see where the story should start, Chrissa's capacity at florid description, Theresa's skill of natural dialog, and Kelli's passion with punctuation, just to name a few. Then he mentioned my ability to see the details.

Wow. Imagine that. Me – see the details!

What a surprise that was. You see, my "N" is real strong in my INFJ. Strong to a fault. I see the forest, but rarely notice the trees. I couldn't tell you what color shirt my husband was wearing when I dropped him off at work this morning. Nor could I tell you the color or type car that most of my neighbors drive, although I do know a few. I may not even notice when a family member gets a new haircut. I just don't pay attention to those details.

Yet here I was receiving what I feel is a terrific complement. Thank you, Gary! Which got me to thinking… do I really see the details while reading the work of my colleague writers?

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses helps. Since I am so aware of my inattentiveness to detail, I think when I'm tasked to look at or read something, I pay particular attention. And while I read chapters of novels or short stories for the group, I typically have the "big picture" in mind and usually will have read through the selection more than once. So as I read, I look at those details to see if they fit with the whole picture. Anyway, that's what I'm guessing.

Now I'm curious – do you know your Myers Briggs personality profile? If you do, please share it in the comments section and I'll bet we see a truly diverse group of personality types.

Whether it's my writers' group, or any group for that matter, Gary is right. It's all our differences that make us so great; and together, we're all pretty awesome!


Vic DiGital said...

I took this test
and it says I'm an INTJ, but moderate in all of them.

The last time I took this test a few years ago, I scored very strong as an INFJ. I'm changing, but I don't know what that means. Just from the test, I notice I'm not automatically answering yes to the introverted and right-brained questions like I know I used to.

While I will never classify myself as 'outgoing', I know I've come a long way from where I was even just a few years ago.

Looking at the career choices for INTJ (Computer Programming, Engineering, Law, Librarian) I have to laugh. There's no way I'd EVER want to have anything to do with those jobs.

Anonymous said...

I too am an INFJ.....I love to I live for
time to do those things. I work for the school district so am fortunate to have my summer's off.
I am a mom, but with grown children.
My husband and I live in our home
together. I love spending time with
him. Neither of us like to go places much,except to visit parents
and children. Our financial situation plays a part in that.
We do live in a recreational town
where a lot of people come when they want to go somewhere fun.
We live next to a major mountain
only 20 minutes from MT. Bachelor,
but neither my husband nor I have ever skiied. Not even so much as
gone tubing on the mountain.
We have driven up there and eaten
at the coffee shop. We enjoy watching the skiiers, but would
rather stay warm and dry.
I do love to work out...Im not a couch potato..but I like to do it
alone...running or brisk walking.
I don't like to talking while working out.....
I work in a High School. I am a speech therapist assistant. I enjoy
working with the students, but I can work with them one on one..and I do not have to do a lot of social
funtions. I just go to work and go
home. I can tell that other's wonder why I don't like to do stuff with them on the week ends...
or go skiing or try snowshoeing..
but I'd rather not.
My husband has never had the test done, but he is either very close
to an INFJ...or is very compatible
to it. He and I are very good company for each other.
I love my time...and a glass of merlot.

Sheryl Tuttle said...

Thanks for your comment Anonymous! It sounds like you and I would have a lot in common. I have tried skiing though, and loved it! Although I never went beyond beginner, I used to love to go at night to a small local mountain (Mount Wachusett in Massachusetts). It was so peaceful and quiet - a haven for an INFJ!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm quite surprised and utterly perplexed.
I never thought that I would have found another person in this large world that we inhabit like one such as myself.
I'm a 15 year old teen INFJ, and I signed up to take this MBTI test with a psychologist, just for the heck of it.
Figures, I'm an INFJ, but close to an INFP too.
I'm not shy, just quiet, and I have a profound interest in music, painting, drawing, and especially writing.
I may seem young and perhaps foolish in the eyes of older individuals such as yourself, but I am no fool, and according to your written letter, you truly are an INFJ.
It's kind of funny really, we share a lot in common you and I...
The career choices for INFJs? Ha ha ha- NOO thankyou!!!

Funny how you say you are an INTJ now, but were an INFJ- I used to always score as an INFP until recently, I am considered an INFJ- but who knows, I'm a growing kid, and it may change again!
Thanks for your letter!

Sheryl Tuttle said...

Thanks for visiting and leaving your comment, Anonymous. Yes, while they say personality "type" remains fairly constant throughout life, I do believe it evolves and changes over time. Good luck in all you do and in your eventual career choice also.