Recently, I’ve been studying personality theories for class and have found them to be extremely interesting. In particular the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI, has fascinated me, especially after seeing the accuracy of my results and how well my personality fits with my indicated type. If you don’t know what the MBTI is, it is a personality inventory that identifies various aspects of a person’s personality, differentiating your type in four different categories, assigning you four letters that classify you in each category. For example, my type is INFJ. I for introversion, N for iNtuition, F for Feeling, and J for Judging. The other four categories or letters are E for extroversion, S for sensing, T for thinking, and P for Perceiving. For more info on the specifics, check out Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers-Briggs_Type_Indicator
Anyway, the theory doesn’t identify strengths or weaknesses nor does it consider one personality type to be better than another. Its purpose is to identify how a person with a certain personality thinks and interacts in their daily life. There are 16 different type code combinations. As I stated earlier, my type code is INFJ, which is actually the most rare of all the personality types (only one percent of the population are INFJs). I don’t know why this sort of stuff is of such great interest to me. It’s probably because of how much anaylsis and self reflection goes into the identification of personality types. I love to analyze things, which is of course a common trait of most INFJs. It is uncanny how accurate the INFJ profile is in explaining how I think about things, especially relationships. For a good description of the INFJ type, check out this site: INFJ
Also, if you’d like to take a test and find out your personality type, I found this free online site that is based off the MBTI: Personality Test
The test I took in class was an official MBTI test, so it was probably more legit than the online test; but the online test is a good place to start. If you decide to take the test, please feel free to comment on this post and let me know what personality type you received. I’m very interested in hearing other’s result.
I had to write a reflection of my results for class, so I thought I’d share some of my thoughts. You might be bored by now, but if for some reason you want to keep reading, maybe you’ll learn a little about why I think or act the way I do. Like I said, INFJ is the most uncommon of the personality types, so often I feel misunderstood. Maybe this post will help others to better understand the craziness of what goes on inside my head. Let me know what you think.
After getting back the results of my MBTI report, it seemed very clear that my personality type is INFJ. At first, I believed I was more of an INTJ type, but after becoming more familiar with the traits of INFJs, there is no doubt that this is my true type. One of the first things I read about the INFJ type is that only one percent of the population fall into this category. For me, this statistic made a lot of sense because I have always felt that I possess a unique way of thinking about the world; and have trouble finding others who can relate to my way of thinking. INFJs are insightful, deep thinkers, who can be very idealistic as well as complex. Ask anyone who knows me well, and they will tell you that I over-think and over-analyze most things. There is no doubt that I am a very complex thinking individual. Another characteristic of an INFJ personality is that they can be very symbolic or metaphorical. A personal example that demonstrates this characteristic is recently I was trying to explain to a friend how relationships can be like training for a marathon. Needless to say, my friend thought I was strange for comparing running to dating, but this is how my brain works to make sense of things.
When it comes to communication, I exhibit INFJ characteristics by being better at communicating through writing than verbally. I consider myself a good writer and most INFJs are naturally artistic, so that makes sense. Also, it sometimes takes the act of writing out my thoughts and ideas in order to articulate what I’m trying to communicate. A great example of this is the fact that I occasionally post my thoughts on a personal blog for others to read. The content of my blog is mostly deep and complex, including insights and observations of the world around me, but often trying to send a message about my values or ideals, looking to create a dialogue with the reader.
Another aspect of my communication with others that demonstrates my personality type is my tendency to ask deep or unique questions. Many times I skip the small talk and go right for the more meaningful inquiries. Obviously, I have little interest in superficial conversation.
The INFJ type is very much exhibited in my interactions with others as well. Like stated previously, I have little use for superficial conversation, and am more interested in getting to know select individuals on a deeper level. This is why at times I can be very short with people who are trying to interact with me on a superficial level. Small talk does not interest me in most scenarios, and there are many times when I choose being silent over chit-chat. I understand that this can make me at times seem rude or uninterested, and I am trying to overcome this. I have had many people call me “mysterious” or “cautious” about revealing personal information. This fits with the INFJ type which is described as private and individualistic.
My work habits also demonstrate characteristics of INFJs, as I can be most creative when I am working independently. I do not have a problem with authority, but would much rather be left alone to work at my own pace, with little supervision. Also, in work situations, I would rather be a leader than a follower. This is exemplified by my interest in the coaching profession. I exhibit clear patterns of organization in my work habits, which is a trait of INFJ types. This organization is internal rather than external. I must always formulate a plan in my mind before I begin a project. Many nights I lie in bed planning the events of the upcoming day. Without organizing the events of my day in my mind, I feel very much disoriented and am likely to be unproductive.
When it comes to relationships, I fit the INFJ description almost perfectly. I am mostly interested in developing deep and meaningful relationships with a select few individuals. Also, I am always seeking to obtain the ultimate relationship. Progress is always a priority in my relationships; and I am always looking for opportunities to grow closer to my friends. I like my relationships to be intense and meaningful. At times, this can overwhelm others who are not used to such levels of complexity. I have a small circle of friends who I consider my most “real” friends and I share my most personal feelings and thoughts with; however, I still tend to hold some aspects of myself back.
At times, it seems as if I can obsess over particular relationships to the point where it can become too much for others to handle. INFJs also are said to be well liked by most people, especially the people who are able to get to know them, and I feel like this has been demonstrated in my experiences. I am the type of person who at first is very misunderstood, and can even seem shy or unfriendly, but after getting to know me, I am seen as a caring individual who thinks deeply about how I am relating to others. I feel like the people who know me best clearly understand that I value others and am very willing to help those in need. The tricky part is getting to know me. This is a common problem for the INFJ type.
In summation, I believe that the INFJ type most accurately describes my personality. It is very interesting and uncanny how accurate this personality inventory has been for identifying my type. I believe this information can help me to better understand myself and others; and if used properly will help me to become a better leader and coach.