Hi there! I wanted to drop by and talk a little bit about what it means to be an INFJ and why it’s so important to understand. What are the letters and where do they come from?
Let’s start with the Myers Briggs Type Indicator personality test or MBTI for short. According to the official Myers Briggs website, which is myersbriggs.org if you want to check it out, the MBTI test was created to help people understand Carl Jung’s personality theory and to help them be able to use it in their lives.
There are so many differences between people that seemed random prior to Carl Jung’s personality theory. But now, we can look at how people use perception and judgment to help us understand them a lot better.
Isabel Briggs Myers, and her mother, Katharine Briggs, developed the MBTI test to help ordinary people understand themselves and others better. They broke Carl Jung’s theory into basic preferences of the four dichotomies specified in the theory.
This is where the letters or preferences of the MBTI came from and the 16 different personality types.
Myersbriggs.org describes them like this:
Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I).
Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).
Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).
Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).
Your Personality Type: When you decide on your preference in each category, you have your own personality type, which can be expressed as a code with four letters.
Ok, so now that we know where the letters INFJ come from, let’s talk about what makes someone an INFJ.
The I stands for Introvert and it means…
I get my energy from spending time alone, or with one other person that I’m close to. I’m most comfortable when I’m playing with an idea in my head. I see these ideas in pictures, memories, and replaying reactions from myself and others, like a movie playing in my head. These ideas are mostly consistent and stable for me, though it may take some time for me to go through all of the scenarios before I decide. There are times that I like the idea of something more than the actual thing.
The N stands for Intuitive and it means…
I am a future-oriented thinker. I think about what might be possible and new, which is why I don’t like hands-on experience. I would rather brainstorm a solution with theories and patterns. I’m most interested in patterns and impressions and am able to see them with very little active effort. It just happens naturally. When I think about the past I focus more on the impression of the event rather than the details.
The F stands for Feeling and it means…
I believe we all have the right to be heard and listened to. I am committed to making decisions that are best for everyone involved, considering their values. My relationships with people tend to come across as caring and warm because it’s important to me to make everyone around me feel comfortable.
The J stands for Judging and it means…
I use my decision-making ( Judging) preference (whether it is Thinking or Feeling) in my outer life. I like to plan and control my life as much as possible. I’m good at checklists and schedules. I like for decisions to be made and things to be in place. This is true for my outer world. My inner world is a bit more flexible and open.
Do not confuse Judging with judgmental, in its negative sense about people and events. They are not related.
Now that we know more about MBTI and being an INFJ, the next question is Why is knowing your personality type important?
Well, it’s important for a lot of reasons. It will help you:
Understand why you act the way you do
And why you think the way you do
It will help you know that it’s ok to be different from others
It will help you communicate with those around you more effectively
Avoid arguments in the first place
Let me give you an example.
I got into an argument with one of my friends. She said something that I perceived to be insensitive and honestly, I don’t even remember what it was she said. But I remember the conversation afterwards. When I pointed it out to her she said that what she said was factually correct and that’s all that matters, regardless of feelings.
She proceeded to pull out her phone and Google what we were talking about, pointing to how Google agreed with her so therefore she must be right.
I gently tried to tell her again that it doesn’t matter if she’s right or wrong. That wasn’t what the problem was. The problem was the way that she said what she said.
Have you ever been in this argument before? You find yourself saying, “It’s not what you said, it’s how you said it?”
I turned the conversation a different way at this point, bringing up the point that feelings are the most important thing for me. As an INFJ, I’m focused on feelings all of the time. I asked her what her personality type was and since she didn’t know, we quickly figured out that she’s an INTP. Instantly our argument made sense.
As an INTP she’s focused on thinking first and feelings waaaaaaay down the line. Facts and logics are so much more important to her that she doesn't think about feelings much at all. Knowing that, it was easy for me to see that she didn’t mean to hurt my feelings. She was trying to help by presenting the facts first, which is what’s most important to her. She saw it as helping as best she could.
I also helped her understand that feelings are super important to me, more so than facts. Both of us knowing this will help us with situations like this in the future.
Ok, so we covered where MTBI came from and what it means to be an INFJ. I hope you have a better understanding of your personality and why it’s important to know.
Oh, and before I sign off there’s actually one more thing I want to talk about that will help you learn more about your personality and understand yourself and others better.
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That’s it for this episode. I’ll see you again in two weeks for the premier of season 5!