MBTI INFJs and Carl Jung's Functions
How do you know for sure if you’re an INFJ? Did you take a test? I did. I took the Keirsy test. I’ve taken several of them, like the one on 16personalities.com. Some people take the test on MBTI.org. Some take other tests online.
There’s a small group of people who believe that taking a personality test is the wrong way to figure out your Myer’s Briggs personality type. They believe you should use Carl Young’s functions instead.
Which way is the right way to figure out your MBTI Type? We’ll dive into that and much more on this episode of The Quiet Ones.
How did you find out you are an INFJ? I took a test when I was in college. The one I took is called the Keirsey Temperament Sorter. It was something we did as part of our homework for an engineering course that I was in. That day changed my life. Well, that test did anyway. It took a couple of years for me to actually read it and dig into what it meant.
Keirsy is actually a version of Myer’s Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI test. But what is Myer’s Briggs?
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.
So… who is Carl Jung??
Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist who founded analytical psychology. He worked with Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. They worked together to create the foundation for the human psychology theory that we know today.
Jung was one of the first people to define introversion and extraversion in a psychological context. In his book Psychological Types, he says that each person falls into one of two categories: the introvert or the extravert. The introvert is focused on the internal world of reflection, dreaming, and vision. Thoughtful and insightful, the introvert can sometimes be uninterested in joining the activities of others.
The extravert is focused on the outside world of objects, sensory perception, and action. Energetic and lively, the extravert may lose their sense of self in the intoxication of outside pursuits.
His idea or interpretation of introversion and extraversion is quite different from the modern idea of introversion and extraversion. Modern theories focus on how you recharge, where your energy comes from, where Jung’s version of introversion and extraversion are expressed as a perspective: introverts interpret the world subjectively, whereas extraverts interpret the world objectively.
In his book Psychological Types, Carl Jung proposed four basic functions: thinking (T), feeling (F), sensing / sensation (S) and intuition (N). He broke down those functions further by labeling them either introverted or extroverted.
Though there are eight functions total, you only have four of them in your personality. Those four make up your functional stack, which we’ll get into later. For now, let’s take a look at what the functions mean.
Extraverted Thinking (Te) - looks to make any operation or procedure more logical and standardized. They look for the most efficient and rational way to do things and apply it to everything.
Introverted Thinking (Ti) - looks to make their own personal decisions logical and standardized. They are more focused on the individual rather than the whole experience.
Extraverted Feeling (Fe) - looks at all of the feelings of those around them. They want to have peace and harmony among everyone.
Introverted Feeling (Fi) - looks at their own feelings and focus on their own values and inner harmony.
Extraverted Intuition (Ne) - looks for new ideas and possibilities to explore outside of themselves. Extraverted Intuition types love learning new and deep ideas to keep them thinking about what could be.
Introverted Intuition (Ni) - explores ideas and possibilities that come from inside.
Extraverted Sensing (Se) - looks for exciting experiences outside of themselves, things that appeal to the senses (taste, sounds, sights, experiences).
Introverted Sensing (Si) - relies on their own past experience that they know is tried and true. They don’t like new experiences, but would rather go with what they know works.
INFJ Functional Stack
Ok, so those are all of the functions, but like I mentioned earlier, you don’t really experience all of them. You actually only really connect with 2 of them, though you have 4 in what’s called you’re functional stack. This stack is determined by your personality type.
For INFJs, our functional stack looks like this:
INFJ Dominant Function: Introverted Intuition (Ni)
INFJ Auxiliary Function: Extraverted Feeling (Fe)
INFJ Tertiary Function: Introverted Thinking (Ti)
INFJ Inferior Function: Extraverted Sensing (Se)
We’re mainly focused on exploring ideas and possibilities that come from our own mind and looking at the feelings of those around us.
If this sounds a bit complicated, it is. That’s where Myers Briggs comes in. Let’s dive into Myers Briggs a little bit more.
Isabel Briggs Myers, and her mother, Katharine Briggs, developed the MBTI test to help ordinary people understand themselves and others better. Katherine was a personality enthusiast who developed her own personality theory by observing people and how they are different. She later read Carl Jung's book, Personality Types, and wanted to help others understand it.
Katherine and Isabel saw how useful personality types can be, so they decided to develop their own personality type test during WWII. Their main goal was to help women who were entering the workforce for the first time decide what type of work would be most comfortable and effective for them. They took Carl Jung’s theory of personality and broke it down into basic preferences so it was easier to understand.
How does MBTI work?
MBTI types people with preferences, which are the four letters that people use.
It’s really easy to determine if you recharge by being around people or by yourself. It’s also easy to determine if you’re organized or not or if you make decisions by facts or by your gut feeling.
Just by answering a few questions, you can learn a lot about yourself. This is the whole point of personality types, to learn about yourself so you can understand how you act, think and exist in the world. Once you know that, you can start looking at others and see how they exist in the world and how you relate to them.
MBTI & Functions
Both the MBTI and Carl Jung’s Functions are based on the same theory from Carl Jung. But they are used differently to type people. MBTI used preferences to type people, whereas Carl Jung used Functions of personality to type people.
Neither is right and neither is wrong. They are simply different. You can use functions to type people or to find out their personality type if you want to. But you need to have a good understanding of those functions and how to identify them in everyday life, otherwise, you won’t end up with the correct personality type.
The whole point of learning your personality type is to understand yourself better, so it helps if you find the right personality type. It’s really difficult to type people with functions. Most people don’t understand them enough to type people with them, because they can’t see what functions are in everyday life.
That’s why I use MBTI. In fact, The letters INFJ are not associated with functions. They are associated with MBTI. Anyone who uses MBTI letters, like INFJ, yet is typing with functions is confused.
You can use this information to help you find a career that you love, as Katherine and Isabel originally intended. You can use it to help you find the right person to settle down with and to help you communicate better with your family. There are many, many areas of your life that you can improve once you understand yourself and others better.
It’s helped me discover that I’m a writer and a podcaster who’d main desire is to help others learn more about themselves.
When you found out your personality type, how did it help you? Tell me in the comments.
Are you an INFJ? Find out here: https://infjwoman.com/quiz/
Learn more about INFJ Functions here: https://infjwoman.com/functions/