Recently I’ve found myself traversing a forest of self-awareness while on this journey of life. It wasn’t completely intentional, but it’s definitely at an opportune time. With my struggle of motivation recently I’ve been delving into the details of my personality. I’ve had a general understanding of my personality for a long time. I remember in junior high taking a personality test. It was The Color Code test. I was mostly White with Blue being my secondary color. If you’re interested in taking the test online, check out: ColorCode.com. This was the first time I had identified who I am. I found it fascinating and tried to learn more about what it means to be White. Another term you might be more familiar with is Phlegmatic. I sometimes felt more melancholy, but I think my true personality is definitely Phlegmatic.
I didn’t think too much about my personality after that; what I could enhance or change about myself. It wouldn’t be until college when I dug deeper and took a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test. I don’t really remember the context of taking it, whether it was for class or therapy or something else completely. This is where I discovered I am an INFP. At the time that had no meaning to me whatsoever! I remember mentioning it to people and they would say, “Yeah I can see that.” All I knew was what each letter stood for and beyond that no other context.
For those of you who are not familiar with Myers-Briggs Types, rather than trying to give you a summary of my limited understanding, Wikipedia is always a good starting point: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. To break down my personality, it’ll help to know what each of the four letters means.
- I: Introversion – How they focus their attention or get their energy, as opposed to Extraversion.
- N: Intuition – How they perceive or take in information, as opposed to Sensing.
- F: Feeling – How they prefer to make decisions, as opposed to Thinking.
- P: Perception – How they orient themselves to the external world, as opposed to Judgement.
There are many ways you can describe someone who is INFP: Introspective, cooperative, creative, attentive, idealistic, loyal, compassionate, peaceful, empathetic… These all sound wonderful, right? Maybe not to everyone, but INFPs also have their share of weaknesses. The latest book I read that really put into words my best qualities and short comings is INFP: 33 Secrets From The Life of an INFP. It’s a free book I found on Amazon and I figured it might give me some ideas. So let me share some of these secrets with you. Not all of them completely applied to me, but they each made me stop and think and recognize where I may have already overcome a weakness or excel in a strength.
- Creative – This one is pretty self-explanatory. I have a very creative mind. Unfortunately though I have not built up my artistic skills. I would say my creativity tends to be more idea based and displayed through actions or words. The main key I have found though with this secret is to trust my intuition and ideas and let my creativity flow naturally.
- Idealistic – I had never really put this one to words before, but when I think back over time and my approach or reaction to things, I can definitely see strong idealism. I definitely have a positive, hopeful, and perfect opinion of the world around me and the future to come. This can easily become a weakness though if I don’t look at life realistically but remain blinded by my fantasy. I can see where this has caused me to be naive in some situations.
- Driven by Emotion, Not Facts – When I first read this one, I questioned it for myself. Although I do like facts and logic, when it comes to drive and motivation I can definitely agree that emotion takes precedence. I prefer to hide my emotions as much as I can, but when I’m moved by something, my passion does flair up!
- Can Be Disorganized – I think the author says it best: “What might look like disorganization to those on the outside might be perfectly comprehensible to the INFP, who remembers, with uncanny precision, exactly where anything is located in a messy room.” I can be sickly comfortable in a disorganized messy environment, but only as long as I made it that way!
- Loves to Daydream – Everyone like to daydream, but the INFP has a particular interest. This is where the magic happens! With our creative, idealistic imagination, the world in our minds is the most beautiful place around.!
- Not a Planner – This isn’t completely what it sounds like, so let me explain it for you. We are constantly planning and pondering the future, but part of that planning is the infinite possibilities that could arise. We enjoy being spontaneous and going where the wind takes us, but don’t doubt it’s something we haven’t already thought of!
- Avoids Conflict – Yes, yes, yes! I will do whatever it takes to make sure there is peace in the world and everyone is happy and content. And if it means walking away from a fight, I have no problem with that. Why waste my time in a negative cloud of conflict and tension when I could be looking for tranquility?
- Easily Distracted – It doesn’t take a lot to distract my concentration and motivation with something. But the number one culprit, my mind! I can fall into a fantasy world so quickly… Oh, I love this song on the radio!!!
- Enjoys Complexity – I’ve always considered myself a great problem solver. However there are times I’m faced with a problem that just doesn’t interest or challenge me and I begin to wonder if I love problem solving as much as I thought. Reading this I realized it is only the complex problems that I feel are worth solving. This can also be applied to complexity in the world around me. The INFP will try to decode and uncover every hidden meaning of life around them.
- Prone to Anxiety – OMG! YES! I actually think my anxiety is getting worse, but I have attributed it to the amount of uncomfortable situations I am putting myself in. I don’t enjoy being anxious, as it can be an overwhelming burden, but if it’s good for me or will make the world a better place, I can handle the discomfort!
- Fear of Rejection – I struggle with this one a lot although it has gotten better, especially at my workplace. But I often tend to hold my tongue for fear of other’s judgement and response. I guess this a magnified quality of being an introvert.
- Easily Frightened – As I was trying to decide which items I wanted to talk about, I knew I had to keep this one! Now I can be extremely brave and daring when I want to or need to be, but this is a quality that has haunted me for as long as I can remember. My most vivid memory of being easily frightened for no reason at all was when I was a kid and I would play with my sister. We grew up where my bedroom was on the second story and my sister would often come up the stairs and jump out to scare me. Even when I knew she was coming, I would get physically anxious and frightened with anticipation. I think she enjoyed that a little too much!
- Enjoys Building Up Morale in Others – I like the description given for this one: “What isn’t to love about an INFP cheerleader (who, coincidentally, wouldn’t be caught dead as an actual cheerleader!)?” One of the things I enjoy most in life is supporting and encouraging others. I have terrible self-doubt and criticism, but I would never vocalize that to another person! I try to only say good about other people and find the positive in all situations.
- Prefers Fantasy to Reality – This goes well with the daydreaming. The main way this can be a disadvantage though is how I am always fantasizing about the outcome of things, when it really happens and isn’t one of the ideal situations, I can become pretty devastated. It’s tough being disappointed all the time because I could see it happening a different better way. But I will never stop dreaming of the beauty of what may come!
- Prone to Idealization/Devaluation of People – I try my hardest not to let people know about this one. I don’t want anyone to know the expectations or disappointments in the friends and family around me. I know this is something that makes INFP relationships very difficult because we can’t help but put the closest people in our lives on a pedestal. And no matter what you or anyone else says, it will take a lot to knock them down.
Do you feel like you know me better now? I’m sure some of my acquaintances reading this now know a little bit too much about me. I’m curious to know though whether those who do know me would agree with some or all of these, that you know of! Also, if you happen to know your own Myers-Briggs Type, please share!
Now, I wanted to find a meme about INFPs and I found more than I was bargaining for. I hope you enjoy these! I chose the ones I relate to the best!
If you don’t think I’m creepy, it’s because you don’t know about all the things I think but never tell or do.
FYI, every time I start writing a blog post, the first thing I want to say is “I’m sorry…” and it could be about the simplest thing!
This blog is evidence enough! Right, friends?
To my co-workers, my desk isn’t this bad, right…?
I hope other people have these thoughts too, because I know I do!
Oh yeah! I’ll repeat a good song at least four times before continuing on with an album.
It’s just rude not to say “Hi” to someone you make eye contact with! Oh, and don’t forget to wave!
Ahhh… the “last minute panic”! Those were some of my best essays in college, 3 am the morning it was due!
Ummm… yeah, this is pretty much every Sunday. That’s why I usually need advance warning if you want to have dinner or something. I need time to seriously get ready!