I am an INFJ. That’s what good ole Myers Briggs declared of me. I’m more introverted than extroverted, meaning I get energy from being alone, I’m more intuition than sensing, meaning I pay more attention to impressions or meanings behind instances rather than cold hard reality. I am more feeling than thinking, meaning I tend to listen to my gut more often then I do my mind. And I am judging, rather than perceiving, meaning I am a fan of structure.
I learned a lot about myself though this test. Now I realize why parties stress me out, and books are my companions. Now I know why sometimes people struggle to understand my logic behind decisions, and why I sobbed into my pillow at 3 in the morning as I finished The Fault In Our Stars. I realize why “mind-mapping” never worked as a note-taking mechanism for me, and why half the fun of an adventure for me is planning it. I know why parts of me are different than my best friends, my family, and my boyfriend. I know why certain people are certain ways.
With this knowledge I began to justify, and that’s what got me in trouble.
“I will not go out, because a lot of people will be there…and I. Am. Introverted.”
“You are wrong, because my gut says your wrong, and I. Am. Intuitive.”
“I will never understand mathematics, nor do I want to, because I. Am. A Feeler.
“And you know better than to surprise me because I. Am. Judging.”
People become proud of what they are, and that’s important. It’s such a gift to understand yourself and others better. But it is important to not let this knowledge restrain you, or stop you from reaching to be better.
I am a proud introvert. I enjoy being able to amuse myself with books and Netflix. However, if I never fight my introverted nature, if I always allow my mind to talk me out of events, and concerts, and all other things that make me cringe at the thought of, I would miss out on life. I would miss out on friendships. I would miss out on the experiences that have had a role in shaping me.
The same is true for extroverts. I know so many people who genuinely love being with people, and they are proud to show it. However, when you don’t allow time for self-reflection, for being still, for taking time for yourself, you miss out on different aspects of life. Quality time with yourself is important to reflect on certain situations. To consider how you handled circumstances correctly and how you can handle them better next time. It’s important in the process of enjoying yourself for what you know to be true apart from the way those you’re with treat you.
The important thing to remember about any kind of personality testing is they declare tendencies rather than identities. If I were full feeling with no thinking, my life would be an absolute mess. If I lived fully by my desire of intuition and never by the logic of sensing, I would never take a single risk. I am a better person because of the times I fought my Myer Briggs tendency and stepped out of my comfort zone.
And it CAN be done. I came into college at 67% introverted and after a full two years of allowing myself to be emerged in the culture I have faded down to 8%. Ask anyone who knew me in high school, if I can do it, anyone can.
Myers Briggs is great. Everyone should take the time to discover themselves, but don’t allow this knowledge to box you in. Don’t be afraid to fight natural tendencies at times. The greatest experiences that this life has to offer often lives outside of comfort zones.