Friday, October 5, 2018

My INFJ Personality Type - Part II

For those of you following along at home, I previously posted a part 1 of this post, going into the "I" part of the INFJ personality type.  Here's to continuing on with Part 2!

Intuitive 92%

The "N" in my INFJ -T type stands for "Intuitive"

This means that I am "imaginative, open-minded, and curious" in my approach to obstacles, as opposed to approaching problems in a more measured, practical way based on habit and what has already happened. 

This is excessively true in my current life.  Typically INFJs, and myself being one of these, need to see the big picture.  I need to know that in the grand scheme of things, I am moving forward and that what I am doing has some purpose.  I cannot simply work to exist on the same plane. 

While I do sometimes enjoy methodical tasks (I find some joy in improving in a methodical task, or timing myself doing it to increase productivity), ultimately I want the whole wheel to be functioning smoothly and moving forward, and I'm not afraid of finding a new way to get there.  It greatly bothers me when I see a flaw in something that could improve the overall fluidity of work, but it isn't being resolved.  Often I am identifying small things that could improve the 'overall' in many aspects of life.  It is said that INFJs are constantly working on self-improvement projects to achieve a 'perfect' life.  This is excessively true.  I am always working on changing/updating/improving something.  I think I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I wasn't constantly trying to improve 78 different things in my life.   It's a little ridiculous, because it almost certainly means that you will never achieve a 'perfect life'.  But it does feel good and uplifting to always be striving toward something. 

Another thing I'm glad for in this part of my personality is that it means I am unafraid to look at the world in a different way and strive to understand new and different things.  I feel the need to go my own way, and I function best when I am in control of my life, environment, schedule, and priorities.  When I truly am in control of these things, I truly feel like I can realize my full potential and change the world for the better somehow.   

Some things that might seem impossible to other people, I see the possibility in.  I very much believe "if there is a will, there's a way".   For instance, some people would be deterred from planning a wedding across the country, and my crazy brain was like, "no, it's possible.  It's just going to take a lot of hard work, organization and time.  But it will be worth it".

INFJs are known for being idealistic, perfectionistic, and to have very high expectations.  I think this is especially true in my journey to become a manager, and to ultimately strive to own my own business.  I like to captain the ship — mostly because it allows me to set the bar and get rid of obstacles.  In my research, I've found that INFJs tend to gravitate toward leadership positions or owning a business because, despite their disinterest in controlling others, it allows them to apply a personal touch. INFJs have a need to learn and grow alongside the people they are helping.   And whether this be a downside or not, we are hesitant to exercise authority, because we want to see our team members as equals, and just coordinate and supervise progress towards a goal.  I strive to inspire and motivate.  But yet, "that's not to say that people with INFJ personality type have lax standards - far from it - as INFJs sense of equality means that they expect their [team members] to be as competent, motivated and reliable as the INFJs themselves." 

I cared deeply about my team and their well being.   Assuming that my employees work hard, I would protect them against any harm. 

I think my ability to see past some frustrating immediate problems, and work toward a brighter future makes me a successful leader and allowed me to inspire my team to do great work.  INFJs are dreamers, but we have a great success record of turning dreams into actions.  When I dream I intend to find the steps to achieve, not just ruminate. And so much of it comes from general attitude.  I think so many problems can be solved with unwavering positivity, you just have to commit to it.   I believe dreams are possible. 

There have been a lot of times when I could have been swallowed up in negativity in my role as a manager.  And being that I thrive on genuine interactions, and can't 'pretend' to be happy, they required me to be a genuine uplifting force because I believed in the potential of the people around me.  I knew that what we wanted was possible if we worked hard enough for it.  And this applies to so many problems and situations.  Sometimes half of what we need to overcome are our own doubts. 

In pairing with my need for harmony, I also sought to eradicate extra, unnecessary obstacles in the workplace.  Because I felt these were added stresses on the overall performance of the team, I constantly sought to develop new strategies and workflows to eliminate these obstacles.  I wanted the best environment for my team to grow and realize their full potential.  Typically INFJs tend to "work tirelessly toward harmony, often to the point of exhaustion".   Never have truer words been uttered.  I wanted to facilitate everything.  Make everything more fluid, more efficient, more practical, so that we could focus our energies on the utmost organic of problems, and really utilize our creative skills to do our work.  I always wanted to improve some workflow.  

Ultimately, I need meaning and purpose to be my most happy self.  I desperately need to be working toward a dream.  I feel a need to push the boundaries of expectation.

Feeling 76%

Because INFJ's have a more feeling nature means that they are emotionally expressive.   INFJs are known for being deeply empathetic and focusing on social harmony.   The opposite of this would be favoring logical elements in decision making. 

While someone might weigh a lot of facts to come to an answer, a person with the Feeling element in their personality type will factor in intangibles.   For instance, I may consider my enjoyment I would get from an activity more than the more practical elements.  Drew and I had our engagement photos taken at a pretty remote location.  It was a lot of driving to get there, but I would weigh the ultimate payoff of this beautiful experience and being able to look back on these beautiful pictures forever as being worth the driving element.  A person with a Thinking nature may weigh the opposite: we could take our photos at a nearby park because it will be less leg-work, and the emotional feeling of being in that beautiful place isn't worth the extra combined 6 hours of driving.   Yes, it was six hours of driving.  But we love our pictures, and it was a great adventure!  And there you go.   I guess I'm just in love with that... like so what if it's out of the way?  Live a little!!!  It will be a great adventure getting there.  And it definitely was.

Photograph by Kristen Marie Parker

So I guess you could say that having the feeling element makes me sensitive to emotion.  Part of that is an aversion to conflict.  When I say dislike conflict, I am saying that I avoid uncomfortable situations AT ALL COSTS.  I HATE conflicts.  For one, I dislike being disliked, and for two, I can't get my thoughts together quickly to have a meaningful argument.  I see no practical purpose in arguing with someone when my arguments may not be how I truly feel.  I prefer to have a calm, analytical discussion about a problem, rather than overcoming growing tension with an argument.

I will sacrifice a lot of my own comforts just to avoid causing tension between me and another person, because it is extremely distressing to me.  There have been numerous situations in my life where I'm telling someone about a tense situation I have, and they are like, "why do you care?", or "don't let it bother you".  But it DOES bother me, and I feel this overwhelming need to placate the situation, because I cannot handle another person disapproving of me or something I did, or disliking me.  And thus, I am at my core a people-pleaser through and through, even when it weighs heavily against my own well being.  This too, is a common trait amongst INFJs, and something that is their hardest struggle to overcome.   I care far too much about what people think about me, and it's something I'm trying to work on, but it's very difficult when I need to say 'no' to things, push back, and see my own needs as valid.

Another strange but true quality that I see in my INFJ type is my emotional response to beauty.  They say that as much as you'd hate to be seen as materialistic, the way that things look matters to you.  I will admit this is true.  I love beautiful things.  I love beautiful fresh food, flowers, art, home goods, and music.  They inspire me.  They make me feel full of happiness.  I thrive on it.  And I think it is this Feeling element in me that does this.  I am moved by beauty.  I can recall being at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and crying over how beautiful a violinist played.  Intense beauty speaks to me in a very deep way.  It is a calming force, and it drives me.   Perhaps it is the attention to detail, or the perfectionistic qualities that drive it, I'm not sure.  I have a tendency to gravitate toward art that has a very emotional quality to it, very particular to what I find beautiful.  While I sometimes gravitate toward light, refreshing, carefree feeling things, I also find myself drawn to the surreal, the dangerous and the tragic elements in art.  I always find myself drawn to images of the open ocean in a storm.  There is something so painful in these images, the thought of the open ocean or being stranded at sea that is so painfully emotive that I am drawn to them, much like I am to music in minor keys, like Mozart's Lacrimosa.

Ultimately, I think that this Feeling element accounts for a lot of my behaviors across my life.  I have always operated on my own code of ethics, despite not being associated with or practicing any religion.  I have very unyielding moral standards for interpersonal interactions and just basic 'right' and 'wrong'.   I hate when people are outright rude or mean to people, because I deeply empathize with the recipient of these actions.  It bothers me when people deliberately cause other people undue harm.  It also bothers me when people can't empathize with other people.  I am always trying to look at things from the other person's perspective, as they have needs and perhaps are acting in a certain way because of other things going on in their life.  When I was growing up, I would be self-conscious and worried about the manner in which another person would interact with me.  My mother told me that 9 out of ten times, how someone is treating you has nothing to do with you at all.  Rather, there is most likely something going on in that person's life that is causing them to treat you as such.  And this little gem has saved me from a lot of self-doubting situations.  I am always reminded to put myself in the other person's shoes and consider the pressures that they are under.  It might be the single most important thing I've learned in my life.

Judging 60%

Ah yes, here we are. 

The Judging attribute speaks to how a person approaches problem solving.  People who are Judging are very organized and are thorough and favor planning to spontaneity.  Prospectors are good at improvising and are more flexible and spontaneous in their approach.  It comes as no surprise to me that I am only 60% Judging. 

Yes, I am a planner.  I am a planner to the core.  I will make lists, and organize until I am blue in the face.  And then, I will ignore half my plans and move things around to work on what feels right in the moment.  I am an extremely adaptable worker.  

When I'm in control of the adapting.

It is common for INFJs to have problems adapting to sudden changes in plan.  I relate to this immensely.  I can't tell you why it matters so much to me, but it if something suddenly changes from what I have planned and expected it to be, I am deeply unsettled.  I don't like things changing at the last minute.  If I planned to do one thing today, and there is some last minute change that I didn't plan for, it is upsetting. 

Luckily, I think that I have picked up a significant amount of skill in the Prospecting area.  I have often felt that I am a conceptual thinker that also greatly enjoys the logical side of things, so I enjoy the ability to flip back and forth between a clean, thorough, logically planned approach, and an opportunistic flexible approach.   If I am able to create a framework to work within, I have a lot of fun filling it in with both rigid and flexible steps towards a goal. 

And lastly, there is the -Turbulent element at 85%

This is added to the end of any personality type to determine how confident we are in our abilities.  If you are Assertive you are pretty sure of yourself and you don't push yourself too hard to reach your goals.  If you are Turbulent like me, you are self-conscious and sensitive to stress.   You are a perfectionist and eager to improve. If you've been reading this blog recently you'll know that I have been sensitive to stress in the recent past. 

I am working so hard on this right now.  Because I love being driven.  I love working hard, and improving.  But I think it is also causing me more stress than is healthy.  Also, I see repeating patterns in my life of driving myself tirelessly toward a goal to get to the point where I am so burnt out that I take extended hiatuses and flip to wanting to do NOTHING.  So I want to work on balancing myself out a little more.  Hopefully the next time I go to take this test I can fall in more of a mid-range area for this.  


All in all, I found this personality test really interesting.  

A lot of things rang true to me, and a lot of things that I found confusing about myself started to make sense.  I urge you to go check it out yourself!  Self discovery can be so exciting!

* This post was written amongst a lot of reading over at 16personalities, and Introvert, Dear.   These are some lovely resources, and some ideas came from them.  Go check them out for some more personality insights!

Until Next Time,

- The Lovely Red Fox

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