Perfect Paradox

On this path of self discovery, I’ve spent some time re-visiting my Meyers Briggs personality type. For those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about, immediately after reading my blog, Google “Myers Briggs Personality Test” and have at it. There are many free versions on the internet, and the questions each require simple answers about your preferences. Although I have had people tell me that in the past websites gave them different results, any test I have taken over the years yielded the same type for me: INFJ, which stands for:

Introversion
iNtuition
Judging
Feeling

Although the words themselves seem self-explanatory, these facets of personality are much more complex than I will explore in this blog, but, again, I encourage you to research them if this piques your interest because it is truly fascinating.

Through my research, I catalogued some quotes that completely encapsulate who I am as a person. It’s important to mention, however, that I did not pick and choose. I can genuinely say that there were not any parts of an article that I read about my personality type that I didn’t relate to: good, bad, or ugly. This could be because I am not in the middle on any part of my type; I am INFJ through-and-through. I just selected the quotes that hit home the most for me, teaching me something important about myself.

“Artistic and creative, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. Only one percent of the population has an INFJ Personality Type, making it the most rare of all the types.

This particular quote resonated with me because I find it difficult at any moment in time to accept one possible solution to a question. I’m always under the impression that I am, to a degree, ignorant and hungry for new meaning in my life, new answers.

The second part of that quote is just a nicer way of saying that people with my personality type are, well, exceptionally odd human beings. We’re weird, and that’s okay. I must say, though, any source will mention “INFJs are the rarest personality type,” but I have a few close friends who also are INFJs. Either these articles are misinformed, or weirdos attract weirdos.

“INFJs place great importance on having things orderly and systematic in their outer world. They put a lot of energy into identifying the best system for getting things done, and constantly define and re-define the priorities in their lives… [sometimes they may not be] as organized as other Judging types tend to be. Or we may see some signs of disarray in an otherwise orderly tendency, such as a consistently messy desk.”

This quote beautifully conveys the paradox that is the INFJ – put together, perfectionist glory, hiding messy entrails. Outwardly, I am very particular about certain things, my home being front and center as an example. Everything has its place, and it can’t change or be in disarray. Before typing this blog, I noticed my husband had moved our coffee table closer to his chair, and I had to tell him to move it back because it just irked me. I need to come home to a magazine-perfect interior to fully relax.

Conversely, the last sentence of that quote could not be more true, except, instead of my desk, it is my car. At any given moment, my car is a complete disaster. Don’t ask me for a ride on a whim because you don’t want to be a passenger; seriously. It’s not that it doesn’t bother me because I do think about it. I just, for some reason, am not motivated to regularly clean it out. I’m a walking, talking, driving contradiction.

“And the I and J combination, while perhaps enhancing self-awareness, may make it difficult for INFJs to articulate their deepest and most convoluted feelings…Usually self-expression comes more easily to INFJs on paper, as they tend to have strong writing skills.”

In many situations, finding the right words to verbally express myself leads to a jumbled mess of awkward, unorganized thoughts; my train of thought completely derails, and the faces of those listening turns into a blank stare. Writing, however, comes naturally to me, and I can logically piece together my reasoning. I don’t even really have to think about it; my subconscious organizes the information into the story I am telling. I’m not sure why there is such a disconnect in the wiring of my brain where my language is easily accessible one way but not the other. The only exception to this is when I’m speaking about something I’m passionate about, and/or I’m really comfortable. I must say, I’m comfortable in my element as a teacher, and I can be a great orator on the job. This glitch tends to apply to mainly social situations.

“INFJs hold a special place in the heart of people who they are close to, who are able to see their special gifts and depth of caring. INFJs are concerned for people’s feelings, and try to be gentle to avoid hurting anyone. They are very sensitive to conflict, and cannot tolerate it very well.”
“Like a rose, INFJs have many layers. They will probably not reveal all those layers to you right away. However, the longer you are in an INFJ’s life — and if an INFJ trusts you — the more petals you will discover”

These quotes come from different sources but complement one another well and speak to my heart. Friendships truly are about quality to me, and it takes some serious time and patience for me to develop a close relationship. I’m careful about where I expend my limited energy stores, which is probably part of the reason it takes so long for a bond to be intimate.

I’m also horrible with conflict of any kind, which is where the glitch comes back into play – garbled nonsense instead of rational thought in heated moments. This means I am more inclined to avoid these confrontations until it is absolutely necessary. For those people who have stood by my side and peeled back the layers, however, I am completely loyal and a forever friend. Even I, a word smith, cannot find the language to truly express my gratitude for my true, soul-bound companions. I have been blessed with more than I deserve, honestly. Keeping with the aforementioned rose simile, these are the people who allow me to grow and bloom into the most vibrant version of myself.

Finally:
“INFJ is a perfectionist who doubts that they are living up to their full potential.”
“there can sometimes be a “tug-of-war” between NF vision and idealism and the J practicality that urges compromise for the sake of achieving the highest priority goals.”
“INFJs are not idle dreamers, but people capable of taking concrete steps to realize their goals and make a lasting positive impact.”

I’m always inherently aware of my goals and vision for my life. If I don’t have a project that is leading me on that path, I am unfulfilled. However, I do fall into ruts sometimes that leave me feeling desperate. An example would be the desire to get a master’s degree but facing the reality of incurring 20,000+ more dollars in student debt; the practical side of me doesn’t think that’s a viable option, but my heart says different, and I wage war with myself. Here I am, though, on a different road with the same end-goal in mind. I seem to have found an alternative plan, which is filling up my INFJ tank, if you will.

My journey to become a writer, although it began long ago, is truly moving forward now that I’ve conquered my fear of self expression. I’m learning more about who I am, what motivates me, and learning what I can do to push forward on this pathway to self discovery. You are welcome on this journey.

(Don’t forget to research your type! If you do, let me know what you thought of your result in the comments section.)

Sources:
https://www.16personalities.com/infj-conclusion
http://www.personalitypage.com/INFJ.html
http://www.humanmetrics.com/personality/infj

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