Monday, February 16, 2009

I'm an INFP

Someone recently had me take a personality test called The Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator. Have you ever taken it? I’d done it before, a long time ago. I like taking quizzes and surveys, so I do things like this for fun. But this time, it took on a deeper significance for me.

The Myers-Briggs test is simple: you answer a series of Yes/No questions about your behavior, preferences and tendencies. Depending on the answers, you are classified on four binary criteria: Introvert/Extrovert, Sensor/Intuitive (N), Feeler/Thinker and Judger/Perceiver. The result is one of sixteen possible combinations, each of which is represented by an acronym: for example, I happen to be an Introvert-Intuitive-Feeler-Perceiver, or INFP.

So, you do the quiz, then read the description of your category. It’s a fairly detailed analysis, discussing how people like you act in certain situations, which jobs you’re suited for, and how you perform in all kinds of relationships, from work to family to romance.

For me, the description fit to a T. Scarily so. (If you must know, some of the things that come up for INFPs: having lots of paper-piles and clutter in your living space, the tendency to feel or think more than you are willing to say out loud. Hmm...)

Hearing it struck me really hard this time. I found myself wanting to have the description framed and put on my wall, something to look at on the days when being who I am seems most ridiculous, or the times when I feel like I’m failing at all the things the rest of the world considers normal.

If you've never taken a personality test like this, I recommend it. Not because I think such classifications are the be-all end-all of who a person is, but because it can be another step on the way to figuring out who you are. For me, at least, it serves as a reminder that there’s not a single right way to be. That I don’t have to strive to fit a certain mold because there is value in things that come naturally to me.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Hi, I don't know if this means much, but reading someone else's writing who thinks like me, is comforting... I too am an INFP... did you know how rare that group of people is?... less than 1% of the population is an INFP... so, take like 300 people, and out of that crowd, there's ONE of us... and 299 of them... perhaps that's why the "NORM" for most people seems so foreign to people such as us... Audrey Hephburn and Princess Diana are two famous INFPs... anyways, thanks for posting... and oh... btw... if you love the song "Moon River"... check this out...

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