Self-Care Challenge (Day 281): Understanding My INFJ Personality

A bulletin board of Myers Briggs personality types

On day 281 of my 366-day self-care challenge, I examined my INFJ personality type more closely.

It’s true that no two people are exactly alike, but we do share some striking similarities.

While attending the first day of a 2-day workshop, Jessica Butts’ Front Seat Life Event, I learned that I am indeed an INFJ, with Introverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Judging characteristics being my preferences. I’ve taken online tests in the past, and they’ve consistently revealed the same.

While some people believe that our traits can change over time, most believe that our innate characteristics are unchanging, and only vary in intensity depending on our life circumstances. The real deal Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) test that I took for this workshop drilled it down even further, scaling the strength of my preferences (how extremely I prefer each of my core traits).

Surprisingly, I discovered that I am an extreme introvert. I’ve always known that I need–scratch that, require–a copious amount of quiet time, especially after social events. But I had no idea that I would scale out as a 30 (on a scale of 0 to 30) with my introversion. I mean, I enjoy meeting new people and being social at times–just not as much as the classic extrovert, I guess.

My INFJ type, also known as “The Protector,” describes me quite perfectly. I am a nurturer and I value my independence a great deal. I live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities, and I’m constantly defining and redefining my priorities. I have unusual insights into people and situations, and I feel drawn to perpetual self-improvement. I despise conflict.

Yep, that sounds about right.

What wasn’t so surprising, though, was the majority of attendees at this event were female Intuitive-Feelers.

Since we tend to geek out on personal growth, I guess that makes sense.

That realization also helped me connect a lot of other dots in my life, like the personality types I tend to gravitate toward – my friends, mentors and professional connections. After all, we surround ourselves with people who are like us. Heck, even the friend I invited to join me at the conference is a fellow INFJ.

What I learned is that, in many ways, I’ve been doing myself a disservice by keeping my circle small. I was reminded that there’s a great deal of valuable insights to gain from people who are NOT like me.

Each of the 16 unique MBTI® personality types have strengths and weaknesses, and one of the primary objectives of this workshop was to better understand how to enlist our strengths and delegate our weaknesses.

No one is great at everything; we all need support, whether we’re ready to admit that or not. And, as someone who values independence, this isn’t an easy thing to admit.

By better understanding my personality, preferences, strengths and weaknesses, I already feel more empowered and clear about what needs to happen next.

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