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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Confession Tuesday INFP Edition

Dear Reader:

I humbly come to you on Wednesday as opposed to Tuesday. But actually I believe it’s been two weeks since my last confession. Two more weeks of more rain than not. On NBA series that went down the tubes, some miscellaneous allergies, a new poetry book in the mail, another book finished and yet another started. A couple of new poem drafts, one of which I believe is close to being able to fly out into the world. With that out of the way, Let’s get started.

In 2005 I took one of the Myers & Briggs personality tests. (on a side note they always make me think of lawn mowers – you know, Briggs & Stratton engines, but I digress) The test 10 years ago confirmed basically the same results as one a couple years earlier.  My results pointed to being an ENFP.  That would be Extraversion, I(N)troversion, Feeling and Perceiving. This week I was curious and I too the test again. The results changed.

I confess that based on my most recent test I am no longer an extrovert but instead I am an introvert. How is this possible, you say? Well I don’t honestly have a conclusionary finding, but speculation. Incidentally the other three factors NFP remained the same from the first two tests. But here are some hunches:

·         When taking the test I would sometimes struggle with answers because there was often not a definitive answer. Example, with your lunch you always drink a Diet Coke. Answer Y/N.  Well I don’t always have a Diet Coke with lunch but I don’t always NOT have one. Fact is more often than not I have one. To answer Yes or No really would not be correct by yes would be more correct than no. So I choose yes.  Ten years ago I was still more involved in electoral politics that I have been presently. When in campaign mode I don’t really have a choice as to engaging with others or not.  So this has somewhat changed for me.  Even when I took this test the first time I was thinking to myself that I may well have a different personality under different circumstances. I believe this could account for such response.
·         In mentioning this to someone else who knows my writing history, she has pointed out that in particular, I have been writing over the past ten years. And in recent years even more than ever. Because of this, it was suggested that as I have become immersed in writing I have perhaps tended to turn more inward in my personality. I confess, this makes a lot of sense.
So you may be asking what is a INFP supposed to look like? A brief description I found looks like this:

  1.       Primary mode of living is focused internally. This is where you deal with things according to how you feel about them or how they fit with your personal value system. Secondary modeis external and here, I take things primarily via my intuition.
  2.        INFP types are more than any other types are focused on making the world a better place for people. Their primary goal is to find out their meaning in life. What is their purpose? How can they best serve humanity? They are idealists and perfectionists, who drive  themselves hard in their quest to achieve the goals they have identified.
  3.        They are highly intuitive about people. Rely heavily upon intuition and use their discoveries to constantly search for value in life. There are on a mission to find truth and meaning.  Every encounter, every piece of knowledge gained gets sifted through their value system.
  4.        They are generally thoughtful and considerate. Good listeners – can put people at ease, though sometimes reserved in expressing emotion, they are deeply caring.
  5.        They do not like conflict and try hard to avoid it. If they must face it, they will always approach it from the perspective of their feelings. In conflict, they place little importance on who is right or wrong but on how the conflict makes them feel. This can a times make them seem irrational in conflict situations. They can make good mediators and do well at problem solving for others.
  6.        They are flexible and laid back until one of their values is violated  They can become aggressive defenders and fight with passion for a cause.
  7.        As to the mundane details of life maintenance, they are typically unaware of such things. They might go long periods of time without noticing a stain on the carpet. but brush a speck off a file they are working on.
  8.       Don’t like dealing with hard facts and logic. Focus is on feelings and the Human Condition. Most will avoid impersonal analysis, though some have developed the ability to be quite logical.  Under stress it’s not uncommon for them to mis-use hard logic, especially when angry.
  9.       They generally have high standards and are professionals and tend to be hard on themselves. Often do not give themselves credit. They may have problems working on projects in groups because of their standards and therefore have control issues.  They need to learn to balance high ideals with requirements for daily living otherwise they can become paralyzed or confused about what to do.
  10.    .  They make talented writes. They may be awkward or uncomfortable at expressing themselves verbally but do well putting feelings on paper. They also frequently make good social service professionals like counselors and teachers.

I can see myself filling into much of this.

Are there anyone else out there who is an INFP that wants to share their thoughts about these characteristics?  Or For that matter are you another M & B type, what has the knowledge of your personality type meant for you? Has it ever caused you to attempt to compensate in one area or another? Has knowing you type helped you in life?  I confess that I find all this very interesting. 
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