Professor Lupin, Mr. Bates, and I

When I saw this infographic floating around, I knew I had to take some form of the Myers-Briggs personality profile. And then I saw this infographic on the Art of Simple, and the need to find my four-letter personality categorization became paramount. Turns out that Remus Lupin, John Bates, and I all have something in common: our Myers-Briggs classification. We're INFJs, which is apparently the rarest of all personality types. (I kind of feel like a tool even telling you this, because I don't want to be "Well, I have a very rare personality," said in a snobby, condescending way, as if it makes me cooler instead of maybe a little weird.)

{The I in INFJ is for introversion, which I already knew. N is for intuition (over S for sensing); F for feeling (over T for thinking); and J for judging (over P for perception). INFJs are deep thinkers, principled, and intuitive into and sensitive to the emotions of others.}

I share the small INFJ stage with people like Eleanor Roosevelt, Nicole Kidman, Nelson Mandela, and Luke Skywalker. Now I don't want you to think that I'm some kind of MBTI fanatic and that I think everyone can be circumscribed into boxes, but in my research last night about INFJs, I felt like I understood myself better.

Seeing these INFJ descriptions helped put into words things I already knew about myself. Like how when I think I'm right, I really believe it, and that stems from an innate set of principles and decisiveness. It's why arguments with me can be so frustrating (if Josh is reading this, he'll be nodding his head emphatically!). It explains why I'm so sensitive to others' emotions and why I have a hard time sitting still when I know someone is upset with me. It explains why I can't see issues one-sided and how I can magically reconcile that characteristic with my innate set of principles and beliefs. I feel things deeply and passionately, which sometimes is good and sometimes makes things harder for me.

It explains why I'm not super shy and can often do well at parties but still need and prefer time alone. In fact, INFJs are often perceived by others as extroverts because when they have enough energy capital, they can spend it well in big groups. But when I don't have the mental and emotional energy to handle crowds, I have a really hard time. MBTI explains why I like my research thorough and why I like to know the purpose of things and why I'll spend lots of thinking time trying to figure stuff out.

Understanding my INFJ-ness doesn't excuse any of my negative or destructive behavior, but it may explain why I respond the way I do and why I have an easy or difficult time in certain circumstances. And further research into the Myers-Briggs paradigms may just help me interact more productively with those around me. This is a great post about why it's helpful to know your personality type. I took the personality test found here.

What's your Myers-Briggs type? Do you like personality typing? Which Harry Potter character are you? What about Downton Abbey?


Camille said...

I'm an ENFJ (like Oprah!) I was always very "opposed" to personality tests, in that I thought they were a grand waste of time and certainly I couldn't be fit into any kind of box. Upon taking it, and realizing how much the description resonated with me, I'm a big fan now, and love knowing what other people are. My friend said that it's helped her and her husband to know how to give and provide what the other needs emotionally/intellectually/etc.

Lorren Lemmons said...

That's funny -- I just took the test and I'm an INFJ too! No wonder I enjoy your blog so much. :)

Jill said...

I have always been an ENFJ until today I took the test and was an ESFJ...hmmm.

Claire said...

As it turns out Lord Grantham, Neville Longbottom and I should get together for lunch some time.

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