INFJs

Greetings, people! Today I bring you a post in the (in)famous “Let’s Talk About X” series. We’ve talked about the Internet. We’ve talked about the ocean. We’ve discussed cynicism and thunderstorms and goodness knows what else. Today, we’re going to talk about INFJs. So please, enjoy the ride.

Now, to explain, I am an INFJ, and I decided to look up the webpage that listed some of the traits that INFJs commonly share and share my opinions with the blogosphere. I shall spend a few blog posts dwelling on this subject.
The INFJ is known as “The Protector,” which I find quite interesting as I know three people who are INFJs. One of them is male, and sometimes goes by “The Chivalrous Knight.” He can be quite the protective one, and I believe that the “subtitle” of the INFJ suits him perfectly. I would not call myself a protector. I would rather the term. .watcher. I feel as though it denotes both a sense of observation, but also a sense of guarder or protector, although in a much more passive state than the protector.
Regardless, the following excerpts that I will quote and then discuss come from The Personality Page.

“As an INFJ, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you take things in primarily via intuition. Your secondary mode is external, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit with your personal value system.
INFJs are gentle, caring, complex and highly intuitive individuals. 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.”

Ah, intuition: my best friend (besides the occasional PopTart, armband, or current favorite song, but that’s beside the point). You see, for me, I see something or someone, and almost instantly decide how I feel about it. I take it all in within a moment or two, as though some innate part of me does all the work, putting me on auto-pilot. And then, I voluntarily decide how I’m going to work and deal with whatever I have to deal with, based on what my “gut” tells me. I can quickly tell whether or not I like or dislike a person, and immediately form a rather preemptory “sketch” of said person. I do not say that my intuition is always right, but it is, as a general rule of thumb, something that I follow.

Now, I’m not here to sit and paint myself in some glorious light, highlighting how tender-hearted and sensitive I am. Because I’m not going to. Leave it to someone else. Am I artistic and creative? To a degree, yes. I most certainly enjoy complexity and hidden meanings, as a faithful reader of the blog may or may not have noticed. I was surprised to find out that the INFJ personality type is the rarest of all; however, once I thought about it, I realized it made sense: as I compared the different qualities that INFJs had, I realized that few of the people I knew were quite like it.

“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. On the other hand, INFJs operate within themselves on an intuitive basis which is entirely spontaneous. They know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. They are usually right, and they usually know it. Consequently, INFJs put a tremendous amount of faith into their instincts and intuitions. This is something of a conflict between the inner and outer worlds, and may result in the INFJ not being 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.”

Hmm. Order. While my standards might not be quite as high as a military barracks, I find myself to be fairly ordered. Things must be where they belong; otherwise, I wind up being extremely frustrated. I do not, however, obsess with trying to find out what is the best “system” for getting things done. I am not very systematic. I am very roundabout, due to my somewhat frequent bouts of laziness. But, I frequently re-define my priorities. If something spins out of control, I need to go somewhere quiet, close my eyes, and get everything back into its order or find a new order to get things done. I must decide what is important and what is not, and then act on it.

We’re back to the intuition thing. Now, I say this with as much humility as possible, and I also say this with the risk of sounding horribly pretentious: but when I have a feeling about something, it’s often right. If I think that this person isn’t what he seems to be, and he’s really such and such, chances are, I am correct. I really can’t explain it, as it just. .happens. But I’ll come into contact with someone or a certain situation and get a sudden impression. And over the years, I’ve learned to trust my instincts on a myriad of different circumstances.

I also find the part about having “signs of disarray in an otherwise orderly tendency” to be very true. For the most part, I am neat. When traveling, my suitcase is always the most organized. I stack my books and make sure the corners don’t bend and the pages don’t tear. I straighten the wrinkles out of my bed constantly. But there are certain things that I just fail to stay organized or consistent in. For an example, when I go to put away dinner dishes, I might stack the pots and pans in a rather haphazard manner, but at the same time, I’ll neatly pile up all the dirty dishes that need to be washed, yet not wash them. Don’t ask why.

“INFJs have uncanny insight into people and situations. They get ‘feelings’ about things and intuitively understand them. As an extreme example, some INFJs report experiences of a psychic nature, such as getting strong feelings about there being a problem with a loved one, and discovering later that they were in a car accident. This is the sort of thing that other types may scorn and scoff at, and the INFJ himself does not really understand their intuition at a level which can be verbalized. Consequently, most INFJs are protective of their inner selves, sharing only what they choose to share when they choose to share it. They are deep, complex individuals, who are quite private and typically difficult to understand. INFJs hold back part of themselves, and can be secretive.”

Uncanny insight? Psychic nature? This I do not know. Feelings? This I do know. I do not believe that I have some great “preternatural instinct” about people and things. As I have said, I follow my intuition, but there is no such thing as something of a psychic nature. Instead, I live and go through my life based largely on my intuition—I hesitate to use the word “feelings,” because it may sound as though I try to follow my emotions, which I do not. As for the part about being complex, I do not believe I am more complex than the next person. While I may spend more time deep in thought than some people may, I am a firm believer in the fact that all people are intricately made and highly complex. Now, about holding back and being protective? Guilty as charged. I am an extremely private person, often saying as little about myself as necessary. I listen, not talk.

“But the INFJ is as genuinely warm as they are complex. 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. Situations which are charged with conflict may drive the normally peaceful INFJ into a state of agitation or charged anger. They may tend to internalize conflict into their bodies, and experience health problems when under a lot of stress.”

As I said that this is not a post to parade all of my (allegedly) wonderful characteristics, I see little need to comment on my (alleged) genuine warmness. However, am I concerned for people’s feelings? Most often, to a degree. I strongly dislike having to tell someone something that will potentially hurt them, so I often end up skirting the issue. I tend to be rather polite and hyper-sensitive to what may or may not hurt someone else’s feelings; however, if something strongly bothers me or sets me off, I will say something. Often, once I get started, I’m not able to easily stop, which is why I tend to say as little that is damaging as possible.

Now, conflict. This is something the website has dead on. I. Bloody. Hate. Conflict. I absolutely loathe it when people cannot get along. It grates on my nerves and annoys me more than someone playing “The Happy Song” at full volume on repeat. And I can’t stand that song. Conflict makes me go beside myself, and often causes me to become anxious, frustrated, and sometimes angry. Combined with stress, and I often wind up with a severe headache.

Now, I shall continue with the rest of the article on INFJs in my next post in the “Let’s Talk About X” series. When that will be, I have no idea. As if I plan these things ahead. Please.

As always, I humbly thank you for taking the time out of your day to read the following post. Much love, cheerio, and all that.

Less than three,
Josh

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