As a psychology major in college I learned about something called the Meyers-Briggs type indicator test, which is a questionnaire designed to give some insight into the personality of an individual. The test would determine a personality type in terms of its four dichotomies: extraversion vs. introversion, sensing vs. intuition, thinking vs. feeling, and judging vs. perception. Using the questionnaire and this system of classification, a participant would find him or herself in one of sixteen possible categories.
I have actually taken this test several times in multiple formats and each time I come up with the same answer: that I am without a doubt “The Idealist” or more specifically the INFP. An INFP stands for Introversion Intuition Feeling Perception. It is the classification that my personality is given based on my answers to the questionnaire. Upon first taking the test it didn’t seem right to me; how could I be an idealist? After reading more about the INFP and what it truly means to be part of this classification, however, I could not agree more with the accuracy of this personality assessment.
I’ve always been the first one to raise a skeptical eye to most things. It’s not in my nature to believe the validity of any assessment or anything for that matter without proof. It’s also very easy to get swept away with general statements that we want to be true of ourselves. In this case, however, while I approach it with some skepticism in hand, I find myself discovering that as I read more about it I become more comfortable with my personal identification as an INFP. If you know me well, you’ll understand why in the coming paragraphs and maybe you’ll find some validity in this as well.
—————A LOOK INTO MY WORLD—————
INFPs like me are unquestionably people who primarily live within their own rich internal worlds. Our natural inclination towards introversion paired with our high capacity for emotion allows us to process the world in a very different way from others. Instead of just seeing the world like everyone else, we feel the world. For many of us every experience no matter the size is intense in some way. The deep well of emotions inside of us not only allows us the ability to intuitively see the perspectives of others, but also the privilege of maintaining a far-reaching sense of wonder and sincerity. While many of us are thoughtful and considerate listeners in our quest to make the world a better place, few if any of us are able to properly articulate our own emotions because of how intense they can be, which can make for very awkward social interactions.
Many of us hate conflict and we strive towards compromise in an uncompromising world. In our minds it’s never about right or wrong; it’s about eliminating conflict and finding a common ground in order to move forward for the good of all concerned. We always want to help those around us in any way possible and make everyone feel at ease in even the most trying of circumstances. Our gentle nature allows us to see the beauty of the world and the good within all people even when the good may not be immediately apparent.
Unfortunately for many of us, our need for purpose and quest for truth and meaning leave us often confused and lost. While others have direction, we are left with only a desire to help and find understanding. This alone contributes to our absentmindedness and lack of attention to details in matters that we find trivial compared to our end goal of discovered purpose. Even worse is that most of us are very hard on ourselves; our standards are so naturally high because of our idealistic nature that we’re often left disappointed in ourselves and others.
After reading about INFPs and gradually overcoming my lingering skepticism, I find that this assessment is probably the most accurate depiction of my personality that I have ever come across. I’m more emotionally driven than most people I know and few could argue that I don’t intuitively understand the perspectives of others because of how in tune I am with emotions. Not only am I always living inside my head, constantly evaluating every situation, but I am seeing the world in a different way than those around me as well. This in turn provides some understanding as to why I’m always looking for more and how I am often left lost and confused while those around me have direction and purpose. I’m also entirely fascinated by the idea that this assessment can so accurately depict my inability to articulate my feelings in person, but extremely well in written form.
While some of these things may not be true of all INFPs, in my case I feel like it hit the nail on the head. This personality assessment accurately depicted several key components of my personality, both good and bad. Furthermore, it gave me considerable insight into who I am compared to those around me and has left me with an appreciation for how I see and feel the world around me.
Until next time…stay classy.
– C.M. Berry
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