Until yesterday, I was oblivious as to the meaning of this acronym; now I am one!
Honestly, I do not put a lot of stock in personal claims; mine included, but after reading another’s blog that spoke to my heart, I learned that the author considered herself to be an INFJ. I was so stirred by her words that became compelled to ascertain the meaning behind her claim of being an INFJ.
So, like 99.9% of internet users, I googled the term. INFJ is one of 16 distinctive personality types determined by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality inventory. The goal of Isabel Briggs Myers, and her mother, Katharine Briggs, was make the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people’s lives. They accomplished their objective by addressing the two related goals in the developments and application of the MBTI instrument, those being:
The identification of basic preferences of each of the four dichotomies specified or implicit in Jung’s theory.
The identification and description of the 16 distinctive personality types that result from the interactions among the preferences.
The acronym is defined as: (I) Introversion, (N) Intuition, (F) Feeling, (J) Judging. In a nutshell, the MBTI instrument indicates that INFJs seek meaning and connection in ideas, relationships, and material possessions. An INFJ wants to understand what motivates people and are insightful about others. INFJs are conscientious and committed to their firm values and develop a clear vision about how best to serve the common good. They tend to be organized and decisive in implementing their vision.
Wow! That sounds like me, or, do I just want to believe that is my personality type? I mean, we can justify anything, if we try hard enough. There is a tendency to answer the questions as we would like to see ourselves; therefore, I took the test twice, because the second time through allowed me to forego the tendency to see myself as I would want others to see me.
According to the MBTI personality indicator, INFJs seek meaning and connection in ideas; so I delved deeper to learn more and verify that a connection truly exists.
The INFJ personality type is very rare, making up less than one percent of the population. As Diplomats (NF)(Intuition and Feeling), they have an instinctive sense of idealism and morality. What sets them apart is the accompanying Judging (J) trait. INFJs are not merely slothful dreamers; they are people capable of taking tangible steps to realize their goals and make a lasting, positive impact.
INFJs tend to see helping others as their purpose in life. This personality type can be found engaging in rescue efforts and doing charity work, but their real passion is to get to the heart of the issue so that people need not be rescued at all. That certainly fits me to the tee! I am currently serving as a volunteer missionary and thoroughly enjoy helping people, but I see myself more in the role of a Christian writer/journalist that seeks to effect change; change that would eliminate those issues that ultimately necessitate rescue and charity.
INFJs typically act with creativity, imagination and conviction coupled with sensitivity; not to gain advantage, but to create balance. Impartiality and spirituality are common concepts most agreeable with INFJs, and they tend to believe that nothing would help the world so much as using love and compassion to soften the hearts of tyrants. Exactly! That is why I write a great deal about leaders who rule with an iron fist as opposed to a gentle hand.
When INFJs find themselves bombarded by conflict and criticism, their sensitivity forces them to do everything possible to escape personal attacks, but when the circumstances become unavoidable, they can fight back in highly irrational, unhelpful ways. Guilty!
INFJs view the world as a place full of inequity, but they believe it does not have to be. No other personality type is better suited to create a movement to right a wrong, no matter how big or small. Charge!
The assessment went on to say that people with the INFJ personality type enjoy finding the perfect solution for someone they care about, and this strength makes them excellent counselors and advisors. Wow! That is so me. As a pastor I have counseled many others and been asked to advise on countless issues.
Although most people do not like pointed and direct comments; seeing through dishonesty and disingenuous motives, INFJs step past manipulation and sales tactics and into a more honest discussion. Remember my tag line?
Avoiding technical jargon, by putting the cookies down where everyone can reach them, INFJs have an easy going, inspirational writing style that appeals to the inner idealist. Well, I would like to think that is true. INFJs can even be astonishingly good orators, speaking with warmth and passion, if they are confident of what they are speaking for. I stand in amazement, because I have been invited numerous times to speak at conferences.
The evaluation also said that INFJs are able to follow through on their ideas with conviction, willpower, and the planning necessary to see complex projects through to the end. I must say that I struggled with this one; willpower in particular. This clearly shows us that evaluations are not perfect, and as such, it should direct us to cautiousness before accepting everything as a definitive truth.
INFJs will rock the boat if they have to, something not everyone likes to see, but their passion for their chosen cause is an inseparable part of their personality. I really laughed out loud when I read this one, because people have labeled me as someone who “Rocks the boat.”
Last, but certainly not least, INFJs have strong beliefs and take the actions that they do not because they are trying to advance themselves, but because they are trying to advance an idea that they truly believe will make the world a better place.
And that is truly my goal…to make the world a better place.
To be fair and balanced, INFJs have their weaknesses too! They are sensitive; highly vulnerable to criticism and conflict, and questioning their motives is the quickest way to their bad side. INFJs are extremely private when it comes to their personal lives, so it makes it difficult for them to trust new friends. They also tend to be a perfectionist which is impossible to accomplish in an imperfect world. INFJs always need to have a cause and they can burn out easily.
Now you know a little more about me.
The floor is now open for comments. Peace.