“Who in the world am I?
Ah, that’s the great puzzle.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
“To thine own self be true.”
My mom and brother popped by the other night for dinner, and over a great big bowl of spaghetti and delicious french bread we began talking about the differing personality types sitting at that very table, unified by family ties and the pot of pasta.
That’s when Lauren mentioned a personality test she had recently taken. “You should all take it,” she said, “it’s very enlightening.”
Businesses have been using this test for years in identifying their leaders/followers, thinkers/doers, introverts/extroverts, and putting them in areas where they are innately skilled, work most effectively, and can be most productive.
Two companies I worked for in the past had me take this test and found that I was an INFJ/ENFJ. What is an INFJ/ENFJ?
INFJ = Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging
ENFJ = Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging
Out of all Jung personality types, these fall into the smallest brackets, which means that I am an odd duck. INFJs are found in only 1% of earth’s population. ENFJs are only 2-3%.
But this narrow statistic was raised when I produced Ashley and Lauren, for they both scored the same as me. High-5, girls! With that said, what does an INFJ and ENFJ look like?
Well, according to most sources, we are:
Able to Read others Motives and Feelings (like Sherlock Holmes)
Good Communicators and Listeners (Students & Family would be the best judge of that)
Insightful (that’s generous)
Altruistic (how are you all doing today?)
Hard working (always)
Driven (sometimes crazy)
Natural Leaders (naturally)
Loyal and Affirming (certainly)
Empathetic (to a fault)
Creative (pretty much)
Sticklers for Commitments (yes, sir!)
In other words, we’re AWESOME.
One website claimed that Jesus, Obi Wan Kenobi, Frodo Baggins, Atticus Finch, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Thomas Jefferson were all INFJs. I do have a question, though. When, in between Bethlehem and Gethsemane, did Jesus Christ take the Myers-Briggs Personality Test? Just wondering.
ENFJs include the likes of King David, Abraham Lincoln, Oprah, Cicero, and physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Pretty cool company, if I do say so myself.
But before you feel bad for not being an INFJ or an ENFJ, or think that I am a complete jerk for bragging, we introvert/extravert, intuitive, feeling, judging types have a downside.
Yes, along with the positives come some negatives. We can be opinionated, demanding of ourselves, fiery, withdrawn, complex, impatient of people with no common sense, intolerant of conflict, sarcastic, and snarky. Yeah, that pretty much covers it.
One website claimed:
“INFJs tend to be sensitive, quiet leaders with a great depth of personality. They are intricately and deeply woven, mysterious, and highly complex, sometimes puzzling even to themselves.”
What does that even mean!? Ashley, Lauren and I are the Grinch? “He puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before…”
After taking the Briggs test through the years, my profile remains rock solid on the Intuitive, Feeling, Judging, but bounces back and forth between the Introvert and Extravert. (Take the test a few times and you will see revolving traits within yourself too).
How much is nature versus nurture? I don’t know. Both, I suppose because I used to be more Extraverted, that’s for sure. But with life and people and health, well, it has caused me to pull inside myself a bit more. What this means is that Yours Truly is a bona fide Extraverted Introvert (or is it an Introverted Extravert?).
Drives my hubby crazy.
Here’s one dialogue that took place just a few weeks ago:
Hubby: “The dinner party is at 6pm.”
Me: “Do I really have to go?”
Hubby: “Well, yes, we were both invited. Why, what’s up?”
Me: “During hors d’oeuvres there will be mingling right?”
Me: “I’m not in a social mood. At all. Can I go and not talk?”
Hubby: “You crack me up! You speak effortlessly in front of hundreds. Animated. Engaging. You’re great with people. Then there is this side of you that is shy and introverted.” He begins shaking his head, “You’re a walking contradiction sometimes, babe.”
Me: “You are right. It’s puzzling, isn’t it,” I smile and then go and have a completely wonderfully social time.
After showing hubby the results of our spaghetti dinner Briggs test, it explained a lot to him. Bless his heart. He’s one understanding man (which is good because we INFJs love to be understood).
Let’s Keep Ourselves in Check
In our own humble way, I suppose we can be a little arrogant too. Just two nights ago my son Landon was going to beat the heat wave by sleeping in the living room with the sliding glass doors open. I went out and told him that leaving the doors open all night was not a good idea. It was unsafe (We live in a large California city that has your normal fare share of urban issues).
“It’s not a big deal, mom,” he argued, “it will be a lot cooler to leave it open.”
“He’s right,” hubby chimed in, “it’s no big deal and it will keep the house cooler.”
“I agree with Landon and Dad,” called out Connor.
That’s when Lauren came out of her room, “what’s going on?” she asked as she went into the living room to check out Landon’s sleeping arrangement.
“I’m sleeping with the doors open to keep it cool,” he announced.
“Oh no,” she said, “not a good idea. It’s not safe.”
“Yeees iiit iiis,” all three guys droned.
Lauren then let them have it. “Are you crazy?!” And belted out, “OK. You guys need to listen to mommy and me! WE ARE THE SMART ONES!”
Everyone erupted in laughter.
Hubby looked at me and said, “You know, she does have a point. There were a lot of stupid people listed on my ISTJ personality profile.”
Well, the boys did not listen to me and Lauren. So much for personality types, huh? The door was left open, but we were still alive and kicking come morning.
(Between you and me, Lauren was still right).
What’s Your Personality Type?
Ever wonder what makes you tick? The nature-nurture stuff that formulates you? It’s pretty intriguing to delve into. If you haven’t already, why don’t you take the 75-question personality test. Don’t be timid. There is no right or wrong answers, just an avenue to self-discovery.
You will notice scads of online Myers-Briggs Tests, but here is our favorite:
I must warn you. Be prepared to waste hours and hours pigeon-holing and categorizing yourself, family, and friends.
But once you do, gather everyone together and discuss it over a big pot of spaghetti.
They are starting to put ads on our blog. We do not approve these and are not getting any residuals whatsoever, so I apologize for the content. I’ll see what I can do about it.