A couple of weeks ago, I did an online Myers-Briggs personality test that I saw posted on a friend’s Facebook page. At the age of 19 or 20, I had done a similar test using a fantastic old book that my sister-in-law owns, and I was interested to see if I got the same result as what the book had said.
At 19 or 20, the book declared me to be a solid ENTJ: extroverted, focussed on intuition, thinking and judgement. According the book, a good leader type, but a bit of a hard-arse (sometimes referred to as “the Commander” type, in which case, Hot Husband probably thinks I am an ENTJ).
When I did the online quiz recently, my results scored me as an INFJ: introverted, still with a focus on intutition and judging, but with more of a lean to feeling, rather than thinking. This type is commonly referred to as “the Counsellor type”.
I was a bit sceptical of the results, given that it was from on online test, so I went ahead and borrowed the old book and did the test again.
And guess what?
I’m an INFJ.
Reading through the descriptions and personality traits of a typical INFJ, I found that it resonated with me, a lot.
I know there are many people who take the Myers-Briggs assessments with a grain of salt, because of course, there are many factors that influence who we are, and who we will be over time.
All the same, it was interesting to reflect on how I have changed.
I used to love being out and about: I’d be at every event and every gathering, front and centre. I used to feel energised by being around people, and I used to love constant stimulation and excitement, and getting out there and amongst it. I was also pretty forceful in my opinions, black and white in my world views, and although it makes me cringe to admit it, pretty bloody judgemental, and at times, probably a bit callous.
I used to dream of travelling the world with groups of people, taking in everything possibly could, in all four corners of the world. These days, I dream of my own little holiday, all alone, with a book, a facial, and a king sized bed with soft, fluffy pillows, and room service to drop food to my door, where I can just sit in my own space and soak up the rejuvenating peace of not being needed.
I’ve softened up as I’ve gotten older; maybe as a result of having kids, or maybe just because I’ve learned a bit more from life. My world is less black and white, and incorporates many more shades of grey. Having met a broad range of different people, I find that my opinions and views, and associated judgements have changed.
If you met me today, you might think I’m an extrovert, because I probably still present like one. I’m comfortable around people, I enjoy a good chat, and in fact, I work in a job that requires almost constant human contact, in a multitude of ways, and I enjoy it. However, what you don’t see, is that when my work day is done, I literally drive home in silence; radio off, not a sound to be heard. I really, really love silence.
You won’t find me in the centre of a crowd at a party; in fact, these days, it’s pretty unlikely you’ll see me at a party at all. And if I do venture out to a big gathering, it’s pretty likely you’ll find me later that evening just standing under the running water, in the quiet of the shower at home, processing the event, and decompressing. Sometimes, as stupid as it may sound, I feel as though I need time to wash away everyone else’s feelings that I seem to inadvertently pick up in layers, just by being surrounded by people.
This past week, Hot Husband and the kids have all been home, due to the school holidays and a bit of annual leave. I’ve mostly been working, while Hot Husband has been home (as is the nature of having two working parents in the household), and our normal routine has been out of rhythm.
So I’m dealing with humans at work, and humans at home (more than usual), and all of them seem to need something from me, and they’ve all got big feelings and emotions that I’m absorbing like some kind of super-efficient-but-completely-dysfunctional kitchen sponge. And my human-interaction bucket is overflowing, and the Introvert in me is going ballistic, and the judgy/planny part of me is seeking routine and normalcy, while the intuitive part of me knows damn straight that normalcy is a pipe dream, at least for a few weeks.
Thus, this past week, I have struggled a bit, with feeling unable to retreat from interaction when I have needed to, and as a result, I’ve been a bit….snappy.
It occurs to me, that perhaps the Internet’s assessment of me as an INFJ personality, may just well be on the mark.
Anyway, the other day, rather than resorting to shrieking, I snuck outside, and away from the humans (even though they are my FAVOURITE humans) and hid under a tree, and sat in the quiet and listened to the birds, and I felt a little bit better. You know, because I really love silence (just in case you missed it when I said it 700 times already).
Trees, and fresh air, and slightly damp grass seem to be good for this INFJ’s slightly overwhelmed soul.
So, I want to know, who out there has done a personality test? Did you think the results were true of the way you identify yourself? And like me, have you found that you’ve changed?
Or, on the flip side, do you think it’s all nonsense?
Keen to hear your thoughts,