I’m an INFP … apparantly …

Earlier this week I took one of those Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator tests … and according to it … I’m an INFP which stands for Introversion, iNtuition, Feeling, Perceiving. I wasn’t quite sure how to react to that … I didn’t really think too much before taking the test, it felt like it was a bit of a joke, and afterwards I wasn’t too sure how to feel about it … largely because I didn’t fully understand what it meant … then I read this description of an INFP ..

The polite, reserved exterior of INFPs can at first make them difficult to get to know. They enjoy conversation, however, taking particular delight in the unusual. When INFPs are in a sociable mood, their humor and charm shine through. Disposed to like people and to avoid conflict, INFPs tend to make pleasant company.

Devoted to those in their inner circle, INFPs guard the emotional well-being of others, consoling those in distress. Guided by their desire for harmony, INFPs prefer to be flexible unless their ethics are violated. Then, they become passionate advocates for their beliefs. They are often able sway the opinions of others through tact, diplomacy, and an ability to see varying sides of an issue.

INFPs develop these insights through reflection, and they require substantial time alone to ponder and process new information. While they can be quite patient with complex material, they are generally bored by routine. Though not always organized, INFPs are meticulous about things they value. Perfectionists, they may have trouble completing a task because it cannot meet their high standards. They may even go back to a completed project after the deadline so they can improve it.

INFPs are creative types and often have a gift for language. As Introverts, they may prefer to express themselves through writing. Their dominant Feeling drives their desire to communicate, while their auxiliary iNtuition supplies the imagination. They enjoy metaphors and similes, having a talent for symbolism. They continually seek new ideas and adapt well to change. They prefer working in an environment that values these gifts and allows them to make a positive difference in the world, according to their personal beliefs

So there was something that felt familiar in all that … and for the most part It does feel familiar, although I don’t know why that admission makes me feel awkward. I asked a couple of friends of mine to read it and asked what they thought … they seemed to think it did reflect the kind of person I am … which on one hand feels pretty cool … but on the other hand the notion that my I, or anyone, can be analyzed and reduced down to a four letter acronym disturbs me quite profoundly.

1 thought on “I’m an INFP … apparantly …

  1. Nad,

    The first thing to remember is that this isn’t about reducing people to an acronym. What it is about is one way to describe groups of people in terms of what they have in common. It’s about tendencies, groups, and one way of looking at people.

    Having said that, I’ve read the description, and it does sound a lot like you. I think that it describes only a part of you, and there is much more that is praiseworthy besides.

    The Myers-Briggs Type Inventory, to give it its proper name, is apparently one of a range of tools that psychologists use to quickly gain an appreciation of someone, in order to help them out. If I were you, I’d treat this as a useful insight into parts of your character that you can use to help you in life and work.

    I am an ENFP, which is quite similar to you, only with Extraversion rather than Intraversion. One key insight that this gives me is that I need to restrain my natural tendency to hold up both ends of the conversation, but to listen closely and carefully. That’s the kind of thing that this is useful for.

    Introspection often feels awkward, but remember that the first enemy to defeat is oneself, and you cannot defeat something without knowing it.

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