So this one is just for fun. One of my interests is personality stuff and specifically the Myers/Briggs or MBTI for short. I’m not going to get into a whole lot of detail here because I’m no expert. The cliff notes version is that there are four components that define your “type” and there are 16 different personality types. There’s a lot of stereotypes associated with this but it can be a useful tool to understand more about who you are and why you do some of the things you do.
Having do some pretty extensive reading on the subject, my type is INFP and one of the funny descriptions is shown above.
So I come across an article from PsychologyJunkie (OK, I didn’t come across it, I’ve signed up for emails). The title is 24 Signs that you’re an INFP, the “dreamer” personality type. So let’s see how many of them I can relate to.
- You’re guided by your moral compass – yeah, that one is very true. No details but there are lots of things I do just because they are the “right” thing to do. At least “right” for me. Maybe not you but we can all have different values. Of course, if you are different from me, then you are wrong. (Kidding!)
- Authenticity means everything to you – Authenticity is kind of a vague concept. In the write up, they talk about how it would make you cringe to think of pretending for the sake of your peers. Yeah, there is some truth to this. It was always a source of conflict as a manager when they’d say that your job was to give the company line which I couldn’t do if I didn’t believe it.
- You’re a misfit and that’s okay with you – Did I identify with the island of misfit toys? I’d say I don’t follow trends so, yes, maybe I do kind of enjoy not following the crowd. I don’t know if I’m truly a misfit though but we’ll call this one kinda true.
- You’re a daydreamer – As the article states “Your imagination is the one place where you can be totally free”. Yeah, this is totally me. Give me a fog bank when walking the dog and my mind takes me all kinds of places.
- You sense the rightness or wrongness of something in your gut – Trying to think of an example here but it would take too much detail to share. Again, I’ll say mostly true. I do get these strong reactions to certain things that just feel “wrong”. I hear someone suggesting somebody do something (how vague is that?) and it just instantly feels wrong.
- On the outside you’re flexible. On the inside, you’re stubborn – Sort of true but maybe not strongly. I guess I do have some times when I’ve run into situations where something is just so against my values that I refuse to do it. But I’ve never really had a situation where I’d go down fighting for a cause. Maybe just haven’t found that cause.
- You crave deep one-on-one relationships – yep, totally true. Hard because a lot of people just want to stay on the surface and you can’t get into depth. But the best relationships I’ve had are the deep ones.
- You underestimate your effect on others – if I said this wasn’t true, would I be underestimating my effect on others? Actually, this is very true. The work daughter is the perfect example. It wasn’t until she presented me with something to commemorate her graduation from college that I fully understood how much impact I did have.
- You just know when people are with you or against you – I’d like to say this is true but, sadly, it is not always the case. I think I’ve gotten better with the years but I’ve made mistakes about trusting certain people so I can’t say this is really true. Maybe the first one I’d have to question.
- You empathize with the underdogs – yes, although perhaps not as stongly as the text in the article.
- You can sense other people’s feeling easily – I’ll give this one a sort of true. Again, it is something I’ve gotten better at over the years.
- You hate being labeled – wait, isn’t INFP a label? Oh yes, this is very true. There is a line that states ‘when people try to sum you up you always feel like they are ignoring a thousand things that make you you. I’ve always hated it when people assume they know me or make statements about traits they think I have or don’t have. Yeah, you don’t really know what goes on behind the curtain.
- You crave freedom, affirmation and acceptance – yes, hell yes and yes. It says I hate the idea of being confined by someone else’s rules. Yep, that’s a big reason I hated the corporate world. The other parts are true as well. So this one is totally true.
- You have a personal space “bubble” – totally and completely true. Which was certainly a struggle for ballroom where you really can’t have a personal space bubble. Well you can, but it hinders your dancing. I’ve gotten better but it is the part of working with a new teacher that takes the longest for me to feel comfortable. Used to have someone at work who’d want to look over my shoulder at things – yeah that was always totally uncomfortable.
- You could never do something just because someone else wanted you to do it – The caveat in the article is that if it doesn’t align with your values, then I’d be hard pressed to do it. Yeah, we’ll put this in the mostly true category.
- You love the rush of finding a new idea – I guess I’ll say sort of true. Can’t really think of any good examples or counter examples but it feels mostly true.
- You believe that not daring to risk is failure – this one is not true for me. The only part of the text that fits is something about being a non-conformist. I really think I got imprinted as a child to be the safe steady one and that’s stuck with me. I guess I took risks at work but a bigger risk would have just been scrapping that and trying something else.
- You see random connections that other people miss – yep that is so totally me. It also says that I can’t explain the connections and that is true as well. It is just kind of random flashes where I see one thing and it sparks an odd connection. I’d give you an example but I can’t really force it. You’ll just have to trust me on this one.
- Creativity is the air you live and breathe – meh, not so much. A little bit true but probably not really strongly me. I mean I do have a lot of ideas but I usually don’t do much follow through.
- When you’re stressed, you stop being “Mr Nice Guy” – Yeah, that is also me. It kind of manifested more at work and I had to learn to control it because it would freak out the team. But stress over silly corporate things did tend to make me more sarcastic and critical. And cutting sarcasm doesn’t always go over well.
- Your favorite songs feel deeply personal to you – I’d say that’s mostly true. There are certain songs that I have strong connections to. And I can’t tell you because I don’t really want to try and explain the connections.
- You hate conforming – Oh yes, this is me. Sort of funny story – we were having a family discussion about masks. My fam is all about the science and wearing masks everywhere. I said something about how I wear one inside but never outside and what does that make me. My brother says “the non conforming libertarian you’ve always been”.
- You’re nostalgic – This is another ten out of ten for me. Of course, I can be weirdly nostalgic for times I didn’t live though – like listening to swing music and thinking wistfully about living in the era of big bands. But I’ve got a lot of junk I’ve collected over the years – a lot of it is gifts that I don’t use but can’t get rid of. I’ve got a whole drawer full of old cards from people – birthday and Christmas cards from the work team. Yep, that’s totally me.
- You distrust show, ostentatious people – Oh yeah, we finish with another one that also totally fits me.
So it seems like a good fit. To be clear, this isn’t really the best way to determine your type. This was really just for fun. And a way of talking about myself without really seeming like I’m talking about myself.