Lifestyle

What Does Being an INFJ Mean to Me?

Imagine this: Your friend wants to introduce you to a group of people she knows. It’ll be fun!, she insists. Reluctantly, you go along with it. Not for you, only to make her happy. Okay, you’re with this group now. For the first five minutes, everything’s going fine. They’re nice people, they aren’t too bad. And then, one of them says something obscure and seemingly random, and everyone starts to laugh (You know those kind of laughs that gets people bent over, hands on their stomach, gasping for air? Those laughs that are so loud, they’re almost silent, where the joke is so funny that tears are running down their face? The laughs that make people go, Stop it! Stop talking, oh my God, because it’s so funny that it’s actually hurting them? That kind of laughter). Everyone is laughing, and you’re standing there. You’re out of it. You don’t even understand why the hell your friend dragged you here when you obviously don’t belong.

Imagine living your life everyday with that feeling. You feel separate from the spectrum of normalcy. You feel like there isn’t anywhere you can fit in completely. You don’t understand everyone- or rather, everyone doesn’t understand you. You end up trying to change yourself just so that you can understand that joke, but you never do. You pretend to understand it, however, and laugh along right with the rest of the group. You try and you try and you try to enter that circle and you fail and you fail and you fail. Fake it till you make it, right?

“You think it’s so easy to change yourself.
You think it’s so easy, but it’s not.
What do you think it takes to reinvent yourself as an all-new person, a
person who makes sense, who belongs? Do you change your clothes, your
hair, your face? Go on, then. Do it. Pierce your ears, trim your fringe, buy a
new bag. They will still see past that, see you, the girl who is still too scared,
still too smart for her own good, still a beat behind, still, always, wrong.
Change all you want; you can’t change that.”
-Leila Sales, This Song Will Save Your Life

I always wanted to know- why? Why do I feel like such an outsider? Why do I have try so hard? Why am I unhappy with myself? When will I stop comparing myself to to others? I wished and I wished that I was what I perceived as “normal”. I wanted multiple groups of friends. I wanted to be able to laugh at jokes that made no sense. I wanted to partake in these asinine, meaningless conversations.

But you know what?

I don’t want to do that anymore.

Over a year ago, I heard of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. It’s a test that will tell you what four traits of your personality are the strongest (Link is here!). It gauges Extraversion (E) vs. Introversion (I); Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N); Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F); and Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P).

It was almost a year ago when I took the quiz the first time, out of curi
osity, and saved the picture. I got INFJ. I didn’t understand what the meaning behind it was, all I took from it the first time was Screenshot_2015-09-21-13-41-29-2that I was introverted, which I knew. I quickly forgot about this, as you do.

The second time I took it was actually not that long ago, on September. I was curious to see what career choices it would say I’m compatible with and to see if I changed in a year. I found my way onto the website again, and took the quiz to get INFJ- again. I saved the picture and compared it with the first one. There wasn’t any completely drastic change, other than the huge leap in introversion- which made sense, considering the amount of personal struggles I faced at the time. By this time I was wondering- is the combination of my personality preferences odd? Is it unique? The fact that I was introverted but intuitive, yet I used my feelings more often rather than rationale; the fact that I would use my intuition and feelings to judge and assess, rather that perceptiveness. Was it unique?

(Before I answer my own question, I re-took the quiz right before writing this post, curious to see if I had changed in the past month and a bit. Still INFJ, though the percentages wavered- but still intact.)

estimated_frequency_table
And it turns out- it is unique. Extremely unique. INFJs make up only 1-3% of the world’s population- we’re the most rare! I always knew I was different, out of the circle, but finding an explanation made me feel so much better. And when I made that discovery, I couldn’t stop there. I had to keep looking at more, reading blogs and posts about other INFJs. It was hard though, to find things written by others. I mostly found blogs of other personality types explaining INFJ traits- which were super helpful, nonetheless!

It all made sense now. The fact that I had only two close friends. The fact that I couldn’t make short-term connections, not even friendly ones. The fact that I could read situations effectively.  My creativity and imagination. My overwhelming sensitivity. My burning passions for equality. My warm approaches, rather than logical, factual ones. My love for privacy. My need for perfectionism. My decisiveness. It all made sense to me.

Imagine this: Your friend wants to introduce you to a group of people she knows. It’ll be fun!, she insists. Reluctantly, you go along with it. Not for you, only to make her happy. Okay, you’re with this group now. For the first five minutes, everything’s going fine. They’re nice people, they aren’t too bad. And then, one of them says something obscure and seemingly random, and everyone starts to laugh (You know those kind of laughs that gets people bent over, hands on their stomach, gasping for air? Those laughs that are so loud, they’re almost silent, where the joke is so funny that tears are running down their face? The laughs that make people go, Stop it! Stop talking, oh my God, because it’s so funny that it’s actually hurting them? That kind of laughter). Everyone is laughing, and you’re standing there. And then… you start to giggle. The giggle turns into light laughter, and that light laughter turns into bellows. They don’t pay you any attention, they think you’re laughing at their joke. But you’re not.

You’re laughing because- you don’t need to change yourself to fit it. You don’t. Dance to your own music, sing to the beat of your own song.

Laugh at your own jokes.

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