So a few days ago I took the Myers Briggs personality test and found that I have the rarest personality type, sharing the INFJ title with only 1% of the entire population. I know you’re probably thinking that the results might not have been accurate, but actually I found the lengthy description of my result summed me up pretty well…a little too well, actually.
I have never taken a personality test and read the result thinking ‘wow, it’s actually scary how much this describes me’. Even so, just to be sure I did research this particular personality type a little further, just to make sure that I belonged to it. And I most definitely do.
Not only do the characteristics and traits match mine, but even the best careers for INFJ lined up with what I do. It said that we’re best suited to things like writing, blogging, art and photography due to our creativity, passion and expressive nature. The first two are my actual jobs, and I have always loved photography and also considered pursuing this as a career before I got into writing professionally. In fact, I only found writing as a career within the last year or so. So to see these career possibilities come up in the results for INFJ, I was pretty surprised at how accurately it was describing my personality.
The reason why this really resonated with me is because it took me so long to work out what I wanted to do career-wise. For so long I was applying for jobs for the sake of it, but I never felt like I wanted to do any of them and I also didn’t think they would satisfy me at the end of the day. In other words, I wasn’t drawn to any of them, nor was I passionate or even interested in learning the skills of that particular career. The reason why I think I struggled than most people to settle on a job is because there was no cause associated with them and therefore I couldn’t invest myself in it. You see, INFJ’s are most successful when they’re in a job which represents their values and are able to help others in a very personal way. I didn’t know this at the time, but now it makes sense as to why I felt so confused and lost about which career I was best suited to.
For years I felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere and was starting to come to the realisation that maybe there wasn’t a job suited for someone like me, since I couldn’t find anything that I was truly passionate about and interested in after searching for so long and trying so many different options. My parents encouraged me to just settle with a job, purely because it would be something to do and would get me paid, but I kept trying to explain that I couldn’t do it if my heart wasn’t in it. I tried to explain that I just couldn’t do something that I didn’t believe in and didn’t feel personally connected to. At the end of the day, this just wasn’t an option for me because it’s simply wasn’t what I believed in.
Being idealistic is also a large part of the INFJ personality type, so much so that sometimes our expectations become nothing short of unrealistic and unattainable. Basically, we want the best of everything in every situation, as if we’re living in an ideal world where that is always possible.
I have already written a blog post called ‘perfectionist’ which describes how I always want to take the perfect photo and will try for hours, ending up being so annoyed at myself for not achieving the exact angle and lighting as the first one I took in the beginning. I will just keep taking photos, and to someone else they might all look the same, but I can see the difference. The angle will be different and it won’t be good enough. I need the angle to be just right, basically perfect, or else I’m not satisfied. The difference between them all may only be a couple of inches to the left or right, but still I have this need for it to be perfect. I’d actually rather delete them all and not use a photo at all than use one with a slightly different angle that I’m not happy with.
My aim for perfection goes beyond photos, though. That’s just one thing I do that I notice my need my perfection or the most ideal outcome. I always want to have the perfect wardrobe. I always want to have perfect hair and nails. I always want to have the perfect life. I always wish a part of me was different, like wishing that I didn’t do this or that. I’m so critical of myself in ways I shouldn’t be. I shouldn’t be critical of myself for breaking down and crying because I’m such a sensitive person, all the while thinking ‘I shouldn’t even be crying about this’. I shouldn’t be critical of myself for the way I look, for the way my wardrobe is, for the way I appear to others. After all, I would never be critical of anyone else; I accept people for who they are and choose to see the best in them, even when they’ve given me a reason to think otherwise. So why am I so critical of myself?
Another quality of INFJ is looking far and wide for people that we connect with. Again, it’s not in our nature to settle for anything less than what we’re looking for and what we want. For friendships it’s about looking for like-minded people who are similar to us in the ways that make us INFJ’s. For relationships it’s about looking for someone who shares our values and outlook on life. INFJ’s feel incredibly strongly about their values and come with very strong opinions and beliefs, so we will waste no time removing anyone who doesn’t share or support these from our lives in order to keep searching for someone who does.
INFJ’s have the ability to take on other people’s mental states as well as their emotions. When someone else feels angry a part of us will feel angry, too. When someone else feels upset, we will feel upset. I could keep providing examples but I’m sure you get the picture. The point is, one thing that comes naturally to us is stepping inside someone else’s shoes, getting into their head and feeling what they feel. This can mean knowing how someone feels without them actually having to verbally express it, kind of like reading their mind but in a way that aims to help them to better understand themselves and their emotions. Thinking about it now, I realise I often do this but don’t realise I’m doing it, as if done subconsciously.
INFJ’s can also recognise patterns they see in other people and use this to predict future outcomes. This is not to say they have the ability to predict the future accurately, but they are able to make predictions based on what they have seen as well as their perception of people and events. Again, I have blog posts which reflect my future predictions for certain people and even go as far as to discuss what difficulties they will face, purely based on patterns, what I have seen and what I know of them.
INFJ’s care very deeply about others as well as their feelings. They love with only what can be described as unconditional love and are generally incredibly warm, friendly and warm people. They have a focus on helping others and guiding them to a deeper understanding of themselves. They do this with no expectations of it being returned, but simply because of their great love for helping others when they can and the pure act of doing a good thing and being a good person.
Equality is also very important to INFJ’s. They strongly dislike the idea of a hierarchy, where some are higher or lower than others. Unfortunately this can make it somewhat difficult for them in a workplace environment, as this is largely the case in those instances. They are not drawn to the idea of power, such as having power over others, as it goes against their values, beliefs and the importance of equality to them.
It may or may not surprise you to know that a few famous INFJ’s are Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela. These are all famous leaders who stood up for what they believed in and who each had their own set of values that were so important to them. I might not be a great leader like them but I’m actually pretty proud to be an INFJ. Being the rare personality type that is, I can honestly say there are very few people in the world like me. Because other personality types make up a much larger percentage of the population, I feel that not everyone can say the same thing about themselves as there is simply more of them in this world and therefore they are not alone or a represented by a relatively small number.
I highly recommend you take the personality test as well and see how it lines up with your own personality. I learnt so much about myself from taking this test and I’m so grateful that I took the time to do this and to give myself answers which makes so much sense to me now that I’m thinking about it.
Lucy Rebecca x