Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Today I would like to focus on a new insight into my personality that comes as no surprise to me, but still presents a sort of relief, and in another, more terrifying way, a sort of earth-shattering ton of bricks, although I knew it along.

I'm not like you.  

Odds are, we are NOTHING alike.  

And you probably knew that too, didn't you?

I discovered this while taking a few online personality tests out of boredom, and stumbling upon Myers-Briggs.  If you haven't taken a test like this, you may have fun with it.  This is the one I made all of the members of my family take, and it was eerily accurate.  It said my sister liked attention and my dad was an eccentric genius.  Spot on.  

After taking a few other variations on this test, I've come to the realization that my INFJ results aren't going to change, no matter how much I try to cheat the test and come up with something a little more socially-acceptable.  If you think I'm joking about the "socially-accepted" thing, you should know that it's been said that Carl Jung single-handedly rescued my personality type from being regarded as a sociopath in Western Culture.  Thanks Jung.  The Bedlam Haircut can be cute, but I look terrible in a bathrobe.  

To summarize my type, I am a walking contradiction.  I, and about 1% of the population, am considered an introverted intuititive individual with extroverted feeling.  Yeah, I know, that doesn't mean a whole lot.  Allow me to explain some aspects of this personality type:

-I'm energized by my alone time, yet thrive on the company and support of others.  So Being Alone = Good, but Being Alone = Bad. 
-I trust my intuition above facts and figures, but don't often act on it because I'm so focused on all the other things my thought process has revealed could go wrong.  So I've got killer instincts, that paralyze me.  
-I have an incredible amount of empathy, to the point that I often tend to adopt others' personalities.  So I'm a mimic, and it's totally the annoying kind that pushes the people I want to be closer to, further away.
-I'm an organized perfectionist who is overwhelmed by their organized perfectionism to the point of appearing to be a total mess who could not care less.  
-I try to avoid confrontation and conflict to the point of becoming fiercely angry with those who disrupt the peace.   (Is that not sick, or what?).  Conversely, I love stirring the pot when I know the outcome won't lead to any real discomfort or contention.  And I can dish it, but I can't take it.
-I have a keen insight into people and situations, and have much to offer in the way of guidance and comfort, but my ability to "know" things other don't know manifests into an "I'm right" attitude that comes on too strong because of my conviction, which turns people off from anything I might have to say.  So, I'm a know-it-all who really does know it all, but nobody cares.

And apparently, this isn't supposed to be a bad thing.  I went ahead and search out other INFJs with blogs or websites, and I've come to the conclusion that we are a little bit weirder than most, and we feel like outsiders, but for the most part, we're really good at what we choose to do and we are pretty likable people, once we embrace how different we are.   I read a quote by one INFJ who also happened to be a life coach (common career for this type) and she said, "Certain things in life are not nearly as hard as other people make them out to be, and certain things in life are rarely as easy as other people make them out to be."  This pretty much sums up the life of an INFJ.  We just have to find our stride.

It also sums up the life of pretty much every person, in one way or another, and I totally recognize that.  My personality is rare, and so I have a really good reason to feel like I don't belong, but who hasn't felt like a misunderstood outsider, every once in a while (even those ESTJs, who are apparently EVERYWHERE).  The point of these personality tests is not to give myself an excuse for being an Other, anyway.  I'm meant to learn about how I function, so I can continue to function at my best.  

I'm intensely curious about all of your personality types, even though I recognize it as only part of the story.  If you happen to know yours, share it in the comments.  

After this, I promise to put it to rest.  My husband could not be more sick of it.  Typical ISTJ....  and yes, that was very INFJ of me to point that out.   


Monika said...

that is funny. were we the same?

Monika said...

oh wait I checked and I'm not. whew.

Renee said...

You're an INFP right? We are probably the most alike, except that people actually want your advice.

Anonymous said...

I just retook the test (it's been 15 years or so), and now I'm an ESFJ, though the S is only 1%. The description still seems pretty accurate, though I want to steal the part from yours about how I am so overwhelmed by my perfectionism that I appear to be a slob. That's totally me--a lot of my personality overwhelms me to the point of paralysis!

Thanks for sharing about you. :)

Katy said...

Let's play a little game. It's called "what type do you think I am" I have not seen this test, but I'll take it right now and then I'll check back to see what you think I am and I'll see if you're right. I'll also look up what type you are because I, like you am intensly curious. Oh, and PS. I'm going to start basicly tayloring my blog to you because your last few comments have made me laugh, like more than I make myself laugh. Everytime I write I'm going to think "will this make Renee laugh and post something witty?" If yes, than it makes the cut.

OK-personality time. I LOVE personality tests.

Over and out

Anonymous said...

I don't know. I also feel like the survey doesn't ask all the right questions. Like, "Do you prefer to plan vacations yourself or let someone else do it?" (Let someone else do it!) And, "Do you fade to the back burner when there are more gregarious people around or do you step it up?" (fall to back burner) Maybe I'll make my own personality test...

Katy said...

I realized after taking that test that it would be really hard to guess what type I am unless you really know all about the types.

Renee said...

Don't tell me yet Katy. I'm going to go read through real quick. But you're right, I'm probably going to get it wrong. Even though I did know exactly which ones my dad and two sisters would get.

Rachel, I am 100% in agreement that the test could use some work. I would love it to ask, "Do you prefer The Brady Bunch over The Partridge Family?" because so so much information can be obtained from this.

Renee said...

Katy, I am leaning heavily towards calling you an ENFJ. Please don't get offended if I'm way off.

Katy said...

WHAT! You think I'm an ENFJ!?!?!? Just kidding, I don't even know what that is... I'll have to read it. I'm an INFP and Scott is an ENTJ. That basicly boils down to, he talks and I get offended because I feel attacked" j/k, but not really... sometimes, lol.

Sarah Beau Bera said...

INTJ - does this mean we aren't ever going to hang out?

brett and carly said...

Wow, wow, wow. This is the first time I've ever taken one of these. I am ISFJ, the Protector. It is me almost to the T (tee.. tea? I don't know how that phrase is supposed to be worded). Very interesting!

Becca said...

ISTJ here....that was very interesting!

Jason Centers said...

I came out as INTJ, the "Mastermind", which I like the sound of. I should have taken this test years ago. I feel validated in my eccentricity.

diane said...

ENFP, the idealist Champion. Do you like how late I am on this???
BTW - PHIL DONAHUE is an ENFP. I am so cool.

Alexa said...

(I'm late to this because I somehow didn't know you had this blog. How is that possible?)
Anyway, ISTJ. High five, Eric
I remember we had to take this at the Univ of Az for the blue chip program. Which would be altogether more interesting if I remembered what I was then, and if there was something notable about it.