INFJ Top Ten List: #4 - INFJ Label

Monday, December 03, 2012 14 Comments A+ a-


Hidey-ho, neighbors!

Am sitting here staring at a Christmas tree that's up--but not decorated. One of those pre-lit models, it's standing proud, tall, and pretty much naked in my living room. I have to laugh at the irony. The past several days have been insanely busy, and this blog, like my neglected tree, is waiting for attention that I haven't been able to provide!

But free time has come, and I'm here to talk about #4 on our list: the INFJ Label.


4. Our label means a lot to us

While every person can be pinpointed as a specific Myers-Briggs Personality Type, INFJs tend to cling to our label as soon as we discover it. As we are the rarest personality type, making up an approximate 2% of the population, we spend most of our lives feeling lost and misunderstood. Once we learn that we are not alone and that there is an explanation as to why we have always felt different, we feel overjoyed and almost "normal."

Even if the description of an INFJ does not fit us 100%, it still usually offers us a lot of information for which we have spent the majority of our lives searching. Those four little letters can be life-changing to an INFJ.

Okay, we've all seen those movies where the main character grows up feeling isolated and weird. He can't understand his own abilities, and no one around him relates. Just when he's about to give up hope of ever experiencing normalcy, a mysterious stranger walks out of the mist to reveal the main character's strength, talent, and potential for a great destiny.

This is what it's like to find out you're an INFJ. Or a Jedi Knight. Or Neo! But mostly an INFJ ;-)


The Dynamic Duo!!
Yesterday I was in our local coffee shop writing away, when in walked a friend of mine--Jeff--who'd just recently discovered he's an ENFJ. We talked about it for over an hour, and I even drew up his functional stack on a white board to explain "why" he's so outgoing in a crowd and naturally networks to bring people and ideas together for success. He was amazed at how helpful it is to realize what drives your approach to life, work, and personal relationships.

For an INFJ, this label is especially important. There's a price to pay for being rare, and it's usually our self-esteem. When we discover there's a reason for our behavior, we cling to it like a drowning swimmer (or at least I do). It's one thing to feel weird. But when you discover the superpower behind it, you can morph that "weird" right into "unique, special, and equipped to do great things."

While Jeff and I were discussing how cool it is to discover one's own personality type, he mentioned that more people should be made aware of their MBTI.

"We should put together a class and teach this stuff!" he joked. When I told him the idea had crossed my mind, he asked why I hadn't taken action on it. I laughed.

"Because I'm an INFJ. I come up with ideas. You're the ENFJ. You go out and find ways to get them going." And I'm pretty sure that's what he intends to do. All because he discovered what makes him tick.

INFJ. Counselor, protector, sage. Yep, I adore my label! It's fun, it's great for starting conversations, and occasionally it changes someone's life. Plus it's my get-out-of-jail-free card when someone tries to convince me I'm weird :-) So I wear it with pride and blog about it with passion.

What about you? Does being known as an INFJ label suffocate you or set you free??


14 comments

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Colin Machan
AUTHOR
December 4, 2012 at 8:13 AM delete

It fits me like a glove. And it has started to transform the way that I look at, and relate to, the world.

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Clint
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December 4, 2012 at 10:12 AM delete

It absolutely sets me free.

As a young man, I developed a sort of bitter pride in my "lone wolf" status, because all I thought at the time was "They don't want me, and I don't NEED them." I remember in college, sitting by myself in the student center and looking around at other students in groups of 10 and 20 cramming in and around booths, and wondering why I was so "ok" with sitting alone. I also should have noticed that whatever I had intended to focus on alone at my table was quickly set aside in favor of just watching everyone else interact.

10 years later I've tempered that attitude a great deal, but I still find myself enjoying my loner nature a little too much at times. There's just something so alluring about being a detached observer.

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Meridian
AUTHOR
December 5, 2012 at 7:25 AM delete

That's awesome, Colin - I'm so glad you're finding value in your INFJness and that you're sharing your perspective out here!

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Meridian
AUTHOR
December 5, 2012 at 7:36 AM delete

Your comment resonates in an eerie way :-) You were a lone wolf, I was more like Kipling's cat (waving my wild tail, walking my wild lone). I was often the detached observer as well - not just because it was alluring, but also intriguing and powerful to pick up on others' feelings and "sense" their stories and motives. My secret agent persona enjoyed (and still enjoys) this activity.

I like how you put it: enjoying your loner nature a little too much. I get that. No one else really does.

Your writing style is compelling. Are you an author?

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Clint
AUTHOR
December 5, 2012 at 1:45 PM delete This comment has been removed by the author.
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Clint
AUTHOR
December 5, 2012 at 1:46 PM delete

In my heart, I am every bit an author. Unfortunately though, I lack whatever the mechanism is that allows productive authors to get ideas out of their minds.

We definitely understand each other in regards to the intrigue and power of the observer perspective!

I would be curious to know what you see as stylistic in my writing! I've been told that before, but don't see it myself. I'm also suddenly conscientious of my words... :)

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H2
AUTHOR
December 5, 2012 at 4:39 PM delete

I'll give you the Neo reference but you'll have to be more specific on which Jedi Knight you're referring to...proceed with caution. You know how I feel about Star Wars.

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Meridian
AUTHOR
December 6, 2012 at 10:49 AM delete

Lol...I'm not sure I can put my finger on it exactly. I just get strong mental pictures from your comments. Your word choices, metaphors, sentence structure, etc., make a direct impact. I don't have to re-read or wonder about your meaning. Could be an INFJ-to-INFJ thing, but I definitely think you have talent in this area.

And don't be too conscientious...we're all perfectionists out here in the Cafe, but we're compassionate, too :-)

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Meridian
AUTHOR
December 6, 2012 at 10:56 AM delete

Ha ha...I was thinking about Luke Skywalker and how he always knew he was destined for more than life on Tattoine! Obi-Wan showed up just in time to train him for his awesome destiny (harsh breathing--"I am your father"--more harsh breathing). ;-p

You know, I once took one of those crazy "Which Star Wars character are you?" quizzes, and it pegged me as Luke. Made me laugh. Which one would YOU be, my cool ENFJ friend?? Find out...and someday I'll fly out there to attend the annual convention with you. We'll dress up as our alter-egos, lol!!!

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H2
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December 6, 2012 at 12:56 PM delete

Promises, promises....

That would be so cool but Star Wars Celebration VII is going to be in Germany. I went to IV which was in here in 2006.

HA...I just took a quiz. I don't think I'm going to fit into an R2D2 costume!

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H2
AUTHOR
December 6, 2012 at 1:03 PM delete

This was the results from the quiz:

What you lack in height
and communication skills,
you make up for in industriousness,
technical know-how and being there
when others need you most.

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Meridian
AUTHOR
December 6, 2012 at 4:17 PM delete

Hey, I'd go to Germany - a good percentage of my bloodline comes from that country. Having the SWVII convention there just makes it that much cooler.

Okay, I'm laughing at the description. Industriousness and tech know-how totally describes you, as well as being there for others. But you're taller than I am, and you communicate just fine! I would like to see you in a costume, though...and one with those little boosters so you can hover above the ground :-)

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H2
AUTHOR
December 6, 2012 at 5:10 PM delete

My goal for 2013 is to use industriousness in Words with Friends.

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H2
AUTHOR
December 7, 2012 at 10:43 AM delete

I was watching Clone Wars with my kids this morning and noticed that Anakin can speak with R2 without a translator.... So, maybe R2 isn't a bad communicator at all. He just needs someone to speak his language.

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