Unmet Needs, Intuitives, and Chainsaw Rosie

Saturday, February 13, 2016 10 Comments A+ a-


Hey, guys, come on in and pour yourself some coffee. Take a seat by the window, if you'd like. The view is nice...snow on the ground and flakes swirling through the air. I love snow days! It would be a little more perfect if my dog, Rosie, wasn't snoring like a chainsaw in the corner (how that kind of sound can come from such a sweet-looking pup is beyond me). Aside from her nasal symphony, though, it's quite peaceful here.

Suzzie on the left, Chainsaw Rosie on the right.

In my last post, I mentioned an article I found on Personality Hacker, a website that offers information and support based on a person's "Genius Style" and MBTI type. So I nosed around their site, watched a few videos, and took their online assessment. One thing they stress before taking the test is to make sure you answer the questions freely...not the way you think you should answer, or the way others might expect you to answer, but as honestly as you can.

So I did. Which was hard, because I could see the patterns and knew just how to answer to make myself come out as an INFJ (y'all know exactly what I'm talking about). But I did my best to be authentic and truthful. You want to know the hardest part? When both answers to a question fit. I don't always handle every situation the same way, and it was, occasionally, tough to choose one answer over the other.

In the end, though, I hit that Submit button and voila! I'm...




...an INFJ. Yeah, I know, you're shocked. :)


Along with the test results, I was offered a Perspectives/Harmony starter kit that looked pretty cool--profile assessment, webinar, videos. I'll probably purchase it at some point (our finances are kind of tied up with other things right now). They had a few video excerpts on the results page, too, and I really liked the "car model" they use to describe our functional stack. Personality Hacker seems like a good resource for anyone trying to understand and enhance their personality skills.

And their article, if you'll remember, had a list of the five unmet needs of intuitive people. Let's unpack them and take a look.

#1 - Freedom & Space to Explore

According to the site, it's important for intuitives to explore both their inner and outer worlds. We have the desire to make connections and see patterns, but this often gets pushed to the back-burner as we meet other people's needs.

I agree. We might spend a lot of time inside our heads, but INFJs have a natural curiosity about their environments. Spending time outside our heads is good for us. I love to go for walks, visit museums and parks, and indulge the part of me that craves energy from the natural world. There's one memory I have from my teen years, when I was driving down a country rode at dusk. Green pasture spread out on either side, lit up with hundreds of fireflies. I stopped the car, got out, and watched. The sense of awe I felt was incredible. Nothing but me, the earth, and a thousand blinking lights under the evening sky. Thoughts and ideas and feelings rolled over me like waves. Moments like that--moments of complete peace and freedom that I stumble onto by accident--are absolutely precious.

Being deprived of this freedom is stifling. I can relate. Caring for my special-needs son kept me at home for years. He didn't like being outside or traveling. We tried camping once--he couldn't handle the campfire smoke and spent every night throwing up. Years later, we tried a log-cabin vacation with hiking and exploring--the smells were too much, so more throwing up. He was happiest at home and at school, and that's the life we gave him. As an INFJ, I paid a price for that, so I can say from personal experience that having this need go unmet is really hard for us.

#2 - Permission to Self-Define 

This has to do with falling into something the site calls "life templates" -- you know, those cookie-cutter lifestyles that everyone around you is pursuing and seems happy with? Intuitives can get stuck in one of these and end up trapped.

Again, I agree. In fact, I strongly agree. Life templates vary from culture to culture, but they're strong and hard to break away from. I remember feeling pressured to conform. After all, everyone else seemed happy doing what society expected of them. I should too, right? Um...wrong. The way I wanted to live my life strayed outside the boundaries of the culture I grew up in, and I spent many years thinking something was wrong with me. The truth? I needed something different. My desire was for a lifestyle that would allow me to be creative and free, and very few people understood that. Even fewer would have accepted it.

This isn't to say that I haven't been able to glean happiness from my past choices. I just wish I'd been brave enough to live life on my own terms.

#3 Intuitive Connection, Conversation, & Community

According to Personality Hacker, "most intuitives have one-sided relationships." I recently read the same thing (almost word for word) in an e-mail from an INFJ. In relationships, we naturally cater to Sensors and can end up giving more than we're getting.

This one hits close to home. Because I've been so isolated, my social circle is pretty small, and most of the people in it are Sensors. I crave connection and deep conversation with another intuitive. E-mail conversations help some, but I'd really like someone I can have a cup of coffee with now and then. My hubby and I just became empty-nesters, and you can bet I'll soon be seeking out other intuitives to connect with.

#4 Making An Impact & Influencing Your World

Intuitives are big thinkers and idealists. We want to help people and change as much of our world as possible. Not being able to do this makes us feel...well, bad.

Sound cliche? It's not. Our desire to make an impact is deep and instinctual, and often drives us into careers like counseling, teaching, health care, and religious/social work. Our intuition and feeling functions give us a natural talent for this kind of work. It's easy to see how denying ourselves the opportunity to positively impact our world could put a strain on our emotional health.

Helping others is one of the reasons I started blogging. Being a stay-at-home mom, I needed a creative way to reach people, and a blog was the perfect solution. Writing--both as a blogger and a YA author--has changed my life in amazing ways. Each time someone comments or messages me with thanks, I feel blessed. It's beautiful that fulfilling this need works both ways. :)

#5 Mentors & Action Plan

Personality Hacker says it best: "Your life is epic. You need mentors who will help support and guide you through your Intuitive journey."

If I could go back and change one thing in my life, it would be to add a mentor. Someone who knew my intuitive instincts and taught me how to use them. Someone who challenged me and oversaw my growth. Led me on adventures. Helped me understand myself, break out of molds, and follow my dreams. I can't imagine the person I'd be today if I'd had someone like that.

The good thing about mentors, though, is that it's never too late to benefit from them. Or to become one! I'm constantly on the lookout for mine. At this stage in my life, it's probably going to be Gandalf, lol, but that's fine. Wizards are like wine and get better with age. :)




Whew, this was a long post. Thanks for hanging in, and I hope you'll take the opportunity to check out Personality Hacker for yourself!

Until next time,
M.

Image Credit: Snoozy Pups (by me), Genius Style, Gandalf the Wise


10 comments

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Anonymous
AUTHOR
February 14, 2016 at 8:50 AM delete

What a great article! It speaks to many of the things I am experiencing right now.
I'm intrigued by your comment about "energy from the natural world".I remember when spending time near a window with a view of several flowering azalea bushes helped heal me during a difficult time in my life. I need to put "breakfast on the patio" back on my weekend list as the weather gets warmer.
I've spent 20 years living in a "life template" counter to my nature and even though the experience has had many benefits, the cost has been heavy. I wish the INFJ career suggestions would elaborate when it comes to naming "teaching" as a good choice. My experience in the public school system has completely burned me out. The details are all consuming and my views of the "big picture" are mostly ignored or criticized. Yet, the knowledge I've gained from the experience has made me an excellent tutor. If I didn't have this one-on-one opportunity to teach, I would believe that I had wasted a huge chunk of my life. I plan on tutoring after retirement and have considered including English as a second language for adults as well as my work with children.
I agree that connecting with other intuitives is beneficial, but where are they and how do I find them??? (aside from online)
Making an impact and being a positive influence is a constant craving. As time passes I realize I am gifted with being able to speak just the right words of encouragement or even a casual comment that can have a positive impact. Without any forethought at all, the words tumble out and I see a bright smile appear on a harried teacher's face, a parent being assured that their child's needs are being met, a visitor on campus being made to feel welcome, or a child standing up straighter with confidence. That last one amazes me the most. I start by taking a child aside to lecture them about misbehavior and I end up talking about their gifts and how we can work together to make things better. It's completely instinctive. So why is it in other situations I can't put two words together without stuttering??
I've realized that the lower my stress is, the easier it is to see the needs of those around me. There's no telling who I'll be after I have retired in a year.
IF ONLY I had been fortunate enough to have a mentor! I was always looking, but no one could really understand what I needed, including me. I'd love to be a mentor even though I can't visualize it. I'm counting on God to work out the details.
I'm praying for guidance for life in retirement and your article has given me much food for thought. I've been on the "Hacker" website, it is a great resource.
It's taken me about an hour to compose this post, but the process was so affirming. Thank you for your insights.

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Christy Haupt
AUTHOR
February 14, 2016 at 12:53 PM delete

Wish I'd learned my personality type years ago! But then the internet was not developed yet which is fertile ground on an INFJ's level. We can explore and challenge ourselves to the brink with it! and find others like us which we could not about 10 years ago. More and more INFJ sites are opening up as Mentors and I ask people to find out their MBtype as often as appropriate to uncover more of US. Then, I become a mentor for a little while only because, gosh, we grow up fast! Right!? The more of us we can find, can you just imagine what a change could take place in the world??!!

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Anonymous
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February 14, 2016 at 7:36 PM delete

This is a great post. I wrote a comment but it seems to have disappeared. I could identify with each of your points.

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Meridian
AUTHOR
February 15, 2016 at 6:39 AM delete

Hi! So glad you found the article helpful. I never know, when I sit down to write a post, if it's going to resonate with anyone. You asked about finding other INFJs. I think it's hard...in fact, I've met very few of them in real life. My husband and I hope to move closer to his work this year, and after that, my plan is just to put myself out in the world. Finding a church, getting involved in hobbies, etc. Hopefully I'll be drawn to other intuitives (we should be able to sense each other, lol). Maybe that's when Gandalf will appear and invite me to go There and Back again. :)

Thanks for the comment and have a great day!

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Meridian
AUTHOR
February 15, 2016 at 6:59 AM delete

Yes, I wish we could find more of us, too! If we rallied together, we could definitely make great changes in the world. :)

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Christy Haupt
AUTHOR
February 15, 2016 at 8:47 AM delete

Oh my! How your comment here echoed my thoughts! Especially the kids and the headed toward retirement parts! I appreciate any INFJ writing and sharing from their inner most because it's so hard to push that"send" button. I'm racked with what I understand now is an INFJ trait "why did I say that? Not good enough. Could be misconstrued, etc." I wind up, more often than not, hitting the erase button and not putting myself out there. Thank you for "sending" it, both of you. Who was/is Gandalf's mentor?

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Marissa Baker
AUTHOR
February 15, 2016 at 10:36 AM delete

I love Personality Hacker! I always send people to their test if they're wondering about their MBTI type. Have you joined the Intuitive Awakening Facebook group yet? It's a pretty good mix of people and there's often a lively and interesting discussion going on several topics.

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Christy Haupt
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February 15, 2016 at 2:38 PM delete

It's the one with the Personality Hacked logo in the right hand corner, right? Thank you!

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Unknown
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June 9, 2017 at 10:35 PM delete

Hi! This is a lovely post - so lovely that I'd like to Pin it and save it for later, but Pinterest keeps telling me the image is too small. Anyway, I found it very relatable, and it even reminded me of some of my needs and preferences that I had forgotten, since I've gotten so used to living without them. Thank you!

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