I’m an INFJ, which is thought to be the rarest of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types. Here are some far-too-honest facts about me that I think other INFJs will relate to — at least on some level.
(What’s your personality type? Take a free personality assessment.)
I love my friends and family. I really do. Without them, my life would lack the meaning I so desperately crave. But if I’m being honest, most of the time, I just want to be left alone. Left alone to read, write, watch my favorite shows, or just sit and stare vacantly while my mind wanders. When it comes to “people” time, I want quality, not quantity.
At one point in my childhood, even my dad started to wonder. He gave me a test using playing cards; I was supposed to guess which card he was holding (I didn’t do spectacularly). Even as an adult, I occasionally still get strong, unexplainable feelings out of nowhere that some future event is going to happen. But I don’t think I’m actually psychic. As an INFJ, I think I’m just really good at noticing little things about other people (things they might not even consciously be aware of themselves) and recognizing patterns. I’m not always right, but I’m accurate enough for it to be eerie.
I notice way too much about other people, like a look in their eyes or the way they take just a beat longer than expected to respond. I’m not always 100 percent accurate in my interpretations of their behavior, but at the very least, I’m hyper-aware of what the people around me are doing. I don’t understand how some people can’t read other people well. To me, reading people is as easy as reading a book. Sometimes I get frustrated when the people closest to me seem oblivious to me, when I’ve been so attentive to them.
But when I do, it’s magical. I’ve had movie-like moments where time slowed down and everything in my life seemed to lead up to this.
It’s embarrassing. But when #4 happens, I find myself imagining a life with this other person, even if I don’t know their last name.
INFJs are perfectionists. As a result, my life is a continual self-improvement project. I’m never satisfied or stagnant. As soon as I reach a new level, I’m already thinking about the next one. The upside is, over the years, I’ve changed my life dramatically for the better. But my constant need for improvement can be exhausting. Sometimes I wish I could be content with the status quo. It would be easier.
Sometimes I have no idea where I begin and other people end. Other people’s feelings easily rub off on me, and suddenly I’m renting a house that I don’t actually like, all because my roommate got so excited about it that I temporarily got excited, too.
Even the people closest to me, like my partner and my best friend, don’t know the extent of the chaos within me. I often just don’t have the words to explain, or it feels like too much work to try.
But I’m getting better. I’m learning to push back, say no, and see my needs as valid, too.
Bosses will tell me five good things about my work and one bad thing. The one bad thing sticks with me, and I find myself thinking about it five years later as I’m falling asleep.
Yesterday, I went through a Starbucks drive-thru. I was thinking about a novel I’d like to write. Suddenly, I was at the pick-up window, in a long line of cars, and I hadn’t ordered a thing. I missed the ordering window because I was daydreaming. Happens all the time.
And that scares me.
My mind goes to strange places quickly. Sometimes it goes to dark places. One minute, I’m waiting at a stoplight thinking about how much of my life has been wasted waiting at stoplights. The next minute, I’m thinking about how our human lives are so short, and how eventually I, along with everyone I know, will become a speck of dust, and everything I’ve ever done — like waiting at this stoplight — will no longer matter.
I love beautiful things. Beautiful surroundings, beautiful artwork, beautiful clothes. I tell myself not to be so materialistic and that these things shouldn’t matter, but I can’t help but want to possess them. Beauty does wonders for my soul.
It eats me up inside.
My yoga class was canceled this morning because of a snow storm, and I’m still not over it.
It’s so easy to do when you’re hyper-aware of other people and easily see what they need.
When I was a child, I kept a journal where, among other things, I recorded and analyzed what the people in my life were doing — the neighbor boy, my friends, my crush. But as a quiet, shy person, I often felt like I was on the outside of it all, never truly breaking into their world.
I know, this is something cheesy you would write in a middle-school essay. But as an INFJ, my urge to help other people and make the world a better place is strong. I see everything connected to everything else. I feel at my best and most purposeful when I’m being of service to others.