I really like personality tests. Well, I really like any tests that have the potential to tell us more about ourselves. I love talking to my Psychology major friends about this sort of stuff. In another life, if I was more science-oriented, maybe that would have been the major for me. Of course, there are a lot of almost-majors in my mind, but at the end of the day, Religious Studies is the only one that (a) consistently holds my interest and (b) has no deal-breaker like some of the others. That's because it's where my passion is.
You see--watch now as I attempt to transition smoothly from awkward introductory paragraph that got slightly distracted to the real point of this post--as an INFJ, I'm passionate about things, and these passions don't simply go away. There are many ways in which I am the textbook I(ntroverted i)N(tuitive) F(eeling) J(udging) person. Last night, one of my aforementioned Psych friends sent me a link for a Tumblr blog on being an INFJ, and I related very much, so I looked for more. These are my findings:
1. According to many of these submission-based blogs, INFJs are actually polite versions of Sherlock. That is, we are very insightful and read people well, but we don't feel the need to tell them that we know. I guess this applies to me. I wanted to include this point because I thought it was interesting, but in all honesty I'm often too caught up in my own thoughts to be deducing about others around me. However, in one-to-one conversations I generally do have a good sense for what someone is feeling.
2. Many of these also refer to our stubbornness. Of course, we're only stubborn because we're usually right. That's the i(N)tuition talking. I certainly am stubborn, so I'm just going to leave this one here.
3. In my case, at least, I'm most heavily an Intuitive Introvert, meaning the IN is the strongest part of my INFJ as a whole. (F follows very closely.) This means that I am given to thinking. I get lost in my own thoughts. I enjoy deep and meaningful conversations with people. I don't like small talk, and being around a large group of people for extended periods of time is draining. I've also heard that some scholars say that the prophets were most likely Intuitive Introverts, because that personality pairing is the most given to spirituality and connection with God. Obviously Jeremiah and Moses and Isaiah never took personality tests, but I just think that's really cool.
4. Like I said the other day, I feel things very deeply. That's definitely an INFJ thing. We yearn to understand and connect to people. We feel what they feel, and what we feel just gets magnified even more. It's a blessing and a curse, but it's mostly a blessing. It's why I tend to be an optimist. Even when things are bad, even when my anxiety is crushing, I know that the world is a beautiful place, because I've felt it. Our feelings never leave, either. They stay with us. So I can never forget the wonder I've felt, not completely.
5. Finally, finally, there are so many references to getting deeply interested in books and movies and the characters. They move us. They change our world view. We connect with these characters on a very deep level, because above all else (at least in my case), we crave knowing what it's like to actually be someone else. I love when friends open up to me, when they're really letting me into their heads, because that's so incredibly special.* Outside of those rare little occurrences, the closest we can ever get to knowing what it's like to be another person is through books and movies. It's all laid out for us. So, uh, if you wonder why I love The Lord of the Rings so much. Those are some of the most amazing characters in literature.
There's some insight into my head. Peace be with you.
*This is one of the things I'm so looking forward to as a pastor. People will share their deepest fears and angers and hopes and dreams with me. I'll be let into the most private moments of their lives. It will be such a privilege. It will help me understand them more. Hopefully it will help me understand God more. I look forward to those parts of my ministry.