February 19, 2014
Introversion Series: Johnny Depp and Me - INFP
If you squint just so, you can see the resemblance, right?
Ah, I'm just having fun with ya! Johnny and I don't really look too much alike. Maybe in the eyes, both brown. But his hair is longer, and his earrings, much cooler.
We do have something in common, however; something that only 4.5 percent of the population can claim. We are both INFP's.
In Myers-Briggs speak, that means: Introvert (vs. Extrovert), Intuition (vs. Sensing), Feeling (vs. Thinking), and Perceiving (vs. Judging). To find out more about what these mean, visit here.
I took the Myers-Briggs personality type test quite a few years ago now, and I came out INFP then. So it was a surprise to me when my recent retake of another form of the test landed me in the same place. I figured that with 16 different types, there would have been some error along the way, but it looks like I'm fairly entrenched in this category.
So what does this mean? A summation of the INFP types says that Johnny and I are idealistic and loyal to our values and the people we care about, and that we seek to match our external selves with the internal.
True. Case in point: My faith is important to me, but just as important is living out these internal beliefs. It's not enough to have the belief. I want to put it into real-life action. The more I do this, the more peace I feel.
INFPs are also known to be curious and quick to see possibilities, and often catalysts for implementing ideas.
True. Case in point: The catalyst is a natural role for me. I've often called myself a cheerleader. I don't like to be the captain, but being an essential part of the team, and one with ideas that can be carried out, greatly fulfills me.
According to the summary, INFPs want to understand people and we enjoy helping others fulfill their potential.
True. Case in point: I love nurturing people, being a mentor to those in areas in which I might have something to offer, like parenting, writing and faith.
We're also adaptable and accepting -- unless a value is threatened.
True. Case in point: Because of my firm faith beliefs, I'll bet some who know me might question this first part. Adaptable? Accepting? Yes, very, I'd say. But don't threaten my values. I've thought long and hard about them and believe in them so much that I'm not likely to budge so much on those points. When it comes to individuals, however, I can be easily moved.
Some might argue any test taker is bound to resonate in some way with some elements of every category. However, as I read the category of one of my son's, I couldn't identify at all. He was an "I" too, but came out as SFJ -- completely opposite from me. Another son had the NFP, but came out as an "E" -- I'd say the only true extrovert in our family of seven. The categories are distinct, and interesting to consider.
Another site noted that INFPS have a gift for creating and interpreting symbols; for this reason, we find it natural to write and enjoy poetry, and are drawn to hypothetical or philosophical discussions more than any other type.
We are also prone to withdrawing from the world and getting lost in our deep thoughts. And herein lies the reason for this reflection on my writing-oriented blog:
"INFPs also often become great writers and actors, as they can easily reflect and convey their own personalities using the fictional characters. Generally speaking, people with this personality type are extremely creative, innovative and goal-oriented – they can be great advocates for causes they truly believe in."
Did you hear that fellow INFPs? We've found our place!
Taking a test like this generally doesn't change anything. Who I am, I've been for a fairly long time. But it is affirming, especially when I read that I haven't missed my ship -- that the place where I dwell is the place where, it appears, I was meant to be.
This isn't surprising. I feel alive when I write, and that tells me something about the synchronicity of my life. Not that I'm great - I'm not - but that I've found the thing that melds most with what I'm about. Hooray!
And I guess if no one else understands me -- INFPs tend to feel isolated because there are so few of us -- at least I can count on Johnny Depp to lend an empathetic ear.
If you're into these kinds of tests, there's a super-short form you can take if your life is particularly busy, though it is less accurate than the longer form, apparently. This is the one my boys took to determine their type. They were directly opposite from one another in every category, and I'm not surprised.
Q4U: Have you taken a personality test? Were there any surprises or any profound affirmations?