I started reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts In a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain recently and because of that book, I decided to take (or retake) the Myers-Briggs personality type. I used 16 Personalities because I like the question style and the amount of information they provide about each type. I also like that they give a name to each type.
My type is INFJ: Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging.
I found that I disagreed with a lot of what 16 Personalities had to say about INFJers, and I didn’t much like the name “Advocate.” The definition for this word is “a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy.” 16 Personalities summarizes the personality type in this way:
Advocates have an inborn sense of idealism and morality, but what sets them apart is that they are not idle dreamers, but people capable of taking concrete steps to realize their goals and make a lasting positive impact.
That doesn’t sound like me. Yeah, I care about a lot of things, my religion being the most important and the foundation for all other beliefs, but I don’t necessarily take concrete steps to “make a lasting positive impact.” I’m not out picketing or writing letters to my senator. I don’t participate in rallies. I guess I am publicly a Christian, and I recommend this, so maybe that counts? Does that mean I’m a lazy or no-good INFJer?
I did find a few points that I agreed with:
They are decisive and strong-willed, but will rarely use that energy for personal gain …
It makes sense that their friends and colleagues will come to think of them as quiet Extroverted types, but they would all do well to remember that Advocates need time alone to decompress and recharge, and to not become too alarmed when they suddenly withdraw.
There were some other points too, but for the most part, I didn’t like that description, so I looked at Personality Page’s “Portrait of an INFJ” to see how they described this personality. This sounded a bit more like me:
They know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. … Consequently, INFJs put a tremendous amount of faith into their instincts and intuitions. This is something of a conflict between the inner and outer worlds, and may result in the INFJ not being as organized as other Judging types tend to be.
Most INFJs are protective of their inner selves, sharing only what they choose to share when they choose to share it. They are deep, complex individuals, who are quite private and typically difficult to understand. INFJs hold back part of themselves, and can be secretive.
I would share the whole page, if I could! But I better not, so I’ll just tell you to read that page if you want more.
I’m just writing this to give you all a better idea of my person, and encourage you to take a test! I find personality types so fascinating, and it’s fun to guess and then learn the truth about your close friends and families and their personality types. Even if not all of it is true about you, there are a lot of gems hidden in the plethora of information about personality types. I learned quite a bit about myself, and it’ll help me as I go forward in life to know how my personality is working for or against me.
Image taken from VitaMonk “Type A vs Type B Personality-Which are you and what does that mean?”