Tuesday, April 21, 2009

E... I... S... N... T... F... J... P... Who Am I...?

For ages, those who are close to me have commented that I seem to live in a world of my own, that I am different from the rest...that at times, it is as if I were almost...isolated...or, moreover...severed...from this world.

Through the years, I have come to realise that, most of the time, my values and opinions tend to be diversed...as in,varying...from the views of the general majority.

For all my life, I have striven hard to try and understand this world, sometimes so overwhelmed by it all that I wish I could just vanish into thin air, or that the Heavenly Father would just call me home then and there...

I love the world and its people (I truly mean it). Yet...I just feel so out of place sometimes - there are times that I find it difficult to merge into a group and mingle with the others - because during times like that, I will happen to be the odd-one-out: the one who is "different from the rest", the one who is "unique"...whether in thoughts, words or deeds; it makes me feel awkward...I feel like...an alien...Sometimes...the intense feeling of my being an exile in a foreign land can barely be ignored...

Surfing rather absent-mindedly over the web earlier today, I stumbled upon a questionnaire called Myers-Briggs personality test. The prologue to the test captured my attention, which read:

"We all see and act with the world around us in different patterns. This quiz will help you understand your inner self: why you behave or make decisions in certain ways. Whether you're doing research on career paths that match your natural inclinations, trying to understand your relationship with a differently-brained lover, friends, co-workers or family, or just trying to make sense of the world..."

Intrigued by the paragraph, I took the test, resulting in as below:

Myers-Briggs personality test results:

Your personality type is INFP!

Introverted (I) 64% Extraverted (E) 36%

Intuitive (N) 73% Sensing (S) 27%

Feeling (F) 80% Thinking (T) 20%

Perceiving (P) 59% Judging (J) 41%


This is about the Myers-Briggs personality type.

INFP (Introversion, iNtuition, Feeling, Perception) is an abbreviation used in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) publications to refer to one of the sixteen personality types. The MBTI was developed from the work of prominent psychiatrist Carl G. Jung in his book Psychological Types, which proposed a psychological typology based on his theories of cognitive functions. These theories were based on clinical observation, however, rather than the controlled studies required for acceptance by the modern field of cognitive psychology.

From Jung's work others developed psychological typologies. Well-known personality tests are the MBTI assessment, developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs, and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, developed by David Keirsey. Keirsey referred to the INFPs as Healers, one of the four types belonging to the temperament he called the Idealists.

The MBTI instrument

The MBTI preferences indicate the differences in people based on the following:

How they focus their attention or get their energy (Extraversion or Introversion)
How they perceive or take in information (Sensing or iNtuition)
How they prefer to make decisions (
Thinking or Feeling)
How they orient themselves to the external world (
Judgment or Perception)

By using their preference in each of these areas, people develop what Jung and Myers called psychological type. This underlying personality pattern results from the dynamic interaction of their four preferences, in conjunction with environmental influences and their own individual tendencies. People are likely to develop behaviors, skills, and attitudes based on their particular type. Each personality type has its own potential strengths as well as areas that offer opportunities for growth.

The MBTI tool consists of multiple choice questions that sort respondents on the basis of the four "dichotomies" (pairs of psychological opposites). Sixteen different outcomes are possible, each identified by its own four-letter code, referred to by initial letters. (N is used for iNtuition, to differentiate it from Introversion). The MBTI is approximately 75% accurate according to its own manual.

I – Introversion preferred to Extraversion: INFPs tend to be quiet and reserved. They generally prefer interacting with a few close friends rather than a wide circle of acquaintances, and they expend energy in social situations (whereas extraverts gain energy).

N – iNtuition preferred to Sensing: INFPs tend to be more abstract than concrete. They focus their attention on the big picture rather than the details, and on future possibilities rather than immediate realities.

F – Feeling preferred to Thinking: INFPs tend to rely on a personal, internal sense of right and wrong rather than external, objective criteria. When making decisions, they often give more weight to feelings and social considerations than to logic.

P – Perception preferred to Judgment: INFPs tend to withhold judgment and delay important decisions, preferring to "keep their options open" should circumstances change.

Characteristics of INFPs

Myers-Briggs description

According to Myers-Briggs, INFPs focus much of their energy on an inner world dominated by intense feeling and deeply held ethics. They seek an external life that is in keeping with these values. Loyal to the people and causes important to them, INFPs can quickly spot opportunities to implement their ideals. They are curious to understand those around them, and so are accepting and flexible except when their values are threatened.

Keirsey description

According to Keirsey, the tranquil and reserved exterior of the INFP masks a passionate inner life. Healers care deeply about causes that interest them and they often pursue those causes with selfless devotion.

Occurring in only about one percent of the population, Healers can easily feel isolated. They value harmony and integrity in human relationships, seeking unity of mind, body, and spirit but often find these values to be out of step with the more concrete pursuits of the rest of the world. Feeling "different," they may wonder whether something is wrong with them. But those differences—an ethical nature, a devotion to ideals, a commitment to harmonious interaction—are in fact some of their greatest strengths.

Other descriptions

The polite, reserved exterior of INFPs can at first make them difficult to get to know. They enjoy conversation, however, taking particular delight in the unusual. When INFPs are in a sociable mood, their humor and charm shine through. Disposed to like people and to avoid conflict, INFPs tend to make pleasant company.

Devoted to those in their inner circle, INFPs guard the emotional well-being of others, consoling those in distress. Guided by their desire for harmony, INFPs prefer to be flexible unless their ethics are violated. Then, they become passionate advocates for their beliefs. They are often able to sway the opinions of others through tact, diplomacy, and an ability to see varying sides of an issue.

INFPs develop these insights through reflection, and they require substantial time alone to ponder and process new information. While they can be quite patient with complex material, they are generally bored by routine. Though not always organized, INFPs are meticulous about things they value. Perfectionists, they may have trouble completing a task because it cannot meet their high standards. They may even go back to a completed project after the deadline so they can improve it.

INFPs are creative types and often have a gift for language. As introverts, they may prefer to express themselves through writing. Their dominant Feeling drives their desire to communicate, while their auxiliary intuition supplies the imagination. Having a talent for symbolism, they enjoy metaphors and similes. They continually seek new ideas and adapt well to change. They prefer working in an environment that values these gifts and allows them to make a positive difference in the world, according to their personal beliefs.

Cognitive functions

Drawing upon Jungian theory, Isabel Myers proposed that for each personality type, the cognitive functions—sensing, intuition, thinking, and feeling—form a hierarchy. This hierarchy represents the person's "default" pattern of behavior.

The Dominant function is the personality type's preferred role, the one they feel most comfortable with. The secondary Auxiliary function serves to support and expand on the Dominant function. If the Dominant is an information gathering function (sensing or intuition), the Auxiliary is a decision making function (thinking or feeling), and vice versa. The Tertiary function is less developed than the Dominant and Auxiliary, but it matures over time, rounding out the person's abilities. The Inferior function is the personality type's Achilles' heel. This is the function they are least comfortable with. Like the Tertiary, the Inferior function strengthens with maturity.

Dominant Introverted Feeling (Fi): INFPs live primarily in a rich inner world of emotion.

Auxiliary Extraverted Intuition (Ne): INFPs engage the outside world primarily with intuition, adept at seeing the big picture, sensing patterns and the flow of existence from the past toward the future.

Tertiary Introverted Sensing (Si): This function gives INFPs a natural inclination toward absent-mindedness and makes them more easily distracted.

Inferior Extraverted Thinking (Te): This function helps INFPs focus on external details but, being the inferior function, requires the expenditure of greater energy and is not as reliable.

Later personality researchers (notably Linda V. Berens) added four additional functions to the descending hierarchy, the so-called "shadow" functions to which the individual is not naturally inclined but which can emerge when the person is under stress. For INFP these shadow functions are (in order):

Extraverted Feeling (Fe)
Introverted Intuition (Ni)
Extraverted Sensing (Se)
Introverted Thinking (Ti)

I find the resulting description to be rather accurate, and at some points, for the accuracy to be rather frightening, to an extent. However, now that I have managed to discover more about myself and why I behave in certain ways, I resolve to be diligent in improving myself within those areas where I am weak... - particularly, I have to try to reach out and beyond my own world to get to know, to understand others...to know, and to understand the world, to break forth from my comfort zone... - the only reasons being because, God loves the world...and because, I am still living in this world, amongst its people.........because, there is one out there...the one and only in this world whom I have ever loved and whom I have given my heart to, and, despite all things, who remains where my heart lies still...aye...always have been, and forever will be...

If you would like to try out the test, here is the link to it - http://www.kisa.ca/personality/ . All the best in embarking on a journey of self-discovery and beyond...

My result says that I am a healer...yet the One and Only who could really, truly heal all thoroughly is YHWH Rapha, our Greatest Healer...

Hallelujah and God bless...

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