Over the years, I’ve heard people say they are INFJ or ESTJ and I didn’t know what they were talking about at all. I finally looked it up but dismissed it as psychobabble horse-shit and didn’t give it another thought.
All these years I ignored it as yuppie propaganda without ever figuring out what it was.
About 5 years ago, it came up again and I finally took the test. I never saved the results and completely forgot what type I was. It didn’t matter in the scheme of my life so I filed it under “G” (garbage) and moved on.
“The purpose of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality inventory is to make the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people’s lives. The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment.” — The Meyers-Briggs Foundation
It turns out there are 16 types. I went to 16personalities.com and took the test. It took about 10–15 minutes, and when completed, I had this:
They emailed me a page full of results that described my personality, and I have to say I was shocked at how close to the truth it was.
MEDIATOR PERSONALITY (INFP, -A/-T)
“Mediator personalities are true idealists, always looking for the hint of good in even the worst of people and events, searching for ways to make things better. While they may be perceived as calm, reserved, or even shy, Mediators have an inner flame and passion that can truly shine. Comprising just 4% of the population, the risk of feeling misunderstood is unfortunately high for the Mediator personality type — but when they find like-minded people to spend their time with, the harmony they feel will be a fountain of joy and inspiration.
Being a part of the Diplomat Role group, Mediators are guided by their principles, rather than by logic (Analysts), excitement (Explorers), or practicality (Sentinels). When deciding how to move forward, they will look to honor, beauty, morality and virtue — Mediators are led by the purity of their intent, not rewards and punishments. People who share the Mediator personality type are proud of this quality, and rightly so, but not everyone understands the drive behind these feelings, and it can lead to isolation.” — 16personalities.com
This sounded like me, but it got very spooky as it went on:
“At their best, these qualities enable Mediators to communicate deeply with others, easily speaking in metaphors and parables, and understanding and creating symbols to share their ideas. Fantasy worlds in particular fascinate Mediators, more than any other personality type. The strength of their visionary communication style lends itself well to creative works, and it comes as no surprise that many famous Mediators are poets, writers and actors. Understanding themselves and their place in the world is important to Mediators, and they explore these ideas by projecting themselves into their work.” — 16personalities.com
Weird right? So they figured me out because I answered a few questions? How does that happen? It gets better:
“Unlike their Extraverted cousins though, Mediators will focus their attention on just a few people, a single worthy cause — spread too thinly, they’ll run out of energy, and even become dejected and overwhelmed by all the bad in the world that they can’t fix. This is a sad sight for Mediators’ friends, who will come to depend on their rosy outlook.
If they are not careful, Mediators can lose themselves in their quest for good and neglect the day-to-day upkeep that life demands. Mediators often drift into deep thought, enjoying contemplating the hypothetical and the philosophical more than any other personality type. Left unchecked, Mediators may start to lose touch, withdrawing into “hermit mode”, and it can take a great deal of energy from their friends or partner to bring them back to the real world.
Luckily, like the flowers in spring, Mediator’s affection, creativity, altruism and idealism will always come back, rewarding them and those they love perhaps not with logic and utility, but with a world view that inspires compassion, kindness and beauty wherever they go.” — 16personalities.com
Have they been spying on me? How do they know so much?
After being shocked, I realized that a whole lot of writers and creators were of the INFP type. Are that many people like me? Have I been mistaken, and all this time I wasn’t alone in feeling some of the things I feel?
I noticed how some of the types in my writing group complement each other. It Jun’s post, there was an abnormal amount of INFJs and INFPs, which is supposed to be one of the rare types. It accounts for the varying topics explored in writing on Medium.
Some are analytical. Some are planners. Some are extraverted. It’s wonderful that a group of people from so many backgrounds and cultures can mesh so well.
It makes me sure that I am in the right place at the right time of my life!
I am a bit sad that I didn’t pay more attention to these types earlier. It explains a lot about myself and how I relate to other people.
I need to stop dismissing things as bullshit before I find out what something is and how it relates to me.
We live. We learn.