I Really Don’t Care If You’re An INFJ (And You Shouldn’t Either)

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When I was younger, I took the Myers-Briggs personality test after a friend recommend it to me.

My result? INFJ.

Naturally, I looked into it. Turns out that being an INFJ is rare.

Did I feel special? You bet.

I ended up joining an “INFJ Community” on Facebook, and that was when I realised how ridiculous the whole personality type thing is.

As an INFJ, do you ever find it hard to answer the phone? I hardly ever answer my calls because I’m too scared to pick up.

This was the first post I saw. Nothing wrong with it — it’s obviously harder for introverts to answer the phone. But it was the next post I saw that made me laugh.

Given that we make up about 3% of the world, do you ever feel like you’re out of place? Like… like you’re better than everyone else?

Wait a second.

Really?

So as it turns out, this whole INFJ Community is a massive circle-jerk. Everyone was either complaining or talking into an echo chamber about how awesome they are.

But the real problem with these personality types is that people align themselves to them.

If you take a test and learn that you’re introverted, you’re inclined to act in accordance with how an introvert would. If it turns out that you’re a “natural leader” — you’re going to think of yourself as a leader, even if you aren’t.

And personality isn’t that simple. If I didn’t have the experience I did, and simply came to terms with the fact I was an introvert, I’d have shot myself in the foot. Personality is malleable, and introversion and extraversion is, in my opinion, a spectrum and should be treated as such.

I’m not saying the test is bad, but you can’t let it define you. These things are made to make you feel good about yourself.

Not everyone is a natural leader, or a highly intelligent introspective person.

Just because you’re an INFJ, it doesn’t mean you’re the next Elon Musk.

P.S. Last time I took the test (over a year ago) I got ENFP, which means that these tests are either inaccurate, I answered dishonestly, or personality changes. TC mark

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  • http://kaineandrews.wordpress.com Kaine Andrews

    Supposedly I’m flagged as an INFJ as well, though I only took the test because individuals I know were going into fits about their results and were nagging me about it. I tend to view the whole thing as yet another cesspool of self-aggrandizing Balkanization designed to make people feel better about themselves, have handy, trendy labels they can stick in front of their actually useful descriptors (and use them as shields when necessary.) Acting in accordance with a label – self-applied or otherwise – does seem like a dangerous route to stagnation in my eyes.

    I think it’d really be interesting if personality tests, intelligence tests, the concept of personality disorders, sexuality and gender related labels and racial epithets just suddenly vanished one day, and everyone had to deal with everyone else on the matter of actual action rather than whatever labels those individuals had been saddled with… Unfortunately, that day will probably never come.

    Lastly, about the different results; I’d have to go back and double check, which is more work than I’m willing to do right now, given how little I care what alphabet soup designation supposedly sums up my personality, but from what I recall, some of the wording on the initial quiz would have resulted in different answers – and thus potentially a different outcome – given how I was feeling at the time. Now, whether that’s because I’m a high-functioning depressive with a strong likelihood of being bipolar (curse you, labels!) or just natural to humanity I couldn’t say, but I wouldn’t call my answers any less “honest” at any given time. So I’d side more with it being a flawed test, or humans being a little more complex than can be summed up with four measly letters. But that’s just my opinion.

  • http://lencrenoirspeaks.wordpress.com jessasuganob

    Damn right! It’s ridiculous how people perceive these MBTI personalities as some sort of superpower. And also, everyone CHANGES. Our MBTI personalities only describe who we are at a certain point in time. We should not allow it to dictate what we can or cannot do. We’re never obligated to stay to our old selves.

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