I’m an INFP on the Meyers-Briggs type indicator, and there’s only 1% of us in the universe with that personality type.
(I just heard all the ISTJ’s of the world breathe a collective sigh of relief at the low probability of running into one of us).
I’m not really sure how we INFP’s get along in the world, what with our inability to stay on task and all. Bryan calls it my LOOK! A SHINY BALL! syndrome because I get so easily distracted. I think he’s spent the better part of our marriage with his head in his hands, or perhaps pulling his hair out or sticking a fork in his eye – he just doesn’t get me.
But I mean that in a good way.
We are pretty much opposites of each other, which as we all know is what we found attractive about each other. He loved my passion and flare for drama, I loved that he had a plan and knew where he was going. But as a wise married sage once told me, that thing you love most about your spouse will be the thing to drive you crazy in the long run.
Boy howdy, was she right.
But I mean that in a good way.
Bryan and I somehow make it work. Somehow we still Get Things Done together despite our…how shall I say?… drastically different approaches to Getting Things Done. Awhile back did some research on INFP’s, and I have to say we are quite entertaining on paper:
INFPs are quite disorganized. But when tasks at hand are important and best done in an organized way, INFPs strive to do so. Practicality is not a driving force for INFPs. Things that traditionally belong together may not be placed together because the INFP does not see it as necessary. They have trouble finishing what they start…. When they do finish a project, they may not consider it done ‘for good.’ …. Because they are able to visualize the finished product long before it is done, the actual completion is of less importance.
(INFP – The Dreamer)
This might explain why I still haven’t finished painting our bedroom. It might explain all the really cool (unfinished) craft projects on the shelf in our basement. It might explain the piles of important paperwork I leave lying around in random places in the house.
For example the “Perceivers” of the world are habitually late, have a strong tendency to “procrastinate”, and will be less attracted to the tried and true time management techniques recommended by the experts for all of us to use. Consequently if a “Perceiver” is working for a organization or a boss who values promptness, neatness, timely and structured decision making, more traditional methods of time management let us say, the “Perceiver” will have to work a bit harder.
(Personality Power for Everyday Living)
I particularly love the phrase, tried and true time management techniques recommended by the experts. It should be noted this couples well with the phrase from the previous paragraph, practicality is not a driving force for INFP’s.
OKAY, I GET IT. It’s true, I’m irrational and dramatic. I get there when I get there. I wake up at 3am in a panic, wondering if I paid That Bill. I make my husband, who “values promptness,
neatness, and structured decision making,” just a teeny weeny bit crazy.
So yeah, I have to work a bit harder.
When it comes to the mundane details of life maintenance, INFPs are typically completely unaware of such things. They might go for long periods without noticing a stain on the carpet…. (or the tiny pieces of streamer paper still stuck to the wall in the corners of their dining room).
INFPs do not like to deal with hard facts and logic. Their focus on their feelings and the Human Condition makes it difficult for them to deal with impersonal judgment. They don’t understand or believe in the validity of impersonal judgment, which makes them naturally rather ineffective at using it. Most INFPs will avoid impersonal analysis, although some have developed this ability and are able to be quite logical. Under stress, it’s not uncommon for INFPs to mis-use hard logic in the heat of anger, throwing out fact after (often inaccurate) fact in an emotional outburst.
INFP – The Idealist
I spewed my coffee all over myself when I read this one:When it comes to the mundane details of life maintenance, INFPs are typically completely unaware of such things. This explains my sporadic tooth brushing habits. And my inability to rely on a daily pill to keep me from getting pregnant.
I also love the line, INFP’s do not like to deal with hard facts and logic. I mean, it’s true, I don’t. But SAYING it like that makes me seem like such an AIR HEAD.
Seriously, though, it’s not like I’ll be on my death bed wishing I’d been more logical during my life, right?
All joking aside, I think a lot about these personality traits. What are my strengths? What is my Achilles heel?
I am the way God made me, and while I recognize the way I am is wrought with faults and weaknesses (as everyone is), I still have God’s fingerprint on me.
Psalm 139:13-15 (New International Version)
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
God was intentional in his creation of me. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Knit together with precision. Intricately woven.
While I know I can be frustrating in my aversion to finish what I’ve started, in my tendency toward the dramatic, in my easy distractability, I am also all of these things (taken from the already mentioned links):
INFPs, more than other iNtuitive Feeling types, are focused on making the world a better place for people.
INFPs are highly intuitive about people. The goal at the end of the path is always the same – the INFP is driven to help people and make the world a better place.
INFPs are good listeners and put people at ease. Although they may be reserved in expressing emotion, they have a very deep well of caring and are genuinely interested in understanding people…making the INFP a valued friend and confidante.
The INFP tends to want others to feel as if they belong and that everyone is pulling together.
For the INFP, love is a very deep commitment.
The INFP is deeply committed to their beliefs and values and to the circle of those around them—family, organizations, and those they feel need them, particularly those who cannot stand up for themselves.
INFPs are deeply loyal friends, spouses, parents, and life partners. [They] have an inner sense of joy and contentment that is infectious to those around them.
I originally wrote this post over a year ago after a fight with Bryan. That draft took on a different tone because I was mostly interested in justifying my disorganization and proving what a slave driver my jerk husband was. I literally spent hours researching my personality type, and as I collected each quote I was all, “SEE?? THIS IS JUST HOW I AM! SCREW YOU!”
Quite wisely, I didn’t publish that first draft. As a rule, I don’t publish anything to my blog out of anger or spite.
When I started writing this a year ago, I worshipped my personality type. Being an INFP was more important to me than loving my husband, and I was willing to crucify him with my words.
Today I don’t even remember what the fight was about, specifically, but this latest version makes me laugh out loud. Between my dementia and my disorganization, we laugh at a lot of things around here, mostly related to my shortcomings.
And that’s way more fun than arguing.