The last month and a half has been harder. Some due to it being the holidays. Some due to other circumstances going on around me. But mostly due to what goes on internally in my mind. Now, we all know that I enjoy personality tests, but only when they help us understand ourselves more and not just be a place to box someone in. Thus, reading about INFJ’s has been helpful as of late. Things I have read that have made me laugh because they are so true of me, but really have help get some levity to the far too often brevity…
“creative, smart, focus on fantasy more than reality, attracted to sad things, fears doing the wrong thing, observer, avoidant…” –similarminds.com on the INJF. Oh look – attracted to sad things…makes a little more sense that my default is to go inside my mind and think about heavier things that are sad. I always want to talk about heavy things – and hate the mundane chat. I am guilty of thinking I am better because I think about real things – but I am not. All I am is prideful, and that is sick and messed up. Jesus had to die for my pride.
“Life is not necessarily easy for the INFJ, but they are capable of great depth of feeling and personal achievement.”
–personalitypage.com on the INFJ. I think it is not easy because the way we are wired does not make it easy – hello, attracted to sad things will bring more hardship.
“INFJs are deeply concerned about their relations with individuals as well as the state of humanity at large. They are, in fact, sometimes mistaken for extroverts because they appear so outgoing and are so genuinely interested in people — a product of the Feeling function they most readily show to the world. On the contrary, INFJs are true introverts, who can only be emotionally intimate and fulfilled with a chosen few from among their long-term friends, family, or obvious “soul mates.” While instinctively courting the personal and organizational demands continually made upon them by others, at intervals INFJs will suddenly withdraw into themselves, sometimes shutting out even their intimates. This apparent paradox is a necessary escape valve for them, providing both time to rebuild their depleted resources and a filter to prevent the emotional overload to which they are so susceptible as inherent “givers.” As a pattern of behavior, it is perhaps the most confusing aspect of the enigmatic INFJ character to outsiders, and hence the most often misunderstood — particularly by those who have little experience with this rare type.” –typelogic.com. Okay, that was a long paragraph – but so insightful for me in light of how I have been the last few months.
And there was another quote that I found about the INFJ, but cannot find it now as I write this. So let me summarize, it went a little like this, “INFJ’s are hard to lead.” Oh my, how so many people could attest to that statement. It went on to explain that the INFJ can be led, it is just not always easy to do. Far too accurate. Sanctification needed? Yes. (Will not get on my lovely little soapbox here, but this is part of my driving force why I love my independence in singleness. Do I idolize? Yes, sadly I do. Not all the time, but I know I cling to that far more than the cross and trusting God. Work in progress. Thankful God is doing the work and enabling me by the Holy Spirit to be proactive in this fight.)
So what really got me thinking about this? Well, this morning I was reading Romans 5:1-11 because a friend who cares for my soul pointed me there. He saw how depressed I have been and wanted to offer me some hope, but more wanted to point me back to truth. The reality is as believers we will suffer this side of heaven – no way around that. It will look different for each of us. Suffering is not the end though – that is what I far too often forget. And it leaves me so defeated. I look at the non-believers and get so confused because they seem to have more joy than I do. Then it hit me this morning – that is because their joy is here and now, in the moment – so they do have joy in the moment, but it is not lasting. For believers – we have had our eyes opened to the reality of this world and see that real lasting joy is not here. Thus, I can enjoy things but they are mere shadows. Now, not all believers are depressed, in fact I would argue that we shouldn’t be – some of us are still just really learning how to rejoice in suffering (hi, prone to sad things…may be starting a few steps back on this one than the person that is king or queen of optimism…). Suffering produces endurance. That is so true – the more we go through the stronger we are. But this is not because of what we have done – it is because of what He has done for us – and what He has given us the grace and strength to walk through. Endurance produces character. And character produces hope – hope in God. Not hope in ourselves. That is where the Christian and non-Christian disagree.
These are still thoughts that are formulating, but I just had to get them out of my mind and thought I might as well share them here. If you have any thoughts, please share them. If you have anything encouraging for me – or any of the other readers, please share them. Thankful that I can be honest here (I do love fashion, but that is just a sliver of what I really think about daily. It is just a way to express my love for beautiful things…).
Happy New Year, friends!
Personality tests are helpful. They are interesting. But they are not everything, nor are they everything about a person. They give us insight to better understand how a person thinks, processes through life, responds to situations, approaches situations, and why they act a certain way in public. However, where we limit ourselves is when we think that the personality test gives us a complete understanding of why people do the things they do. They don’t. There is so much more you have to factor in, such as belief system, worldview, personal upbringing and background, current life stage, circumstances being faced with, etc…
Personality tests should not put someone in a box. (I say this because I am guilty of far too quickly thinking I understand someone because I know what their four little letters from Myers Briggs stands for, when in all actuality I am only beginning to scratch the surface at getting to know him or her). Personality tests should be used to help us get to know someone, and lead to more questions and allow you to go deeper. Not every ISTJ or ENFP is exactly the same. Not every ISTJ stays an ISTJ (I would know…once was an ISTJ and now am an INTJ/INFJ depending on the setting). Where we are in life affects the test results – there is no way around that, or at least for most of us there is no way around that, but then again maybe I am just to much of a chameleon.
I love personality tests – many of you know that. As I tend to talk about them, well far too often, or so it seems. Recently though, it seems I am not the only one talking about them, nor am I the only one who feels we may be talking about them too much in a not so helpful way. Not everyone likes personality tests, and that is okay. Not everyone has a lot of knowledge on personality tests, and that, too, is okay. So, if we find ourselves talking about them – we need to make sure that we aren’t being exclusive in conversation, especially since it is a topic that is really intended to help include everyone and better understand one another. It really can sound like a foreign language when you start throwing letters out, whether you are talking Myers Briggs or DISC test, or words like “Whoo” when referring to Strength FInders 2.0 – if you don’t explain what you are talking about you will lose people. Quickly.
I think we should get to know one another. I think personality tests aid in helping us do that. I think they help us better understnad ourselves. In fact, if you haven’t taken a Myers Briggs, I highly suggest you do and go here to take it. But don’t stop there. Let this insight to one another help you to see how we each reflect Christ in different ways. You will show me Christ in different ways than I will show you. That is the beauty of living in community. So, keep talking about personality tests, just be careful to not make them ultimate. I know I am fighting to do that, though it is hard because I find them fascinating.
By no means am I an expert on this topic or innocent in this area. These are just some of my more recent thoughts on the matter as they have been coming up and I have not spoken up to share my thoughts (guess that is the introvert in me coming out…or more making me retreat…). So, I wanted to take the time to scratch them out here. What are your thoughts on personality tests? Helpful, err no?!
Would love your input, friends.