Archive for March, 2012

I’m an INFJ, what type are you? Perhaps the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator is new to you? This is relatively new to me, too, discovering it only within the last year. After taking the test on the http://www.humanmetrics.com site, the profile of my type was right on, described me to a tee.
Carl Jung introduced the idea of different psychological types in the 1920s. Isabel Briggs-Meyers and her mother, Katharine Briggs Meyers made Jung’s theory of psychological types more easily understood to people: essentially the theory states that behaviour is quite orderly and consistent due to basic differences in the ways people prefer to use their perception and judgment. (Meyers-Briggs.org). Briggs-Meyer and her mother developed the test to determine psychological types in the 1940s. Research on psychological types is ongoing.
Perception involves all the ways of becoming aware of things, people, happenings or ideas. Judgment involves all the ways of coming to conclusions about what has been perceived.(Myers-Briggs.org) If individuals differ in what they perceive and in how they reach conclusions, then it is only natural to differ in their interests, values, motivations and skills.
Four areas are covered in the test:
Preferences: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on the inner one? If on the outer world, this indicates Extraversion (extrovert). If your focus is on the interior world, the mind, this indicates Introversion.

Information: Do you focus on basic information you take in? That indicates you take in information via your Senses. If you interpret and add layers of meaning, this indicates processing information through Intuition.

Decisions: Do you first look at logic and consistency when making decisions? If so, this is Thinking. If you first look at the people and special circumstances, then your method is Feeling.

and finally,

Structure: When dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided? If so, this is Judgment. Or do you prefer to stay open to information and options, then you’re Perceiving.

After deciding on your preferences in the Myers-Briggs test, you will have determined your own personality type, expressed as a code with four letters. There are eight variations: ISTJ; ISFJ; INFJ; INTJ; ISTP; ISFP; INFP; INTP.

INFJ = Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging
INFJ people are a rare breed indeed; only 1-2% of the entire world’s population.
• quiet exterior, hold deep convictions about the weightier matters of life.
• accurately suspicious about other peoples motives. INFJ’s are not easily led. These are the people that you can rarely fool any of the time!
• very selective of friends.
• INFJ’s are introverted intuitives enjoy a great clarity of perception of inner, unconscious process than all but INTJ’s. Readily grasp hidden psychological stimuli behind the observable dynamics of behaviour and affect.
• have an amazing ability to figure out inner workings of the mind, will and emotions of other people and can give the impression we’re reading their minds LOL
• caught between the desire to express their wealth of feelings and moral conclusions about the actions and attitudes of others and the awareness of the consequences of speaking (or writing) this aloud. Sometimes it’s necessary though but will only confide in a trusted person. Trusted is a key word as INFJ’s are well aware of the treachery that can be found in people.
• complex, highly intuitive, gentle, caring, artistic and creative.
• operate within themselves on an intuitive basis, entirely spontaneous; know things without being able to pinpoint why and without detailed knowledge of subject; are usually right and they know it.
• uncanny insight into people and situations, strong feelings about things and intuitively understand them.
• the ‘type’ most likely to have psychic experiences, the sort of things other types scoff at and ridicule. An INFJ does not even understand this at a level that can be verbalized.
• very protective of inner self, only revealing what they choose to share when they choose to.
• deep complex individuals, quite private, quite difficult to get to know but not impossible. INFJ’s hold back part of themselves.

There is much more that could be written on the INFJ’s of the world. To read more, click on the personalitypage.com and personalitydesk.com links below.



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Consider these labels: No personality. Anti-social. Loner. Shy. Socially Awkward. Depressed etc etc .
Yep, I’ve heard all these … in the workplace. The one heard most often is ‘socially awkward’ as I don’t do the social chitchat/small talk that is deemed obligatory. Introverts loathe social chitchat/small talk. We also need to think before speaking therefore communication is awkward at best and we grasp for the right (or any!) words while our coworkers look on with mystified expressions, clueless why we can’t just spit it out? It is not long before the talk around the watercooler turns to assumptions and/or judgments about the quiet person who cannot make simple conversation. Unfortunately, gossip is a reality in the workplace and people do label those who are deemed different for any reason. People also ridicule what they do not or will not understand, which in this case is introversion.
How about considering this perspective from an introvert’s point of view? Everyday at work an introvert feels different from their extroverted colleagues, recognizing differences and feeling shame because they do make conversation easily; obligatory social functions drain and exhaust them etc. An introvert has perhaps never or rarely received validation for being who he or she is, for their positive qualities, strengths, talents and abilities. She or he has heard negatives and comparisons to extroverts and internalized the message that they are flawed because they are not ‘like everyone else’. So imagine going to work and getting more of these same messages, sometimes voiced, sometimes not. I’ve had the comment ‘no personality’ said about me in a stage whisper when I was standing just a few feet away. How do I know this? Well, when the comment is made to another then both individuals glance in my direction, the message is pretty clear. Evidently, it was assumed that not only do I have no personality, I am also too slow mentally to figure out they were referring to me.

What is the best way to inform employers that introverts exist, they are valuable assets with qualities and skills that provide much needed balance in the workplace? Do employers know how to recognize introvert traits? I suspect not. How do introverts quietly but assertively make their needs known?

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