Okay. That title sounds weird.
Bear with me.
I’ve mentioned more than once on this blog that I am an INFP. This is one of sixteen personality types given when you fill out a Kiersey Temperament Sorter. If you’ve never done this test, go give it a try.
Now, I’ve taken my fair share of personality quizzes in my years (yes, even those horrid Cosmo-esque ones…I was a teenager after all), but they always seemed fairly hit or miss. Honestly, the first time I took the KTS I felt the results were close, but not quite right.
It wasn’t until I took the quiz as a young adult, without the input of friends, that I came up with the INFP result.
As I read the various books and websites detailing “my” various traits, it became clear that this test was different.
Some things that stood out to me:
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, but carefully and meticulously brush a speck of dust off of their project booklet.
Yes. It’s true. Even though I am currently sitting in a completely vacuumed and mostly clean house before 9 AM, my natural inclination is to toss my clothes on the floor rather than put them away when I get home. Former roomates, take note! It’s not my fault that my room often looked like the closet threw up. And yes, this would explain why I pre-fold my laundry when sorting it…in fact…
INFPs are not naturally interested in administrative matters such as bill-paying and house-cleaning, but they can be very good at performing these tasks when they must. They can be really good money managers when they apply themselves.
…Ha. I am not naturally inclined to clean my house. Validation for my slobbishness. (Yes, I am pretty sure I just made up that word. Whatever.) Despite not being naturally inclined, I am capable. If I make the decision to have a clean house, you can be sure it will be clean everywhere, down to last kitchen junk drawer.
They are usually quite perceptive about other people’s feelings and motives, and are consequently able to get along with all sorts of different people. However, the INFP will keep their true selves reserved from others except for a select few, with whom they will form close and lasting friendships.
I have a friend that used to refer to my ability to read people as “Spidey Sense”. In my late teens/early twenties, I upset more than one friend by telling them that their current love interest was no good. (I’ve learned in my “old” age that it is best to reserve my Spidey Sense” for imminently dangerous situations.)
I also get along with most everyone I meet, but I have very few close friends – or at least friends that really know me. Friends, for example, that aren’t shocked to find out that I am not an extrovert.
INFPs are flexible and laid-back, until one of their values is violated. In the face of their value system being threatened, INFPs can become aggressive defenders, fighting passionately for their cause.
I am a fairly calm person. But, if you step on something important – really important – to me, I will defend it. Fiercely.
INFPs can make outstanding novelists and character actors, for they are able to efface their own personalities in their portrayal of a character in a way other types cannot.
While I haven’t put the character acting to the test in the more traditional movie/TV role sense, I have played characters, in a sense, to get through jobs and situations that called for someone other than the real me.
And wouldn’t it be great if the results of a personality test could be presented as evidence that you are an ideal fit for the profession of your choice? Sigh. (and with that, the “dreamer” title often attributed to INFPs makes sense)
All in all, it’s a pretty accurate portrait of who I am. Which makes me wonder, how many of you feel like your “type” describes you? And can knowing those types inform the types of choices we make? For example, are certain types more prone to be plotters or pantsers? Fans of dialogue or flowery prose? Fantasy writers or science fiction? Do you find yourself drawn to/away from certain personality types?
If you know what type you are, give your two cents in the comments. If not, take the test and join in.