In my never-ending quest to get out of (or into) my own head, I decided to take the Myers Briggs Personality Test. Maybe this will factor into no aspect of my life, but I always seem to be a sucker for letting others have a go at my brain machinery. It turns out that, according to this test, I’m an INFJ – or Introvert, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging. I’ve struggled with approaching the world as an introvert for most of my life. I’m often mistaken for an extrovert, because I can perform on cue or command control of a conversation. But, that’s not my true nature – in fact, I try very hard to break out of my shyness. But, introversion isn’t the same thing as shyness; rather, introverts are drawn to internal stimuli, rather than external forces. We need more personal time, time to reflect, and are often happy when alone. I think that most of you who know me will agree that I tend to fit into that category. I sometimes need to close my door to do work; I often prefer my own company to gatherings of friends; I can get drained by too much exposure to the world at large.
Moving to Nashville almost 3 years ago was both incredibly difficult and easier than I imagined. I like meeting new people, but putting myself in situations when that might occur can be a strain. Luckily, my sister had made plenty of friends, and I was happy to inherit quite a few of them. She had to do the hard work…I just had to decide how to awkwardly sidle up and make conversation. Regardless, each time I meet someone new, I’m looking for an energy that will compliment mine –whether it is someone who prefers a quiet conversation or someone who challenges the part of me that stays “in my head.”
I’m not sure if she will agree or not, but I feel quite certain that my twin sister, Jenny, is an extrovert. She loves people, she’s stimulated by her interactions with others, and often can’t stand to spend the evening in….she just requires frequent interaction with the world at-large. In so many ways I envy this. I think that sometimes it drives her crazy that I’m not built that way. She’s spent years of her life pushing, pulling, needling me to get out of the damn house. Mostly, she right. And she knows that when I say “no” it is because I truly need to recharge my battery.
Perhaps the Intuitive dreamer in me is kept in check by my Judging quality. (And you can laugh if you want to. Even this test is aware that I’m a judgmental bitch.) I can only guess that this Judging part of my personality is what has allowed me to stay in a well-defined, numbers-based job for so many years. There’s a part of me that likes to plan and manage and organize. But, I’d rather not plan a vacation. I don’t like to be pinned to a particular itinerary in my personal life. Also I hate waiting, but I’m late quite a bit. I think that – at least a little – I actually am the kind of person that annoys me.
The strongest of all of my personality traits was my “feeling” characteristic. And I am often dominated by my feelings, driven to the edge by manic tendencies and governed by moods. I use my personal feelings to make decisions and I’m drawn to other sensitive people. I enjoy harmony, but I’m not afraid of a good, hearty discussion either. I’m empathetic and I’m tender-hearted. I read one sentence that made me sound practically amazing, some sort of empathetic Earth mother (which I’m absolutely not – but, it sounds awesome, so I’ll go with it): “Those whose preference is for Feeling make their decisions in a somewhat global, visceral, harmony and value-oriented way, paying particular attention to the impact of decisions and actions on other people.”
I’m not sure what this all means. Because my feelings are primary in so many situations, I think about how other people are feeling, too. I’m devoted and I’m protective and I have high expectations of you, if you’re reading this.
I’m a loner, but I don’t want to do everything alone. I’m sensitive and a grudge-holder and I’m going to hold you to a very high standard. I hope that doesn’t hurt your feelings.