It’z crazy how a four letter acronym can define you so well. I found out I had an INFJ personality a few years ago, but didn’t start giving it much importance until I came across a website that created content specially for introverts, it’s called Introvert Dear. Reading the articles written by other like me made me feel more comfortable with my personality. I also learned that I have one of the rarest types.
Embracing it is something relatively new to me. As a kid, I always felt something was different about me. I was comfortable being me, but having others constantly ask me “why are you so quiet?” made it seem like I was acting wrong. That’s when it began, the whole “blending in” process. I did it in order to avoid answering questions to which I had no other explanation than “that’s how I am”. After attempting to explain myself a few times, I realized that extroverts seldomly understand introvert’s motives. Back then, however, I did not know these characteristics had labels.
Interestingly enough, I ended up in the faculty I would have least expected: psychology. It wasn’t until college that I began comprehending it all. That the world isn’t black and white, that very few individuals are entirely introverts or extroverts. On most cases, we’re all ambiverts with different levels of intro/extraversion. I learned that there was nothing wrong with me, that temperament and personality is not something you get to choose consciously, but rather develops by hereditary and environmental factors.
The Myers and Briggs test isn’t the only one nor the most precise. A more detailed personality test is The Big Five, which measures: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Despite this, it’s hard to fully state that one is better than the other. As a psychologist, I can assure you that nothing is written on stone. There are various branches and I wouldn’t be surprised if a few years from now, a new theory was developed.
All in all, even if I can be a bit of an extrovert on occasions, I haven’t found any other result than can describe me so precisely. This doesn’t mean that I won’t change over time –shifts are always possible. But for now, I won’t shy away from telling the world my four-letter type.
P.S. This article also appeared in Social Introverts.