Reader Q&A: Myers-Briggs (spoiler: INFJ)

Have you ever taken the Meyers Brigs Personality Inventory, and if so, what was your type beyond being introverted?

I have. I did it as part of a serious exercise in something-or-other at work way back when, and have since done it again online for curiosity’s sake with the same result.

I’m an INFJ.
Introvert(78%) iNtuitive(25%) Feeling(25%) Judging(33%)

When I first did the test forever ago, I found great relief in the ‘introvert’ descriptor because it described me so well.

I know there are theories about D/s and how they are grouped under the personality types, but whenever I’ve seen discussions on it, the spread seems to be pretty random and I imagine it largely reflects the general population.

There are a million descriptions out there of what INFJ actually means (like this and this and this…), so I just picked one and pasted it below so y’all don’t have to go trawling the internet (see, it says I’m interested in the well being of others!).

I would note that my ego wanted me to choose this one that said “INFJs are masters of written communication, with a distinctively smooth and warm language”, but I didn’t because it also said “they may rush to the place of a major disaster, participate in rescue efforts, do charity work etc” and then I’d have to admit that I’ve never rushed to the place of a major disaster ever in my life.

INFJs are conscientious and value-driven. They seek meaning in relationships, ideas, and events, with an eye toward better understanding of themselves and others. Using their intuitive skills, they develop a clear and confident vision, which they then set out to execute, aiming to better the lives of others. Like their INTJ counterparts, INFJs regard problems as opportunities to design and implement creative solutions.

INFJs have been mistaken for extroverts, as they tend to possess multiple personalities due to their complex inner life; however, they are true introverts. INFJs are private individuals who prefer to exercise their influence behind the scenes. Though they are very independent, INFJs are intensely interested in the well-being of others. INFJs prefer one-on-one relationships to large groups. Sensitive and complex, they are adept at understanding complicated issues and driven to resolve differences in a cooperative and creative manner.

INFJs have a rich, vivid inner life that they may be reluctant to share with those around them. Nevertheless, they are congenial in their interactions and perceptive of the emotions of others. Generally well liked by their peers, they may often be considered close friends and confidants by most other types; however, they are guarded in expressing their own feelings, especially to new people, and tend to establish close relationships slowly. INFJs tend to be easily hurt, though they may not reveal it (except to their closest companions). INFJs may “silently withdraw as a way of setting limits” rather than expressing their wounded feelings—a behavior that may leave others confused and upset.

INFJs tend to be sensitive, quiet leaders with a great depth of personality. They are intricately, deeply woven, mysterious, highly complex, and often puzzling, even to themselves. They have an orderly view toward the world but are internally arranged in a complex way that only they can understand. Abstract in communicating, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. With a natural affinity for art, INFJs tend to be creative and easily inspired, yet they may also do well in the sciences, aided by their intuition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INFJ

Seems reasonably close.

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36 Comments

  1. I’m an ENTJ and have to say it seems like a pretty accurate description of my “public” side. Not quite sure how it relates to my private side though. Love these kinds of tests. Great for introspection.

    1. I find that interesting because it implies that your ‘sides’ are very separate.

      The test is about what you actually *prefer*, so I’d assume that one ‘side’ is you ‘acting a role’ and the other is ‘who you are’.

      For example, at work I acted the extrovert because I needed to do that to do my job well and to be successful. But when I answer MBTI questions, there’s no question that it’s not my preference.

      Faxcinating. I might quiz you further on this *smile*.

      Ferns

      1. I do love quizzes so please feel free!

        I actually think of the stark contrast between my two sides as providing balance. They are both me. And I believe they both fuel each other. I’m a better business leader because of my private submission and I’m a more obedient sub because of the type-A reflex I have publicly.

        Yippee for dungeon therapy!

  2. I appreciate you sharing that with us, your loyal readers

    This seems to describe, what I know of you, quite well. Especially this part; “INFJs tend to be sensitive, quiet leaders with a great depth of personality. They are intricately, deeply woven, mysterious, highly complex, and often puzzling”

    The only thing they left out is the “Wonderful, and Lovely” part… I didn’t see that in there, but it should be.

    I recall taking this test quite some years ago, but I cannot, for the life of me, remember what the results were.

  3. As an INTJ, we share the same dominant function – introverted intuition.

    Do you, like me, feel like you just *know* things? I just pick up on the details really easily, without even trying to be able to read a person, environment or situation really well.

    1. I’m really good with reading people close to me, which I think makes me an awesome partner *smile*.

      With others and situations in general, I think I’m perceptive in seeing ‘how something’s going to go’ when other people maybe can’t, and I think I’m good at interpreting the ‘whys’ of a lot of situations to understand in more depth what is really going on. So that manifests as generally being pretty good at figuring out how to navigate situations successfully.

      In general, though, I’m not detail orientated. I’m very much a big picture person, so I suspect it balances out and I miss as much as I pick up.

      Ferns

    2. As another INFJ (Damn there are a lot of us around here!) I read somewhere that INFJs tend to be highly intuitive – so intuitive they often believe they are psychic.

      Which (along with the rest of it) fits me very well. Friends used to jokingly call me ‘the Oracle’

      1. Ooh… another INFJ! They are supposed to be rare, but I have no idea really.

        Seems like you and Revner have more in common there with the intuition than me.

        Ferns

  4. Interesting. I thought you might be intuitive.

    I am an INTP, though sometimes I test out to be INTJ. I do not remember the percentages, but quite extreme for all except the last.

    When I first read the description for me, I had to keep stopping every few sentences and say “Wow, I never would have been able to out that in words, but that is so me!”.

    Thanks for sharing!

    greg

    1. “When I first read the description for me, I had to keep stopping every few sentences and say “Wow, I never would have been able to out that in words, but that is so me!”.”

      *smile* I think there is value in recognising yourself in different ways, and sometimes finding *words* for how you think or feel is validating. That’s why I find these kinds of things interesting.

      Ferns

  5. I take this test every six months or so and I’ve gotten INFJ, ISTP, INTJ, INTP…

    The only thing I know for sure is that I’m an introvert.

    1. Interesting that it changes every six months. I think it also depends on the test (there are so many out there!).

      They had a certified professional assess our MBTI tests in the first instance. I have no idea how much more accurate that is versus random online tests, but I imagine the online tests vary wildly in both accuracy and outcome.

      I imagine that if you are sitting very close to the middle of any category (that is, you have no strong preference), your results would vary just like yours have.

      Ferns

      1. “I imagine that if you are sitting very close to the middle of any category (that is, you have no strong preference), your results would vary just like yours have.”

        Yes, I think so. I had a former boss who was so confusing in terms of whether he was an introvert or extrovert.

        Most of the time he seemed very extroverted. Always working the room, bringing people into the conversation, etc.

        But then, after a meeting or something, he would not go to dinner with the others, sometime just me and him, sometimes alone.

        Then, prior to one meeting, we had the Meyers-Briggs administered and when we got the results, he was smack dab in the middle of the intro-extro scale.

        I have oftne been glad that I was so extreme, if I was switching around, I would not have so much insight into myself…

        greg

    2. I’m no expert but my mother is so from a little osmosis I’ve picked up a couple things. I’d guess you’re an INF_ type. If I remember right my mom was saying NF types have a tendency to test as completely random things all the time because they can be kinda… moody? Well more that their values and system of beliefs can change easily. Plus NF types tend to kind of ‘champion’ a cause and if any of the questions indirectly touch on that, that can throw the test off as well because that can cause the NF types to go on a tilt if they feel offended or that the test could have offended someone or something like that.

      Again, I’m not an expert but if I understood my mothers babble correctly, I’d say you’re probably an NF type. Though the easiest way to really know for sure would be to watch some youtube videos explaining the differences between the types you think you are. Like an INFP vs INTP video. To help you narrow it down until you find the one that fits best.

      Like Ferns said as well some people are more in the middle than strongly preferenced so that probably also helps explain the seemingly random results.

  6. “…however, they are guarded in expressing their own feelings.”

    Nope, not you at all it just couldn’t possibly be speaking about you. *sarcasm*

    Yes, a lot of that I would say describes what I know of you at least. I can’t tell you what I am its been so long since I have taken it and honestly don’t feel up to taking it tonight. I am not sure I give significance to the meaning of a test to determine who I am as a person.

    Respectfully,
    mysticlez

    1. “Nope, not you at all it just couldn’t possibly be speaking about you.”

      *laugh* I know, right?

      “I am not sure I give significance to the meaning of a test to determine who I am as a person.”

      Well, it’s not intended to do that. It’s designed to draw out how you prefer to interact with the world based on Jungian theory. It’s supposed to do that in a way that brings psychological theory into something practical. *Insert something here about self understanding and managing relationships with others.*

      Whether it actually does that is debatable, but it’s not meant to ‘determine who you are as a person’.

      They did it at our work to try and improve work relationships, the idea being that if you understood how other people preferred to interact with the world, you could better communicate with them, utilise their skills, lead them etc.

      Ferns

      1. I have found that it does indeed give me insight that improves my interactions with others in several ways.

        One example is it reduces my frustrations when someone is breifing me. I used to get frustrated when some people were trying to brief me about a given topic. I would be thinking to myself, what does that have to do with anything? Why are they telling me these irrelevant details? And I would lose the details, and when they were finished, have them back track a lot. Frustrating for both of us.

        But after taking the test and realizing not everyone is a big picture oriented person like myself, I relaized that the people who drove me crazy like this were simply building the picture/story by assembling the small details first, until you had the complete picture. Like starting a drawing of a horse at the hoof, rather than an outline of the body.

        But I did not have the outline or framework to effectvely use those details until the end, so lost much of them them by the time they had finished.

        Now I can see it happening, and I can ask them to please first give me the outline, the framework, the big picture of whay these details will be important, so my mind can keep the details all arranged properly until the end. Works much better for both of us.

        Cheers!

        1. Ahhh… yes. If you can apply it practically like that, it can be really helpful.

          There were quite a few things that came out of it that helped at my work.

          A big one was the acceptance by others of the fact that I like to take in a bunch of information, then go and have a think about it before I come back with ideas/conclusions. This worked fine if I was the one in charge of the process, but if I wasn’t, it could lead to my input not being considered because what’s brought up on-the-spot was given more weight and priority (even if it was fucking stupid!). Being able to say “I’ll go and have a think about that” and having it be accepted as a valid response was hugely valuable for me.

          Also (remembering now), I would get very impatient with people telling me detail that I didn’t think was relevant (I worked in IT and boy, IT geeks LOVE the detail). People often thought I was rude when I would stop them mid-detail-telling and say “Yes, but what does it MEAN [to me/to the project/to our deliverables etc]” because I was all about the big picture. The rest was just blah blah blah’ filler.

          Ferns

  7. Hmmm, no reply button in the comment earlier, so I will try a new comment to reply….

    “A big one was the acceptance by others of the fact that I like to take in a bunch of information, then go and have a think about it before I come back with ideas/conclusions. This worked fine if I was the one in charge of the process, but if I wasn’t, it could lead to my input not being considered because what’s brought up on-the-spot was given more weight and priority (even if it was fucking stupid!). Being able to say “I’ll go and have a think about that” and having it be accepted as a valid response was hugely valuable for me.”

    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. This is huge, I think. So many do not take time to think. To ponder. I see it all the time, they just make a quick response, then move on.

    But that thinking, that processing is hugely important to making good decisions and synthesizing information well. It just doesn’t happen effectively without that time to think.

    I work hard at keeping space on my agenda and giving myself time to go have a think. Very valuable.

    Cheers!

    1. “Hmmm, no reply button in the comment earlier, so I will try a new comment to reply….”

      Ha! Yes, I only allow a certain level of replies or the box gets really skinny!!

      “But that thinking, that processing is hugely important to making good decisions and synthesizing information well. It just doesn’t happen effectively without that time to think.”

      I actually think *some* people can do that well, but I know I can’t. I also know that a lot of other people can’t either, but they would still give idiotic opinions on-the-fly anyway!

      Ferns

  8. I also tested as an INFJ. I have to wonder if there might be another aspect to personality that is distinct from Meyers-Briggs (and not strictly tied to gender either, despite stereotyping)-a Dominant/Submissive continuum. Some individuals, near one end, will be definitely Dominant, while other at the other far end will be definitely Submissive. And those toward the middle? Well, might some be Switches?

    1. Well there’s a widely touted ‘BDSM Test’ around (with no actual psychological basis I’m sure). I imagine it asks things like ‘do you like to submit?’ etc, so in that sense, yes, I guess there is such an aspect *laugh*.

      You should find it and give it a go.

      Ferns

  9. I have seen online a scheme in which women are classified as three different types: Submissive, Dominant, or Independent. I believe this scheme refers to vanilla women

    There seems to be a breed of Dominant women who’s sexuality is basically vanilla. They seem to be the women associated with Female Led Relationships (FLR) web sites.

  10. However, I don’t know if that Submissive/Dominant/Independent scheme has been matched with Meyers-Briggs. For all I know, the (vanilla) Dominant women might be ENTJ “Fieldmarshals” or INTJ “masterminds”, who amount to a tiny fraction of the population.

    Perhaps a distinct phenomenon applies to Femdom. Which might explain why an INFJ “Oracle” could be a Dominant woman. Which, in turn, allows a prophetic vision of Romantic Femdom.

  11. As an INFJ male, I have wondered what life is like for INFJ women. I was looking at the INFJ Blog. (infjblog.com/masculinity-feminimity-infj-woman/), “Masculinity and Femininity in the INFJ Woman”.

    Do INFJ women feel distinct from/apart from other women in general?

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