My Myers-Briggs Type Results: INFJ

Recently, on a forum site I frequent, one of the members started a discussion topic about the popular and well-known Myers-Briggs personality test. I’ve already taken the test before, but that was a few years ago and I couldn’t remember what my results were from the last time, so I decided to take it again.

As it turns out, my personality type is INFJ, which (for those who don’t know) stands for Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging.*

The description I linked to above describes me very accurately, almost scarily so. I do think about the deep things of life often, I sometimes come across as extroverted (though not nearly as often as the test seems to say INFJs appear), and I am good at expressing myself in writing, which is apparently a common strength of INFJs. Most INFJs apparently have little interest in the hard sciences, which again describes me (though to be far, it’s more of a lack of interest in pursuing a career in the hard sciences, rather than a lack of interest in the hard sciences themselves).

Now the test doesn’t describe me perfectly. For example, I rarely “fantasize about getting revenge on those who victimize the defenseless.” That type of fantasizing doesn’t appeal to me and rarely crosses my mind, which is not to say I never fantasize about bullies and tyrants getting their comeuppance. It’s just that it’s not a major part of who I am and I would never describe myself in that way.

The thing about personality tests, even ones as accurate as the Myers-Briggs test, is that they should never be taken as gospel, especially when you’re young and your personality is not entirely formed just yet. And sometimes, they can be just plain wrong, which is why you should think about whatever results you get, instead of blindly accepting whatever the tests says your personality type is.

As long as you keep that in mind, tests like the Myers-Briggs tests can be a highly useful tool to deepen understanding of yourself.

*According to the website, I share this personality type with Martin Luthor King, Jr., President Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela, and Evangeline Lilly, among others. Which is interesting because I like or respect those people quite a bit, especially MLK.

-Tim

Solitude: Its Benefits and Downsides

I like solitude.

That’s a good thing, by the way. If I couldn’t stand being alone, I doubt I could get any writing done. Solitude is a necessity for most writers, especially if you intend to be a fulltime professional writer like I do. If you love being around other people all the time, you probably shouldn’t pursue writing as a career.

Solitude has many benefits. In solitude, you can explore yourself deeply, brush off the filters that other people and the media place around us, and master new skills without interruption. For me in particular, I’ve found that I need solitude in order to give my story ideas the attention they deserve before I put them down on paper.

Having said that, in my experience I’ve found that too much solitude can sometimes give me a distorted view of the world. Solitude can give you clarity, but if you do not go out into the world to test your views and interact with others, it is far too easy for this clarity to turn into opaqueness.

For example, whenever I hear bad news, I tend to become unhappy. That doesn’t make me very different from most people, I suppose, but it can be worse for me because I live in my head so often. I can take this bad news and focus on it to the exclusion of everything else, even if it’s not an issue that immediately or directly affects me.

When I catch myself doing that, that’s when I know that I need to interact with other people. Preferably people who can crack a joke or tell a funny story, people who can distract me from the problem or help me put it in perspective. While entertainment can sometimes do the trick, I’ve found that lighthearted people are generally a better antidote for sadness than lighthearted entertainment.

Solitude is helpful and necessary; however, it is useful to remain aware of its possible dangers and to counteract them with socializing so you can fully embrace solitude’s precious gifts.

-Tim