Saturday, May 13, 2006

INFP: We know who we are, even if you don't

I may have mentioned before that in a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) class the teacher badgered me a bit about whether or not I was really an INFP since I had tested so close to the F/T (Feeling/Thinking) line and really, so often women who are Ts are socialized to think that they are Fs and shouldn't I consider the possibility that I might be something else?


Eventually she saw the look in my eyes that said any minute I would pull my War Mace +3 against intrusive Extroverts and wandered away.

People at work also have a hard time believing that I'm an Introvert because I'm so freaking friendly and perky and do presentations and meeting facilitation. One ISTP who is also something of an MBTI expert tried to argue me point for point on how I was really an ENFP. We eventually agreed to disagree.

Admittedly, when I read INFP profiles I always feel that they are a bit "off." Sometimes I even question myself. Then I read all of the other profiles and reconfirm that INFP, although not perfect, is the closest to being me.

So tonight I was very excited to find an INFP profile written by INFPs. It is much, much better. One person from the group that drafted it said, "The INFP list has developed our own profile of the INFP personality type, as we were unhappy with the profiles that were already out there on the Web. I personally find the other ones deeply unsatisfying and disturbingly inaccurate in some essential ways." Amen, sister.


  1. Well, here is the thing... I think. Most people equate Introversion with being shy, and extroversion with being outgoing expressive.

    But that's not strictly the case in the MBTI. I/E here is more of how one recharges themselves. What they do to focus and gather energy.

    I'm a very outgoing person most of the time.... friendly to strangers, perform on stage with no problems, and will even strike up conversations with those around me with no problems. (I can be stand offish too, if I'm in a setting I am not comfortable with).

    But being social wears me out. Physically and mentally. I *need* to be alone in order to recharge my batteries. If I don't, then I get cranky and grumpy.. and basically not fun to be around.

    And I think that is what most people are confused about when they think I vs E. Because I am very I, but most of my friends are shocked when I say that.

  2. Thanks Dan! That's it exactly.

    There are even shades of Introverted - my hubs is slightly Introverted while I'm mostly Introverted and even that can create friction. I thank heaven on a routine basis that I didn't marry a real Extrovert. :)