Saturday, July 7, 2007

What's It Like to Be An INFP?

It's like you walk around wearing your superfriends outfit under your 'normal' clothes all day long, wondering if you can tell anyone what your real powers are. It's being the only person in the room whose mind wanders to distant planets and purple dragons when the speaker drones on for too long. It's sitting at the back of the room and writing short stories because you got everything out of the class you were going to get in the first few minutes. (In other words, if it interests us we didn't need much explanation. It if doesn't, no amount of explanation is going to help.)

I cope by using my powers for good. I went from zero to hero at the age of 17 by learning that there are a limited number of"social scripts" that can be used to deal with people (thank God for that restaurant hosting job). It took me from shy, awkward agoraphobic teenager to an adult that is perceived as outgoing and friendly (even though social situations actually make me cringe). I'm able to parlay my "F" warmth and empathy into what they call "winning presentations".

But I really just want to travel to distant planets and ride purple dragons. So, basically, as an INFP my most fervent wish is to not HAVE to "cope"!

"He is a man of religious experience whose creative gift enables him to communicate spiritual truths to men." -- Elizabeth Henry, Orpheus and His Lute

Wow. That's amazing. That is everything that my soul has yearned for. Sometimes I don't feel a whole lot like an INFP since I work in an ESTJ world (finance) and sometimes I'm really *good* at it. I can be as E S T or J as I need to be for my job, so then I start to look at the other types. But I always end up realizing that ultimately this is where I fit best. That as an INFP I have a capacity for flexibility, role-playing, and using my empathy to read my audience and give them what they want. Guess what? It makes me tired.

The runner up type for me is INTP because I can be very analytical, and I test right on the border between T/F. But I definitely care about people more than logic. But I get along very well with my INTP boss... and husband... and cube mate.

As to who I identify with, it would be Oscar Wilde. I love writers with wit and humor covering a deep pathos and sensitive understanding of human nature. Wilde was a master of that. One of his quotes is, "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." What could be more INFP than that?

*Cross-posted (with edits) from The Introvertz Coach*

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