Monday, March 19, 2012


I am a big fan of personality tests. Whether it's "What Your Fingernails Say About You" or "Which Hunger Games Character Are You Most Like", I am a sucker for self-analysis.

Obviously, I'm Peeta. He's the only one who does normal things. Also, I own that same dress.

One of the only personality tests I have actually deemed legitimate is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Maybe you have taken it, but if not, here is a novice description.

The test is based on four pairs of dichotomies which are:

Extraversion (E) - (I) Introversion
Sensing (S) - (N) Intuition
Thinking (T) - (F) Feeling
Judging (J) - (P) Perception

In each dichotomy, you will display greater characteristics of one over the other. For example, my result is INFJ (more on that later).

This test is frequently used to help determine an optimal career choice for your personality. I once took this in a career counseling office in my freshman year of college. Thank goodness I took career counseling, by the way, or I wouldn't be the thriving business-woman you read about in Forbes all the time. Plus, I got a t-shirt that said "I've got MAJOR problems" which always made people laugh/feel sorry for me because they didn't get the joke.
The most legitimate MBTI tests are taken through a counseling center, but you can also take a mini-version here, if you are interested.

Anyway, I recently retook the test to get some insight into my personality. I originally wrote about the results in my private blog (I know, I know. Two blogs. It must be a sickness), but as I was processing through it, I started to think that these are things I might actually want people to know.

For the general public, I assume the most controversial dichotomy in my results is the fact that I am an introvert. To some, this will come as no surprise because A) they either know me very well or B) they know me in an atmosphere where I am very quiet. To most, this will be a bit of a surprise. I was at a party the other night where I was talking about my introversion and a person said "eeeYEAH RIGHT".

I totally get this reaction. I think, for the most part, I have always been known as highly energetic and conversational, and these things are true. But in the true definition of being an introvert, as in whether I get my energy alone or with people, oh yeah, I'm an introvert. Get away from me.

From here on out, I am just going to copy and paste the entry from my private blog. It's kind of wordy, but you are basically reading my diary, so feel very privileged.

Apparently, INFJs are the most rare personality type in the world. Only 1-3% of the population can be classified as INFJs. Obviously, I like that. I was pissed when my blood type was O+, the most common of all blood types. I was sure I had some O neg running through my veins.

Anyway, here are some pieces of the description by Dr. David Kiersey that resonate with me. This description refers to the INFJ type as "Counselors":

  • Although they are happy working at jobs (such as writing) that require solitude and close attention, Counselors do quite well with individuals or groups of people, provided that the personal interactions are not superficial, and that they find some quiet, private time every now and then to recharge their batteries. 
    • This is true of me because I am a super functional introvert. I almost always get pre-exhaustion at the very thought of a large party, but I usually always have a great time talking to people. It is true that I'm not really resting unless I am by myself.

  • Counselors are both kind and positive in their handling of others; they are great listeners and seem naturally interested in helping people with their personal problems. 
    • While I have a great desire for people to know me, I have an even greater desire to know the people in my life. If all of my friends could tell me their MBTI results, I would want to talk for hours about how they feel about it. I sometimes listen at the expense of sharing things about myself, which is something close friends have called to my attention.

  • Not usually visible leaders, Counselors prefer to work intensely with those close to them, especially on a one-to-one basis, quietly exerting their influence behind the scenes. 
    • I've been called a leader before by people because I am sometimes loud and often expressive. In all reality, leadership positions mostly scare me. I have stress dreams about being elected President.

  • [Counselors] can be hard to get to know, since they tend not to share their innermost thoughts or their powerful emotional reactions except with their loved ones. 
    • I have big, fat emotions. Like, I've never really felt a-little-bit-something. I usually experience an emotion in the same way I would experience eating a whole onion in ten seconds. It's pretty extreme. For the most part, only Daniel and my family really understand this about me.

  • They have mysterious, intricately woven personalities which sometimes puzzle even them. 
    • I am so constantly confused by what I am feeling, it's stupid. I feel like I have an immediate sense for others' emotions, but I often have to take tremendous time to evaluate why I feel the way I do. 

  • Blessed with vivid imaginations, Counselors are often seen as the most poetical of all the types, and in fact they use a lot of poetic imagery in their everyday language. Their great talent for language-both written and spoken-is usually directed toward communicating with people in a personalized way. 
    • I am often complimented on my use of language. I am probably best understood through writing.

  • Counselors are highly intuitive and can recognize another's emotions or intentions - good or evil - even before that person is aware of them. Counselors themselves can seldom tell how they came to read others' feelings so keenly. This extreme sensitivity to others could very well be the basis of the Counselor's remarkable ability to experience a whole array of psychic phenomena. 
    • Feelings about another person's authenticity are almost blinding to me. I often can't function well around someone who I see as "fake" or "smarmy." It's not about being intimidated, but rather, I am so repelled by their nature that I want to show them no vulnerability. I guess it's self-preservation, but people who think I am quiet are probably people who I absolutely do not trust. 

Other descriptions that interest me:

  • They are quite private and typically difficult to understand. 
    • I feel like this one hurts me sometimes. There are quite a few people who feel like they know me, but I have a great tendency to retreat into myself, which puts those friends at a loss.

  • They may tend to internalize conflict into their bodies, and experience health problems when under a lot of stress. 
    • Yep.

  • INFJs are rarely at complete peace with themselves - there's always something else they should be doing to improve themselves and the world around them. They believe in constant growth, and don't often take time to revel in their accomplishments. They have strong value systems, and need to live their lives in accordance with what they feel is right. 
    • This is basically my daily battle. While I faithfully believe in God's provision for me, I often feel as though I have never accomplished anything. My heart's desire is to create something important, but I constantly fear that I never will. 

Anyway, this is easily the most sensitive information I've shared in this blog. You might question why I even wrote this, and you can rest assured that I am questioning myself in the same way.

I once heard a wise person say that the greatest thing that could ever happen to you is having your worst secret exposed for all the world to see. That way, there would be no hiding, no games. This personality profile is not my biggest secret (I'm not a fool), but it's like I'm peeking behind the corner of my hiding spot. It's at least kind of a good thing, I think.

I would love to hear anyone else's experience with this test, or with any other personality test for that matter. Do you feel like it's legit? Should we be putting that much stock in personality tests? I really don't know. Tell me.

Especially if you have a psychology degree or have taken an upper-level psychology class (entry-level, save your breath).


  1. I am an INFJ as well! I remember when I first took it I was very offended that I was classified as "introvert", and then took it a few more times to try and prove it wrong. I think people tend to lump introvert with the inability to socialize or communicate. The more I read MBTI analysis the more accurate I find it is. I don't think we can ever put full stock in personality tests since God made us way too complex and personalized to fit into any standardized test, but I do think that it does prompt us to examine ourselves in a more honest light! The careers the tests have never been ones that I will pursue though.

    1. I'm an introvert, too! But Christy wasn't a "robot" like us at camp...

    2. Haha! But that personality test only designated FOUR categories. Still, you ladies were the spokeswomen of robots everywhere. C-3PO would be proud.

    3. C-3PO is a droid, not a robot!

    4. But what is the difference? I welcome your knowledge.

    5. Robots are any automated machine, so like one of those welding robot arm thingies in an car factory. A droid (or android) is a automated human-like machine. So Since C-3PO looks like a human and acts like one (shows emotion) he is not a mere robot, but a droid. R2-D2 is more robotic then C-3PO, i.e. he doesn't look like a human, but can act like one.

  2. Nicole! Absolutely. People have a total misconception about what introversion is. You (and I, hopefully) are extremely socially capable. You simply rest alone.

    We are the 3%!

  3. One of the great things about the counselling field is that there are so many possibilities, and each has its own challenges and rewards.

    1. of all the comments on here - this one is my favorite because what... the... hell? I think this is by a robot or droid.

    2. Haha! I agree! Career Counseling seems fairly lacking in emotion, so I'd say it's a robot for sure.

      And Patrick, thank you for lighting up these comments. For an introvert, I look super popular right now.

      And Career Counseling, if you're real, prove it! Show some emotion, and I may upgrade your status to droid.

  4. Christy, I plan on commenting a ton on this one: I also love personality tests! I literally could take them all day. I love learning more about myself and, best of all; they always tell you "you're awesome." They all tell me things like I'm “charismatic and an idealist,” when instead they should be saying: “you're neurotic and insane and these pop-up ads are about therapy, you should check those out.” I also got Peeta on the hunger games test which is great, because I want to see myself as an awesome speaker who is willing to sacrifice everything for love. But in reality it probably should have told me: you're the tribute that curled up into a ball and cried and was immediately killed, suck it up pansy.

    1. Patrick, all of the positive things personality tests say about you are completely true. Also, no way you are getting killed first in the Hunger Games. You have way more weapons training than most due to your extensive zombie studies.

    2. yeah but i wouldn't be able to bring those nun-chucks in with me, they'd be in the cornacopia, prolly up at the top. so...screwed again. and you're too old to have numbers as letters in anything.

  5. I'm an INFJ, too! I tested in a counseling center when I was in college and then again last year for a "vicarage preparation" meeting. The vicarage prep test was mostly concentrating on how your personality type and your spouse's personality type fit together: where you clash, where you complement, etc. Adds an entirely new layer of understanding and group of questions.
    As an extremely introverted INFJ married to an extremely extroverted ENFP, I am a big supporter of MBTI. It has helped us tremendously in building positive, honest communication in our marriage, and helps us to understand one another when we're in stressful situations. I recommend it to everyone, married or not.
    Alright, going to go curl up in a corner with a mug of tea and read a book now.

    1. Chelsey! How do we have the same backside and the same personality profile?! Too freaky.

      And I so agree in the ways that the MBTI is helpful to processing in marriage. Daniel is an ESFJ, and when I heard that, I was like...that's basically everything I am not, but I so see how these dichotomous differences benefit us in the long run. Knowing these details about our personalities also makes us aware of our potential conflicts.

  6. My type is either ENFP or INFP - depending on my mood. I get energy and am drained by people, like eating ice cream or watching celebrity apprentence. I think the Myers-Briggs, is a solid test because it tells us which side we fall most on and doesnt speak to us in apsolutes. I can certanily see how I have characteristics of an E and I as well as the N and S, so i can identify with the descriprions of an ESFP or ISFP, but i'm pretty locked into the other two.

    By the way, a famous INFJ is Obi-Wan Kenobi himself, Sir Alec Guiness. A famous ENFP is Phil Donahue. I'll let that speak for itself.

    1. I once tested an INFP (I think we've talked about this). My "J' holds a pretty low dominance right now. I used to fluctuate in my E-I dichotomy as well, but I think that's because it literally took me 22 years of so to recognize myself as an introvert (see what I mean about being slow to process my own thoughts?).

      Man, Obi-Wan, Ghandi...I must be so wise. By the way, I read that Jerry Seinfeld is also an ENFP.

  7. I am an ISFJ. At least that is what my test reported when I took it about a year ago. I think I can safely assume that nothing changed/I didn't try to rig the results. Something you said in this post really resonated with me:

    While I faithfully believe in God's provision for me, I often feel as though I have never accomplished anything. My heart's desire is to create something important, but I constantly fear that I never will.

    That sounds so much like Michael's struggle as well! You two are very much alike.

    1. Oo! I am going to go read the ISFJ profile tonight for sure.

      It is comforting to hear that Michael has had similar thoughts. I am often afraid that it means that I am super self-seeking, but seeing as Michael is one of the least selfish human beings I've met, I might hold off on that fear for now.

    2. Emily, after reading the description of an ISFJ, I completely see you in that. And i felt like we were very complimentery on the Challange Course - you did alot of the work, and I got alot of the praise - perfect.

    3. "Who are you and where's Patrick?"

      By the way, Christy, I love that the three of us (and occasionally four or five) use your blog as our personal chat room.

    4. I love it too! It makes me look super popular even though probably only the three of us are actively reading this blog.

  8. Whoa this was really fun for me! So I have a bachelor's degree that says I know enough about psychology (or at least learned and then forgot enough) to own a little piece of paper that proves it. So before I share, I must say thank you Christy for allowing me to dork out today!
    I'm an ENFJ... Most of the time. Sometimes I test it as an ENFP (surprisingly a bigger switch than you would guess) but it's not that surprising because my "J" is usually a pretty low dominance.

    1. Adam! You are an E for sure. You light up around people in a major way. Do you know what Rachael is? Also, your expertise is definitely valued on this comments page.

    2. I have my suspicions but I am going to try and get her to take it after we work out tonight. I'm excited to see. And thank you, though I think expertise is definitely an overshoot of my authority in the area haha

  9. Christy, thanks for sharing; I really enjoyed reading this. It makes a lot of sense to me now why we understand each other so much! Mine came up as INTJ, but I wouldn't agree with all of it...apparently INTJs are very decisive. I, however, most certainly am not! So I think these personality tests give us a good idea of which tendencies we lean towards, but they shouldn't define who we are.

  10. Emma! Glad you took the test. Yeah, there are definitely parts of my description that I didn't agree with. And oh my goodness, I also struggle so much in being decisive. The other day Daniel said to me "Who taught you how to make decisions?" and we laughed and laughed...but really, I can't make a decision to save my life.

  11. I'm always really late to this game, but whatev.

    Just took the test again confirmed- I, too, am an INFJ. I always knew I had a lot in common with the likes of Nelson Mandela and Nicole Kidman...

  12. Haha greetings from another part of the world!
    I am an INFJ too ! Glad to know that though we are rare, but there's still so many of us.
    And being INFJ people, I am proud to say that I am rare-cause from another point of view, we are precious:D

  13. I am late and can share no deep insight as far as how much stock to put into personality tests. I have tested INFJ and know it's true. When left to my own natural tendencies, I fit every aspect. I'm sure this was hard for you to share, and you may have agonized over it later even to the point of considering deleting it or posting another post to apologize for being so open or some other reconsideration. I know I do that often. I just want to thank you very much for posting your heart for us to read. It is extremely encouraging for other INFJs to read and identify with another of our "kind". I especially enjoyed your comment:
    "Feelings about another person's authenticity are almost blinding to me. I often can't function well around someone who I see as "fake" or "smarmy." It's not about being intimidated, but rather, I am so repelled by their nature that I want to show them no vulnerability. I guess it's self-preservation, but people who think I am quiet are probably people who I absolutely do not trust."
    Absolutely know what you are saying! There is no way to explain this to other types, and when I've tried I always end up feeling frustrated and misunderstood.

  14. INFJ here too!

    I think "dido" is the most fitting response to this post.

    I'm fabulous at helping others sort themselves out, but little do they know I'm constantly trying to do the same for myself inside! I've been called out on not being able to finish my sentences when discussing myself...Just doesn't come as naturally particularly if I'm trying to explain the way I am feeling, perhaps because much of it is based on intuition? I don't know. (see!?) But I love listening to others and getting inside their heads.

    I'm currently in the middle of a career shift (which is highly uncomfortable) and know that I must go into something that makes use of my natural abilities...and interests.


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