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Personality Type Crisis: Am I INFJ or INTP?
Five years ago, I took the Briggs and Myerson personality test inside the book, Do What You Are. At the time, I tested as an INTJ (Introspective, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging). Recently, a cute little Facebook quiz asked the question again, only this time I scored differently. I was disappointed to not be an INTJ. I actually wanted to be a specific type, mostly for the exclusivity. But truth be told, I’m not so logical that I don’t frequently live by intuition and feelings. If anything, I’m always a confusing blend of logic, emotion, and intuition. After the Facebook quiz, I went online and looked at the traits and characteristics of various personality types, and I’ve narrowed it down to two possibilities – INFJ or INTP. According to one source, these two types belong to different groups: Intellectuals and Visionaries.
Intellectuals (NT) • ENTJ – Chief • ENTP – Originator • INTJ – Strategist • INTP – Engineer
Visionaries (NF) • ENFJ – Mentor • ENFP – Advocate • INFJ – Confidant • INFP – Dreamer
Oddly enough, I don’t feel like either an Engineer or a Confidant, but more like a Strategist or a Dreamer. Sheesh. Whatever. Let’s take a look at some of the primary INFJ traits and see how I score:
INFJs generally have the following traits:
• Intuitively understand people and situations? Yes • Idealistic? Yes • Highly principled? Yes • Complex and deep? Yes • Natural leaders? Yes • Sensitive and compassionate towards people? 50/50 • Service-oriented? No • Future-oriented? Yes • Value deep, authentic relationships? Yes • Reserved about expressing their true selves? 50/50 • Dislike dealing with details unless they enhance or promote their vision? Yes • Constantly seeking meaning and purpose in everything? Yes • Creative and visionary? Yes • Intense and tightly-wound? 50/50 • Can work logically and rationally – use their intuition to understand the goal and work backwards towards it? Uncertain 11.5 Checks 2.5 Nos 1 Uncertain Seems pretty definitive. Let’s see how I do with the traits of an INTP:
INTPs generally have the following traits:
• Love theory and abstract ideas? Yes • Truth Seekers – they want to understand things by analyzing underlying principles and structures? Yes • Value knowledge and competence above all else? No. Not necessarily • Have very high standards for performance, which they apply to themselves? 50/50 • Independent and original, possibly eccentric? 50/50 • Work best alone, and value autonomy? Yes • Have no desire to lead or follow? No • Dislike mundane detail? Yes • Not particularly interested in the practical application of their work? Yes • Creative and insightful? Yes • Future-oriented? Yes • Usually brilliant and ingenius? Debatable • Trust their own insights and opinions above others? Yes • Live primarily inside their own minds, and may appear to be detached and uninvolved with other people? 50/50 9.5 Yes 3.5 No 1 Uncertain So there you have it. I have no clue. I know I’m definitely not an INTJ or an INFP based on the descriptions, but INFJ and INTP seem to overlap for me. Given the need to choose, I’d say I feel most solidarity towards INFJ, because there are elements described that feel more true or more core to me than those of any other type.
Turns Out I'm Neither
Since I first wrote this post, I've consistently tested as an INFP. Here's the breakdown... INFPs generally have the following traits:
Strong value systems? Yes
Warmly interested in people? Yes
Service-oriented, usually putting the needs of others above their own? As a parent, definitely. Otherwise, nah.
Loyal and devoted to people and causes? Yes
Growth-oriented; always want to be growing in a positive direction? Yes
Creative and inspirational? Yes
Flexible and laid-back, unless a ruling principle is violated? Yes
Sensitive and complex? Yes
Dislike dealing with details and routine work? Yes
Original and individualistic - "out of the mainstream"? Definitely
Excellent written communication skills? Yes
Prefer to work alone, and may have problems working on teams? Yes
Want to be seen and appreciated for who they are? Yes
What about you? Which type are you? Are you definitively one type, or like me where you could be several? Would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.