While exploring new areas of Youtube this week, I found a Myers Briggs Temperament section. There Youtube buzzes with the interesting dynamics of human personality and temperament the formal analysis of which originates with the book, Please Understand Me and Please Understand Me II by David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates.
I discovered the book some fifteen years ago and it helped me tremendously with understanding myself as an INFJ (which comprise only 1% of the world population) and appreciating God’s purposeful wiring and design of my brain. This discovery was a huge step in the process of settling my soul into Christ.
One video in particular caught my attention, Full Explanation-The Accurate Truth (of INFJs) by TheBarracuda57, as it displayed a full and accurate portrayal of myself. In years past, I didn’t always find a fully accurate match in the varying typing descriptions of INFJs, but I did identify with the general type. However, this explanation certainly hit the nail on the head for me.
I find it so interesting that the basic number of temperament types is four. And going deeper, the total number of types is sixteen (four sub categories within each four basic types) which is a multiple of four, the number of seasons that God gave us. I can see all the types together creating a diamond, each type comprising a particular facet of the whole body. Likewise, all of God’s creation fits together in a fantastic puzzle or tapestry which we are only beginning to see pieces of, personalities and seasons being only two aspects. We have yet to fit into the tapestry the complete animal kingdom and the finite universe filled with billions of galaxies, both of which contain species and worlds undiscovered.
Anyway, all this rambling to say that I am astonished at the simplicity and complexity with which God has designed all things, including myself, a simple person with a complex mind. He has taught me to be humble and thankful for how He has designed me and at the same time to cooperate with Him in growing with a teachable spirit. In that process, He reveals His purposes for me which I find thrilling.
Many years ago before I learned about temperament types I used to feel that there was something wrong with me because I didn’t know where I fit in, thus my “misfit” theme in My Journey Through the Cross. This experience was partially due to being raised by an verbose, extroverted mother who inadvertently gave me the impression that I needed to be like her to succeed in life. That wasn’t going to happen. So I had to figure it out for myself who I was and where I belonged. And God was gracious enough to show me what I needed to know in order to accept myself so I could walk in agreement with Him (Amos 3:3). –Big step!
To address the particulars in the video, as an INFJ I do find myself very much in tune with both the physical and spiritual realms and states of mind. As a result, I enjoy experiencing our dimension and parallel universes simultaneously, the complexities of which are explained in the truths of the Bible interconnecting all dimensions.
Left brain seems to fall around sixty percent due to high order priority with the right falling around 40 percent. I have been called all of the following mentioned in the video: ethereal, mystical, protective, counselor, idealist, dreamer and psychologist. And psychic? Well, as a child during the numerous hours I spent alone in my room, I sometimes would experience a flash of a closed vision. Then three days later what I witnessed in the vision would come to pass.
Later on in my teen years I dabbled in the occult exploring palm reading, visiting a few psychics and reading some books. However, God guided me away from that like a little child taking me by the hand and saying sweetly, “No-no. We’re going this way.” I do thank Him for that experience nevertheless because having become familiar with it, I have no fear or intimidation in dealing with the occult. In fact, once He instructed me once to visit a psychic meeting at a metaphysical bookstore where I shared my faith. Very awkward but looking back, kind of fun.
A very vivid and childlike/innocent imagination I have always appreciated. My relationship with God is so close because He has given me vivid visions and experiences of Him and a childlike heart which makes intimacy and trust very natural for me. I’m always aware of God’s creation, the state of the world and spiritual energy all around me, in people and places.
Barracuda57 shares that INFJs handle rejection very well. I don’t know about “very well,” but the truth is that rejection is simply part of living in a fallen world, especially when sharing suppressed truth. I’ll probably always need to work on accepting rejection. The truth is that people often reject you because they see something in you that they fear. Or they’re just rejecting Christ in you. And people cannot receive what they’re not ready to receive.
Definitely an old soul, I had friends ages eleven and twelve when I was age nine. And funny as it may be, during our years in New England when our oldest three children were very young, I, in my late twenties, had a best friend, a widow, who was seventy-five years old. Her name was Sister Alice. Another soul mate I loved was fifteen years older than I was.
Generally, deep, quiet and reserved, I will speak for a purpose, when I want to know someone or need some information or especially to share my testimony. I am a bottom line person and feel emotions very deeply. I can be a bit of a nerd, but can be silly and do like to have fun, like riding on the back of Thom’s motorcycle. I am naturally affectionate and encouraging. Small talk I can stand only briefly and have had to work on my patience with others, especially those who need to be superficial for longer periods before they will open up. But I just take on their perspective and then I’m very patient.
People have told me, “I’ve never met anyone like you before,” and “I can’t believe you’re introverted,” both verbatim observational quotes on other INFJ profile YT videos.
People have told me that they feel calm around me and like to hear my voice because it settles them. One lady I worked with begged me to return to the job after I quit because the place, she said, wasn’t calm anymore. Maybe I appear calm, but usually have worlds of ideas and information swirling inside of me. I am 90% of the time very positive but when not, I can fall briefly into fatalistic negativity.
People I love dearly, but do find draining at times depending on the energy they entertain. The higher the vibrational frequency, the easier the fit for me. Charging my batteries by spending time alone I do often, especially after twenty years of raising four daughters while being married to an engineer.
The exact same routine over and over again makes me nuts. I need some variation so I don’t lose my mind. It’s true that can see into the soul or the true character of people without effort. I am in tune with everything all around me and have to mentally shift gears and really focus in to listen to people effectively for understanding and connection. For me it feels like ADD shifting into hyper focus.
Very connected with and protective I am over people, especially children, animals and those I’m led to disciple. My heart is passionate concerning those without a voice or the weak or innocent. I naturally agree with people as much as possible to connect with them and I can easily see all views in a conflict.
A major problem for me has been my share of empathy, which is simultaneously a gift and a burden. It is so vast and active that I’ve been forced to learn to keep it on a tight leash so I can function. Naturally, I am overly in tune with the suffering and downtrodden in the world and must put all that into context spiritually then do only what God leads me to do (Luke 10:42, John 7:17), and be resolved with that. This mode of operating felt ruthless at first, but when I saw how efficient and effective I became in applying it (Heb. 12:1), I had to go with it.
Sometimes I find it difficult to express myself and need time to process my thoughts since I can have so many varied and apparently conflicting thoughts coming in at once. I might need a minute to sort and file them. For example, when two people are having an argument I can see both sides and instantly know intuitively all the issues and resolution steps. The problem is I can’t instantly verbalize all of them, but need a few minutes to sort them out on paper so they can be understood and received effectively by both parties.
All my life I have definitely felt alone, which I distinguish from feeling lonely. I enjoy being alone, like I said before, and I am in touch with enough close friends (the only kind I have) that I don’t usually find myself lonely. When I do I usually integrate and connect with my close friends to compensate and rebalance myself.
Simplicity, purity and keeping the natural state of things are themes in my life. I do tend to be somewhat old-fashioned wearing classic clothing. Generally, I am averse to wearing lots of make-up for no reason or flashy/faddy clothes or owning gaudy cars or jewelry; also man-made objects, cars, buildings, asphalt, machinery do not necessarily turn me on. Living in a big city, I focus on the trees and birds and spending time walking or riding bikes deep in the woods is very therapeutic for me.
God has taught me not to abide in or hide my emotions, but to let them cycle as they need to. I was raised in a family where we didn’t express emotions so He had to free me from that bondage. When I am speaking of something about which I am passionate, I will sometimes tear up, yes, in public. And I am not embarrassed about it at all. Just authentic and free.
I am sensitive to people, my environment and many other things including food and eat a very refined diet. The book, The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron, has taught me about myself as well, speaking of sensitivities. There is so much to say here that I’ll save it for another post. Suffice it to say that I’m kin to an Orchid or fine china, and must take very good care of myself if I am to be of any use in this world.
INFJs can be perfectionists, I being a reformed one. God has taught me that perfectionism is flesh performance/self-righteousness or an attempt to force a Garden of Eden experience onto a fallen world. The truth is that only He can do that. Now I simply surrender to the Holy Spirit living inside me, abide in Him and walk in a spirit of excellence and integrity, and He brings the fruit of His perfection in the Spirit in his timing because He is my Perfection.
Often quick to give people credit or benefit of the doubt when I might need to slow down and check things out, I must be mindful of this tendency and use boundaries. The spirit of discernment is usually quick to reveal any issues to me though. Also, I have to watch out for having unrealistic expectations and going off on tangents. That takes discipline.
Definitely a peace maker, I am direct when necessary (like when dealing with S types) but ultimately speak with sensitivity to others’ needs. I do tend to have direct eye contact which bothers some people so I am sensitive to tone it down if it makes others uncomfortable. I seem naturally to give off the energy that I sense they need to open up or grow or whatever.
With anger I have learned to deal with pretty well at this point. I am always careful not to express myself before I decompress inside and choose my words carefully. I have been so damaged by the anger and ugliness of others, I recoil at the thought of passing on that curse. But I do remember well two exceptions. I blew a fuse when two of my teens were being sassy and disrespectful to someone I cared about. They thought is was funny. Another time I lost it when I resigned a “Christian” job which turned out to be a toxic mess where they were essentially committing fraud and refusing to take any suggestions to remedy it. I kept seeing the possibility that things could turn around (had they surrendered to the Holy Spirit), but when the owner started speaking disrespectfully to me on top of everything else, that was it. I recon if they had not been servicing “in the name of Christ” I wouldn’t have cared so much.
Unlike some descriptions of INFJs, I am easily transparent and will definitely initiate things if so led. I can lead or follow, preferring now to follow after leading the pack of four kids, two of whom were strong-willed, for twenty years. Although I look innocent and ethereal to some people, I still have a inner warrior who rarely feels the need to surface these days. She can be tough and will step up to the plate, pull the trigger or die on a hill when necessary.
I find myself very complex and sometimes contradictory which is conflicting inside. But just like in Scripture, once you study the apparent contradictions, a new truth you discover. In myself, the contradictions are only apparent and reveal a deeper purpose once I discover it. I have tried to take the time to identify, accept and balance the various pieces of myself which is not easy. I have a long ways to go and God just shows me what I need to know at the right time.
Accepting people where they are is important to me, as well as listening to them prayerfully for understanding and connection. I want people to feel heard and understood by me since I have rarely felt that from others in my life, and as an INFJ, is it any wonder? In addition, I ask God to use me to speak to others because His Spirit is so desperately needed in the world today.
Big picture: We are all in this limited deceptive dimension of time together. By giving our souls grace and truth and time and room to settle down into Christ, we can be available to listen to, be patient with and love others. This heart posture will help them find for themselves the truth and the light that we have come to know. What a grand purpose we have!
If you have never explored the temperament types, I encourage you to discover your type and learn about God’s unique design of you so you can come to accept yourself and walk in agreement with Him (Amos 3:3). You may not fit the temperament stereotype exactly but will surely resonate with the type generally, and you may find yourself midway between one of the four letters in your type (E/I, S/N, T/F, J/P).
It’s easy for some to get sucked into the vortex of analyzing the all interesting types and how they relate, so guard yourself unless, of course, you find it helpful for you in your career, marriage or personal life. And maybe it could even become a new hobby for you.
Whatever the case, let’s settle our souls deeply into Christ so that we can celebrate God’s unique facet design of us, and maximize His use of us and our ease and enjoyment of being used by Him.
God’s richest blessings to you!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.
but few things are needed—or indeed only one.
Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?
1 Corinthians 12:27
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.