Friday, July 13, 2007

Still a Freak after all these years

The first time I took the Myers-Briggs personality type test I was 18 and heading off to New England for college. It told me I was an INFJ- Introverted-Intuitivite-Feeling-Judging. I thought I'd take the shorter online version just for fun. I felt I had truly become much more extroverted and rational and would probably become an ENTJ, fitting in more easily with the general population.

But I was WRONG! Thirteen years later and I'm still an INFJ, still part of the tiny .5%. I don't know whether to be happy or sad (that's the "Feeling" part kicking in), but I will say this: the test never lies.

Here's what it told me:

Your Score: Freak- INFJ

33% Extraversion, 60% Intuition, 20% Thinking, 66% Judging

"Well, well, well. How did someone like you end up with the least common personality type of them all? In a group of 100 Americans, only 0.5 others would be just like you. You really are one of a kind... In fact, I do believe that that's one of the definitions for the word "FREAK."

Freak's not such a bad word to describe you actually.

You are deep, complex, secretive and extremely difficult to understand. If that doesn't scream "Freak!" I don't know what does. No-one actually knows the REAL you, do they?

You probably have deep interests in creative expression as well as issues of spirituality and human development.

You've probably even been called a "psychic" before, because of your uncanny knack to understand and "read" people without quite knowing how you do it. Don't fret. You're not actually psychic. That would make you special and you'll never accomplish that.

You're also quite possibly the most emotional of them all, so don't take this all too hard. Nevertheless you most definitely have the strangest personality type and that's not necessarily a good thing. "

This mini-analysis is just there for acerbic silliness. I don't know about any hidden secrets or being hard to read- usually I'm told I'm gullible and guileless and that my thoughts and emotions write themselves all over my face whether I want them to or not (I usually don't want them to!). I'm not psychic, but I do tend to respond more to people's emotional states than to what they may be saying. I do sometimes have dreams that seem to reveal that my unconscious has been picking up on others' unspoken emotional states.

And I always thought I was easy to understand! Maybe only by other INFJs and by myself, though. Of course the part that may not fit with INFJ is that, no longer a pianist or actor, I still have a desire to perform. I'm not sure whether this falls under the category of extroverted or not, since performing for me involves intense focus and reaching a state I call "the zone" where time stands still and one is both communicating and retreating inside oneself. But everyone who knows me even a little bit would surely agree that I am not a "quiet leader" as INFJs are frequently described. I'm pretty outspoken, both a blurter and (on good days) a firebrand. Perhaps it's best not to give too much credence to Mmes Myers and Briggs, though it's fun like figuring out one's astrological signs. Speaking of which, I'm both a Piscean and a Fire Dragon, which seems contradictory to me. Hmpf. Go figure.

Take the test yourself:


Pantagruelle said...

I did the same online test last week when I saw it on Flavia's blog, and I got the same result. I'm an INFJ Freak too! How weird is it that the both of us would be in the same tiny 0.5%?!?!

muse said...

You and me and my Shakespearean colleague and my poet friend, apparently. It's a much larger percentage in creative and scholarly fields. I wonder how many early modernists are, though?


Count me in . . . INFJ! I didn't retake the test (I'm still abroad, and internet poor), but can't imagine I've budged much. . . I'm pretty settled with my freakishness.


All right, so I got curious and needed to procrastinate, and did it.

Still a freak.

Though my percentages are a tad different:

26% Extraversion, 53% Intuition, 46% Thinking, 66% Judging

And I'm a Virgo, which makes me an anal freak, to boot. Woo hoo! I'm a barrel o' fun.

Anonymous said...

Au contraire -- the "test" is OFTEN wrong. I don't know about those piece-of-junk online versions, but the official MBTI is only 70% accurate, according to its own manual.

I'm not suggesting INFJ is not your best-fit pattern, but I am suggesting you not think personality assessments are infallible. Those of us who are professional practitioners have to cope with its errors All The Time and try to navigate people toward their best-fit pattern whenever the results are wrong.

Moreover, your best-fit pattern does not change over the course of your life. Sure, your instruments results may be different from each taking, but that probably means your view about yourself or the world has changed, not your actual pattern.

BTW, here's a free resource for you:

muse said...

Thanks, anon- I don't think any of us is taking the test that seriously. But we like to think it is quite unusual to find so many INFJs amongst scholars of 16th and 17th century English literature!