I Can Leap Tall Buildings in a Single Bound

Everyone has a preconceived notion of who you are. They’re never right. No one knows you. You are your own mystery. Tell them. Scream it. Make them believe you could leap tall buildings in a single bound if the thought occurred to you.
-Reid Peifer

This quote is from an essay entitled “Passion” that was printed in Violent Gusts of Wind, a kind of journal published in my high school as a sort of alternative to our official school paper, Breezes. When I first read this essay, it really spoke to me, and I’ve thought about it a lot ever since.

As I got older and learned a little bit about the MBTI/typology, I realized that this quote is especially relevant for introverts, and even more so for me and my fellow INFJs, as one attribute of that type is that we are often enigmatic and hard to get to know. Just the other day a friend posted a link to this Buzzfeed article, in which the author assigns a sort of spirit animal to each personality type. The animal she chose for INFJs was the wolf, with the following description:

INFJs are value-driven individuals who tend to remain mysterious and complex even after you’ve become close to one. They are often creative and inspired individuals. They are good at perceiving emotions and are sensitive to the feelings of others, but they are not very prone to revealing much of themselves until they trust someone completely. That said, they are intensely interested in the well-being of others and are often seen as protectors as well as natural leaders.

This is a pretty simple explanation of an INFJ, but it really resonates with me, at least with the first part. I’ve had many people tell me that I’m a complex individual, that just when they think they’ve got me “figured out,” I do something that doesn’t fit with their perception of who I am. Usually, I think of this as a great compliment. Everyone has their own preconceived notion of who I am. They’re never right.
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MBTI Debriefing at Work!

I’ve been looking forward to this for months… years, actually, since the first time we did the MBTI at work, a few years ago, I was out of town the day of the debriefing. We have a lot of new staff, so we just did it again and we had the debriefing last week. It was great! The test we did was called the MBTI Step II. Basically, that means that it splits each function up into 5 attributes, so “Introverted” can really mean 5 different things: Receiving, Intimate, Contained, Reflective and Quiet. An Introvert can be all of these things in varying degrees, or only some of them (like not all Introverts are quiet, for example), and it also splits out your “outliers” (attributes that normally are outside of your type), so it alleviates the tendency, a little bit, to assume that all INFJs or whatever are exactly the same. For example, my results are as follows:

Whereas my Step I results type me as “just” INFJ:

My Step II results are much more specific:

Same result, but much more in-depth, and it explains why, although I am a feeler, I really don’t feel very compassionate sometimes, and although I’m a J, I am pretty relaxed about things that change at the last minute, or go wrong, don’t need most things on a strict timeline, etc.

My F result is really strange– I score more on the T side on all attributes except Tough vs Tender, and yet I am typed as an F. I asked the facilitator about that, and I didn’t quite understand the response, but she said that can sometimes happen, because certain questions are weighted differently and there’s an algorithm that determines the type. Being Questioning, I’d really like to know the details on how it works, but I trust the test.

More Thoughts on Jury Duty

I’ve been thinking more about my experience on jury duty. Yesterday, one of my colleagues asked me about it. I’m almost sure this colleague is an ISFP (in fact, I think she even confirmed this when we did the MBTI at work a few years ago). She was saying how she didn’t think she’d be good at jury duty because she’s not good at making decisions. This got me thinking; of the 12 jurors, there were 7 of us who never changed our minds (well, one of those 7 did at the very end, but he didn’t vacillate). The other 5 were really on the fence the whole time, and most of them changed their minds several times. I was thinking about all of our personality types, and I think probably most of us non-vacillators are probably Js, where as the vacillators probably were mostly Ps. I don’t think the divide was 100% J vs P, but I’d be willing to bet that was a big part of it.

LA, Office Typology, and the Idea of Moving House

Wow, I haven’t blogged in awhile. I’ve been busy, and at the same time, nothing much is really happening. We’re still working on the closet project. I’m still working on my masters’ (or wherever that damn apostrophe goes) thesis. I hope to have a final draft done by this time next week. Then it will just be editing, and that will be pretty sweet.

In other news, I just got back from LA. I was there for work, visiting a few schools that send students on our study abroad programs. It was a nice visit. The colleague I traveled with was not someone I knew well prior to the trip, and it was nice to get to know him a little bit. He is one of the few of my peers in the office who doesn’t really “play the game,” which is refreshing. He’s a fellow introvert, which I had pretty much guessed, but he confirmed for me. I’m thinking he’s some type of IxxJ… possibly INFJ, but I’m thinking more likely INTJ or ISFJ. I’ll get to find out, though, within the next few months, because I have insider information that we will be doing the MBTI at a staff meeting probably this summer. (I say “again” because we did it a couple of years ago, too, but I was out of town for it! And I have “insider knowledge” in that I suggested to our director that we should do it again because we have so many new staff members, and our director also likes personality assessment stuff and said she’d actually also been thinking that we should do it again, so we will. Haha.)

It was so nice and warm and pretty in LA! Every winter, my spouse complains bitterly about the MN winter (ironic, because I’m the one who gets cold easily!) and how much he hates “this state” (I love everything about the state, actually, except the weather… I suspect he feels much the same, but he is given to hyperbole) and wants to move to Arizona or some such. Usually I tell him that I don’t want to move, especially to a red state. But I do like the dessert, and the mountains, and warm weather, and being in southern CA reminded me of that. I was also reminded of how much I love the ocean.