Sunday, March 22, 2015

The INFP in Me.

Every time I take the Briggs-Myers Personality Assessment, no matter which version, I always end up as an INFP. I like these infographics, used with permission from CPP:

Of course, these don't constitute an in-depth description of me as an individual, but they give the thumbnail sketch and I find it fascinating that a fairly simple questionnaire gives me a way to begin to explain how I deal with the world. I'm not actually a fan of letting my genetics or type dictate the choices I make, however, and so I actively seek to make sure I'm not making wrong or even dumb choices because the INFP in me says it's okay. I strive regularly to reach beyond my tendencies. Interestingly, I find I am most deeply happy when I do that, meaning when I take control and use my superpowers for good rather than using them to make excuses or avoid hard things just because I can. Sort of like emotional sky diving. I'm not being untrue to myself, I'm using what I know about myself to become better. I hope that makes sense.

Anyway, I happened to be on Facebook this morning because, most delightfully, a friend I met in NZ messaged me out of the blue and we were chatting. Afterward, I was scrolling through my facebook feed (I usually don't do that, so I really don't know what came over me) and right then, in that moment, I got a valuable new opportunity to rise above something instead of letting my initial reaction be my boss. It's amazing how often checking a social media feed gives me those opportunities. Can you relate?  I wrote about my still-evolving relationship with facebook here. 

Back to the story. After feeling so happy about messaging with the friend on the other side of the world, I saw someone else's post and BOOM, a multitude of negative emotions flooded over me. Wait. Seriously??? Yes. INFP. Pirates cheat. INFP's are emotional boomerangs. 

The opposite of Spock. 

I was really trying to be in control and not revert to my 13-year old self. It was hard, but I can honestly say that I was able to regain my equilibrium by considering my tendencies and type. Captain Jack proved that a Pirate can have a soul and I was determined to prove that this INFP can have a brain. The P in INFP means Perceiving as opposed to Judging. That means I have a tendency to react to the initial visual and emotional assessment of something--how it looks and feels--rather than taking a minute to think and consider facts. Sometimes that's awesome because I can quickly get the measure of the metadata of a situation-the stuff that needs to be felt rather than judged. Spock needed Kirk (a famous ENFP*). Sometimes it's less awesome because of that roller coaster deal from the last post. Kirk definitely needed Spock. 

Here's the thing though. As I said, what I'm consciously working on is making sure these realizations don't lead me to give myself permission to default to my type, as though it's manifest destiny. Instead, I hope I will be ever more able to master the moment and think about what I already know for sure. I want to be able to relax and respond with grace rather than simply reacting. This time, it really did help. INFP's are adaptable, too. 

Can I have a Hallelujah please!

In the end, it can be a simple process of counting blessings. It's that dang subjunctive again. Rather than "This should have been different, darn it!" which is actually not helpful at all and basically a waste of mental energy for me, it became "This actually doesn't change my current reality one bit. Nothing that I knew about myself or anyone else before this moment is suddenly untrue, thus all is well." 

I know. A moment of Zen...

I really do hope I live another 48 years so I can actually get good at this stuff, because I tell you, that 13-year old was dangerously close to busting out and that is just frustrating. Come ON! Can I just be a grown up all the time, please? 

Line upon line, people. Line. Upon. Line. 

*I do realize Spock and Kirk are imaginary. Most of the time. Captain Jack is another matter entirely.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Kelly...I love you. This is so tricky and I will give you your Hallelujia!!


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