Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Random Thoughts On Personality

I always thought Personality Types rather bogus... though I used to read Personality Type books when I was younger 
(I used to read manners books too... my brother asked me if I'd read something the other day, and I was like... Probably yes - I've read the back of the cereal box on the table three times).

Thinking them bogus didn't stop me from taking Personality Tests, though.

Want to know the real me?
Here's all you need to know:

 INFP -  "Questor". High capacity for caring. Emotional face to the world. High sense of honor derived from internal values. 4.4% of total population.
Personality Test by SimilarMinds.com

Incredible how one's entire personality can be condensed into a paragraph. I wouldn't quite believe it... except here's the long version.
(Which you may be interested in if you're an INFP, otherwise... skip it. :D Or go here to see what you are. Their test costs money (!) but they do link to free ones.)
Portrait of an INFP - Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving
(Introverted Feeling with Extraverted Intuition)

The Idealist

As an INFP, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit into your personal value system. Your secondary mode is external, where you take things in primarily via your intuition.
INFPs, more than other iNtuitive Feeling types, are focused on making the world a better place for people. Their primary goal is to find out their meaning in life. What is their purpose? How can they best serve humanity in their lives? They are idealists and perfectionists, who drive themselves hard in their quest for achieving the goals they have identified for themselves
INFPs are highly intuitive about people. They rely heavily on their intuitions to guide them, and use their discoveries to constantly search for value in life. They are on a continuous mission to find the truth and meaning underlying things. Every encounter and every piece of knowledge gained gets sifted through the INFP's value system, and is evaluated to see if it has any potential to help the INFP define or refine their own path in life. The goal at the end of the path is always the same - the INFP is driven to help people and make the world a better place.
Generally thoughtful and considerate, INFPs are good listeners and put people at ease. Although they may be reserved in expressing emotion, they have a very deep well of caring and are genuinely interested in understanding people. This sincerity is sensed by others, making the INFP a valued friend and confidante. An INFP can be quite warm with people he or she knows well.
INFPs do not like conflict, and go to great lengths to avoid it. If they must face it, they will always approach it from the perspective of their feelings. In conflict situations, INFPs place little importance on who is right and who is wrong. They focus on the way that the conflict makes them feel, and indeed don't really care whether or not they're right. They don't want to feel badly. This trait sometimes makes them appear irrational and illogical in conflict situations. On the other hand, INFPs make very good mediators, and are typically good at solving other people's conflicts, because they intuitively understand people's perspectives and feelings, and genuinely want to help them.
INFPs are flexible and laid-back, until one of their values is violated. In the face of their value system being threatened, INFPs can become aggressive defenders, fighting passionately for their cause. When an INFP has adopted a project or job which they're interested in, it usually becomes a "cause" for them. Although they are not detail-oriented individuals, they will cover every possible detail with determination and vigor when working for their "cause".
When it comes to the mundane details of life maintenance, INFPs are typically completely unaware of such things. They might go for long periods without noticing a stain on the carpet, but carefully and meticulously brush a speck of dust off of their project booklet.
INFPs do not like to deal with hard facts and logic. Their focus on their feelings and the Human Condition makes it difficult for them to deal with impersonal judgment. They don't understand or believe in the validity of impersonal judgment, which makes them naturally rather ineffective at using it. Most INFPs will avoid impersonal analysis, although some have developed this ability and are able to be quite logical. Under stress, it's not uncommon for INFPs to mis-use hard logic in the heat of anger, throwing out fact after (often inaccurate) fact in an emotional outburst.
INFPs have very high standards and are perfectionists. Consequently, they are usually hard on themselves, and don't give themselves enough credit. INFPs may have problems working on a project in a group, because their standards are likely to be higher than other members' of the group. In group situations, they may have a "control" problem. The INFP needs to work on balancing their high ideals with the requirements of every day living. Without resolving this conflict, they will never be happy with themselves, and they may become confused and paralyzed about what to do with their lives.
INFPs are usually talented writers. They may be awkward and uncomfortable with expressing themselves verbally, but have a wonderful ability to define and express what they're feeling on paper. INFPs also appear frequently in social service professions, such as counseling or teaching. They are at their best in situations where they're working towards the public good, and in which they don't need to use hard logic.
INFPs who function in their well-developed sides can accomplish great and wonderful things, which they will rarely give themselves credit for. Some of the great, humanistic catalysts in the world have been INFPs.
Jungian functional preference ordering:
Dominant: Introverted Feeling
Auxiliary: Extraverted Intuition
Tertiary: Introverted Sensing
Inferior: Extraverted Thinking 

When I first read all that, I was shocked. How could anyone describe me so well! But it did... which made me finally agree that there might be something to the personality type thing after all.

And then it totally blew me away when I took one of the tests for a character of mine... and got a result that could have been taken directly from my story! That was scary... though it was really fun. :) I love strong characters... :D 

However, I still find the idea itself of personality typing slightly irritating... probably because one of the books I read discussed which personality types were more likely to believe in God or to "have religious experiences," which bugged me to nooo end. How can something like that be put into a personality type? I suppose it's an attempt to explain away anything spiritual as merely a type of imagination... but it's still annoying that people have to try so very hard to find a "natural" reason for God. How "natural" are personality types? I mean, seriously...

What about you?
Have any of you taken a similar test? What are you? 
Or, writers, taken one for any of your characters?

How accurate do you think think personality typing is? Do you think it helps people or hurts them? Do you think it has a point?

5 thoughts shared:

Liz said...

I too think many personality tests are lame, but this one I found to be quite accurate and illuminating too. It's thorough and it really identifies people well. I also found it helpful in the fact that it identified some of the main flaws of my personality that I was reluctant to view as flaws (stubbornness, intellectual snobbiness, etc.). Seeing that those flaws are an innate part of my nature helped me realize exactly how much I need to strive to conquer them!
This test, though, is also just plain interesting! =)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Katherina Sophia. And thank you, by the way, for the lovely review! I was so encouraged and blessed by your words! A million thanks =)

Love in Christ,
~ Liz

Jenna Blake Morris said...

I've taken a few in the past. They always end up eerily accurate -- but I've never thought of doing that for my characters. Great idea! I'll have to try it now.

Vicki said...

Hey, I'm an INFP, too! No wonder we're so much alike! :-D

Here's my favorite page on INFP's ... it sounds so inspirational. It makes me feel special. ;-)


I hope all is going well for you, my friend!

Love in Christ,

Jessica said...

*giggling* I almost feel guilty reading that...I am such an idealist...oh no logic please! THERE IS PASSION!...about somethings....I really could care less about the stain the carpet but I haven't had Hershey's chocolate since January (at least that I know of) because it's one of my causes.

But yeah...EP!
Thank you for posting this! I loved it!

Katherine Sophia said...

This test i just fun. :) And I'm glad you liked the review, Liz! :) I loved your book! :D

They are weird, aren't they, Jenna? :) But yeah, that's how I know a character has a strong personality - when the test ends up that with that same eerily accurate result that describes the character. :D

Haha, Vicki, that explains a lot. :D Oh, I like that INFP page too! :) Thanks for sharing it. And it's nice to hear from you! I hope you're having a good month! :)

lol, Jessica... Hang logic... now I know why I like that idea so much. XD I'm glad you liked it!


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