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Extraverted Animals and Their Myers-Briggs Personality Types

Animals have complex personalities. Some seem almost human. Those of us who love dogs and cats know this, but wild creatures are a different story. They live in worlds apart from us, so we underestimate their intelligence, intuition and altruism. They’re not simple beings. They’re as varied as we are.

In another blog, we describe introverted (I) animals: the owl, sloth, deer, octopus, wolf, beaver, meerkat, and house cat. Here we describe the more sociable species, the extraverted (E) animals: the fox, lion, otter, dolphin, honeybee, parrot, elephant, and dog.

ESTP: Fox

Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking and Perceiving
estp-foxLike most ESTPs, foxes look for pleasure in life and want to share it with others. ESTPs are charismatic and dramatic. They’re spontaneous and fun to watch. They know how to influence those around them. In this respect, foxes are like their ESTP human counterparts. If you’re looking for a good time, foxes will quickly endear themselves to you. They’re also quick-witted and can be tricky.

The jury is still out on foxes as pets. Farmers who keep chickens don’t have much good to say about foxes because they raid henhouses. However, some fox breeds have been domesticated to live with people. Families who adopt them say they’re as much fun as dogs and cats but more trouble. They must be kept in secure outdoor enclosures when not watched as they’re escape artists. Because of their high energy, owners need to provide them with tunnels, balls and chew toys. Left free to roam in the house, they make a mess. Also, they’re expensive to keep, considering vet bills alone.

ENTJ: Lion

Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Judging

 entj-lionAs ENTJs, lions are independent, logical thinkers. They live in packs called “prides.” Because they’re thinking (T) types, they don’t let emotions enter their decision-making process. That’s why they’re often seen as callous. But these fierce cats can be warm and nurturing with members of their group. They’re caring parents, protective of their cubs and relatives. At the same time, they’re enterprising and powerful. Just like ENTJ people.

The stories of lions as pets almost always have a bad ending. While lions are cute and cuddly as kittens, they have another 15 years of life to live as wild animals. Nothing can change their instinctive nature. There’s a good reason people don’t keep big cats in their homes. Families lose their homeowner’s insurance, their neighbors hate them, and they get frequent visits from the police, not to mention federal and state wildlife officers. And then there’s the expense of feeding them. Lions need to eat about 10 pounds of raw meat daily at least five days a week.

ESFP: Otter

Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling and Perceiving

esfp-otter As ESFPs, otters revel in the moment. They live at top speed. They’re playful, generous with others of their species, and always see the bright side of life. They love having new adventures with their friends. Learning things in a routine way is not their thing. They like to experiment. They’re intelligent and creative. The object of life is to have a good time and eat well, lying on their backs cracking open shellfish or zooming around underwater looking for fish.

Do otters make good pets? It’s almost impossible to own an otter safely and keep it happy unless you own a lake. If otters are taken in the house, they produce a strong smell. They can spray like a skunk. Some bite when they’re displeased. They have sharp claws and teeth. Plus, they eat several pounds of seafood a day, which could put quite a dent in a grocery budget.

ENFP: Dolphin

Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Perceiving

enfp-dolphinDolphins are so sociable that they make friends not only with their own kind but with other species such as humans. They’re keenly aware of the feelings and needs of those around them. They aim to please. Like most ENFPs, dolphins enjoy company and are seldom out on their own. They have boundless energy and enthusiasm. It’s not unusual for beach-goers to see groups of them playing offshore, performing in the water like synchronized swimmers. ENFPs, including dolphins, get bored easily and are always ready for new adventures.

Dolphins are not pets. Many people even question the ethics of keeping them in water parks. The capture of dolphins in the sea is a violent event and causes the families of these intelligent water mammals much pain—not unlike that felt by human families that have had a child kidnapped. Kids and adults who watch them perform are usually delighted. Animal welfare people take a different view.

ESTJ: Honeybee

Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking and Judging

estj-beeESTJ honeybees are civic-minded creatures that try to improve their society, organize their environment, and make improvements. They’re perfect counterparts to ESTJ humans. They’re good at making their needs and desires known. As strong believers in the letter of the law, they follow rules and regulations. No-nonsense bees are practical and direct and have little use for new experiences. Bees live in a complex, cooperative society.

Needless to say, there’s no such thing as a pet bee. However, humans have kept bee colonies since the Paleolithic Age, as shown in cave drawings. While many people keep bees for their honey, others use them to pollinate trees and plants. In recent years, urban bee-keeping has become popular. Families feed the bees by planting flowers that provide nectar and pollen. Just as ESTJ humans are “busy bees,” these tiny animals perform many chores: cleaning, making wax, repairing their hive, and feeding their young.

ENTP: Parrot

Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Perceiving

entp-parrotENTPs value intelligence and skill over all other things. They’re often described as witty, bright and resourceful. Parrots, the perfect ENTPs, can speak, hold conversations with their human owners, and even make jokes. They like to analyze every side of things and are creative thinkers and workers. They take pleasure in the company of others. ENTPs enjoy a constant flow of inspiration and jump from one challenge to another.

While parrots are hard to resist as pets because of their beauty and intelligence, owners often get more than they bargained for. The screeching and chattering can get tiresome. Parrots are cute when young but demanding when they reach adulthood. And they’re a long-term commitment, as they can live to be fifty years old. The exceptional minds of these birds make them both a joy and a challenge. Some talk and behave at the level of a three-year-old child. Parrots need an enormous amount of attention and care, more than most people can provide.

ESFJ: Elephant

Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling and Judging
esfj-elephantLike their human ESFJ counterparts, elephants are genuine and authentic. They care deeply for each other. ESFJ elephants bring out the best in those around them. They’re loyal and responsible to their families and members of their herd.They are tolerant of the faults of others. However, they’re also sensitive and their feelings are easily hurt.

Elephants are among the world’s most intelligent animals. They have larger brains than humans. They are highly compassionate and kind, even coming to the aid of other species—including humans. Because of the high intelligence and strong family ties of elephants, many believe that it’s morally wrong for humans to capture them and use them for entertainment, work or other purposes. Howeve, few people even think about getting a pet elephant. Those who do are signing up for enormous responsibility and expense. Elephants eat over 400 pounds of fodder and other foods per day.

ENFJ: Dog

Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Judging

enfj-dogLike ENFJ people, dogs like to have a wide variety of friends. Dogs who are confined alone often become depressed and irritable. Dogs are cheerleaders and love to greet their families with a face lick and wagging tail. They feel good when those around them feel good.They are the picture of loyalty, which they give freely and accept joyfully. Usually, they adapt to new groups easily, as can be witnessed at any dog park. They are truly team players.

Dogs, all descended from the grey wolf thousands of years ago, come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Over 300 breeds of dogs are now recognized, ranging in size from the tiny Chihuahua to the huge Great Dane and St. Bernard. More than any other animal, dogs understand humans and bond with them. They learn easily. They’re hard workers, too, rounding up sheep and cows, doing police work, and even guiding the blind and disabled. Many families feel their homes wouldn’t be complete without a dog.

 

Introverted Disney Characters and Their Personality Types: Part 1 of a Two-Part Series

Why do we love Disney characters so much? What is it about their stories that touches our hearts?

We see reflections of own personalities in characters like Jiminy Cricket, Alice in Wonderland, Pocahontas, and even Merlin. If you know your Myers-Briggs personality type, maybe you can relate to some of them. This blog tells you about the introverts (I) among Disney’s colorful animated characters

aliceintpINTP: Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland is an INTP from a Disney film of that name. The movie opens with Alice sitting by a river, bored and sleepy. Suddenly a white rabbit wearing a waistcoat and pocket watch runs by. True to her adventurous nature, Alice follows him down a rabbit hole, where she falls and falls until she lands in the strange world called Wonderland. Her curious mind leads her into many adventures.

INTPs are introverted (I), intuitive (N), thinking (T), and perceiving (P). They explore creative possibilities using their well-developed intuition. Their ability to take in new information seems endless. Just like Alice in Wonderland, they question everything that happens to them, testing new ideas for accuracy. They are quiet, private and observant. Their brains never stop working.

belleinfpINFP: Belle

Belle, an INFP from the Disney film “Beauty and the Beast,” is magically transported into a land where she meets an ugly beast. She loves the Beast, not knowing that he’s a prince under a spell. Only her love can transform him back to the handsome young prince he once was.

INFPs are introverted (I), intuitive (N), feeling (F), and perceiving (P). With her INFP personality, Belle is always open to new experiences. She is a soft-spoken idealist who dedicates herself to helping others. INFPs have strong values that guide their choices in life. Although they live by self-imposed codes, they don’t burden others with their beliefs. They avoid conflict and try not to tell others what to do. They can be assertive when they need to. They always abide by their deeply rooted code of honor.

jiminycricketisfjISFJ: Jiminy Cricket

In the Disney movie “Pinocchio,” ISFJ Jiminy Cricket is given the job of serving as Pinocchio’s conscience. Jiminy is comical and wise, a companion to Pinocchio in his adventures. After the Disney movie became such a great success, Jiminy Cricket appeared in a series of educational films for grade-schoolers. He showed kids how to steer clear of strangers and warned them about other dangers.

ISFJs are introverted (I), sensing (S), feeling (F), and judging (J). As an ISFJ, Jiminy Cricket is modest, orderly and easygoing, but he has a strong sense of duty. ISFJs put much of their energy into helping others. They can be counted on in times of trouble. ISFJs are practical and down-to-earth and rely on the “now” to guide their thinking and behavior. They’re not much concerned about the future. With little need to control others, the main desire of the ISFJ is to see everyone living in harmony.

pocahantasinfjINFJ: Pocahontas

INFJ Pocahontas, the main character of Disney’s animated film by that name, meets Captain John Smith during early colonial days. The encounter occurs while Smith is exploring the wilderness as his ship’s crew searches for gold. The father of Pocahontas, Chief Powhatan, has ordered her to keep away from the English, but she disobeys. When Smith is captured and about to be put to death, Pocahontas rescues him.

INFJs are introverted (I), intuitive (N), feeling (F), and judging (J). Like all INFJs, Pocahontas is kind, generous and supportive of others. If someone needs help they’re there for them. The integrity of INFJs is evident in everything they do. They’re not outspoken unless they see injustice. Then their actions reflect their ideals. People with problems can rely on INFJs to suggest creative solutions or step in to help in emergencies.

INTJ: Basilbasilintj

INTJ Basil, the main character of Disney’s film “The Great Mouse Detective,” is a brilliant, plucky mouse who refuses to back down in difficult situations. Basil is a jack-of-all-trades and an expert at disguise, even though it sometimes fails. While Basil is typically calm and collected, he can be moody if things don’t go his way. He knows how to be affectionate when someone needs a boost.

INTJs are introverted (I), intuitive (N), thinking (T), and judging (J). They are one of the most independent Myers-Briggs personality types. Sometimes INTJs seem so confident that people find them annoying. They’re occasionally accused of being argumentative. When told this, INTJs can be hurt. That wasn’t their intention. They see themselves as encouraging improvement in others. People of this personality type are good organizers, often rising to leadership positions. They’re good at seeing the big picture.


li-shangistjISTJ: Li Shang

Captain Li Shang is a powerful no-nonsense military man in Disney’s animated film “Mulan.” An ISTJ, he can be harsh in getting his messages across to underlings, but he’s an efficient leader. Li Shang is opinionated about women until he meets Mulan, to whom he is attracted. His social awkwardness is shown by the way he congratulates her for her success in saving China. He tells Mulan, “You fight good.”

ISTJs are introverted (I), sensing (S), thinking (T), and judging (J). They are among the most responsible of Myers-Briggs types. They’re also the most private. In making decisions, they focus on concrete information, missing nothing and taking nothing for granted. They’re not always easy to deal with. While they know how to be cordial when it’s required, it’s usually because they’re trying to be appropriate. Underneath the friendly façade, they remain introverts.

pumbaaisfpISFP: Pumbaa

ISFP Pumbaa, a warthog, is an open-hearted character from Disney’s animated film “The Lion King.” While he sometimes acts like an innocent child, Pumbaa is actually the brains of the outfit. Still, he’s not without his moments of absentmindedness. Pumbaa has a strong sense of loyalty and devotion towards his friends, even when they get into trouble despite his warnings. His courage enables him to rescue Simba.

ISFPs are introverted (I), sensing (S), feeling (F), and perceiving (P). They are more in touch with themselves and the world around them than most other types. They are driven by a love of life and a desire to see and know about everything. They encourage others while not intruding or imposing on them. Because of their gentle, compassionate nature, they may find that other, more assertive types overlook their abilities or take advantage of them.

tinkerbellistpISTP: Tinker Bell

ISTP Tinker Bell is a famous fairy in several animated Disney films. She stands up for the people she cares for, even though she’s not the most tactful fairy in the world. Fearless and determined, she has an active mind. As her name suggests, she’s a tinker. She’s skilled at fixing things, mainly pots and kettles. She also comes up with new inventions to help her friends. Her one weakness is her short temper.

ISTPs are introverted (I), sensing (S), thinking (T), and perceiving (P). As observers of life, they don’t miss much. They’re logical and adaptable to any situation. They can be relied on when immediate action is needed. They need clear goals and are good at working with their hands. ISTPs always look for the most efficient ways to get the job done and ignore details that aren’t important. When things go wrong, unless it’s in their personal lives, they keep a stiff upper lip and move on.

Part 2, Extraverted Disney Characters and Their Personality Types, will follow in the next blog.

INFJ Meets ISFJ

INFJs and ISFJs are alike in many ways. They’re introverted, feeling, and judging. They differ only on the intuitive/sensing dimension of the Myers-Briggs Inventory. Both types put much of their energy into helping others and share a drive to make the world a better place. People can count on them in times of trouble.

Although INFJs and ISFJs have high ideals, they’re modest about them. They prefer to make their values apparent in their actions. This is partly due to their introverted personalities and desire to avoid the spotlight. Seldom do they call attention to themselves or demand recognition for their achievements.

The main difference between INFJs and ISFJs is that INFJs are more perceptive. They pick up on the motives of others quickly. Because they’re so sharp at spotting phony behaviors in people, their judgments are sometimes harsh. On the other hand, ISFJs are somewhat naïve. They have a hard time understanding power-hungry people or those with self-serving motives. They are bewildered by greed and unkindness as it’s so foreign to their natures. INFJs and ISFJs complement each other because they meet somewhere in the middle. INFJs protect ISFJs from their gullibility, and ISFJs are models of tolerance.

Quiet and unassuming, INFJs and ISFJs aren’t easy to get to know, but people close to them value their friendship.

In Love

Both INFJs and ISFJs take romantic relationships seriously and are attentive to their partners’ needs. In their speech and demeanor, they’re tactful and kind. At the same time, their introverted natures make them cautious about expressing their feelings for fear of rejection. These two types may be so cautious in their approach to romance that more extraverted partners get impatient with them. INFJs and ISFJs have a tendency to hold back on the playful aspects of their personalities until they know people well.

INFJs and ISFJs sometimes remain in partnerships that are no longer working. The thought of leaving a relationship makes them nervous and insecure. When either of these types is left by a partner, they’re deeply hurt. Typically, their self-esteem suffers and they go through a period of painful self-examination. If they don’t turn to friends for support, they’re slow to regroup and move on. Some grow quiet, trying to appear composed and stoic to the people around them.

At Home

The homes of INFJs tend to be more cluttered than those of ISFJs. An abundance of books, crafts supplies, musical instruments, and other paraphernalia lie around the house, allowing INFJs to pursue their hobbies at a moment’s notice. While they would prefer a tidy environment, housekeeping has a lower priority than having fun. When family members complain about the mess, however, INFJs will pick up after themselves.

ISFJs’ homes are usually neater, as they’re more prompt about attending to home maintenance and domestic chores. Sometimes their sense of responsibility prompts them to take on more than they can handle. They may complain about their workload in a martyred sort of way, but then turn down offers of assistance from family members. To accept help makes them feel inadequate and guilty.

Celebrations such as birthdays and anniversaries are important to ISFJs, who are more traditional than INFJs. To get the most enjoyment out of such events, they participate enthusiastically in the preparations—cooking the holiday meal, cleaning the house, and so on. This is one way they show their commitment and love.

Both Myers-Briggs types take their parenting responsibilities seriously. For them parenthood is a lifelong commitment. Protective and patient, they’re likely to set aside their own needs to be sure their children are taken care of first. They give them every opportunity for a good education, for example. While ISFJs tend to encourage their children along conventional career lines, INFJs are more broad minded. They’re tolerant of unusual extracurricular and career interests as long as their children put forth genuine effort.

INFJs and ISFJs desire harmony above all. They want their partners and children to be happy. As a result, they sometimes sidestep family conflicts that should be resolved for the good of everyone.

At Work

INFJs and ISFJs need careers that are consistent with their values and desire to serve others. ISFJs are generally satisfied with conventional careers that focus on short-term goals and hands-on attention to detail, while INFJs feel fulfilled only when their intuition and creativity are called into play and they’re involved in long-range planning and problem-solving.

Both personality types are averse to conflicts and stress in the workplace. INFJs can become rigid and uncommunicative in a competitive or intense work environment. Eventually, they look for another job. ISFJs are likely to keep trying, working harder in the hope that the situation will improve.

Growing Older

INFJs and ISFJs enjoy their retirement years if they’re free of financial worries and have leisure time to pursue their interests. INFJs, once preoccupied with world problems, become more relaxed as they grow older, leaving many of their worries behind and enjoying the present. They’re likely to decide that the state of the world is the next generation’s problem.

ISFJs, always more now-oriented than INFJs, also enjoy being released from the time-consuming obligations that characterized their working years. With age, they become less self-critical and more extraverted. Their give their own needs and desires higher priority than they once did. Still, being of service to others remains important.

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INFJ Meets INTJ

INFJs (introverted, intuitive, feeling and judging) and INTJs (introverted, intuitive, thinking and judging) are suited to each other in many ways. Both are independent and guided by their intuition. However, INFJs are more tactful about insisting on their autonomy. INTJs can be confrontational. Sometimes they’re so confident that they seem argumentative. INFJs aren’t comfortable with this. When an INTJ seems to be picking an argument, an INFJ friend can be surprised and hurt, even though this is rarely the INTJ’s intention.

At Work

Like INFJs, INTJs are organizers. As a result they often rise to leadership positions. Blessed with strong intuition, both types are good at seeing the big picture and solving problems.

They’re effective workers because they’re skilled at planning projects and carrying them out efficiently. They don’t walk away and leave the details to others. The main difference is that INFJs are more content to work in the background, while INTJs want to be sure they get credit for their efforts. INFJs cooperate with others more easily and avoid conflicts.

In Love

When an INFJ and INTJ fall in love, they want to include each other in every aspect of their lives. Both express their affection more by what they do than by what they say. They’re cautious about discussing their deep feelings for fear of rejection. INTJs are likely to purchase expensive gifts for their partners. The INTJ man in love with a woman who enjoys jewelry may buy her an expensive ring. The INTJ woman involved with a man who’s into winter sports may buy him cross-country skis.

If a relationship between an INFJ and INTJ starts to fall apart, the INTJ is likely to withdraw and remain silent about his or her feelings, even with the partner. INFJs are affected more deeply and deal with the crisis by looking for their own mistakes and shortcomings. Unlike the INTJ, they may need friends to help them overcome their grief before they can regroup their energies and move on.

Because of their need to be loved, INFJs are more likely than INTJs to get involved with partners who aren’t right for them. Even when they suspect this, they often continue the relationship because the intimacy and commitment are so important to them.

INTJs are more particular. Even before they find a partner, they know what they want and how they want a relationship to function. They don’t continue a relationship that doesn’t meet their needs. An INTJ who does a lot of camping and hiking looks for a partner with outdoor interests. No matter how attractive a bookish INFJ type may appear, the INTJ won’t feel drawn to them. An INTJ who makes a living as a concert violinist won’t be interested in an INFJ who dislikes classical music, no matter how appealing the person is otherwise.

At Home

Both INFJs and INTJs are inconsistent about how tidy they keep their homes. Sometimes their homes are neat and organized. Sometimes they’re not. Keeping the environment in order is probably more important to the INTJ than to the INFJ.

When the partners and children of INFJs complain that their house is a mess, they will try to tidy the place up to keep everyone happy. Their work areas may be cluttered, but, as with INTJs, their minds are extremely organized. INTJs may let some parts of the house be in disarray, but they usually keep their personal quarters organized. To both the INFJ and INTJ, their inner lives are the most important. Both types need solitude, but the INTJ is more demanding about this than the INFJ.

INTJs develop idealistic models of how people should lead their lives, applying them to family members as well as themselves. An INTJ father may decide what college would be best for his son and what his major should be, failing to consider the boy’s preferences and personality. If the father was a business major in college, he may discourage an athletic son who wants to study physical education. A mother who is a biologist may not understand a daughter who wants to be a musician. Music doesn’t fit her model of what a child should pursue in college.

As parents, INFJs are more broadminded than INTJs. They’re more tolerant of the types of playmates their children choose, what kind of extracurricular activities they’re involved in, and what they choose to study in college. To them, the important thing is how much effort their children put in and whether they’re developing into happy, productive human beings.

Leisure

INFJs and INTJs like purposeful leisure activities, but INTJs are more serious about it. When vacation time comes, the families or companions of INTJs shouldn’t look forward to unplanned, carefree days. Outings must have a goal and be scheduled. INTJs don’t feel comfortable lolling on the beach. They must be scuba diving, taking pictures, or collecting shells. INFJs are also more comfortable if their leisure activities have purpose, but they’re not as goal-directed. Planned activities are mostly an excuse to have fun.

The dedication of INTJs to specific sports or seasonal pursuits can be daunting to INFJs. Perhaps an INTJ plays tennis three times a week in the summer, then goes cross-country skiing three times a week in the winter. Most INTJs like to keep their bodies in shape. In contrast, INFJs give more importance to having fun with others. They like sharing hobbies and outdoor activities with close friends. In the company of others, they don’t necessarily talk a lot, but they enjoy easy, informal exchanges connected with what they’re doing.

INTJs and INFJs are able to enjoy each other if the INTJ is accepting of the INFJs’ enthusiasm and open display of feelings, and the INFJ is patient with the INTJ’s reserved, competitive tendencies.

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INFJ Men as Lovers

INFJ men are complex, warm, and perceptive. They’re drawn to women who are intelligent, creative, and compassionate. While few INFJ men ever achieve perfect relationships, they always wish for them. This is a positive quality when they stay in a committed relationship but it works against them when they move from one woman to another, always seeking a partner who lives up to their ideals.

If you’re in a relationship with an INFJ male, your feelings won’t go unnoticed. He’ll pick up every nuance and shift in your mood. Sometimes you’ll think he can read your mind. He’s a skillful, attentive lover who won’t be happy unless he can give as much pleasure as he receives. He views lovemaking as a nearly spiritual experience and wants you to feel the same.

Have no fear that he’ll leave you on a whim. He’s steadfast and loyal. Hurting people is not what he does. In fact, he has a tendency to hang on to partnerships long after they start going bad. If your relationship begins to deteriorate, you’re likely to see him struggling with himself. If he finally concludes that his efforts are useless, he’s likely to move on quickly. Don’t expect to go through a series of arguments. That’s not his style. There’ll be no shouting or fighting, just a quiet announcement that it’s over and time for him to go.

If your relationship stands the test of time, you can look forward to years of meaningful companionship. You’ll receive thoughtful gifts, favors and compliments. INFJ men enjoy showing their love, but they also like to hear that their efforts are appreciated. Getting material gifts from you isn’t necessary. They’re happy with your words of pleasure and gratitude.

Don’t risk being dishonest with an INFJ man. You won’t get by with it for long. INFJs have little patience for people they consider fake or corrupt. They recognize lies quickly, even if they don’t say anything about it.

You may notice that other women are attracted to your INFJ partner. He may not realize this. He’s hard to resist because of his intelligence, warmth, and consideration. He has interesting ways of viewing the world. He inspires people to be their best. Yet because he’s a selfless person, he doesn’t recognize the impact he has on others. His modesty is part of his appeal.

If you’re lucky enough to find an INFJ man, don’t count on his making the first move. INFJs are rarely the first ones to initiate social contact. Ask whether he’d like to have coffee sometime. If he’s interested, you’ll know. Also, keep these pointers in mind:

1.  On a date, don’t talk about designer labels, top ten music, and other superficial matters. This is a major put-off for INFJs, who enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Money and fads are of limited interest.

2.  Leave your hand-held devices at home unless you need them for directions to a theatre, restaurant, etc.

3.  Don’t flirt with other men. You won’t impress your INFJ man. He’ll worry that you’re an unreliable partner.

4.  Don’t suggest that you’re out for a temporary affair.

5.  Don’t pressure him into going places that involve crowds of people, unless they’re quiet spectator events such as concerts, art shows, etc. Remember, he’s an introvert.

6.  Even though he may talk about expensive places he can take you, let him know that your idea of a good date is spending time one-on-one with him—that you’d rather be picnicking next to a river in his company than eating at a five-star restaurant.

7.  If your relationship moves on to sexual intimacy, take your time at lovemaking. Don’t rush the process. Savor every moment.

8.  Don’t lie to him, even about little things. He’ll pick up on it and your deceits will lower his opinion of you.

9.  Be patient about learning the INFJ’s innermost secrets. INFJs are more guarded than most Myers-Briggs types. If your partnership flourishes, he’ll eventually tell you everything.

Of all sixteen types, the INFJ has the greatest capacity for love and compassion in a relationship. If you find an INFJ man, hang on. He’s one in a hundred.

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INFJ Meets ISTP

It’s obvious looking at the letters I-N-F-J and I-S-T-P that these two Myers-Briggs personality types are very different. The only trait they have in common is their introversion. Both types enjoy privacy. They find meaning not from superficial experiences but from their contemplation of them.

 Sensing vs. Intuition

Because ISTPs rely on their sensing preference more than their intuition, they are driven to understand how things work. They usually have good eye-hand coordination, which makes them skilled at fixing things. They use their minds for practical matters and think problems through while working on them. Theories don’t interest them unless they can be put to practical use.

In contrast, INFJs aren’t mechanically minded. They get impatient with details and prefer to head straight to outcomes. The ISTP can be a big help to the INFJ who doesn’t want to bother with, say, taking apart a toaster to see why it’s not working. If the problem is a blown fuse, that may occur to the INFJ intuitively while the ISTP works his or her way to the solution through logic. ISTPs are likely to examine the parts of the toaster before checking the fusebox. The two types have complementary strengths.

When an ISTP and INFJ collect information to make a big decision, such as what car to buy, their sensing and intuitive functions may collide. The ISTP may not be satisfied until all aspects of a model are checked out and the vehicle is examined by a mechanic. The INFJ is more likely to base his or her decision on how the engine runs and if the car feels good to drive. The ISTP’s private opinion is that the INFJ rushes to conclusions without taking enough precautions. The INFJ thinks the ISTP is too fussy about details.

Thinking vs. Feeling

When an ISTP-INFJ relationship runs aground, it’s usually because of thinking-feeling conflicts. ISTPs make decisions based on facts rather than feelings and values. This impersonal approach gives them a tendency to ignore the effects of their actions on others. They may not even be clear about their own feelings. INFJs’ emotions are more likely to influence their decisions, although they do examine the facts. Because of this difference, the ISTP can hurt the INFJ’s feelings without meaning to. The INFJ can get on the ISTP’s nerves with his or her emotional reactions.

Perceiving vs. Judging

Because of their perceiving preference, ISTPs don’t worry much about deadlines and usually finish jobs just under the wire. They postpone starting projects and then rush to finish them on time. They’re often late for appointments. In contrast, INFJs work on a schedule, make lists, and make sure to meet their deadlines with time to spare. They plan projects. They don’t just jump in. In this arena, too, the INFJ and ISTP can get on each other’s nerves.

Making the Relationship Work

It takes effort and patience to make an ISTP-INFJ relationship work. The two must respect each other’s methods of processing information. The ISTP should try to understand the INFJ’s need for emotional support. Often this requires that the INFJ explain his or her needs to the ISTP and make suggestions for meeting them. INFJs shouldn’t expect ISTPs to be their sole source of emotional support. They need to cultivate a few friends who can empathize with their feelings and give them support.

As close friends, INFJs and ISTPs enjoy sharing experiences quietly, away from crowds. They’re most at ease when they’re camping, listening to music, or watching a documentary. Words aren’t necessary. The shared experience is enough.

The INFJ appreciates the ISTP’s ability to enjoy the details of life without over-thinking. ISTPs have a matter-of-fact, uncomplicated way of viewing the world. This can be a relief to the complex INFJ for whom very little is easy. Often the ISTP has practical solutions to the small problems of life: how to replace a bicycle chain, determining what’s causing the funny noise in the car engine, or figuring out what’s killing the roses in the yard.

Famous INFJs—The Good and the Evil

 

INFJs are the rarest Myers-Briggs personality type—found in only one percent of the population. The combination of introversion, intuition, feeling and judging make INFJs insightful, persuasive, charismatic, and passionate. When famous INFJs worked for good, they were positive forces in the world. When they turned evil, they became dangerous and desperate people.

INFJs whose childhood influences nourished their desire to do good in the world include Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King. INFJs turned evil include Adolf Hitler, Osama bin Laden, and David Koresh.

Here are their stories.

The Good

Nelson MandelaNELSON MANDELA

Born to the royal Thembu family in rural South Africa in 1918, Nelson Mandela spent his early boyhood tending cattle in the countryside. He grew up with two sisters in his mother’s village. At the age of seven, he was sent to a Methodist school where a teacher gave him the English name Nelson.

As a young man, Mandela studied law in Johannesburg. Because of his legal efforts against apartheid, he served over 27 years in prison. He was released in 1990 only after international organizations campaigned for his pardon. In 1994, he was elected South Africa’s first black leader. During his life, he received more than 250 honors, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize. He died in 2013 at the age of 95.

Among the most influential leaders of the 20th century, Mandela exhibited the best traits of the Myers-Briggs INFJ type. He was eloquent and had a sharp sense of humor that defused many touchy situations. He was confident enough to laugh at himself frequently, endearing him to followers.

Mahatma GandhiMahatma-Gandhi-Gandhiji-300x250

Born in 1869, Mahatma Gandhi was the spiritual and political leader of India from 1921 until 1948. Gandhi was raised in a prominent Hindu family. When he was 19, he traveled to Britain to study law. Returning home, he led a nonviolent national struggle for India’s freedom from British rule, which was finally granted in 1947. It was his greatest achievement. He became famous for his many fasts to protest social injustice.

Gandhi was a true INFJ. Even at an early age, his value system was so strong that no one could talk him out of his convictions. Although deeply committed to social change, he achieved his goals without violence. He was a visionary who infected others with his dreams.

October 2, Gandhi’s birthday, is celebrated as the International Day of Nonviolence.

Martin Luther KingMARTIN L. KING

Born in 1929, Martin Luther King was leader of the American civil rights movement in the 1950s and 60s. He used Gandhi’s nonviolent methods to combat racial injustice. King organized numerous peaceful protests U.S. cities, including the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

As a child, King attended church regularly. His belief in the church’s mission led him to study the ministry in college. After earning a PhD degree at Boston University, he decided that church work helped him satisfy his “inner urge to serve humanity.” In 1964, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent protests against racial inequality.

In 1968, he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Riots followed in many U.S. cities. After his death, King received numerous posthumous awards. In 1986, Martin Luther King Day was declared a U.S. holiday.

Martin Luther King showed the best traits of an INFJ. He was committed to his ideals and ready to put himself in peril to defend them. He was a brilliant speaker, articulate and forceful. He was able to convince others of his beliefs and pinsire them to action.

The Evil

Adolf Hitleradolf-hitler-2

Born in 1889, Hitler was the leader of Nazi Germany from 1934 to the end of World War II. He was responsible for the deaths of at least 5.5 million Jews in Nazi concentration camps. Like many INFJs gone bad, Hitler had an unhappy childhood. He got in trouble at school, and his father beat him regularly.

Hitler’s only love was art, which his father considered a waste of time. Adolf was sent to a technical school where he performed poorly and dropped out. After his father died, he worked as a watercolor artist to make a living. His hopes for the future were dashed when he was rejected by Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts because of his poor academic record.

Hitler had an idealistic streak typical of many INFJs. He was a vegetarian, often trying to persuade friends to give up meat in their diet by describing the inhumane slaughter of animals. He quit drinking and smoking, as well. He was kind to a select few people around him and to his dogs, which he loved. Some of Hitler’s extreme behavior has been blamed on his amphetamine addiction during the war.

Osama bin LadenOsama

Born in 1957, Osama bin Laden was the founder of al Qaeda, the terrorist organization that destroyed the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Bin Laden also claimed responsibility for other deadly attacks against civilian and military targets.

Bin Laden was raised a devout Muslim. As he was growing up, his main interest was religion, charitable work, writing poetry, and reading. In these respects, he was a model INFJ. Colleagues described him as gentle and soft spoken. However, like many INFJs, he was considered a mystery even by family members. He was known to be opinionated and severe in many situations. In the Muslim tradition, bin Laden had five wives and fathered over 20 children. Most of his wives were educated women, not subservient females as one might expect.

Bin Laden’s career as a jihadist began when he joined Muslim forces in Pakistan against the Soviets as a young man in 1979. His life ended in 2011 when he was killed in a covert military operation carried out by U.S. Special Forces and the CIA on the orders of President Barack Obama.

David Koresh220px-David_Koresh

David Koresh was the charismatic young cult leader whose “Army of God”—the Branch Davidians— had a 51-day stand-off with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in Waco, Texas, in 1993. The siege began after the cult stockpiled weapons to prepare for the apocalypse. The ensuing firestorm left 76 cult members and 4 federal employees dead. Koresh shot himself in the head.

Born to an unwed teenage mother in 1959, David Koresh was raised by his grandparents in Houston. He was a lonely child, often ridiculed by kids his own age. He did poorly in school and eventually dropped out. Finding comfort in the Bible, he memorized long passages by the time he was twelve. A high school dropout, he moved to Hollywood at the age of 20 in a failed attempt to become a rock star.

At 22, Koresh moved to Waco, Texas, in 1981 to join the Branch Davidians. Taking over the cult after the death of its leader, Lois Roden, he instituted “spiritual weddings,” which permitted him to have sex with female followers of all ages. As a result, he had 12 children with women other than his wife.

With a sense of misguided idealism, Koresh exalted his own ego at the same time as his Christian bliefs. A powerful orator, he transmitted his ideals to others, as other INFJ cult leaders have done. His Myers-Briggs traits went unchecked and eventually expressed themselves in extreme, destructive behaviors.

 

How Myers-Briggs INFJ Scores Can Change

The Myers-Briggs scores of INFJs can change over the years, sometimes dramatically. Twelve-year-old INFJs who never turn their homework in when it’s due can, by age 17, become academic achievers. That’s because the childhood years of INFJs are devoted to developing imagination and creativity. They daydream, have just one or two friends, and share their make-believe world with only one or two trusted adults. Between ages 6 and 12, their introverted function occupies the main stage.

In their teen years, INFJs become more extraverted, getting good grades and excelling at sports, acting, or other extracurricular activities. They become conscious of their appearance and want to dress attractively. They take on added responsibility, often holding down part-time jobs. At the same time, being INFJs, they always feel a little out-of-step with their peers. They know they’re different and tend to think that something must be wrong with them.

As teenagers, their feeling preference turns their attention to causes such as animal welfare, human rights, and so on. They become more aware of ways they can help others. They may get so involved in these activities that they have little time for themselves—quite a contrast to the reclusive children they were between ages 6 and 12.

From ages 20 to the mid-thirties, socially approved ambitions take hold. INFJs look for ways to become autonomous, run their own lives, and succeed at their jobs. They learn to be smooth and accomplished in many settings, even though inside they may still feel unsure of themselves.

Many INFJs decide in early adulthood that they were too submissive in their earlier years. The INFJ becomes assertive and sometimes rebellious. Family and friends may be puzzled by the change. What happened to the quiet, accommodating INFJ they used to know?

At the same time, INFJs start to tap into their sensing abilities and put them to work. In their early twenties, they may learn to play the guitar, take up oil painting, or collect antiques. INFJs pursue these new interests with enthusiasm, attentive to the smallest detail. Unlike their former tendency toward introversion, the company of others becomes desirable in their quest for new interests.

The departure from the ingrained INFJ style serves their overall development well. With time and maturity, the fully evolved person should be proficient in all eight personality functions.

Readers may get the impression that it’s best to develop all the functions equally. According to Carl Jung, the Swiss psychoanalyst who developed personality theory, it doesn’t work this way. If a person dedicates a period of his or her life to, say, sensing and intuition simultaneously, neither function will get the attention and energy needed to become fully developed. The same is true of the other three trait pairs. One of each pair of functions must be dominant at any given time to produce a stable, reliable personality.

The objective of personal development in terms of the Myers-Briggs theory is to have access to each of the mental functions when its use is appropriate. By being able to use the less-preferred functions when they are needed, the person brings more balance to his or her life.

Prevalence of INFJs in the General Population

According to researchers, the INFJ Myers-Briggs type occurs in about 1% of the population—the lowest prevalence of any type. Studies vary regarding the exact percentages of the 16 types, but INFJs always walk away with the prize for the most rare.

The downside of being an INFJ is that there are few people out there with whom they can relate deeply. Also, they don’t fit into social norms because their qualities are unusual and, to some people, unsettling. INFJs can size up others quickly and those who don’t like to be sized up are likely to avoid them. Friends and colleagues find many INFJs almost clairvoyant.

The upside for INFJs is that they have gifts not common in other types. This makes them valued as leaders, workers, and friends. They also have rich interior lives.

In work settings, INFJs collaborate well with the second rarest type, ENTJs—also known as the CEO type. While ENTJs prefer the footlights, INFJs are happy to operate behind the scenes. Both types are intuitive; when they combine their insights they make a formidable team. INFJs can soften the edges of ENTJs, who prefer logic and rationality and are often insensitive to the feelings of others. The quiet, tactful INFJ can steer the ENTJ away from decisions that will alienate colleagues. Since the two share a Judging preference, the two types can forge productive partnerships and get a lot done.

At the other end of the scale are the three most prevalent types, shown in dark green: the ISTJ, ESFJ, and ISFJ. Each constitutes between 11% and 14% of the general population, for a total of over 35%. The ISTJ, sometimes called the Inspector, is reliable, works conscientiously, and follows rules and regulations. INFJs and ISTJs often have trouble understanding each other, probably because they have neither intuition nor feeling in common. ESFJs, called Harmonizers, are friendly facilitators. ISFJs, called Protectors, live to serve others often at the expense of their own interests. The ESFJs and ISFJs are liked and admired by most people.
prevalence

How INFJs Can Lose Out

INFJs walk in the footsteps of such illustrious figures as Carl Jung, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, and Eleanor Roosevelt, to name a few. The path can be challenging. But for INFJs who struggle to evolve throughout their lives, it’s a rewarding one. However, problems can come up if one or more Myers-Briggs functions move to the extreme end of the scale.

• When their expectations aren’t met, the resulting stress damages their ability to function. 

• Their perfectionism can get them in trouble when their perceiving function is too weak to buffer setbacks.

Their idealism can bring them down if people disappoint them.

They can trick themselves into thinking they’re above rules and regulations—a sense of entitlement resulting from their superior grasp of principles and ideas.

They may be intolerant of people who lack their gifts, becoming arrogant and difficult to approach.

They can let their four dominant traits get out of control and lead them into depression.

Expectations

Because their expectations are high and they work hard to achieve them, INFJs stumble when their efforts backfire. Under stress, they’re likely to do more of what they’ve been doing all along, trying to force things to turn out as planned. More of the same is not what’s needed. They need to acknowledge what is and adapt. In situations where their judging function leads them astray, they need to tap into their flexible perceiving function to adapt their expectations and strategies to current realities.

If an INFJ is planning a big party and the caterers are late delivering the food, he or she may come unglued. Someone must fetch the caterers! It’s hard for INFJs to reframe the problem of no food arriving in order to devise an alternative solution. Instead they waste time blaming themselves for not having the foresight to avoid the disaster. At this point, wringing their hands is not helpful.

Idealism

Having intuition as a dominant function, INFJs can become wedded to their expectations for the future. When facts conflict with their predictions, they’re inclined to cling to their hopes despite evidence to the contrary. If, for example, they have watched their Widget stock rise over several years, they may be confident that it can’t fall. When the stock market has a downturn, INFJs may hang on to their stock with unrealistic fantasies of a market reversal.

False expectations can be personal. INFJs can be disenchanted by friends and co-workers who turn out to be less perfect than they thought. When a person shows himself or herself to be flawed in important ways, the INFJ feels let down. To them, this is a reasonable reaction because they expect no more from others than they do of themselves.

Entitlement

INFJs resist rules that make no sense to them. If they park where a sign says “One-hour parking” and stay for 90 minutes, they’re indignant when they find a police citation under their windshield wiper. There were no other cars on the street! They believe in the spirit not the letter of the law. Other sources of frustration are penalty fees when a payment was only hours late, returned forms for minor missing information, and so on. Bureaucratic details are beneath INFJs.

Impatience

INFJs have little patience for sensing/thinking/judging types, considering them to be barriers to progress. They consider many STJs to be shortsighted and obsessed with trivial details. Why can’t they see the big picture? INFJs get exasperated when required to follow protocol, even when it’s necessary to the smooth operation of an organization. This is why INFJs tend to do poorly in administrative positions where routine is critical. Security jobs, for example, are often unsuitable because they require so much focus on detail.

Attitude

Knowing that they’re gifted with more wisdom than the average person, some INFJs adopt an attitude of moral superiority. This puts others off. As a result, friends and colleagues hesitate to ask them for guidance. Only when INFJs use their feeling function to empathize rather than criticize are they able to relate to others authentically and help them as equals.

Depression

Many INFJs are prone to depression. Each of their four dominant traits contributes to this tendency. Being introverts (I), they are focused inward much of the time. Their highly developed intuition (N) provides them with insights into themselves, others, and the world at large—insights that are sometimes painful. Their feeling function (F) gives these insights emotional weight that wouldn’t count as heavily in a thinking type. Their judging function (J) sometimes leads them to gloomy conclusions. If they could call on their perceiving abilities, they could open their minds to more promising possibilities.