Who Doesn’t Need A Little Validation Now And Again?

INFJ personalityA few months ago, a multi-published author mentioned to me that she sometimes uses a personality tool to add variety to her characters. Studying psychology, she said, can be a great resource for adding depth and realistic reactions for characters with very different personalities and temperaments. I was intrigued. I took a writing class shortly thereafter that included a segment on character psychology.

It also made me wonder if there were certain personality types more prone to volunteer for causes.

Whatever your profession, I’m betting you’ll find this personality test interesting. Have you ever taken one? This one is called Human Metrics and its based on Jung and Myers-Briggs typology. Online, there are about 70 Yes/No questions. It’s a quick click-thru and at the end (obviously), it gives you a summation of your personality type.

Now, I tend to be skeptical of anything that smacks of extreme reductionism. We, humans, we’re complex, right? How could a few questions possibly hope to encompass and define my personality?

My results? I am an Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging (INFJ). Here are a few snippets:

“Strongly humanitarian in outlook, INFJs tend to be idealists, and because of their J preference for closure and completion, they are generally “doers” as well as dreamers. This rare combination of vision and practicality often results in INFJs taking a disproportionate amount of responsibility in the various causes to which so many of them seem to be drawn.”

“INFJs are deeply concerned about their relations with individuals as well as the state of humanity at large.”

“Usually self-expression comes more easily to INFJs on paper, as they tend to have strong writing skills.”

Hmm. Okay, so they mention a few areas and activities that take up a significant portion of my day. I admit it was an unexpected shot of validation because sometimes, I sit at my laptop, staring at the blinking cursor, thinking “What are you doing with your life? Why aren’t you out in the corporate world earning the bucks? Why are you editing this novel about expat volunteers . . . again. The pieces you write for good causes, nobody even knows you wrote them. Not the best way to build an author platform, dummy.”

But maybe . . . just maybe, I’m doing what I should be doing. According to this profile at least, it seems I haven’t wandered too far off the path that my natural compass points to pretty consistently. That counts for something, doesn’t it?

(If you’re interested, read the complete INFJ profile provided by TypeLogic.)

Find out which personality type you are.  I’m not saying they’re right. I just think it’s interesting, and you might, too. Do you feel like your profile aligns with your life and views of yourself? Do you want it to? If you volunteer, what personality type are you? Introvert? Extravert? What jobs and volunteer positions pique your interest?


30 comments on “Who Doesn’t Need A Little Validation Now And Again?

    • Hey Linden, Awesome. We can start our own club. 🙂 I just thought it was interesting. From reading your blog, I’m not surprised we fall in the same category. Also, I remember the profile mentioned teaching as one of the big ones for INFJs. Obviously, you’ve figured yourself out a while back!

      • That’s hilarious because I don’t have myself figured out at all! I started teaching at the ripe old age of 38. Now at 46, I would love to be writing full time and say good-bye to the classroom. But I did enjoy doing the quiz and now I’m in your club!! 🙂 Very cool!

  1. Very interesting test, it seems I am an ENFP and most suited to a career in journalism. It was a bit spooky how accurate some of the results were…”ENFPs have what some call a “silly switch.” They can be intellectual, serious, all business for a while, but whenever they get the chance, they flip that switch and become CAPTAIN WILDCHILD, the scourge of the swimming pool, ticklers par excellence. Som etimes they may even appear intoxicated when the “switch” is flipped.”…this is such a near perfect description of me I was startled.

    • I noticed your profile said ENFPs are tend to be humanitarian–having strong beliefs. Nice that you balance the serious with the fun. It is spooky how accurate some of it is!

      • Too true!!! I’ve helped set up charities (director & trustee) and am currently about to join the team of another, plus in my spare time I blog and have a passion for live music…balance is the key to a wholehearted life! 🙂

  2. I use Myers-Briggs for my major characters. I find it especially helpful with villians because the test shows me ways to make them more complete as people. There is a book called Please Understand Me II by David Keirsey which is an excellent resource for the Myers-Briggs Test and, even more importantly, provides a detailed analysis of each personality type. Very helpful in building characters. I highly recommened it.

  3. I so relate..thank you…I also stare at my screen and wonder if what I’m doing has enough purpose….I did start out taking that corporate route…and believe me, the bucks aren’t worth trading in who you are…thanks again!

  4. Ooh, I’ll check out the personality test. I’m always a little hesitant about personality profiles because I feel like on any given day, I’ll fall into a different category. But they are interesting to take–and it’s great to see the similarities in them. Love how you connected it to volunteering.

    • I just think they’re interesting. Oh, and I took one once that I thought was hilarious….if you were a dog, what breed would you be. Turns out, I would do well as a Bernese mountain dog. 🙂

  5. I keep wanting to take this test … sometime. When life slows down. 🙂 You know what I mean.
    I also like to use birth order assessments to develop characters for my novels. One time I had a hero who wouldn’t talk at all until I figured out his birth order … then he started revealing all sorts of details about himself!

  6. Nice post and good information Marney. I am also an INFJ. Did you know that INFJ’s make up only 1 percent of the population? A rare breed! 🙂

    I am enrolled in an Equine Gestalt Coaching Certification Program (http://www.touchedbyahorse.com/certification-program-info.php) and one of the first things we do is take our temperament test using the David Keirsey / Marilyn Bates sorter (test). The sorter and explanations of the sixteen types can be found in their book, “Please Understand Me”.
    This is a fascinating study of humanity, and knowing the different personality types helps us to better understand ourselves and everyone we interact with.


    • Hi Glen, I had read that INFJs are a super small percentage. Didn’t know it was that small though. Wow. How crazy that just in my comment section today, there are four of us? Hmm. Guess there’s something to INFJs being drawn to humanitarian issues…considering this is a blog about volunteerism.

      You’re the second person to mention the book “Please Understand Me.” Sounds like I definitely need to check it out.

      the program you’re in, sounds interesting. I hope you’ll do posts on it as you go along.

  7. i took the paper version of the Meyer Briggs last year and i’m a INFJ too! like you said, it’s always an interesting read! plus with the volunteer piece that you mentioned….it kinda makes sense! haha. i’ll definitely check out the link! thanks!

    • Ames! How funny that you’re an INFJ, too. From what I’ve heard, this type is not common. Guess there’s something to the fact that INFJs are drawn to causes and volunteerism.

    • Hey Erin, I’m starting to think so. Did you see how many INFJs there are in this comment section? A lot, especially since it’s supposed to be one of the rare ones. Definitely seeing a trend here.

  8. Wow! Interesting test..the results a vary a little for the many I have taken in the past. ENFJ for me…career choices do NOT include writing. I’m going to ignore that! 🙂 LOL Great concept to study when writing characters…I’d never thought of that! Great post Marney.

  9. I think there’s a lot of truth to the personality types, especially Meyers Briggs since it’s so thorough. I’m not a big fan of the models that lump everyone into one of four corners. 🙂

    Have a great weekend, Marney!

  10. Took the test and it didn’t get me more than half right at best. There were a lot of questions that I would have skipped if I could because I really didn’t think I was either yes or no. That’s probably why it didn’t peg me very well. I believe people can harbor inherent ambiguities and the test isn’t set up for that possibility.

    • Carol, I have to say, I’m kinda glad that the test wasn’t spot on for you. I like that human beings are complex and can’t always be classified. I understand your issue with the Y/N questions. I’ve always hated true/false questions for the same reason.


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