Monday, June 29, 2015

Introverts' Socializing Styles

Two toddler girls in dresses standing and holding a teddy bear.I know of introverts who dress all in black, some even with punky hair.  The message is clear -- keep your distance! They are letting the world know that they don't want interaction. With other kindred spirits, they live cocooned in a world of creativity rich in music, art, and fantasy. But that's not me.

I know of other introverts who quietly and steadily do their job. They live contentedly taking pride in their tremendous ability to manage details and in their immense capacity for concentration. They prefer to work alone and they accomplish much. Sometimes they enjoy being around people, and listening to others talk, but generally you will find them in a quiet corner talking details with another person like themselves. The don't need much interaction. If communication is required, they prefer that it be written. When necessary they will frugally measure out a few spoken words. My husband (ISTJ) is like this, but I'm not.

I know of some introverts who spend their lives quietly serving people. These (ISFJ and ISFP) practical people oriented introverts gravitate to occupations where they can quietly interact one on one in fields such as health care, child care, management, and homemaking. They concentrate their energies on doing things for people. Quickly tiring of relating, they retreat into action. "There is always something that needs doing!" is their motto.  That's not me either.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

An Intuitive's Experience in a Sensing World

I joined the Church in California, went to BYU, got married, and had two small before I confronted "Mormon Culture". We had moved to a small bedroom community  and were enjoying have a home of our own. Then it began.
"How many quarts of peaches did you can?" I had made a brief foray into the world of canning, then after spending two days cleaning up my kitchen afterwards and ending up with only 30 cents worth of apple juice, I decided it wasn't for me. I was given sympathy for being too ill to do it and wishes for better health.

I felt intimidated when saw all the mothers busily running errands, cooking good dinners, baking cookies for school, gardening, and cleaning. Trying to fill a role I felt was expected of me, I tried doing these things only to conclude that I don't like that sort of life. I had loved being in college; attending lectures, studying, and writing papers. I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because I believed the principles were true, but what was all this? I hadn't signed on for this busy Mormon homemaker life. Yes, my health prevented me from this "busy" life, but I couldn't admit to others that I really didn't want to live as they did. I felt both shame and relief.

Poems Instead of Casseroles - Intuitives in a Busy World

  How does a creative intuitive person (I'm a INFJ) fit into the busy orderly world out there? We don't. We just sort of slip out of the main stream and make our own quiet little eddie. It's a great place. There is time to think, feel, enjoy life, and time to create beauty.

From my quiet spot, I watch others whizzing by. Though appreciating their accomplishments, I have no desire to be a part of this madly rushing main stream. Does this mean I have nothing to do with other people? How does a creative person still be a part of their society?

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Creative Homemaker - Intuitive Feeling People

by Cheryl Merrick

Focusing on the beauty around me
my racing heart 
and my anxious mind 

Gazing upward
into the canopy of branches,
peace fills my soul.      
I have always loved the story of the two sisters, Mary and Martha. When Martha complains to the Lord that Mary isn't helping enough with the housework, the Lord replies that Mary has chosen the better part. I see myself as a Mary.

Since I have no intention of ever becoming  a "busy little homemaker", is my home a mess? It is true that I don't weed, mow, vacuum, shampoo rugs or furniture, polish furniture or silverware, or "deep clean". I spend my day writing and love it. I also have major allergies and must have a dust and mold free home, and I do. My house is very clean and orderly. You may wonder how I can do this. It's really not that hard. I just decided to

A Creative Intutive Feeling Person "Fitting In"

vase of red roses
“For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” (Bible, Old Testament - 1 Samuel 16:7)  This poster has a lot of meaning for me.

Yes, I really think there is a higher percentage of traditional people (SJ's) in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, than out of the Church. There are probably more orderly people in most religions and organizations since they are the people who set up and maintain society on the whole. The fact is that about forty-five percent of the American population are these diligent souls. As much as creative people (intutive and many perceiving people ) complain about their inflexibility, we need them.  Orderly people are the bulwark of society, but where do we fit in?

A Rose in the Vegetable Garden - An INFJ in the World

by Cheryl Merrick

I feel a little strange
     out here among
     the cabbages and squash,
then I remember
     that The Gardener
     who planted them
     also planted me.

Happily Married for 43 Years - INFJ and ISTJ

I have been thinking about this talk on the Renaissance of Marriage by President Eyring about how to make a happy marriage. I love this humourous video, Lasting Marriage,  on having a long happy marriage.I means a lot to me because my husband and I are very different.

My husband is a person who is always engaged doing something, such as his handyman business. He deals with the real world and likes to follow patterns that have worked well in the past. He does things with exactness. He is a quiet thoughtful person and so am I. The big difference is that my thoughts are racing at top speed. I leap from thought to thought. I love to study and think about ideas. I like to see patterns in behavior and help people reach their potential (I'm a natural teacher). I live mainly in the world of thought and future possibilities. So how have a hands-on builder and a head-in-the-clouds philosopher been happily married for 43 years?

The INFJ in the "Real World"

Yes, I am a dominant intutive. I live in the world of imagination and love it there. It's a fun place where I can explore ideas. It is where I sift through all the data that my extroverted feeling and sensing functions have been sending me and make sense of it. As I ponder people and situations, I see in my mind what future consequences might be. Not only do I live in a world of imagination, but in a world of possibilities.

Many creative people (ENFJ, INFP, ENFJ) create wonderful music, art, writing, and inventions. INFJs can do these things, but our focus is generally more on improving the world, especially helping people to become better. As you can imagine, the person waving the flag and calling for everyone to come up, to change for the better, is not always appreciated in our "reality" world. Don't I know that it can't be done? Don't I know that people just are the way they are? No, I don't!

Think of these famous INFJ's : Mahatma Gandhi, Thomas Jefferson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela, and Mother Teresa. INFJ's are not just idealistic dreamers, we are people who use our thinking ability to help analize the whole picture and our judging ability to make a plan to achieve the goals we know are possible. We are the practical dreamers; the teachers, social reformers, and counselors of the world. Our drive is to heal and help. Where is my flag? I feel like waving it!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Basics of Personality Type

Of course each person is a unique combination of spirit, genetics, and experiences. We are influenced by our family, culture, and time in history. Each person is an individual; one of a kind. Within that uniqueness is a sense of commonality. How do you make decisions, input information, use your abilities, and deal with the world?

Comparison of Personality Theories

                                      SJ                     NT                   NF                                  SP
Geometric                        ■                      ▲                        ●             and                ✷
Theory                           box                Triangle                 Circle        and         Squiggle
                                (Introvert)         (Extrovert)               (Extro-Circle/Intro-squiggle)
Art (color)
  Bauhaus School            Red                  Yellow                 Blue                         (Blend)
  Color Theory Gold                   Green                  Blue                         Orange
Brain Theory          left dominate left                     right dominate         right

Transaction Concrete                 Abstract                  Abstract               Concrete
 Ability Inventory       Sequential            Sequential                Random              Random
Keirsey                       Sensation\             Intuitive\      Intuitive\            Sensation\
                                  Judging                Thinking             Feeling               Perceiving
                                Guardians              Rationals             Idealists             Artisans
      Responsive            Assertive             Assertive           Responsive
           (SJ)                      (NT)                   (INF) (ENF and SP)

Our Marriage - an INFJ and an ISTJ

Today I wrote in my blog about marriage. Specifically about being married to a person with a very different personality type than I have and how we have come to appreciate each other's differences.

My husband is an ISTJ (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging) while I am an INFJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging). True we are both introverts. We both can focus on what is of interest to us for long periods of time. That can be a challenge at times.

How Does an Introvert Give a Social?

Both my husband and I are very quiet people. We are very strong introverts ( I'm an INFJ and he is a ISTJ) Though we enjoy being with people (for short times), we certainly never intended to actually give a social, especially for fifty people! It became evident that we were the ones to give this neighborhood social. Several new neighbors had moved in, they didn't know each other,  and they didn't even have yards in yet. We had the space, means, and time to do it. What we didn't have was the outgoing personalities to carry it off, or the health to do the work.

Good Places to Learn About Personality Type

Personality Theory is based of the work of the psychiatrist Carl Jung. He published Psychological Types in 1921. (Heavy reading and mainly theory not application.)

Katharine Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers applied Jung's theories in the mid 1940's to fulfill the need to quick, accurate job placement during WWII. They are considered the pioneers of personality type measurement. Their work is the basis for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator which is used widely today to place people in jobs where they can be the most successful.  

Isabel Briggs Myers built upon her mother's insights about Jung's work to publish the classic book on personality type with her son Peter B. Myers. Very insightful and positive. Worth reading. 

Gifts Differing - Understanding Personality Type by Isabel Briggs Myers

How and Understanding of Personality Type Can Help You

Once I told a school principal that I had studied personality type for thirty years. His reply was that he knew of a woman who studied bumps on people's heads. I hardly felt they are in the same category! Wasn't he aware that his school district (along with most of the world) used the Myers- Briggs Type Indicator to help high school students find the right career path?

Not only does personality type help people

Comparison of Introverted and Extroverted Functions

This is a comparison of each preference: Intuition, Feeling, Thinking, and Sensing manifests itself when it is used in the internal world of thought (introversion) or in the outside physical world (extoversion).


situation helps understanding                            inner understanding to help situation
(examples illustrate)

Being Me an INFJ

Advantages of Being Me!

(I wrote this as kind of my mission statement. I've had a  lifetime of feeling I was inferior because I couldn't spell or do math well, or remember name and dates easily. Now I'm trying to recognize and share the unique talents I have as an INFJ - Introverted Intuitive Feeling Judging woman. I am trying to develop a more positive view of myself. I am looking at my strengths instead of just my weaknesses.)

NF Intuitive Temperment

Blue Type- NF  Intuitive Feeling Personality Type
The strengths, weakness of an NF and what stresses and energizes this type of person.

Desires - to influence others - to lead significant lives
Values - people and personal relationships; relates individually
Characteristics - empathetic, appreciative (also strong needs), warm, enthusiastic, good listener


Intuition function can be used in the inner world of thought (introverted) or used in the physical world (extroverted). This chart shows a dominate intuitive who naturally intoverts intuition. It also shows the consequences when intoversion is used in an unnatural way for that type. I made this to remind me, a dominate introverted intuitive INFJ, to be myself.  If extroverting intuition is natural for you then you would not have the negative consequences.  Instead, introverting Intuition would cause you stress and not fully use your abilities.

ESFJ Extroverted Sensing Feeling Judging

ESFJ      13% of population  Extroverted Sensing with Feeling

Facilitator Caretaker, The Provider, Hosts and Hostesses of the World; Traditionalist, Stabilizer, Consolidator;  uses extroverted feeling to deal with the world supported by introverted sensing

goals provide/ensure physical needs of others are met; comfort of others, help others

Talents supportive of others, social, warm, caring, friendly, emphatic, patient, steady, common sense, clear-eyed realism, love of life, know how to listen, laugh, forgive, and bringing out the best in

ISTJ Introverted Sensing Thinking Judging Character

ISTJ    10% of population   Introverted Sensing with Thinking

administrator; help others by checking to see if following rules and procedures patriarchal
firm and consistent
teach basic home skills not play
work on own; silent; reserved

ESTJ Extroverted Sensing Thinking Judging

ESTJ  10% of population   Extroverted Thinking with Sensing

The Supervisor

by making people do what should do (feel is their duty)- enforce rules and procedures, consequences; moral
prize gratitude
cooperative with superiors and carry out orders exactly (value authority)
not always aware of feelings of others or their view point or responsive to others
through traditions and rituals, socials

INFP Character

INFP 1 to 4% of population Introverted Intuitive Feeling Perceptive
dominate Feeling- uses within ; auxiliary Intuition- deals with world

deep and; passionate; private; may appear cold  and indifferent and  be completely misunderstood; restless; independent, bound by inner moral law; inner tenderness; passionate conviction masked by reserve;  deep feeling but seldom expressed; idealistic; loyal, devoted to a loved person,

ISFP Introverted Sensing Feeling Perceptive

Introverted Feeling Supported by Sensing  (ISFP)  about 6% of population
  • See the realities--the needs of the moment-- and try to meet them.  
  • Satisfaction doing things that involve discrimination, and a sense of beauty and proportion.  They excel in craftsmanship.  
  • Special love of nature
  • Sympathy for animals.  

ISTJ Introverted Sensing Thinking Judging

ISTJ  Introverted Sensing with Thinking   Inspector 10%

role- through check details of workings or group (budget etc.)
direct others; administrator (indirect because of natural reserve)
see others uphold standards and rules
good intentions on insisting on rule compliance

NF Temperment

12% of the population is Intuitive Feeling Type (about 24 million people)
25% prefer Intuition over Sensing
50% prefer Feeling over Thinking
6 out of 10 males prefer Thinking to Feeling; 6 out of 10 females prefer Feeling to Thinking

enthusiastic, insightful, creative, imaginative, religious, sympathetic, linguistic, subjective, idealistic

NFP Strengths and Weaknesses


5% of population      Intuition is the preferred mode to deal with world
Possible areas of trouble or weakness for that characteristic

  • flexible, adaptable, tolerant, spontaneous, curious, zest for experience, imaginative, original, independent, open minded, open to inspiration
  • trouble dealing with details
  • trouble remembering names, faces, dates, appointments, etc,

INFJ Personality and Stress

Intoverted Dominate Intuition (greatest strength) This is my personality. All functions (feeling, intuition etc) can either be used in the inner world of thought (intoverted) or the outer physical world. This is how an INFJ uses abilities.

Dominate- Intuition   Introverted   Ni

best in inner world of spontaneous thought
has faith; trusts inner vision; intuition
Very creative- seeks and makes
     new connections and relationships
originate own patterns, insights

INFJ Coping with Stress

This is a plan I wrote for myself (an INFJ) to help me deal with stress.

If Stressed 
balancing- use my gifts in a natural ways for me
Ni - learn, create relationships and patterns
with Fe- meaning; help people grow, value based decision making; communication
with Ti - analyzes, solves problems; simplifies (needs quiet time alone)
with Se - input and enjoyment of surroundings; supports Ni (intoverted intuition)

S is sensing; T thinking; N intuition, F feeling; small e or i intoverted function; large E or I extroverted function

Sensing Perceiving SP Temperment

portrait of an ISTP  Introverted Sensing Thinking Perceptive about 5% of population

realistic, actual, utility, practicality, sensible
objective, laws, impersonal, justice, standards, analysis
flexible, adapt as you go, let life happen, open options, something will turn up, there’s plenty of  time; let’s wait and see

ISTP Characteristics

portrait of an ISTP  Introverted Sensing Thinking Perceptive about 5% of population

realistic, actual, utility, practicality, sensible
objective, laws, impersonal, justice, standards, analysis
flexible, adapt as you go, let life happen, open options, something will turn up, there’s plenty of  time; let’s wait and see

ESTP and ISTJ Comparied

This shows the difference with the same characteristics when they are used in different ways.

ESTP uses their perceptive ability (sensing) with the physical world and their thinking ability in the world of thought.

ISTJ uses their judging ability (thinking) with the physical world and their sensing ability in the world of of thought.

This is how these differences affect their behavior.

Optimistic Pessimistic
Fraternal           Parental
Spends Saves
Insubordinate Obedient

Intuitive Feeling Types INFP, ENFP, ENFJ, INFJ

INFP and ENFP (lesser extent ENFJ and INFJ)
Intutive Feeling people either Introverted or Extroverted types have some characteristics in common.

  • most right brained
  • creative, conceptional, intuitive - think great thoughts, lost in thought, daydreamer
  • processors of information– idea producers of society
  • not detail oriented- integrative, holistic
  • interested in ideas -  enthusiasticly sharing ideas or bored; may interrupt to express an idea; enjoys relating concerning ideas instead of practical matters or the physical tangible; will defend and express ideas that believe in

INFJ Introverted Intuitive Feeling Judging

INFJ    The Individualist; The Counselor; The Author;
Catalysts for Positive Change; rarest of all types  less than 1% of population

getting whole picture easily gives ability to:
perceive others will, intelligence, feelings; empathic
see implications; predict future
receptive to inspiration (use mainly to help people grow)
understand complex concepts
see possibilities especially in people
see connections, relationships, and analyze;

Stress for an INFJ

Stress for INFJ ( introverted intuition supported by feeling )

Needs Stress
meaning, purpose, integrity                           doing busy work, against values
unique identity no one listening; not value ideas
                                                                       not valued for who is
                                                                 May try and match self to system
                                                                 (causes severe energy drain)

Personality Type Code

I  = introvert  - you use your greatest strength in the inner world of thought
E = extravert - you use your greatest strength in the outer physical world

S = sensing - you prefer to gather information through your senses; touch , smell,
                     sight, hearing
N = intuition - you prefer to gather information through your sense of intiution;
                        feelings, thoughts

F = feeling - you prefer to make decisions based on values
T = thinking - you prefer to make decisions based on values

J = judging - you prefer to use your judging function (thinking or feeling)
                     with the outside world
P = perceptive - you prefer use your perceptive function (sensing or intuition)
                          with the outside world

INFJ Dealing with Stress in my Environment

In my post, "Can Personality Cause Stress", I looked at who I am (an introverted, intuitive feeling judging INFJ person) and at what causes me stress. Actually, I was surprised at how many things caused me to feel stressed. Obviously,  I need to learn cope better, so here it goes.

I'll pick the easiest one first -- my environment. As a highly sensitive person (some call us HSP's and most INFJ's are HSP's), I don't do well with noises, whizzing traffic, glaring lights, strong smells, and clutter.

What is a comfortable environment for me?

  • First of all, I work from home which gives me a lot of control over my environment.  Since my children were grown, a couple of years ago I decided to re-certify and apply for Elementary Teaching positions. After ten days of substituting, I was exhausted! I thought if one more kid poked me I would scream! I now understood why only college level teaching is recommended for people like me. I am much happier writing! I learned that I need not only to do work that suits my abilities, but that also has an environment in which I feel comfortable.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Can Personality Cause Stress?

As an INFJ (introverted intuitive feeling judging) person, my personality type tops the charts on stress, so you'd think that I'd be an expert on stress. Since stress can lead to many health problems, and I have plenty, maybe not  (see my blog I do know that I need to cut down on the stress in my life, as most of us do. What I am wondering is how much of my stress relates to who I am, my personality?  I am going to look at my life and see what I can change, so I can have less stress. I know I collapse when I am expected to be someone I'm not. I think that we are all stressed when we are not being who we really are. I hope by sharing my journey, it will help you in yours.

1. Look at how you use your Primary Function
Well, my dominant or primary function, my greatest strength, the core of who I am is my preference to rely on intuitive feelings to guide my life. I have learned to trust my "hunches" and "feelings". In nearly 65 years, they have almost always been correct. I like to use my weaker thinking ability to help analyze my data and conclusions, but if my intuition tells me one thing is right and logic tells me it isn't; I choose intuition.

 I use my extroverted sensing (my weakest function) and my feeling (secondary function) abilities to deal with the outside world. Mainly I use them to pick up on other people's feelings and motives, and sense my outside environment. I focus my sensing on people which allows me to gather all sort of non-verbal clues from them.

Often people are amazed by what I can foresee.  There really isn't anything mystical about it. I simply have an incredible ability to see the whole picture. I use my intuition, supplemented by logic, and supplied with feeling and sensing data to help me see patterns of behavior and predict consequences. The combination of intuition and feeling helps me empathize with others and gives me a deep understanding of people. I see the meaning of life. My sense of wholeness helps me know the potential that people have, and I desire to help people reach their potential.