Thursday, December 29, 2016

What Makes INFJ and INTJ People Unusual?

Generally, I have the feeling that I am going Up the Down staircase. My comments are frequently met by blank stairs and a sudden awkward pause in the conversation. Conversely, I stare blankly when other women conspirately share where to get the latest outfit or gadget.

Life can be very stressful for me. I find that I must consciously protect myself from a loud bustling world and the constant bombardment of feelings from other people.

To me a perfect day is definitely NOT made by a checked off task list, and lots of bustling around. Instead I long for lots of unstructured time to explore and create new ideas. I enjoy helping people individually to reach their potential through understanding who they are and why they are here. I ponder the purpose of life and enjoy the beauty and serenity of nature. I am the rose in the corn field, the philosopher in a world of doers. I am an INFJ.

Being an INFJ, it is my nature to question why am so different. How I do things seems "normal" to me. What am I doing differently than most people? My daughter, an INTJ, also experiences this sense of "differentness". Why?

Obviously, we are both intuitives. Around 30% of the population prefers to use intuition, impressions and inspiration, to gather information. Intuitives are ever looking for new possibilities, new patterns, new understanding. On the other hand, 70% of the people feel more comfortable with information which comes to them through their senses. Sensors love the tried and true and past experiences are valued, recorded, and applied in daily life.

But why do we often feel "odd" even among intuitives? I looked further and discovered that though less than one third of all people (in the US) are intuitive, we do not all use intuition in the same way.

These types use their Intuition function in an extroverted way - 65% of population.
19% use as their 1st or 2nd function (these are the intuitives)
 46% as their 3rd or 4th function (these are sensors and this is a very minor function for them)
Dominate - ENFP and ENTP
Supportive - INFP and INTP
3rd and 4th - ESTJ, ESFJ, ISFJ, ISTJ

These types look for possibilities in the external world, find hidden meanings and the common thread, brainstorm, and role play. Many of these creative people are authors, film makers, journalists, artists, and inventors.

I enjoy these intuitive types of people, but somehow I don't fit in. Why?

There is another group of types who use intuition in another way. We like to learn about concepts, ideas, and principles and connect them to each other in our internal framework. As an INFJ, I connect ideas to my beliefs (LDS, Mormon) and to personality type theory (Briggs-Myers). My daughter, an INTJ, is an marketing executive and connects her ideas to business models.

These types use their Intuition function in an introverted way (only 35% of the population)
1st and 2nd function totals only 8% of the population.
27% use it as their 3rd and 4th function.
Dominate - INFJ (1%) and INTJ (2%)
Supportive - ENFJ, ENTJ (together 5%)
3rd and 4th - ISFP, ISTP, ESFP, ESTP (total 27%, intuition is a minor function with these sensors)

That is my answer. INFJs and INTJ are the only types who use intuition in an introverted way as our dominate function. Intuition is our primary way that we deal with life, and we do it in the world of thought. We see the big picture, build models in our mind, solve problems, foretell future implications and consequences, make plans to reach goals, provide leadership, are blissfully unaware of "the box", and have a strong drive to fulfill our visions.

Would this view of life and these strong introverted intuitive abilities make me feel that I am "different"?  Yes, but only because I am.

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