Thursday, October 26, 2017

Personality Type and Gender

After having raised an ISFP (Introverted Sensing Feeling Perceptive) girl, an ESTP (Extroverted Sensing Thinking Perceptive) boy, an INTJ (Introverted Intuitive Thinking Judging ) girl, an INFJ (Introverted Intuitive Feeling Perceptive) boy, and after being an INFJ (Introverted Intuitive Feeling Judging) married to an ISTJ (Introverted Sensing Thinking Judging) husband, I have some questions about personality and gender.

I've seen my NTJ girl struggle with being expected to be submissive and more "feminine". Her clear thinking decisiveness was not well accepted, though it would be valued in a male. I've also seen my NF son being told "to toughen up".  His gentleness and sensitiveness are viewed as "feminine" and would have been valued more if he had been a girl.

True, 3/4th of all females are Feeling and 3/4th of all males are Thinking, but that does not make these characteristics either male or female.  If you are a Feeling person, that does not make you female, and if you are a thinking person, that does not make you male. If you are a SP (Sensing Perceptive) girl who loves sports and is out to win, that doesn't make you a boy. If you are an intuitive boy who likes to think and read, that does not make you a girl.

How Does Your Personality Type Affect Your Children?

After writing about my dad, an ESFP (Extroverted Sensing Feeling Perceptive), and my mom, an ISFJ (Introverted Sensing Feeling Judging), I can understand why 40% of my type, INFJ (Introverted Intuitive Feeling Judging), felt that they had an abusive childhood. Since my personality type is the most rare of all types, it would be rarer still to have a parent of the same type as I am. My dad wanted me to to be outgoing like he was. He viewed my quietness and immersion in the world of the mind as unhealthy and kept trying to help me "get out there". He wanted me to be spontaneous and "bubbly" -- like he was.

On the other hand, my mother wanted me to be quiet -- like she was, which was ok because I really am quiet. Like my dad, she also didn't understand my need to spend time in the intuitive world of thought. I loved to observe, think, read, and write. She kept trying to have me "do something" and kept trying to engage me in crafts and activities. She also worried about my "spending so much time alone". I couldn't explain to her that I needed time away from things and people to process all that was happening to me and to recharge after having to deal with all the details of school and being surrounded by people all day.

Are Only SJ's True Homemakers?

"You can eat off my floor!", was obviously coined by the SJ (Sensing Judging) housewife. I don't know about you, but I've never had any desire to eat off of anyone's floor. Floors are for walking on - not eating. The SJ homemaker chimes as she busily scrubs and cleans, "a woman's work is never done!" I wonder what in the world are you doing which takes all day to care for your home? The answer: among dozens of others things, they are polishing real silver silverware, ironing no-iron shirts, dusting endless knickknacks, weeding and trimming their ornate yard, and cooking gourmet dinners.

It took me a long time to realize that they are happy with their life. SJ homemakers enjoy finding things to do. They feel fulfilled in creating a wonderful home where family and friends can relax and enjoy themselves while they bustle around seeing to their every need.

Is this small glittering kingdom of order the only was to make a home? No, there are as many ways of homemaking as there are homes to make. An artistic person might have a simple home with lovely art objects and paintings. A more athletic woman might have a comfortable and tough furnishings; a place where you can "really live". As an INFJ (Introvert Intuitive Feeling Judging) my home is a place for me to recharge and reflect. It is very eclectic and simple, with a few graceful objects and soft pastel colors.  An NT (Intuitive Thinking) might enjoy a spare modern environment, while an STJ (Sensing Thinking Judging) might want a very traditional decor. An Extrovert Feeling person might have a home where the laughter of friends and family rings happily and often.

Each personality type would approach homemaking in their own way. Each has their own gifts to give. Each makes a home in their own way with their own particular style.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


What was my ESFP (Extroverted Sensing Feeling Perceptive) dad like?  He was fun! I remember his reading the funny papers to me, complete with all the voices. He played the ukulele, sang, danced, and drummed on every surface.  When I was little, he gave me a Sugar Daddy lollypop whenever I went on an errand with him.  With excited shouts of  "Daddy's Home",  my brother and I ran to greet my dad. He would swing me up on his shoulders and carry me around. He taught me to hike, pack, swim, dance, ride a bike, roller skate, canoe, do math, and drive a car.

Dad helped to give us fun birthday parties. He led the games and kept the excitement up. Once he had us play skunk tag where we were only safe if we hopped on one leg and held our nose. He made a tepee house for me of logs, a toy cabinet out of orange crates, and helped us make tents to play in. We didn't have just plain pancakes, but pancakes in the shape of swans, silver dollars, or Micky Mouse. He was creative and tried to amuse us. During the long stretches across the Nevada desert as we traveled from California to Idaho, he would make up Prospector stories to make the time go faster. When my grandpa was fishing and we had nothing to do, Dad would take us on a hike.

Monday, October 23, 2017


What was it like growing up with an ISFJ (Introverted Sensing Feeling Judging) mom? The first things I think of are kindness and order. Our home was always very clean and neat, meals were nutritious and on time, our clothes were clean and ironed,  the beds were made, our yard was lovely, everything had a place and was in it, holidays and birthdays were important, and tradition was sacred. Mom loved to garden. Everywhere we lived had beautiful flowers. She even turned a field and a gravel driveway in flower gardens.  She was kind and gentle and loved animals. We always had a dog and usually cats. Mom treated the dog as if it was another child.

I remember most her kindness toward all living things and her deep appreciation of beauty.  When I was little, Mom enjoyed paint-by-number oil painting. She loved to sew, and when I was a little girl, she made me many dresses and my brother shirts.  When I was a teen, she learned to knit and made me beautiful sweaters, and when I married and had children, she made baby blankets, sweaters, and outfits for my children. She began painting pictures of flowers and scenes when she was in her fifties. Mom made stunning flower arrangements. Though she liked crafts, her favorite thing as creating a beautiful garden.

ISTJ Style of Fun

My husband, a true ISTJ (Introverted Sensing Think Judging), was recently asked what he does for fun. This question left my husband at a complete loss for a response. Why? Doesn't he have fun?

The problem is that ISTJ's often do not lable the things they enjoy as "fun". "Fun" is a flighty term. Most of what he enjoys comes under the category of "it needed to be done".  Sure, if pressed, he might admit that he enjoys fixing and building things. Does he think fun is bad or a waste of time? No, he just thrives on accomplishment.  ISTJ's love to make lists and cross the items off.

For a personality which has a very high tolerance for repetitive details, likes to schedule, values accomplishment,  and only "plays after all the work is done",  play is a serious business. Always seeking for improvement, they measure how many baskets they got, steps they ran, ski runs without falling, laps they swim. Organized sports such as baseball, basketball, and volleyball where lines are drawn (literally) and rules are clear are favorites of the ISTJ.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

ESFP - Enjoying Life!

by a desire to freely enjoy life and amuse self- to be happy and satisfied
want to make a difference and do something meaningful
to help other people enjoy life too - find what things they need and things to do in the real world to increase their enjoyment of life; entertain them; motivate them to action
excited about the real world and want to engage others into enjoying it too
to have a wide variety of experiences
keep options open
to escape anxiety (fear about what might happen)

warm, charming, witty, friendly, genuine caring, generous, willing to help, lively, vivacious, eager, spontaneous, resilient, cheerful, practical, productive, free-spirited, fun-loving, energetic, animated, approachable, sensitive, idealistic (freedom), actively engage in life,  honestly want others to be happy, sense of style (like arts) flare,  love to learn, up and positive, observant,

Are ESFP's Irresponsible?

Well, if you ask their wives, they think so. I've known several ESFP (Extroverted Sensing Feeling Perceptive) men who married SJ (sensing judging) women (my dad was one).  I've heard these men being called "lazy", "irresponsible", and "childish". They are admonished to "get going". One wife explained that ,"I made him a list. All he has to do is get it done, then cross it off.  It's that simple. Why doesn't he do it?"  The answer -- he doesn't want to.

ESFP's live to experience and enjoy life. To a J person who believes that work comes first (and sometimes last too),  this attitude is unfathomable.  SJ's (Sensing Judging) know what needs to be done and how to do it. These wives are sure who should get going -- their husband!

Once, a woman who has an SP husband was complaining to me that her husband didn't get things done. She sighed and wished she had a husband like mine who is a professional handyman (SJ). We talked about their life; about their long talks in the evenings, his joking and spontaneity, his playing with their children, his good cooking, his party giving, and his enthusiasm for life. I then looked her in the eye and slowly stated, "If you had my husband, he would be right on the job getting things done -- ALWAYS!  She listened, then her eyes got big, and she said, "OH!"

Friday, June 9, 2017

INFJ Style of Fun

I know that to an SP the word "Fun" INFJ  (Introverted Intuitive Feeling Judging) don't seem to fit, but we all have fun. We simply enjoy different things. What we enjoy very much relates to our personality.

An SP (Sensing Perceptive) is an action sort of person. They like to experience the world through their senses and without restraints.  From rock climbing to rock concerts, they enjoy the world around them, and the more action, noise, and laser lights the better.

I am a very sensitive INFJ. To me, the action fun of an SP is torture. One I went to a college football game in a large stadium. I sat there turning more and more pale as the SPs stomped and yelled. After several minutes, I fled clutching both my head and my stomach. Once home, I collapsed onto my couch and, immersed in healing silence, I tried to recover.

If the fast movement and vibrating speakers  that excite the SP send me running, the other way, what is "fun" to me?  What does a creative intellectual who also likes accomplishment do for "fun"? Just like everyone else, doing what comes easily for me is "fun".

I like things which give mental challenge; that require me to use my creativity to solve problems. Many board games require a great deal of creative problem solving, especially those where you role play settlers or someone else. Puzzles are  also "fun". Solving mysteries, working out problems, learning something new, going to a new place, reading or watching Fantasy and Science Fiction, writing, pondering the scriptures and ideas, research, learning new things, new cultures, museums, concerts, decorating, and designing are all things which allow me to use my creative intuitive abilities and are "fun".

Monday, April 24, 2017

Lost - an introvert in a crowd

Invited to a social just to be part of the crowd
invigorating the extroverts,
I feel lonely, tired, and lost.

I feel painfully invisible
amid the crowd.
I feel like the soft music of a wind chime
lost in the blaring of a band;
like a delicate pastel painting
washed out in harsh neon light;
like hushed country twilight
disturbed by garish partying;
like gentle candle glow
obliterated in flood lights.

My voice drowned out
by superficial chatter,
my identity is lost in the crowd.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Needing Each Other

He needs predictability
I need opportunity

He needs order
I need flexibility

He needs routine
I need variety

He needs time to work
I need time to think

He needs a plan
I need follow through

He needs my enthusiasm
I need his calmness

We both need each other

Saturday, January 7, 2017

INFJ Stress Basics- Balancing Others and Self

INFJs (introverted intuitive feeling judging) are the rarest personality type. Being only 1% of the population there are some stresses inherent with looking at life so differently from most people. There are also some stresses that just come with being an INFJ.

I am coming to understand that peace in my life is a matter of balance. One area I find challenging as an INFJ is balancing my desire to help others with my need to care for myself.

  • Mentoring People:  I don't easily give up on people. If one idea doesn't work, then I'll come up with another. I am an idealist and have great faith in people's potential (NF intuitive feeling). I can see many ways to help people develop their talents and rise to become the person they were meant to be, and I will invest tremendous time and energy into helping them flourish. Only when a person refuses to change; refuses to grow; refuses to learn; only when there is nothing else I can do; will I step away from a relationship. Some people are surprised when I actually walk away, but I will when I see that there is no possibility of having a positive relationship with that person. This isn't just with acquaintances, but even with close family members. I feel like I am saving myself when I see the ship going down, but I always stay close by and available if they decide to change. Since I am so empathic being around negative, critical, crude, and selfish people is like taking poison into my soul. I must get away or my sensitive spirit with wither. Yes, being so empathic and devoting so such time and energy to relationships can be quite stressful, but when I can help a person grow and be happy, it is worth it!