Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I Know This Much is True

When I was a Sophomore at SWT (now Texas State), I started reading Oprah Book Club books. I would just pick one up from time to time if I came across one on sale or something. One Saturday, I happened across a big tent sale in the Wal-Mart parking lot and found this book.

I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb

The book changed my life. It started a revolution within me that was going to get worse before it got better. I was lost in a sea of depression. Hating myself for reasons that don't even belong in a blog. I wanted to "change" who I was to be someone I didn't hate. I've spent more years than I would like to admit trying to be something that I'm just not- that to be honest- I've had a hard time even knowing who I really am.

I've been on a journey of self-discovery for a while now, and while I still have questions, I Know This Much is True:

Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MTBI)
As a Communications student in college, I had to take this personality test a few different times. We had to work in small groups quite a bit and the thinking was that if we knew our own strengths and weaknesses, we could better find our role in the group. This test is widely considered the most accurate and scientific personality profile out there and is used by many Fortune 500 companies to determine job placement and or company fit. I have taken this test at least 5 times with the last time only a few weeks ago and my results have been the same:

INFJ (Idealist Temperment)

INFJs are conscientious and value-driven. They seek meaning in relationships, ideas, and events, with an eye toward better understanding themselves and others. Using their intuitive skills, they develop a clear vision, which they then execute decisively to better the lives of others. Like their INTJ counterparts, INFJs regard problems as opportunities to design and implement creative solutions.[14]

INFJs are quiet, private individuals who prefer to exercise their influence behind the scenes. Although very independent, INFJs are intensely interested in the well-being of others. INFJs prefer one-on-one relationships to large groups. Sensitive and complex, they are adept at understanding complicated issues and driven to resolve differences in a cooperative and creative manner. [15]

INFJs have a rich, vivid inner life, which they may be reluctant to share with those around them. Nevertheless, they are congenial in their interactions, and perceptive of the emotions of others. Generally well-liked by their peers, they may often be considered close friends and confidants by most other types. However, they are guarded in expressing their own feelings, especially to new people, and so tend to establish close relationships slowly. INFJs tend to be easily hurt, though they may not reveal this except to their closest companions. INFJs may "silently withdraw as a way of setting limits," rather than expressing their wounded feelings—a behavior that may leave others confused and upset.[16]

INFJs tend to be sensitive, quiet leaders with a great depth of personality. They are intricately and deeply woven, mysterious, and highly complex, sometimes puzzling even to themselves. They have an orderly view toward the world, but are internally arranged in a complex way that only they could understand. Abstract in communicating, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. With a natural affinity for art, INFJs tend to be creative and easily inspired.[17] Yet they may also do well in the sciences, aided by their intuition.[18]

I like the part that says "sometimes puzzling even to themselves." Amen! I don't want to bore you with anymore details because there is a wealth of them out there if you're interested. One thing that struck me is that my particular personality type makes up only 1-3% of the population. I always thought that something was really different about me from other people, but I just thought something was wrong with me. I thought that my differences were something terrible instead of something that made me unique. It makes me sad to think of all the time that I spent hating myself for something I couldn't control instead of loving the gifts that I do have.

If you are at all interested in seeing what your personality profile is, you can take the Kiersey personality sorter here: http://www.keirsey.com/sorter/register.aspx

Even if you feel like you know exactly who you are, this goes on to make suggestions for career and all kinds of aspects of life. It couldn't hurt, right?

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