March 28, 2016

ENFP

This seems amazing to me now, but up until, probably my early twenties, I had no idea that people were born with different temperaments.
I know. It's crazy. I also thought Alaska was an island until I was 17, so it's not that surprising. When my husband was in preaching school we were required to do some counseling and take temperament analysis tests, and it pretty much blew my little mind. I have always been a pretty introspective person, but no matter how much I tried to figure myself out, I just seemed like one giant paradox. It left me feeling half crazy, and a little like an alien. My temperament test said that I am a sanguine-melancholy-supine. Sanguine and melancholy, not surprisingly, are very opposite temperaments, and I tested compulsive in both areas. Lucky me. :) In the Myers Briggs personality test, that translates into an ENFP. ENFPs are Extraverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Perceivers. We're basically unicorns, and everyone thinks we're bipolar, but really we just feel all the things and have killer intuition. And let me tell you, being an intuitive feeler is no walk in the park. It's like going through a lifelong gauntlet of other people's emotions and intentions.

But actually, this post isn't really about me. It's about you. And, my sister.

After Nissa died, I developed a full blown obsession with knowing what her personality type was, and what she needed and what I should have said and done for her. I spent hours upon hours studying different types and comparing them with everything she ever did or said. I always came back to the same one: she was an INFJ. INFJs are the unicorns of the unicorn world. They are the rarest of all personality types (about 1% of population) and are the most fascinating and misunderstood people out there. They're introverts that people sometimes confuse as extroverts, have almost psychic intuition, are very deep feeling and compassionate, and have a great desire to fix people and the world. As confused as I was about myself growing up, I was always a little more confused by my sister. There was something...different about her. Something I couldn't name. It was like I could feel her *specialness* but I couldn't verbalize it to anyone. And oh, I desperately wanted to, because from as early as I can remember, people called her weird. Over and over again they treated her like an outsider and took her for granted because of that little nameless something. And the funny thing is, the STUPID thing is, I thought it didn't bother her much. I thought she "wasn't very emotional". I could not have been more wrong. And in the end, I took her for granted, just like everyone else did.

The reason I wanted to write about this, is because...if you feel weird, or like an alien, or misunderstood...I just want you to know that you're actually so perfect. I mean, in your weirdness. Your uniqueness is exactly how you're meant to be. And it is wonderful. And we really need you. I love learning about temperaments and personality types, because it reminds me of how we're all made in God's image. INFJs can read people, like how God knows everyone's hearts. ESTJs, like Paige, are authoritative, like the Author of Life. ISFPs are artistic, like the Painter of the heavens. And we don't need four letters to understand that we're all different and special, but we do need to know that we're made the way we are on purpose, and we need each other to balance out, and to develop into more well-rounded individuals. And yes, it hurts and feels so lonely to be misunderstood by everyone, but don't give up and kill yourself, because you'll miss out on what that lonely feeling is supposed to bring you to: a relationship with your Creator. He's the only one who will truly ever 100% "get you".

Oh. Also, if you're not the "weird one", please be nice to those who are. And be nice to the mean one, and the bossy one, and the clueless one, and the selfish one. Chances are, they don't even know that's how they come off. Some people just don't understand feelings very well, they don't mean to be rude. Some people are just forgetful, they don't mean to be inconsiderate. Have mercy on people, you might just save a life.

Thanks. :O)
Love you,
Disney

P.S. You can take the Myers Briggs test here, if you're curious about it. It really helps some people understand themselves better. 

37 comments:

  1. Great post Disney! The Lord loves you so much, and I knew He looks upon you with gladness for doing stuff for Him, and saying things that need to be said! Xo

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  2. i have a https://kovla.com/blog/explosive temperament but lord can save me!God bless you author!

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  3. Aw, I am an INFJ like your sis. This stuff is so interesting, right?? Continuing to pray for you as you walk through all of this- couldn't agree more about just being kind and giving people the benefit of the doubt. 😘😘😘

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    1. Thank you so much, Kirstin! It really is interesting, I just love studying it. My husband just rolls his eyes now when I say something about temperaments. Hehe.

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    1. You're welcome. :) Thanks for reading!

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  5. Hi Disney
    I am INFJ, too, like your sister. Sometimes I wonder, if I am different to others and nobody has ever told me? I have friends, that know me well and are really truly good, close friends, but many aquaintances totally misjudge me. They say the weirdest Things to me about how they think I feel, act, etc...
    It is interesting and does help to put Things that happen into perspective when we know that not everyone feels the same or even perceives the world in the same way.
    Really enjoy reading your blog.
    Best,
    Barbara

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    1. Oh boy, hopefully I didn't make it sound like I thought INFJ=weird! Most INFJs I've met have been very well thought of and loved. I think my sister might have fallen close on the border of T/F and life's circumstances were just very hard on her. Anyway, everyone is different, for sure, and perspective does change so much! :O)

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    1. You're welcome! :O) Thanks for being here.

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  7. I am also an INFJ. I understand this completely. Thank you so much for posting this :))

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  8. I'm an INFJ myself. The MBTI test is the first test I take where I don't fall into 2 or 3 totally contradicting types and where I recognize myself 200%. I guess that's because, like you said, INFJs are the rarest type, so most tests are not adapted to our weirdness :) I've felt different than the rest of the world most of my life, but I've learned to see the strengths my type brings, and on which weaknesses I must work. One thing I've always done is fleeing conflict: I've walked away without saying/explaining anything to people who hurt me and I'm pretty sure there are a bunch of people whom I stopped talking to one day, and who never understood why. Now that I've read that it's an INFJ flaw, and that I have seen in the workplace and elsewhere how communicating is so important, I'm working on this particular flaw of mine :) So far I think it's working at my job, but in my personal life I find it more difficult.
    I don't think I ever was seen as an extravert though, I grew up in a family of extraverts and it was really clear that I prefered to spend time on my own :) All introverts are different, and all INFJs are different as well!
    Take care Disney!

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    1. Haha, I totally get that about the mbti test! Everyone I talk to says they feel like it is so accurate. It's so cool. That's awesome that you are able to work on your weaknesses like that, that takes a lot of humility. I really struggle with conflict as well. Unless it's over something very important to me (like God) I take great pains to never say anything polarizing. :) That must have been interesting growing up in a family of people-persons! The only thing about INFJs that sometimes makes me wonder at first whether they are an introvert or extrovert is that they can be quite talkative, which isn't true for most introverts. And I love that about them!

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    2. :) I'm only talkative amongst a small group of people, mostly people I know very well :) My ideal situation is 1-to-1!
      Growing up in my family means my sister and I didn't understand each other until I was 18 and she 20. Now (I'm 30) we're very close, but when we were young we kind of hated each other. After a while I saw that my flaws were her strenghts and her weaknesses my greatest qualities. We're quite opposite.
      I was also seen as the boring kid, who didn't do much except reading in her room, haha! I didn't have many friends while my sister had tons. It was not easy to be understood, but I'm grateful to be an INFJ, I wouldn't change types for the world!
      Kate

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  9. I'm an INFP so I feel very similar to you although I am most definitely an introvert. I've been chronically ill for years and it has made me even more emotional than I was before. New treatments tend to make me insanely emotional. I feel crazy and I can tell everyone around me is at a loss to understand why I am so upset,angry,sad...or whatever other emotion I am feeling. It's really hard when I'm already so emotional to begin with! On another note I recently came across the term "empath" and when I looked it up I felt like all of my quirks were finally explained. Since it's a term usually used in a more spiritual/new age understanding I am still trying to understand it from a Christian perspective. I believe God has given us all gifts though and being an empath could certainly be one. It's confusing to try to explain but I find it fascinating. Thanks for writing this post. Feeling so different all the time plays tricks on me sometimes. It's good to remember that God has a purpose for me even when it's hard to see sometimes. :)

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    1. I love INFPs! My mom and oldest brother are both infp. :) Goodness, I can't imagine how challenging that must be for you! And that's kind of what I'm getting at here with this post...some friends might feel like you are overly emotional, but only because they probably aren't naturally as in tune with their own emotions you might be. And they probably work through their emotions in a less expressive way. I used to wonder why my mom cried at literally every. movie. we. ever. watched. and now I totally understand it. :)

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    2. Laura, I have always been an INFP and recently tested as an INFJ (I don't know how it works - can we change?) I also have a chronic illness (CFS, Lyme, mold illness, etc.) and am crazy sensitive to any new treatments. I am definitely an empath too. I have never, ever not felt different than everyone else and it is wonderful to remember there is a special purpose for each and every one of us. If you ever want to chat, feel free to contact me through blogger. :)

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    3. Thanks Disney! I think you summed it up very well! I am extremely in tune with my emotions and have a hard time concealing what I feel. I actually feel like I'm lying if I conceal, it's weird. Most people I am close to are very internal with their feelings and on one hand I wish they would tell me more about how they feel and on the other hand I wish I could internalize without feeling like I'm going crazy!

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  10. Well said and beautifully written, Disney! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I ran across this article in the washington post that made me think of you. Many prayers and hugs to you. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2016/03/23/i-told-the-truth-in-my-sisters-obituary-so-that-others-might-choose-to-live/?postshare=4591458753596815&tid=ss_tw

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    1. Someone just shared this on my instagram a couple of days ago! I loved this story and what that poor woman stood up to say. Very brave. :)

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  11. Interesting! I took the quiz...I'm an ISFP. I bought a book on this a few years ago. I'm curious to pull that out and read more about it.
    Also, off subject, can you tell me which church your husband preaches at? We are in the same town (Well, technically we live a town over... but travel to K for everything) :) If you want to email me instead of commenting here you can. foxyfoxfamily at gmail
    Thank you!! :)

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    1. Fun! I've never had someone I know in real life tell me that they're an ISFP, so I'm super curious about what they're like.
      No problem! He preaches for the Church of Christ...our building is on the corner of Center and Park, just south of Jackson Morrow park. :)

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    2. Thank you! We hope to visit your church soon. :) Are the times listed on the website still accurate for the service?

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  12. Amber from Oregon here. Ha! I always love this test! Today it said I am ENFP, too. The NFP always stays the same, but since I am almost equally E and I, sometimes I am INFP and sometimes I am ENFP. Growing up I often felt parts of me were 'at war' within myself. Lol. I still think that I notoriously do everything the hard way! But I've concluded at this point that all that struggle in the process just makes for a better end result. Fascinating to think of our personalities using this tool. Hugs! In real life, I know we'd be great friends, if God had put us on this Earth as neighbors!

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  13. Ha! I'm also Amber from Oregon! ^^^^ I learned my Myers Briggs when I started dating my husband. His mom was a counselor and his Dad a professor and they love to know people's Myers Briggs. I used to be an INFJ, now I'm an ISFJ. It's so useful knowing! I am so much more at peace with the way that I am knowing that I'm in introvert! It really helped me learn about myself and it helps with complicated relationships, as well.

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    1. No way! Hello fellow Oregonian and name-sharer. :) We're from the Corvallis (work --- Go Beavers!)/Monmouth (live ---pretty farms!) area. I'd not post as 'anonymous', but I can never remember my google account info, etc. Lol.

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  14. I love this post. Interestingly, the first time I took the MB I registered as ENFP. I was 12, and had recently moved to France with my family in preparation for missionary service in West Africa. Today I am INFJ. (Or ISFJ, depending on the day. Talk about weird ones.) I spend way too much time analyzing what, in those intervening years, caused my personality to shift so much. I will never know, but I love that I can trust the God who was with me through all those changes. He, at least, is always the same.

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  15. Hi Disney! I've been following your blog for a couple of years now and I think you're an amazing person. I'm an INFJ myself and I've been feeling so out of place lately, like no one really understands me (how angsty teen of me lol). It's gotten pretty bad in the last week or so. This post was beautiful and really came at a much needed time in my life, it reassured me that I'm not alone and this too shall pass. I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate you, the way you think, the things you post, and that you've made a difference in this girl's life. Thank you.

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  16. Thank you for posting about this as I have never heard of this test before yet surprise surprise I just did the test and I am INFJ-T. It was so amazing to read such accurate things about my personality and to show my Husband and have him wholeheartedly agree with it too. It is nice to know I am not the only one out there but as many have said it is a personality type that is somewhat misunderstood. I guess all I can say is as I have gotten older I have come to trust in myself and my uniqueness much more and have cared less about what others think of me. I am looking forward to learning more about this type of personality.
    Thank you again, Emma from Australia.

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  17. As another INFJ, this post makes me feel so well understood and appreciated in a world which frequently misunderstands. Your posts are so beautiful and real. I love this blog and I love your heart. And my heart breaks with you from a distance as you are grieving for your sister.

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  18. Thank you so much for writing this! It gave me shivers and it is so fitting for this moment. I'm grateful for your way with words.

    Love, C

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  19. It was so nice to read this. So many time we fail to understand and be patient with people... who probable need it most. Thank you, it was a nice gift for Mother's day weekend.

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  20. Thank you for this post Disney. I googled "ENFP giving up." I'm in the same boat. My sister's name was Sloane. Although the circumstances are different, I lost her five years ago.

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  21. I'm an INFJ! Its always a comfort in a way to read about it. Like some how it is permission to be me. It's also wonderful when other people begin to learn about it because we can be quite difficult to understand. Every personality has their own quirks, that's part of what makes unique! I loved This post.

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  22. INFJ (at the extreme end) here and a long time reader of your blog. Interestingly, INFJ's love to research about personality types more than any other personality type! Haha. I learnt my personality type early in life and I feel like it was a powerful tool for when I was feeling alone and different. I could remind myself that I was rare and knew that meant God might need me for something that not everyone could do. Now, we do this test with all the young people in our care to help us and them know and grow to love their unique, complex personalities. Bless you for knowing there is beauty in all types. Can't wait to see all the variety (without the doubt and anguish) in heaven!

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