Total Pageviews

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Baby, I Got you Pegged...

Or a portrait of a personality in two parts:

"Whatever the circumstances of your life, the understanding of type can make your perceptions clearer, your judgements sounder and your life closer to your heart's desire."  Isabel Briggs Myers
The Briggs Myers type indicator carries the work of Carl Jung from theory to practice and provides tools of personal growth to individuals and psychological professionals. Understanding your own preferences can help you understand how your interactions with others are beneficial or detrimental. I find this very helpful in remembering that people are who they are. Being less judgemental about a person's behavior makes dealing with them easier. It makes dealing with me easier too. But it also allows me the freedom to let some people go.

In understanding my own type, I find it easier to accept some circumstances in my life, reject ideas/advice that is harmful to me but innocuous to others and choose people and situations proactively instead of reactively. This is still considered to be a theoretical model. For some professionals it is only moderately successful. I, for one, consider success of any measure to be success. This model has been immensely helpful in understanding myself.

How does it work? There is a simple four question form or a more complex version. I've taken both and gotten the same results. In either case simply answer as honestly as possible and your results appear at the end. I am an INFP or, when feeling sociable, and ENFP.

What does it mean? INFP means that I am (I)Introverted, (N)iNtuitive, (F)Feeling, (P)Perceptive. The short form answer is CHAMPION. In other words MacGyver but less handy. The long form:

Idealistic, loyal to values and people who are important tothem. Want an external life that is congruent with their values. Curious, quick to see possibilities, can be a catalyst for implementing ideas. Seek to understand people and help them fulfill their potential. adaptable, flexible and accepting unless a value is threatened.

The ENFP is (E)Extroverted instead. The short form is COUNSELOR. In other words, Deanna Troi but without the telepathy and mind reading. In the long form:

Warmly enthusiastic and imaginative. See life as full of possibilities. Make conenctions between events and information quickly, and confidently proceed based on patterns they see. Want a lot of affirmation from others, and ready give appreciation and support. Spontaneous and flexible, often rely on their ability to improvise and verbal fluency.

This information comes from handouts in counseling sessions and I do not know the specific attributions. It does not conflict with the information that I found at the Myers-Briggs Foundation. The following information comes from the book Please Understand Me by David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates. It is specific to my type. And I intend to illustrate for you, myself and to certain person(s)  how this directly impacts in my life. Using this material is intended solefy for illustration and I hope generating interest in their work... not infringing on their intellect. So that said let's head off to the Character Museum and look at a Portrait of and INFP:

"Although they demonstrate a cool reserve toward others, inside they are anything but distant... They care deeply, indeed, passionately, about a few special persons or a cause. One word that captures this type is idealistic."
For myself, I would use the word fanatic to describe the type. Idealism may be the basis for the passionate caring for cause or celebrity. But in demonstration it looks like radical fanaticism. My sister once said to me that if you could say anything about me at all it is that
"you are a good fan. Once you are a fan of something you are in with your whole heart and for your life."
Of course she was encouraging me to be a fan of God and join her church. But she cited my beyond religious devotion to Star Trek and Mr. Spock/Leonard Nimoy in particular. I live, breathe, eat, sleep my fanaticism. It is kinda Zen in me. I don't have all the gadgets and toys associated with normal fandom because I do not need the outward symbolism of something that has informed and educated me and guides me in my thinking. I am a fan of the vision. I am a student of the Picard model and aspire to the aesthetics of Kolinar for my inner landscape to temper some of the gypsy elf inside of me. See? Deeply passionate. And the same is said for Sting, Matthias Reim, Stargate, MacGyver and the indiviuals in my personal life who have helped to shape me and defend me against my detractors.
I am as likely to celebritize* individuals in my life, making MacGyver-sized heroes out of ordinary men, as I am to villanize those who upset a harmonious balance or trounce all over my values and ideals. My personal MacGyvers rest on pedastals like Trajan's column. So you can imagine the kind of mess there is when they fall.

This also speaks to the conversations that I have with my brother about work. And, oddly, the maintainence man. Both wonder why I put so much of myself into the job. I feel very passionately about giving my energy and enthusiasm for my menial job in return for the favor of having a job in this economy. I care when there are finger prints on the elevators. I care, perhaps too, much when the pool chairs are not set the way they were when the standards were being discussed in the days before we opened. We set things a way that made upper management happy and they should be able to trust that it will stay that way. I've been told that is petty. It is not. It is the impossible degree of passion that I possess. We are treated very well here and that treatment actually deserves devotion... the kind of devotion that others might demand and not deserve.

I am an oddity in my life. Keirsey says this is just so. "At times, this characteristic leaves them feeling isolated, especially since INFPs are found only in 1% of the general population." Can I get an amen? I feel horribly isolated by my work ethic. A constant result of my striving is to be torn down by people who do not want to work that hard. I am constantly told that I make others look bad. And I constantly wonder why they don't strive to improve to meet the curve instead of tearing up the road that the curve is on. And in relationships I am often left to wonder why others do not seem to participate to the same degree that I do, on those Zen kinds of levels. On other levels it is I who falls short.

In the pursuit of relationship I am so horribly dissatisfied by the bountiful offerings on dating websites that I wonder if I've any business dating at all. I feel like a dish of meat at a vegan dinner. UCKY! The guys all wish that I was someone else. And I wish I was where I didn't stand out like a sore thumb. I often feel isolated because I don't put the same emphasis on things that others do. Really, in the love and war department, the numbers are against me. We look for mates who are close enough to ourselves that we can not see the differences, thus allowing the two to become one. Jebus good luck with that if my pool is from the 1% of the world's population. And no wonder I feel the need to have an International pool rather than a National one.

The next paragraph was particularly self-relevatory.

"INFPs prefer the valuing process ofer the purely logical. They respond to the beautiful versus the ugly, the good versus the bad, an the moral to the immoral. Impressions are gained in a fluid, global, diffused way. Metaphors and similies {count them} come naturally but may be strained {hello.... they all are!}. INFPs have a gift for interpretting symbols, as well as creating them, and thus often write in lyric fashion. They may demonstrate a tendency to take deliberate liberties with logic. Unlike the NT they see logic as something optional."

The emphasis here is all my own. As well as the running commentary in italicized brackets. It's what I do... especially when I get caught doing something I perceive I perhaps should not be doing. I suppose at this point I could walk away whistling and pretending that I don't notice you noticing that I noticed I do this. I do. I do this A LOT! Not only does it piss off my brother. It pisses off my last boyfriend. And rightly so. But only rightly from one perspective: it is difficult for the logic based types to cope with illogic even when they want to be whimsical. And when they want to be serious whimsy is about as welcome as a photon torpedo up your plasma ejector. Obviously the metaphor thing doesn't even need to be discussed.

Logic is optional with anything that does not involve math. Math and logic need each other. People do not operate on math. We are emotional beings. And life is too full of variables to accurately use math and logic to navigate a life path... unless you use Mandelbrot's fractal equation. Those things are gorgeous in their random predictability. The problem is that the logical ones want life to work mathamatically and fit neatly into those ubiquitous USA Today graphs. Life isn't like that. It's like those fractals. (Take it up with Fibonacci. It's his fault Mandelbrot even went there.) Luck and fate leave doors open that should not work.

Case in point: logically because Dave Thomas could not read or write well and did not graduate school he should not have been a business man who could have built a billion dollar empire. That is not the model we are encouraged to believe in. And yet... against the logic he built the empire that is Wendy's. Logic would say that if Edison failed 11 times there is no reason the 12th time should work. But it did. It does not make any sense to my brother that I would live the way that I do. But it satisfies my needs and allows me the freedoms that I need. I do not always know that I am being deliberately illogical. And if you point out that I am, and I firmly believe in the value of my illogic there is no way on Earth, in Hell, even for Heaven's sake that I will change my mind. Or point of view. And the more you persist in attacking me the more deliberately illogical I become because I'd like to see your head explode from the pressure increasing in your cranial capillaries. The Darkside of the INFP?

That pretty much means that I take unsolicited advice poorly.

They also say that INFPs are "impatient with the hypothetical." Somebody has to explain that to me. The what ifs that make sci-fi so fascinating are purely hypothetical. And I love the what ifs of astrology and numerology: specifically the what if they are systems so quantumly complex that we just don't have the math to prove that they are accurate predictors of probability? Yet. There is always a yet with me. But I do intensely dislike the hypothetical of probailities and statistics when I have a vested interest in the outcome of a given situation. The not knowing makes me intensely nutty. And not in a good Payday sort of way. (See.... I just can't help the metaphors)

In the category of No-Brainers, the following is so true:

"INFPs dislike telephone interruptions..." it might look like I am contemplating my belly button, sitting there doing nothing, and therefore can be interrupted per the interruptor's personal conviction. What looks like "doing nothing" (hey Yoda, have a look at that paradox) is contemplation. I might not be able to see the world in a grain of sand, but perhaps in navel lint I may save a wrinkle in time. Don't bug me. I don't bug you when you look on the verge of discovering something. Even if all you discovered was belly fuzz.

"They are patient with complicated situations, but impatient with routine details." This would explain why I am not fastidious about your dish, finger, hand and counter cleaning towels. Or a compulsive door checker despite the house rules. And with that many house rules you will short circuit an INFP right into a kind of paralysis that annoys you more than my non-compliance. Before I get the email, text or nasty gram, let me tell you that I JUST. FIGURED. IT. OUT. RIGHT. THIS. NANOSECOND. All those rules delay the fun. And we do tend to prefer fun over functionality (work if you have to ruin the aliteration).

"INFPs have a natural interest in scholarly activities," (geek. and I am German. geek squared) "and demonstrate, as do other NFs, a remarkable facility for languages." Which I guess means it should surprise no one that I prefer German music to anything else right now since I am all in on the Matthias Reim river.

"INFPs can make outstanding novelists" yep. I wanna be a paperback writer.

So the next part of this description really encapsulates the implosion of my last relationship. He did what you absolutely can not do to an INFP and I did what you absolutely can not do to his type. And will have to be discussed in the next post since it is quite a mouthful.

As they say on TV, to be continued...

*celebritize: to apply Hollywood Star celebrity status to the ordinary folk in ones life.

No comments:

Post a Comment