Update: Read my latest post to see how I came to the conclusion that I'm an INFJ: Read Enneagram 4, posted Saturday, March 21, 2009
I realized I could have looked up INFJ on Wikipedia a long time ago to read about the hierarchy of functions being the determining factor of my Myers Briggs type. So, based on some good discussions with family and friends and some more analyses on my own, I've decided INFJ is what I must be, and I guess it makes sense that the music I write and the lyrics to the music I write all have an emotional quality to them. I'm a Feeling extroverter whose Thinking function is turned inwards, which is why my impassioned way of communicating (which could just be that I'm trying to put my abstract thoughts into words and it's not always easy) can intimidate people whose extroverted Thinking and interoverted, or internalized, Feeling functions are strong, who don't understand how someone can raise the emotional output level so high without being upset (because that might be the only way they would be able to sound or appear that way). I thought INTJs tend to crescendo as they make their points, too, but maybe they're not as impassioned in their communication style as FJs are. I don't know. What I'm getting from all this is that INFJs have intense energy. I'm as artsy as they say this type is, but INFJ is also known to do well in the sciences, so that would explain my love of logic and more-or-less structured streams of thought (to make sense, which is always good).
I thought it was interesting to know that INFJ is also known as the Mystic Writer type, since I am spending an awful amount of energy writing these days, which is something I've always loved to do (and draw, too, although I haven't done that regularly in forever, and I'm not particularly good at it, but it's fun). From the stage as a singer to TV and radio airwaves as a presenter, I've worked most of my life as a communicator. I don't know about being mystical, though. It's been awhile since I've had any desire to consult the stars for my fate or uphold a dogma (unless you count my rants against the use of the term "political correctness" as a pejorative and all that stuff as dogmas), but I suppose my subjective or abstract thoughts would be mystical to those whose thoughts are more focused on the objective and tangible. When I hear the word mystical, I think of fatalism, superstition, divination. I'm more into deductive reasoning (which can be seen as future-seeing), following my intuition ("Don't eat that candy!" I rejected my inner voice once to realize the candy tasted like the scented candles it was shipped in a box with - these kinds of future-seeing events happen to me a lot), reading the signs in our world (semiotics and such) and practical (applicable in real life) spirituality.
When I say spirituality, I don't mean common sense because that simply means what the majority accepts as good, which might not actually be good, but a belief in the importance (value) of an on-going, open and progressive discussion - a round table symposium if you will - on what is considered right and good based on shared values, until the ideal solution can be refined and implemented before it's judged again. I'm not a conservative whose drive to uphold tradition is of utmost importance, but an integrator / synthesizer of ideas and people, changing or breaking tradition. But I think I try to conserve the value of human life and its dignity even as I come up with new perspectives and solutions. The belief that such refining of beliefs and values is good could be defined as a brand of spirituality. But this belief of mine is open to change. When I say I'm a spiritual person, I mean the spirit is the energetic part of me that cries out when I'm touched within. If someone's story touches my heart, I could be changed as a person forever. I can be inspired to write ten songs back to back when I'm moved. But I won't value my beliefs for the sake of them being mine. I won't identify with a belief any more than I'd label myself a lover of one genre of music.
If I take a value to heart, it's because that value is connected to real people whose lives - and whose thoughts and feelings - I value. But beliefs are forever refining in my mind even as I hold them true, and beliefs are just ideas - they aren't us and we can own them for as long as they're useful. That said, I would fight back if a value relating to basic human rights is threatened. It makes sense that INFJ is also known as the activist type. I would also analyze a belief or value to see if they can be improved, or what their actual worth might be. Maybe I want to mold the world according to my values while being flexible with my beliefs. I like molding raw materials into art according to my vision, but when it comes to controlling nature or the world, I'd rather find the true solution (of its time, and time will tell whether some beliefs and values are in fact timeless) and change my beliefs accordingly. It seems a good idea to take in and understand more angles and perspectives, getting a clearer, more truthful picture all the time. That kind of wisdom can only help us. So maybe my values don't really change even as my beliefs do. That means beliefs (what we think is true) aren't necessarily based on values (what's important to us). They're separate entities, no matter how intertwined they seem. Maybe beliefs should be objective while values will remain subjective, most likely based on whom and what we love.
Am I 100% sure I'm an INFJ and not INTJ? No, but it seems the outside world sees me more objectively as being INFJ, and sometimes, I need to weigh in the opinions of others, too. Thanks for all your help! Please feel free to weigh in - comments are open.
(Edited to add) INFJ / INTJ - Do you use simple analogies to explain complex theories? This is a helpful link to explain Introverted Intuition: Dominant Introverted Intuition - INTJ & INFJ - What is it like? by Danielle Poirier, www.personalitypathways.com
Read my previous entry on my MBTI type quest: More Thoughts from an INFJ...not INTJ...Female posted on Saturday, March 14, 2009
Update: INTP - August 11, 2010 Pink Manhattan