Posted by Sophie | Posted in Being INFP | Posted on 12-05-2010
“Finally understanding the meaning of the word ‘oneness‘ – used to think it was pretentious and woolly, now think it’s vital.”
~Me on twitter, April 10 2010
To the INFP healing means mending those divisions that plague one’s private life and one’s relationships. It means treating oneself and relating to others in a conciliatory manner, helping to restore lost unity, integrity, or what INFPs call ‘oneness‘.”
~ David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II, pp. 157-8, read by me, May 10 2010
It’s going to take a separate oversized blog post to begin to delve into my premature thoughts on ‘oneness’. The point of posting the above quotations is to raise the question:
Is it because I’m an INFP that I think and act a certain way, or is it because I think and act a certain way that I’m INFP?
Or both? I suppose this all depends on whether ‘INFP’ is a noun or adjective, or both in different contexts. If it’s a noun then ‘INFP’ is who I am, and these four letters can therefore replace the designation ‘human being’, i.e. ‘I am an INFP’. If it’s an adjective then ‘INFP’ becomes a value judgement, like ‘lazy’, attached to my status as a human being, i.e. ‘I am an INFP human being’. This distinction may seem trivial and a fumble into unfamiliar territory, but depending on which interpretation I believe in at any one time, i view myself (and therefore possibly act) in different ways. I would explain further but I run the risk of another identity crisis and a brief excursion to the dark side of ESTJ logic and precision.
Posted by Sophie | Posted in Being INFP | Posted on 09-05-2010
Just a brief one today to post something which I ‘retweeted’ on twitter, originally tweeted by the writer of the infpBlog (definitely make a visit if you’re INFP or have to deal with one).
“INFPs are rabbits dreaming about the fastest course to our Ideal, while the Js are the turtles making slow & steady progress to theirs.”
Nice and self-explanatory. It also made me happy to give more/some depth to this blog’s title. And, would you believe it, on a wee google excursion just now I discovered the blog ‘Slow and Steady… A Turtle Perspective’. I wonder if the author is INFJ. I wonder if he talks to his computer too (see yesterday).
Posted by Sophie | Posted in Being INFP | Posted on 08-05-2010
A couple of weeks ago I got in the elevator in my apartment block (‘elevator’ when I’m in this country, ‘lift’ when I’m home, for diplomacy’s sake) and, by mistake, pressed ’6′ rather than ’8′. Without really thinking, I just assumed that the elevator would realise my error and give me a direct ride to my floor. When, of course, the elevator did stop at 6, I felt strangely confused and let down. No doubt this was something to do with the fact that I’d not yet had my daily coffee, but my idiocy is also interestingly revealing.
At the time this unremarkable event got me thinking (typical) about the relationship humans have with the world around them. Too often, I thought to myself, we expect the world to understand and accommodate our needs, our bodies to be aware that it’s Christmas Day and to therefore ignore the culinary onslaught, and our computers to realise that it’s the worst possible time to crash 20 seconds before the close of an ebay auction. I still stand by this, but my recent reading around my INFP self and personality types in general (see last two posts) has put this whole issue into better perspective and made me put thought to blog (ah perspective, if I could take only one word to a desert island it would be you). I ended up on personalitycafe.com reading a thread called ‘You know you’re an INFP when…‘ One response which caught my eye was ‘…you’ve ever been caught staring at an inanimate object with a strange smile on your face for an extended period of time’. There it was: proof that others personify inanimate objects the same way I do, but only certain types of ‘others’ within the human race. More comforting proof (this thread, the website, and personality typing itself) of both diversity in unity and unity in diversity, that oh-so-fashionable but admirable social, religious (etc.) aspiration.
I just received an email from Amazon to say that my copy of ‘Please Understand Me II‘ by David Keirsey is on its way, just in the nick of time. It’s been recommended to me by a couple of friends (who are both, of course, NFs themselves) and seems to be the best next stop in understanding these types once you’ve rinsed google for all its worth. Hopefully this book will help save me from more wildly speculative blogging activity (‘mild’ to ‘much’ speculation ideal). I’m off out now – time to put the computer to sleep.
Posted by Sophie | Posted in Being INFP | Posted on 03-05-2010
‘Feeling truly understood and respected for their unique perspective and strong values is important for many INFPs’ ~ from personalitytype.com
Although I can often doubt that my perspectives are unique or my values strong, I like to believe that they are and strive to make them so. Finding the above sentence made me, and I’m sure many other INFPs, incredibly happy. But why is it so important to some people (including myself) to have their thoughts and feelings validated, or at least formulated into something a little more concrete than just a fleeting thought or feeling? A coffee date with Jung is well overdue and, in an INFP’s dream world, entirely possible.
Posted by Sophie | Posted in Being INFP | Posted on 30-04-2010
A slightly different post today, as the rabbit has seen a light! I’m not talking about the ‘rabbit in headlight’ syndrome this time (Jan 24: ‘Fight or flight, filter of freeze‘), but more about a friendly, guiding, illuminating swarm of fireflies (16 of them, you could say… just keep reading). Sometimes it takes something external to give us the big leg-up we need on our journey up the ‘rabbit hairs’. My gravity-defying boost, if you will, has come in the form of Mr Carl Jung and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).
Having discovered which of the 16 personality types I am (INFP – Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perception – the ‘Dreamer‘, the ‘Questor‘ or, according to Keirsey, the ‘Healer‘) and scoured the internet for more information, I’ve decided that it’s probably because I’m unequivocally INFP that I’m so excited by this whole personality-typing endeavour and that I felt the need to create this blog in the first place. I truly believe that everyone should take this test (here!) and discover how they fit, and more importantly that they do fit, into the spectrum of human condition. Not only this, but we should be aware of the ‘types’ of people we regularly and intensively interact with, in order to best understand them and, in turn, how we could harmoniously communicate and co-exist.
As an INFP (hooray, there’s more like me out there!) I could go on forever discussing my woolly, generalised and abstract thoughts on this, but I should leave now to go to a recital. At least I finally have a scientific excuse for being late.
Posted by Sophie | Posted in Being INFP, Religion | Posted on 27-02-2010
It’s Saturday. Earlier today I had a sudden urge to tidy and reorganise a friend’s apartment. In retrospect that first struck me as more than a little odd, but then it made me think: Why is it that often we find it easier and even enjoyable to organise and improve someone else’s life rather than our own?
I’m pretty sure it’s a widespread phenomenon (I hope so – otherwise it looks like I’ve got the dictator gene). At the risk of sounding like I’m preaching or coming from a specific religious viewpoint, I suppose that bible verse they rammed down our throats at school applies here: ‘Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?‘ Perhaps we get so used to our own faults that we turn a blind eye (no pun intended) and begin to view them as the norm from which everyone else deviates, making it challenging to identify our own gaping ‘room for improvement’ (another well-known and ultimately obvious, vague and unhelpful phrase from school). Dangerous. Perhaps sometimes we do partially recognise our own faults, which is why fully focusing on someone else’s needs not only helps that someone else but also acts as a necessary and refreshing mini-break for ourselves, allowing us the opportunity to return to our own lives with a little more of that abstract gold dust known as perspective.
And now back to sandpapering down that rather large piece of wood in my own eye; perhaps tidying my own apartment might be a practical, productive and relatively pain-free start. And in true Sesame Street style, that’s all from the letter P today folks (purely unintentional, I promise).
Posted by Sophie | Posted in 'Philosophy', Being INFP | Posted on 29-01-2010
If you were picked up by aliens one day and dropped on another planet, would you remain the same person? The same question is valid in slightly less extreme situations too… If your job relocated you from London to Liverpool, would you keep the same principles and tastes, the same vegan tendencies and inexplicable love for Bjork? Is there some part of every being that remains intact no matter where a being physically finds itself? I think a few blog posts ago I believed the answer was ‘yes’ (Jan 19, ‘You Say Nature and I Say Nurture‘: ‘people don’t fundamentally change, just their priorities’). If the answer is ‘yes’, I think that part is what they call the soul. And I think Plato and co* probably got there before I did with their thoughts on dualism.
*['Plato and co'... definitely going on my 'ideas for café names' list. I could even put copies of books from a series I just discovered, including Coffee with Plato, on every table... Ooh, I love it when a fantasy business plan comes together.]
I’ve been wondering to what extent your habitat, daily lifestyle and personal relationships define who you are as a person. People talk endlessly about retreating to deep dark corners of the globe to discover ‘who they really are’. But can we ever divorce ‘who we really are’ from who we’ve become as influenced by our surroundings? If you lived a sheltered childhood existence in a minimalist magnolia-painted room and were fed a diet of mostly rice cakes and water, would you grow up to be as interesting and interested as a rice cake itself? Or could you be the happiest of bunnies with an enviable clarity of thought?
Perhaps a trip to Ikea is overdue.