Monday, January 6, 2014

new year. know you.

So far, with the beginning of 2014 I have experienced a sick 2-year-old, some below freezing temps, quite a few inches of snow, and a better understanding of myself.

I always thought I understood myself pretty well, even while acknowledging the fact that others had a hard time understanding me. This was frustrating for me because, while I went through a spell when I believed "mysterious" was the new awesome, I think it's important to be authentic and transparent so people understand the real me, quirks and all.


One of our friends started bugging me about my personality (Myers-Briggs, to be exact) just before the new year. I'm not sure if it because I'm just ridiculously fascinating (<----that is a facetious comment) or because I am just annoylingly hard to understand. He was overwhelmingly concerned/interested in the fact that I can type one million words and share it on a blog where millions could potentially read it, yet I have trouble speaking up in our small gathering of eight friends.

Whatever, I told tell myself. That's just how I am. 

I referred his endless probing into my weird mind as "interrogating," although now--after the fact--I kind of appreciate the fact that he made me probe into the inner depths of Jenny (a seriously dark and crazy place--at times--let me tell you).

I finally gave in and took a mini-personality test. I took this one, but if you are interested there are millions of versions out there.

The result: I am, in fact, weird. The outcome of the quiz pointed to the INTJ personality type, which is described like this on the INTJ description page:
The INTJ personality type is one of the rarest and most interesting types – comprising only about 2% of the U.S. population (INTJ females are especially rare – just 0.8%), INTJs are often seen as highly intelligent and perplexingly mysterious.
SCORE! (Note: This test refers to me as intelligent...yet it has never asked me to explain how to change a flat tire. Hmmm...) The site goes on to say that INTJs "radiate self-confidence," which doesn't really mesh well with my actual personality, but in a way, I suppose I am self-confident in a few areas.

Other descriptions that hit home:
  • The "bookworm" as a child. I was outside playing sports all the time, but when I wasn't, I was reading a book. My brothers mocked me incessantly for reading so much. (Boxcar Children fan for life!) 
  • Original and insightful, yet "do not seek nor enjoy the spotlight and may often decide to keep their opinions to themselves if the topic of discussion does not interest them that much." Or if I don't think people care about my opinion. I won't share (in person) if you don't care. Online it's all fair game. 
  • Perfectionists (I'm trying to quit) who "enjoy improving ideas and systems they come in contact with. As INTJs are naturally curious, this tends to happen quite frequently. However, they always try to remain in the rational territory no matter how attractive the end goal is – every idea that is generated by the INTJ’s mind or reaches it from the outside needs to pass the cold-blooded filter called 'Is this going to work?'. This is the INTJ’s coping mechanism and they are notorious for applying it all the time, questioning everything and everyone.
  • Assesses all possible situations, calculates strategic and tactical moves, and more often than not develops a contingency plan or two as well. 
  • Enjoy being the “man behind the curtain.”
  • May be idealists (impossible is nothing) and cynics (everybody lies) at the same time. 
  •  "Generally speaking, INTJs usually prefer to work in the area they know very well. Their typical career is related to science or engineering, but they can be found anywhere where there is a need of intelligence, restless mind and insight (law, investigations, some academic fields). INTJ personalities rarely seek managerial positions – if they do, this is probably because they need more power and freedom of action, not because they enjoy managing people." (My dad and brother are engineers and, in a long stretch of the imagination, I am seeking to "engineer" ways to help "the least of these.")
  • Find it very difficult to handle romantic relationships, especially in their earliest stages. (This could explain my college years...)
  • Both private and incredibly rational. Small talk is irrational to them. (I strongly dislike smalltalk. I cannot even...)
  • Public displays of emotion are outside of their comfort zone and consequently they will do their best to restrain themselves. 
However, I also strongly identify with these descriptions of the INFJ:
The INFJ type is believed to be very rare (less than 1 percent of the population) and it has an unusual set of traits. Even though their presence can be described as very quiet, INFJ personalities usually have many strong opinions, especially when it comes to issues they consider really important in life. If an INFJ is fighting for something, this is because they believe in the idea itself, not because of some selfish reasons. (Emphasis added.)
  • Drawn to helping people
  • Good at written communication, with a distinctively smooth and warm language. Their sensitivity can often mislead bystanders, who might think that the INFJ is actually an extrovert.
  • They need to have some “alone time” every once in a while or otherwise their internal energy reserves will get depleted really quickly. (This is an introvert thing.)
  • Vulnerable to conflicts. "If someone with this personality cannot escape the conflict, they will do their best to deal with it head on, but this will result in a lot of stress and may also potentially lead to health problems or highly irrational behavior." (Hello stress.)
So there you go. That's me. I must admit that I'm actually happy to know more about myself, and it is freeing to see that most aspects of my personality can be explained by Myers and Briggs. 

Except this. I have a strange addiction to these that cannot be explained. (Seriously, I need an intervention.):

Want to know more about your personality? Take the same test I took here: 

Share your results. Let's get to know eachother!!

And this year, know thyself.


  1. Replies
    1. That's funny! The two rarest types of people in the world found one another. :o)

  2. I used to score off the charts INTJ but since we have started our adoption process I now score an INFJ. It just goes to show how adoption can change how you view the world and how you see others. I would be curious to see a comparison of adoptive parents vs the general population.

    By the way I think my husband is the rarest one. He actually scores in the direct center of the test. He had to take the full one for work and the trainer didn't know what to do with him since no one in 10 years had ever not had a single dominant trait.

    1. How funny/interesting that you changed over the course of the adoption process! Someone told me to answer questions with my very first instinct and natural tendency because you are really trying to find the "base" of who you are. But that's so hard when you're becoming so new!

      That's very interesting about your husband!! He needs to share his life story or something to help people be more balanced.