Guest Author - Deb Bonam
Most people have heard of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI. It is a registered psychological system of categorizing peopleís personalities into one of 16 temperamental groups. I am simplifying the MBTI to a great degree, as there have been volumes of books written on the subject. The test takes into account much of Jungian theory and was designed by Katherine Briggs along with her daughter, Isabel Myers in the 1940ís. It remains as one of the most popular personality tests in the world today.
The four pairs of opposite preferences are:
Extroverting (E) and Introverting (I)
Sensing (S) and Intuiting (N)
Thinking (T) and Feeling (F)
Judging (J) and Perceiving (P)
The Creative person falls in the category of the INFJ, which means they are introverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging (sometimes perceiving - INFP). These MBTI creative types are usually sensitive people that have a deep mystical side to them. They are pretty single-minded when it comes to their values and personal integrity. Creativity is their middle name as they are original creatures with idealistic ways of thinking. Being introverts, they enjoy solitude and usually have a small, intimate circle of friends to which they associate with.
Creative types in the work setting can often make contributions to the great welfare of others. They prefer working in a quiet, organized setting that fuel and support their need for quiet concentration. Even though they want admiration and respect, creative types usually donít call attention to themselves because they pursue their goals with perseverance on their own terms. They can be quite demanding of themselves and others as perfectionism can consume them. These are highly creative and original thinkers and because of their visionary thought processes, they often become preoccupied with their own visions, setting the bar too high for both themselves and others to achieve. If they are willing to stick their neck out there they can be persuasive and inspirational leaders. They definitely like to have control over their own time.
Typical occupations include: architect, artist, designer, editor, media specialist, musician, philosopher, program designer, writer or photographer.
INFJs are good listeners and when they feel comfortable will open up to others. They tend to open up to only a few selected friends in private. They donít tend to commit without caution, but when they do, they give their relationships their fullest attention. In fact they can get lost in the needs of their lover. They will find themselves feeling responsible for otherís feelings and often find it hard to maintain healthy boundaries in relationships. The INFJ can be moody and get depressed especially when they become obsessive about the darker side of their inner world. Criticism stains them for long periods. Articulating what they want to say is sometimes a difficulty for the INFJ.
INFJs must have lots of time to themselves to work on their creative projects, but that doesnít mean they also donít need time to spend with friends and family. Some INFJs like attending creative events like concerts or museums for inspiration. Their home life is usually filled with creative works and findings to stimulate their creative senses.
If you are an INFJ you should respect your need to spend time alone to explore your creative passions, read and to dream. You should also trust a few close people in your life enough to share some of your visions, feelings and inner workings. You donít want to swallow up rich inner life too much because you could become too withdrawn from others all together. So try to convey whatís on your mind in order to include others in your life. Expect a certain amount of rejection of your creative ideas. Donít be sensitive to criticism. Donít overanalyze everything to death because thatís wasting valuable living time. Lastly, give yourself credit for your strengths Ė you are a visionary thinker, stand tall!
Source: Type Talk, Otto Kroeger and Janet M. Thuesen, 1988, Dell Publishing, New York, NY