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The latest Myers Briggs test I took has me as a (strong)I(strong)N(weak-9%)F (strong)P. It also introduced a new dimension/axis/preference -- Assertive vs. Turbulent. I was weakly Assertive. I had never seen this before on a Myers Briggs test, but I like it. I'm thinking that it might have something to do with the one dimension of the "Big 5" personality traits which is typically left out -- neuroticism. So I am slightly not neurotic.

Although I received INFP on my latest MB test, I self-identify as an INTP. If I were compared to everyone, I would undoubtedly be an INxP or even INFP, but if I compare myself to other women, I am definitely an INTP.

What I find annoying about Myers Briggs is questions such as: "Do you like making plans or do you prefer to improvise?" Truth be told, I am both a very strong planner and a very strong improviser. If I am faced with a new situation say, traveling to a new foreign country or taking over leadership of a group, I plan, plan, plan. I imagine as many potential positive and negative situations as possible and imagine what I'd do in each one. I write all this stuff down and make all necessary arrangements in advance. Then, I throw the plans out the window in the sense that I detach from them emotionally and fully commit to improvising and make the best use of whatever reality throws my way. This strategy yields the best results by far.

I honestly did not know if this was a J or a P trait for the longest time. Now I'm thinking it is probably P, since I also know that I have a real problem with closure and finishing things in general. I would probably have never finished my dissertation (interdisciplinary, but officially recognized as French literature) had it not been for the prodding of my extremely J (and extremely wonderful) husband. Life for him is all about "Finish it up!" LOL

Another annoying question is any variant of: "Do you prefer to look at reality or imagine possibilities?" Obviously, this is supposed to measure N-S preference. But seriously, I'm really interested in reality and I am absolutely keen on imagining all sorts of possibilities. It's not like I'm half way in between the two; I am strongly both. But I do always wind up with a strong N score, so caring about reality doesn't mean one isn't N, I suppose. Maybe this kind of question could be phrased differently.

Anyway ..

Major life choices, preferences and where I am now:

When I was growing up, I showed a distinct preference and ability for music (singing and piano), reading and thinking about literature and philosophy. (I read the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy in 1st grade.) I was also something of a tomboy and loved to run around outside. I was either reading, thinking, singing or moving. I had lots of ability in math and various sciences, but did not really like them as subjects. I wanted to be an opera singer. I was accepted as a voice major at a well known conservatory. At the same time, I also got a degree in computer science at a well-known university (because that is what my parents wanted me to do.) Yes, I went to two different schools at the same time. I do not recommend this. It is crazy. I loved singing most of all, but did not get along with the other singers. I did not really like computer science, but I was good at it and got all really well with all the CS majors.

I know this will come as a real shocker, but I found it much easier to make $$ (which I needed) in CS than as a singer. So, I did that, first with a series of internships and part-time jobs, then as an in-house programmer for a now-defunct hardware company. After a short time, I met my future husband. When he finished up his PhD in CS, he took an assistant professorship at a large mid-Western University in a small mid-Western town. I tagged along. I went through the motions of finding a new job in computing. But my heart was not in it. The turning point came as I was waiting for an interview with a research laboratory. I was in the waiting room, when I suddenly realized that CS would never be for me. I got up and told the secretary that I would not do the interview. She said I could reschedule and I said: "No. I've realized this isn't the career for me." She looked like: WTF?

My next job was as a gourmet cook. At least, as "gourmet" as you can get for a small mid-Western town. I had a terrific time working with another women, tweaking recipes for soups, breads and salads. It was terrific for about 3 months -- until I realized that my boss (owner of the restaurant/catering establishment) didn't understand the meaning of: "I'm going to take a two week vacation now." I quit before I was fired. Important distinction.

I got back to work on my singing. I still didn't really get along with others singers. I was also beginning to realize that I didn't really care if I performed or not. I just wanted to sing well for myself. I also had no interest in acting (which is important for opera). I also didn't like slaving away at the tiny little details of polishing each piece. And of course, I started realizing that in order to be a professional opera singer, one needs all of these things plus an extraordinary amount of talent, devotion (not to mention luck), which I frankly did not have.

But I still sing, even now at 50+! :)

Instead, I got a part-time job as a choir director (through a violinist friend). I had never taken a class in conducting. But heck, why not try out for the job? So, I taught myself to conduct (then took a couple of classes) and directed the choir. I found the job stressful, but meaningful. And the choir liked me. I probably would have stuck with it, if it had provided a reasonable salary. But, it did not. (I'm not even going to say how little it paid. It is embarrassing.)

Besides, around this time I was thinking and reading about Christianity and the Bible as text. One beautiful, exceedingly memorable, joyful day, when my husband and I were reading and discussing together, we both had a liberating and irreversible moment of deconversion. It frustrates me to read about deconversion experiences as fraught, as moments of loss. It was anything but for me. It was as if I had been living in a black-and-white silent movie and all of a sudden the film blossomed into color and sound ... and became reality, not a film. It was euphoric, believe me. But it was hard to have a leadership position in a fundamentalist Lutheran church after that.

So, I thought: Why not teach music in high school? I was advised to volunteer in a high school first to see what it was like before committing myself to a program. The very first thing I had to do was help cut paper flowers with which to decorate the walls. OMG, I thought. No friggin' way. Totally out of there. So much for that.

And the same time, I was taking Italian for singing. And I was realizing that I really liked it and I was really good at it and I liked (some of) the people in my class. I told my prof I wanted to get a doctorate in Italian. He said that that was a very bad idea. Ok, then, what about French? Hmm, maybe he said. I took that as a personal challenge and went ahead and signed up for 6th semester French. I had gone to France twice in high school, had "medalled" frequently in FL competitions and was basically fluent in French at the end of HS. I hadn't kept it up in the intervening 10 years, but figured I could get it back quickly enough.

It turns out that I had signed up to take 6th semester with the hardest prof in the department, but still ended up with a high A. This impressed various profs enough to allow me to get into a summer exchange program for French. I came back and took three semesters of French literature (and a variety of other fun classes including history, anthropology, writing (poetry), ballet (at which I totally sucked but had a terrific time anyway), more piano. I spent a semester at the Sorbonne in Paris, studying more French lit and grammar. I applied to a grad school not too too far away from home (2 1/2 hours) since I was married, after all and didn't want to live too, too far away from him. I was accepted w/ financial support. I got my Master's and eventually my Ph.D. I presented quite a few conference papers, won quite a few awards (including Fulbright), had problems with chronic pain (repetitive strain syndrome, complex regional pain disorder), largely, but not completely recovered from pain issues after a 7 year struggle, had other health issues (recurrent, serious diverticulitis in spite of being a fit, slim, still young, vegetarian -- that had the doctors scratching their heads), got kicked out of my literary theory class for ("being disruptive" -- i.e. really, really doing the readings and figuring out that a lot of Sartre's not to mention Derrida's and other post-structuralists's texts are just packed with complicated tautologies), etc., etc ...

Ooops, I have to go now. I'm such a P! P all the way. LOL.


But I just want to add two things quick.

1) My husband is a dream. I think this might be key for INxP women who have a hard time fitting in. Find a really great, really nice and together partner who is really J (and who loves you just the way you are, of course). Stick with him or her.

2) At one point after we got married, we thought, well, why not have children? So, we were going to try. That very afternoon I came down with what must have been the worst flu ever. I was sick for at least a month. I was still quite religious at that point and thought it was a sign from above that I shouldn't have children after all. Well, I never did. I am now seriously grateful to my past self for getting sick then. I am so, so, so glad that I never had children. I am sure it would have been a disaster for all concerned.
 

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The latest Myers Briggs test I took has me as a (strong)I(strong)N(weak-9%)F (strong)P. It also introduced a new dimension/axis/preference -- Assertive vs. Turbulent. I was weakly Assertive. I had never seen this before on a Myers Briggs test, but I like it. I'm thinking that it might have something to do with the one dimension of the "Big 5" personality traits which is typically left out -- neuroticism. So I am slightly not neurotic.

Although I received INFP on my latest MB test, I self-identify as an INTP. If I were compared to everyone, I would undoubtedly be an INxP or even INFP, but if I compare myself to other women, I am definitely an INTP.

What I find annoying about Myers Briggs is questions such as: "Do you like making plans or do you prefer to improvise?" Truth be told, I am both a very strong planner and a very strong improviser. If I am faced with a new situation say, traveling to a new foreign country or taking over leadership of a group, I plan, plan, plan. I imagine as many potential positive and negative situations as possible and imagine what I'd do in each one. I write all this stuff down and make all necessary arrangements in advance. Then, I throw the plans out the window in the sense that I detach from them emotionally and fully commit to improvising and make the best use of whatever reality throws my way. This strategy yields the best results by far.

I honestly did not know if this was a J or a P trait for the longest time. Now I'm thinking it is probably P, since I also know that I have a real problem with closure and finishing things in general. I would probably have never finished my dissertation (interdisciplinary, but officially recognized as French literature) had it not been for the prodding of my extremely J (and extremely wonderful) husband. Life for him is all about "Finish it up!" LOL

Another annoying question is any variant of: "Do you prefer to look at reality or imagine possibilities?" Obviously, this is supposed to measure N-S preference. But seriously, I'm really interested in reality and I am absolutely keen on imagining all sorts of possibilities. It's not like I'm half way in between the two; I am strongly both. But I do always wind up with a strong N score, so caring about reality doesn't mean one isn't N, I suppose. Maybe this kind of question could be phrased differently.

Anyway ..

Major life choices, preferences and where I am now:

When I was growing up, I showed a distinct preference and ability for music (singing and piano), reading and thinking about literature and philosophy. (I read the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy in 1st grade.) I was also something of a tomboy and loved to run around outside. I was either reading, thinking, singing or moving. I had lots of ability in math and various sciences, but did not really like them as subjects. I wanted to be an opera singer. I was accepted as a voice major at a well known conservatory. At the same time, I also got a degree in computer science at a well-known university (because that is what my parents wanted me to do.) Yes, I went to two different schools at the same time. I do not recommend this. It is crazy. I loved singing most of all, but did not get along with the other singers. I did not really like computer science, but I was good at it and got all really well with all the CS majors.

I know this will come as a real shocker, but I found it much easier to make $$ (which I needed) in CS than as a singer. So, I did that, first with a series of internships and part-time jobs, then as an in-house programmer for a now-defunct hardware company. After a short time, I met my future husband. When he finished up his PhD in CS, he took an assistant professorship at a large mid-Western University in a small mid-Western town. I tagged along. I went through the motions of finding a new job in computing. But my heart was not in it. The turning point came as I was waiting for an interview with a research laboratory. I was in the waiting room, when I suddenly realized that CS would never be for me. I got up and told the secretary that I would not do the interview. She said I could reschedule and I said: "No. I've realized this isn't the career for me." She looked like: WTF?

My next job was as a gourmet cook. At least, as "gourmet" as you can get for a small mid-Western town. I had a terrific time working with another women, tweaking recipes for soups, breads and salads. It was terrific for about 3 months -- until I realized that my boss (owner of the restaurant/catering establishment) didn't understand the meaning of: "I'm going to take a two week vacation now." I quit before I was fired. Important distinction.

I got back to work on my singing. I still didn't really get along with others singers. I was also beginning to realize that I didn't really care if I performed or not. I just wanted to sing well for myself. I also had no interest in acting (which is important for opera). I also didn't like slaving away at the tiny little details of polishing each piece. And of course, I started realizing that in order to be a professional opera singer, one needs all of these things plus an extraordinary amount of talent, devotion (not to mention luck), which I frankly did not have.

But I still sing, even now at 50+! :)

Instead, I got a part-time job as a choir director (through a violinist friend). I had never taken a class in conducting. But heck, why not try out for the job? So, I taught myself to conduct (then took a couple of classes) and directed the choir. I found the job stressful, but meaningful. And the choir liked me. I probably would have stuck with it, if it had provided a reasonable salary. But, it did not. (I'm not even going to say how little it paid. It is embarrassing.)

Besides, around this time I was thinking and reading about Christianity and the Bible as text. One beautiful, exceedingly memorable, joyful day, when my husband and I were reading and discussing together, we both had a liberating and irreversible moment of deconversion. It frustrates me to read about deconversion experiences as fraught, as moments of loss. It was anything but for me. It was as if I had been living in a black-and-white silent movie and all of a sudden the film blossomed into color and sound ... and became reality, not a film. It was euphoric, believe me. But it was hard to have a leadership position in a fundamentalist Lutheran church after that.

So, I thought: Why not teach music in high school? I was advised to volunteer in a high school first to see what it was like before committing myself to a program. The very first thing I had to do was help cut paper flowers with which to decorate the walls. OMG, I thought. No friggin' way. Totally out of there. So much for that.

And the same time, I was taking Italian for singing. And I was realizing that I really liked it and I was really good at it and I liked (some of) the people in my class. I told my prof I wanted to get a doctorate in Italian. He said that that was a very bad idea. Ok, then, what about French? Hmm, maybe he said. I took that as a personal challenge and went ahead and signed up for 6th semester French. I had gone to France twice in high school, had "medalled" frequently in FL competitions and was basically fluent in French at the end of HS. I hadn't kept it up in the intervening 10 years, but figured I could get it back quickly enough.

It turns out that I had signed up to take 6th semester with the hardest prof in the department, but still ended up with a high A. This impressed various profs enough to allow me to get into a summer exchange program for French. I came back and took three semesters of French literature (and a variety of other fun classes including history, anthropology, writing (poetry), ballet (at which I totally sucked but had a terrific time anyway), more piano. I spent a semester at the Sorbonne in Paris, studying more French lit and grammar. I applied to a grad school not too too far away from home (2 1/2 hours) since I was married, after all and didn't want to live too, too far away from him. I was accepted w/ financial support. I got my Master's and eventually my Ph.D. I presented quite a few conference papers, won quite a few awards (including Fulbright), had problems with chronic pain (repetitive strain syndrome, complex regional pain disorder), largely, but not completely recovered from pain issues after a 7 year struggle, had other health issues (recurrent, serious diverticulitis in spite of being a fit, slim, still young, vegetarian -- that had the doctors scratching their heads), got kicked out of my literary theory class for ("being disruptive" -- i.e. really, really doing the readings and figuring out that a lot of Sartre's not to mention Derrida's and other post-structuralists's texts are just packed with complicated tautologies), etc., etc ...

Ooops, I have to go now. I'm such a P! P all the way. LOL.


But I just want to add two things quick.

1) My husband is a dream. I think this might be key for INxP women who have a hard time fitting in. Find a really great, really nice and together partner who is really J (and who loves you just the way you are, of course). Stick with him or her.

2) At one point after we got married, we thought, well, why not have children? So, we were going to try. That very afternoon I came down with what must have been the worst flu ever. I was sick for at least a month. I was still quite religious at that point and thought it was a sign from above that I shouldn't have children after all. Well, I never did. I am now seriously grateful to my past self for getting sick then. I am so, so, so glad that I never had children. I am sure it would have been a disaster for all concerned.
Hmm. While you do seem to have a strong thinking function, you give off that INFP vibe. And certainly an INxP one. I can see you as INTP, though. I know at least one very well. But to me, I feel INFP.
 

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Hmm. While you do seem to have a strong thinking function, you give off that INFP vibe. And certainly an INxP one. I can see you as INTP, though. I know at least one very well. But to me, I feel INFP.
I took a look at the INFP and INTP personality profiles (at personalitypage.com). I identify with the following statements about INTPs: "hav[e] the ability to analyze difficult problems, identify patterns, and come up with logical explanations. They seek clarity in everything, and are therefore driven to build knowledge. They are the "absent-minded professors", who highly value intelligence and the ability to apply logic to theories to find solutions ..."

This is totally me. I have interests typical of those with strong Feeling -- literature, music -- but I approach them precisely in this way. It is this conflict that has caused me to fall out of my last chosen career path and led to early retirement. Love that euphemism. It turns out that research in literature is *not* concerned with finding truth -- any kind of truth. It is not about building knowledge. It is not investigative. It is aesthetic and political. This is not just a quirk of certain writers or certain journals. (Yes, articles present themselves as investigative, but they are not.) It describes the entire field. If I read and write criticism on literature, it is because I want to understand, not because I want to read and produce something that is going to bedazzle my tiny audience, make me seem like an extremely moral person, or make a difference in the world. When I finally came to this realization after about 10 years in, it was a total deal-breaker for me. I quit because I could afford to. If I had needed the $$ (had loans to repay for example) I would have stuck with it and been miserable.


"The INTP has no understanding or value for decisions made on the basis of personal subjectivity or feelings." Totally. When I deconverted from Christianity, for example, it was entirely the result of logic and reasoning. My reaction to that was highly emotional however. The decision is not based on feeling. The feeling comes after the decision. I care about consistency and logic strongly and absolutely and yet I feel deeply. I'm beginning to think that it is a stance that not many share. I currently belong to a Unitarian church. I kept hearing people discuss the tension between reason and spirituality. I got so fed up with this (because for me they are aligned, not opposed) that I gave a talk on spiritual atheism. In a nutshell, I explained how understanding our world, really this world as it is in all its complexity can open one to the awe and joy that is typically associated with spirituality. Yada yada.

Also, I truly care about logic and consistency. At the same time, I find a way of insisting upon this without hurting people. Often this comes down to "Here I stand. This is why (explanation). I absolutely do not agree with you (explanation). And yet, I can absolutely understand that what you (erroneously) think it is actually very useful, beneficial etc. Thinking that way (although it is wrong) is totally a part of being human. Paradoxically, the irrational *is* rational (religion and spirituality make sense in a evolutionary perspective although they are not objectively true).

"The INTP is usually very independent, unconventional, and original. They are not likely to place much value on traditional goals such as popularity and security. They usually have complex characters, and may tend to be restless and temperamental." This is me.

Now onto the INFP: "INFPs rely heavily on their intuitions to guide them, and use their discoveries to constantly search for value in life. They are on a continuous mission to find the truth and meaning underlying things. Every encounter and every piece of knowledge gained gets sifted through the INFP's value system, and is evaluated to see if it has any potential to help the INFP define or refine their own path in life." Exactly, although these intuitions must also make sense.


"The goal at the end of the path is always the same - the INFP is driven to help people and make the world a better place. " Oh God no, certainly not. I am not so crazy as I can think I can change the way people just tend to be. Also, I do not feel good when I have helped someone. Although I absolutely do not want to cause harm. This did not make me a good teacher, BTW.

"When it comes to the mundane details of life maintenance, INFPs are typically completely unaware of such things. They might go for long periods without noticing a stain on the carpet, but carefully and meticulously brush a speck of dust off of their project booklet. " OK. This is true. But isn't this more an INxP trait than a feeling trait, per se?

"INFPs are usually talented writers. They may be awkard and uncomfortable with expressing themselves verbally, but have a wonderful ability to define and express what they're feeling on paper. "

I do express myself better on "paper" than orally. That doesn't mean I'm a talented writer, though.

"INFPs do not like conflict, and go to great lengths to avoid it. If they must face it, they will always approach it from the perspective of their feelings." This is *not* me. It's funny, there is one practical thing that I can do well, which my husband (a v. successful CS professor) cannot and that is complain and demands our rights (when they have been infringed upon). So, it is always *my* job to return the defective product and ask for a refund, to argue with our insurance company, to tell the sales people at the door or on the phone to get lost, etc. Not very Fe?
 

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@Melisande

Ooh. Well then. That makes sense, I suppose. All that would make you seem to be an INTP. Perhaps they seem a tad different when they're conversing in a written way than with their voice. My mother is one, and while you seemed a little different than the INFPs I've known, you didn't quite seem as logical over feeling-driven as she is. I can see you as INTP, certainly. Don't take my word for it, though. Speculation is great joy, and discovering ones type is fun.
 
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