The Perilous Journey of the IdealistIt will soon be 20 years since the first time I was assessed the Myers-Briggs "sorter" for the first time, and the results showed me to be an INFJ. I was in a work situation, and it was "professionally" done, by someone who was licensed to explain and counsel people about their "results." There was a bit of debate as to whether it was "N" or "S" in the second spot, but N won out. Subsequently, I have gone through the process twice more... each time a professional assessment... yes, the online quizzes are fun, but I don't necessarily assign a high degree of accuracy to self-testing.
Even though I went out and bought a copy of David Keirsey's "Please Understand Me," it was many years before I truly understood how being an INFJ had an impact on certain fundamentals of my life. Specifically, the way my idealistic tendencies have often resulted in disappointments, as I have found myself in a wide range of situations that left me feeling rather disappointed and disillusioned with the world. Relationships have been particularly challenging... I just seem to "expect more" than most people, and my sense of what a "good" relationship looks and feels like is evidently OFF most people's "scale."
It seems to be a popular "battle cry" among INFJs to point out how we are the "rarest" of types. Whereas I don't find that a particularly useful badge to wear... that knowledge has helped me make peace with myself, and the world around me. It's a simple thing, really... when someone is THAT "different," it only follows that other people will find them "that different." And so, I have learned not to get my shorts quite so much in a wad over feeling misunderstood.
It seems that most INFJs are also highly sensitive people... I know I certainly am one. The world feels abrasive to me, much of the time. I want to change "things," but much of the time I lack the forcefulness needed to go out and "do battle" for changes. I'm "cooperator," not a "competitor."
Being online (coming up on 13 years, now) has been a wonderful experience, and I feel like cyberspace suits the INFJ temperament, really well. And it allows us to find "others like us." Ever notice how INFJ may be the "rarest" type, but in online self-growth and psychology forums, INFJs are a dime a dozen? I feel less lost here, less alienated. Friendships have taken on a new meaning... almost half of the close friends I have made in the past decade are fellow INFJs... it feels like we are perhaps more oriented towards "sameness" than other types.