At times, positive things can produce a negative effect, if we let the moderation slip. I feel, MBTI is one such thing.
I’ve spent almost my whole life in the constant fear that something was wrong with the way my brain was wired. How could a person be so radically different from everyone else. Surrounded by people who spoke in a strange language, I was filled with a desperation to comprehend and communicate in that language. Constantly blaming myself for not knowing their language, I failed to realize one thing. That there are others who knew mine.
“It is almost like squeezing yourself into this box of societal expectations and trying to fit into it. But eventually we learn, that it is okay not to fit into that box. Any box, for that matter. After all, the term “normal” itself is quite subjective. In fact, “normal” is a word which is used in the place of “majority”. Majority of the people are extroverts, hence to converse with ease in social situations is considered to be the norm.”
For someone who felt like a defective piece of toy, to come across a phenomenon called INFP, was a very comforting thing. I was finally able to comprehend the reasons behind various “why”s that I’ve been asking myself regarding my behavior. It helped me see that I was not alone. No. Apparently 4% of the world’s population constitutes of people like me:
“Dreamers who feel everything on a deep level, who are silent observers, who want peace and harmony more than anything else, and who fancy love to be the potion that would heal the world.People who are not angels. They are dreamers with a dark side, like just about any other human being.They might find it difficult to frame sentences while conversing with new faces, but could go on and on about the things that they feel, matter.The people who are often mistaken to be cold and unfriendly or shy.The misfits and the misunderstood lot who yearn for the rest of the world to see through them and understand that the facade hides a lot of things.”
Naturally, I was euphoric. It felt like I finally belonged somewhere. But with that feeling came the flip side. The obsession. I would spend hours online, reading up on personalities. Now, don’t get me wrong, it is absolutely fine to want to know more about one’s type, for we all love learning more about ourselves.
But this becomes deadly, when we conform ourselves to that list that is given. It becomes dangerous when we attribute all of our weaknesses to be just another side effect of being an INFP. The test gives only a basic outline. All of it need not apply to us and we need not conform ourselves to it. Let us not draw a box around us and tell ourselves “This is it. This is who I am.”
Just because our preference is “I” does not mean we should cut off all contacts with the society and turn into a recluse. Although we need not fool ourselves into trying to behave like an extrovert, we can definitely push ourselves a little bit to come out of our comfort zone and initiate a conversation, the next time we meet someone new. Just because our preference is “F” does not mean, we are slaves to emotions and are mentally incapable of forming rational thoughts. We can always work upon and improve our thinking abilities. We are capable of logical thinking.
I guess, all that I’m trying to say is, never underestimate yourself. Don’t stereotype your type. Celebrate being an INFP, but yearn to be much more than just that.