My INFP Likes Your INTJ

Isaac and I lounged on opposite couches in our living room, tears rolling down our faces from laughing so hard. It was near midnight, way past my bedtime, but we couldn’t stop reading, it was just too good. It felt like someone had spent a year studying my husband in his natural habitat and wrote a three page report on his behavior, characteristics, mannerisms, and idiosyncrasies. No, It wasn’t his horoscope. It was a website that gives full detailed explanations and descriptions of the Myers-Briggs personality types.

We have both known our four-lettered personality types for awhile, I learned mine in therapy and he in business school (haha), but we’ve never sat down and talked about them. When Isaac asked my dad permission to marry me, our personality types was one of the topics discussed because my dad knows the importance of understanding your mate’s personality type. He couldn’t have been more right.

Courtney

Courtney

Isaac

Isaac

I have known Isaac for over five years, in fact we have been together or spoken to each other every single day since we met in August 2007. Sitting across from him the other night reading about his personality made me realize how deeply I do know him, yet how much more there is to learn.

After finishing his analysis and then reading my personality type’s description, we both had an AHA moment. We realized that every single fight we have ever had can be traced back to a simple conflict in our personality types. His personality type, INTJ, is very business-minded, logistical, practical, and strategic- not a whole lot of feeling or emotion involved in decisions. INTJ’s are often referred to as “the scientists.” My personality type, INFP, is known as “the idealist.” INFP’s are known for wanting to understand the human condition, the desire to make the world a better place, and relying heavily on intuition and feelings. Yep. That’s us exactly.

Learning about personality types made me realize that couples who try to change each others habits and seemingly unpleasant characteristics are not only doing a pointless task, but they are trying to change a personality type. It’s not right, it’s who your mate is!! It seems so wrong to try to change it, as opposed to understand it, learn from it, and either love it or leave it.

If you’re not familiar with these four-lettered personality types, here is a breakdown:

First letter:
E=extroverted vs I=introverted

Extroverted Characteristics

  • Act first, think/reflect later
  • Feel deprived when cutoff from interaction with the outside world
  • Usually open to and motivated by outside world of people and things
  • Enjoy wide variety and change in people relationships

Introverted Characteristics

  • Think/reflect first, then Act
  • Regularly require an amount of “private time” to recharge batteries
  • Motivated internally, mind is sometimes so active it is “closed” to outside world
  • Prefer one-to-one communication and relationships
Second Letter:
S=sensing vs N=iNtuition

Sensing Characteristics

  • Mentally live in the now, attending to present opportunities
  • Using common sense and creating practical solutions is automatic-instinctual
  • Memory recall is rich in detail of facts and past events
  • Best improvise from past experience
  • Like clear and concrete information; dislike guessing when facts are “fuzzy”

Intuitive Characteristics

  • Mentally live in the future, attending to future possibilities
  • Using imagination and creating/inventing new possibilities is automatic-instinctual
  • Memory recall emphasizes patterns, contexts, and connections
  • Best improvise from theoretical understanding
  • Comfortable with ambiguous, fuzzy data and with guessing its meaning.
Third letter:
T=thinking vs F=feeling

Thinking Characteristics

  • Instinctively search for facts and logic in a decision situation.
  • Naturally notices tasks and work to be accomplished.
  • Easily able to provide an objective and critical analysis.
  • Accept conflict as a natural, normal part of relationships with people.

Feeling Characteristics

  • Instinctively employ personal feelings and impact on people in decision situations
  • Naturally sensitive to people needs and reactions.
  • Naturally seek consensus and popular opinions.
  • Unsettled by conflict; have almost a toxic reaction to disharmony.
Fourth letter:
J=judging vs P=perceiving

Judging Characteristics

  • Plan many of the details in advance before moving into action.
  • Focus on task-related action; complete meaningful segments before moving on.
  • Work best and avoid stress when able to keep ahead of deadlines.
  • Naturally use targets, dates and standard routines to manage life.

Perceiving Characteristics

  • Comfortable moving into action without a plan; plan on-the-go.
  • Like to multitask, have variety, mix work and play.
  • Naturally tolerant of time pressure; work best close to the deadlines.
  • Instinctively avoid commitments which interfere with flexibility, freedom and variety

(All of this info summarized came from here)

So while you may be able to look at the descriptions and make a guess about what your four letters are, it’s not really that simple. The real Myers Briggs test is very long and complex. I have done shorter knock off versions of the test and they never come out right.  Here’s something cool, Isaac and I have two of the rarest personality types! Only about 4% of the population are INFP’s and only 2% are what Isaac is, INTJ.

Some famous INFP’s include JK Rowling, Edgar Allen Poe, John Lennon, Tim Burton, Louis CK (is it weird that I’m honored to share a personality type with Sir Louie?), Jane Goodall, and William Shakespeare.

Some famous INTJ’s are Jane Austen, Stephen Hawking, James Cameron, Karl Marx, Mark Zuckerberg, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Donald Rumsfeld, C.S. Lewis, and Thomas Jefferson.

Isaac and I both agreed that learning more about our personality types helped us feel a lot better about ourselves, and frankly our entire existence and meaning in life. We felt like we fit perfectly into neat little boxes and groups, that we are functioning exactly the way we’re supposed to. While I don’t believe one should necessarily seek validation in life, it gave us validation.

Reading about my INFP personality type made me feel better about my unusual tendencies and “Courtney norms.” For example, from personalitypage.com, we read:

“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.”

Isaac’s mouth fell open and he said “oh my God, that is you. THAT IS YOU.” I had to laugh and agree completely. YAY!! I feel less crazy if scientists and psychologists have made that claim, it’s not just me being sloppy and aloof. Aaaaaand then I stopped laughing when I read this:

INFPs have very high standards and are perfectionists. Consequently, they are usually hard on themselves, and don’t give themselves enough credit. INFPs may have problems working on a project in a group, because their standards are likely to be higher than other members’ of the group. In group situations, they may have a “control” problem. The INFP needs to work on balancing their high ideals with the requirements of every day living. Without resolving this conflict, they will never be happy with themselves, and they may become confused and paralyzed about what to do with their lives.

That’s me. That one little paragraph is me, wrapped up pretty and tied with a bow. I can’t tell you how good it felt to read that. Control issues are something that my counselor and I talked a lot about in therapy. I don’t have control issues in the sense that I try to control what Isaac does or what my friends do, I’m really easygoing as far as that goes, but I have control issues where myself is concerned. That’s why my panic attacks started years ago, because realizing I was out of control of my body and my spontaneous allergies freaked me the eff out. I still don’t like it, but that is life. I’m not in control and I hate it, but I have learned to deal with it.

I continued reading my INFP portrait and smiled when I came across this:

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

Ahhhh, more validation. Maybe that is why when my therapist suggested writing years ago, it wasn’t a coincidence. He knew my personality type and knew what writing would do for me.

I highly recommend taking the Myers-Briggs test and figuring out your personality type. It can help you recognize your strengths and weaknesses. It can also give you incredible insight into your significant other and help both of you work through difficulties together.

In addition to figuring out why we butt heads on rare occasions, it also gave Isaac and I a greater appreciation for one another and for how well we do get along. We know that we are good together, but this helped us understand why we are good together. INTJ’s can have a hard time expressing themselves, INFP’s don’t you people to express themselves, they know how you are feeling before a single word is uttered.

Finding out your personality type is like being given a cliff notes/cheater’s guide to your life. It gives you insight and the ability to know why you do what you do. It can help stop problems before they start and, I believe, help you find true happiness with yourself and those around you.

My INFP likes your INTJ

My INFP likes your INTJ

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29 thoughts on “My INFP Likes Your INTJ

  1. oow you are so sweet couple. love it. love the AHA part. I am on crush with INTJ now (I am INFP). Can you write more about how you handle conflict between two of us.. or how to get INTJ heart ❤ 😛

    • If the INTJ likes you(not necessarily in a romantic way, but if he/she sees you as a worthy human) the INTJ won’t have any conflicts between you two, he/she will have an argument(debate if you don’t like the word “argument”) with you about some ideas, evaluations of something, etc. you shouldn’t ever think that he/she is turning against you. For an INTJ(at least for me) a persons worth is separated from that persons opinions and an INTJ if he/she likes you would stop anything you might see as a conflict if he/she sees that it’s hurting you(if you mean a lot to him/her and if the matter is not something which lies at the foundation of that INTJ’s world). INTJ’s don’t hurt people without a reason. If you are hurt than most probably it happened accidentally because the INTJ couldn’t understand your feelings or because you misunderstood something.
      About getting INTJ’s hearts… I would say tricks don’t help, so you either have that heart already or you won’t reach it no matter what. What goes for tips on how to handle INTJ’s: remember that we are not looking out for people and hold back even if we really like somebody, so(as hard as it might seem) try to take the initiative at the beginning of a relationship and don’t feel discouraged if the INTJ who was friendly and forthcoming at first suddenly turns cold and seems uninterested, because he/she is thinking a lot about you and him/her and something you didn’t even notice might have seemed as an end of the relationship for him/her. If it was a misunderstanding and if the misunderstanding is cleared up it will leave no effect on your further relationship. For real. And if you manage to get an INTJ into a relationship(with a lot of hard work on your side) you can have some rest and relax because the INTJ will put an enormous effort into making the relationship work and his/her life literally will be shared between two people(at least for the INTJ), so he/she will always consider your benefit(not necessarily he/she will always be right about what actually is good for you). But it’s a long, long way to go…

  2. Us INFP’s are in good company. 🙂 My wife, is an INTJ like your husband- they too are in good company. Myers Briggs is a great tool to help understand one another better! Another similar tool is the Eneagram. Great post. Courtney.

  3. I am an INFP and my partner of 9 years is a INTJ. Today I decided to take the Myers-Briggs test and we learned about our personalities. We laughed and I sometimes cried because it was so spot on. Many of things I have struggled with in my life have a lot to do with my personality and I now know why.

    When my partner and I met, there was some strange mystical connection that we didn’t understand. It was hard to put in words, but I now know why. Our personality types find each other intriguing and we tend to balance each others the extremes in our personalities. We also butt heads on many things and I now know every fight we have had is because I am a INFP and he is an INTJ.

    Today, after reading about our personalities we felt a little closer to each other. We understand each other a little more and why we do what we do the way we do it.

    I found your cartoon about the INFP so me I burst out laughing. I love structure until I am bored and need the excitement back in my life. After awhile, structure makes me feel like I am in a small box which I cannot stand, but after awhile of being all over the place I need the structure to put everything back in order. Everything becomes chaotic in my brain and I get overwhelmed and structure puts me back together again, well, until the structure makes me feel like a robot. Funny thing is, my partner hates my lack of structure. Actually, he loathes it and can not understand why I keep going back and fourth. While I understand his structure but find it utterly boring and predictable. lol

    • I am an INFP and my partner of 9 years is a INTJ. Today I decided to take the Myers-Briggs test and we learned so much about our personalities. We laughed and I sometimes cried because it was so spot on. Many of things I have struggled with in my life make sense now.

      When my partner and I met, there was a strange and mystical connection that we didn’t fully understand. It was hard to put in words why we were so attracted to each other. Now I know that our personality types find each other intriguing and we tend to balance each other out. We also butt heads on many things and every fight we have had is because I am a INFP and he is an INTJ. I also find that me being a younger INFP and him being an older INTJ has made for some tough times, but things are much better these days.

      Today, after reading about our personalities we felt a little closer to each other. We understand each other a little more and why we do what we do the way we do it.

      I found your cartoon about the INFP so me I burst out laughing. I love structure until I am bored and need the excitement back in my life. After awhile though, structure makes me feel like I am in a small box and that I cannot stand. I find myself craving no structure at all until everything becomes to all over the place. Everything becomes chaotic in my brain and I get overwhelmed and structure puts me back together again, well, until the structure makes me feel like a robot. Funny thing is, my partner hates my lack of structure. Actually, he loathes it and can not understand why I keep going back and fourth. While I understand his structure but find it utterly boring and predictable. lol Please feel free to delete my first comment as I didn’t proof read it.

  4. Reblogged this on Classical Dreamer and commented:
    Because I am INFP, this is very revelant to me. Especially since I am attracted to NT types. Even though you should never put yourself or others in a box, I have taken the Kiersey personality test and ended up with results of being most compatible with the ENTJ or INTJ (I am primarily introverted, but I can be extroverted when I need (or want) to be.

  5. Pingback: Marriage Is | The Other Courtney

    • Oh I’d be interested in reading the paper. You don’t have it published anywhere on your blog, do you?

      It’s funny how people can sway with certain letters. To be honest, I think that’s a good sign. Being too far to one side can be a bit burdening, I would think. It’s good to be able to see multiple perspectives, which you’re probably able to do.

  6. I have taken the Meyers-Briggs twice now…and each time I recall it came out the same…but for the life of me I can’t recall what my ‘type’ was. I know when graphed it came out close to the center except on one of the corners it tended slightly towards the edge. (I have to find the worksheets…I KNOW I saved it.)

    What I found useful was how you and yours found it useful…to see how each of you are and how you can relate to things.

    I remember thinking that it was fun when I was taking it. *smiles*

    (I also did another test…that one had a triangle….but I can’t recall what that one was even called.)

    • I need to take it again so I can see the graph version of it, I’d be interested to see WHERE I am on the scale. Did you take it just on your own, or through a business or something?

      Yep it’s definitely a fun and useful test to take. Since reading a whole lot about our types, I’ve felt a deep sense of happiness and relaxation- even more so than usual. I’m going to keep reading more about our types to see what else I can learn 🙂

      The triangle test? Sounds interesting, not sure I’m familiar with it!

      • When I took it I took it at work, the graph was just a square area with the four corners representing each Letter…and the stronger the trait, the more to the corner it went. I think if you got closer to the middle you were somewhat more ’rounded’… or manager-like…which I am not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing! lol.

        The triangle one was another test…I can’t recall the name. But it was similar to the Meyers-Briggs.

  7. Know who else is an INFP? Josh! I’m INFJ but only barely J, almost split between P and J, which is about right since I have a tendency to ignore/procrastinate things I don’t want to do and over plan the things I DO want to do 🙂

    • I KNEW I liked you guys for a reason 🙂 Really though, it makes perfect sense to me. Whenever Isaac and I leave from hanging out with you two, I feel energized instead of drained the way I feel around after leaving others. Actually, the whole Perry family is very non-draining in my opinion. A lot of introverts, I like that!! 🙂

      I’m really similar to you, pretty equally split between J and P. I’m very J at work and very P at home normally. Funny how INFP is so “rare” yet so many people are commenting “hey I’m INFP too!”

  8. Love this post! I did the Myers-Brigg assessment online while on sick leave for depression in early 2012. I had a very similar response as you! It was very validating! I discovered that I am an ISFP, although I had been trying to force myself to be behave nearly the complete opposite for years … so it’s not surprising that a mental breakdown ensued. Since I’ve been embracing my ISFP personality, it’s been so much better. I feel at peace with myself and my outlook as changed for the better. I felt very excited reading your post because I know how awesome that self discovery and validation feels. Again, nice work on the post! 🙂

    • I completely agree with you, it is such a good feeling to know your personality type and then realize “THIS IS WHY I’M SO EXHAUSTED AND DEPRESSED, I’M LIVING WRONG!” haha. I now realize that I have a job that requires me to be ESTJ, the exact opposite of my natural personality. It’s good to know when thinking about future careers! I definitely have mini mental breakdowns because of the stress/fatigue it can cause.

      I’m so glad you were able to figure out your Myers-Briggs type and that it has helped you! It is so validating and makes you feel really normal again. Thanks for reading and your kind words!

  9. Hey! I’m an INFP too! I’m actually 50/50 J/P, almost completely, but the last time I did it was a long time ago and I feel that as I get older more of the P comes out! Anyway, great post, and I’m so glad that you both learned a lot about each other!

    • Awesome! I always wonder if two of the same personality types would become instant friends or at least be comfortable with each other upon meeting in real life? Like if you and I randomly met in a coffee shop would our INFP sensors go off and we just “click”? Part of me thinks yes. I am pretty equally split between the J and P, too. I find that at work I’m more J and at home I’m VERY P. maybe that’s why work can be so emotionally and mentally exhausting!

      I love that you’re an INFP and are in the medical field. The world could use more INFP physicians I think!!! I have a feeling that those with the best bedside manner and ability to put patients at ease and feel well cared for have similar personality types to INFP.

      Thanks for sharing, love to hear from other INFP’s!

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