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So, when I told my wife that I would be submitting a weekly column for the Times, she gave me strict instructions that at no time was I to use her or anything remotely associated with her for the subject of my submission.
With that said, let me tell you about a recent conversation we had.
Robin is currently furthering her studies in her profession and one of the classes had to do with people management. One of the assignments was to give someone the Myers-Briggs personality assessment. Since I am completely supportive of her desire to further her education, thus potentially opening more doors for her professionally, I am always more than willing to help her in any way that I can.
And I was the only one at home at the time.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instrument is designed to make the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people's lives, both private and professional. The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment. The identification and description of the 16 distinctive personality types are determined from the interactions among the preferences.
In layman's terms, it's a series of questions that determine if a person is either an Introvert (I) or Extrovert (E), Sensing (S) or Intuitive (N), Thinking (T) or Feeling (F), Judging (J) or Perceiving (P). Depending upon how the questions, or "preferences" are answered in each category, each person can determine his or her personality type, which can be expressed as a code of four letters.
While there are 16 different personality types using the MBTI, all preferences are equally valuable and each type brings an important point of view when people interact, there is one personality type, however, that is considered the "rarest" according to Mary Wright of CuriousMindMagazine. It is the INFJ (Introvert/Intuitive/Feeling/Judging). Mary Wright's article goes on to describe the INFJ as having 12 primary characteristics:
1. They are conscious about the future. People with INFJ personalities are not obsessing over trivialities and strive to see the bigger picture. They only focus on important things.
2. They are hardworking. These people work hard at achieving their goals because they have learned that nothing in life is free.
3. They trust their gut. These people are highly intuitive and can sense when something is "off." The most important thing is that they act on their intuition, meaning they follow their "gut."
4. They are truth-seekers. They are fascinated by the secrets of the universe. They like to delve into the deep things. They look for the essence of things and are not much interested in the ordinary.
5. They choose their friends carefully. They are not comfortable being around a large group of people and prefer the comfort of home. They would rather be alone than in bad company.
6. They are sensitive and empathetic. They are very caring and generous people, always trying to put themselves in other people's shoes.
7. They are people readers. Hand in hand with their emotional intelligence comes the ability to see through people's actions and thoughts.
8. They are the loners of the world. They are often found alone, not because they are lonely, but because they need to isolate themselves from time to time to organize their thoughts and feelings.
9. They can be full of contradictions. They can go from happy to sad in a heartbeat. They are the hardest to "read" because they can go from one emotion to the other without warning, and are not beyond extremes.
10. They have an all-or-nothing mentality. They always choose quality over quantity when it comes to anything they do in life. They believe that if you are unable to do your best at what you are doing, then you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.
11. They are problem solvers. If you need reliable insight or a quick solution to the problem, look no further than your INFJ friends. These people are excellent problem solvers, and most importantly, they are right most of the time.
12. They are writers (or like to write). They don't like to talk much, and they choose writing as an activity because it gives them peace while also creatively expressing their thoughts.
Now, can you guess which personality type I am? You got it!
So when I happened upon this article I felt it my duty to share this information with my beloved. I asked her if this information helped her see how truly special I was.
Without looking up from her phone, she responded, "I always knew you were 'special.'"
I'm not sure I liked the way she said that.
Alvin R. Bass Jr. is a Wilson native. He and his wife, Robin, have two children, one granddaughter, three dogs and a cat.