I am an INFJ personality according to the Meyers-Briggs personality typing metric. When I read the description, it's always pretty amazing to me how answering 50 questions allows such an accurate description of my personality.

My introversion often comes as a surprise to people who know me from church or school because I don't come across as an introvert. What they don't know is that social interaction is like a workout for me. I can manage social situations gracefully, to a point. When I hit that point, it's time for me to go home, spend some time alone, or even take a nap. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing my friends and talking to them, it's just not energizing for me like it is for extroverts.

It has taken me a long time to figure out how to balance a life that requires a lot of social interaction (through church, grad school, and teaching) with my need for time to decompress. One of the best developments of our move to the Big City was my new hour-long commute. It's the perfect time for me to get into my head and sort through what needs to happen during the day or to unwind after a long day.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? How do you accommodate your personality?


Amina said...

aaw..we are so similar! I am ISTJ and social interactions DRAIN ME emotionally. Like you, I enjoy talking to people, getting to know them but right after, I need PLENTY of time to recuperate!
As a twin, it took me years to accept that trait because my brother is such a social butterfly!

Now it is easier for me to say no to group interactions because I know that they take a toll on me. But overall, I feel that in our society, being an introvert is perceived as "negative" because people don't know what you're thinking about.

Sarah said...

You're an INFJ, too? Of course. So many INFJs in my life! As you know, I'm maybe your polar opposite on the introversion-extroversion scale. That's what has been hardest for me to deal with as a work-from-home-mom, the isolation.

I can get drained, but that usually happens when I feel (or imagine) that I'm being judged and has little to do with being around people.

Señora H-B said...

Amina--I definitely feel like we introverts can have a bad reputation!

Sarah--ha! I feel like I used to be an INTJ, but my F/T is right on the edge.

Anyway, I can imagine that the isolation would get to you. I know that you are someone who needs interaction! Honestly, sometimes I'm jealous. I worry that I'm missing out because I don't want to or can't participate.

And I feel your pain about worrying that people are judging. Ugh.

Icarus said...


I posted on this a few years ago. Stephen and Andy (from our department) both said they were INFJ's too. I wonder what it is that attracts INFJ's to graduate work in languages?

Señora H-B said...

That's pretty crazy! That would be an interesting research study (says the nerdy INFJ...)

Kelly said...

Have we had this discussion before? I'm an INFJ too! I have a theory that INFJs are often more comfortable interacting on a more intimate level through things like blogs and email lists (well, it's not my theory exactly, but I agree. It was proposed to me by another INFJ email buddy.)

I really understand that whole saturation point. I love being social, I can talk up a storm, but when I'm done, I'm DONE. I listen to podcasts when I go on walks and when I clean. Jason complains that I'm ignoring him, and I try to tell him that it's not him, it's me. :)