According to the MBTI, I am an INFJ. It is estimated that only 1% of the population are INFJs making them the most rare personality type.
Other famous INFJs include Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King Jr., and some speculate Jesus Christ. On the flip side, Adolf Hitler was also an INFJ.
Not to say that I (currently) belong in the list above, especially not the Hitler list, but I do strive, to the best of my ability, to embody the spirit of those INFJs that really made positive impact on the world in a massive way.
We are the personality that mirrors so accurately that most trained psychologists can’t pick us out without administering the test. We are the ones that are consistently inconsistent. Trust me, it drives us crazy too, but at the same time we have the assumed ability to empathize on a scale unseen by most other types except possibly the INFP.
In the past 3-4 years, I have been able to consciously choose WHEN to mirror those around me, and fully embody my true self. It continues to become easier with time.
I have one real singular weakness, though, and I have fought to overcome it my entire life – the door slam. There are so few people that I allow in my inner circle. And if I do, it is a true gift that took me a lot of contemplation. This is one case, though, where I really lose my temper: ethics and morals. I have a very acute sense of justice. If I feel like you are behaving in an underhanded fashion in any way, I give several chances to change your course. If you continue to fail to behave in an ethical or moral fashion, I tend to DESIRE (I have stopped myself a few times) to brutalize your emotional center.
It shakes me to my core when this happens. I know the power that I hold in pinpointing the weaknesses (AND strengths) of others. The thought of exploiting the weaknesses of others to extrapolate emotional pain leaves me feeling lost.
I have finally begun to understand why I choose this course in the rarest of instances, though. The only people I have actually had this exchange with are those who cannot seem to consciously empathize, even when I am continuously empathizing with their needs (I always recall the story of Jesus and the bankers). In taking this course of action, I am taking the last possible tool I have to extract an empathic response from them. They are then forced to feel the pain inflicted upon another.
I recently had this exchange with one of my closest friends this last week. She “stole” (we were asked to front a large purchase with the promise of reimbursement within 24 hours) $1000 dollars from us, and when we confronted her (after asking about it several times over the course of two weeks), she said she was entitled to it because we are “wealthy.”
We are compared to most of America. I understand this. We also have about $80,000 in student loan debt between the both of us. We have two car payments. Our rent is about $1300 a month. Add in things like health insurance ($600 a month out of pocket), food ($700), car insurance, electricity, Internet, and the list goes on and on – we still don’t have a lot of wealth in the traditional cash sense. We just don’t utilize government programs, and pay heavily into them, which is a form of wealth. In addition to that, for the most part, our cash comes in and goes back out. We do have savings for a down payment on a home and retirement, neither accounts we pull money from.
Don’t get us wrong. We both are firm believers in a basic standard of living for all individuals in the nation. We donate a lot and often to charities that are important to us. We live well below our income level to enable us to do these things and save for a home that fits our needs. We don’t utilize credit cards or other lending agencies except vehicle and home loans. We often buy used clothing for ourselves and our children. We give away items and foods. We are very generous people as a whole. Yes, we could give more, but unless you are living as a monk, then couldn’t everyone? If I felt so inclined, I could justify this same judgment to the very person that said it to us.
The money wasn’t what was lost. It was trust. Chances are, had this friend asked us, we would have willingly given it. She did not, though. She took it, and behaved as though she deserved it. Why? Because we had it and she did not. But we didn’t. We had to dip into funds that were off limits to make it through the month.
We know what it is to suffer. My husband spent a good deal of his young adulthood homeless. He knows what it is like to eat from a dumpster and to freeze at night. I often would not eat as a single mother so I could buy clothing for my son and pay my rent. I worked three jobs around the clock to pay my bills, and still took classes at the community college when I had “time.” I also forfeited watching my son grow up. It is not fun. It is miserable. It is humiliating. But I never took from anyone. When I needed help, it hurt, but I always asked and the universe, God, what have you, provided. I lived on faith and love and often that was all I had to sustain me. It is only in the last 5 years that we were able to start putting aside money for emergencies and long term goals. We are both incredibly grateful for the abundance that we have been gifted. We ask for more so that we can do more for others. We work harder to benefit those around us.
So, dear friend, if on the rare off chance that you are reading this, know that you betrayed someone who loved you more than you could ever probably comprehend. And after a few days of reflection, I am not even angry or upset at you, but more angry and upset at the words I chose to use.
I want you to know, more than anything, that this is a small moment in time. This is a catapult to use in projecting yourself into a better life path. I know I voiced your weaknesses, but I so often admired your strengths.
You are beautiful, strong, and powerful. Although your spirit is currently weak, there is a enigmatic soul reverberating within the confines of your body, waiting to shine in the world. You are a goddess of endless love to your children. Do not let anything weaken these courageous aspects of who you are. Let these words stick with you and stay with you forever. And more than anything, know that my love for you is limitless, although, my boundary for self preservation is steadfast.
Until we meet again in the field of nonjudgment, let my love surround you and lift you up to break through all of those barriers holding you from your true self.
I thank you for reminding me how painful it is to use my words to hurt another. With this experience, I promise to respond both firmly and compassionately from this day forward. I will work harder to be a light in a world that is dark and dim. Thank you for the gift you have given me.