The past month has seen me obsessing over Type theory. Why, at the grand old-ish age of 31, am I only now delving into personality theory and figuring out my motivations?
I don’t think it’s ever too late to make the effort to get to know your constant companion: you.
At different stages of our lives, we want different things and we are different people. I had to take some time to reassess what I wanted and where I intended to go.
At 25, I had a nervous breakdown. I’d thought that I had achieved nothing in nearly a quarter century of existence and questioned why I deserved to breathe. What difference had I made to anyone or anything? Existential crisis – not fun.
Looking back, I feel a lot more compassion and perhaps some puzzlement at the sheer amount of self-reproach my younger self was capable of. Now I’m feeling lost at sea once more. Time for some pause. Some thought. Some prayer. Some reflection.
The last 6 months have been a whirlwind of change for me and I admit it’s been hard trying to adjust to so much change. I’ve been so tired, my eyesight has deteriorated a lot, my digestive system has pretty much decided to go its own way. A lot of it is work stress, combined with my own tendencies to bottle up my feelings, put up a stoic front and push the limits of my endurance.
I wasn’t coping well. Why? I looked at the situation. The people. The events. In the end, I decided it all boiled down to me and why I was reacting the way I was to work.
Type theory has been interesting in that aspect, labeling me an ‘INFJ – Introverted Intuitive Feeling Judger’. One definition can be found here. Lucky me, I’m supposed to be rare. Hard to get to know. Many sided enough that INFJs often confuse themselves. Joy.
So armed with enough type theory books to load a camel with, I took good long looks at my traits, the way I approached life, work and other people. I’d recommend Type Talk at Work for most people already in a career. For the people still figuring that part out, I’d say the book Do What You Are is an invaluable resource.
Of all the definitions I read, one particular profile rang a clear bell about my current issues.
FORESEER DEVELOPER – INFJ
Personal growth. Sustain the vision. Honoring the gifts of others. Taking a creative approach to life. Talent for foreseeing. Exploring issues. Bridge differences and connect people. Practical problem solving. Live with a sense of purpose. Living an idealistic life often presents them with a great deal of stress and a need to withdraw.
So my ideals and reality aren’t gelling right now. What do I do now to get past that?
I guess I still have to figure that out.