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Car 54 had some very interesting questions about type. In the following I am borrowing liberally from Roger Pearman's Book, I'm Not Crazy, I'm Just Not You!!
We all have personality types and our personality develop gradually over time. Type development can be thought as as what we have learned to do and what we have avoided learning to do. But type development is also the process of activiating those previously unacknowledged functions, learning their capabilities, and using them in appropriate ways. If you have spent the first half of life enhancing your natural patterns of perception and judgment, you will develop more completely when you work on the less used patterns.
Life's journey is one of growing awareness of, appreciation for, and skill in using expressions outside your natural view. What that means, is when you do something "out of personality type" it doesn't mean you are not an INFJ, it means that you are developing other functions within your personality. As a border line ENTJ/P, when I use the Feeling function more, it may seem out of character, but it is a sign that I am maturing and able to use the Feeling function.
Some of the most interesting work on adult development is emerging around research on the lessons people learn from their various life experiences. The assumptions guiding this work are that we are attracted to those things we do well and avoid those things that we believe we do not do well. Through our life we select experiences and challenges that we feel reasonably able to accomplish. As we get older, it becomes increasingly clear that the expereinces we avoided at an earlier time would have taught valuable lessions that could be very useful now. We strive to excel at our strengths, but avoid confronting our weaknesses until it is absolutely necessary to do so in order to continue to achieve greater levels of satisfaction. (Gallup uses the theory we should only use talents and ignore and not develop weaknesses).
Type theory usually states that type preference is part of the reason we are attracted to specific interests and activities, and we are reinforced by a sense of accomplishment. Often we are effective as adults because we have sought experiences that will give us the abilities to to the job.
What we really need is efficacy. Efficacy means making more conscious choices and actions based on the use of all our capacities rather than merely acting out of routine. Efficacy is the awareness and use of our skills, our knowledge, and the limits of our capabilities. It is the belief that no matter what comes our way, we can adapt, adjust, and develop a strategy to respond.
INFJ - when developed are quiet problem solvers, global perspective, avoid conflict, like many points of view, enjoy generating options, work with complex people problems, establish enduring friendships, decisive, attentive to other people.
Under Stress May Become: Retiring, dreamy, hardheaded, reserved, impulsive, hasty, sentimental, fussy, self-dramatizing. Can make incorrect deductions from a single fact, at times a simple hint can lead to the catastrophic conclusions. There is often no step-by-step logic leading to the conclusion; it is as if the conclusion already existed and merely required the observation of a random fact to allow it to be arrived at.
For Efficacy: Identify physical and social activities which challenge your world view and require you to live explicitly in the moment, attend training programs on giving and receiving feedback and promptly implement the training. To use other senses, get involved in crafts and cooking!!! (Don't worry, on my type, it suggested I get involved in volunteer projects outside of finance!!!)
How to Apply the Golden Rule:
INFJ's expereince valuing when ideas for helping others are given validity in discussion, and plans are made to implement ideas.
Hey Car 54, hope this helps!!!