Friday, November 6, 2015

MBTI Blog Challenge: How to Write an INFJ


Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of writers assigning MBTI types to their characters. I can't help but think that this is a brilliant idea. The possibilities are endless. Finding out your character’s personality type can help you deepen their motives, pinpoint what makes them tick, and help you create deep, developed characters. How awesome is that?

But when I started researching Myers Briggs types for my characters, I hit a dead end. All of the information was horribly convoluted and not geared towards helping writers understand their characters.

So I decided to start a blog challenge to provide writers with the tools needed to write characters of different Myers Briggs types. Here’s how it works:

Write a blog post about your own personal Myers Briggs type. Include things that make your type special, things your type fears, what makes your type happy, angry, or passionate. Then tag another writer to do the same.

The idea is that, in a few weeks, we’ll have a web of articles about different personality types, all geared towards helping writers create deeper characters.

Let’s get started:

My type: INFJ

The INFJ is fairly rare, and, because of this, they confuse the heck out of a lot of people, mostly because nobody can quite understand us. We’re like Flynn Rider, galloping about, breaking rules, dreaming about owning a castle, and then bam! People just can’t get our noses right! So let me explain to you a few things about INFJ people/characters. I've put the important bits in bold, so skim at your convenience: 
The INFJ: Core traits
  • INFJ’s are highly intuitive. Like, “I swear that person has a crystal ball hiding in her closet” intuitive. This leads to INFJ's generally knowing how an event, decision, or relationship will turn out long before anyone else. This can be slightly disturbing, particularly to the INFJ. So if somebody wants to write an INFJ who is alarmed to be heralded as a psychic, that would be awesome. You have my blessing.
  • INFJ's are very cynical (probably because of the afore mentioned intuition), but they also dream bigger and harder than your average person. 
  • INFJ's are introverted by nature, but can sometimes come across as extroverted. They are loud around their few trusted friends or when they become passionate about a subject. Otherwise, they like to sit quietly and observe their surroundings. 
  • INFJ's would rather be burned alive than be around large groups of people. 
  • INFJ's are highly creative and like to be able to pursue this creativeness. They value imagination in others and have great respect for people who get out there and pursue their dreams, as it encourages them to do the same. 
  • INFJ's have a sarcastic and/or morbid sense of humor. This is probably a byproduct of their overly cynical nature. INFJ's have a very good sense of humor, though it can often air on the sarcastic and morbid side. Because of this, INFJ's generally don't come across as funny upon first contact. They're feeling you out to see whether or not you'll be able to handle their twisted sense of humor. The answer is usually no, since most people are alarmed by morbid humor coming out of the mouths of such seemingly quiet, gentle people. 
  • INFJ's are both light and dark. They are dreamers chasing after rainbows and ponies one moment and the next they are dark, weird beings who see beauty in strange objects. The things they like vary from normal (such as cooking) to extremely weird (such as the lizard-creature depicted above). Don't try to understand it or you'll break your brain.
The INFJ: What makes them happy
  • Peace and quiet. Give them a good book, turn on Netflix and hand them the remote, or give them a beach to walk on. They'll be happy as a clam. 
  • New ideas. INFJ's love exploring new ideas and connecting them to old ones. They like hashing concepts out with people or maybe just sitting down and writing about them. 
  • Being able to make a difference. Simple as that. 
  • Being able to sit around and dream. INFJ's like sticking their heads in the clouds from time to time. Watching Disney movies makes them happy and they secretly like to believe in things like magic, mermaids, and unicorns. Because why not?  
The INFJ: What upsets them 
  • Fakeness. Fake people, fake motives, fake chocolate chip cookies (you know...the raisin cookies that look like chocolate chip. Why would somebody do that?). Fakeness irritates INFJ's because they are so real themselves.
  • Injustice. INFJ feel things very deeply. That's why this is constantly happening to them:
     
  • Feeling boxed in. Having to follow set guidelines, rules, and societal norms without being able to put their own twist on things will forever upset INFJ's. Not only will an INFJ refuse to use the crosswalk, but they'll probably jump across cracks in the asphalt because they're pretending it's lava. Just let them have their fun. 
  • Meaninglessness. "What exactly is the purpose," an INFJ will cry, "of going out to coffee with somebody if we're only going to talk about clothes and the weather?"  INFJ's like to have a purpose behind everything, generally a purpose pertaining to the betterment of society or the soul.
  • The idea that they will never live up to their potential. This thought scares INFJ's to no end and they'll work hard to make sure that it never comes true.
The INFJ: Strengths 
  • Determination. If an INFJ has decided to do something, then they will walk through Mordor to do it. All the Ringwraiths in Middle-earth will be unable to stop them. 
  • Creativity and imagination. While INFJ's can be very determined and even-keel, they also spend a lot of their time with their heads in the clouds, flying high and imagining beautiful things. 
  • Thoughtfulness. Ever wonder why INFJ's lapse into long periods of silence? It's because they spend a lot of time thinking. Obviously, thinking is very helpful skill set. 
  • Open-mindedness. INFJ's can see things from pretty much every different point of view. This, combined with the fact that they like exploring new ideas, makes them very open-minded.
  • Strong morals. INFJ's are firmly grounded in their beliefs and aren't easily led astray. This allows them to investigate new concepts without fear of losing their way. 
The INFJ: Weaknesses. 
  • Perfectionism. Everything an INFJ does needs to be perfect. They need perfect grades, perfect work-performance, even their hobbies need to be well-executed. They do these things for themselves, not other people, so, when they fail in an area, they will feel keen disappointment in themselves. 
  • Overly private. As mentioned before, INFJ's value peace and silence. However, if this is overdone, it can lead to an INFJ ostracizing everyone in his/her life. Sometimes this is even done on purpose in order to distance themselves from pain, which is clearly not OK. I've always thought this would make a very interesting personality trait when writing a villain. 
  • Stubbornness. 'Nuff said.
  • Intolerant of other's weaknesses. Because INFJ's are so strong and driven, they can be annoyed by people who aren't. This leads to an INFJ turning into a stuck-up jerk. Again, awesome makings for a villain. 
The INFJ: Other useful bits of information for your characters. 
  • INFJ's will probably get in trouble for heretical, anarchist, or vigilante acts. Because everyone is doing it wrong and they're the only ones who can fix it. 
  • INFJ's make good writers, psychologists, teachers, and counselors. They would make good asylum inmates, as well. This is a result of their intense intuition and creativity. 
  • INFJ's will hand out brutal truths. But only to those they care about. To acquaintances and strangers they will generally give very diplomatic answers, though this wears off as they get older. I'd personally love to see a grumpy old INFJ wizard. How fun would that be?
  • Secure INFJ's don't attempt to fit in. Insecure INFJ's try to fit in, but fail miserably. Secure INFJ's value their weirdness. Insecure INFJ's see it as a curse.
And there it is. The very confusing personality of an INFJ. If you have questions, let me know. Also, remember that no personality type is perfect and you may end up having to mix and match in order to create a well-rounded character.

Now, to tag other writers to write about their Myers Briggs types: 
  1. Susannah Metzler from Tea with Tumnus
  2. Gemma Fitz from Chasing Daises 
  3. Alina from Writer Alina
  4. Azelyn Klein from Word Storm
  5. Kerry Jane from Metanoia 
  6. Alyson Schroll from Alyson Schroll  
If I tagged you, don't feel obligated to participate. If I didn't tag you, please feel free to jump in anyway! The rules are simple: 
  1. Link back my blog and let me know when your post is up so that I can fangirl over it.
  2. Title your post "MBTI Blog Challenge: How to Write an [insert your personality type]." This should help other writers find this resource quickly and easily. 
  3. Give your MBTI personality type and provide a list of their core traits, likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, and anything else you'd like to add. 
  4. Tag other bloggers to do the same. 
  5. Share your post with other writers to help them craft their characters. 
And that's that! What kinds of personality types would you like to see explained to you? I personally have a harder time writing extroverts, so I'd love to see some posts about that. What personality type are you? Leave your thoughts below!

Related articles:
Work-In-Progress Blog Challenge
15 Things I Love About Being A Writer
The Liebster Award - In Which I Answer Random Questions and Link Over to Other Epic Blogs

Enjoy this post? Take a look around. If you like what you see, please don't forget to subscribe by email for a new post every Friday!

34 comments:

  1. This is such a great idea! I'm genuinely excited about this and would love to try it! ... as soon as this semester is over haha.

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    1. Lol! That is my exact response to everything nowadays: "Looks fun. Maybe once this semester is over..." Take your time! I know the feeling. =D Glad you like the idea!

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  2. Great entry! As an INFJ, I give it my stamp of approval!

    I'm not sure if it's just me or a larger INFJ thing, but on the subject of sarcasm/morbid turn of mind, one thing that's always been important to me (because of the hypersensitivity) is to keep it "nice" sarcasm. So I wouldn't want to say, "Wow, that dress looks REALLY nice on you," or, "She was SUPER interesting," etc something that is cutting and mean. But my humor is VERY dry and I've been known to say something like, "Meanwhile I should probably probably leave this hotel someday."

    Terrible example. I can't do humor on demand.

    Anyway. I used to have misunderstandings with a less-sarcastic family member, because she took all sarcasm to be mean-spirited. But mine was most often directed at myself or larger topics, wry observations, etc. That sort of misunderstanding would be a good conflict for an INFJ--especially since we HATE conflict.

    As an INFJ with various autoimmune diseases, it's also CRAZY draining to be around drama, conflict, or even just people. What we care about, we CARE about. To the point of physical sickness, or being literally unable to speak (which is so, so frustrating). When you grow older, you start learning to pick and choose the things that get that sort of emotional commitment--but it's definitely not something I had down as a teen! Another good story kernel.

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    1. So much yes to your comment. A lot of my humor is self-deprecating or directed at the world in general, not at specific people. Though sometimes people don't get it and take it personally, which makes me wary of making sarcastic comments. You're right: That would make a great conflict!
      I've had to do the exact same thing because of Lyme. I often have to shut down the "caring" side of my brain so that I have enough energy to make it through the day. It was a hard lesson to learn, so I feel ya.

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  3. I'm an INFJ too! I can't wait to see you do more of these. They will be extremely helpful! Thank you so much!

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    1. Wahoo! A fellow INFJ! You rock. =) Happy you liked my post!

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  4. This is such an amazing idea, Hannah! I love this tag-- it is fun and interesting, but it is also really helpful for writers. I just wrote a post on my blog about writing INTJ female, but I think I am going to do a post on this tag in a few weeks; this is so cool that it needs to be spread around ;)
    I am an INTJ, but my mother is an INFJ, and I think she would relate to a lot of this. A major aspect of INFJs (in my experience with my mother and INFJ friends) is your extroverted feeling. You guys tend to be very understanding of the emotions around you and the feelings of people around you but not so much of your own emotions. Also, I have found that INFJs are very good at manipulation but also feel peer pressure and can be manipulated that way. Of course, I am not an INFJ, so this is just what I have observed. What do you think?

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    1. I'm so glad you're going to participate, Gabrielle! I was going to tag you, then remembered that you'd done something similar recently. But I'm glad you're taking it on, anyway. Can't wait to read it!

      You bring up an interesting point about manipulation. Because us INFJ's can understand people so well, we would be very good at it. I have often had the frightening realization that I could wrap people around my little finger if I wanted to. However, my morals object to that, so I've never tried it. I can see how that would make a very interesting character trait. Especially for an INFJ who has had to compromise things they believe in (morals), in order to get what they need through manipulation.

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  5. This is SUCH a great idea! Thanks for tagging me!! I'll let you know as soon as I get mine posted.

    I'm an ENFP, but my best friend is an INFJ, and basically everything you said sounded spot. on. I'll definitely be referring back to this post for all my INFJ characters!!

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    1. Yay! You're an extrovert. I'm looking forward to your post, as I need help with an extroverted character I'm writing. =)
      I'm glad you felt my post applied to your INFJ friend. I don't know any other INFJ's, so I was hoping my description would be accurate to them. =)

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  6. Great post, Hannah! I think you covered just about everything :) Not a bad idea to refer back to it! Have an awesome weekend <3

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  7. I saw that this post was about INFJ and freaked out, then freaked out more when I learned that you're an INFJ too. *high five* WE RISE
    ALso you did a great job on this, keep it up!! This is very accurate... I'd love to see more INFJ portrayals in literature and stuff.

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    1. Haha! Together, we shall conquer the world! *blares trumpets* =D

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  8. Awesome post! I love mbti. :D You've got me wanting to do a post for my type (INTP).

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    1. YES. Do it! I'd love to read a post on the INTP type.

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  9. This is such a cool post! I test INTJ, but I think I have some INFJ tendencies, and a lot of this is pretty accurate for me too. We are a fantastic bunch. ;)


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbositybookreviews.wordpress.com

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    1. That we are. =) If you want to write a post on INTJ's, feel free!

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    2. First time I take the test I was as an INTJ too but I'am an INFJ for sure. The INTJ is more the social mask I put on to distance myself from strangers. Once I have admit that feelings are very strong with me, the result was INFJ. I bet you are an INFJ too Alexa :)

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  10. love it! as an infj i could identify with alot, tho as an older infj i've gotton past some of the stuff that drags one down. but your comment about being a great asylum inmate was perfect! just found you thru pinterest and love reading your posts. i'm in the middle of writing a YA fantasy too, tho mine is not christian per se. i want to buy your kindle short story when it comes out. the teaser piqued my interest. and yes, as authors we need to get paid,

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    1. I just saw this comment, Gail! Thank you so much for your encouragement. Best of luck with your YA fantasy story! Those are super fun to write.
      Also, thank you for your interest in my story. I really appreciate it! It is now published. =D Yay! *throws confetti* http://www.amazon.com/Skies-Dripping-Gold-Hannah-Heath-ebook/dp/B018IT0NVU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449352349&sr=8-1&keywords=skies+of+dripping+gold

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  11. Oh my goodness, FAKE COOKIES ARE THE WORST, THE ABSOLUTE WORST. How dare you betray me, you raisin-filled nuisance of a cookie, you traitor. *calms self*

    I seriously love this post. I am an INFJ, and I wholeheartedly agree with everything in this post. I think one thing to add, especially for an established INFJ (someone who understands exactly how their personality works), it can be extremely frustrating if people don't listen to or downplay their instincts. Always trust an INFJ's instincts about people.

    Anyway, this is such a great analysis, and it makes me happy to know there are people out there who understand my personality type, because it's true, there are so many people who have labeled me as weird and misunderstood me, but whatever. They're the ones missing out. :P

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    1. Lol! I'm glad this post was spot on for you. And yes, I agree. People who don't understand the INFJ are the people who are missing out. We rock. =)

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  12. So I got tagged for this a while back by Gemma, but I FINALLY GOT MY POST UP. I'm an ISFJ. I got really carried away and made my post forever long, but I loved doing it! XD I love your post, and, knowing several INFJs myself, it's really cool to see the similarities. Thanks for starting this tag!

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    1. Lol! I'm so glad you decided to participate. I loved your post. =)

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  13. I'm an INFJ too! Awesome to find another one of us rare peoples. I always find them on the internet. Never have I meant another INFJ in real life.

    This post is spot on. Everything. I especially like the part about humor, because I think a lot of things that I don't share because they're morbid and it puts people off. Example: the other day my mom asked what I wanted for lunch and I replied "How about human flesh?" She did not find it amusing. :(

    I'm so sad that I missed this. I would love tagging people to write these posts.

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    1. How awesome! Feel free to jump on in and write your own post on being an INFJ! I'd love to see your perspective, and I'm sure other people would, too.
      I personally found your joke funny, but I can see how that would horrify most. Poor mothers of INFJs. "Where did I go wrong?" they must ask themselves. =D

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  14. OH my how completely interesting. I am an INFJ who works as a counselor and have worked in mental health most of my life but could very easily see myself on the other side. I have had patients say to me "You SCARE me" and to be honest, it was really nice since working with psychotic individuals, if YOU scare them - that can be a good thing. And oh the dark nuances of the personality...someone who appreciates that - just wonderful. I laughed so hard with "would rather be burnt alive then in big crowds of people" because I just turned down a party invite tonight even though the only plans I have are with myself (and my dogs) -- Good job!!!

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  15. As an INFJ, I would add "They dislike small talk, but love deep and meaningfull conversations." and "Because of their idealism, they expect others to be as perfectionistic and driven as they are. More often than not, though, it is not the case, which is dissapointing and may lead to them (possibly intensely, the degree being heightened by their introversion) disliking of group work." (Or is that just me?)
    These could lead to very interesting situations...

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    1. Great additions, Sabrina! I also feel like that, specifically having to work in groups. =) I see a lot of funny scenes coming out of this...

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  16. Where is the best place to figure out your type? I found a sort of list thingy on the personality types and tried to figure out my type from that, but I don't think I got it right. haha I can figure out other people, just not myself! I love thinking about personality types so much and I really enjoyed your post! :)

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  17. HEYYYY!! I finally got it done. :-) I am an ISFJ, and here's my awkward blog post about it. I linked your page.

    http://made4him.com/blog/blog-challenge-how-to-write-an-isfj

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  18. Oh my skies, this post is my new best friend! As an INFJ I often find my (or I guess 'our') personality completely misrepresented. I find it hilarious that you're an INFJ as well...I just discovered your blog this evening, saw how anti-cliche you are, and have since been getting drunk on your perfect posts for like the last two hours.
    I was laughingly telling my brother that you're basically my spirit animal, and here I discover that we're the same personality. :) Ironic.
    A few pet peeves of INFJs I'd like to add are...
    -being called naive or insensible because of our dreaminess
    -being told that we can't change/that our promises are empty
    -being falsely accused or having our morals or motivations misinterpreted
    -being told that our dreams are impossible
    -being told that we're 'reading into things' or 'exaggerating'

    Thought these might help. :)

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  19. Thank you. This post is quite helpful. I'm an INTJ writing about an INFJ in a position of authority striving to help the people, but no one else is on his side. It's difficult to get accurate information because of the conflicts in sources. Some talk about INFJs being soft people who would never offer an opinion because others get offended, then others write that they're all blunt and cutting. It must depend on the perspective of the writer, but I'd trust information from an actual INFJ. This post is more credible than anything I've read, and makes a lot of sense. I will definitely return to this for reference. The parts about open-mindedness and determination were the most helpful in this case. Thank you.

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  20. This post is spot-on! I'm an INFJ as well. (Or I might be INTJ. I'm right in between the F and the T.)

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