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In Focus: It can be fun to delve into why we are who we are

| Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 3:36 p.m.

I always thought I had an unusual personality, but my suspicions may have been confirmed after taking the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment.

A friend of mine was talking about how she and some co-workers took the test and how seemingly accurate the results were, so I figured I'd give it a shot, just for fun.

Turns out I'm even more unusual than I originally thought. I'm an INFJ — Introversion, iNtuition, Feeling, Judging person — which is apparently very rare; only 1- to 3-percent of the population share my personality type.

INFJ is one of 16 personality types identified by the assessment, which was created in the 1940s by Isabel Myers and Katharine Briggs, based on the theories of psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Jung.

According to the test, INFJs are passionate, determined, creative, altruistic and insightful, but also private, sensitive, tightly wound and perfectionistic.

I would make a good teacher, doctor, musician, artist, photographer (yay!) or counselor, the results said.

Being an INFJ, I am lumped into a group with such inspiring people as Mother Teresa, Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, but on the flip side, Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden were also said to have been INFJs.

Perhaps one of the most interesting things that I read about INFJ personality types is that most of their thoughts and actions are driven by intuition.

One website I came across said that INFJs know things intuitively, without knowing why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject.

Since I was a child, I felt like I always had a knack for “just knowing” things. Close friends marveled at the ability, earning me the moniker “detective.” If something was misplaced, I could usually find it. If someone was lying to me, my gut usually told me so.

And so on.

I never thought that I had psychic powers or anything, but I did know that my intuition was stronger than most people's.

As accurate as this test seems to be for me, I try not to place any real value in it. After all, I'm sure some of the other 15 Myers-Briggs personality types could describe me just as well.

But, just like the signs of the zodiac, it's fun to look for possible reasons —and some validation for— why we are they way that we are.

Kristina Serafini is a photograper and writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at

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