Eugene Cho

my myers briggs profile

Six years ago ago, I took the Myers-Briggs at a churchplanters’ assessment and I was shocked to discover as I scrounged up the reports last week that I tested as an ENFJ.  I have a feeling I was trying really hard to be appear like an extroverted pastor with a bubbly infectious personality.

Since I was surprised, I retook the tests twice this past week and both times, I tested as an INFJ which I think makes more sense.   It appears a few folks have got me pegged pretty good.

During 6th or 7th grade of middle school, I was voted by my peers as the “most shyest” in my grade.  I have always been an introvert and have been painfully shy until high school when I used sports to express myself.  And somehow, sports and hanging with the “in crowd” in high school escalated me into “the popular scene.”  I lettered nine times in various sports and was the school Vice President during my senior year but always felt like I was trying TOO HARD to be someone I wasn’t.  Ahh, high school.  Remember those days? 

Now, it feels good to just be me and I like the balance between introversion and extroversion.  I still enjoy my time alone and because I’m in a public position as a pastor, I find myself guarding my time that much more.  While an introvert at heart, I have learned to be socially adept.  I enjoy people but yet, it still takes a lot out of me to be in large groups.  And preaching?  While I enjoy teaching and preaching very much and see it as one of my “gifts,” it’s exhausting which explains why Sunday evenings and Mondays are hard days. 

What’s an INFJ?

The Counselor Idealists are abstract in thought and speech, cooperative in reaching their goals, and enterprising and attentive in their interpersonal roles. Counselors focus on human potentials, think in terms of ethical values, and come easily to decisions. The small number of this type (little more than 2 percent) is regrettable, since Counselors have an unusually strong desire to contribute to the welfare of others and genuinely enjoy helping their companions. Although Counsleors tend to be private, sensitive people, and are not generally visible leaders, they nevertheless work quite intensely with those close to them, quietly exerting their influence behind the scenes with their families, friends, and colleagues. This type has great depth of personality; they are themselves complicated, and can understand and deal with complex issues and people.

Counselors can be hard to get to know. They have an unusually rich inner life, but they are reserved and tend not to share their reactions except with those they trust. With their loved ones, certainly, Counselors are not reluctant to express their feelings, their face lighting up with the positive emotions, but darkening like a thunderhead with the negative. Indeed, because of their strong ability to take into themselves the feelings of others, Counselors can be hurt rather easily by those around them, which, perhaps, is one reason why they tend to be private people, mutely withdrawing from human contact. At the same time, friends who have known a Counselor for years may find sides emerging which come as a surprise. Not that they are inconsistent; Counselors value their integrity a great deal, but they have intricately woven, mysterious personalities which sometimes puzzle even them.

Counselors have strong empathic abilities and can become aware of another’s emotions or intentions — good or evil — even before that person is conscious of them. This “mind-reading” can take the form of feeling the hidden distress or illnesses of others to an extent which is difficult for other types to comprehend. Even Counselors can seldom tell how they came to penetrate others’ feelings so keenly. Furthermore, the Counselor is most likely of all the types to demonstrate an ability to understand psychic phenomena and to have visions of human events, past, present, or future. What is known as ESP may well be exceptional intuitive ability-in both its forms, projection and introjection. Such supernormal intuition is found frequently in the Counselor, and can extend to people, things, and often events, taking the form of visions, episodes of foreknowledge, premonitions, auditory and visual images of things to come, as well as uncanny communications with certain individuals at a distance.

Filed under: health

13 Responses

  1. DC says:

    Yup, that makes more sense than the ENFJ.

  2. Kacie says:

    Heyyyy …. maybe that’s part of why I enjoy your blog so much even though I’ve never been to your church and don’t live anywhere nearby. I’m an INFJ as well, and this description is perfect. Unlike you, I could never jump into an up-front leader position, but without having some part of my life in a “helping” or “counseling” role, I feel totally dry and useless. Thanks for posting this!

  3. Ben says:

    Sounds on-target and it speaks positively to you being who you are with the people around you that they are able to “peg” you accurately via the MB analysis.

    There’s consistency.

  4. rexhamilton says:

    It seems that I run into pastors (too many of them are now “former pastors”) all the time who are still trying to be comfortable in their own skin. This is one of the primary reasons I had to make the changes I did a couple years ago. I had to be in a ministry environment where I could be comfortable with my introvertedness. Like you, I love teaching but it is exhausting. I once had a pastor who was much older than me, and therefore had the mindset that leadership equals dynamic persoanlity. After one particular Sunday morning he wanted to advise me to “turn on the bubble machine”…that’s when I knew I was not free to be myself.

  5. Janet says:

    It’s an interesting description of an INFJ but how in the world do they know that only 2% of the population is INFJ?

    Ain’t you special.

  6. Tyler says:

    intj is me. so we’re pretty close. you just have feelings and i don’t🙂

  7. Wayne Park says:

    I had the same experience.. registered as an E @ the c.p. assessment… but nah, I’m more an I too…

  8. JB says:

    Ok, just for fun, from Motherstyles, by Janet Penley, the book I mentioned in the last thread. This is for mothers, but you can easily adapt it to fathers as well.

    INFJ—The “Know Thyself” Mother.

    ….”probably no one takes life and child raising more seriously than the INFJ. She approaches mothering as a profession requiring her best self…”

    Strengths:
    Connecting one on one with each child….

    Providing her children with emotional support…

    Profundidty…provides awareness and insights into the subtleties and lessons of life beyond a child’s immediate experience and questions.

    Creativity

    Struggles:

    Details (i.e., thank goodness for Minhee or the children might never get bathed…)

    Real life versus the ideal …often has unrealistic expectations of herself and others…

    Giving too much…over accommodation and self-sacrifice.

    There are some excellent parts about personal energy management (a biggie for us Is) and understanding children who may have different preferences. (Different types of kid need and want different things from us as parents.)

    David: INTJs are “The Individual Integrity” Mother

    Jeff: ENFPs are the “Kids R Fun” Mother

    Jen: INFPs are the “Tuned In” Mother

    And I am the “Love of Learning” Mother, which is why I’m looking stuff up on Google for my 6-year old many times a day. Rather than saying “I don’t know why [insert obscure observation here], let’s play a game!” , I say, “Let’s look that up!” Followed by “Now go play.”

  9. Longing for Holiday says:

    I’m an ENTJ and my husband is an ENTP. I like to say he’s the dreamer (P) and I’m the doer (J). Or, he creates the To Do list; I complete it.

    He claims that Jesus was an ENTP, the perfect personality… HA!!

    I find it interesting that many of my women friends are Ts, too (only 30% of women are Ts). Working women are more likely to be Ts, too.

    Charismatics: Fs
    Followers of Reformed Theology: Ts

  10. side question, but if our personality types remain relatively stable, how does this play into our roles within the body of christ?

    for example, are “upfront” ministries better (in an “ideal” world) left to extroverts?

  11. JB says:

    warjianrumoeliu, from the perspective of the MB theory, you wouldn’t want to exclude anyone from any occupation based on type: every type is able to succeed (albeit with more or less energy required) in any role. But type helps you understand your own personal proclivities, and how to take care of yourself. An I in a role demanding lots of extroversion needs to be careful to recharge his/her batteries or risk rapid burnout.

    For an ISP like my husband, there is no recharge like a session kiteboarding in a good wind. ISPs love independent sensing activities and tend to love speed. As an INTP my recharging happens with reading, web surfing, and developing alone or discussing with a few close friends ideas and inspirations. Is need to not feel guilty about their alone time as it is really a self care thing that enables them to do everything else they do. (Witness: this post is coming between 3 games of Uno with my 4-year old (a very fun E activity) and multiple loads of laundry (totally S). Now I’ve gotten a little re-charge I can get back to my very ESFJ job: stay-at-home mom.

  12. Leah says:

    at my seminary they say that more than 80% of our students are infj’s, supposedly a very common type in ministry, though not common in the general population. i’m an infj too, although when i was a science major years ago i would sometimes test as an intj…

  13. djchuang says:

    I’ve often tested as INTP, but behave (and feel) with a capital F for feelings, and can’t stand being alone — an introvert that can’t be alone, so I’ve just come to terms with me being too unconventional for Myers-Briggs, and stay outside of the box. ahhhh..

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