I am many things. I am male, a father, a son, a brother, a husband, a poet, an historian, an American, a Minnesotan, and a collector of books, comics, and sports cards. I am also a person who is an INFJ. There is a thought, am I all these things as a result of being an INFJ, or do I do these things by expressing my version of being INFJ through them.
INFJ’s are said to be quiet. And I am. But the silence doesn’t show that I am dead or sleeping. Silence means I am absorbing the environment’s information. And as I think, it pours out as poetry, conversations, or thoughts that will be archived for later use.
By feeling INFJ’s become affected by every kind of input. By writing for print and blog, I’ve been told that I seem extroverted. But that is far from true. By doing so I am telling the world how it affects me, creating walls to stop inflow of painful stimuli, and hoping to set my boundaries in a way that proactively defeats insidious manipulation.
The sound of my brain responding is louder than the input coming in. At night I see the stars and see the potential life on each planet that orbits the star. I see a beautiful child acting joyous over a toy, or blowing a fit, and imagine the result in the future of the present. This is perhaps not unique to INFJ’s or myself in specifics, but I rather think that it is rare, at least.
And how then do I address the world where I live, and for what reasons? I was a great deal more active politically before I had a son. But strangely, I think that I make my choices differently than before. I am not a party to the Republican party nor the Democratic party. I vote, politically choose based upon the future, and now, the future for my son and his children. I could often think, if the world blows up and one of my votes helped that along, at least I won’t be around to suffer the consequences. But now, I have to be so precise and aware, the choices I make grieve me.
My poetry has been a vital part of my response to the world. When I write fiction it is not dialectic, but rather, the produce from a mind in silent reflection. But my poems are born from the basic themes of existence while still aimed to express in a way that speaks to the ultimate cost of being human. INFJ’s are often said to be sensitive, but I don’t think sensitive is a pejorative term. What people mean is that we are TOO sensitive. And that aims at two things. Most people are not sensitive, and, many people are bothered by people who express themselves, in a sensitive manner. Ask the world why they prefer to think and not feel, it isn’t an easy answer. Some people are afraid to become sensitive to another person because there is a worry over being defenseless. And to be sensitive there are too many factors to make one worried over.
I write as much as most people actively do anything. It is a part of my being. Even when I was too afraid to express myself publicly and in print, I still wrote. It turns out that that behavior helped me… but it wasn’t intentional training for my future. It was a way to express even when I was less sure, less able, and without a chance to defend myself to others. I am told now that I am “prolific”, and that is great, but for me, now, I write so much that people would never know just how prolific I am. Prolific doesn’t mean good, by the way, it often means you write so much stuff I am sure you are making enough money so I don’t have to buy your work. I don’t care. Ultimately if people buy my work or read it, I still have to do it.
Having an INFJ outlook and living in the present is difficult. The world is beautiful, but so painful, people are assholes and so many are kind, winter is frigid but gloriously artistic. I am never going to be an MBTI characterization other than INFJ and that is not a flag I am waving, but rather , I wear it, and the colors never fade. I am a writer, but everything that I am flows from being INFJ.
I invite you to be a friend on facebook, or twitter or to check out my books and poetry blog.
“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” Albert Camus