Frances Morton, M.A.
Jung Type Sorter Paper: Personality Type INFJ
As an introvert, it is correct that INFJs can be mistaken for extroverts over introverts. When I previously took this personality test as a requirement for another class, originally I assessed as an INFP so I suspect that I will fluctuate. It was stated that I must be an extrovert and there was shock when I informed the person that he was incorrect in his assumption. Another classmate who tested to be an INFJ also indicated that many made the assumption that she is an extrovert, when in fact, she is an introvert and as someone who is close or the same as her, I can see the introversion tendencies. A question came to mind, when do these personality types begin to solidify? Are these traits a result of genetics or experience that determines our tendencies to be introverted, intuitive and how we feel?
During my preschool years, I was abused. Bruised from my knees, down my shins to my ankles from my father hitting me with nun-chucks because I would fall asleep in the car at two AM while he drove around town. The psychological abuse progressively got worse with threats that the police were coming to take me away. He informed me that his life was miserable because of my birth and that he wished I had never been born. I wonder, is this when my introverted tendencies begin or was this a born trait?
After my mother discovered that I had written in my Bible that I wished my Daddy was dead, she began the divorce process and sent my brother and I to the Philippines during my elementary school stage. My introversion became more intense because I was not accepted by the children in the Philippines. I was born of privilege and did not know anything about their culture. When I asked my grandmother for help with my multiplication, I was forced to stay awake until two or three AM, sometimes beaten with a broom stick and told how stupid I was. “God damn you to hell! Why can’t you remember this!” she would shout as she tried to force me to memorize my multiplication table. Two and a half years were spent isolating and trying to survive waiting to return to the United States where I belonged. I stopped doing my homework so I went from an inquisitive, straight ‘A’ student that loved Math to a child that no longer cared because nobody seemed to care about me. Where does intuition begin? Is it past lifetime experiences, is it the process of how individuals are born with neuron pathways and how our brains work or is it experiences in this lifetime?
After I returned to the United States, I discovered what racism was while we tried to survive in a trailer park in Bonney Lake, Washington. The children would force me to the back seat of the bus calling me a nigger, jap, gook, and chink. Then after the bus would drop us off, they would gather around me and beat me until I could escape running for my life to the safety of our trailer. Until my mother introduced us to her friend that was her lead chemical engineer at Boeing. That was when life began to change, for the better.
We moved to a little town called South Prairie in Washington and during my adolescent stage, a senior in high school asked me if I was going to try out to be a cheerleader for my seventh grade year. I was appalled and thought she must be joking. I looked at her in consternation and quickly replied, “No.” “Why not,” she asked, “You never know until you try. I see you in town all the time. Come over to my house after school and I will teach you. I’ll see you at four.” Every day she worked with me. She taught me jumps, cheers, and coached me on what I should do and what I should not do. As much as my classmates cajoled me, taunted me with retorts that I would never make it, I made the cheerleading squad. I spent that summer at the YMCA Camp Orkila Leadership Development Institute program considering what I would do with this new development in my life. I decided that I would use it as the opportunity to not be like ‘them’. I had no desire to be like the rest of the cheerleaders. Instead, I was going to use the opportunity to show that cheerleaders should be leaders and that involved trying to be inclusive of all people, from all walks of life with empathy and sympathy. That next year was spent with the other cheerleaders threatening to beat me up, trying to get me kicked off the squad, and often I went home crying, still feeling very much alone in the world.
Later in my adolescence, my mother and stepfather were looking for a way to keep me out of trouble so they would often send me to the Seattle Pacific Science Center where I volunteered and spent weekends wandering through the exhibits and attending lectures. It was at the Science Center that I was introduced to computers. My parents ended up buying a Tandy 1000 and put it in my room with the instructions to never touch it. They were simply storing it there for the time being. Their reverse psychology worked. I fired up the computer, figured out how to get those five-and-a-half floppy disks to operate the machine and proceeded to teach myself DOS. Because I was in choir and band, I would often get stuck on my music because I couldn’t figure out how a sixteenth note should sound. I programmed the computer to play the sheet music so I could hear how it should sound and it helped me understand the timing that I should be playing. My love for computers began. I could manipulate it, ask it questions, I could enter commands and it never judged me. It was my solace from the world with the books I would often escape in. How has this impacted the way I interact with others?
Because of my experiences, my personality type is indeed pulled in passionate fervor, to cheer for the underdog, the downtrodden and oppressed. The injustice of the world to continue to oppress those who do not have the tools or the opportunity to rise are those who I strive to empower. As much as I am an introvert, I am also extremely inquisitive and as a result tend to be very cautious of people who have given me reason to be wary so I tend to observe in order to be intuitive about how I will relate to people. However, it is a continual effort to challenge my tendency to isolate. Because team synergy and team interaction was a toddler desire, it has remained with me through the years and I still make concerted effort to be inclusive of all people regardless of their socio-economic status. I have survived physical abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and cancer. There must be a reason that I am still here so I continue to battle and continue to survive and I hope that I can inspire and empower others along the way, using my skills of introversion to protect myself, capitalizing on my intuition and feelings so I will have accomplished some good in this world having turned my wounds into strengths while helping others to accomplish same.