I never thought I’d say that taking a personality test changed my life, but looking back I wish I had taken the test sooner.

I’m currently in my early to mid-twenties. Up until I left college I never questioned who I was or why I acted the way that I did. But as I’ve got older I've realized that a lot of people don't really ‘get me.’ I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been told I come across antisocial or been asked why I’m ‘so quiet.’ This surprises me because until a couple of years ago I had no idea I came across this way.

You see, at work, I’m not the sort of person to wander to the other side of the office and spark up a conversation with a colleague unnecessarily. Some people think it’s because I’m shy or (worst of all) ignorant, but friends that know me well will tell you that this couldn’t be further from the truth. The fact is, I hate small talk. I don’t see the point in it and I genuinely have no interest in it.

Over the last couple of years I’ve had a number of people question the way I come across to others. Each comment chipping away at my self-confidence a little more. ‘You come across ignorant and rude’ I’ve been told. ‘Why are you so quiet? Are you shy?’ people have asked. ‘It’s like you think you’re better than everyone else’.

These words hurt. As far as I was concerned, I had always made an effort with everyone and I certainly wouldn’t dream of being deliberately rude to somebody. It wasn’t long before the constant judgment from others left me feeling self-conscious and anxious. I started to wonder if something was wrong with me.

I went online a took a personality test. I wanted to know why I felt so misunderstood.

The test took 15 minutes and the letters ‘INFJ’ displayed across the screen. At this point I had no idea what the abbreviation stood for so I continued reading. It was eye-opening. Everything suddenly made sense.

I no longer feel like an outsider

I quickly learned that INFJs are profoundly misunderstood. It mirrored my feelings entirely.

It is believed that the INFJ personality type is the rarest of them all, making up just 2% of the population. I wholeheartedly believe that, had I not taken this test, I could have gone through most of my adult life feeling like some kind of alien. But now that I have an understanding of why people don’t ‘get’ me it doesn’t affect me like it used to. I’ve come to terms with it and I no longer feel pressured to act a certain way to feel accepted by others.

I learned why I sometimes confuse people

I now understand why on some days I feel more sociable than on others. I read that as an INFJ, I’m technically an ‘Introverted Extravert.’This is because, although an INFJ’s dominant function is Introverted Intuition (Ni), our secondary function is Extraverted Feeling (Fe) which gravitates us towards others. For example, sometimes I feel energized by the presence of others and other times I feel like I need to be alone to recharge my social batteries.

I can see why this is often frustrating for other personality types, as INFJs can appear to act differently from one day to the next.

It keeps me grounded

I’ve always been a dreamer. I idealize situations and search for perfection in everything. In the past this has left me feeling unfulfilled and unsatisfied in many areas of my life. I now know that this is a strong characteristic of the INFJ personality type. It’s no easy feat, but I’m learning to control it and keep myself grounded as much as I can. I’ll always be a dreamer, but I know how to snap myself back to reality when needed.

I understand my relationships better

Recently my boyfriend of four years took the same personality test and he learned that he is an INFP. It was an interesting discovery because not only are we both Introverts, but it turns out that INFJs and INFPs often make great romantic partners. This is because when paired, INFJs and INFPs express parts of themselves that the other strongly identifies with, giving a sense of feeling greatly understood and in tune with one another.

Knowing our personality types hasn’t improved our relationship, but I definitely feel as though we both understand why we make such a strong couple.

I can channel my strengths and work on my weaknesses

When I read the personality profile of the INFJ I found the strengths and weaknesses part particularly interesting because they really spoke to me. Amongst some of the weaknesses of INFJs are perfectionism and being extremely private people. This resonated with me because these are things that I struggle with on a regular basis.

Learning about my weaknesses means I can work on them. For example, I’m trying to set myself realistic goals instead of constantly aiming for perfection.

It has helped me decide on a future career path

If I had known I was an INFJ when I was 17 years old I would never have taken a job in sales. It makes me chuckle at the thought because it’s actually listed as one of the career paths to avoid for INFJs. Since taking the personality test six years later (and still working in sales might I add), I now understand why working in sales has never felt quite right to me. It’s not that I’m bad at it, but when I’m feeling particularly introverted it can be a struggle.

I also read in the personality profile that INFJs are creative individuals and make good writers. For me, this is great because I’ve always loved writing, however in the past procrastination has held me back. Luckily, I am able to use my new-found knowledge about myself to pursue my passion for writing as I’m more equipped to fight the obstacles that will inevitably get in my way.

It’s safe to say I feel like I’ve done a lot of self-discovery since learning my personality type. It’s been liberating to say the least and I would recommend taking a personality test to anyone that hasn’t already (especially if you feel misunderstood). It has helped me better myself and make decisions I wouldn’t have felt comfortable making before.

Layke Lemercier
Layke Lemercier is a millennial INFJ and lifestyle writer from the UK. Layke is a cat lover and food fanatic and in her spare time runs a lifestyle blog which covers a wide range of topics including daily life, food, career and beauty. You can read more from Layke on 24 Thoughts.