The signs are as clear as the nose on your face: as a toddler, your daughter had extreme stranger anxiety and a great deal of trouble warming up to new people (even her grandparents); as a preschooler, your son came home from daycare and immediately escaped to the privacy of his room; as a teenager, your child could speak beautifully in front of the whole class but avoided the after-school social because she said she couldn't deal with large groups of people. Congratulations! You're raising an introvert. How on earth are you going to cope?
Most of us, whatever our personality type, have a lousy voice in the back of our heads telling us that we will never quite be good enough. It plagues us to the point that we may be unwilling to take risks or attempt certain activities, in case we fall on our behinds. When the voice looms large, performance suffers, and we're prevented from realizing our full potential. Virtually everyone hears the voice to a greater or lesser degree. It even has its own name - atychiphobia, the morbid fear of failure.
So you got the Feeling (F) personality type on your Typefinder result. You’ve just joined a unique group of enthusiasts, optimists, nurturers and artists. Word on the street is that William Shakespeare was an INFP and Oscar Wilde an ENFP, so you’re in the company of giants.
There are tens of thousands of personality books in print, with hundreds more published every year. Unless you plan to devote the rest of your life to these publications, it's going to be pretty darn impossible to read them all. So where do you start? After giving it a lot of thought, here are the top five books that we think really drive readers to understand type, and to know themselves.
1. Please Understand Me/Please Understand Me II
Author: David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates
Our fascination with personality typing isn't just an American phenomenon, it's a universal one. More than 50 million people around the world are estimated to have taken a test based on the work of Isabel Briggs Myers; that figure is growing at an estimated rate of 2.5 million people per year. Personality in the wider sense has been studied and assessed in over 30 countries, on all continents, in multiple languages. Wherever we are in the world, we trust personality theory to give us valuable insights into our quirks, ambitions, and behaviors.
ESFJs love people. They enjoy lots of social interaction, but more importantly, they want to help others. With their Extraverted personalities, genuine warmth and deep desire to be liked, they are usually popular individuals with plenty of friends. Despite their gregarious nature, they don’t always express their feelings openly, but prefer instead to express affection by tending to the practical and emotional needs of the people around them. Too often, however, ESFJs want to help too much, leading to problems in their relationships and for themselves.
Impulsive decision making is normal human behavior and too often, the trait has gotten a bad rap. Most of us have made decisions based on a mood or a whim - decisions such as which house to buy, which career to follow, or even who to date. Most times, these decisions turn out fine. And some impulsive urges are lifesavers; without an instinct to keep yourself out of danger, for example, you literally may not survive.
People have dedicated immeasurable hours to the study of personality theory in an effort to understand what motivates our feelings, thoughts and behaviors. Enthusiasts have been known to get so involved in personality typing that they use it to predict a person's health, career destiny, relationship potential, and even their sex drive! Once you've figured out your four letter code, you can spend hours on blogs and forums figuring out what's in store for you based on your personal strengths and weaknesses.
ISFJs are painted as compassionate, loyal and dutiful, often to the point of being a pushover. Famous ISFJs include Mother Teresa, Queen Elizabeth II and Rosa Parks—people who embody the notion of putting service above self in most aspects of their lives.
But do ISFJs have a side that's mysterious...or even wild? Here are the top five myths about the ISFJ personality, plus a peek into what's really going on beneath the goody-two-shoes stereotype.
We have come a long way from thinking of introversion as “shyness.” Now most people are aware that introversion depends on whether the person gains energy from alone time or social interaction. However, that has led to a few other myths about introversion. Some people think that if they often feel socially drained, they must be Introverts. But several third party variables can completely zap even the most Extraverted social butterfly. Let us explore these energy-zapping, mind-dizzying confounding variables that make us want to snuggle with a book under the covers a little more closely.