Who wouldn't love being told you're smart, creative, and empathic? But do you really belong to this exclusive group?
There’s a social and psychological phenomenon going on throughout the Internet that both fascinates me and annoys me. Why is it so easy for people to relate to anything they see on Social Media? No joke, I’ve seen people assuming they have rare diseases or other mental disorders some random page explains. Seriously, all of a sudden everybody has OCD just because they can’t allegedly stand looking at an unorganized wardrobe or any random thing. I started noticing this when my aunt discovered Facebook. Every single day she believed there was something wrong with her, and it all boiled down to a couple random videos or posts she had seen. These, I suppose, explained random conditions, so if she had one of the symptoms (no matter how insignificant they were, like being thirsty in the morning), she automatically assumed she must have that. So, let’s go to the point: why are many thinking they have the rarest personality type?
In the past weeks my newsfeed has been filled with articles on the matter. I noticed it because the titles caught my attention. They all ask whether you know you might have "this" rare personality type, or they would mention only three traits to make you believe you have this personality. The thing is that if only 1% of the population have it, why do so many people believe they have it? This personality type belongs to the Myers-Briggs scale, which is divided into 16 types created by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers in the 1940s. They took Jung’s personality studies and types (although he only recognized eight of them) and created a test to help people determine their own. Nowadays, their test is used all over the world, especially by companies and universities to select those who can adapt better to their own structures and profiles. So, it’s most likely you’ve already taken it at some point in your life.
What’s the test about? The personalities are first divided into two, so you’re either an extrovert or an introvert. Parting from here they determine whether you’re intuitive or sensitive, a thinker or someone who follows your emotions, and finally, a judging person who favors order and regulations, or just a perceiver who prefers spontaneity. Based on them, the so-called rarest personality type, also known as the “advocator” or INFJ (Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, Judging) personality, refers to people who are more organized, creative, smart, and empathetic than the rest of the population. And who doesn’t want to be called like that?
Since they started with the INFJ craze, there are several websites assuring their readers that some of their favorite celebrities and historical personalities belong to this group, so the idea of being similar to them is quite alluring. But is it true? One of the main traits of this type is their heroic nature, their passion to defend what they believe in, regardless of the consequences, and their thirst to achieve their goals. People like Nelson Mandela or Gandhi are often associated to them. Now, not to offend anyone, but I’m wondering if people sitting on their couch wandering through their social media are doing or would even be willing to do something to change the world, even if it means losing their freedom and even their lives?
Yes, these people are intuitive and emotionally intelligent people, and I bet that some of the readers of these publications might actually belong to this group. I also get how appealing it is to be compared with interesting and highly valued characters in history, but the treatment this is getting on the Internet seems to be a bit irresponsible. At the end of the day, these tests are meant to help you understand yourself better and see what are your strengths and weaknesses, so you can work with them and improve your life. However, they don't determine who you are or how your life is going to be. So, if you really think you might belong to this exclusive group, it’s great.Take the test, and if it proves you right, don’t base your life only on that.
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Images by @pnh_