I was trying to describe the idea of Myers Briggs to a friend. Unfortunately I couldn’t remember the name, but after a bit of searching I found 16personalities.com I explained that I’ve done the test numerous times over my life and I always end up as INFJ or INFP (depending on anxiety/depression).
I prefer being INFJ as that feels like my natural state. Plus, I think it’s a bit rarer so it makes me feel special. So I am aware I might be persuading myself to answer certain ways. Yesterday I did the test and ended up as INFP.
I am pretty sceptical about a personality being summed up with a test, and so was my friend. But I explained that I did learn about how other people may perceive me by reading about personality types. One of the reasons I had been thinking about this was because I’ve been watching lots of high school TV series/movies. I had been thinking about the idea of pecking orders and how I believed they were more complicated than a hierarchy.
As a teenager I had a bad time in secondary school. I remember my Dad suggesting I may have brought on the bullying myself because I appear stand-offish. It was gutting to hear that and I didn’t really understand why people just couldn’t realise that I was shy! But later on I read a Myers Briggs book and noticed that people probably couldn’t understand shyness in the same why I couldn’t understand things like small talk, bragging, networking and the like – to me it felt odd to have a relationship that wasn’t deep and meaningful. I couldn’t understand why someone would choose to talk to someone they didn’t feel connected to.
It was one of those moments when I wished that I knew what I know now when I was younger.
I suddenly thought that maybe the people I saw as the top of the pecking order might feel like I was at the top of the pecking order – like I thought myself too good to speak to them. This wasn’t true. I was just too insecure to speak to them. But did they see that? If they felt insecure too, they might have seen me as stand-offish.
Later on I noticed that the pecking order only has power when you see yourself in it. In all honesty, I only see it as a pecking web – or more accurately – a pecked web. Because who really sees themselves at the top? The people who I thought were at the top of the pecking order were either (i)privileged or (ii)rebellious. But I’m aware I’m more privileged and rebellious than others. So by that very awareness I acknowledge I may have been higher in the pecking order than others, despite my mental health causing me to feel lower (ah, those invisible disabilities).
I wish I had access to these type of ideas when I was younger. I’m sure I would’ve understood them but then who would’ve thought I had the ability to understand when I was so stand-offish? Maybe adults looked at me and saw my silence as a sign that I wasn’t understanding. Or maybe that I didn’t care.
I guess silence does speak volumes.