MBTI Function Stack-Up

So, we’ve been chatting a lot about MBTI types, Cognitive Function Stack-ups, and what those stack-ups mean for us, exactly (as well as how we apply them to everyday life and problems, or interactions with others). But one thing I’ve realized that we HAVEN’T discussed yet (don’t worry, we’ll get to shadow functions, eventually 😉 ) is the functions, themselves. There are four BASIC FUNCTIONS, Sensing, iNtuition (there’s a reason I wrote it like that), Feeling, and Thinking. Then each branches off into its more specific area of expertise– extraverted this or that, introverted this or that. Think of it in this light– If you go to college or uni, you have different departments, right? Well, in EACH department, there are SPECIFIC (but related!) majors you can be. In Engineering, for instance, you could be an Electrical Engineering Major, a Bio-Engineering Major, etc. In our English Department, you can be a regular English Major, an English Literature Major, an English Writing Major (Me!), and so on. Same application here: We have introverted functions, and we have extraverted functions– Se, Si, Ne, Ni, Fe, Fi, Te, and Ti. Following me so far? OK, good.

(Note: This post is going to be more of a summary post, but we’ll get into the major nitty-gritty differences later on! You guys already kind of know the difference between Se and Si; I’ve explained it before.)

As a refresher, and as previously stated, any function that is Extraverted is usually conscious/more apparent. You are normally aware you are using it. That is often why Dominant or Auxiliary Te users, for instance, can come off as know-it-alls, but really don’t mean to seem that way (think a certain character from a certain popular fictional franchise…), they’re just brilliant and honest about their brains, while being quieter (and somewhat humbler) about things like being compassionate and sweet (when they are, it’s usually more subtle and very endearing little moments). With Introverted functions, they are usually internal, subconscious, or “concealed”. No matter what your type, your first two functions will always be some sort of pairing between Extraverted and Introverted, but whether you are actually an Extravert or an Introvert yourself decides which function comes FIRST. For instance, one of my younger cousins is an ENFJ, an Extravert. She leads (Dominant) with Fe, co-piloted with Ni, balanced out somewhat with Se, and ending with Ti. As an Extravert, Fe is naturally Dominant. On the other, I myself am INFJ– an Introvert. The primary differences between my cousin and I is that our Dominant and Auxiliary functions are swapped, then our Tertiary and Inferior functions. (Note: My Ti is my Tertiary, and my Se is my Inferior) I lead with Ni, Introverted iNtuition, rather than Fe, because I am actually introverted! However, because Ni is unconscious and more underlying, more subtle, my Fe surfaces a LOT more, and, since it is an extraverted function, many assume me to be an Extravert, because I seem naturally warm, social, friendly, outgoing, etc (traits normally stereotyped with Extraverts, btw). This can cause what I like to call, “Ambivert Confusion”. There are introverted Extraverts, and there are extraverted Introverts, but no in between. It is, however, easy to confuse due to the functional stack-up. The key is to remember that Introverts always lead with an Introverted function, and Extraverts with Extraverted functions. It has nothing to do with how quiet or outgoing you are– I’ve met silent Extraverts who are great listeners, and talkative Introverts who can be loud (and, depending on the person, occasionally obnoxious 😉 ). It all boils down to HOW you get your energy (being around people, or being by yourself), how you perceive the world (big picture/intuition vs. details/sensory experiences), how you make decisions (heart/faith/emotions/beliefs vs. brain/intellect/facts/logic), and sometimes, how organized/plan-based vs. adaptable/spontaneous you are.

So, here’s the Low-Down on each function, specifically, and in which types it can be found in:

Sensing:

Extraverted Sensing (Se): Very “YOLO,” live in the moment kind of people. Rather perceptive to sensory details in the present, since it is solely a Perceiving function– its goal is to drink in sensory information (Ne takes it in, but simultaneously processes it/brainstorms what the info MEANS). Can behave in a childlike, impulsive manner at times. Types that have this attribute as an Inferior Function can be extremely sensitive to or bothered by outside stimuli.

Types with Dominant Se: ESFP, ESTP

Types with Auxiliary Se: ISTP, ISFP

Types with Tertiary Se: ENTJ, ENFJ

Types with Inferior Se: INFJ, INTJ

 

Introverted Sensing (Si): While still focused on sensory details and quite observant, these users tend to focus on past experiences, and relay them to what’s going on in the present, or guess what will happen in the future purely with past data. These kinds of concrete patterns help them to figure out what to do next, if they get into a jam. However, if the jam is completely out of the ordinary, it may throw them off. Those with Inferior Si are usually innovative, daydream-y, occasionally entrepreneurial and sometimes “scattered”.

Types with Dominant Si: ISTJ, ISFJ

Types with Auxiliary Si: ESFJ, ESTJ

Types with Tertiary Si: INFP, INTP

Types with Inferior Si: ENTP, ENFP

 

iNtuition:

Extraverted iNtuition (Ne): Essentially the future-focused version of Se, Ne is active perceiving, but brainstorming about said perceptions, all simultaneously. Ne outwardly brainstorms how all these little things fit into the big picture, instead of possessing Se’s simple, “They’re there, let’s enjoy them,” attitude. They are often innovative, resourceful, and inventive. Types that do not possess this as a Dominant or Aux function ordinarily use it more for things like recreational purposes, such as word puzzles or games, if they use it at all.

Types with Dominant Ne: ENFP, ENTP

Types with Auxiliary Ne: INFP, INTP

Types with Tertiary Ne: ESTJ, ESFJ

Types with Inferior Ne: ISFJ, ISTJ

 

Introverted iNtuition (Ni):  Future focused and often abstract, this users are very in-their-own worlds, but are surprisingly perceptive and capable of subconsciously picking up on patterns– a reason they are good at learning things like foreign languages. They are innovative and passionate, often seeing things from many different angles at once. Sometimes labelled a bit “spooky” for being able to guess things so well. Those with Inferior Ni often are very “in the moment,” Se people; thinking about what the future holds for them often freaks them out. (These would be the type of people to HAVE “Mid-Life Crisis-es” DURING their mid-life– when Inferior Ni kicks in, and they get more philosophical about their lives. Me? I’ve had mine 10x’s that, starting in TEEN years. Lol.)

Types with Dominant Ni: INTJ, INFJ

Types with Auxiliary Ni: ENTJ, ENFJ

Types with Tertiary Ni: ISTP, ISFP

Types with Inferior Ni: ESTP, ESFP

 

Note: Statistically, society typically has a greater number of Sensors than it does Intuitives, and Intuitives are often looked at as oddities– yet these oddities somehow end up benefiting society and helping others. For instance, the Biblical Joseph was most likely an xNFJ (unclear whether he was INFJ or ENFJ, but he was definitely a Feeler and Intuitive, and God gave him the wisdom to help plan out a survival plan for His people and Egypt!). However, each type has a part to play in God’s design; we are all important.

 

Feeling:

Extraverted Feeling (Fe): Making decisions from the heart here, based on subjectivity, worldviews, beliefs, faith, and opinions rather than cold-hearted facts (this is not to say Fe-users cannot be logical– Look at ISTP and INTP, who possess Inferior Fe). Fe is a group-oriented function, and tends to put others before self, even if their own feelings get squashed in the process; in short, they are often people pleasers. However, it can also lead them to be a bit controlling, thinking they know what’s better for the whole than the whole does. People with Inferior or Tertiary Fe tend to be less organized, more logical and objective, and more spontaneous/impulsive.

Types with Dominant Fe: ENFJ, ESFJ

Types with Auxiliary Fe: INFJ, ISFJ

Types with Tertiary Fe: ENTP, ESTP

Types with Inferior Fe: INTP, ISTP

 

Introverted Feeling (Fi): While still quite emotion-and-beliefs-based, like Fe, Fi differs in that it makes strong personal judgements according to its own beliefs, ideas, and opinions– but often (though not always) will keep them to themselves due to fear of judgement or not wanting to seem “intolerant” of others’ ideals and beliefs. People with Inferior or Tertiary Fi are usually logical, fairly organized, stoic, justice-seekers, but with a “I do what I want, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone physically, I’m good” kind of attitude–they are very firm about and solid on what they believe, and can be more obstinate about said beliefs. Tert and Inferior Fi users also often tend to rationalize their emotions, as a means of “making sense” of what they feel.

Types with Dominant Fi: INFP, ISFP

Types with Auxiliary Fi: ENFP, ESFP

Types with Tertiary Fi: INTJ, ISTJ

Types with Inferior Fi: ENTJ, ESTJ

 

Note: Those with a Tertiary or Inferior F function often playfully tease/pick on people they care about or are fond of. Statistically speaking, Most men are Thinking types taught to be tough and not show emotion in the usual way, as per society, whereas women tend to be unfairly stereotyped as “sensitive” and “emotional”– because the majority of us are FEELERS! But, I have met men who are Feelers and women who are Thinkers; it’s an odd but fascinating swap. (I’ve at least one male cousin Feeler, one of my younger brothers is a sensitive male Feeler, and several good female friend Thinkers 🙂 ) These people tend to buck the stereotypes of society, and can feel like “outsiders” as a result. So if a T type picks on you playfully, they’re probably fond of you!

 

Thinking:

Extraverted Thinking (Te):  Concrete, solid, logical , efficient and direct thinkers, they tend to want the facts– and only just the facts (my Dad is definitely a Te user!), just like Holmes. Short, direct, and to the point is what they like– no red herrings, and definitely no sugar-coating. However, they are usually honest with those they care about, and this blunt honesty is often linked to a strong sense of fairness, a willingness to work hard, and integrity. Te-Doms or Auxes are often found in leadership roles (CEOs, military). Those with Inferior or Tertiary Te are normally more scattered, daydream-y, and often artistic and emotional people.

Types with Dominant Te: ENTJ, ESTJ

Types with Auxiliary Te: INTJ, ISTJ

Types with Tertiary Te: ENFP,  ESFP

Types with Inferior Te: INFP, ISFP

 

Introverted Thinking (Ti): This part of the Thinking Avenue gets trickier to navigate, as it deals with more abstract thought– not just WHAT something is what it is (Te), but WHY it’s that way (Ti). Ti users can make excellent philosophers, scientists, psychologists, etc– but surprisingly, they can also make great mechanics, too (ESTP, ISTP). After all, they need to know WHY the car’s making that noise, not just the obvious fact THAT it’s making the rattle. They look beyond what is in front of them, but still retain the blunt, matter-of-fact manner similar to their Te cousins, which can seem insensitive at times. They can have a bit of a rebellious streak against authority and the status quo, which may also risk getting them in trouble, but to the Ti-user, the pursuit of truth makes it statistically 100% worth it. Those with Tertiary or Inferior Ti are more organized, more concerned about group welfare, and sometimes utilize it to seek truth and justice if needed.

Types with Dominant Ti: INTP, ISTP

Types with Auxiliary Ti: ENTP, ESTP

Types with Tertiary Ti: INFJ, ISFJ

Types with Inferior Ti: ENFJ, ESFJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MBTI: The Empathetic ESFJs (And Brief Update!)

MBTI: The Empathetic ESFJs (And Brief Update!)

Hi, everyone! Happy NaNoWriMo!! (National Writing Month) In celebration, I’ll try to do a minimum of 2-3 posts a week– the usual MBTI type post, PLUS an additional post or two. (At least one will be about MBTI stack-ups, and another on Shadow functions) The others may be mini-sermons, poetry, or book reviews (I still need to do several, including The Illuminae Files, the Warcross duology, and, when I finish them, Children of Blood and Bone and Crime and Punishment.  But also currently rereading Halayda in prep for Rothana, which’ll release later this month, and am going along with the FierceReads readalong–or reread, in my case– of the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, a personal favorite of mine, in preparation for King of Scars in late January.). But we’ll cross those bridges when we get to them!

Today, I’d like to talk to you about the engaging and, as the title says, very empathetic ESFJs. This is probably one of my favorite non-iNtuitive types, along with ISTP and ISFJ at times, and probably because one of my closest and dearest friends is an ESFJ– the older sister of the aforementioned INTJ twins I brought up in my INTJ post. She characteristically embodies most healthy ESFJs as a whole– naturally social, a people person, sweet, deeply caring and invested in loved ones, loyal, empathetic, nurturing. ESFJs are normally kind-hearted and optimistic, unwilling to hurt others’ feelings (which could be good or bad, depending on the situation. Which they are passionate about doing something, they can be very hardworking, with just a dash of perfectionism sprinkled in.

Here’s how the ESFJ Stacks Up:

Fe(Extraverted Feeling): Conscious function, group-oriented. This is the function that may prematurely judge and cause ESFJs to outright state their beliefs/feelings on a matter, but since they also value harmony and the group’s needs often before their own, this part of the Fe may be suppressed. Fe helps greatly with their social lives and empathy, allowing them to read and relate to people a good deal. ESFJs are often emotionally intelligent. Depending on who they’re with, an ESFJ can show a cheerful, upbeat persona (often around strangers/in public), or let their guard down and show true feelings show (close family and friends). Because they tend to wear their hearts more on their sleeves, however, sometimes this Feeler type is dubbed as a bit “dramatic,” by Thinker or Fi-using types, the amount of emotional expression used for each situation is usually quite appropriate. In fact, if given enough time, they may even use their Perceiving functions to help tweak and refine their responses and judgements. Unlike Fi-users, ESFJs are more uncomfortable with trying to sort their emotions more inwardly and independently, and often look to their Auxiliary Si to help out.

Si (Introverted Sensing): Unconscious/subconscious function. As an Aux function, Si helps copilot the ESFJ’s worldview and interaction system with Fe. Being a “traditionalist” function, ESFJs tend to rely on past experience to help them get through more emotional ordeals, and ground them better. Additionally, Si causes them to quickly becomes creatures of habit– the more often an ESFJ does something, the harder the habit is for them to break (which, again, can be a good OR bad thing). For instance, if the ESFJ was immersed in a certain worldview of politics and religion as a child, it is highly likely they will continue down that path as an adult– something many parents may take delight in with raising ESFJ children. However, this can in certain instances lead them to be more stubborn and less “open-minded” to certain individuals, so Si must be utilized well with Fe to balance out experience with emotions and values.

Ne (Extraverted iNtuition): Conscious function. As a Perceiving function, it is similar to Se (Extraverted Sensing) and encourages sensory and physical novelty; however, unlike Se, it tends to be more creative, actively brainstorm, make connections and explore all options. ESFJs frequently have a love-hate relationship with their Tertiary Ne; on one side of the fence, it encourages their creativity for their passions and a sense of wittiness. They often use the creativity in artsy-type things, or crafts, sometimes as a means of helping others or teaching others. (I see this often in aforementioned bestie– she has the creativity and skills of any good cosmetologist, and is not only all too happy to do my hair and nails for me when spending the night, she is utterly AMAZING at what she does. Giving and creativity are a dual winning combo!)

On the other side, however, ESFJs can come to resent their Ne when it inserts a sense of uncertainty into their worldviews. They like their beliefs to be firmly founded on, more unquestionable, and abstract analysis is not usually their strong suit.

Ti (Introverted Thinking): Subconscious/unconscious function. Due to their Ti being their “Inferior function,” ESFJs can struggle with making making inner, logical side. This does not mean they can’t be intuitively aware of it, however, and be in pursuit of it–but they have the tendency to be more naturally aware of understanding and helping others, rather than themselves. However, this does not mean they’ll stop try to bridge the gap between their Dominant Fe and their Inferior Ti, and reach a sense of wholeness and balance– quite a gap to cover. They will often attempt to utilize Ti in showing how logical their ideas can be (Ti) to others, as a means of affirmation (Fe– group-oriented). The more people they convince, the more THEY are convinced their ideas are logically sound. It can even get to the point where an ESFJ’s quest to seek and cling to their Ti can lead to seeming a bit like IxTPs, although they will not be as experienced in using Ti as the Ti-Dominants are. In these instances, they will make themselves out to be highly logical, competent, independent and self-sufficient, perhaps even pouring over non-fiction to understand their Ti better, and praise independent thought. These more “logical pursers” may even start to believe themselves introverts, because of a desire for inner control (because they are already masters at outer control, and influencing or helping others) and helping others. For this, it is recommended that a healthy ESFJ (who wants to connect with Ti better) overlap self-identity with their relationships and community; better yet, involve others in the quest for their self-identity and independence.

An unhealthy ESFJ, as is the case with some Fe Doms and Auxes (including INFJs like myself) can use their influence to manipulate, control, or even harm others, depending on what they see fit as benefiting the group/the whole. One negative stereotype of ESFJs include the high school, “queen bee,” but fortunately, I haven’t run into that experience in real life, and only have experienced the very positive side of ESFJs. 🙂

As a whole, though, the healthy version of the type is considered loyal, hardworking, supportive, warm, and deeply caring. If they seem “controlling,” at all, it’s often due to caring about that person and their situation, and genuinely wanting to help (as I often see in my bestie!). They usually make great parents, teachers, siblings, and friends.

Famous/historical ESFJs: Celine Dion, Ed Sheeran, William McKinley, Prince William, Barbara Walters, Elton John, Whitney Houston, Andrew Carnegie, Larry King, Andy Rooney

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Sources:

https://www.thefamouspeople.com/esfj.php

https://eu.themyersbriggs.com/en-IE/tools/MBTI/MBTI-personality-Types/ESFJ

https://www.ranker.com/list/historical-figures-meyers-briggs-types/genevieve-carlton

https://www.personalityclub.com/blog/famous-esfj/

https://personalityjunkie.com/esfj-type-profile/

 

Image Source:

https://www.parismatch.com/People/Whitney-Houston-1243811

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What I Learned in Having Sensor Parents

 

So I know some of you may have heard me gripe about Sensors not understanding Intuitives like me, a few times. It is a well-known fact in my household that I am the only Intuitive, and thus considered an oddity (although we do love each other dearly). At first glance, it seems I’ve little in common with my folks, aside from a weird sense of sarcasm, my Mom’s ditziness, and my Father’s obstinate ways. They like the concrete and real; I like the abstract, the daydreams, the theoretical. They value common sense; they claim I have none (or little, at least).

However, I will admit that Sensor parents have taught me a few things, among which are:

  1. Experience can be invaluable, and it can help to shape you into who you are. This is so very, very true. As a big picture-thinker, I can easily see how past experiences have a domino effect on both present and future circumstances and possibilities. For instance, as a child, I was encouraged to read. A lot. This eventually transformed into a love for writing as well (I clearly recall wanting to write an entire rendition of a “Magic Tree House” story on a single paper plate for my First-Grade class, and was genuinely annoyed that I did not have more paper to write on, and was forced to wrap up a single, rather incomplete, chapter on the back of my plate. 😦 ).
  2. Treasure the small, precious moments in life– take time to stop and smell the roses every once in a while. Often, I get too caught up in my own world, in my own daydreams and thoughts– which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, in and of itself. But in doing that too often, I sometimes miss out on GOD’S world, and the beautiful Creation He’s created. While I don’t generally like using my Inferior Extraverted Sensing, my parents (particularly my mother) have coaxed it forward, causing me to be fairly impulsive at times, and more in the moment when need be– whether it’s appreciating Creation’s wonders, or preventing myself from wrecking while driving. (Oh yes– driving is definitely a Sensing user! As is my martial arts. 😉 ) It’s helped me appreciate blessed moments more, with and without loved ones (hey, an introvert’s gotta cope), and to savor that time more.

CaH1

Calvin is an Intuitive trapped in a Sensor world, with his Sensor buddy, Hobbes

3.  Sometimes, you need to (unfortunately) adult and use common sense. Common Sense is not usually specified to any particular function, but I’ll say, for the sake of argument, it’s likely a Te (Extraverted Thinking)-related function. For those not in the know, Te is NOT in my regular stack-up (which is Ni-Fe-Ti-Se); it happens to be a Shadow Function of mine– a MBTI topic we’ll get to in a bit. But all that to say, Te is not only a weaker function of mine, it is both very underused and unhealthy when I do attempt to use it (much more adept at using the more deep-thinking Ti, anyways), thus giving the illusion that I have no “Common Sense.” To quote a certain character from a certain comic strip:

Calvin1

Yup, this sums me up pretty well– while my folks look on in silent dismay, shaking their heads. But sometimes, I’ve learned, you do need to be sensible and responsible. You do need Common Sense. You do need to “adult”. It sucks at times, but it’s a part of life.

Are you an Intuitive? Did you grow up with Sensor parents? If so, what lessons did they teach you?

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Image Credit:

Google Images

View story at Medium.com

View story at Medium.com

Staying on the Path

Last rainy September, on our way home from Church one Sunday morning, my Mom and I nearly ran into a felled tree, in the middle of the road. This forced us to take a detour onto a back, narrow, very windy road, followed by several other possibly equally confounded and frustrated drivers.  It was extremely tiring, and unnerving because we didn’t know where we were going to end up, and the pressure seemed to only build up behind the long line of anxious drivers behind us. It was so tempting to drive off the main road, take a side road to try to take a short-cut, to put off the pressure of the long line of cars following behind us. And it didn’t help that we could only see a bit of the road, directly ahead of us, at a time– the rest was encapsulated in a dense fog.

But you know what? It reminded me of something.

(Yes, this is where I get up on my little soapbox and start to preach. A tiny bit.)

You see, this is where being an Intuitive is handy– we see unconscious connections, and we connect them all to the bigger picture. In this mini-sermon instance, that bigger picture is life itself, or rather, the Christian Life. We have no idea what the future holds for us, exactly– individually or as a group. Trees block a path God warns us not to go down. The road of Life is foggy, and it is impossible to know exactly where the next turn up ahead is if you can barely make out three feet in front of you.

Imagine this: You’re on a random road trip, one of those terrible surprise trips (I say terrible, being a planner myself) where the person taking you on the trip, the one person knowing the destination and how to get there, won’t tell you how you’re getting there. You have a notion of the destination, but again, it is foggy out, and you barely know which way to turn. Those promising shortcuts off the beaten path are starting to look more and more tempting as you get more and more lost in the middle of nowhere. Your friend, the one who suggested the trip and is riding shotgun with you, is being your human GPS, but it’s hard and is getting harder to hear him over all the noise– your cell is ringing, your artificial GPS is constantly repeating, “recalculating,” confusing you further, and the radio is blaring music. Your friend asks you to please turn off/down the radio, shut off/ignore the cell and the GPS, and simply listen to him– he knows exactly where you’re going, and how to get there. You are reluctant, however, to trust in just him. He asks if you trust him; you say you do. He says to pull over, get out, play “fire engine” (switch seats fast) and let him have the wheel. The wheel of YOUR car. Suddenly, you get nervous. What if he’s wrong? What if you get there late? What if you end up somewhere completely different than what he told you? What if… What if…

Some of you might be making connections already– if so, that is fantastic. 🙂

For those that haven’t, yet… The friend, obviously, is Jesus and Ruach, your Comforter, Savior, Counselor and Guide on Life’s weary travels to your destination, which is to be with God (many say, “heaven,” but technically it’s supposed to be wherever God is– especially since He’ll be creating a new heavens and a new earth in the future for us to live in!). The AI GPS, the radio blasting, and the cell phone? All earthly things, all things that can distract or mislead us from God (if you think about the soil parable, this would be the thorns and the seed). He has the ultimate map, and knows the way well– we need to trust him, and turn off that noise. There will be temptations, oh yes– seeming shortcuts to the top, to your destination, but these will often come at a price, and more often than not get you more lost.

The foggy road is your life– full of potential, but also full of uncertainty. You only see a bit of the road at the time, not the whole thing. The same’s true in life; we often live day-by-day, moment-by-moment, wallowing in simple predictability. We try to make the most of those moments, neglecting to think of what could be or what is to come, rather than what is. God shows us bits and pieces of the puzzle at a time, but when we stand back to see how some of them start to come together, we start to see the bigger picture of why He does things the way He does. We may not completely understand, but sometimes we don’t have to.

When I was 14, in the midst of the Swine Flu Craze, I became quite faint-headed and ill in the middle of the night. Concerned, I woke my mother, and she went to the kitchen to get me some medication; I followed. Next thing I know, I was waking up on the kitchen floor, my mom or dad asking me how many fingers they held up– I had passed out. Shocked, they took me to the ER, and since the docs automatically assumed I had Swine Flu like everyone else (to this day I doubt that was it; they misdiagnosed a lot of random cases that day as S.F.), they gave me what they had been giving everyone else, Tamaflu, and sent me home to recover. The next morning, I found my thighs and parts of my legs had broken out into hives; I had an allergic reaction to Tamaflu. (Now, when I was fairly young, I’d been tested for every common allergy on the market, save for Tamaflu and maybe a couple others, and they had all tested negative, except for extreme amounts of dust/dust mites) I had received a short-term scenario of what God saw, long term: Had I not been sick, I wouldn’t have gotten Mom. Had I not passed out, I wouldn’t have gone to the ER. Had I not gone to the ER, I would have not received the Tamaflu shot under the fairly ignorant assumption that I had Swine Flu, and thus would have never, ever discovered my allergy– which could have had devastating effects in the future. God works in mysterious ways, showing us what to do, piece by piece, bit by bit, but He always leads us out to the other end, just like Mom and I eventually got home safely, that same morning. All we need to do is literally let God take the steering wheel, not backseat drive, and trust in Him.

Trust and Obey?

You may know me well enough.

You may know my fave colors, my fave foods, how I make myself crack up when I fangirl in private (which is fairly often), my unsure status on whether or not I’m autistic (long story, for those that DON’T know…), how insanely picky I am when it comes to men/food/clothing/perfectionism in general…

But most of you probably don’t know, I teach Sunday School for tykes (First and Second graders, to be precise) about twice a month. Yup. Me. Teaching.

(Don’t get me wrong, I’m usually good with kids, but getting them to listen EXTENSIVELY to me? That be the No. 1 reason I am NOT a teacher, folks, haha…)

Don’t get me wrong, they’re good kids, smart kids, even. You can tell which of their parents work with them on stuff. I try to sound invested in their lives, because it’s how I’ve learned to connect with others– ask them how their weekend was, if they’re doing ok in school, if they’re excited about Halloween, Ooo, you’re going as a princess this year? Which one? What’s your costume look like? If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? , etc, etc. They’re actually pretty good at it, and I try to involve and encourage the shyer ones a bit, if I can (and of course, if one helps me do something, they all want to help and seem important, so I try to divvy up the tasks as fairly as possible, so everyone gets a turn.). If they start getting restless, I wrap up the lesson as best as I can (because most kids don’t listen if they’re restless– let’s be honest here), and we play a game that gets them moving, but involves a major theme from the story/lesson, so it’s more ingrained in them. Then we usually wrap up with a small snack, and sometimes the girls will want to color.

So last week, they were relearning a story that was quite familiar to them: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abenego, and the Fiery Furnace. (For those not familiar with the story: Check out Daniel 3:1-30.) They knew it, at least, mostly. They did not know specific details, however (such as the kidnapping of the friends from their homelands, the pagan name changes, and that the furnace was heated seven times hotter than normal– so hot that the guards who were carrying the tied-up men to throw them in died just from being NEAR the heat! ), and when I asked the girls (since it was an all-girls class that day) what they would do, if they were told to bow down and worship a statue, or they would be killed by a furnace, one of them had an interesting answer:

“I’d bow down, but I’d still believe in Jesus/God in my heart.”

This, my friends, is the very profound mind of a simple but sweet child, and one of the reasons I love them dearly. How many of US are like that? Think of the disciples– many of them said to Jesus, before His arrest, “I would die for You, Rabbi,”– but how many actually DID, when that moment came? Instead, they fled the scene, as prophecy had foretold, even the closest of the Twelve denied knowing Him. I think that often WE are like that, too. We think to ourselves, “It’s OK to lie to the world, and for the world, as long as I know what I believe on the inside is true and righteous and–” Uh, no. No way, no how. God does not want half-hearted commitment, He wants all or nothing, and the same goes for His Son.

Now, you might think I’m saying this with disgust. With pure condemnation.

And that couldn’t be more wrong.

You see, even when we turned our backs on Jesus like cowards (yes, I most certainly said WE), when we humbly came crawling back to Him, apologizing and asking forgiveness, to make a commitment to start afresh– He forgives. He heals. He cleanses us of unrighteous, of cowardice. He makes us bold, for His sake. For His Name’s Sake. We only need to place our faith in Him, not ourselves.

Before I started teaching, I doubted. I doubted what God could do through me. I doubted the abilities He’d given me. I had seriously doubted that me, of ALL people, could be a POSITIVE influence on these precious little ones, when I had messed up so badly in the past. I still struggle with devos and reading my Bible frequently enough.

Guess what? God said, “You’re doing it anyways.”

And, as always, He is right on the dime.

The bigger question is, when (not if) you eventually screw up majorly (if you haven’t already), will you bring your broken, humbled heart and allow Him to fix it, make you new and whole inside? Or will you keep your distance, in either pride or humiliation, too disgraced to look upwards to heaven, or too “independent” and confident of your own abilities, and not God’s, to help lift you out of the mire? (And, let me assure you, that that mire turns to quicksand mighty fast)

Our words may say one thing, but our actions ultimately reflect who we are, and what we believe. To quote Blanca, “Cause if you don’t stand for nothing/ You always fall for something/This isn’t how it’s meant to be/So Imma keep on Walking/And let Him do the talking/ Imma have to make a scene.” So, what’s it going to be– the world, or God?

A Poem of Appreciation

When

Jesus left

Us, we

Struggled

From being

Cleft

From Him;

But He endow’d

His followers

With Ruach

Within.

Many great signs,

Healing, teaching,

But none quite

As bold

As preaching.

Near and far,

Far and wide,

The Mighty Spirit

Hath never

Left their side;

Imbued with

The Holy One’s Power,

They rise up, and

Do not hesitate

To shower

Their congregates

With love, peace, wisdom

And more;

Correction, gentle

Absolving

Of sin, which

The Almighty abhors.

Indeed, it is the minister

Who helps to pave

The Way,

And battle the sinister.

God bless our pastors,

We love them,

Each one;

They will get

Their due reward;

“Well Done.”

 

______________________________________

Happy Pastor Appreciation Month!!!

 

 

MBTI: The Endearing and Compassionate ENFJs

MBTI: The Endearing and Compassionate ENFJs

So have you ever had that ONE friend? No, not that one weird friend (although, all things considered, 90% of MY friends are “weird,” by normal population standards, so … *inserts cackling face*). I mean the super sweet, doting, generous, GIVING friend– the one who who gives their affection, time, gifts, talents, and yes, advice, to you. They might be an ISFJ, like one of my younger brothers. They might be an INFJ. Or E/INFP. Or ESFJ, like one of my besties.

Or they might be the playfully nicknamed “Mom friend,” ENFJ (a certain ATLA character comes to mind… I’ll shush now, Steve 😉 ).

Empathetic, social, compassionate, and understanding, ENFJs are masterful at reading people, and guessing what it is they want or need. In an unhealthy ENFJ, this can even translate to manipulation in some instances, but usually the motives are unselfish and very caring, because they think they know exactly what said person/people need(s), and will often give struggling loved ones advice on how to proceed with a problem (as well as a sympathetic ear and a comforting hug). Being incredibly giving to other people, it is important to remind them to take time for self-care every now and then. While having strong values due to Fe and Ni, the Dominant Fe’s priority of group care over self-care often (sometimes unfortunately) overrides these individualistic values, leading them to become more placating to their friends and family. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation at times for this sensitive type, even when surrounded by people they love and are familiar with.

However, this gregarious, friendly and affectionate type tends to be popular and much-loved by many people. Like ENFPs, they are fun-loving, and they adore people, and genuinely wish to understand them. They are normally intelligent, honest, energetic, and quick-moving– the latters likely due to Tertiary Extraverted Sensing. They can be great leaders, and are often involved on things like committees. Interestingly, they possess a different kind of intellect than their introverted cousins, INFJs, INFPs, and most NT types– they usually don’t care for leisure reading, whether for entertainment or information, unless it is something they are extremely interested in, or captures their interest immediately. They possess a vast emotional and social intellect, which I admire and respect.

I see this a lot in one of my younger cousins (who, as a minor, shall remain unnamed), one of the few, rare ENFJs I am privileged enough to make the acquaintance of. She is popular with her peers, many friends. Very caring and sweet, close with her ESFP and INTJ sisters. She is also quite athletic (Se-attributed, no doubt, and likely encouraged by an Se-Dom father and older sister), and even helps her older sister’s team by keeping score. Yet, she has a deeper side to her that sometimes raises its head when we play games like “Would You Rather?” or just talk about life, and I suspect this to be her Ni at play, though I think she more commonly uses it to understand and relate to her friends and family. Additionally, she often utilizes a combo of Fe-Se to artistically express herself, which she has gotten to be extremely good at. 🙂

ENFJ Cognitive Functional Stack-Up:

Fe (Extraverted Feeling): Conscious function. They tend to make more decisions with their heart, not their head, and since it’s an Extraverted function, it is consciously concerned about doing what is right for the GROUP’s benefit, not just their own. Dominant and Auxiliary Fe and Fi users are often sweet in nature, being pleasant peace-keepers, and Fe in particular genuinely does not wish to upset that (sometimes delicate) balance of peace between friends and family.

Ni (Introverted iNtuition): Unconscious/subconscious function. This function copilots with Fe, and helps the ENFJ understand people so well– how and why they think the way they do, and how that thinking can affect their behavior, and, finally, how that behavior can affect other people— thus, the whole group that Fe is so concerned with. They easily and internally pick up on small, subtle patterns of behavior that can help them help others in the long run, and give ENFJs a sense that they KNOW what they’re talking about, when advising a person. It also gives them a better read on people– whether or not they’re being lied to, for example. Ni is keen when it comes to subconsciously picking up on what isn’t necessarily trustworthy or provable. They thrive on the unknown, the complex.

Se (Extraverted Sensing): Conscious function. This function applies to the concrete, sensory world around the ENFJ in the here and now, and can easily cause them to be great lovers of aesthetics and physical pleasures, like beauty and great quality food. This is a fascinating balance between Ni and Se, because Ni is often concerned with the beauty of the abstract, whereas Se likes things it can physically sense, feel, smell, taste, etc. ENFJs can be connoisseurs of both Sensing and iNtuition, in this case.

Ti (Introverted Thinking): Unconscious/subconscious function, and the ultimate weakness in the ENFJ’s stack-up (THIS, I would wager, is likely why they *usually* don’t like to read for fun. *Usually*. ). This function helps to internally analyze any information the other functions have collected about, well, anything. But since Ti naturally prefers things like, say, mathematical, psychological, or scientific theories, it is often left unused. However, if balanced sufficiently well with the other functions, Ti can actually help the ENFJ strengthen that Ni gut instinct on those patterns, giving them logical reasons why those patterns exist, and helping the ENFJ form a more solid, well-founded opinion/argument (I know, I know– taboo word for us Feelers 😉 ).

Many passionate, world-changing, and visionary people are ENFJ, and often thrive on change that helps others, and makes the world a better place overall. They are compassionate innovators– usually people who want to make a positive difference. Even if it means helping bit-by-bit— because they know it will have a domino effect– by just putting a smile on someone’s face or making their load lighter. They are givers and helpers by nature. Even the ones who have turned to the “dark side,” often have their “moral reasons” for manipulating others, claiming it will benefit all involved, but fortunately, these unhealthy and more controlling ENFJs are relatively few and far in between the healthy, genuinely caring ones.

Overall, ENFJs are normally sweet, outgoing, passionate, understanding, supportive,  giving people who are fun to be around– but may need an occasional nudge for self-care.

Famous/Historical ENFJs: Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Jennifer Lawrence, Dakota Fanning, Maya Angelou, Reese Witherspoon, Andy Griffith

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Sources:

https://www.personalityclub.com/blog/famous-enfj/

https://www.ranker.com/list/historical-figures-meyers-briggs-types/genevieve-carlton

https://www.typeinmind.com/feni/

https://www.personalitypage.com/html/ENFJ.html

https://www.psychologyjunkie.com/2018/10/14/5-big-differences-between-enfjs-and-esfjs/

Martin Luther King Jr. as leader: A TED Talks playlist