For the past 11 years, I’ve been receiving advertising emails from a pizza shop located 975 miles from my house. I don’t even really notice the emails anymore; when they hit my inbox, I delete them without opening. Being that I live south of Pittsburgh, it’s irrelevant to me what pizza specials are running at a local chain in Kissimmee, Florida.
But I won’t unsubscribe.
Each time I delete one of those emails, an 11 year-old memory flickers into the back of my subconscious, triggering the singularly exciting emotions of my Disney World honeymoon. It reverts my psyche to a specific warm October evening my wife and I spent at our oversized Floridian condo, sitting on our patio overlooking the pool, enjoying an excellent dinner of Bud Light Lime and pizza topped with pepperoni, onions, and the inimitable elation of having been married for three whole days. Those honeymoon feelings are a singular breed, at least in their original, pure, unbridled form; quickly existing, then pasted in the mind’s scrapbook of once-in-a-lifetime sentiments. They deserve to be treasured.
Last week I took an online personality test. Not the “What Breaking Bad Character Are YOU?” type from Facebook that shoots malware into your phone and tells you that, duh, obviously, you’re Saul Goodman, but an actual test designed on the well-accepted Myers-Briggs personality types. Taking the test only required a few minutes and was pretty straightforward, not unlike the repetitious assessments you sometimes find in horrendous job applications for large companies trying to decipher how consistently you answer questions when they are rephrased 15 different ways.
The assessment ascribed me with a personality type it claims is descriptive of less than 1% of the population: INJF-T, the Turbulent Advocate type from the Diplomat group. Fellow INJF-T notables include MLK Jr., Mother Theresa, Marie Kondo, and… Jon Snow?
For the sake of as much brevity as possible, this type is characterized as follows:
Introverted, intuitive, feeling-based, and turbulent. Emotionally-charged, yet capable of concrete decision-making and mindful rationality. Efforts that involve feeling, passion, creativity, and result in helping people or making a difference to them are more interesting than mundane, repetitive work. “Nothing lights up Advocates like creating a solution that changes people’s lives.” A talent for warm language built on emotion that people enjoy reading, making an effective writer and communicator. Often overstressed and exhausted because of a determination to put others before themselves. Easily provoked. Insightful, inspiring, decisive. Determined and passionate. Extremely private, perfectionistic to a detrimental level, and capable of burning out easily. Should be their own boss, but are quite popular as colleagues, both because of their character and their ability to help others work better.
That’s all great. Basically I’m a wildly flowing river of emotional intensity that constantly needs filtered and panned for gold, which I then get excited about and act upon with efficiency and effectiveness. Nifty!
As complicated and somewhat contradictory as the type sounds, it’s a very accurate description, and a combination of traits I’m proud to possess. What I found doubly accurate was their take on the INFJ-T’s attitude towards romantic relationships:
Not ones for casual encounters, people with the Advocate personality type instead look for depth and meaning in their relationships. Advocates will take the time necessary to find someone with whom they truly connect. Once they’ve found that someone, their relationships will reach a level of depth and sincerity of which most people can only dream. Advocates create a depth to their relationships that can hardly be described in conventional terms. Relationships with Advocates are not for the uncommitted or the shallow.
…I guess that’s why I won’t unsubscribe.