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An INFJ with Fibromyalgia

by | 22 Jun 2018 | Fibromyalgia | 16 comments

Estimated reading time:
5 minutes
Word count:
1020
Updated Date:
Aug 18, 2020
I have been interested in personality types for many years after sitting the first ones over twenty years ago in a workplace. In this post, I am going to concentrate on the results as defined in the Myers Briggs testing. You can do a quick free test on the 16 Personalities website. I have done various tests at different points in my life over the last decade, and I have always come out as an INFJ even if some of my answers have changed slightly. The tightest answer is my J which is only around 3 per cent above the T. For any of you who do not know what these initial mean they stand for Introversion, Intuition, Feeling and Judging. All personality types are made up of the combinations of Introversion-Extraversion: Intuition-Sensing: Feeling-Thinking: Judging-Perceiving. My combination INFJ exists in about 1% of the population which certainly explains why I (and many other people with this type) often report feeling they are different to everyone in various situations.

My experience of being an INFJ

I’d like to share with you a few tidbits of my life that I think is driven by my personality. First, the saying why re-invent the wheel was not created by an INFJ. The way I see it is if people don’t reinvent the wheel we wouldn’t have development or the creation of new things.

Interests

Experiencing diverse tastes. Let’s take music as an example at any one time I could choose to listen to any of the following genres: Pop, Rock, Crossover, Classical, Choral or Opera. It is not as straightforward as I like any music because within every type there is music I enjoy and very much don’t. I have expansive tastes too when it comes to watching TV/Films and reading books. I can throw myself into my interests like crafting and genealogy and struggle to switch between them unless it is my natural rhythm to do so.

People

I can spend time addressing a large group of people confidently (as long as I believe the message I am delivering) but I am not an extrovert and need to spend some time in my own company afterwards to get my energy back. I dislike large parties unless there are people there I have known forever. I can absolutely dread a social occasion but enjoy it once I get there as long as I have some quality conversation.

Politics

I find it difficult to be loyal to a political party, I firmly believe in a few policies of many of the parties, but at the same time, they all have ideas that don’t sit right with me. As soon as a party doesn’t deliver what they have promised (all of them who have been in power are guilty of this at different times), I find it hard to trust them again without a significant change of personnel.
Living Creatively with Fibro | Probably an INFJ statements reading I'm different and an image of two brown ducks and one yellow

How being an INFJ affects my Fibro

Before my Fibromyalgia got to the point I could no longer class myself as reliable for work; I had a perfect job for an INFJ I was a work coach in a Jobcentre. I loved helping people to realise their potential and when someone didn’t have their heart in it digging below the surface to work out why. Before this, I spend time as a school teacher, another recommended INFJ career.

Raise Awareness

In the early days, within about a month of getting the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, I created this blog. The reality was I had developed a condition that I had scarcely heard of and the majority of people I knew, including my colleagues at work, were not aware. So it seemed obvious to me to find a way to help raise awareness. My logic being if I have to go through this I may as well use it as a teaching project.

Emotional Pain

The most significant and painful side effect of being an INFJ with Fibromyalgia is when my symptoms flare-up due to emotional triggers. I recently wrote about How Emotions Impact Fibro following a roller coaster weekend. The Intuition and Feeling elements of my personality allow (or even force) me to be incredibly empathetic.  Empathy can affect me when I am merely watching something on the TV, and I feel like I am really going through it with the character. The emotion is far more profound in real life, as an example, I went to a friends funeral recently. I was sad for the loss of this person in everyone’s life; I was also sad because my time calling this Church my second home is no more. Tragically the daughter of the departed is pregnant and when face to face with her (who was being amazingly brave) my heart just poured over. I find it very hard, if not impossible to hold back my emotions at these times. The stiff upper lip is another saying that is not made for INFJ’s.

I rarely cry for me

Interestingly enough it is scarce I get upset for myself though. Scared yes, especially about medical procedures. I can count on one hand the times I have cried for myself rather than for someone else’s situation. The last time was when I had a little wobble when I was in the hospital (October 2016), and that was probably more linked to fear of the unknown than feeling sorry for myself. The previous occasion was on honeymoon (June 2015), and I talked about that in the Fibromyalgia and Weddings post.

I recently discovered that Kim Johnson of I tripped over a stone is also an INFJ with Fibromyalgia. Because of the rare nature of this personality type, I would love to know if there are any other spoonie INFJ’s out there and how your personality affects your health. Drop a comment below!

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