INFJ….Life and a Workshop

Larry and I have the opportunity of once again working with a great group of folks. They are going through some corporate change so we proposed a workshop on Managing Change and Stress. We have worked with them many times before. As the INFJ of our team I naturally jump to the question of “What can we do that won’t be boring for them?” Larry should have run kicking and screaming from the room about this point because imbedded in that question the iNtuitive part of me starting to get excited about possibilities ” It’s the energizing part for me when life is in balance but when life starts to unravel…

(warning …this life contains scenes of violence and may not be suitable for all members of the viewing audience!).

Life Scenes:
• Son gets learner’s license – bet you already knew that boys don’t learn to drive the same way as girls
• House floods – two plumbers, lots of holes in drywall, new flooring in bedroom, lots of painting later, still can’t park my car in garage because that’s where we set up the painting station
• Province announces upgrade to their computer system – attend two days training out of town. All good news but meanwhile the current system is not functioning very well and staff is getting increasingly frustrated.
• Migraines kick in for me and Cluster headaches for associate.
• Unplanned trip to Kelowna to Western Canadian Bodybuilding Championships for my son – want to support son in his passion – did you guess that I don’t do unplanned very well? I mean where exactly in my type does it say “spontaneous”????? But the value of supporting son overrides. High emotional and financial cost.
• Daughter comes home from first year of university – natural adjustment between mother and daughter when both have been used to their own routine.
• Health issue that requires surgery – surgery date unknown
• Son aces his bodybuilding course – proud Mom, is happy that her son is disciplined in his training which includes eating massive amounts of protein, stressed Mom finds the grocery budget is closing in on the range of mortgage payment
• Sudden and unexpected death of a friend
• Health scare – no worries though all is good. Just had to ride the emotional roller coaster first to find out.
• Information about system upgrades is finally being released. Plan training for staff. Great team of strong leaders.
• Spend money on flowers and enjoy the day planting my garden – ahhhh – but the joke is on me, what the new organic fertilizer did not kill, the bunnies and deer ate.
• Mom learns that son has let English and Math slide in favour of Bodybuilding – mmmmrrrhhh mmmmrh, Ok good learning opportunity for son.
•,Daughter has oral surgery that requires general anesthetic

The list above was just some of my triggers. True to type I feel better now that I have written it out, which is one of the ways my type can pull themselves out of “the grip”. So what exactly happens when we are under stress? Well Jung’s observations and consequently Myers- Briggs theory is based on balance within a person’s whole type. The easiest way to explain it is to tease out my preferences in relation to the story above.

INFJ preferences

Ni Introverted INtuition – Dominant
Fe Extroverted Feeling – Auxiliary
T Thinking – Tertiary ( controversy still exists as to whether this would be introverted or extroverted)
Se Extroverted Sensing – Inferior

At my best I will use my introverted iNtuition balanced by my extroverted Feeling. That would be me coming up with possibilities for the upcoming workshop and wanting them to be interesting, informative and fun for all involved. I would be able to draw on my thinking function to analyze the pros and cons of each option and with some stretching balance this with planning out the concrete details of the who, what, when where, how.

As stress begins to build as above I will unconsciously manage my energy by not focusing on the details. As stressors increase I will lose my ability to draw on logic and cling to my two favourite functions of introverted iNtuition and extroverted Feeling. Inside my head it might look something like this: “If I could just come up with the right way to involve everyone, in ways that that they enjoy and in ways that the learn and live up to their potential then everything would be great.” If its pointed out I can sometimes pull out of the spiral here – My chiropractor working on my shoulders saying “Ah I see you are CEO of the Universe” almost unconsciously I push back at the word CEO as being too “Thinking” and I chuckle with awareness and say “Nahh Saviour”. With this arrogance verbalized I am able to reset myself and be present in in my body.

Unfortunately the reset doesn’t always come. For an INFJ once the grandiose introverted iNtuition stops working we jump to our inferior. For me that is extroverted Sensing. Remember this is the least developed function for me. If I can’t control my inner world I guess I will have to control the external world. I might clean or organize or start a project that is way too big to complete on a Saturday afternoon, all while losing track of time. Externally this is nasty, internally my conspiracy theorist has kicked in and my Gremlin is singing “Nobody loves me, everybody hates me I’m going to the garden to eat worms, squishy worms!” OK enough time for a reset…. withdraw to solitude, write, read, slow down and prepare healthy food, get enough sleep, drink clean water, take your vitamins….oh and lighten up a little and have a good laugh with yourself.

So before I make us late for the oral surgeon the moral of the story is:

a) Planning workshops on stress can be dangerous to your health
b) Potato chips are not a food group
c) Yoga, solitude, reading and writing are not luxuries they are life balancing choices
c) Honesty, humility, authenticity, and a sense of humour when you have been in the grip is the only way to go
d) All of the above

Thank you kind readers for bearing with me while I bare my soul. I sure have some great material for our upcoming workshop on managing change and stress!

Susan Rintoul
Believe & Succeed Life Coaching

This entry was posted in Assessments, Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Coaching, Communication, Human resources, Life coaching, Managing stress, MBTI, Myers-Briggs, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, organizational change, Relationships, Retirement, Training and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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