If I take the concept of Service from D/s and apply it in a Christian sense to my fellow humans, just how much friction can I remove…and if I learn to glide effortlessly through the world and through life, what joys will it bring? Can one wish to leave no wake? Could leaving no wake be the greatest legacy of all? Insights from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Test.
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation whatsoever with Myers-Briggs or any other testing methodology. One of the advantages of this particular test is how universal it is—so many people have taken it and understand it.
In a previous post, I mused on the significance of how our profiles might change during our lives—perhaps as we grow as people and come more fully into ourselves. In a way, one might wonder if there is a such thing as an aspirational path. I certainly know that I am “pleased” with what I have become as my profile has changed, as each change in profile has coincided with a watershed change in my life…all of which, have been good.
Indeed, there may be some level of conscious choice in this. My mother remarried a man who had the INTP profile, and she delighted in elucidating all of the ways that her love match and I had the same profile [blogged about here]. Whether this was laced with any of the weirdness [described here] that characterized her sexualisation of me is another matter. I respected my stepfather a great deal. I loved his intellect, his critical mind, his unique way of considering with seriousness any topic discussed. You could always count on him for insightful commentary.
But over the years, I also found him stuck. Stuck in his introspection. And I found there to be a coldness to the world, which at times came out mean. And these too, are aspects of the INTP profile, and ones which I did not wish to retain. And I wonder if having a negative role model in this sense allows us to step up past the admiration and grow.
This topic of personality types came up at family dinner recently, and funnily enough, it was our children who thought the concept of a personality test as somewhat silly. My SO, on the other hand, has long enjoyed the idea that she and I have the same type. You would never know it on meeting us…but also, mine has changed—hers has not.
INFP (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving)—The Idealist
As I write this today, my profile is that of the INFP. The shorthand for this profile is The Idealist. These are the defining characteristics of the INFP:
- The world is lived first internally, where we process things by how we feel about them. When we look at the external world, intuition is the driving approach.
- We are focussed on making the world a better place, and our primary goal is to find our meaning in life. (I mean, too true, right?). Our life quest is to find out how to serve humanity best in our lives. We are perfectionists, and drive ourselves very hard, setting high standards for the self in relation to our goals.
- We are highly intuitive about people, and filter everything in relation to our fundamental goal of helping people and making the world a better place.
- We are good listeners and put people at ease—people like to talk to us because of our genuine interest in hearing, and this makes us valued friends and confidantes.
- We do not like conflict and take great lengths to avoid it. Conflict is felt not understood, and place little importance on who is right or wrong, but rather focus on what it feels like to be in conflict. While this may make us seemingly irrational in our own conflicts, we make excellent mediators in the conflicts of others.
- We are very flexible and laid back unless our values are threatened. In this case we are fiercely protective as values are lived as “causes.”
- We are perfectionists, quite hard on ourselves, and often do not give ourselves credit. We struggle at times to work in groups because of the high importance we place on ideals, perfectionism, and frustration that others might not be as serious.
- This profile is associated with writers, social workers, counsellors, and teachers, and some of the great humanists have been INFPs.
This is eerily accurate. At work, my profile has most recently been that of the ENFP. I highlight only a couple of points from that profile, which stand out. The ENFP is The Inspirer:
- Lives in the world of possibilities
- Sees meaning in everything, and seeks to align everything with their values, and that everything we do is about walking in step with these values, and a continuous quest to achieve inner peace
- We often struggle with follow-through on our projects
- The details of life can be seen as drudgery, too mundane, and this can be one of the sources of frustration for us as well as those who rely on us.
Also eerily accurate and included because the scoring between I/E is so tight, and appears to be situational.
What does this mean?
Well, I don’t know whether anyone has done studies on D/s and personality profiles, but I see a lot of submission in the INFP profile. Or at least very fertile grounds for it. And as I think back about aspects of my career [reflected upon here], I can’t help but note that the bosses who coaxed the greatest performance out of me, to the woman (because they were all women), were those who instilled in me a sense of purpose about our work.
And, as a CEO, I have had the sense to find a strong PA each time, who have truly run me—managing my diary, telling me where to be and when, giving frequent reminders, and really keeping me on task. In a way, they have been given permission to dominate.
In this lies a lesson for all of us. If we know what we are weak at, the people we surround ourselves with are best when they compensate for our weaknesses. As a core lesson in leadership, it is the wise leader who surrounds him/herself with people who are challenging, but who also have skills which are deeper and greater than our own—and this holds true for traits as well.
You will not be surprised to learn that the N/F combination—intuition (trusting your gut) v. the more practical sensing (being practical based on observed fact) and feeling v. thinking, are traits that are more commonly found in women. Indeed, “female intuition” is built on these traits. When I look back at my career and success in life, I would attribute a good deal of it to these two aspects of my profile—a willingness to walk in the shoes of others has stead me well.
INTJ and ENTJ—The Two Rarest Types for Women
Just 1% and 2%, respectively, of all women are either of these two types, making them the rarest profiles for women. Some speculate that this is in part the result of how female children are raised. The INTJ is known as The Mastermind. Both profiles are associated with being assertive, strategic, and analytical. The ENTJ is known as The Commander.
You would not be surprised to know that these profiles are most commonly associated with CEO’s and business leaders. Do you see yourself in this? These are some of the salient points:
- Natural born leaders, with charisma and confidence, naturally projecting authority in a way that draws people in. They are driven, determined, and sharp.
- They can also be sharp and intimidating.
- They love a challenge, and believe, given the time and resources, that they can overcome any obstacle. They have extraordinary will power, and this determination is often a self-fulfilling prophesy.
- These profiles respect people who stand up to them intellectually. This is particularly useful in building winning teams, because these people are naturally comfortable leading strong personalities too, so will typically surround themselves with strong, outspoken people.
- They cultivate an image of being larger than life, and often they are.
- Where such leaders can come unstuck is when they fail to regulate the potential for insensitivity, or when they fail to recognise the contributions of their teams. Those that have the sensitivity to overcome these potential pitfalls are primed for great things.
- These people are typically very long-term focussed, and goal oriented. They will invest heavily in personal relationships but are also equally likely to “fish or cut bait” when they see a dead end. They are extremely growth-oriented, and often view criticism as the most efficient path to achieve this.
- Both of these profiles thrive on strategic planning, setting long-range goals, and meticulously working out how to achieve them. They are natural leaders, thrive on making decisions, and excel at rationalising the world around them. They are also excellent big picture thinkers.
I am not at all surprised that Mistress is this rare profile. She exudes it. I wonder how many other Dominatrixes possess this profile? Ladies, if you are out there, please let me know.
On a very practical level, this goes some way to explaining why it feels so natural to submit to someone given my profile and given hers. It just fits.
In the world of D/s, one of the most important parts of self-expression is this concept of Service. Indeed, I am discovering that one of the most fundamental ways I express Love is through Service. Finding ways to Serve is in itself an act of Love. D/s is a rarefied world. It represents a tiny proportion of reality, but puts things into hyper-focus.
In my life, and when I think about why I am doing all of this right now–therapy, submission, etc. as I contemplate a change in career, a renewed focus on goals, my desire to “play for keeps” in terms of embarking on a final chapter of life where I have a stated goal of leaving a legacy, it all fits. It fits very neatly with the personality profile, suggesting that it is an existential need. Similarly, this idea of needing a boss [blogged about here] as a way to help ensure that I don’t let my own failings get ahead of me also fits perfectly.
One could conclude that on a superficial level, this desire for submission, is a perfect reflection of both personality type and of Lifestage. One could also reflect that the profile of the person I have asked to accept my submission is perfectly suited to play this role.
What do I say? Good things happen for a reason. What else? Successfully achieving in this final chapter is so important to me that I am pulling out all the stops–but know on all levels that the ultimate responsibility for success (and failure) lies with me, within me, and not with anyone else.