INFP: I’m Nicole F*ckin’ Pirshafiey!

This topic wasn’t planned. I wasn’t looking for it. It came to me like a bus in the street…or the woman who changes the flowers at our desert house.

Oh dear. Starting a post with a super obscure Christopher Walken quote is probably a bad sign, but what the hell. Okay, sheesh, let’s get to the point already!

Thanks to Amber West (a blogger I must INSIST you start following on the regular), I’ve been thinking about my Myers-Briggs personality type quite a bit. I’m all about self-reflection and “know thyself,” and it’s interesting to explore how my type has changed since I started therapy and had my fun little identity crisis last year.

I’d always been typed as an Extrovert, and I was generally an Extroverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging (ENTJ) type. Which, in a sense, was true: my behavior back then exhibited all those classic ENTJ traits of being “self-driven, motivating, energetic, assertive, confident, and competitive.”

But that was just the mask I wore, the brash and over-confident bossypants who was frontin’ a whole hell of a lot to try and be something she wasn’t. And now that I’m settling down into who I really am and reconnecting with that quiet, pensive, observant girl that I’d squashed down like a Chinese foot-binder for so long, it’s a whole new ballgame.

For the biggest change in my personality type, allow me to direct you once again to Amber’s musings on her personality type for this little gem: “I also get along with most everyone I meet, but I have very few close friends – or at least friends that really know me. Friends, for example, that aren’t shocked to find out that I am not an extrovert.”

Well slap my ass and call me Moses. (No, wait, please don’t. Don’t do either of those things.) That’s totally me! To be totally honest, this is something I’m actively working on, in that more of my friends know the real me. But I’ve also cut that number way, way, way down. I used to be a social butterfly, flitting from one event to the next and coming home completely exhausted. I’d go into hermit mode to recharge my batteries, but until recently, I didn’t know that wasn’t something true extroverts had to do. In fact, that’s a hallmark of being an introvert.

Introvert: not just for shy people anymore!     (via funnylittleduck)

And realizing that I’m actually an introvert has opened my eyes for a lot more self-discovery. I nodded along with this description so hard my head almost rolled off:

INFPs never seem to lose their sense of wonder. One might say they see life through rose-colored glasses. It’s as though they live at the edge of a looking-glass world where mundane objects come to life, where flora and fauna take on near-human qualities. INFP children often exhibit this in a ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ fashion, switching from reality to fantasy and back again. With few exceptions, it is the NF child who readily develops imaginary playmates (as with Anne of Green Gables’s “bookcase girlfriend”–her own reflection) and whose stuffed animals come to life like the Velveteen Rabbit and the Skin Horse. —

Honestly, the more I research INFPs, the brighter the lightbulb over my head is getting. It’s just a series of AHA! Moments. Softspot for underdogs? Check. Tendency to get distracted while doing projects? Yep. Chronic daydreamer and imaginary friend-haver? That’s me!

In fact, I’m going to make a big fat confession: I still play pretend. All the time. When I’m driving, when I’m home alone, when I’m hiking by myself…I’m always spinning yarns and imagining people with me, and it’s always been this secret thing that I’ve felt weird and guilty about. I remember hearing Freddy Prinze Jr. admit that he still plays make-believe on a talk show once, and it was SUCH a relief; maybe I wasn’t some schizophrenic freak who didn’t want to live in the real world after all! When I was a kid, I would “go to bed early” so I could have more time to play. I would stay up until all hours of the night acting out these elaborate scenarios: sometimes I was a Russian noble, or a maid in a ritzy hotel (very proto-Downton Abbey if I do say so myself), or having a torrid love affair with Billy Boyd (I had a really long and possibly still ongoing crush on everyone in the Lord of the Rings movies, deal with it).

Books hug SO GOOD.
If make-believe hugs are wrong, I don’t wanna be right. (via infp forum)

I think that’s part of what makes me a decent writer. Lots of novelists are INFPs, because it’s so easy for them to lose themselves in the worlds and characters they create. Um, hello, that is my life. Also, the major goal of a lot of INFPeople is to make the world a better place. The only reason I want to write comedy is to make people laugh, to bring as much delight to as many people as I can. My friend Scott recently asked me to describe myself in 100 words the other day (and I panicked because OMG ONLY 100 WORDS HAVE YOU MET ME), but one of the things I knew I had to include was that making people laugh is what gives me the most pleasure out of everything. It’s the truest thing about me, and it’s remarkably soothing to recognize why it’s so important to me. I don’t feel like quite such an outsider. I found my Bumblebee Paradise with my fellow INFPs, and damn if it doesn’t feel amazing (but seriously, if that song/video isn’t the INFP anthem, I don’t know what is).

So, that’s who I am. I’m an INFP.  I’m Nicole F-ing Pirshafiey, and you can be too! (Just kidding. Don’t do that. Be you. Find yourself. Go. Fight. WIN!)

Ending this post with an obscure Pixar quote: better or worse than the opening reference? Discuss.

Also, if you’re curious about your own type, then I am also curious and I’d love to know what your result is! Why, what’s this? A handy little link to a Jungian and Myers-Briggs personality test, right here in this very post about Myers-Briggs personality types? Goodness gracious me!


14 thoughts on “INFP: I’m Nicole F*ckin’ Pirshafiey!

  1. “having a torrid love affair with Billy Boyd…”


    At this point it should go without saying, but so did I.

    The thing that continues to amaze me is that there is a lot of variety in the INFP world – we don’t all manifest the same – and yet you keep saying the words that are in my brain.

    I actually got a little teary reading this and thinking, “it’s like she’s writing ME”.

    I have to stop now. Because I can’t even handle this.

    1. Nicole Mojan Pirshafiey

      I am still Kermit-flailing over this. 2SPOOKY4ME. This whole “we are actually the same person” thing is starting to be more plausible than it should be. And I’m well-napped now, so it’s not even the delirium talking!

  2. Nicole, I totally feel where you’re coming from. I think I’ve always thought of myself as introverted, but it was always weird because in high school, I was so used to being extroverted. I had a big circle of friends (but then high school makes it easy to maintain a large sphere of friendships/acquaintances) and was involved in so many things. So as I’ve gotten older, it’s felt weird not having that, and for a long time, I kept wondering if there was something wrong with me – if I just wasn’t trying hard enough or putting myself out there enough, if I was being too lazy to go out and be involved and make friends – especially when some of my closest friends are very extroverted. Even now, sometimes, I feel like I’m flaking out on them or letting them down by not being up for social activities. It also doesn’t help that I think on one level my friends know I’m introverted but I think they also expect me to be more extroverted than I am. (I was a Psych major and we did a whole section about self-perception vs. outside perception in my Personality psych class; and I scored myself as introverted, but most of my friends scored me as more extroverted. That’s probably because I present extroverted when I’m with them.)

    On the other hand, understanding what being introverted really means (the whole – you can do extroverted things but need the solitary recharge time) has been really enlightening. I just wish our extrovert-favoring society understood it better too. It’d be easier to explain to friends and family why I need ME time, haha. In any case, I come out INFP sometimes but the test I took just now says I’m ISFJ. I like the Meyers-Briggs, and it’s the traditional personality psych test, but I discovered the Enneagram personality test during late college. And omg, Nicole, the description under the Type I scored as was the most accurate personality test description I’ve ever had. It was crazy.

    ANYWAY, sorry for writing this wall of text. Introverted writers for the win! Glad you’re doing better. 🙂

    1. Nicole Mojan Pirshafiey

      I cannot believe how similar our stories are! The funny thing I’m noticing is that lots of my online friends know just what I’m talking about, because we’re all tucked away in our little safe spaces and socializing from there, which is perfect for us introverts! We can turn it on and off, walk away and come back to emails later…can’t do that in person without looking like a straight-up wackadoo. “Sorry your smalltalk is stressing me out, I’m going to go for a quick walk to mull it over, brb.” Yikes, can you even imagine? Plus, it’s not like we’re going to find many kindred spirits at da club, so it makes sense that we’re all finding each other from the comfort of our own homes! 😀

      1. Oh god, do I hate small talk! There is SO MUCH pressure. I never know what to say to continue the conversation, resulting in various kinds of awkward pauses.

        Also, yes! I totally noticed that about my online friends too. I talk about introverted people problems and so many of them GET ME. It’s a relief and a comfort! The internet has been good to us.

  3. Bev

    Ok, so I took the test just to see if anything had changed in the last twent–coughcough–or so years since I first took it (Tell me, Dearie, is that handsome Mr. Reagan still president? No? He’s what? For how long? Oh my.). Anyway, nope, still a rock solid INTJ. Which surprises no one as it conforms with the result of the first internet personality test I took: Galen’s Humor Me–I’m Phlegmatic, with just a touch of Black Bile.

    Here’s my new personality assessment: Star Trek Next Generation Combinations, Ideal vs Real. Although I wish I were the wise and fierce love child of Boothby and K’Ehleyr, I am actually the awkward and prune-ish byproduct of an ill-advised liaison between Lt. Barclay and Dr. Pulaski. Oh, well, at least I’m not Wesley…

        1. Bev

          No way, Ripley!!! My life is complete. I also like how I can reenact Silence of the Lambs all by myself. I wish I had the ovaries of Ro Laren (metaphorically, not in a Hannibal the Cannibal way); I’d never have the nerve to sass Jean Luc.

    1. Nicole Mojan Pirshafiey

      WESLEYS REPRESENT! It makes sense that the first crush I ever had was on a sensitive brown-eyed dreamer. *little girl swoons*

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