Who Am I? Who Are YOU?

I was a Christian for 20 years and without it,

Who am I?

Answering that question is a bit complicated because it’s some combination of nature and nurture. I’ve studied my socialpsychobiological makeup ad nauseum (LOL) and what I find most helpful to me at this moment is studying personality theory to give me an idea about how I’m different from other people. This has been helpful in terms of accepting myself as I am.

Of particular interest is psychologist Carl Gustav Jung‘s theory on cognitive functions (the way we perceive and judge the world). Using his theory two personality indicators (Myers-Briggs/MBTI and Socionics) have stood out to me the most. Through testing I find that my personality most closely aligns with INFP type (The Dreamer/Healer/Mediator, yada yada) in the MBTI:

The theme for the INFP is advocacy and integrity.

Talents lie in helping people clarify issues, values, and identity.

Support anything that allows the unfolding of the person. Encourage growth and development with quiet enthusiasm.

Loyal advocates and champions, caring deeply about their causes and a few special people.

Interested in contemplating life’s mysteries, virtues, and vices in their search for wholeness.

Thrive on healing conflicts, within and between, and taking people to the center of themselves.

(Please no jokes about my liking to take people to the center of myself. Perverts.)

My type is also the EII-INFj (Ethical Intuitive Introvert) in Socionics (the description is too long to post so if you are interested you can find it here).

Upon deconversion my personality seemed to have changed, but I see now that my core self remained the same, however I’ve began using my cognitive functions in a different order, thus perpetuating emotional growth and making me a more balanced person.

Here are the cognitive functions I use in order of preference as an INFP (basically, what comes most to least naturally):

  1.  Introverted Ethics (in short known as “Fi”)
    Considering values, importance, beliefs and worth.
    This is how I make decisions. It allows me to get to the true essence of a person and to also tell if someone is being fake. It helps me to understand complex emotional states in myself and others that others often can’t sort through. It also explains why I’m always self-referencing (ha!) Other personality types often interpret this as self-absorption and devalue it because they sometimes use this function very poorly 😛
  2. Extroverted Intuiting (Ne)
    Interpreting situations and relationships and pickup meanings and interconnections to other contexts.
    This is how I perceive the outside world and interact with it. It is a brainstorming function which thinks outside-the-box and sees a ton of possibilities that others often don’t see. It continually asks What if? and challenges the status quo. It allows me to see the ideal in myself and others and helps me to be inspired to continually push towards it.
  3. Introverted Sensing (Si)
    Reviewing and recalling past experiences and seeking detailed data. This is how I energize and recharge myself and express my creativity. It is very child-like. Very Quixie like.You can see this as I sort through the massive amount of experiences I’ve had in my fairly short lifetime and allows me to playfully explore my experiences with others. It is also how I’m aware of what is going on in my body and it’s effect on me.
  4. Extroverted Thinking (Te)
    Segmenting, organizing for efficiency, and systematizing.
    This is a weak function of mine, yet still remains in my conscious. I’m harsh with myself that I have not yet mastered this. A person’s “inferior” function generally develops around midlife. Te involves itself with objective truth and allows us to see holes in someone else’s logic. I aspire to be a logical planner, but I’m not quite there yet.

The next four cognitive functions are my “shadow” functions, which often have a negative unconscious affect on one’s psyche. I believe during my deconversion process I become conscious of these functions and have tried to more positively integrate them into my life.

  1.  Extroverted Ethics (Fe)
    Connecting and considering others in the group.
    Well, I’m not sure if that’s the best description because I have a history of slaying my own desires for the needs of the group and I’m known for being considerate, but I think the point here is that I value individuality over conformity and that while I have an extreme desire to fit in it takes quite a great deal of my energy to try to do so. I suspect most people comfortable in church are Fe users and lack of this function is why I was out of church for so long before deconverting. I’m using this function more in a positive way as I’m connecting with others through the WordPress community.
  2. Introverted Intuiting (Ni)
    Foreseeing implications, transformations, and likely effects
    . This is known as my “critical parent role” and I have to admit that this is where I’m most likely to be arrogant and judgmental of others. I look down on others who don’t have enough insight into their own lives to see what is just so obvious to me about the implications of their actions. I think this is why people often come to me for advise. I get super pissed, though, when they don’t heed my advice and I end up being right about the negative outcome of their actions. I’m learning to be more patient and allow others to make their own mistakes. Additionally, I have nearly zero ability to use Ni on my own life so I have no right to judge.
  3. Extroverted Sensing (Se)
    Experiencing and acting in the immediate context.
    I am in my head a lot and believe that there is always more than meets the eye, so it is very hard for me to trust my senses only. I don’t completely agree with the typical atheist’s need to see tangible evidence in order to believe in God. The fact very slow at both processing information that is not feelings-based and poor at making quick decisions shows that I’m naturally week in this function. I often get very flustered when pressed to give an immediate answer or while in a live debate. Also, because I’m often not aware of my environment this tends to my being a poor housekeeper and also makes me very clumsy (which I often laugh at myself over). I’m using this function to channel my inner athlete and am pursing using it through roller derby.
  4. Introverted Thinking (Ti)
    Analyzing, categorizing, and evaluating according to principles.
    What’s involved in this is taking items apart and figuring out how they work. It’s also an analytical problem-solving function. While my individual ethics (Fi) helped me to realize religion did not align with my values, and thus started the deconversion process, I began actually using this Ti function for the first time in my life as I was deconverting. Oh, and this function is what helps a person get to the point. I’m not known for being blunt (so says she with now over 1,100 words in this post ;-)).

Regardless of the validity of personality typing I think looking at and understanding the cognitive functions can help us to understand what our natural preferences are. It has very clearly helped me to understand myself and thus helped me not give as much of a shit over trying to be something I’m not.

So, take a personality test and tell me what you think about it.

If you want to do MBTI click on at least one of these links (which should open up in a new window):

16 personalities


My Personality Test


Then, if you are really interested and have the time,take a look on the cognitive functions website to see the order of cognitive functions they say you use. Do you agree? Or are they totally off (those bastards!)

If you want to take a Socionics test click here. It’s a bit different from MBTI but uses the same concept of cognitive functions and, in my case, describes me more accurately than the MBTI descriptions.

Phew. Okay, now that I’ve written about it I can stop my obsession. Oh, except I might obsess now over yours. It never ends. Sigh.

So what’s your sign? I mean type? 😉


13 thoughts on “Who Am I? Who Are YOU?

  1. INTJ

    OK, so I geek out about this stuff too, so I went through this site https://www.16personalities.com/intj-personality and yeah, as with previous descriptions of INTJ I’ve read, that’s pretty much me. 🙂 Enjoy improving my mind, hard-working, self-confident, dislike rigid structure/bureaucracy, independent and often prefer to work alone (or with a competent trusted partner or two), reject what the crowd is doing if it seems stupid (constantly questioning the status quo), not prone to peer pressure, clueless in dating, dislike small-talk, too often impatient with others who don’t operate or see things the way I do, … the list goes on.

    The one thing that doesn’t quite fit: This description makes it sound like INTJs are pretty insensitive to others’ feelings. While my bent is definitely to trust reason much more than emotion, I think I’m more empathetic to others’ feelings (and suffering) than perhaps the typical INTJ is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Another geek. Maybe it’s an introverted intuiting thing? 😉

      “The Architect” Cool! DId you see the bottom of the description page where it lists other INTJs avatars? Like Arnold S, Putin, Michelle Obama, Nietzche, Gandalf, etc. Pretty rad!

      I sure disagree with their assessment as your type being insensitive to others’ feelings. There is just no way that could be based on my interactions with you. I’m pretty sure my brother-in-law is an INTJ and he can sometimes come across as insensitive but he actually cares very deeply and just doesn’t know how to handle his very sentimental emotions.

      I’ve heard a lot of negative stereotypes about INFPs. Like they are self-absorbed cry babies who can’t think logically. Ha. I think the biggest thing I would disagree with in the description of my type is that I am a thinker and people who describe me as such, more so than a dreamer. I also don’t like fantasy novels and stories and emo music. Ha.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Not sure if this is the same test. But a few years back I had undertaken a detailed test and ended up with the following:

    Keirsey Character Sorter Results – Guardian Protector ISFJ

    “We are lucky that Protectors make up as much as ten percent the population, because their primary interest is in the safety and security of those they care about – their family, their circle of friends, their students, their patients, their boss, their fellow-workers, or their employees. Protectors have an extraordinary sense of loyalty and responsibility in their makeup, and seem fulfilled in the degree they can shield others from the dirt and dangers of the world. Speculating and experimenting do not intrigue Protectors, who prefer to make do with time-honored and time-tested products and procedures rather than change to new. At work Protectors are seldom happy in situations where the rules are constantly changing, or where long-established ways of doing things are not respected. For their part, Protectors value tradition, both in the culture and in their family. Protectors believe deeply in the stability of social ranking conferred by birth, titles, offices, and credentials. And they cherish family history and enjoy caring for family property, from houses to heirlooms.

    Wanting to be of service to others, Protectors find great satisfaction in assisting the downtrodden, and can deal with disability and neediness in others better than any other type. They are not as outgoing and talkative as the Provider Guardians [ESFJs], and their shyness is often misjudged as stiffness, even coldness, when in truth Protectors are warm-hearted and sympathetic, giving happily of themselves to those in need. They are not a talkative as the Providers, except with close friends and relatives. With these, however, they can chat tirelessly, and for as long as it takes to cover in minute detail everything concrete in their lives.

    Their reserve ought really to be seen as an expression of their sincerity and seriousness of purpose. The most diligent of all the types, Protectors are willing to work long, hard hours quietly doing all the thankless jobs that others manage to avoid. They have a highly developed puritan work ethic, which tells them work is good, and play must be earned-if indulged in at all. They are the least hedonistic of all types. Protectors are quite happy working alone; in fact, in positions of authority they may try to do everything themselves rather than direct others to get the job done. Thoroughness and frugality are also virtues for them. When Protectors undertake a task, they will complete it if humanly possible. They also know better than any other type the value of a dollar, and they abhor the squandering or misuse of money. To save, to put something aside against an unpredictable future, to prepare for emergencies-these are actions near and dear to the Protector’s heart. For all these reasons, Protectors are frequently overworked, just as they are frequently misunderstood and undervalued. Their contributions, and also their economies, are often taken for granted, and they rarely get the gratitude they deserve.

    They are unlikely to seek positions of leadership since they may feel uncomfortable in the lime-light. They are often seen as the people who do whatever is necessary to keep things running smoothly. They do their best to prevent problems. Like the Provider, they can be attracted to fields in medicine, education or social service. In business, positions that combine some type of social interface with time alone are best for them. If they choose technical positions, they prefer ones with at least some independence, such as electrician, or photographer. Says Patrick, “I was attracted to portrait photography because I am able to help people look their best and celebrate significant times in their lives. I take time to create the best portrait I can.”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Obviously I totally identify with this post, also being an INFP. I wanted to tell you that in my own unique way I feel your pain with your departure from organized religion. I have a long painful story I have not shared but I see the parallels in our stories in some ways. The loss is painful, I hope you are finding ways to heal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope to hear your story someday if you ever feel safe to share it. I’ve found so much healing by blogging about it and finding fellow deconverts here on WordPress. They’ve been amazing support and have helped keep me sane.

      Oh, and go INFPs! Wahoo ;-D


  4. Wow can’t type lol I’m an INFP as well (sometimes that changes to an INFJ) but I get the religion thing, I started breaking away years ago but didn’t realize it until a couple months ago and it’s been a journey. All the best!


  5. I’m an ISFJ. This comment will probably be lost to time, I’m very late to the party. It’s been ages since I took the personality test, and while still an ISFJ, it’s interesing how my percentages have altered on the mood of the day.

    Liked by 1 person

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About Quixie

Hi! I go by "Quixie." Quixie is a shortened version of "quixotic," which means: "exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical." It's how I described my evangelical Christian faith when I started blogging 7 years ago. Now I'm an agnostic atheist who is trying to find a balance between idealism and reality. I write about my mental health journey with bipolar disorder, my loss of faith (deconversion), parenting teens, reading, exercise/health, work-life, and my marriage separation/divorce.