While there is no question that I love making music, it’s a part of who I am, I find that some aspects of music making conflict with my personality. See, I am what is known as an “INFJ,” which apparently is the rarest personality in the world. An “INFJ,” or “introverted, intuitive, feeling, judging” personality is one of sixteen personalities identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. I have taken the Myers-Briggs test many times, from multiple sources since middle school and always ended with the same results; it’s a very fascinating topic. Now as an INFJ musician, here are some personality traits that conflict or conform with being a musician:
Many people are aware of what makes an extrovert or introvert. With being introverted, after a day of interacting with people at work, all I want to do is go home to my own, quiet space. And don’t get me started on networking; it’s a total nightmare. Although, it is much easier to network with friends, especially because networking is really working on relationships. This is also why playing my flute or writing is a much easier than talking to someone I do not really know.
2. Helping Others
INFJ’s tend to want to help others that they encounter, experiencing a lot of different emotions while trying to help others be happy. With music being a powerful tool for dealing with or expressing emotions, playing for others is one way I feel that I can help them, and bring joy to them. Teaching music also builds life skills that can help personally and professionally, such as dealing with emotions or teamwork and planning.
3. Not an Open Book
This ties into the Intuitive-Feeling part of my personality. I really dislike being open about myself and keep my thoughts and emotions to myself because I care about what others think and want to be accepted, therefore, I open with people I trust. Consequently, I find it difficult to talk to people I haven’t built trust with yet. Even blogging, like right now, makes me feel vulnerable. But, playing music allows me to express emotions that I have experienced in an abstract way.
I tend to look at the deeper meaning behind just about everything, even music. Which is why I don’t pay attention most of the popular pop tunes and such you hear today. I just feel that most don’t go in depth.
5. Feeling Guilty
I tend to set really high expectations for myself. On top of that, I’m a bit of a perfectionist. So, if I do not post content on my blog, I will feel guilty because I said in an earlier post that I would post each week. I also currently feel guilty because I have not really been sharing my music, you know bringing joy or helping others. However, my perfectionism gets in the way, because I feel that nothing I am working on is performance ready. Conflicting, right?
All in all, I am happy with who I am, even when my brain is full of turmoil. It just sometimes conflicts with the job it takes to be a professional musician. If you are more curious about the INFJ personality, Tempt’s “Things Only A True INFJ Would Understand,” makes some great points. If you are curious about your own personality, take the free Myers-Briggs test at 16personalities. These two sites in no way sponsored this post.