Saturday, 24 May 2014

The Counsellor - INFJ

So, we conclude the third quarter of our MBTI series with INFJ - The Counsellor. An important type to me, personally, as it just so happens to be my own!

How can we summarise the qualities of the INFJ?

Fundamentally, INFJs are exceptionally emotional individuals with strong inner lives and the tendency to deeply reflect on themselves and others. Their deep understanding for emotions, as well as a preference towards empathy and altruism towards others earns them the title of Counsellor, and they are often found dispensing advice to others and generally trying to improve the lives of those around them. The Counsellor must have a cause and, should they lack such, they almost certainly feel lost. To the causes they chose to uphold, they are completely dedicated and pursue the ends in a variety of ways, often displaying an aptitude for creative problem solving. This dedication can become fanaticism and lead to compulsive perfectionism. For an introverted type, INFJs are exceptionally good at convincing others and this has led to the use of the word inspiring listed under their character traits. True enough, INFJs, due in no small part to their emotional fluency, are exceptional users of language, often able to use words to evoke emotions within others as well as persuasively. The Counsellor can often feel very lonely, for they are apparently the rarest personality type of the 16. Furthermore, their emotional understanding of others and tendency to reflect on everything often binds them, leading them to become extremely private people who are often difficult to truly fathom. Of course, with such emotional sensitivity, INFJs are also often highly sensitive, even if they do not openly display it, they will often take things to heart. Socially, INFJs are often mistaken for Extroverts, though they are truly very Introverted and whilst they love spending time around friends and loved ones, they require a lot of space and a chance to gather their strength again lest they burn out. 

So, who shall we be discussing today? We have: Sam, Danaerys, Thane, Belle, Sonmi-451 and Anders.

Sam Winchester
Sam is a sensitive character and, whilst he might not always show himself to be as such, he is definitely effected by the things around him. From his first appearance we can see how devoted he is to his girlfriend and over the series he has demonstrated a deep level of care for other people, even those he does not know well. Though he has some excellent lines of dialogue and does not seem to be afraid of other people, Sam seems more comfortable with himself than others (aside from a few problems with demon blood addiction of a brief jaunt without a soul) and he is perceptive enough of his own mind to realise quite how many, metaphorical, demons he has. Prolonged exposure to others, notably Dean, does seem to tire him and he does seem to require, or at least desire, at least some time alone. Sam has always had a cause and in those brief moments when he seemed to lack one, it did not take him long to find another. No matter the nature of the cause, be it his family or hunting or something else, Sam regards them with the utmost dedication.

I can already hear the cries "No, the Mother of Dragons is an extrovert! This guy has no idea what he is talking about." Think this if you wish, but I strongly regard Daenerys to be an INFJ. When we see her first in Pentos, she is a quiet girl and though she has developed into an awesome and outspoken character, she retains her preference for introversion. Though she plays it tough and does not flinch when she is spoken down to, most of the time, she takes thinks personally and definitely seems to require periods of rest between dealing with those around her. As far as causes go, Daenerys has always had one cause or another though who can question her devotion to it. As regards her attacks against the slave trade, she is ruthlessly devoted to her personal goal of exterminating what she regards to be an evil practice and is more than willing to make tough decisions in order to achieve this end. Furthermore, she cares very deeply about the people she is seeking to liberate and though it is true that one can criticise her practicality, this only places her more firmly in the role of the INFJ, for she is more concerned with ideals and ideas than the concrete details, though she has a good grasp of those as well. Linguistically, she is excellent, able to convince and inspire those around her and gather an almost religious devotion to her. 

He is extremely quiet, keeping himself to himself and seemingly unwilling to socialise overly, instead opting to retreat from others and be alone for a while. Thane is very perceptive when it comes to other characters and is able to uncover the motives of others with seeming ease. He also demonstrates a strong tendency towards self reflection, even going as far as to doubt himself significantly and constantly question his actions as well as the direction in which his life appears to be moving. We do not see Thane attempt to convince others, save for his interaction with his son, the outcome of which depends more upon Shepherd than Thane himself, thus we cannot be sure if he is as persuasive as INFJs usually are.Thane, however, is creative and dedicated to Shepherd's cause once recruited. 

All Belle wants to do is help other people and she is willing to self-sacrifice in order to do this, a key example of INFJ altruism. Furthermore, she understands others, able to get under their skin and find out what the true problem is, then gently guide them to a solution. She is truly the idealised Counsellor, for she is even able to help Rumpelstiltskin, whom many would view as beyond such help. Belle herself is very sensitive, though she overcomes such to help others as well as herself. When she offers others advice, it is done in such a way as to gently nudge them in the right direction, displaying an aptitude for persuasive language.

Though she requires a great deal of encouragement and many of her choices have been taken from her, the moment Sonmi truly awakens is when she sees what happens to the fabricants after ascension. It is from this moment that she truly gains her first cause and her dedication to it is such that she eventually dies to see it furthered. She delivers her revelation, a powerful speech which displays her ability to use language as well as showing us how inspirational she is. After all, she incited such a revolution that the world itself was completely transformed. 

Having had to hide the fact that he is an apostate mage and technically an abomination, Anders has become a very private man, though this is not to say that he will not eventually open up to others. His cause is the liberation of the Mages of the Circle and freedom from the oppressive rule of the chantry and he goes to great lengths to see this through, even willing to kill a huge number of innocents through the destruction of Kirkwall chantry and the result Mage-Templar War. However, he is not seeking liberation solely for himself, for he truly and deeply cares about the mages who are suffering and wants to do what he can to protect and save them. He has even written a manifesto, which, though viewed by the other characters as an object of ridicule, may indicated a proficiency with language. Anders is an inspiring individual, at least in my opinion, as he gives everything he has to protect the rights of those who cannot necessarily fight for themselves and though I question his more terroristic methods, I ultimately sympathise with him greatly. Finally, he is a very reflexive character, for he knows that what he does is wrong, but he can truly find no other way. 

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