I am an Eeyore. Some people refer to my personality type as melancholic. I have found that Meyers-Briggs personality types are more specific and, therefore, more helpful. According to Meyers-Briggs, I am an INFJ. Only 1% of the population is “blessed” with this personality type. (I am trying to see it as a blessing.) One of the characteristics of an INFJ is that we tend to organize our thoughts and ideas very well INSIDE ourselves where we feel things very deeply. We tend to keep it all down there, deep inside. Pressure and stress from the outside is internalized by INFJ’s and can lead to immobility (difficulty getting anything done) and physical illness. When we attempt to let the pressure off, we often “explode” and all of our very organized thoughts come out in a jumble. We are also supposed to be good at metaphor, which is one of the things that leads INFJ’s into the Liberal Arts and makes them good teachers.
Here is my metaphor. I am like a roll-top desk. (traditional, solid, boring) Inside the roll-top are many pigeon holes which hold thoughts, ideas, dreams, feelings, knowledge, etc. When I am stressed, particularly when I am exposed to what I perceive to be unjust criticism (very hard for INFJ’s to handle) the pressure builds up and eventually, the roll-top explodes. The result is chaos. My thoughts, feelings, ideas, dreams, everything gets mixed up and no one, not even I myself, can make any sense out of the result. It is frustrating because it makes me look like an emotional basket-case incapable of rational thought. This is untrue.
INFJ’s also express themselves best via the written word. I have been working on this for the last year. I find that I really enjoy it. It helps keep the pigeon holes functioning. Writing allows me to roll up the lid, take a few things out for analysis and leave the rest in place. No explosions…well, fewer explosions…and less mess to clean up.
Of course, I need to consider all of this in light of my Christianity. I believe that when Jesus saves us, He makes us new. He does not, however, turn us into clones. He makes us new versions of ourselves. That is one of the beauties of Christianity, by the way. God made me the way He did for a reason. He is taking time, leaving me on this earth, in order to mold me into the best version of myself possible. I used to think that if He was really working in my life, He would make me into a Tigger or a Pooh, not just improve my inner Eeyore. It has become apparent to me, however, that God has a use for Eeyores, even if we make up only 1% of the population. I’m trying to be content in this discovery.
People are not naturally drawn to us, but we serve an important function. Think about it, most of the prophets were Eeyores. Really, who wants to hang out with Jeremiah? The prophet Nathan is listed as a “famous INFJ.” Wouldn’t you love to be the one to go to David with the “Thou art the man” message? NOT!
Joy is not something we associate with Eeyore, but he has it. It’s just deep, deep joy. Deep joy isn’t as noticeable, but it is there to stay. Seeing an Eeyore’s joy requires listening to and getting to know us. I think that’s why Eeyore’s most famous line is: “Thanks for noticing me.”