February 12, 2007

Energy whore?

Recently a friend not-so-delicately pointed out that I am what she considers an "energy whore." Not happy about the implications of such a label, I pressed her for clarification. What she meant to say was that I am very clearly reliant on obtaining energy from sources outside of myself. In that way, we are opposite, as she much prefers more solitary pursuits, and is thusly energized.
Intrigued at my inability to relate to her need for so much alone time and what seemed like a conservative approach to life, as well as her implication that I was somehow "needy" in my seemingly endless desire for social interaction, I decided to dig a little farther.

As a fan of Jung, I turned to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to get a clearer picture of my particular personality traits. The test confimed what we both already knew: I am a "very expressed extrovert." But it gave a lot of other fascinating information.

To be specific, I'm an ENFJ type, or "Extraverted Intuitive Feeling Judging" type — along with an estimated 2-3% of the population. I'm in the company of Oprah Winfrey, Abe Lincoln and Margaret Mead. We are known as the "Teacher Idealist" personality type -- the pedagogues of humanity.

Among our characteristics are an ability to get other people to live up to our very high expectations, usually through our charismatic encouragement, an abstract approach to thinking and speech, a cooperative style in achieving goals and an approach to our personal emotions that is both direct and expressive.

I feel a lot better about what I initially suspected was viewed as a burdensome personality flaw, and see that it's actually a source of considerable strength. I also see how such a high output of personal energy and reliance of sources outside of myself often leave me somewhere between drained and longing. And suddenly, I'm feeling a little pressure to do something a little more monumental -- if that is indeed what I'm here to do -- than fritter away my thoughts in this blog.

3 comments:

vegan.mama said...

Who is this person who called you an energy whore? If you like, I can take my ENTP self and kick his/her ass. Um, unless it's someone I know personally, in which case I sincerely apologize with my Rational Inventor personality (you get lumped in with Oprah, I'm in bed with Richard Feynman...)

Anima Sola said...

Nope, no ass-kicking necessary. She didn't mean it as insulting as it first came across. In fact, she told me to call her "energy frigid" if it made me feel better.

vegan.mama said...

Ah, okay. Good to know. How can someone be energy frigid, though? Wouldn't it be more like a-energetic?