I’m an INFJ; nice to meet ya.

I’m an INFJ; nice to meet ya.

the INFJ shopkeeper
Years ago I took the Meyers-Briggs test to discover that I’m an INFJ. Apparently that means I’m an introvert with extraverted feelings.

And they say I’m in the one-percentile of the population, a rare creature.

So what’s that have to do with drinking? Or working in the beer business?

When sampling hard apple ciders and my preference was the super acidic suck-your-mouth-dry variety, a cidermaker once told me, “You’re in the top 10% of drinkers.

Yeah, I know what that means. I’m the weirdo with the rare tastes. I’ve never really been mainstream, and am painfully aware of my social awkwardness and inhibitions.

I classify things how they fit into my values. I try to make things easy to find. I care deeply about what is happening in this very moment.

“INFJs are gentle, caring, complex and highly intuitive individuals. Artistic and creative, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. Only one percent of the population has an INFJ Personality Type, making it the most rare of all the types.

INFJs place great importance on having things orderly and systematic in their outer world. They put a lot of energy into identifying the best system for getting things done, and constantly define and re-define the priorities in their lives. On the other hand, INFJs operate within themselves on an intuitive basis which is entirely spontaneous. They know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. They are usually right, and they usually know it. Consequently, INFJs put a tremendous amount of faith into their instincts and intuitions. This is something of a conflict between the inner and outer worlds, and may result in the INFJ not being as organized as other Judging types tend to be.”

Meyers-Briggs goes on to say:

…the INFJ is as genuinely warm as they are complex… INFJs…are very sensitive to conflict, and cannot tolerate it very well.

This is true. I don’t handle conflict well. I have been attempting to come to terms working within an industry that can be… frustrating. Before we started the business, C would tell me, “Everyone wants to help sell beer — distributors, breweries — everyone likes beer.” He was right, but he was also wrong.

Since working in the beer industry I’ve been called a bitch, difficult to work with, and things that should drive me to drink…something stronger. I would be lying if I said this didn’t hurt my feelings.

We wanted to build a nice place for people to get a good selection of beer. I believe we were successful at that. Though our personalities aren’t as social and outgoing as other shopkeepers, we deeply care about treating people honestly and fairly, and we do our best to get adequate supplies of beer in for our customers in a timely fashion. We’re not interested in the up-sell; instead, we focus on getting people into beers we believe they’ll like — and like so much that they’re self-driven to share them with family and friends.

I so want to have more beer events where local brewers come in to share their beers. However, we don’t draw the numbers of tasters that other shops do…despite charging less. I am not sure why this is. Customers tell me, “The tasting needs to be on a weekend.” So I schedule for a weekend and get the same turnout that I would have on a weeknight. When scheduling brewers, some have told me flat out, “I don’t visit bottle shops; I only visit draught accounts.” Yet, then I see they are visiting another bottle shop for a tasting and signing. So I struggle with this and my INFJ leaves me at a loss; there is no intuition here.

So I deal with it as a good INFJ would:

INFJs…internalize conflict into their bodies, and experience health problems when under a lot of stress.

C is right when he says I’ve gained weight since we opened the store. My one day off each week over the past four years I have found myself sleeping rather than moving. I should be spending that day off catching up on dishes, vacuuming, laundry, gardening,…billable projects,…descriptive tags for beers at the store,…visiting with friends, walking the dog… Instead, I get up, eat, go back to bed, watch a movie, take a nap, cook C dinner, go back to bed. This behavior is repetitive and not useful. I should be doing something to better myself.

“INFJs are rarely at complete peace with themselves — there’s always something else they should be doing to improve themselves and the world around them. They believe in constant growth, and don’t often take time to revel in their accomplishments. They have strong value systems, and need to live their lives in accordance with what they feel is right. In deference to the Feeling aspect of their personalities, INFJs are in some ways gentle and easy going. Conversely, they have very high expectations of themselves, and frequently of their families. They don’t believe in compromising their ideals.

In the workplace, the INFJ usually shows up in areas where they can be creative and somewhat independent. They have a natural affinity for art, and many excel in the sciences, where they make use of their intuition. INFJs can also be found in service-oriented professions. They are not good at dealing with minutia or very detailed tasks. The INFJ will either avoid such things, or else go to the other extreme and become enveloped in the details to the extent that they can no longer see the big picture. An INFJ who has gone the route of becoming meticulous about details may be highly critical of other individuals who are not.”

Yep, that’s me. I’m an INFJ in the beer business. Nice to meet ya.


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