Being an INFJ, I’ve read articles, taken tests, been on forums, and this “special snowflake syndrome” comes up a LOT in reference to INFJs. My guess is because the INFJ personality type is considered rare, being only 1-3% of the population. The rarer, the more special, right?
First, let me be clear that being an INFJ in no way makes me feel any more special than anybody else. Yes, I feel complicated and misunderstood at times, but so does every other person on the planet. All personality types (read: people) have great qualities about them, and unique challenges.
Second, let’s consider the possibility that INFJs may not be all that rare of a personality type. Some people may choose one personality type over another, and deny their true type. For example, a true INFJ male may choose to identify with another type based purely on the fact that they don’t want to be seen as such a sensitive and emotional person (INFJ, ENFJ, INFP), as he may see it as a weakness.
In other cases, personality typing is accidental, and referred to as mistyping. Upon taking the personality tests, these people may answer the questions according to who they think they are versus how they interact with the world and process information. They aren’t completely honest with themselves, and it may take several years and personality tests before it becomes clear to them. I think this is especially true for younger people, who are still trying to find themselves.
So, your personality type may not be so rare, but you are.
Special Snowflake Syndrome
What is special snowflake syndrome? It’s a phrase used to describe someone who believes that who they are or what they do is unique and deserves special treatment. This could be anything from the expectation of praise and admiration to bouts of narcissism.
The bottom line is that we’re all similar and all different…much like a snowflake.
A snowflake is different from every other snowflake because of it’s journey. Its path from cloud to earth is riddled with variances in temperature and humidity, creating it’s intricate and beautiful pattern. The same could be true for all of us. Although some of our attributes are innate, many come from a life filled with different experiences, which ultimately shapes who we are today.
Essentially, we’re all special snowflakes. We’re all part of the human race and, therefore, similar, in that we need food and water to survive, we crave love, and we have a particular thought process that leads us through life. Each of us is so much more than that, though. We are all unique from one another for an unfathomable number of reasons that we have yet to discover!
I think that’s exciting. I’m always so in awe of our individuality. Some people are gifted with incredible talents or skills, while others are eloquent with their words, and still others are brave enough to stand up against all odds for another. We are so ridiculously special, it’s hard to put into words. Our thoughts, habits, idiosyncrasies, ideas, skills, ability to give and receive love, dreams, self-expression, compassion, and on and on and on.
Your Type is Just a Clue
My “me-ness” has been theoretically (and somewhat scientifically) “discovered”, but I already knew who I was, so why take the personality test in the first place? It can only serve to categorize and label me, right? It does a little bit more than that – it offers clues on how I think and why I am the way I am, which can be a helpful self-development tool.
What I’ve learned (so far) about myself is interesting, but sometimes hard to digest. It forces me to look in the mirror and see the real me….the good and the bad. I like having the tools to see myself more clearly. This helps me to work out some of the turbulence I feel by understanding it better.
Knowing your personality type is not only eye-opening, but it clues you in on what makes you tick and what you may need to overcome. I’m proud of my INFJ-ness, and it does make me a special snowflake, but your personality type makes you special too.