I stopped by her office to pick up the results which, to my surprise, she had sealed up in a very official manner. While sliding the manila envelope across her desk, she announced, "Well! Turns out, you're an INFP." She seemed terrified and quite pleased all at the same time, like a scientist who has discovered a deadly new germ. "INFP," she continued. "That's a very rare combo." I think she actually recoiled at this point. She definitely rolled her chair back an inch or two. I could have sworn she was simultaneously issuing a silent "code red" signal, pressing the hidden button under her desk.
Returning home I read the results, announcing to my empty studio, "Yup, that's me!" The assessment was right on target, which was comforting. I remember thinking, Well, I may be odd, but at least I can be qualified; ergo, I do fit into the human race, after all! Rare for sure, but not alone.
Lots has happened since then. Jesus saved my sorry self, for one thing, replacing fear and misery with joy and hope. Now my life has purpose. As a result, I receive tons of training for various ministries, all geared toward understanding people—communication skills, the basic tenets of counseling, etc. Between the training and new friends with similar interests, I am exposed to several other cool tests, including Dr. John Geier's DiSC (based on the work of psychologist William Moulton Marston), Laurie Beth Jones' excellent Path Elements Profile, and Dr. Gary Chapman's Five Love Languages. According to DiSC, at a glance, I am high 'I'. (When I take the test though, I'm all over the place, a perfect blend of all 4 qualifiers.) The lovely Laurie Beth Jones' PEP assessment classifies me as fire—surprising, but I'll gladly take it. Words of Affirmation is my love language. That makes sense, for a word-lover like me.
The various explanations of all my test results seem accurate. This is slightly mystifying, as I find many of the questions difficult to answer. I'm always thinking, Well, instinctively I'd do this, but over time I've learned to do that. If the question asks how I behave in a group, I want to know, Who is in the group? Because, depending on the answer to that crucial question, I'm either gonna be totally stressed out sitting on that couch wishing invisibility, or buzzing around happily chatting up a storm. I also need to know, Am I an invited guest, or the hostess? Is this a morning or evening affair? What is on the menu? Is there a dress code? And, by the way, where are we? If this is a beach barbecue, I'm gonna be the odd (wo)man out. People universally seem to adore beach barbecues, but not me. I hate them. If this is a beach barbecue situation, I'm definitely gonna be checking my watch.
Apparently the creators of the tests gear them to soar high above our various quirks and neuroses.
I recently retake the Myers-Brigg and Love Languages tests, just to see if I've changed at all in the years since I originally took them. I'm still an INFP, which is fine. Words of Affirmation wins out as my Love Language again, but only by a single point, with three others bunched up immediately behind. My husband Fred agrees to have his Love Language tested as well. His results are similar, with four of the five languages vying for the top spot. Physical Touch leads by a hair, though, a fact I tuck away in my mental Note-To-Self file. I'm telling you, this stuff is good to know! Very helpful.
If Dr. Chapman ever introduces a sixth Love Language—humor—we'll both claim it by a long shot. My husband is a self-proclaimed Funny Guy, you see, and as for me, my best friends have always been hilarious. I gravitate toward funny people, and Fred is no exception. I was immediately smitten not only by his big ol' handsome physical self, but by his wit, which ranges from "rapier" to "utterly sophomoric." I'm sort of the straight (wo)man in our house, as I have been in most of my friendships. I'm not particularly funny, but I really, really love to laugh. It's as if God designed me to bring out the funny in other people, for my own entertainment. What can I say. It's a gift. In all seriousness, though, humor is extremely important in our relationship. It takes the edge off. Attempts to make one another laugh are, most definitely, gestures of love.
After a long period of darkness, in recent years, laughter has returned to our marriage. Fred was the first to mention it, although I had already noticed. He makes me laugh so hard, sometimes, I can't stop. It's the classic snowball rolling down a hill, getting bigger as it rolls. And I thank God for it, every time.
He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. ~ Job 8:21