Serious Studies in Myers-Briggs Typology. Sort of.
The sales guys on the floor are never INFPs. Unfortunately, they are more probably ESTJ, possibly ENTJ. They train the other sales guys too. That, from an INFP point of view, is a disaster.
Who are the ESTJs?
The ESTJ’s plan big events for me and you, and training exercises that involve lots of interpersonal, group interaction. They are, metaphorically, and often literally, the Big Handshake Guy, with lots of big white teeth for you, the Man With a Plan, the guy in the commercial who says, as he points at the audience “I want to sell YOU a car now!”
Yeah, probably not.
Here’s the problem: Emotional Intelligence.
You gotta have it. You gotta be able to read an environment, a person, some non-verbals—I mean, come on. Sales guys are too often like the guy who only has a hammer in his tool kit, and goes around trying to drive screws, replace window panes, and greet his granny with a hammer. Not everybody wants that big extrovert, crush-your-hand-shake, and all that assumed permission for intimacy and interaction that comes with it.
If INFPs ran a store, we would have every customer first pick up a little tag to wear on their shirt, indicating their Myers-Briggs type. How great would THAT be, not only for us, but for the store! You would get exactly the kind of salesperson to fit your Myers-Briggs type. Man, whatever we were selling, we would sell like crazy.
When I walk into a store and an ESTJ struts up to me and says boldly “What can I help you find today, sir?!?”, all I can think of is “A store where you don’t work?”, or “A huge sinkhole for you to fall into?”
Every word beyond “Hello” that I hear from Sales Guy is too many, and each word decreases by 2% the prospect of my buying anything from him. DO the math. At fifty words, there is not a chance in God’s holy heaven I am buying anything from him now. None. Out the door.
But if I were shopping in Santa Fe with my INFP sign on, the sales person would know exactly how to handle me. And that would be to silently hand me a business card that reads “INFP. Cool. I’ll be in Arizona if you need me. Here’s my cell number. No hurry. Bye.”
Then we’re both good. Once I am left alone, I have no problem calling him to ask “do you have this shirt in blue, 16-33?” Then, with my permission to interact, he can help me out. All good.
Do not ask me if I need a tie with that shirt—it jeopardizes the shirt sale.
It’s not that we do not LIKE to talk to other people at all. It is more like “Do you explicitly or energetically have my permission? Is this consensual conversation? Did I invite you into my energy field? If I have, and if it is, we can sit, the two of us, and talk all night. Even if you are a sales person. But if you do NOT have that permission, and are just assuming it is consensual, or will be once I realize how helpful and great you are, well, that’s just a problem…
…So anyway, it’s a shame. The INFPs are clearly the best arbiters of social and emotional intelligence, and we most certainly should run the world.
If we did, you would never again be asked “Did you leave some room for dessert?” We would never be asked how’s it hangin’ or how’s it shakin’ by somebody we don’t know. Never a “Workin’ hard or hardly workin’??”
Let’s see. How could a non-INFP get how this feels to us?
OK, it might be like if I walked up to a stranger, and said “HEY, BUD (ESTJs like to call you “Bud”)—I am coming over to your house tonight for dinner—I just KNOW we will be great friends. What are we having anyway?!? And oh, by the way, I am going to sleep on your couch tonight too.”
Man, sometimes it’s tiring being an INFP, right?
If you know anybody looking for a Therapist or Coach, let me know a Drjamesmichaelnolan@gmail.com