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I am also an INFJ… at Law.

May 19, 2013 4 comments

OK so I admit I never liked the Meyers Briggs stuff. I am not sure why. I do remember us doing some sort of metric in law school and I was in a quadrant all by myself—no one else in my (small) class was like me. But this law school class (SCALE) was not like the “traditional” law schools so, it was “all good.”

I know that more recently, when I joined a LinkedIn group on the MBTI, I still found it cumbersome. Maybe that is because I can—and always could—“read” people without a metric. (I now know that INFJs are famous for this. And for some GREAT comments and cartons on these qualities see the blog of INFJoe.)

Now I realize there is at least one upside to the MBTI. It has a following. If I talk about HSP it is dismissed. But many people “get” MBTI and anyone can look it up and see it is in wide use. It has also helped me realize my nature (that I could never get rid of all these years, despite my obsession with personal growth) is not a sickness, a disease, or a curse… it is just an inborn set of traits I may as well use, enjoy… and just plain live with.

So I am not just an HSP lawyer… I am an INFJ lawyer. I ask you—is this your picture of the archetypal lawyer???

“Because the INFJ has such strong intuitive capabilities, they trust their own instincts above all else. This may result in an INFJ stubbornness and tendency to ignore other people’s opinions. They believe [feel deeply] that they’re right. On the other hand, INFJ is a perfectionist who doubts that they are living up to their full potential. 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.? (see here)

So I am not like your average lawyer. Even in law school I just “knew” when my legal research was done—most agonized over it. Earlier yet, I just knew I could take the LSAT with no formal prep —I scored 165. I also applied to only one law school—and that one was  a perfect fit. (I was called impulsive but it was really intuition.)

I have been put down by a whole lot of people… but in oh so many cases I was right in the end, and now I know why.

And I also know why I am always quite willing to change my opinions if the facts indicate it, and will always be a work in progress. And often dismissed and not infrequently envied—secretly.

A mixed blessing to have—an UNMIXED blessing to finally recognize.

Head or Heart, Dumb or Smart?

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

My “Left Brain Right Brain” post got a lot of attention. It seems it got people thinking, which got me thinking. I like this. (I like thinking.) It also got me remembering I have been interested in this since.. forever. I wrote my undergraduate thesis (yes you read that right) on “Mind Body” issues in American letters. A life long fascination.

It also made me think of  the saying “le Coeur a ses raisons…” which you can find here. The full quote is: “Le cœur a ses raisons, que la raison ne connaît point. On le sent en mille choses. C’est le cœur qui sent Dieu, et non la raison. Voilà ce que c’est que la foi parfaite, Dieu sensible au cœur.”  The heart has its reasons which reason knows not of. We feel the reason of  the heart in a thousand things… God is felt in the heart. (I was still an atheist in those days. Hmmm.) Seems true to me!

So– if we follow our heart—and we all know what that means somehow—is it our “right brain” or our “left brain”? (And why has no one s else asked this…?) Yesterday, I saw an article about a photographer who bought an underwater housing for his camera. He spent more than was logical. “Only months ago, Casteel struggled to pay his bills after he splurged on a waterproof camera case, making it possible for him to take these pictures” said the article; then the photos he took “went viral” and he made money. Probably a good bit of money. For sure, he got national exposure for his art. VERY heartwarming news!

Was that his head or his heart he followed? It seems not to have been his head. His left brain knew this choice was not “logical”–he had spent his “pay the bills” money–but it the end it turned out this “illogical” choice produced  not only joy  but ALSO the outcome logic would have wished—he sold the work! People who saw the work were happy and he is happy. His gamble “paid off.”  Or maybe he was guided. Who can say?

In any case, lawyers are trained NOT to do this sort of thing. REALLY REALLY not allowed to be intuitive.

See information on unhappy lawyers here and here.

God only knows how I managed to escape the annihilation of the intuitive guide inside me. (I don’t.)  But I kept a bit of it alive and more and more comes alive every day.

But this guide helped me with a lot of things, not just legal research. For instance, it kept me in law school when one of my loans went south, and LOGICALLY I could no longer afford school. You see, this unique program, SCALE,  consistgs of three academic years in two calendar years. That is, I was eligible for and should have received THREE separate student loans to pay for the program. But I was slightly busy studying and did not notice that the scholarship/loan department had dropped the ball—and one of my loans fell through the proverbial cracks. One third of my tuition money was gone—poof!

I seem to remember Wayne (the roommate of questionable cleanliness, remember?) telling me they would not dump me from the program (although I have had other false memories that guided me,) In any case, I just sort of kept on keeping on. I also seem to recall my friend Lori Lipman getting bills from the school. I didn’t. Nothing was said.

(Years later I tried to pay—I had settled a personal injury case for $30,000 and had a chunk of change. I called Southwestern TWICE trying to get them to let me know what I owed. Twice, the very nice lady who answered the phone gushed over how  great it was that I ad called; twice said she would have Mfr. So-and-so call me. Twice…  I got no call. I have not paid to this day.)
“Left brain”?  I don’t think so. Maybe it was my heart—God knows I had my “heart set on” law school. Guides and helpers? I for one cannot rule that out. Pure “high intention”? I may never know. But whatever it was it worked. I completed law school and then… BAR EXAM TIME.

Coming soon to a blog near you!

 

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