Hi. This is Natalie Hoffman of Flyingfreenow.com, and you’re listening to the Flying Free Podcast, a support resource for women of faith looking for hope and healing from hidden emotional and spiritual abuse.
NATALIE: Welcome to Episode 226 of the Flying Free Podcast. Today I have with me one of my very dearest friends, Becky, and Becky has actually been on the podcast in the past. And I might have you introduce yourself a little more because I don’t know how much you want to share with people about who you are. I do want to point out, though, that Becky and Rachel and I, we used to do some of the podcasts. We did quite a few together, I think.
BECKY: Yeah, early, early on, I think.
NATALIE: Yeah, very early on. And by the way, if you ever want to go to past podcasts and find a specific one, you can always just type in the search bar of your browser flyingfreenow.com/ and then whatever number of the podcast episode that you want to go to.
So the very first episode that Becky was in was one called “Misogynist Theology Causes Emotional and Spiritual Abuse in Homes and Churches.” Pretty good one, right? That was number three. That was the third podcast episode that I ever went with.
BECKY: Wow, we went really deep, really quick, then.
NATALIE: I know, I know. We just jumped in. One example of one that she did with Rachel and I is called “How to Respond to Emotional Abuse Tactics,” and that was number 64. But if you look at episodes right around that time, she jumped in there quite a bit, then. And then one of the later ones was one called, “Three False Beliefs My Abusive Relationship Gave Me,” and that is number 143.
So those are some episodes right off the bat if you like Becky’s interview. And I really think you’re going to, because this is going to be a fascinating conversation about personality, and she knows a ton. She’s a total genius person. So if you like Becky and you want to hear more, I just want you to know there’s more of her out there.
So I do want to say this: She is a wildly successful entrepreneur who has started several businesses over the years, and she is constantly thinking outside of the box. She’s working on some incredible projects right now, and I might let her talk about one of them that has to do with personality. Did you want to share what you’re doing or not? Is that still under wraps?
BECKY: Probably not right now, because it’s still in production.
NATALIE: Okay, under wraps.
BECKY: And I don’t want to give any advantage to anyone who might try to copy it, although good luck. It took four years of classes to even know what I know right now.
NATALIE: I know. You’ve been working on this for a long, long time. So what we’re going to do is, this is kicking off a two-week series on personality, and Becky’s going to talk today about the Myers-Briggs personality typology, and then next week I’m going to interview Stacey Wynn, and she’s going to talk about the Enneagram. So let’s dive into Myers-Briggs. Well, first of all, welcome. I guess I haven’t given you any chance to talk, really.
BECKY: No, that’s fine. When you were saying that about the different episode numbers, I instantly went back to thinking this is going to be a really interesting podcast, because what I’m going to talk about, you could technically hear it in my thought processes from two or three years ago, like, in episode three or whatever, all the way to today.
What I’ve learned has drastically changed me in my ways of thinking, and so therefore I know it’s changed how I present. Because I can even remember some of the stuff I said three or four years ago, and part of it is I think I said it… I was more angry and hurt still because I was only a few years out, and now I’m eight years out or something. So very, very different. So fascinating. So glad to be here.
NATALIE: And it’s so important to know, too, those of you who are listening, that getting out, that’s not the end of the evolving process for you. You’re just going to keep shedding your skin over and over again. There are going to be different iterations of you as you go through your life. And Becky, you’re a perfect example of that. Okay, so why don’t we start by having you tell us, just for people who don’t really know, what is the Myers-Briggs personality typology and what got you interested in it so that you started studying it?
BECKY: So most people misunderstand Myers-Briggs, so I’m going to say that first. Myers-Briggs is based on Jungian psychology. He’s late 1800s, 1900s. The Myers-Briggs test is by a mother-daughter team, which is super fascinating if you ever want to study it. They were looking at World I and World War II going, “Women are going back to work. The men managers don’t know how to put women” — women weren’t in work back then — “they don’t know how to put them in a job. So can we take Jungian psychology and develop a test that tells what is the best type of job?”
And most people think personality is like, “Oh, my preferences.” But Myers-Briggs is not. It used to be more soft science and now it’s more hard science because now neurology has advanced. And there are neurology studies that show Myers-Briggs cognitive functions are legit. What Jung was saying a hundred-something years ago is truly happening in the brain.
So Myers-Briggs is a four-letter code, we call it secret code, that opens up exactly how your brain processes. They’re called cognitive functions, there’s eight of them, and the order in which they are built into your brain…. So think of it this way. If I say, “Are you left hand or right hand?” we all have a preference, right? But we also use the other hand. I was thinking about doing laundry. Yes, if I had to only use one hand to do laundry, that’d be really hard. But I use my other hand. So cognitive functions are like that. We have a dominant and then we have an auxiliary. And when we use those two in sync, we are our best selves.
So the misunderstanding about Myers-Briggs is often, “Oh, well, it tells me I’m an extrovert.” And even that’s a misunderstanding. It’s not. What it’s saying is, the first letter is extrovert or introvert, right? And normally we assume extrovert means “I want to be around people. I’m a partier,” and introvert is “I’m a recluse with cats.” And that’s not it at all. Instead, it’s which world is more real to you, okay?
And let me give you an example. I am technically an extrovert, but I — and Natalie, you know me — I don’t like being around people. It’s hard for me to be around people because of the feeling of navigating their emotions because I don’t have a lot of emotions. And I’ll tell you about that in the Myers-Brigg system. So although the outside world is more real to me — and for you, Natalie, I know the inside world is more real to you, right — I’m an extrovert, but I’m not a socialite. I was at a baseball game the other day and we were there for five hours, and I was exhausted from talking to people. I’m like, “Okay, that’s all I can handle. Let me get my car and get in my book.” So although the real world is more real to me and I want to play in that real world, I want to play with things, not people. Does that make sense?
BECKY: So the first one is introvert/extrovert. The second one is your perceiving process, how you’re taking information in. Now, this has nothing to do about how you value information, like whether it’s right or wrong or whatever. It’s just how you’re receiving it, and it’s either intuition, which is more in your head, or sensing, which is more touch/taste/see/feel. There are lots of senses. Children typically are more sensory. They like to touch and feel, especially when they’re like preschool, kindergarten.
But people with intuition only make up 24% of the population. So we are living in a world built for sensors. So when you find out that you are an intuitive, right, it helps you understand really quickly, “Well, that’s why this doesn’t work for me. That’s why the world operates this way and my mind is thinking this way,” right? So at a base level, the reason I entered Myers-Briggs is I’m really different and I thought I was a problem. I literally was raised in religion, Christianity, very fundamental Christianity, and I was raised to believe that I was a problem, that the way I thought, the way I didn’t have all the emotions, I didn’t cry, I was very analytical, very logical… I am a programmer. How many women are programmers, especially twenty-five years ago, right? So everything that I was raised believing told me, “You are a divine deformity.”
And so my whole life I have spent trying to… Well, I learned really early on — I was thinking about that last night — I learned early on how to morph and fit in, but I was never happy inside. And just to let you guys know, my type is ENTJ — it’s the rarest type for women. Less than 1% of women are ENTJs.
NATALIE: Wow. So no wonder you couldn’t find yourself out there for one thing, and then you were being really vilified by the theology that you were surrounded by.
BECKY: One of the things I discovered in studying the Myers-Briggs is there is really a type that is perfect for Christianity. Not one — there are actually several types of women. There’s a reason that there’s a model that Christianity asserts as the perfect woman. Most of it’s because the majority of women have the cognitive functions to behave that way.
BECKY: I’m the total opposite, so I never fit in at church. I was always vilified for being smart. And I mean, I don’t say that pridefully, but I’m really smart. I get things really quick, I’m very into technology, I’m very into figuring out problems. One of my core cognitive functions, my dominant, my flow state, is called “extroverted thinking,” and it’s nicknamed “effectiveness.” You give me a complex problem, I am going to figure out how to streamline a process that is easy to understand for anybody. That’s what I do best. In the history of the world, it has only been men who do that.
So here’s this: I want to be a wife and a mom, I’m in a very abusive marriage but I don’t realize it, and my cognitive functions are fighting against everything I’ve been taught. So I get out of that marriage, I start to heal, I start to learn more and more about myself, and I really started learning about Myers-Briggs. It fascinated me. I enjoyed knowing that other people were like me, there were other women out there like me.
But then the more I got into it, I was like, “Wait a minute, this explains how my brain works.” When you can understand your flow state, your dominant cognitive function and your secondary one, then you understand your third and your fourth, which tend to be your weaknesses.
I’m going to recommend personalityhacker.com. They are the best — the best, the best. And when I was taking their class, they have a car model. And there’s a driver, a co-pilot, a ten-year-old in the backseat, and a three-year-old in the backseat. And that’s kind of telling you the maturity of those functions. So I learned that my three-year-old is something called “introverted feeling” and it’s nicknamed “authenticity.” It’s where feelings and emotions are, and it’s what I struggle deeply with. If you say, “How are you feeling?” I literally hear in my head, “Are you functioning and getting work done?” I don’t hear, “Can you explain happiness?” And I know even your model for Gertrude and the brain working through the model, I hate the feeling part because I’m like, “Oh, I’m going to have to figure out what I’m feeling.”
So just learning myself has allowed me to one, embrace it. It has radically changed me as a businesswoman because I am the type that is most likely to be an entrepreneur or CEO. And before I was guilt-ridden that that’s what I was doing. Like, “You’re not supposed to be in charge. You’re not supposed to be the boss. You’re supposed to be the servant to all, the helpmate.” So now I’m like, “You’re darn right I’m the CEO,” and literally stepping into it.
NATALIE: Yes. And you’re happy, you’re fulfilled, and you’re productive. You are in that flow state that you were describing because you’re finally working with the system that God wired you with instead of against it.
BECKY: Exactly. And what’s interesting is I’ve taken a lot of classes from Personality Hacker, and the first one is to learn to profile people. And then the second one was the dynamics of our personality. And I remember asking the teacher, who is brilliant, “Can somebody function by not engaging their dominant but living in a dominant of another function?” Do you know what I’m saying? I wasn’t accepted for who I was, so instead I tried to live in extroverted feeling/harmony as my dominant. Because this is not just soft science anymore, this is more hard science, the belief is that you are born, just like you’re born to have a dominant hand — right-handed/left-handed — you are born to have dominant functions in your brain, okay? So you’re hardwired this way. So she said, “The only time I’ve seen that happen always results in an extremely depressed person who’s very suicidal.
BECKY: And I went, “Wow. That was me in my marriage.” Isn’t that fascinating? So learning type frees you to be exactly who you’re supposed to be. And when things pop up, I’m able to quickly recognize the reason I’m struggling with that is because it’s not in my stack, in my first or second. So you know how they say we only use about 2% of our brain or less than 5%? There’s some controversy over that, but basically, we can all agree it’s less than 5% of our brain. Well, if there are eight functions, we really only use one dominantly and the other as a copilot. The rest are kind of a struggle for us. So just understanding that when situations present themselves, I can quickly assess, “You’re not going to be good at this. So figure out a way…”
So for example, let me give you a hard example. I really struggle to know how I feel about things, like, “Do you want to go on vacation, Becky?” “Sure.” “Where do you want to go?” “I don’t know. The beach sounds nice.” Is that what I really want? I don’t know. So because I don’t really know how I feel, like, the feelings of it, I’ve developed a system for myself that says, “It is okay, Becky, to not know how you feel, but use data, which is your dominant — use data. Do you enjoy the beach? Is it price-worthy? Like, is it good on my budget? Is it what you want to do?” I might not feel it, but it doesn’t mean I don’t know what I want. Like, I know I love sushi — I want sushi, right?
So I’ve learned to use data to help me know that it’s going to be the right decision. So somebody who has introverted feeling as a fourth function, your three-year-old, and that’s me, can go five, ten, twenty years before they really understand how they feel about something. Meaning I can be in a twenty-year marriage and not realize how much I hate it for twenty years.
NATALIE: Yeah. Okay, now I’m deviating from the questions I was going to ask you, but that makes me think. Okay, so I think that’s my dominant. I’m an INFJ. is that right?
BECKY: So, very fascinating. You are an INFJ and you are the second rarest woman. Actually, I’ve got the data. It’s either the second or third rarest woman. But let me share… Well, go ahead and finish your thought.
NATALIE: Well, I was curious just about our friendship. If we’re so opposite, which we are in a lot of ways, and yet for some reason we both enjoy each other, for some odd reason. So what is that?
BECKY: The ideal relationship… And it’s funny, because INFJs are the rarest men and they’re one of the rarest women, and I have more than ten in my life. That is incredible, right? And here’s why. So if you do ENTJ And INFJ, we share two and we’re two opposite. We share the two most important that you need to be alike on, which are the… I’m sorry — we didn’t finish numbers three and four in the code.
NATALIE: Yeah, we didn’t. You’re right.
BECKY: Let me finish that, then I’ll tell you how you pick the perfect match… Not the perfect… Relationships are work, period, but the ones that you will more naturally fall into place.
NATALIE: Okay, and before you do the second two, recap the first two so that we all have it straight in our heads.
BECKY: So the first one is which world is more real to you? The outside world or the inside world? And honestly, people who it’s the outside world might not understand even the question because they’re like, “What do you mean?” People with an inside world that’s more real understand it immediately. Because it took me a long time to wrap my head around, “Oh, you mean some people think that the inside, the thoughts, are more real than what’s happening on the outside?”
NATALIE: Yes. And just so people know, so I am internal or introverted and you are extroverted as far as what’s real to us — inner world or outer world.
BECKY: Where priority is placed. It’s kind of like are you left-handed or right-handed? You might be right-handed, but you’ll always use a left hand. So I am extroverted. The outside world is more real to me, but I will always use my inside world. We have to. If we don’t have a balance of both, we’re going to be dominant in one, right? And I can get into this later, but that’s where personality disorders come from. So it’s really, really fascinating.
So the first one is introverted/extrovert — which world is more real to you? The second one is how you perceive, how information comes into you. And yes, I can learn sensory by touching, feeling, and watching, but I prefer to learn by intuition, which is… And one of the easiest ways to understand which one you like better is analogies. When I give you an analogy, does it click? That’s intuition. You didn’t have to see it. You saw it inside.
NATALIE: Yes. And that’s me too. So we’re the same there. It is interesting when people aren’t that, like when we’re around people who don’t understand analogies. And I kind of live in analogies all the time but I have some kids who don’t, and they’re like, “What are you talking about?”
BECKY: And you have to get tangible, real things to complete… And as homeschool moms… I very weirdly had five intuitives, and that actually played to my benefit as a parent in an abusive situation. But that’s a whole other conversation.
But let’s stick to number two is how you perceive, learn. Number three is how you make decisions. And it’s “T” for “thinking” or “F” for “feeling.” Now, we all think and we all feel, but just like our left and right hand, one is more dominant, right? So do I have feelings? Absolutely. You want to see me cry? Let me have a problem with one of my kids. That is where it gets to the deepest parts of me, right? And you’ll see me cry. Other than that, you’re probably never going to see me cry. I base my decisions on logic and reasoning.
So let me give you a situation. Let’s say there’s a group of ten women and we’re going to go to lunch together. One is gluten intolerant, the rest are not. The feeler is going to be very, very adamant about making sure that that person with gluten intolerance, there are a sufficient number of items on the menu for that person. The thinker says, “Is there salad there?” That’s it. Like, there are nine of us that are not. So we’re going to look at what’s good for the group and the feeler is going to look for the individual.
BECKY: And that’s a very, very simplistic way of looking at it. Because some people go, “Well, I would care about that person.” Yes, but there are other situations you can look at to see, and one of the questions when profiling is, does your head or your heart lead you? But the problem is when you get to religious people who have been trained that the heart is deceitfully wicked, they say “Head,” but they’re feelers. So there’s a whole other set of questions you go through to get down to which one is more dominant, you know?
NATALIE: Yeah. I can see how this really messes people up even as far as understanding who they are.
BECKY: Oh, wait until I give you the data on abuse victims. It’s going to blow your mind. So that’s your third — it’s how you make decisions. And it doesn’t mean I don’t ever make a decision based on feeling. It’s just not the first thing I do. It’s something I have to consider intentionally — you know, I’m looking at data and logic and making the best math equation decision kind of thing.
So the last one is judging or perceiving. And here’s the gist of that one: Which world, the outside world or the inside world, is organization more important? So a lot of times people will think that judging means, “Oh, I’m an orderly person, I show up on time, my house is clean, everything’s organized, I’m a planner, all that. And the Ps are carefree, their house is a wreck,” you know, whatever. And that’s not it at all. I have a daughter who is a P, perceiver. Her organization in her mind is so precise. She doesn’t see the outside world as disorganized. She’s like, “There’s stuff there.” She doesn’t see it because she wants freedom in the outside world, so she keeps her inside world very organized. Judgers keep our outside world very organized so we can be free in our minds.
NATALIE: Oh my gosh, that’s amazing.
BECKY: Isn’t it? So again, it’s not just these… I think Myers-Briggs gets such a bad rap. I’m reading some Harvard Business grad author books and they make these snide little comments about Myers-Briggs, and I just want to get to my keyboard and write them an email and go, “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Your four-letter code, it is a secret code to understand how your brain works. And once you understand how your brain works and then take it one step further and you understand how other people’s brains work…
Let me give you an example with Natalie and me. Well, first of all, I’ll tell you why we enjoy each other so much. We both learn the same way, so conversations are easy. Intuitives like deep, rich conversations. Sensors are very practical. They want to talk about the weather. It’s not that they can’t be deep — I don’t want to misunderstand that — but they’re very much more practical. Whereas you and I, we could talk about, “Well, what if — what if this and what if that? And have you thought about why? Why do they do that?” So you and I could talk for hours and hours and hours and we would never get exhausted. A sensor could talk for fifteen minutes on that and then be like, “Okay, that’s all. That’s all.” So that’s why we get along so well. And then we both like our outside world organized so that we have freedom of mind, which turns out to be great conversations. So that’s why we get along so well. But then the opposite, where we are opposites…. So an INFJ is the most social of all introverts.
NATALIE: I can see that.
BECKY: You are technically more social than me, and I’m an extrovert.
NATALIE: I’m so glad you said that because that is something I’ve been confused by and even that other people are confused by, because they meet me and they’re like, “You’re totally an extrovert,” and I’m not. I know I’m not, but I also don’t know why I can go into a crowd and be okay with everything.
BECKY: Okay, so when we take INFJ apart and we figure out your cognitive function stack, your first one is introverted. It’s intuition, right? And that is scenario building, that is pattern recognition, that is looking at the world for how things work together. But remember, we have to have two sides, just like we need a left and a right arm. So your co-pilot is called “extroverted feeling,” which is harmony, and that is making sure the needs of others are met. And that is what makes you so much more extroverted than me.
NATALIE: Gotcha, okay. So how do you show up extroverted, then, in your cognitive function?
BECKY: Okay, so mine’s ENTJ, so my dominant is extroverted, right? So whichever one you start with, if you’re introverted or extroverted, your dominant function is going to be either in the outside world or the inside world, okay? So yours is in the inside world — you’re building scenarios, right? You’re future pacing. My first letter, my dominant, is extroverted. It’s called “extroverted thinking,” and it’s nicknamed “effectiveness.” So it’s on getting things done. So people ask me all the time, “How could you have five kids and build a business and have a lousy husband who never worked and all this?” And I’m like, “Oh, because effectiveness is my game.” I can get things done like this, but it’s things, not people. Do you see the difference?
NATALIE: Oh, gotcha. Yes. Oh, yes.
BECKY: So when you add people to the mix… And I don’t want to step on your Enneagram guest, but the difference between Myers-Briggs and Enneagram is your strategy for coping with life. And it’s a decision you make. It is not something you’re born with. Your Enneagram can change. My Enneagram is a five, which means I really can’t handle the emotions of other people. I really, in any relationship, I want to make sure if you have your emotions handled yourself, you and I can be friends. If you don’t, I don’t know how to handle that, right? So that’s where the whole people-person for me is very, very complex. It’s very hard for me to be around people.
Yesterday I had to train three people in my business. I had a migraine by four o’clock just having to teach people stuff. And I was like, “How did I homeschool?” Well, there’s a whole other level of empathy I have for my kids, but yeah. So although I’m extroverted, I’m extroverted with things, not people.
NATALIE: Okay, that makes sense.
BECKY: And because you’re so extroverted with people and I’m more introverted, that’s how we also get along. And then we appreciate the fact that I’m a thinker and you’re a feeler because we round out each other’s rough edges. And that’s why we’re great friends.
NATALIE: Yeah. And also I feel like I get so much out of this relationship. It’s not a draining one. And I, at this point in my life, I don’t want draining relationships. I need to have relationships that are equally give and take, you know? And that means finding people that have things to offer that I don’t know about, or people that can stimulate me in ways that I can’t do on my own.
BECKY: One of the benefits to profiling is there’s passive profiling where you’re just watching people, and then there’s interview profiling where you’re actually taking several hours to interview and help them understand their cognitive functions. And I absolutely love it because I can quickly tell, even in passive profiling, who I will get along with and who will drain the life out of me.
NATALIE: Oh, interesting.
BECKY: And so it’s really been helpful to navigate relationships to just instantly kind of know, “Mmm, okay — they’re this, this, this,” or “They’re this, this, and this, and that’s going to be the best conversation ever.” And so I make a beeline for them, right?
NATALIE: That’s funny. Okay, so how has knowing your personality type specifically helped you move forward in your life and career, then? You kind of have already touched on this, but.
BECKY: I would say, again, coming out of an abusive relationship eight-plus years ago, I still did not know who I was, right? I don’t think we do, but we have to learn. So now instead of learning how to morph better into something that’s acceptable in society… Because it’s not just religion. Society itself, I mean, we have a society set up for feeler women, for sensor/feeler women, actually. And if you’re a sensor/feeler, you’re going to do really well in this world. If you are not, that’s why NT women, NF and NT women, tend to struggle more. We’re trying to navigate a world that is not easy for us. And that’s why the data I’m going to give you on survivors is so fascinating.
So I’ve learned to not morph. I no longer restrain and hold back. And I think I even mentioned that in a podcast we did, how I’ve always had to throttle who I am because it’s too much for people. Now granted, I’m still cautious and thoughtful about how much can the other person handle, you know? If I sense pretty quickly that they’re sensors, I’m not going to talk about, you know, ideas. I’m going to talk about practical, you know? I have a friend who’s a sensor and I talk about practical — how I decorate the house — kind of stuff. I don’t talk about the big ideas: “I wonder why women in religion are being abused,” you know? She’s like, “Why would I care?”
NATALIE: Oh, funny.
BECKY: So I’ve learned to navigate relationships better, I’ve learned to show up as who I am. My business has literally, finally… I would say I struggled with my personality and trying to morph into somebody who’s not me. It really did impact my business, and I am at this threshold right now of seeing my business go a step that very few go, and I’m really excited about it and I’m not afraid of it. I would say two years ago I would’ve been afraid of it, but now I’m like, “No, this is my jam. I’m great at this. Lean into it.” So I think when you understand how your brain works, just like could you imagine if we didn’t understand how our legs worked and we’re trying to put on pants and we did not understand how to put those pants on? Again, analogies.
NATALIE: Yeah, yeah, really.
BECKY: But once you understand how to put your pants on, right — isn’t that something you learn as a child? “Oh look, they’re putting their pants on by themselves” — that’s what it’s like when you learn how your brain functions. It’s like a whole new world of, “Wow, look at the freedom and the independence I have.”
NATALIE: Yeah, it’s amazing.
BECKY: So it has been the single most impactful thing in my life. I can say that bar none.
NATALIE: Okay, so that leads us to the next question, which is what I think you’re itching to get to, and I really can’t wait for you to get into it too. Our personality type could cause us to actually stay stuck in a dysfunctional relationship or environment longer than maybe we’d need to. And let’s talk about that, because, yeah. I’m just going to let you dive in. This is going to be so good.
BECKY: Okay, so there is an advocate that Natalie and I both know, and she’s a sweetheart. Her name is Sarah McDugal. And she has a group of women that she works with and she, I’m going to say about a year ago, she asked them if they could fill out a survey for what their Myers-Briggs type was. And the results are incredible. But I don’t want to mislead what the results… So listen to me fully before you assume that certain types are more apt to be abused, okay? Because I don’t think the data is telling us that. I think it’s telling us something different, okay? Out of sixteen different types, four types represent 70% of the women who were in this advocate group. So 70% of these women are only four types. 36% are one type. But get this: In the general population of women, only 1.6% of people are this type.
NATALIE: That is significant. Someone needs to do a scientific, you know…
BECKY: Well, I’m going to give you a soft science on why I think that is. So let me tell you the type first. Okay, so the four types are ENFJ, INFJ, which is Natalie, ENFP, and INFP. Those are the four types, but the type that was 36%, but it’s only 1% of the general population, which makes it the second rarest, is the INFJ, which is Natalie’s. Now the question is, does that mean… Because the thing that the four types have in common that are 70% is that they’re all NFs — the two letters in the middle, NFs. So they are intuitive perceivers and they make their judgments with feelings, okay? I don’t think that this data tells us that if you’re an NF you’re more likely to be abused. What I think this data tells us is those who are looking for help are NFs.
NATALIE: Oh my gosh.
BECKY: Think about that. Because sensors will not go looking for the help that an intuitive looks for. An intuitive asks, “Why?” A sensor does not ask why. Have you ever met somebody and you’re like, “Why don’t you ask why that happened?” Or think of it this way. Have you ever met somebody who keeps doing the same thing over and over and it’s a mistake, and you’re like, “Haven’t you asked yourself why you’re doing that?” and they’re like, “No,” because sensors typically don’t ask why? And I’m broad stroking here, so just remember that I’m broad stroking. But intuitives want to know why. But here’s the other thing: Feelers tend to have in the top of their stack, one or two, extroverted feeling, which is harmony, which is meeting the needs of others.
So let me tell you what I think this information tells us. And I actually just want to focus on your type, Natalie, the INFJ, because it’s 36%, okay? So I want to explain what your stack is, your top two functions in your brain, and how that could lead you to not being abused, but taking so long to get out of it, okay? Because anyone can be abused. I don’t care if you’re a sensor, feeler, thinker, whatever. Anyone can be abused. And really a lot of that is dependent on how good the abuser is, right?
NATALIE: Right. What kind of an abuser that it is, the kind of mask that they wear, yeah.
BECKY: Exactly. And so again, I don’t want people to think that if you’re an intuitive you’re more likely to be abused. That’s not what I think the data tells us. So an INFJ, their dominant function, I mentioned it before, is introverted intuition, which we have a nickname that I learned from Personality Hacker called “perspectives.” And as a perspective, you are pattern-building in your mind. Remember, your inside world is more real. You are building out scenarios. So let me tell you something you might do, and you tell me if I’m correct. If you’re going to have a tough conversation with somebody, you’re going to run through sixteen different ways to say it and you’re going to imagine the sixteen different reactions and you’re going to pick the one that is most likely to achieve what you want to achieve.
BECKY: Do you know most of us don’t do that?
BECKY: Yeah, most of us don’t do that. But your type does, right? Keep that in mind, because it’s really important, okay? Your second function… Again, your right hand is perspectives. Your left hand… You’re right-handed, right?
BECKY: Okay, so your left hand is called harmony, extroverted feeling. Harmony wants to meet the needs of others. Harmony is very relationship-oriented, and I mean, this is totally Natalie. You’re very sensitive to reading the emotions of others. One of the reasons, Natalie, you might… When you said you’re at a stage that you’re looking to build yourself up, not be drained, you naturally get drained because you can feel other people’s feelings.
I was at this conference for Myers-Briggs and they were going to do a live profiling session. The woman they were profiling had one of the most tremendously terrible, abusive childhoods I’ve ever heard of. It reminded me a lot of my own, but it was worse, and I’ve never met somebody who had a worse childhood. Before she came up on stage, there is at the Myers-Brigg stuff, even though it’s only 1.6% of people are INFJs, it’s typically at least 20% of people there are INFJs. They felt what she was going to say before she got on stage. It was so thick in that room because you have this incredible ability to feel… You can actually feel — this is why an INFJ is my best friend — you can feel what I can’t recognize I’m feeling. In fact, that’s why most of my friends are INJFs. I can ask them, “I’m not sure how I’m feeling about this,” and they help me understand what I’m feeling, okay?
NATALIE: Well, and the problem with that is that then we anticipate the needs of the person who’s having the big feelings and we feel like we should fix it. So if you’re with someone who’s abusive, they don’t even have to say anything, sometimes. You can just feel what they need and then you do it.
BECKY: Now remember, an INFJ was 32% of the people who responded to this survey out of seven hundred. The second was ENFJ. They were 11%, okay? So that right there makes up a total of about 43%, okay? That’s huge. But you know what, the reason that I’m mentioning that is because ENFJ and INFJ actually have the same two dominant and copilot — they’re just reversed. So one is going to be meeting the needs of others more than scenario building, but you’re both going to be doing both of those things. It’s just you’re going to be… It’s again using your left and right hand. One’s going to be a little bit easier and more prominent, okay?
And so I have to sit back and go, “Okay.” And again, this is Becky after several years of learning this stuff. I am no expert. I just want to say that. But my dominant function is process in figuring out why things happen the way they happen, okay?
So I want to tell you my theory, okay? Here’s what I think: In your brain when you are building scenarios, when you are finding patterns, everything that you are thinking is all within a box of your beliefs. Everything you’ve been trained as a child through adulthood and what you’ve been trained in an abusive marriage is the box of your beliefs. So the churches you went to, everything they told you. So every scenario you build is within that box. Does that make sense?
BECKY: Okay. The reason you stay in a marriage for twenty-something years, the reason I stayed in a marriage for twenty-something years, is because our box never let us out. So the problem was not our personality type. The problem was getting outside of the box of our beliefs. And once we can break that barrier of that box, which is very hard, because when you are trained from an early childhood to believe certain principles like “divorce is wrong,” when you go build those sixteen scenarios in your brain, none of them include divorce, do they?
NATALIE: Yeah, right.
BECKY: You are trying to figure out how to solve the problem, but you’re not allowed to include the actual solution to the problem.
NATALIE: Exactly. The solution’s not in the box. It’s out of the box. So if you’re going to stay in the box to find it, you will never find it.
BECKY: Right. So I would tell you that an ENTJ and an INFJ that did not have the box is not in an abusive situation because getting out is actually one of the first solutions they would think of. Isn’t that fascinating?
NATALIE: Yeah. Okay, so even if they had the religious upbringing, though?
BECKY: No. If you had the religious upbringing that told you that the solution was not an option, then every scenario you build, every way you try to fix the problem, will never work, because the solution’s not part of it. I remember thinking to myself, “Why didn’t I ever think to just divorce?”
NATALIE: Yeah. Well, but I did think to divorce… Actually, no, I never did. When I did think about it, I felt guilty for thinking about it. It wasn’t until way, way later, but I would’ve told you if you would’ve said to me, “Well, what about divorce?” Let’s say you said that to me ten years in. I would’ve said, “That’s not even on the table. It’s not an option.”
BECKY: Exactly. So your brain, right, your brain knows how to fix the solution. Every woman in the world that is in an abusive relationship, her brain has the power, has the resources to get her out of it, except for the fact that we are boxed in by our beliefs. The further I get outside of that belief box… Just for context, I was raised in cult-like, extreme fundamental Christianity. So when I say “get out of that box,” I mean, like, think it’s okay for women to have value, do you know what I mean?
NATALIE: Right, right. She’s not saying throw away all of your Christian beliefs. There are some very toxic beliefs that fall under the guise of Christianity. How I put it is it’s pseudo-Christianity. It’s not what Christ taught. It has nothing to do with Christ. It’s like some kind of twisted, satanic version of “Christianity.” That’s how I would probably phrase it. I just don’t want to scare anybody off and have them go, “Oh my gosh. I can’t heal unless I throw away my Christianity?” No. This is a Christian podcast just so you guys all know.
BECKY: Right. And I would say, remember the principle here is getting outside of your restricted box. So the question you have to ask yourself is, “What does my box look like?” And because intuitives and intuitive feelers tend to be the women who look for the help, they are the ones that the box is the biggest constraint. A sensor typically doesn’t have the same relationship with the box, the belief box, that intuitives do because intuitives are really… Have you ever wondered, like, some people, they call them “Sunday morning Christians”? And you’re like, “No, you can’t… Like, don’t you think through all of it?” And those are intuitives. Intuitives are going, “Wait, wait. There’s a big picture here. There’s a pattern, there’s a reason.” Intuitives tend to be the most dedicated Christians.
NATALIE: That is so funny because I remember in college — I’m writing a book right now and I’m going through my old journals — and in college, I was always so mystified how my friends, they were good Christian people, but their passion for God was not necessarily to be seen on the weekdays, you know, in college when we were sun tanning and flirting with boys and playing rock music on our radios. I never could figure out… That was such a conundrum for me to figure out, like, “Are they casual Christians? Are they going down the slippery slope to perdition?” I couldn’t figure it out.
BECKY: They’re sensors. And what’s amazing is sensors tend to have this… Because they don’t get too heady about it. Practical. So are they being kind? A sensor’s like, “I’m being kind,” right? An intuitive is like, “But did I mean to be kind?” We get too much in our heads.
NATALIE: Yeah. It’s totally analytical.
BECKY: Oh my goodness, yes. And so if you are a listener and you have taken your Myers-Briggs test… And if you haven’t, go to personalityhacker.com. That is truly the best test I’ve seen on the market. It’s free. And take that. But if you come back as an intuitive feeler or thinker, there are not many thinkers in there because thinkers tend to be like… But I was raised in such a deep level of bad religion that I got stuck, really. And even though I’m a thinker, because my dominant function is about finding the process that is best for everybody, put that in the context of a family. What is best for my children? Well, a husband and a wife raising all the kids together. So to me, you couple my intuition and thinking with the bad religion in my box, it took twenty years to break through the box and find the actual solution. It’s just so fascinating.
NATALIE: Well, you brought up personalityhacker.com, and I will say too, they not only have a website but also I love their podcast. They’ve got hundreds and hundreds of episodes, so if you want to do deep dive. And they actually do talk about Enneagram too. We’re going to be talking about that with Stacey next week. But I think their big thing is Myers-Briggs. Am I right?
NATALIE: I mean, all their classes are Myers-Briggs and stuff. You can learn so much by going to their podcast, and I actually recommend starting at the beginning because that’s when they kind of lay the foundation and teach you all the things. But is there anything else? Like are there any other resources that you feel would be important?
BECKY: Well, so if you take the personality test on Personality Hacker, they have what’s called a personality kit. And I know, Natalie, you’ve done your INFJ kit, and I’ve done my ENTJ kit. It’s very reasonably priced. It’s hours and hours of just information about your type, your cognitive function. It’s super helpful. I went ahead and of course, this was years ago, I took it, I got the kit, then I got the kit of my spouse, then I got the kit of my kids, and then I started profile training and then I started Dynamics. And it’s been the education that’s to me better than anything Harvard or Yale could give me. I mean, literally, it is a tool I use every day, all day long, because I’m an intuitive, right? I’m all in my head thinking about things, right? And so I’m able to navigate things a lot better.
NATALIE: Before we end, just say something, one last thing, about how women who are listening could maybe go and learn about their… Let’s say they’re like, “Oh, I think I do want to take my test and find out what I am.”
How can they use the information that they get about their personality test to actually help to set themselves free from, even if they don’t… We’re not telling everyone, “Go and get a divorce.” We’re just saying, how can they set themselves free in their own minds over their understanding of who they are and how they actually can find flow, and why working against themselves could possibly be sabotaging their own self-development growth just because of their environment and what it’s teaching them and the things that they believe?
BECKY: So I would say the very first thing is always just awareness, right? So I actually tested out as an INTJ, introverted, because all the questions were — not on Personality Hacker, but on all the other sites — the questions were all extroverted questions about people. Personality Hacker, I actually volunteered to be profiled. They have a paid profiling too, but I volunteered and then I ended up taking the profiling class. But when I was profiled she said, “You’re an ENTJ.” And I — oh — I got angry because number one, I already took the test and I know what I am, right? But it was more because I was like, “There’s no way. I can’t be an extrovert. That will kill me,” you know? And then she, at the moment, she said, “Your three-year-old function will go five, ten, twenty years without realizing what it really feels about something,” I was like, “She’s totally right.” So awareness.
So now I know what type I am. Type is only the secret code. Just remember that. Type means nothing if you don’t tie it together with cognitive functions, because type… Don’t get mixed up with going, “Oh, now I’m an extrovert — I’ve got to go be social all the time,” or “Now I’m an intuitive. So no, I can’t take that cooking class because that’s all hands-on,” or “Oh, now I’m a thinker, so it’s okay to be kind of a jerk to people,” you know? No, that’s not the whole purpose of it. The purpose is to learn how your brain functions, just like how your left and right arm functions.
And once you can understand that… And again, there are sixteen different possibilities, right? You have to understand that part of it. And then it’s like peeling an onion. You will keep peeling an onion and peeling an onion, and each time you’re going to start recognizing why you do what you do and why you think that way. And it’s the only time, I think, that it gives this little crack in a windshield. And if you can get the crack in the windshield, the rest of the windshield will go if you just keep pecking away.
So that box, that belief box…. And I say beliefs. You might believe that green is the best color in the world. That’s a belief, right? It’s the condition of your mind of what you will allow and what you will not allow yourself to think. And that has been conditioned in all of us culturally and religiously, okay? So you’ve got to break through — you’ve got to peck at that windshield and get a little crack going and break open the rest.
Let me share one example with you that I think would give an actual, tangible exercise for you to do, okay? I was listening to a video by Abraham Piper. It’s on Instagram and TikTok, and he was talking about why his wife should divorce him. It’s a great video. Go listen to it. But there’s one sentence he said that really stuck with me, and I think he was reading a bio of somebody and they had been married, like, fifty years, and he just automatically had this reverence for this man because he’d been married for fifty years.
And he said, “I stopped right then and said, ‘Why do I think he deserves reverence or accolades for being married fifty years? Where does that come from?’” Once you start asking that question, that’s where you go, “Oh, wow. I have a belief box that says, ‘Success in marriage equals good. Failure in marriage equals bad.’”
And I love what Abraham Piper said. He goes, “But doesn’t it take a lot of hard work to actually leave a bad marriage versus staying? Isn’t staying the easy part? So I’m being happy for this guy because he took the easy road out?” you know?
So if you just stop and ask yourself every time you have a thought, “Why do I think that? Where does that come from?” Because we believe a lot of crazy things because we never ask ourselves why. I never asked myself why I believed divorce was not an option. And I don’t beat myself up with it anymore, but for years I beat myself up with, “I am a smart girl. Why did I never think about divorce?” Well, my belief box was padlocked with thirty-six padlocks.
NATALIE: Right. I’ll put in a plug for Flying Free because that’s one of the main things we do in that program, is we pick at the windshield of our beliefs. People come into the forum, they come to coaching, and they share something that they believe, a situation that they’re going through, and we find the belief that’s keeping them stuck so that they can see a way forward. But it requires them to loosen up their grip on some of the things that they truly think are non-negotiables. And I’m talking about everything from going to church to “children should be seen and not heard” to spanking versus whatever other parenting… You know, or even people’s manual for how other people should behave. All of these are just beliefs that we have.
BECKY: Here’s one that you wouldn’t just think of automatically. The belief of how much I’m allowed to say and how much I’m not allowed to say in the presence of men. You have a belief system for that. Why? My type is much more comfortable with men than women because my brain works more like a man’s brain, and yet our society says that that’s not kosher because that’s inappropriate. But I have two female friends that I’m really close with. Other than that, most of my friends are men because I can talk to them the way that they think, right? And I had to break through to allow myself the relationship of friendship with a man. I had to break through the windshield that said, “That is inappropriate.”
NATALIE: Right. And my programming would say, “People would go, ‘Oh, well, you must be sleeping with all those men.’”
BECKY: Yeah. I didn’t want to go that far on a G-rated podcast.
NATALIE: I know, but I think we should say that because that is what people are thinking. If you’re raised in that kind of thinking, you’re like, “Well, you can’t be friends with men unless… Like, what are you doing? Sleeping with all of them?” No, actually, friendships with the opposite sex, that doesn’t always equal sex. It doesn’t have to equal… It’s like, why do we go there?
BECKY: Yeah. So here’s the Pandora’s box you might open. When you break open the belief box, you’re going to start asking why, and the whys can be really crazy. And you’re just sitting there going, “Why did I believe that for so many years? It’s so ridiculous it’s almost funny.”
NATALIE: It’s like the analogy of pulling the card out from the house of cards. You pull one card out and the whole house collapses. And then you do… I guess there’s a word for it — you deconstruct. But it’s important. If you really want to build a faith on a solid foundation that’s your own, you have to deconstruct, because your house of cards, your faith house, is built on everyone else’s thoughts about what’s true and what’s not true. I know they say that they built theirs on the Bible, but they didn’t, because they’re all using the Bible to make their cases for what they believe. So it’s not really.
BECKY: Right, because they’re all different.
NATALIE: It’s just their thoughts. It’s their thoughts about what the Bible says. So you’re going to have to get rid of all of those cards and level them to the ground. And then you get to go to the Bible and wrestle with things yourself. You go to God and wrestle with things yourself about what you believe that you want to believe that actually resonates with your core values, that resonates with the God, the Holy Spirit, inside of you. And it might look very different from… I know my faith looks very, very different than what it did twenty years ago.
BECKY: Very different. And I would say it’s faith I think is the number one because I think that’s the smallest… The belief box of faith might be big in how much it contains, but it keeps you in the most narrow thinking. And so you have to get there first. I would say past that, when you really want to understand people and what’s going on in the world, you start deconstructing cultural belief systems, and it’s really fascinating. I mean, I love learning, so it just doesn’t stop there, but it’s a great place to start. Just ask yourself why. “Why do I think this way?”
NATALIE: Yeah. So if you want to do that kind of work with me, you can go to joinflyingfree.com and fill out an application, and you can join us. There are hundreds of women in that program doing this kind of work, and it is very fascinating and super fun. I think that’s all we have, so thank you so much.
NATALIE: Yeah. I love that you’re willing to share your expertise. Really, you’ve kind of become an expert in this because of all of your studying and even the project that we will not mention that you have to be an expert to do what you’re doing. It’s just genius. I can’t wait for all of you guys to see what she does someday, but that is it. Thank you so much for those of you who are listening, and next week we’re going to meet with Stacey and talk about the Enneagram. And until that time, fly free.
Hey, beautiful butterfly. Thank you so much for listening. If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe, and then consider leaving a rating and review so others can find us. To connect with me and get a free chapter of my book, head over to flyingfreenow.com, and until next time, fly free.