Updated: Feb 7
A lot of people ask me about whether I’m a turbulent or assertive INFJ. For the longest time, I had no idea what that meant. The reason is that it’s not a universal, across all personality type tests, term. It’s exclusive to only one test that I can find. Though all of the tests that I have listed below are based on the original personality theory by Carl Jung, only one takes things a bit farther.
The first personality test I took was the Keirsey Test. You can read their profile here. They give you a more high-level view of personality types and ask you to purchase the full, but more detailed assessment notes. Notice they don’t mention anything about turbulent or assertive.
The official Myers-Briggs Assessment is also available online for a small fee. You can take it here. I have never taken it, but I’ve also never read any mention of turbulent or assertive from them either.
It’s important to recognize this so that we don’t get too hung up on these labels. The whole purpose of learning your personality type is to learn more about yourself and others and to better relate to them as well.
The test at 16Personalities.com is where the terms turbulent and assertive come up. 16 Personalities added the extra letter in an effort to better describe people based on traits rather than types. They combined the original Jung theory with the MBTI theory and adapted their theory to look at the overall way a persona acts rather than try to fit them into a certain box. They look at five personality aspects: mind, energy, nature, tactics and identity, though they use the same letters as the original MBTI assessment, along with the added T or A.
Now that we know where the extra letters came from, let’s focus on what they mean. “Assertive Advocates (INFJs) are more likely to be confident and relaxed. Turbulent Advocates are likely to question themselves more and are ordinarily more sensitive to stressors.” Reference
People with assertive personality types are positive and self-confident. They are much less likely to be nervous or stressed out than their turbulent counterparts. They go after their dreams and goals and aren’t swayed when people tell them that they can’t have something. They want to accomplish big things but don’t get stuck looking at the past. They keep their focus on the future.
Assertive types have a steady stream of confidence. They keep positive no matter what happens and tend to accomplish more than turbulent types. They can weather any storm and keep their drive and will intact.
It’s easy for them to all pray to being overly confident though and even arrogant. They look past the potential problems that come up with the idea and attitude that it’s not a problem for them only for others. If not kept in check this overconfidence could overpower everything else in their lives and their personality.
Those with turbulent personality types are much less confident, though much more driven to prove themselves. They are constantly trying to improve themselves and everything around them to the point of perfectionism. The idea that if they do more, accomplish more, be more then they will feel like they are more.
But no matter how much they do are achieve, no matter what distinction they gain, they still feel like it’s not enough, like they are not enough. Any criticism that is aimed at them is taken straight to heart and either sends them into a downward spiral or motivates them to do still more.
They are very sensitive to problems, noticing them quickly and fixing them thoroughly, often before others could detect them. These problems can be their downfall though if they get stuck in a cycle of looking for problems and not being able or willing to fix them.
In learning about these two additional categories I can’t help but notice their similarities to being narcissistic and codependent. A broad definition of a narcissist is someone who looks to themself as a source of love in their life, much like the assertive type being full of confidence no matter what, while a codependent looks to everyone else for love and approval, the same way the turbulent type is always looking to achieve something new and be praised by others for their accomplishment.
As I stated above, the purpose of learning about your personality is not to place a label on you or to say that one type is better or worse than another. The real purpose is to learn about yourself and to grow as a person. Our personality is shaped by so many things, some we are born with and some we learn. That leads me to the conclusion that we must be able to adapt some things, certainly when they come down to overconfidence or endless people-pleasing.
WHAT IF ONE BOOK COULD CHANGE YOUR LIFE?
Whether you’ve just found out you’re an INFJ or you’ve known for a while, diving into your personality traits will have a profound impact on your life. It will change everything!