A couple of weeks ago our marketing department at work sent out an email that we were re-branding our business cards again. It became the new conversation in the work room and at any time someone needed a new subject to discuss. One of the scientists in the lab needed IT help (it involved Outlook signatures) so I was perming my duties as a Systems Administrator. She brought up the new business cards and claimed, “I never even used the first set, and I’ve got 3 boxes sitting in my desk. Why do I need new business cards?” I remembered that I had already gone through half of one of those boxes…. why would I have gone through so many business cards in such a short period of time?? Because I’m passionate about people of course. She asked me, “ENFP, do you use your business cards for lunch raffles at restaurants?” (She knows I’m a single bachelor and eat out often, that must be the explanation.) I sort of lied to her and said, “Yeah, I’ve used some of my business cards for that, but I often give them out to girls ” I felt that it was more appropriate to associate the use of my cards to flirting with women… of course I’ve only given 2 or 3 cards out to attractive girls but the 40-50 others were random strangers I found interesting and hoped for future interactions. Well, this morning I gave out my last business card.
My INFJ came over to my house after an 8 hour graveyard shift, 11pm-7am. We had a brief discussion while I got ready for work. She dropped me off at the bus stop and away she went. I’m sure she’s looking for a hole to crawl up inside and sleep for the next 12 hours… little does she know she’ll only get around 4 hours of sleep. But the thought of more is allowing her to continue on. Anyways I get to the bus stop, pull out my Kindle so I can start reading Wizards First Rule again (a great study on a mature sensing character) when I notice this man, who kind of looks like Sirius Black from Harry Potter sitting on the rocks with his over the shoulder bag strapped from one side of his body to the other. I pretend to read my book for 5-15 seconds so I can… absorb the presence of this unknown character in my story. Retrospectively I honestly can’t describe the process I did to achieve my goals. I literally just stood there pretending to read while I got a feeling for the man. Once I had the feeling I knew it was alright to engage him in the level of conversation I desired. I now knew, he too desired the type of conversation I was about to initiate.
ENFP: “Hey, how are you. Do you take this bus often?” (Notice my level of engagement… what is this man expecting me to talk about? I could have started with a probing question. I could have made some stark comment about abortion or some other matter that would jump our conversation somewhere important immediately. But that would alienate him and prevent me the level of conversation I required)
Man: “No, this is my first time. I’ve never taken this bus before.” (Notice he didn’t engage further, it wasn’t until I began to open him up that he started to be extroverted with me. I believe this not to be because he’s introverted, or even that he’s sensing, but because he is very driven and motivated to his task. All he needed to do was get home, he’s not Feeling about the possible interactions he could have for other people. This response supported my further understanding of his Te function.)
ENFP “Oh, that’s interesting. I work in Seattle and am toying with the idea of taking this to brickyard park and ride to catch the 311 and transfer.” (Here I am being an ENFP, putting my life/experience on my sleeve. I’m increasing the level of trust, the amount of information that’s allowed to be shared. I have a feeling already that he’s an objective thinker and he won’t be put off by the level of conversation)
Man: “Oh, I live by brickyard park and ride!”
ENFP “Why are you taking this bus?”
Man “It’s because I was showing my foreign exchange student how to get to school, you know he’s from China and hasn’t been here long. It’s probably very confusing to be somewhere new and not know where you’re going. I thought I’d help him out.” (This is the point that I clearly knew he was a thinking person besides the way he was dressed and what he was doing in the first place. It was a very objective driven reality. This strongly suggested to me that this man had an extroverted thinking function. He seemed introverted when I first approached him but I soon realized that he is extroverted dominant function. Because I had observed what I thought to be Te I surmised at this point that he was an ENTJ.)
ENFP “Oh man, that’s really cool! I love foreign exchange students. My best friend in high school had a couple different ones from Japan. We should take the bus with them sometimes and show them how to get around. There was this one time one of them really wanted to go to this specific store so we hopped on the bus with her and showed her how to get there. It was a really fun experience!”
Man “Yeah it’s my job now! I find families for foreign exchange students. Right now I’m managing 450 foreign exchange students and families” (At this point I know exactly who this man is, what potential life experiences he’s had, what other activities he’s possibly been engaged in, the fact that he’s probably religious)
ENFP “My sister was looking into getting a foreign exchange student. The problem for her was that the closest bus stop is 2 miles away. That’s too far to be walking! Do you know about talk time (a program where foreign exchange students meet with people to speak in English) at Northshore(a local church)??”
Man “It’s part of my job to teach them English while they’re here. For a time I was taking my students to talk time when it was appropriate. I haven’t been for a while though.”
The point of this post was to show you how I engage individuals and how I get them to talk about what they’re interested in. The information I divulged was honestly surface level information about various random topics, primarily focused on the other individual. I personally viewed myself as in control of the situation and guiding the topics. Who can really tell?
The point for me is that people Fi will always been more interesting then reading a book. I’m still not reading my book. I’m sitting on the 311 heading into Seattle to start my week off. I’m still driven and motivated by the social interaction I just experienced. My first thought was to text my INFJ and post about it so that MBTI fans on Reddit can read about it and give me their feedback. How do Do you ever have similar experiences like this one? How do you use your business cards if you have them?? Comment on Reddit, or directly on this post. We would love your feedback!
P.S. Oh yeah – about the business cards… tying back to my original hook/story – at the end of the conversation when it was obvious he was getting off the bus I handed him my business card, and told him I’d enjoy future conversations.