Personality Types Theory and Research Articles

Assertive Advocate (INFJ-A) vs. Turbulent Advocate (INFJ-T)

While Assertive (INFJ-A) and Turbulent (INFJ-T) Advocates are likely to be more alike than different, their Identity trait impacts the way they think, act, and respond to their worlds to a significant extent. One of the best ways to think about Turbulent and Assertive Advocates might be to picture two sliding scales. The first scale slides between “proactive” and “reactive.” The second scale slides between “optimistic” and “pessimistic.” The sliding nature of these is most important because it prevents us from making the mistake of thinking in absolutes. There are only tendencies.

When thinking of the differences between Turbulent and Assertive Advocates, it’s important to remember that there are no bad personality traits. Society may have a bias toward optimism (or pessimism, or whatever), but that’s subjective. There are valuable qualities in each personality characteristic, and it takes many types of contributions from many types of people to make the world work. One is not better than the other. Just different.

In this spirit, Assertive Advocates are more likely to lean toward the proactive and optimistic side of the scale. And it’s the other way around for Turbulent Advocates, who lean toward the reactive and pessimistic. While Assertive Advocates may be concerned about other people and even upset about injustice or inequality in the world, they are likely to respond in a more hopeful manner. Rather than spending a lot of time thinking about pain and misery, these personality types are more likely to think in terms of plans and visions for a better future.

75% of Turbulent Advocates say they are prone to seeing difficulties everywhere, compared to 42% of Assertive Advocates.

Turbulent Advocates are more likely to get caught up in negative emotions and become very involved in the plight of others. While all Advocate personalities make decisions primarily based on their feelings, Turbulent Advocates are likely to turn that up a notch when compared to Assertive Advocates. This focus can generate a great deal of energy toward whatever their current passions are. But it can also turn inward, as Turbulent self-criticism is often excessively harsh.

Turbulent Advocates are more willing to exaggerate the impact of something that bothers them. But such exaggeration is rarely on purpose or about dishonesty. It’s more a reflection of their tendency to hold more negative views of things. This can also seep into the way they handle their relationships. While Assertive Advocates are not entirely free from the effects of dramatic events, Turbulent Advocates are comparatively more affected when there’s an unstable relationship or an emotionally laden situation.

Assertive Advocates may pay close attention to a troubling concern, but they refuse to become stressed by it. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t genuinely invested, or that they don’t care. They may feel compelled to help the downtrodden, but they are more likely than their counterparts to keep on an even emotional keel while doing so.

87% of Turbulent Advocates find it hard to not let a stressful event negatively affect them, compared to 47% of Assertive Advocates.

Because of their shared Judging personality trait, both types of Advocate prefer routine and predictability. Neither particularly likes to be caught by surprise. However, Assertive Advocates are much more likely to accept unusual turns and buy into the unique expressions of others.

Advocate personalities all share profound regard for the past. They tend to remember the way things have unfolded in their lives deeply and passionately. They glean lessons for the future from their pasts. However, Assertive Advocates are much less bothered by regrets when their pasts are rocky, whereas Turbulent Advocates may cling tightly to memories of such disappointments and missteps.

86% of Turbulent Advocates often feel regret, compared to 48% of Assertive Advocates.

Regret can color Turbulent Advocates’ future actions either positively or negatively: positively, if they are motivated to make up for past missteps; negatively, if these personalities become caught up in guilt or anger. While Assertive Advocates entertain regret less, they are also likely less fueled by the passion that regret can sometimes produce.

Both Turbulent and Assertive Advocates tend to elevate their friends, the people they fall in love with, and even their colleagues. They tend to think the best of those they value and agree with while demonizing those who go against their sense of right and wrong or appear to be phony.

However, there is a difference between the two: Assertive Advocates see things through a filter of humanity and want to have people, in Introverted doses, in their lives. But they are not deeply influenced by the opinions of others – perhaps, at times, to their detriment. At what point does such independence become arrogance? Turbulent Advocates, in comparison, are more likely to go beyond simply wanting people in their lives. These personalities feel more of a need for others and are more affected by what others think of them.

93% of Turbulent Advocates are often afraid of being rejected by other people, compared to 52% of Assertive Advocates.

So, to summarize the differences between Assertive and Turbulent Advocates:

  • While cultural biases may, at times, label some traits as “positive” and others “negative,” there is no such thing as a bad personality trait or type. Each has value and contributes to society.
  • Assertive Advocates lean toward being proactive and optimistic while Turbulent Advocates lean toward being reactive and pessimistic.
  • Both personality types need order and predictability, but Turbulent Advocates are more likely to be thrown by the unexpected compared to Assertive Advocates.
  • Both are concerned with other people, but Assertive Advocates are likely to be more hopeful and Turbulent Advocates to focus on others’ problems.
  • Turbulent Advocates are often fueled by their worries and concerns and these can be used to make significant progress. These personalities can often see problems (and find solutions) before the Assertive Advocates do.
  • Both Assertive and Turbulent Advocates can get caught up in the drama of life, but those who are Turbulent are likely to be impacted more.
  • Stress and regret affect the Assertive Advocate individuals less, but that should not be confused with them not caring.
  • Assertive Advocates are less influenced by the opinions of others than Turbulent Advocates are. However, either too little or too much attention to the opinions of others can cause their own difficulties.
  • Assertive Advocates are more likely to want people in their lives, while Turbulent Advocates may feel they need people in their lives.

The same but different. That’s what we discover when we explore Assertive and Turbulent Identities in a single personality type. For Advocates, this means the same passion, the same concern for others, the same sense of order, and the same level of conviction about right and wrong. But it also means a somewhat different perspective on the metaphorical glass. Is it half full or half empty? To what degree do they respond to other people and events, and to what degree do they move forward despite them? That’s all part of the journey of self-exploration.

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