The Giver

-Quote from Buddha Nothing better than returning to flowers at the office 🙂


What a week. I’m officially in my eighth city in two weeks. Two continents, two US coasts and will have flown eight different planes by the day’s end.

Came across an interesting article through my Facebook feed the other day. For those of you familiar with Myers-Briggs, there was a sardonic article about what “Hell” would look like according to MB personality types (read here).

Made me laugh.

Then made me think. So much so that even two days later after reading the article, I can’t quite get it out of my head. Why was the article (as sarcastic as it was) sticking to me?

I am an ENFJ.

Apparently, ENFJ’s are on the lower scale of representation in the US. Less than 3% of females in the US are ENFJ’s. If you are a man that is an ENFJ, you represent less than 2% so you are basically a UNICORN.

If you are an ENFJ, you are likely to be:

  • Optimistic.
  • Happiest when serving others.
  • Trustworthy.
  • Loyal.
  • People focused.
  • Compromising.
  • Value relationships. Above self. Before self.
  • Creative.
  • Externally focused.
  • Long for and seek closeness and intimacy.

However, on the contrary, you are also likely to exhibit the following negatives:

  • Afraid of self.
  • Overly sensitive.
  • Smothering or manipulative.
  • Fussy.
  • Worrisome.
  • Tend to blame themselves when things go wrong and not give themselves enough credit when things go right
  • Can be unbending and stubborn in some areas
  • Often do not pay enough attention to their own needs – put others’ needs above their own

So what would personal hell look like to me?

According to the article it is this: Your loved ones are in dire need of guidance but every piece of advice you gives them inadvertently makes things worse for them. 

Spot on.

It hurts to see other people hurt. And I feel destroyed when I think about the possibility that I may cause hurt to someone else.

Which leads me back to my progress on “selfishness” and being selfish. I don’t think I know when I am being selfish and don’t know if what I am asking for is selfish enough. In my mind, I feel that being selfish only comes in two degrees. Selfless OR Selfish. The guilt that falls in between is crippling. If I do something I like, I feel selfish. If I don’t do something that I like, I feel like I’m being selfless. But then I’m being told that I’m a martyr. It’s an awful game of tug of war and I don’t know if I will ever win. It’s the curse of the giver I suppose. My ultimate joy and happiness comes from seeing others people happy and if I can help make them happy, then I gain joy and happiness from them.

Selflessness seems like a virtue, but it also comes with a vice. A vice to please. A vice to seek external affirmations to feel good. I get a high off pleasure, happiness, joy, connection and deep bonds. But then again, who doesn’t.

Today, one of my teammates said the sweetest thing to me that made me feel good about who I was and who I am. In her words, she told me:

“Joyce, before you came along, we weren’t a team. Now, because of you, you’ve made us a strong team and a GOOD team. We are now a team who will get through anything together.”

For this person to say this to me meant the world. And despite all the challenges we faced at work with pressure and workload, to hear her say this made my heart beat with relief. I always doubted whether my leadership was making a positive impact or difference. I just had to trust that what I was doing was right.

And with her words, she made me realize that I should be proud of my ENFJ. Be proud of my virtues and my vices.

I can’t control how or whether those around me will be happy. I can’t believe that I am the answer to anyone’s happiness. But I can give. I can offer up my heart. I can offer kindness. I can offer up my efforts.

One must GIVE to live. So that’s what I’ll keep doing.

Obey, Serve, Love, GIVE & Excel.

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