Polyglot Love

“You’re a loner!” says the speaker, pointing at me in front of the room.  I slowly lower my hand as 150 heads turn to look at me.  I can feel my cheeks getting flush.  “There’s no one else in the room like you. In fact only 1% of the population is like you.”  I had identified myself as an INFJ – the most rare of the Myers Briggs Personality Types.  I don’t mind being singled out: I feel comfortable being different from the people around me.

And yet what I love most about this weekend is that I am with people who are, in some ways, just like me. I’m in Washington, DC with a group of MBA students from other schools, working together on the Global Business Project. (Each of us took the Myers Briggs Personality Test to identify potential personality conflicts in our small groups.) We are working in teams this semester on a consulting project with an international company, which we will visit in May.  (I’ll be working with P&G Brasil).

We’ve all agreed to a learn the language of our host country, a commitment which attracts a certain type of person: someone who has traveled, who speaks multiple languages (and is confident they can learn another), a person with a global mindset, a person not embarrassed to make mistakes in speaking a foreign language, a person willing to patiently converse with someone who is learning their language.  Dinner conversation floats between English and Portuguese and  Spanish and French, the topics range from the political climate in Latin America to how to effectively raise multilingual children.  These are my people.

The Global Business Project has brought me innumerable things to be grateful for: the drive and reason to learn Portuguese,  the opportunity to meet new people from all over the world, the opportunity to travel to and work in Brasil, and most of all, the reminder that as an INFJ, I may be unique, but I am not alone.


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