Ok, that title is deliberately dramatic because this is generally a dramatic topic. After sneering at the fandom around the Myers Briggs personality tests I finally decided to take it myself, if for no reason other than the fact that I was curious to know how I would be defined. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that out of three of the four dimensions, they could not define me. I’ve sat amused for a long time watching people trying to determine their personality types based on this test, but was not so amused when they started judging others based on the same info. So I had a quiet chuckle at the thought of their facial expressions when they discovered that they still had no credible basis against which to judge me.
Out of the sixteen possible personality types, I ended up with a result that says that I could be either of eight of them. Scrolling through the eight options I could easily relate to each of them, which I guess adds to the credibility of the test, but denies answers to those that would wish to have me defined in a way that makes interactions more predictable. However, self-indulgence aside, the most important realisation for me was the fact that in the one dimension where I was defined, I realised that by implication it is the one dimension in which I do not have sufficient balance.
The report indicated that my scores were ‘borderline’ in the three dimensions of extravert versus introvert, feeler versus thinker, and judger versus perceiver. I interpret these outcomes as suggesting that I am adaptable or balanced relative to the norm. The dimension where I’m not balanced is where they identify my strengths or preferences as being intuitive rather than sensing. This is true. I’m often focused on the patterns of behaviour, or the sequence of events that hint at possible future outcomes, and so end up being rather insensitive to the emotional investments that others have made. When patterns are the focus, the immediate emotional impact is easy to ignore. There is relevance in understanding emotional responses, but most often I resign it to a waste of time that doesn’t change the outcome of what we’re faced with. I guess that’s the proof that I lack balance in this dimension.
I wonder if others that have taken the test view their results in the same way? I wonder how many realise that it is merely an indication of preferences of behavior in their current state, and does not necessarily define who they are, or who they will be? Do they realise the difference between preference of behaviour versus subconscious predisposition and the important state of mindfulness that determines our awareness of the two? Too few appear to use it as a tool for reflection and growth, while most use it to determine their fit in relationships or groups; or worse they use it to measure the worth of others.
The problem with people that don’t fit the molds of society is that they don’t easily fit anywhere in society either. It also means that they are often misunderstood in intent, and would therefore be assumed to be something other than what they are or intend to be. (Cue violins and harps.) No, that’s not my attempt at being sensitive, it’s more an observation of a reality that many like me face, while most feel justified in their judgemental attitude towards people like me. In other words, anyone that doesn’t fit their preferred models are automatically shunned or avoided. Unfortunately, because the number of people that break the mold are the minority, the pervasive ignorance of the majority results in the devaluation of the contribution of those that are best positioned to contribute something unique. It’s that uniqueness of contribution that drives the world forward, while the collusion of the majority serve as nothing more than a preservation of the status quo, or often even results in a degradation of the current state that we find ourselves in.
For its entertainment value, here’s the summary of my test results:
- May be an Extravert or an Introvert
- Intuitive, not Sensing
- May be a Feeler or a Thinker
- May be a Judger or a Perceiver
Due to the number of inconclusive responses above, I was listed to have 8 possible personality types. These include:
- ENFJ – The Teacher
- ENFP – The Champion
- ENTJ – The Commander
- ENTP – The Visionary
- INFJ – The Counselor
- INFP – The Healer
- INTJ – The Mastermind
- INTP – The Architect
Details of each of the above can be found on the Truist website that I linked to at the beginning of this article. I’m curious to know if any of you may have an opinion on whether or not any of the above is easily recognisable through my writing? Or perhaps even share your thoughts on your experiences with this personality test, and how it may have shaped your perspectives, or interactions with others?