Saturday, January 30, 2010

What is Your Personality Type?

I'm an INFJ. If you're scratching your head and wondering what an INFJ is, it refers to my personality type based on the Myers-Briggs personality profiles. Each letter refers to one of four personality components combined in a variety of 16 different personality types.

The first letter reflects whether you're introverted or extroverted. If you tend to think before you act, need some personal quiet time to feel recharged, prefer one-on-one relationships and activities, and are motivated more by your own thoughts and ideas rather than those of others, you're introverted. If you tend to act first and then think, thrive on interaction with others and love being part of the crowd, and are motivated by the outside world and its opinions, you would be considered an extrovert.

The second letter reflects what method of perceiving or understanding things comes most naturally to you. Our brains both sense and use intuition, but one method tends to be favored or more comfortable for us. People who use their senses (S) in perceiving experiences tend to "live in the Now", create practical solutions, are able to quickly recall facts and past events, improvise most easily from past experience, and dislike guessing - you want cold hard facts. Intuitive people (N) tend to live in the future, always considering and planning around future possibilities, are imaginative and creative, remember things based more on patterns, context, and relational connections, problem solve better with theory rather than experience and are comfortable with assumptions and fuzzy data rather than needing proof or facts.

The third letter reflects decision-making. If you are Thinking (T), chances are good you want the facts or need to see logic in a decision making situation, notice when things need to be done without being told to do them, are objective, and accept that conflict is simply a normal part of relationships. Feeling (F) people tend to make decisions based on their own personal feelings and how their decisions will impact others feelings, are sensitive to the needs and reactions of others, seek out consensus (meaning you want everyone to be able to at least agree to disagree), and really dislike conflict of any kind.

The fourth and last letter reflects your relationship with the outside world. If your style falls under Judging (J), you tend to plan out details before taking action, complete projects step by step, try to stay ahead of deadlines, and are goal and routine oriented. If you fall under the Perceiving style (P), you are comfortable with planning as you go, like to multitask mixing work and play, are tolerant of the pressure needed to meet deadlines, and avoid commitments that might interfere with flexibility, freedom and variety.

So, in my case, the INFJ means I'm introverted (I), intuitive (N), sensing (F), judging (J). So what's so unusual about that? Only 1% of personality types fall under this particular grouping. Blessing or curse? I'm not really sure I tend to be a bit of a loner but I'm far from being withdrawn - reserved is a better word, I think. I sometimes feel like I understand others better than they (are ready to) understand themselves - which can be frustrating when I run up against people who tend to be what I call ostriches... they just stick their heads in the sand and stay in denial, when allowing themselves to just do and feel and be who and what they truly are would be so much easier and healthier! By nature, I'm also a perfectionist - and when time constraints keep me from doing something perfectly, I stress. (Which my husband will attest to is most of the time!) On the positive side, imagination is a strong suit for me - which explains why I love to craft and write and encourage others to use the creative energy that we all have to some degree. Relationships are important to me - my family, my close friends, and of course, since I'm a hopeless romantic, I have never argued that I'm much happier living in a loving partnership than being alone. I also love to problem solve and that probably explains why I often answer the phone with "Karen's/Mom's helpline" when a family or friend's number shows up on caller ID. I also have absolutely no problem completely losing myself in a task at hand - which may or may not be a good thing at times! All in all, I've learned to live with all sides of my personality... and I find it interesting to try to figure out what kind of personality types others are.

If you'd like to learn more about the Myers-Briggs personality profiles, check out this easy-peasey self test here, and then for a more in-depth analysis of your type, Purdue University has published some great papers on them, which you can find here.

By the way, if anyone's interested, my hubby Al is an ENTJ - also a very rare personality type (approximately 5% total population) - which explains why we're such a unique couple!

I'd love to see your comments and what your personality type is, so take a few minutes to visit the website with the self test and then come back and share with us!


Carapace said...

I love personality tests, they're such a fun game! Like playin' Taboo without needing a party.
Did you know the history of the Briggs-Meyer test?

Thanks, internet!

I know the results I get totally depend on what time of the month I take it. Ahem. I think that means I'm a XX Personality.;)

Victoria said...

Ooh, fun! Apparently I'm very similar to you, an ISFJ. It does seem to sum me up very well! said...

Hi there! Nice post. I took the Myers Briggs Years ago, I do not remember my outcome, so thanks for sharing this. Glad to meet you on Etsybloggers. Visit my blog here

Liz's Wares said...

I love little quizzes like these.
Thats why i use to waste hours on quizzilla.

I got the same results as you! lol

thanks for this link.

Laura said...

I love the theory behind MB's Personality types. I'm an INFP myself. Taking the test, my N and F are almost even with the other letter.

You should also look into multiple intelligences. So much knowledge to take in, wheee!

Splendid Little Stars said...

MyersBriggs is great! It has been very helpful in understanding myself as well as others. I am an INFP, although borderline on the I, and P perhaps. I love that Myers and Briggs were a mother daughter team with no formal training. The theory is, that as one becomes older, the personality types fall closer to the middle. You could say, perhaps, that over time one learns to use the non-dominant hand.
INFP is rare, too, and I always knew I was a bit different. My husband is an ENFJ which is also rare.
Another personality typing system is the Enneagram.
Howard Gardener wrote a book called The 7 Intelligences, a little bit different from personalities. They are;
1. Linguistic intelligence (as in a poet);
2. Logical-mathematical intelligence (as in a scientist);
3. Musical intelligence (as in a composer);
4. Spatial intelligence (as in a sculptor or airplane pilot);
5. Bodily kinesthetic intelligence (as in an athlete or dancer);
6. Interpersonal intelligence (as in a salesman or teacher);
7. Intrapersonal intelligence (exhibited by individuals with accurate views of themselves).

mysticwynd said...

It's great to hear everyone's feedback! Laura and Splendid Little Stars - thank you so much for the additional information on Enneagram and intelligence typing :)

The study of human behavior has always fascinated me and it's nice to know that so many others find it interesting as well! I'm familiar with Gardner's "intelligences" and mine falls pretty strongly into the Logical-mathematical intelligence arena, with linguistic intelligence coming in a close second! An 8th intelligence - Naturalistic intelligence - was added to the list in the late 1990's - it reflects ability to relate to nature and animals and the ability to nurture and tend to them. Educational systems are finally starting to look at the "how" of learning in addition to the "what" - and this theory of intelligences is one of the leading foundations for that movement.

Definitely interesting stuff!

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