Wednesday, 15 July 2015

How Sue Classifies Myers-Briggs Personality Types

As everyone who speaks to me or reads my blog knows, I love to figure out which personality type everybody I know fits in to. Of course lots of people resent that, because they think I'm putting them in a box and labelling them, but what I'm REALLY doing is trying to understand and therefore relate to them better.

I realize that maybe it's to much to expect random acquaintances to sit down and do an actual test, so I have a quick and easy set of questions to ask them to assign them to the right box. Here goes..

Introvert vs Extrovert (I vs. E)

That's easy. Do you get your energy from being with people (E) or from being alone (I)? (note: I didn't ask if you were antisocial hermit because not all introverts are antisocial hermits). Also do you process your thoughts and feelings with other people (E) or alone (I)? (This is why I'm wondering if I'm an ambivert.) Do you live more in your own head (I), or more in the outside world (E)? Do you occasionally need to hide in a bathroom during a party (I), or do you think you're going to go crazy if you're alone for a few hours (E)? Do you find the idea of having the house to yourself for a few days exciting (I) or terrifying (E)?

Introvert Cat is apparently a thing.

Sensing vs. iNtuition 

Do you try to find patterns and underlying meanings to the things you see around you (N) or do you just take things as you see them (S)? For an N, someone offers help, and they wonder, "Does that person think I'm weak? Or are they trying to show they are more capable than me? Or are they secretly in love with me?" An S just hears a person offering help. Of course there are pros and cons to every aspect of a personality type. So there are no bad guys or good guys. An N is far more likely to read too much into everything, but they are also likely to be sensitive to actual underlying factors that are not obvious to S's. An S is the last person to realize that X is secretly in love with Y, and that Z has been unhappy about it for months. On the other hand, S's are far more easy going because they aren't affected by moods and drama.

 Thinking vs. Feeling 

Okay, if I was being negative this is how I would ask: Do you get your feelings hurt really easily? Do you cry a lot? You're definitely an F. Do you sometimes wonder if you're cold, unfeeling and insensitive? Do you get frustrated by illogical behaviour? You're probably a T. But when I'm being kinder, and more balanced, I'd ask "Do you more easily empathise with people? F. Are you able to logic yourself out of a negative emotion? T." And there you have the pros and cons. 

Perceiving vs Judging 

Are you open ended, happy with multiple possible solutions (P), or do you need a definite answer to every question (J). P's are more adaptable, but are often indecisive. J's are obsessed with clarity, they love black and white, which is good when it comes to standing up for truth and justice. Not so good when they want to impose the black and white on morally neutral issues, or start thinking their opinion is the another name for 'the only right way to do things'. 

When you're trying to decide which personality type best describes you, it's good to remember there are scales you can move up or down, and that you can develop different parts of your personality. Although I still mostly identify as an INTJ, I no longer think I'm just a cold mastermind.

I'm moved closer to the E side (ambivert?), am far more empathetic and F-ish than I used to be (effect of living with many F's and asking God for grace to grow in empathy and sensitivity),

and I've slid down from the very J side, closer to the P's, even accepting that I MAY not be right.about EVERYTHING, (although I'm still right about most things). Actually one of my favourite quotes is St. Augustine's "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity." I'm trying to model my conversations and convictions on that principle.

Okay, so what are you?

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