This is one of the first posts I wanted to write when I thought about blogging, so I’m excited to share it with you.
When I first read the results of the MBTI personality test, I started crying. All of a sudden, the personality traits I had disliked in myself or felt unsure of were explained. I understood myself better. It was a consolation. I never expected the long-term impact that knowing my type would have on my life.
MBTI stands for Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. It has its origins in Carl Jung (a contemporary of Sigmund Freud) and was furthered by Katherine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers. It is a personality test, one of the most respected and widely known personality tests in the world.
There are 16 types, and all 16 are symbolized by a combination of 4 letters.
- Extroversion or Introversion
- Sensing or iNtuition
- Thinking or Feeling
- Judging or Perceiving
For example, I am an ENTJ: Extroversion, Intuition, Thinking, Judging.
What do these 4 categories represent? To quote from The Myers & Briggs Foundation:
- Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extroversion (E) or Introversion (I).
- Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).
- Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).
- Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).
- Your Personality Type: When you decide on your preference in each category, you have your own personality type, which can be expressed as a code with four letters.
The thing about being familiar with MBTI is that once you know your own, you understand a great deal about yourself and it gives you a greater appreciation for others; for example, I now know why I find arguments to be great fun and why my best friend avoids any kind of altercation like the plague. I understand why I feel the need to take the lead in group projects.
Once you know your type, you’ll understand why certain things work for you and others don’t, why you get along with some people naturally and others not, why you prefer praying a certain way and other ways make you restless. You’ll understand better which kind of jobs suit you and which jobs don’t.
I now knew I needed a job where I had power and independence; knowing only that turned my attention to freelancing, and that’s how I started a home-based business when I was 19 and made more than $3,200 in my first month.
Knowledge is power and knowing your MBTI is empowering.
The three ways MBTI affected my life:
- My relationship with myself.
- My relationship with others.
- My approach to career prospects.
Although MBTI can tell you who your ideal type is in friendships and relationships, I want to put a disclaimer about this whole thing.
DISCLAIMER: A rainbow divides up the color spectrum into 7 colors (ROY G BIV; red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet) but there are actually billions (arguably an infinity). Just in this way, MBTI divides up personalities into 16 different types, but there are billions of us out there. We all may fit into a type, but there are countless facets of our personality that make us unique among each other.
So even though MBTI can tell you the personality type of your ideal lover or friend, it’s not set in stone, and you shouldn’t act on it like it is.
REMEMBER: MBTI describes your personality; it doesn’t determine it. It’s descriptive, not prescriptive.
So take the test, take your time, and answer honestly. When you’re done come back here and check out the resources below where you can learn about your type. And let me know what you got!