Sunday, March 09, 2008


Apparently, this getting to know yourself thing is pretty hard.

Earlier this week I was given the results of my Meyers-Brigg personality test, it's a fairly long, complex psychological analysis tool aimed at reducing all of your quirks, intricacies, and tendencies into a compact, understandable four letter acronym. There's four categories and in each category there can only be one of two available results, with varying degrees.

My "MBTI" Meyers Brigg Test Indicator is: INFP

At first, knowing what it meant to me was great, it meant understanding that I am "Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving" this was great. All good things.

My experience got even better when I started reading the typical descriptions of what the characteristics of an INFP might be. Knowing that only about 1% of the population is made up of INFP's was great consolation. Affirmation that my feelings of being misunderstood and alone were founded on truth, I am misunderstood and semi-alone, just due to the fact that 99% of people aren't wired the same way.

Soon though, as I began to acquire more knowledge about what makes an INFP, I'm beginning to understand that the brooding melancholy note that plagues me, seems to define me. That is, most of what I'm reading tells me that I'm passionate while misunderstood, and deeply devoted though easily hurt.

The descriptions are starting to become discouraging; ranging from a list of occupations that I don't want, to understanding that I'll probably always be lost in my head and unhappy within most social settings. I hate that it's so accurate, as it just leads me to believe that even their prognosis is correct.

What if I am relegated to teaching? What if I am meant to live a life of encouragement, rather than participation? All of these things are starting to wear on me and I almost wish as if I hadn't taken the test, so maybe I would understand that my life is going to be a constant work in progress, that I'm always going to toil against my nature, but in doing so, I would grow and stretch and learn to love my diverse personality.

Should I learn to just accept myself? Or be frustrated that a test just told me that I'm very similar to a million lives I don't want?


TRAVIS said...

I think it was the movie "Minority Report" where the quote was something along the lines of, "now that you know your destiny, you can change it." So I think that Personality is fluid.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be interesting if all the test results of the MB test said we were all only 1%? Wouldn't it confirm all of our suspicions that we're completely and inevitably alone anyway? If we're all doomed to be misunderstood then how powerful does that make God... I don't believe personality is fluid, because I can't believe we can all change to be the same being. Where is God's creativity in that? I'll stop ranting on your blog now!

Jacob W said...

I was an esfp. At first i was glad to find out i was Extraverted Sensing Feeling Perceiving. The description matched me really good. But after a few minutes of thinking it became more of a prison for me. Like i had to be what it told me to be. I decided it's a good skeleton of a person but there is so much more to me than that and i can do things outside of the esfp frame.