Wednesday, October 16, 2013
What's Your Type?
photo by E.K. Wimmer
Have you ever taken the Myers-Briggs personality tests? I took my first test when I was 14 or 15 and have taken it a few times since then. My personality type has always been an ENFP (click here if you want to read about this type). My husband is an INTJ, which is considered a good match for my personality. According to the supporting literature we are an ideal match in the ways we compliment each other with our strengths and weaknesses. My closest friend is my exact opposite, which keeps us interested in each other---and since we share core values it makes for a pretty special friendship.
So, why am I telling you this? Perhaps you think of these tests as being nonsense or one size fits all, but I beg to differ. Reading through other types I do not find myself.
What's the point you may wonder. Well, reading through the research helps me to understand my own strengths and weaknesses better. I feel that knowing ENFPs are naturally slobs (I don't mind a little pet hair on my clothes because I assume people will understand that I have pets) I can work to make myself easier to live with. You see Eric prefers order while I am comfortable with chaos. Knowing our types I can grow a bit as a person, hence my generally clean house. Don't look into the mail drawer though, you've been warned, it's like when Sigourney Weaver opens the fridge in Ghostbusters II, click here. (Side Note: Is it just me or does Sigourney have off the charts cool style in that scene?)
I also use this test to relate to friends and family. I think it has really helped me to understand their strengths and their needs in ways that they may not be able to articulate to me. Just knowing that someone is an introvert sends me into a frenzy as the extrovert in me wants to, I don't know, force them into conversation...yet I know that would make them super uncomfortable and I try everything in my power to hold back.
One of my last jobs required this test of employees and it really helped us to understand how best to work with each other. We were able to focus our efforts in ways that put our strengths to best use. I did a lot of the social stuff and event planning where my ISTP co-worker focused more on the details that tickled his fancy.
Ultimately though I think this type of test is great because it leaves me asking myself about the motivations of others. I feel more connected and more able to accept that there are people who function in totally different manners, and that is a very good thing.
What's your type?