While I’m not a certified analyst, I’ve studied a lot about the personality test called the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI). This personality system is supposed to be based on the psychology theories of Carl Jung, who was a great inspiration for mythologist Joseph Campbell, who is a great influence in my work. It produces a set of 16 dominant personality types based on the individual’s score on four opposite scales: Extravert (E) vs. Introvert (I), Intuitive (N) vs. Sensing (S), Feeling (F) vs. Thinking (T), and Perceiving (P) vs. Judging (J). (One note: I think many of those terms are misleading and would label them differently, but I guess maybe they are based on Jung’s terminology? I don’t know).
Anyway, I’ve taken many different versions of the test, including the actual paid version, and I CONSISTENTLY come out as an ENFP…and a pretty extreme one at that. That is, most of my scores are above 90%, if not nearly 100%, on the side of the E, N, and F. My P vs. J is the only one that is closer to the middle, but I think that has come from training, not from my true personality tendency.
As I said, I use this in my work and in my teaching, and actually explain this to my students to help them understand themselves and the differences between themselves and those in the class or in their family. So I read a good bit about MBTI in general, but especially hone in on what it says about ME (ENTP, this is).
One source that I really love is Susan Storm, who has a website called Psychology Junkie (https://www.psychologyjunkie.com). I find her articles to be concise, well-written, relevant, and spot on. She is also a homeschool mom and is certified not only in MBTI but in the Enneagram, another personality style system we use more in our spiritual center. She also has great resources about using MBTI with children and in education. So, basically, I love her website.
Today she posted a new blog post entitled “Things You’d Never Dream of Doing, Based On Your Myers-Briggs® Personality Type.” Of course, I jumped right to ENFP and discovered….
I’M AN ENFP CLICHE…at least in terms of not doing what Susan Storm predicted.
I knew she had me with her very first point:
(Quoting her here:)
As a result, here are some things you’d never dream of doing:
• Creating a to-do list for the week and following it exactly
That is SO TRUE of me! I don’t think I’ve ever made a to-do list in my life. If I have, it would look like the one in the picture above…except that I don’t drink coffee, so that second item would be out. Mine would look like:
- Wake Up
Very sweet and well-meaning friends have given me colorful, sparkly organizational journals that should entice me to keep lists and such, but honestly, I got through the entire year and they remained as pristine as the day I got them.
Another way this showed up for me was when I was homeschooling, I never followed a structured curriculum; in fact, I created most of my own curriculum, at least until my son was old enough to follow some computer-based programs on his own. I tried a few times, I really did. But I wouldn’t get through the day’s goals, even on the first day. So on the second day, I worried about whether I should go back and complete day 1, or forget about it and go on to day 2 to stay on schedule. By the end of the week, I was so stressed out about being so behind all of the daily activities and assignments that I ditched that curriculum and continued to do my own thing. The whole experience made me feel like Lucy in the famous chocolate factory scene (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkQ58I53mjk);
Don’t get me wrong; I always had a plan about where I was going, what I wanted to cover and how, and expectations for measurable outcomes. It just had to flow in and out of each day’s specific requirements and activities rather than sticking to someone else’s proposed schedule.
So, yeah, she’s got me there.
The next few weren’t quite as devastatingly accurate:
• Starting a book at the prologue and continuing it until the end without starting another book or jumping ahead
• Trying to fit into the mainstream channels of life so that you don’t stand out
• Accepting rules from an authority without question
For the first one, I teach literature, so I kind of have to read the entire book and present it in order. Even when I’m reading for fun, I never skip ahead. However, I don’t know that I ever am reading just one single book at a time, so she’s got me there.
The other two don’t really apply to me these days, but I did do that more when I was a child/teenager/college student, so those didn’t apply when I was younger and hadn’t proclaimed my entire ENFP persona.
Her next point was:
• Creating a 10-year plan for your life and following it to a tee
Guilty. I can’t stick to an exact 10-day plan, let alone a 1-year plan, REALLY let alone a 10-year plan. Are there people out there who can actually do that? Not me, that’s for sure.
Her final point made me laugh out loud. Regular readers of this blog can judge this one for yourself .
• Following a recipe exactly without adding new ingredients to it
If this is the first post you’ve read on this blog, it may help you to understand me if you read this blog post: A Pirate in the Kitchen.
So I guess this is my week of finding myself in other people’s writing…
If you want to check out if her assessment is equally accurate about you, see her post at: https://www.psychologyjunkie.com/2021/08/12/things-youd-never-dream-of-doing-based-on-your-myers-briggs-personality-type
While you are there, there is a LOT of good information on personality style on the entire website, so check it out at: https://www.psychologyjunkie.com.