Last week, my good friend Sarah and I began to discuss “personality types”. You know, Myers Briggs and “What type of animal are you?” stuff. This week, when we met for coffee, she brought me some materials to look through to possibly determine what type I am (without having to pay to take a test) and she also pointed me to some online resources. This one is great for determining which type you are. I think it’s better than any “yes/no” survey, which isn’t always accurate for me because I feel like I manipulate it (pick answers I want to be rather than what I actually am, or I’m just not sure). With this method, you simply read the lists of each trait and pick the one that sounds most like you. Easy-peasy. This one provides explanation and insight about the sixteen different personality types according to Myers and Briggs (click on the top icons for all the personality types as well as categories like career, relationships, and personal growth).
And with that, I quickly determined I am an INFP: The Idealist. My friend is, too. Apparently, these tests are pretty much created for INFPs; meaning, we are the personalities that care most about “discovering” our personality, who are always wondering how we can best put our gifts to good use in the world. “Who am I, ideally?” we constantly ask. It’s a curse and a blessing. No wonder we were sitting there with papers sprawled out on our table and pouring over these websites. It’s important, and fun, to us. So the ENFJs and ISTPs are out doing their thing while we are intuitively feeling our lives : ) And, hopefully learning how to best bless others with who we are.
I have to say, while I don’t believe giving myself a four-letter label is the secret to living well, (for people cannot fit perfectly in boxes – they are people), I find personality-typing fascinating. When I read through all of the INFP descriptions, I felt like I was reading my own journal. And it didn’t just tell me what I already know, it pointed out weaknesses that I try to downplay, or tend to hide behind the excuse, “It’s just the way I am…”.
Also, there is a certain sense of camaraderie in knowing your personality type (supposed famous INFPs pictured above). I like knowing there are others around like Sarah and me, with busy internal lives, a longing for loyalty, a genuine care for people, an aversion to conflict, and difficulty expressing our emotions, among many other good and not-so-great qualities. We can spur each other on in our growth towards maturity of good character, along with the help of the other fifteen unique types who possess the gifts and natural abilities that we don’t.
You know you want to find out…
Which type are you?