Friday, June 4, 2010

Oh, personality.

I usually hate personality tests.

Wait, retract that. I hate personality tests that portray my particular personality in a negative light [i.e. the enneagram] - the ones that tell me I am domineering, overbearing and don't really like people. (You are saying, Ashley, but that's true! And yes, I do know this - but thankfully there are 7500 other tests that make me feel more positive about the personality God gave me. :)

Today I was reminded of the Myers-Briggs test. Years ago I could have told you I was an ENTJ [or something like that] -but I would insist that I was definitely an E. Full-fledged, people-loving, outgoing, go-get-em extrovert.

Those of you that know me know that now, that is DEFINITELY not true. Maybe some of you who have known me for a long time have watched me change - because I have. We all have. We're older know, have gone through high school, college, relationships, an unseen amount of changes. It's just fascinating to think about what we used to be, what we are know, and what we thought we were versus what we think we are now.

[I feel it appropriate to insert here that one of the dominant traits of an INTJ is that we are theoretical thinkers - we love the abstract, and spend the majority of our time inside our minds.]

INTJS are one of the rarest personality types, occupying an elite 1% of the population. Some might call us rationalists, scientists, or [I prefer] mastermind. We are all about the theoretical, the abstract, the "big picture." We're perfectionists, and high standards for ourselves, and then also for those around us. We expect things to improve every day - and seek out ways to improve ourselves, our relationships, and our work. We value efficiency above most other things, especially in a work environment.

We're "tremendously insightful" and are quick to grasp new ideas. [These are the makings of a great scientist. Hm, thanks but no thanks.] We're systematic and analytical in our approach to the world - cataloging new thoughts and ideas in association with what we already think about the world. We enjoy problem solving, and are natural leaders - but are also content to let others lead [until we see they are incompetent.]

We usually think we are right, and value commitment and loyalty in a relationship. We surround ourselves with others who add something to our lives, though we're not necessarily very affectionate. This leads to a perceived arrogance on other people's parts - but, it's just we don't need much emotion ourselves, so we don't realize we have to affirm others. We don't take criticism personally [hm, don't know about that one], and so often forget to lessen the blow to others who might (really, we're just honest, right?)

We might seem aloof and reserved to other people, but really it's because we're in our own minds. [OH, and by the way, an INTJ is probably going to find the cure for cancer...:)]

Did I say we usually think we are right?

But don't worry, there's problems too. I don't easily see others emotions, I might be too domineering, and I have a tendency to over-drink. I might have overly high expectations of others, I might have a quick and intense temper and hold grudges [no...never!] I also may be wishy-washy when forced to make a decision quickly [so much for all that insightfulness.] And I also might have difficulty expression my abstract thoughts to others, and tend to have too many tangents going on up there :  

It's not unusual for an INTJ to feel overwhelmed with all of the things that he or she needs to consider in order to fully understand an idea or situation;  
It also probably causes the INTJ to come off as too strongly opinionated or snobbish to others.  

But you've NEVER thought that... :)

More commonly, an INTJ's interpersonal problems will occur when they express their displeasure to those close to them in very biting and hurtful terms. Everyone needs emotional distance at one time or another, and the INTJ wants more than most types. Perhaps this is why INTJs are famous for their biting sarcasm.

So even though we're going to cure cancer, we've got some interpersonal problems...  
When distance is required, the INTJ should just "leave".

There you are. There is me in a nutshell. If you've made it this far, I applaud you. And I welcome you into my elite friend group... just kidding. :) But it's so fascinating to learn about ourselves! And, as my dear friend said, to realise we're not "****** up", we're just INTJs. It's great to take these tests, and to more or less feel known. Of course, we don't fit into a box, and I realize this. But it does help to explain some characteristics that I, classically, find difficult to express to others that I have begun to notice about myself. 

And remember, when I'm not touchy-feely, it's because I connect to others in the head rather than with the heart.

But I'm working on it.

And if you want to know how to communicate with me, here's a handy-dandy link

And if you want to know what type YOU are, take this test. Let me know!


Taylor Yves said...

hmmm, i really wonder if we're the same on this, too. i'll take the M-B for my first time soon (required for work!) i know i am an I ... i've been told i'm a T ... we'll see!

Paige said...

I am also an INTJ!

It all makes sense now =)

Maggie Thomas said...

Fascinating that you've changed in such an intriguing way! I took it years ago and came out ESFJ...still am. To what do you attribute such a significant change?