A Look At My Personality Type

Saturday, September 24, 2016

For the past few days, I've been fixated on reading about my Myers-Briggs personality type. The official test costs money, but I took a free version HERE that was still pretty legit. I found the results to be surprisingly accurate.

Personality tests like this can help you understand yourself better. You'll learn more about your strengths and weaknesses – some you might not have even been aware of until you're reading about them and realizing, Wow, yeah, I DO do that.

If you're interested in taking the test, there are two key things to keep in mind:
  1. Be honest in your answers. It's not about how you want to be or how you wish you acted. It's about how you are and how you do act. Acknowledge your faults (and give yourself credit for your strengths too!)
  2. Don't let the results completely define or limit you. Don't excuse any weaknesses as well that's just my personality type. Use the information to work on improving those traits, and remember to embrace the positive aspects too. It's an interesting tool that can help you understand yourself in ways you didn't before, but don't feel confined to it.
In this post, I'm going to walk through what each letter signifies and how I felt about my own results.

Introverted | Observant | Feeling | Judging

Honestly, I was convinced from the first paragraph:
The ISFJ personality type is quite unique, as many of their qualities defy the definition of their individual traits. Though possessing the Feeling (F) trait, ISFJs have excellent analytical abilities; though Introverted (I), they have well-developed people skills and robust social relationships; and though they are a Judging (J) type, ISFJs are often receptive to change and new ideas.
A lot of my personality does seem to swing both ways, being naturally rooted on one side yet capable of being comfortable in the other.

"Mind" trait – how we interact with our surroundings

This trait is more than "Extraverts are outgoing and Introverts are reserved!" because each type can exhibit the opposite behavior at times. Instead, it's about the mind and how it connects with the world. For Extraverts, that's a more external process. Their mind is stimulated in social situations and group activities. That's where they thrive. For Introverts like myself, our interaction with the world is more internal, in our own minds. We enjoy solitude and quiet.

This one wasn't a surprise to me. I've known that I'm introverted. Still, it was interesting to read more about it, beyond the standard shy/outgoing identifier.

"Energy" trait – how we see the world and process information

The website considers this trait to be the most important of the four. While the others focus on interacting, making decisions, planning – all more external, doing things – the energy trait is more about our internal functions, focusing on seeing and processing.
"It may seem like your decisions are the most important, but a decision is only as good as the understanding that backs it up."
The two options for this trait are Intuitive – being imaginative, open-minded, and curious – and mine, Observant, being practical, pragmatic, and down-to-earth.

As someone who is more Observant, I do less dreaming and fantasizing than my counterpart. Instead, I "keep my feet on the ground" and focus on my present situation. Observants are better at handling facts and concrete objects rather than brainstorming possibilities or exploring fantasy scenarios.

I agree with this result, but I have to admit that I feel a little disappointed that I do. It makes me sound boring. I'm not that creative, I don't like to think about the possibilities, and fantasizing isn't my thing. What a bummer, right?

It's true, though, if I'm being honest. The plus side is that I'm more realistic. I'm good at focusing on one thing at a time. So I don't understand fantasies too often, but if you need someone to be real with you and focus on the facts? I'm your girl. 

"Nature" trait – how we make decisions and cope with emotions

Based on the two trait options, we make decisions either by Thinking or by Feeling. If you're a Thinking type, you prioritize logic over emotions. For us Feeling folks, we're more sensitive and emotionally expressive. Our focus is on social harmony and cooperation: "A decision that makes everyone happier is just as valid as a decision that gets the job done fastest."

I found this result to be the most interesting. Based on being Observant and Feeling, I process information logically but then make decisions based on my emotions anyway, which is actually true. My brain will tell me one thing, my heart will tell me another, and I'll usually follow the latter, even if I know deep down it's not the smartest move. That's been the case many times – impulse buys, confronting a friend, etc.

"Tactics" trait – reflects our approach to work, planning, and decision-making

Of all four traits, this might have been the one that had me nodding along the most. Opposed to having an improvised, flexible approach like those with the Prospecting trait, Judging types prefer structure and planning. I'm sure those of you who know me are nodding along as well.

The results also said, "It is as if Judging types always keep a mental checklist, and when something is crossed off that list, it is done and not open to reassessment." I can hear my boyfriend internally screaming at that, because I'm sure that's something that bugs him. I'll buy something or make a decision of sorts, and he'll start asking me Why that one? or What about this other option? NO. It's done. The decision has been made. There is no going back.

Despite the apparent stubbornness to veer from a schedule, more positive aspects include a strong work ethic and a value in duties and responsibilities.

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Along with the basic information on the four key traits, the test gives you insight on how you behave in friendships, relationships, parenthood, and the workplace, as well as your strategy in approaching everyday situations and achieving your goals.

If you're interested in taking the test, I took it here. (And of course, feel free to email me your thoughts on it!)

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