Four simple letters possessing seemingly all of the answers to my questions in life.
I owe a giant thank you to the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI) which was administered to me this past fall in my Management Skills class at Rutgers University.
The MBTI is basically a personality type indicator that sorts people into one of sixteen possible personality types. It arranges general preferences into four specific dichotomies. The results allow for a greater understanding of yourself and how you interact with others. It’s a phenomenal tool for gaining greater insight on your inner world.
Okay, I’ll admit it. Initially, I was a little upset when I thought I was being told to pay $30.00 for “just another personality test” since I foolishly assumed it would be no different than the ones I could take online for free. As a first semester freshman who had already spent over $500 on textbooks alone, it was hard to understand why I needed to pay for such a thing. Well little did I know.
Looking back, the money used to take the MBTI was WELL SPENT in terms of the value I derived from taking it. In fact, I truthfully can’t even assign a monetary value to the insight it has provided me with. Let’s just say when I opened up my personalized report, I literally gasped in awe and even got emotional as I read on. (I’ll explain why later.)
First, I want to quickly summarize the four portions of the MBTI and explain the possibilities within each section.
INTROVERSION (I) vs EXTRAVERSION (E)
It is important to understand that this is NOT about whether you are “shy” or “outgoing” nor is it about being “social” or “anti-social.” Rather, it’s more so about recognizing where you draw your ‘energy’ from: whether it be from your inner-world or the outer-world.
Do you yearn for social gatherings and parties? (E)
Or do you thrive on alone time? (I)
Would you rather grab food in a large group? (E)
Or eat alone or with one close friend? (I)
INTUITION (N) vs SENSING (S)
In my opinion, sensing and intuition are the two most difficult to distinguish. This section is about how you interpret information.
Are you very observant of your surroundings? (S)
Or do you over-analyze details? (N)
Do you take things very literally? (S)
Or do you see beyond what is explicitly stated? (N)
FEELING (F) vs THINKING (T)
The third section focuses on your use of logic in making decisions.
Do you choose what seems logical? (T)
Or do you consider how it may affect others? (F)
Are your beliefs consistent? (T)
Or do you sometimes make special circumstances? (F)
PERCEIVER (P) vs JUDGER (J)
The fourth and final section is about the ideal structure in your life.
Do you prefer to follow a schedule? (J)
Or just go with the flow? (P)
Do you pre-plan an agenda? (J)
Or stay open to new possibilities? (P)
Your Personality Type
Based on your answers to the questions above, you arrange the four letters to determine your personality type! To give you an example, “INFP” would be one personality type whereas the total opposite would be “ESTJ”. All 16 possible combinations include ISTJ, ISFJ, INFJ, INTJ, ISTP, ISFP, INFP, INTP, ESTP, ESFP, ENFP, ENTP, ESTJ, ESFJ, ENFJ, and ENTJ.
It’s important to understand that ALL TYPES ARE EQUAL. No one type is “better” than another. The MBTI is called an “indicator” for a reason – this is not a “test” because the word “test” implies that there can be a wrong answer- which in this case, there is not.
So which personality type do you think you are?
When I got my Interpretive Report back, my life was changed forever.
According to my MBTI, I got I, N, F, J.
Okay, but what did that mean? I read on.
I literally gasped as I read the report in my dorm room. My roommate was like, “Rocky, are you okay?” and I responded, “Oh yeah, sorry about that. I’m just discovering something pretty crazy about myself right now. Sorry, I didn’t mean to react like that!” I picked up my laptop and ran outside to a path by some trees. My eyes teared up a bit. Not because I was sad – in fact, it was quite the opposite. I’ve never felt so enlightened in my entire life.
Introverted. Intuitive. Feeling. Judging.
A four letter combination linked to a description that fit me PERFECTLY. While the MBTI report was general in some ways, what I read online was not. I felt like I was reading something written about me in such a way that’s hard to describe if you’ve never experienced it.
In past posts like “Antisocial” or “At Peace”?, I was really questioning why I am the way I am and NOW I UNDERSTOOD EVERYTHING. In posts like Daily Prompt: INTJ, I described my introversion without even knowing what introversion was! (Funny- I’m just noticing the MBTI reference in the Daily Prompt’s title now- almost one whole year later.)
MY LIFE FINALLY MADE SENSE. (For the most part…)
I also learned that INFJs are the least common of the 16 personality types. We make up around 1% of the population- and less than 0.5% are men. I’m also gay which supposedly drops the percentage closer to 0.25% or less! Guess that helps explain why I feel so strange sometimes…
Taking the MBTI really was an emotional breakthrough for me. I’ve been much happier and self-aware ever since I got my personalized report. I hope those of you reading this learn something about yourselves too because I know how amazing that feels. If possible, you should consider paying to take the real Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator – it was well worth the money in my experience!
Once you know your type, take the extra step and do some research. Find out more! Don’t limit yourself to what’s listed on your report because there’s a whole world of information out there just waiting to be discovered!