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 (more simply called the MBTI) which was administered to me this past fall in my Management Skills class at Rutgers University.
The MBTI is essentially a personality test that sorts people into one of sixteen possible personality types. The Myers-Briggs personality type indicator arranges general preferences people have into four specific dichotomies. The results are intended for people to gain a greater understanding of themselves and to learn how they interact with others. It’s a phenomenal tool for gaining greater insight on your inner world.
Okay, okay, I’ll admit it. Initially, I was pretty upset when I was told on the first day of class that I would need to pay $30.00 for what I believed to be “just another personality test” since I foolishly assumed it would be all hocus-pocus with nothing to differentiate it from the ones I can take online for free. As a first semester freshman who had already spent over $500 of my own money just on textbooks, it was hard to fathom why I needed to pay more money for such a basic thing. Well little did I know.
Looking back, the money given to take the MBTI was WELL SPENT in respect to the value I derived from taking the assessment. In fact, I truthfully can’t even assign a monetary value to the amount of 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.)
Before I go on, I want to quickly summarize the two possibilities within each of the four sections of the MBTI and explain the meaning behind those weird four-letter codes you probably see scattered across the internet.
INTROVERSION (I) vs EXTRAVERSION (E)
It is paramount you understand that this is NOT about whether you are “shy” or “super outgoing” nor is it about being “social” or “anti-social.” No. Rather, it is focused on recognizing where you draw your ‘energy‘ from: be it from your inner-world or the outer-world.
Do you yearn to attend social gatherings and parties? (E)
Or do you thrive during 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 focused on how you interpret information.
Are you very observant of your physical surroundings? (S)
Or do you over-analyze conceptual details? (N)
Do you interpret 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 or emotion in making decisions.
Do you choose what seems logically sound? (T)
Or do you consider how your decisions may affect others? (F)
Are your decisions fairly consistent? (T)
Or do you find yourself making special circumstances? (F)
PERCEIVER (P) vs JUDGER (J)
The fourth and final section is about the approach you take in structuring 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 is 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 right and wrong answers- which in this case, there are not. We are looking for trends.
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 MBTI report in my dorm room. My roommate asked, “Rocky, are you okay?” and I responded, “Oh yeah, sorry about that. I’m just discovering something pretty, uh, crazy about myself right now. Sorry, I didn’t mean to react aloud like that!” In a hurry, I picked up my laptop and ran outside to sit beside a tree. My eyes started to tear up a bit. Not because I was sad – in fact, it was quite the opposite. I have 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 respects, what I read online was not. I felt like I was reading something written about me in such a powerful way that’s almost hard to describe unless you’ve experienced it before.
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! (Haha funny- I’m just noticing the MBTI reference in the Daily Prompt’s title now- almost one whole year later. Never knew what it meant.)
MY LIFE WAS FINALLY STARTING TO MAKE 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 world population- and less than 0.5% are men. I am also gay which supposedly drops the statistical percentage closer to 0.0086% of the population! Guess that helps explain why sometimes I feel really alone sometimes…
Taking the MBTI was an emotional breakthrough for me. I have been happier and more self-aware ever since I got my personalized report back. I hope those of you reading this post learn something about yourselves too because I know how amazing it feels. If you haven’t done so already, you should consider paying to take the real Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator – it was well worth the money! 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!