I want you to think back to the last time you spent time researching something. Was it flights to visit your family? Maybe you were looking for a new hair salon. Are you thinking back to college and that huge capstone paper you wrote? I am a self-proclaimed lifelong learner, which means I lean into my inquisitive nature and revel in absorbing knowledge, perspectives and stories.
I was a Junior in college the first time I took a Myers Briggs evaluation. I was studying abroad in Dublin at the time, taking one psychology class among a course load of literature classes. Irish students are quiet in the classroom, and I often found myself the over-eager American raising my hand and answering questions. When we began discussing Carl Jung and his infamous personality evaluation, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, my gears wouldn’t stop turning. Suddenly, I was being taught to study…myself.
Since then, my commitment to understanding myself and how I interact and relate to others has become a passion of mine. It’s helped me in countless moments, both interpersonally and internally. Since my first exposure to the test at age 20, I’ve taken it several more times. At first, my results varied a little. I was still becoming myself, learning to honor my quirky uniqueness. Now, no matter which format of the evaluation I take, I get the same results.
Before I release you off to take the evaluation for yourself, I want to quickly review the elements of the personality types. Once you take the evaluation, the floodgates will open and you’ll be able to see much more information to help you understand yourself as well as the other types.
I | E
Introverted vs. Extroverted
We’re all probably the most familiar with this indicator, as it’s used fairly often in social settings. This is also an aspect of Myers Briggs that people tend to feel very identified by. Like all of these, nothing is black and white. It’s evaluated on a percentage scale, and just because you’re labeled as an Introvert, doesn’t mean you’re all introvert all the time. Usually it’s a helpful way to see how you gain and restore energy. Introvert more often are able to recharge in a solitary environment, while extroverts seek out social settings to relax.
S | N
Observant vs. Intuitive
Are you more factual or whimsical? Your perspective and information processing is shaped in part by you tendency towards observation or intuition. Observant people tend to have regular habits and focus on the present moment, or previous experiences. Intuitives are less rational, more dreamy. They prefer see future possibilities and innovations over what is going on now, and sometimes have their head in the clouds.
T | F
Thinking vs. Feeling
Do you notice what’s going on around you and make decisions based on the facts you gather, or do you trust your gut without really knowing why? For some people, these intuitive nudges can be almost psychic in nature. You could give me ten reasons to think something, but I’m a feeler and if it isn’t there, it isn’t there. My emotional, gut reactions tend to drive my husband nuts, as he is a far more fact-based Thinker than his Feeling wife! *Given today’s political landscape, I feel I need to put a note here. I still believe facts, and can tell the difference between facts and feelings.
J | P
Judging vs. Prospecting
Are you decisive? How does your calendar look for next week? Is it color coordinated? If so, you probably trend towards Judging on this indicator. Prospectors tend to be more flexible than organized, and quicker on their feet, too. I’m a judger, and I’m definitely highly organized and quick to make up my mind. I keep multiple planners, and a digital calendar. If I don’t write it down, it’s not getting done! I admire the more agile nature of the prospecting individuals, but I think I’ll keep my color coordinating pens.
I’m an INFJ, which is apparently both the “rarest” type and the type that tends to connect with the Myers Briggs the most. If you’re an INFJ (or even an INFP) and a writer, you have to read this great book by author and fellow Sensitive Intuitive, Lauren Sapala.
The official Myers Briggs personality evaluation costs money, but 16 Personalities has created a similar framework that is free to take. They also have a ton of great resources for understanding your results! Once you’re done taking the survey (it only takes a few minutes), complete the poll below! I’d love to get a sense of who YOU are!