Today, I am going to indulge in one of my small obsessions: the Myers Briggs Typology Index, more commonly called MBTI or just personality testing. You may have heard of it; it’s the one with the four funky letters: E (extroversion) or I (introversion); N (iNtuition) or S (sensing); F (feeling) or T (thinking); J (judging) or P (perceiving).
Contrary to popular belief, you do not determine your type by deciding if you’re an E or an I, an N or an S, etc. No, there are these things called functions, based on the four middle letters, that basically explain how you greet the world. There’s not just iNtuition; you can introvert it or extrovert it. And that happens with Sensing, Feeling, and Thinking. Your personality type has an order of functions, with the dominant one being the primary one you use. E/I and J/P orders what order they come in. If you’re an extrovert, your dominant function will be extroverted (expressed). If you’re an introvert, your dominant function will be introverted (internal). EJ’s and IP’s share a pattern, and EP’s and IJ’s share a different pattern. What that means is that ESFJ is not the more orderly version of the ESFP; their functions are completely different! Here’s a really basic overview of the types. I will confess I’m not expert on this, and I still get confused deciding between Te and Ti (I’m best at determining Fe and Fi, because they are what finally helped me figure out the difference between INFP, my Dad’s type, and INFJ, my type).
Now, I know a lot of people think this whole typology stuff is a lot of silly nonsense. And I agree that we as people are waaaaay more complex and can’t really be defined as one of only 16 groups. But I think it does have its uses. It helps us see some of our weaker areas, and opens our eyes to parts of our personality that we hadn’t thought about before.
And for those of us in the rarer types, it helps us see that we’re not alone. It’s actually really kind of weird, because a lot of times I connected to characters in books that have the same type as me, and I didn’t realize it until after I learned about MBTI. And then I say, “OH. That’s why I had such an affinity for that character.” And then I go onto INFJ-tumblr posts and say, “OHMYGOSH THAT’S SO ME.” So, I appreciate it because I know there are finally others like me out there.
In conclusion: here is a nice little overview of the types. And there are charts like this for pretty much any fandom you can think of, plus funny things like MBTI types saying “Sorry, you have to die.” It’s very amusing. If you know your personality type already or end up becoming as obsessed with this as I am (sorry), comment what you are!
But never forget that you are an individual, way more beautiful and complex to be completely defined by these types. As Dr. Seuss said, “Today, you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.”
Have a lovely day and stay warm!