Observations about Personality Types – Part 2

In Part 1 of Observations about Personality Types we gave you an overview of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Each person can will be assessed to have some combination of 4 letters, for me this was INTJ. I have also taken the DISC assessment which in my view is less useful, but that is a whole other subject. What the Myers-Briggs assessment does is provide you with some in-depth information about your personality. From my perspective this meant what my natural inclination would be, my preferences if you will. I will use my own personality type INTJ to explain why this is useful to understand. What we are trying to do is get some insight into our preferences and how they affect our behavior. Armed with the information from one of these assessments and the explanation of each personality type you can begin to be more introspective about your own behavior and start playing to your preferences and strengths. Using my own Myers-Briggs Type let’s break it down:

INTJ

“INTJs approach life by analyzing the theory behind what they see, and are typically focused inward, on their own thoughtful study of the world around them. INTJs are drawn to logical systems and are much less comfortable with the unpredictable nature of other people and their emotions. They are typically independent and selective about their relationships, preferring to associate with people who they find intellectually stimulating.”

I – INTJ’s are somewhat introverted and over exposure to people can cause them to withdraw. Here is the lesson; you must make sure you have some alone time as an INTJ, otherwise you may become stressed and angry. When given a choice between going to a party and reading a book the INTJ would prefer to stay home and read a book.

N – INTJ’s need to think a problem through themselves, needing to understand how something works by logically thinking it through. The INTJ wants to understand the logic or principles behind something. As someone with a “N” in the second position of the four letters you will need time to process things, and do not just blindly believe everything you see or that is said to you.

T – Decisions are made logically by the INTJ, not based on emotion. They will weigh the pros and cons of a decision, using logic and analysis to come to a conclusion. A typical INTJ then operates based on logic versus emotion. They may seem a bit distant and unsympathetic, but it is because they are always thinking. The INTJ may have issues with living in the moment, and may appear to be less empathetic than some other personality types.

J – The J in the INTJ personality type indicates that the person prefers order to chaos, organization to the disorganized. When an INTJ is forced to live in a messy home or workplace they will often become upset with the mess, and cannot understand how people can live this way. You will often hear things like “Why can’t you put these things away or if you would just put them in the same place you could find them”.

By knowing your preference you can begin to understand what might be triggering some not so flattering behavior. You should at least begin to see if you can control the stimuli, if not you might be able to offset the impact and lessen your reaction. My example is that for the past year my daughter, son in law, grandson, and their two dogs have been living with us. As you might imagine this gives me very little quiet time, and often impacts my sense of organization. Knowing that this can cause me to become frustrated because I am going against my “I” type, and being for me overexposed to people, noises, clutter, and animals I needed to find a way to get more time to myself. I started doing yoga in the morning before everyone is up, followed by 20 minutes of meditation, and this seemed to help. I would often come home and go upstairs by myself and do strength training, or retreat to my bedroom and watch something on the television. I could then interact like a normal human being during the rest of the day, while still respecting my inclination for quiet and organization. Finding ways to respect your natural personality traits is important but you must first understand what those traits are, and this is why the MBTI assessment is so valuable. This doesn’t mean that you should not challenge those tendencies from time to time, but you must understand that they exist. Once you know your personality type you can begin to make changes in your life that support your personality type. For instance there is guidance on possible careers that can support your personality type. If nothing else you will start to gain some insight into these triggers or events that may be causing you to react in a negative way.

Sources:

http://www.quistic.com/personality-type

http://www.quistic.com/personality-type/intj

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Observations about Personality Types – Part 1

You have probably heard about Myers-Briggs and deviations of their analysis of Carl Jung’s personality types. I remember taking the complete Myers-Briggs test during a team working class when I was pursuing my masters degree. It turns out there are 16 distinctive personality types, made up of 4 letters. My type is INTJ, which I’ll explain in some detail later. The breakdown of these letters is as follows with each letter having two possible values:

First letter “Favorite World” indicates if you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world?

E – for extroverted

  • I like getting my energy from active involvement in events and having a lot of different activities. I’m excited when I’m around people and I like to energize other people.

I – for introverted

  • I like getting my energy from dealing with the ideas, pictures, memories, and reactions that are inside my head, in my inner world. I often prefer doing things alone or with one or two people I feel comfortable with.

Second letter “Information” indicates if you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning?

S – sensing

  • Paying attention to physical reality, what I see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. I’m concerned with what is actual, present, current, and real

N – intuition

  • Paying the most attention to impressions or the meaning and patterns of the information I get. I would rather learn by thinking a problem through than by hands-on experience.

Third letter “Decisions” indicates that when making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances?

T – thinking

  • When I make a decision, I like to find the basic truth or principle to be applied, regardless of the specific situation involved. I like to analyze pros and cons, and then be consistent and logical in deciding.

F – feeling

  • I believe I can make the best decisions by weighing what people care about and the points-of-view of persons involved in a situation. I am concerned with values and what is the best for the people involved.

Fourth letter “Structure” indicates that when dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options?

J – judging

  • I use my decision-making (Judging) preference (whether it is Thinking or Feeling) in my outer life. To others, I seem to prefer a planned or orderly way of life, like to have things settled and organized, feel more comfortable when decisions are made, and like to bring life under control as much as possible.

P – perceiving

  • I use my perceiving function (whether it is Sensing or Intuition) in my outer life. To others, I seem to prefer a flexible and spontaneous way of life, and I like to understand and adapt to the world rather than organize it. Others see me staying open to new experiences and information.

Usually you can determine your own type by just looking at the explanations of MBTI types and there are also some pretty good free tests you can take. I would recommend taking the Quistic test if you are unsure from the MBTI types. So why is it important to have some understanding of your personality type? For many of us it will help us understand our behavior and what areas we might want to consider working on. In Observations about Personality Types Part 2 we will look into how you can use this information to your advantage, but for now I ask you take some time to determine your personality type and do a little research. For me the small amount of time invested in understanding my personality type has helped me enormously.

Check out Part 2 to learn more.

References:

The Myers & Briggs Foundation

Quistic 16 Personality Types

Namaste