I once read a quote along these lines: "There are two types of people in the world. Those who divide the world into two types of people, and those who don't". Oh, the irony. I happen to fall into the former category, if you hadn't guessed! I don't believe in putting people in boxes or using your personality as an excuse for poor behavior. However, my analytical mind works best when I can categorize things and people. I love learning about my own personality (seems like a strange concept, I know) but also the personalities of those around me. I believe it helps me make the best of every relationship by knowing why a person does what they do.
One of my favorite personality frameworks is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. And yes, I have a favorite personality framework, so that probably tells you a little bit about me. If you're not familiar with Myers-Briggs, you can read more here. Basically, it divides people into sixteen types based on the interactions of four dichotomies. (Warning: do not assume that these words mean what you think they mean. For example, I have a preference for "judging", but that does not mean I am a judgmental person.)
- Extroversion (E) vs. Introversion (I)- Preference for outer world vs. inner world
- Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N)- How you interpret information: using your five senses vs. seeing patterns and possibilities
- Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)- How you make decisions: primarily using logic and objectivity vs. using values and subjectivity
- Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P)- Preference for structure and organization vs. flexibility and spontaneity
You can either take a test (there are many free versions online) or simply choose which side of each dichotomy you think you fall on. You then put together your four letters and, voilà!, you have your type. This website has great descriptions if you want to dive further into your type.
I am an ISFJ. Every time I read a description of my type, I am shocked by how accurate it is. That is one of the things I love about personality frameworks- they make you feel like you are not alone! Knowing my personality type helps me to leverage my strengths and mitigate my weaknesses in my work and my relationships.
Do you know your Myers-Briggs type? Do you think it is an accurate depiction of your personality? How do you apply it in your career and relationships?