“Have you ever had your personality tested?” is a question I ask with great frequency. Because, as Shakespeare advised, it’s a good idea to know thyself.
I am an INTJ. If that letter combination makes your face contort like you’ve smelled your own flatulence, allow me to explain as you light a match for that fart. It won’t kill the gaseous smell, but it’ll do a quick job of masking it. Pro-tip.
Those four letters (INTJ) is a Myers Briggs Type Indication, which is fancy speak for my personality. There are 16 different personality types. Mine happens to be the rarest for women. Translation: I’m a unicorn. A black, fire-breathing unicorn. You’ve been warned.
I took an MBTI personality test a few years ago. While I can’t remember what prompted it, I remember having an “ah ha” moment when reading the results. I wasn’t weird after all, I just wasn’t like everyone else. Suddenly life made a little more sense, and I could embrace–rather than shun–my personality’s attributes. Not including my weird fascination with fire. Seriously, light that match. Watch how it burns…
Side note: There are seven thousand million and one internet posts about “What All Extroverts Need to Understand about Introverts,” usually in a listicle format. I’m tired of that crap. If you’re an introvert, you need to accept that some extroverts will never understand you. Sorry, but it’s true. A little INTJ bluntness for you. That stereotype by the way? Totally true. See what I mean about “embracing” my personality? Thanks for stopping by.
Instead of piling onto the “PLEASE UNDERSTAND,” lists introverts are writing these days, all I’m asking is for you, the obviously intelligent, good-looking, swanky person that you are, to take the test. For yourself. Not for others. Not for you to understand other people, but so you can understand yourself.
Because you cannot know other people if you don’t know yourself first. Especially you extroverts. The capital I introverts of our the Internet Age have the personality self-knowledge nailed. What with our constantly being misunderstood by the extroverts (see above paragraphs) combined with our penchant for solitary, quiet activities (like reading).
How would you apply knowledge of your personality type to every day life? We’re all different, but I institute rules for myself. For example parties. I don’t go to them. That’s right, I have a personal ban on all group activities with the sole purpose of “socializing.” I especially despise women-only events. Sorry ladies, but you chicas en mass drive me insane. In. Sane. So I no longer frequent your soirées. Read Why I’m Opting Out of Parties for more insight.
So, if you were to take the test, if you discover your strengths, your weaknesses, you too could avoid plenty of unpleasant situations–because you know why you find them unpleasant. This will free you up to enjoy those events which leave you feeling fulfilled rather than contemplating the best way to kill yourself (in my case, bridal showers). Who cares about social norms? Well… that’s easy for me to say as an INTJ. An ESFJ is going to struggle hard with bucking norms. We all have our crosses.
Take the test. Know thyself. Have the ah ha moment. You won’t regret it.
Already know your personality type? Leave it in the comments or tweet me your results. I promise I’ll pretend to care 🙂