Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is an introspective self-report questionnaire with the purpose of indicating differing psychological preferences in how people perceive the world around them and make decisions, stated by Wikipedia. And also apparently known as astrology for smart people. Choose what you believe! 😂
The idea is, you are categorised into one of 16 different personality types depending on your mind, energy, nature, tactics and identity.
You can take the test here or allow me to explain what each letter represents in the types. However, take the test anyway (it’s obviously more accurate than me explaining).
Mind is in regards to how we interact with our surroundings. In terms of MBTI, you’re either introverted or extroverted. But what about ambiverted, Shay? The test gives you a percentage of what you are so you may get 43% introverted and 57% extroverted, indicating you’re about 50/50 (an ambivert) but shows you’re predominantly extroverted.
‘I’ obviously stands for Introverted. Introverts prefer activities they can spend by themselves and have to recharge by being by themselves. They can get exhausted by social interaction and can be sensitive to external stimulation like sounds and smell. A misconception is that introverts are quiet. This is not necessarily true as it’s more about social preference rather that how much you speak, etc.
‘E’ stands for Extroverted. Extroverts prefer social activities and are energized by social interaction. They may be more enthusiastic and excited than introverts but again, being an extrovert does not necessarily mean you are loud and talkative. There can be quiet extroverts too.
Energy refers to how we see and process the world and are divided into: observance or intuition.
‘S’ stands for obServant and describes people as “highly practical, pragmatic and down-to-earth…focusing on what is happening or has already happened”.
‘N’ stands for iNtuitive and described people as “very imaginative, open-minded and curious…preferring novelty over stability and focus on hidden meanings and future possibilities.”
Nature is all about how we make decisions and cope with emotions. There’s either thinking or feeling.
‘T’ stands for Thinking and focuses on “objectivity and rationality, prioritizing logic over emotions.” T personalities usually hide their feelings.
‘F’ stands for Feeling, explaining these people as “sensitive and emotionally expressive…more empathetic and less competitive.” These types focus more on peace and harmony.
Tactics reflect on our approach to work, planning and decision making. You’re either judging or prospecting.
‘J’ stands for Judging, people who are “decisive, thorough and highly organized…valuing clarity, predictability and closure.” I see these types as the planners and organizers! A big misconception, I’ve noticed, is that these people are bossy and boring. This is far from the truth as I know many fun and easy going J’s.
‘P’ stands for Prospecting. These people are “good at improvising and spotting opportunities…tend to be flexible, relaxed, nonconformists.” I see these people as spontaneous and procrastinators. A misconception on these types is that they are active and love the outdoorsy kind of people. P’s can be lazy and can even hate the outdoors. It’s more about being spontaneous with how you make decisions and your approaches to situations.
This type shows how confident a person is in decisions and abilities. You’ll find no one really mentions this part of their personality but it is still part of it.
‘-A’ is Assertive, meaning “self-assured, even-tempered and resistant to stress”.
‘-T’ is Turbulent, meaning “self-conscious and sensitive to stress…likely to experience a wide range of emotions”.
My personality type is ENFP-T, A.K.A The ‘Campaigner’. I did the test around 2014, then at around 2017 and again, today (2019), and I’ve gotten the same ENFP-T result (but not exactly the same percentage) suggesting it is quite reliable. My type means I’m extroverted (I do feel more energized when with people and get very depressed when I haven’t had social interaction for a while). It also means I am intuitive, feeling and prospecting as well as turbulent. However, I feel like I’m a bit 50/50 when it comes to Thinking and Feeling but my percentage says otherwise. I, however, still think I’m about 50/50. ENFPs are part of the diplomat group. Yes, there are groups:
- Analysts (_NT_)
- Diplomats (_NF_)
- Sentinels (_S_J)
- Explorers (_S_P)
I, personally, think MBTI is really interesting and useful.
- Mental Health – The decision making, abilities and approaches of an individual can help with mental health as it takes into account the person rather than isolating and reducing them to just their mental illness. For example, as I said, I get depressed when I haven’t had enough social interaction. I feel like I need to recharge by socialising instead of being by myself to recharge. This can be taken into account to help to encourage people to place themselves in situations, which satisfy them and ‘recharge’ them. Keeping an extrovert alone will only make them more depressed.
- Understanding Perspectives – These personality types can help people to come to grips with the fact that everyone has different approaches, decision making, abilities, etc. Therefore, I feel like it encourages people to understand we’re not all going to see the world and certain situations in the same way and encourages us to be accepting of everyone as we all have different personalities. For example, a J (judging) is more likely to approach schoolwork, for example, with schedules and good planning whereas a P (prospecting) is more like to procrastinate and be more spontaneous with how they work, doing it when they get bursts of motivation. It can help you appreciate the differences in how people are.
- Story Writing – For a while, now, I’ve been using MBTI to build up characters in my stories. The types help to see how characters may respond in situations in the story and can help to develop them.
- Realizing Your Flaws – If you lack insight into your personality and weaknesses, MBTI is good at pointing out your strengths and weaknesses, highlighting areas you can improve in, for example I can improve in my practical skill and limit how much I overthink (cause I do that A LOT).
That all being said, the little letters you get as a result of the MBTI test is just a brief outline of your personality. Obviously, you have more depth that four/five letters and it doesn’t do justice to your identity but it gives insight. One INTJ may be funny whereas another INTJ may not be. The 16 personality types does not mean there are only 16 kinds of people in the entire world.
I do highly recommend doing the test, though. It’s interesting and fun and highly highly detailed if you read through all the information they give you about your personality type and you can find out what celebrities have the same personality type as you! Amy Schumer and Danielle Radcliffe apparently have the same personality type as me. 😄
Comment your personality type!
P.S. All the images used are from the 16 Personality Types website as they’re so vibrant and well drawn. Credit to the illustrator (it’s not specified who).