Sunday, July 3, 2016

What's My Personality Type?

In my opinion, the two hardest questions anyone can ask you are:

1. What do you like to do? Nothing makes you ashamed of your lack of hobbies like this question.

2. Describe yourself. Okay, I realize it’s technically not a question (thanks, grammar police!), but it’s still a sentence that prompts some deep thinking.

I don’t know about you but that question just makes me freeze up. Where do I even begin? 

I read a lot of blogs and follow a lot of accounts on Instagram. I’ve noticed a lot of people have a four-letter acronym in their “about” page or in their bio. Something like INFJ, ESTJ, or ISTP. I had no idea what these were so I decided to be a super sleuth and do some investigation.


I learned that these are just a few of the sixteen (!) different personality types created by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Meyers. They were inspired by Carl Gustav Jung's work.

Who was he? In the early 20th century, psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung identified two main attitude types:

1. introversion - interested in one's own mental self, reserved, reflective
2. extraversion - enjoy human interaction, enthusiastic, assertive

These are terms that are pretty commonly used these days, as synonyms for shy and social, respectively, but that's not really what Jung meant. His definition was more along the lines of: Where does the person get their mental energy from? From reflection or interaction?

Then he came up with two functions:

1. Perceiving - sensation vs. intuition
2. Judging - thinking vs. feeling

Combining all of those possibilities, he created 8 personality types. Moving on!

Katharine began researching this subject in 1917, and discovered Jung's book on it in 1923. She was like, Cool! This is like what I'm doing! She studied his work for a long time before deciding to put this idea of personality types to practical use. Her daughter helped her with research.

During World War II Katharine and Isabel began creating an indicator (can I just say, how cool is a mother-daughter research team?) to help women getting jobs for the first time figure out what was right for them. They published the handbook in 1944.

Now, there is research that doubts the validity of these personality types, but whether or not this is reliable, it sure seems like fun! So I decided to try it out.


I found this website called 16Personalities that has a free test you can take and tells you all about each personality type. And, bonus: they have super cute illustrations!

The people behind this website have combined the work of Jung, Meyers, and Briggs, and created five different personality aspects, different combinations of which make up the 16 different personality types.

I created this handy dandy little infographic that describes each of these aspects:

In an attempt to be all scientific and fancy, I decided to create a hypothesis. I didn't spend too much time thinking about this, but I looked through the page that lists all of the types and made myself pick one. At first it seemed that none of them were anything like me, but I finally settled on INTJ, or, the "Architect". The little blurb stated "imaginative and strategic thinkers, with a plan for everything". Is that me?

Let's see ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Alright, I'm back. It appears I don't know myself very well! My result was... (drumroll please)

ISFJ-T! The "Defender" (The -T part of that tells me that I'm turbulent rather than assertive, and there can be an ISFJ-A as well as an ISFJ-T.)

I started reading, and I was like, okay, okay, this is interesting... HEY! That's ME! Let me show you the specific passage that got me all excited:

"ISFJ personalities (especially Turbulent ones) are often meticulous to the point of perfectionism, and though they procrastinate, they can always be relied on to get the job done on time."

That's totally me! A perfectionist and a mild procrastinator. I've actually spent a lot of time thinking about these aspects of my personality and this got it exactly right.

"ISFJs need to know when to say no..."
This is something that I know I struggle with.

There were some things that I disagreed with. One is that I am supposedly great at remembering details like names and birthdays. Me? No! I definitely am not good with birthdays, I can only remember those of my family and a few of my friends'.

Another thing I disagreed with was that good career choices for me would be nursing or teaching. Maybe there's some part of me deep down that would be perfect for these jobs, but they're not paths that I have ever considered, even as "maybes".

But, you know what? I'm fine with this evaluation. Why? Because BEYONCE is an ISFJ. (Take that, all other personality types)

So, what do you think of this test? Have you taken it? Let me know what you got! I'm interested to see who else out there is an ISFJ :)