People I know and respect periodically bring up their Myers-Briggs type indicators in casual conversation. “I’m an INTJ” they’ll say, as if that explains some hidden mystery about them. My brother can rattle off his type too because he gets the same results every time he takes the test. Not me. I have different results every time I take the test. Often the questions are so frustrating to me because I don’t agree with how they are phrased or I can see reasons for choosing answers on both sides of the spectrum. Taking the same test twice, in quick succession, answering with thought and absolute honesty has yielded different results. I could forget about the test, call it silly, and go about being me as inimitably as I have these past forty years. Except, like I mentioned, people whose opinion I find valuable seem to think the theory has some weight.
The past few months have been some of the most emotionally arduous of my life. I’ve been told I need to find my sense of joy as it is noticeably missing. I’ve been told I need to start doing things to take care of myself, especially things that are fun. I’ve been told I’ve lost myself and need to find me again. With all these suggestions in mind I, once again, overheard friends discussing their types. “Ha!” I thought to myself. “What better place to find me than to figure this personality type thing out once and for all”. I took the test again. This was a version I had not taken previously. For the first time I took the test and didn’t have an internal debate about the questions. None of the questions on this particular test made me think the test would be inaccurate because I really couldn’t settle on a “right” answer for me. I took the test, very clear on who I was in relation to this particular set of questions. While waiting for the results to generate I had the passing thought that this answer would finally be the correct one.
My results? 50%… in each indicator. [insert big sigh here]
A few days later, I saw the counselor who advised me to “find myself”. I hadn’t mentioned the test results but as the universe often works this way for me I was not surprised when she asked if I had ever taken the Myers-Briggs test. “Why yes, in fact, I took it a few days ago,” I said. I told her my results, which she seemed to think backed up her theory that I needed to find myself, kind of desperately, in fact. Never one to blindly accept the most obvious answer, or, truthfully, anyone else’s answer about pretty much anything I came home and read more about this process of personality typing.
I could find very little on the type which would either be written as XXXX or EINSTFJ. Some discussions had people wondering if it was even possible for the type to exist. There was some discussion that the type would either be boring and lacking in any personality or perhaps even very mentally ill. Other hits my search found theorized that it was the ideal personality, the balance personality everyone should strive to be. A few places were theorizing that the XXXX type would be found in Jesus or God and no-one else. Not feeling very Messianic, mentally unstable, or perfect I had to let these theories, as appealing as they are, go.
I am left with no real clarity on my type. No recommendations for work or relationship compatibility. Once again, no use for this type of test. At least I know I can lay it aside and not take the test again. Honestly, I’m very content to remain type-less. I tend to get along with all types of people. Because I am able to see multiple sides and variations of most issues I make an excellent mediator. Sometimes seeing all sides is a lonely place to be, and I often relate to the mythological figure Cassandra, but, I have never wished to be anyone but who I am.
Though I’ve worked through my thoughts on this particular issue I welcome further knowledge and different viewpoints. Please share your thoughts on the XXXX type and on how knowing your type has effected or not effected your life.