Myers-Briggs Personality Types: A Tool To Understand Ourselves and Others Better

What makes you you? Have you ever wondered about that?

Some tendencies you have from the moment you’re born, like the innate way to percieve the world and make decisions. Many of your strenghts stem from this internal hardware.

You aren’t a prisoner of the mental system, though. Yes, the natural temperament explains how you tend to do things. But your skills, values, beliefs and principles come with life’s experiences.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is one the systems to help you get how people tick.

Each of the 16 Myers-Briggs types is a unique combination of the following four traits:

  • Introvert/Extravert
  • Intuitive/Sensing
  • Thinking/Feeling
  • Judging/Perceiving

Your type is marked by a four letter abbreviation, like INTJ (Introvert, iNtuitive, Thinking, Judging).

So, what does all that mean?

Fae Rowan explained the types in a superb way:

Let’s look at those first two letters  E or I, which refer to how you draw your energy from the world around you.  If you’re an E, you draw energy from people, things, and activities.  You tend toward breadth rather than depth.  You have a need for people.  If you’re an I, you draw your energy from the internal world of thoughts and ideas.  You prefer depth to breadth and pause to think about things.  You have a need for privacy.

 

Now for how you take in information, your second letter: N or S

If you’re in the N crowd, you prefer to take in information through a sixth sense, a gut feeling, your iNtuition.  You think about what might be.  You like the big picture.  You need possibilities. If you are with the S crowd, you prefer to take in information through your five Senses.  You like concrete and practical ideas.  You have a need for evidence.

 

The third letters, T or F, (no, not true or false)  refer to how you make decisions.

The thinking T emphasizes logic and reason, truth and fairness in decision-making, looking for objective balance.  T’s are unconsciously pre-occupied with truth.  The feeling F makes decisions based on personal values and people-needs. F’s are unconsciously preoccupied with harmony with others.

 

The final letter J or P shows preferences for lifestyle.

J’s prefer to live in a planned, organized style.  They like to come to conclusions quickly.  Their bottom line is control.  P’s enjoy spontaneity.  They’re flexible and adapt rather than needing to control.  They prefer to keep their options open.

Now you might be wondering what your type is. (Or what the type of your family, friends and characters is)

Here are a few online tests to help you figure it out:

 

Please remember that these tests aren’t 100% reliable. They give indications of your type but you can get different results every time, based on your mood and how you’ve recently responded to situations. The tests might have different emphasis too.

After taking the test, a good way to triangulate a match is to read the descriptions of the types that seem closest and see which fits you the best.

 

Over the next month, I highlight each type in their own post. I hope this blog series will give you some heurekas about yourself and people you know. Maybe you’ll also get new insights about the characters you write. Stay tuned for the INFP profile this Wednesday.

If you want to learn more right now, I have a few links for you:

 

I’d love to hear from you. Please take a moment to leave a comment 🙂

What is your Myers-Briggs type? How do you feel about your type? Has it affected your personal relationships and writing life?

15 Comments

  1. Jennette Marie Powell
    Sep 11, 2012

    I didn’t take the test, but I have before, and I’m INTJ. My husband is totally the opposite, except that he sits the fence for P/J. People often ask me how do I put up with him. My answer is “Never a dull moment!”
    Jennette Marie Powell recently posted..Misfit Monday: Home on the WebMy Profile

    • Reetta Raitanen
      Sep 11, 2012

      Your INTJness really shows in your ROW updates, Jennette 🙂 And opposites attract. I’m INFP and my husband is ISFJ. He is very practical and dutiful whereas I can be a dreamy butterfly flitting from one thing to another and never finishing anything.

  2. CC MacKenzie
    Sep 11, 2012

    I’m an INFJ.

    Creative.
    CC MacKenzie recently posted..NORSE GOD WITH A BIG HAMMERMy Profile

    • Reetta Raitanen
      Sep 11, 2012

      So many of us are INF something 🙂 It seems to be a good trio of letters for a writer.

  3. Jenny Hansen
    Sep 11, 2012

    How handy that you linked to Fae’s post so I could just paste my type right in! (And say thank you 🙂 )

    ENFJ today (I know that’s SUCH a big surprise to you…LOL) :
    moderately expressed extravert – 44
    moderately expressed intuitive personality – 38
    distinctively expressed feeling personality – 62
    slightly expressed judging personality – 1

    Careers: Counselor, Psychologist, Teacher, Doctor, Computer Programmer, Management and I’m the same type as Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan.

    At one time I tested ESTP ( The Promoter), which comes under Artisan. Today’s is under Idealist. I wonder if it’s motherhood talking.
    Jenny Hansen recently posted..Are You Starring In Your Own Life?My Profile

    • Reetta Raitanen
      Sep 11, 2012

      Strange that you got almost totally opposite types at different times 🙂 Which type do you feel like the most?

  4. Karen McFarland
    Sep 11, 2012

    Interesting Reetta. I took the Myers/Brigg test in one of Bob Mayer’s classes. But I must say that you simplified this test and made it easier. Thank y0u for that. As I think you mentioned, it’s really hard for us to say that we are completely one letter or another. For at certain times in our life, we may sway back and forth. But for the sake of arguement, I would have to say that I am an E/ISTP, but mostly a promoter. Oh, is that a surprise? LOL!

    • Reetta Raitanen
      Sep 13, 2012

      It’s great that Bob teaches Myers-Briggs in his classes. It teaches us a lot about what kind of writing process works for us. And really cool that you’re a S 🙂 Majority of Wanas seems to be Ns.

  5. Debra Kristi
    Sep 12, 2012

    I also got my results through Bob’s class. But I couldn’t recall all of them so I took the test again. It was as I thought, 100% introvert. I am an INTJ. I’m also a planner – 50 for J. Fun post!
    Debra Kristi recently posted..A Legend and A Werebeast Makes an Immortal MondayMy Profile

    • Reetta Raitanen
      Sep 13, 2012

      I was also 100% introvert in the test. Planning usually results in less plot editing so that’s great. I’m about 40/60 J and P. I can plan and do but I almost never stick to the plan as it’s written 😛

  6. Coleen Patrick
    Sep 12, 2012

    This subject is always fascinating! I tested INFJ, I think my husband is the exact opposite 🙂
    Coleen Patrick recently posted..Chasing Inspiration with ScissorsMy Profile

    • Reetta Raitanen
      Sep 13, 2012

      I can feel the allure of opposites too 🙂 My husband and I have I & F in common but he’s SJ and I’m NP. Practical planner and dreamy improviser.

  7. Jasper
    Jun 25, 2013

    Hi Reetta,
    I’m really glad I found my way here. I’m also a writer, from Finland, an INFP, writing in English, into urban fantasy 🙂

    It woudl be nice to be friends on Facebook or Twitter (https://www.facebook.com/jasper.manning.5 , https://twitter.com/JasperManning)

    I might not remember to come back otherwise, I’ve been away from the blogosphere for a while.
    Jasper recently posted..The poet’s hair for all the color in the world.My Profile

    • Reetta Raitanen
      Jun 26, 2013

      Hey Jasper,
      How cool that you found my blog 🙂 Thanks for commenting. Sounds like we have a lot in common. I followed you in Twitter and Facebook. I’m looking forward to chatting with you there.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. INFP – Persephone, the Idealist and the Healer | Reetta Raitanen's Blog - [...] of the Myers-Briggs personality type blog series. If you missed the first post where I explained what the system…
  2. Monday Mentions: Stranger Than Fiction? « Amy Shojai's Blog - [...] Myers-Briggs Personality Types, valuable tool for character creation (and understanding yourself?), thanks again to Reeta Raitanen’s awesome blog. [...]
  3. INTJ – Artemis, the Strategist and the Scientist | Reetta Raitanen's Blog - [...] Scientist Welcome to the third part of the Myers-Briggs personality type blog series. If you missed the first post…
  4. Monday Mentions: Stranger Than Fiction? | AMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] Myers-Briggs Personality Types, valuable tool for character creation (and understanding yourself?), thanks again to Reeta Raitanen’s awesome blog. […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers