Aug 9, 2010

Me and Mmes. Myers and Briggs

I have taken a handful of professionally administered Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessments in my adult life. If you've taken one, you probably realized it would be pretty easy to  "game" the results.  (But that would only prove that you can deliberately fool yourself.)

What is harder to discern is when you are unwittingly kidding yourself: when you convince yourself that you WANT to be a certain way, whether you really are like that or not.  I learned early on that MBTI doesn't esteem one personality type above another, so it's not like you get gold stars for being one type over another. That takes a lot of the pressure off and you can just do your best to answer the questions honestly and let the proverbial chips fall where they may.

For most of my career, my MBTI profiles typically indicated I was an ENTJ or an ESTJ.  If you're not familiar with MBTI, you answer a series of questions and wind up with one of 16 possible "types" based on the four areas of assessment:
  1. Favorite world.  Or as I put it, are you an outie or an innie? Extraversion=E; Introversion=I.
  2. Information. If you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in, you're an S (for Sensing); if you prefer to interpret and add meaning, you're an "N" (for Intuition)
  3. Decisions. When making decisions, are you all about logic?  Then you're a Thinker (T).  If you tend to first take people and circumstances into consideration, you're a Feeler (F).
  4. Structure. In dealing with the outside world, us Judging (J) folks cut to the chase and git 'er done, while Perceiving (P) people like to keep their options open.
My results weren't surprising, considering that my education was in the accounting and finance fields.  With some conscious effort and personal development, I managed to flip all the way over to to an ESFJ at one point in my corporate career, but my bookends were always E and J.  That is/was me, or so I thought.

Fast forward a decade; the other day I ran my blog through a site called "" and...well, see for yourself:

What?  When did I morph into an ESFP?  The only thing more surprising would have been learning I had become introverted.  My guess is that isn't even an option for this software; is there such a thing as an introverted blogger?  My money is on "no" on that one. 

And in fairness to Typealyzer, they offer a caution against drawing too many conclusions about your personality type based on your blogger's profile.  But, an ESFP?  Have I:
a) really changed that much since I hopped off the corporate gerbil wheel?or
b) just used this blog as a creative outlet, and my business-like game face is still ready and waiting in the wings? or
c) finally found proof of my alter-ego? (I've always joked about having an "evil twin."  Who knew she was a Martha-Stewart type!)

So, I went in search of some down-and-dirty MBTI-esque assessment tools online.  Took a couple and reassured myself I'm still an ENTJ...MAYbe an ENFJ if we stretch it a bit.  But E and J are intact.  Whew.  Nothing against Perceivers. Y'all are great.  I'm just not one of you, even if my blog says otherwise.

Want to take a free MBTI-type test? Here's one.  And then run your blog through the Typealyzer site.  The results are interesting; as you can see, your mileage may vary.