I love the MBTI personality test.
In the past I have done my fair share of personality tests. Some were more in depth—like DISC or Strengths Finder, others I’d take for fun, like “Which Disney Princess Are You?” or “Which Member of One Direction Is Your Soul Mate?” (Belle and Zayn*, respectively)
For the first 23 years or so, I had accumulated information about myself—what my weaknesses were, how I related to people, how well I worked on a team, etc. And for the most part, I felt like I had a pretty good idea of who I was.
Then I took this test.
I am an ENTP. To save you some googling (assuming you’d be interested), I’ll give you the rundown. Bear with me as I talk about myself:
Being an ENTP essentially means that I gain energy from other people, intuitive in processing information, logical in my decision making, and unpredictable in my planning. Some of the nicknames for this type were the “Debater” or the “Visionary.”
According to my profile, I’m a quick thinker, able to jump from one idea to another, and good at “shredding arguments and beliefs and letting the ribbons drift in the wind for all to see.”
I’m also bad at sensing emotions and, if I do, find it difficult to care about them if I find them unreasonable. If I don’t like people’s ideas I tend to dismiss them as incompetent, and I struggle with following through in practical matters. Some speculate that Alexander the Great was an ENTP, if that puts anything in perspective for you.
I think I love these tests because I’m reading about myself, and let’s face it—I’m a big fan of myself. Most of what I do caters to what I want and what I’m feeling. That’s not ideal, obviously, but it’s just my natural bent. It’s what I do without thinking. So when there are pages of information all talking about things that relate directly to me, it quickly becomes consuming.
Now, when I say that Myers-Briggs ruined my life, I’m not sure if that’s misleading or not. If by “ruined my life” I’m saying that they are irrelevant and useless, definitely not. If I’m saying that now I seem to filter everyone through MBTI profiles…then yes. With sixteen types to choose from, everyone can now fit neatly into a category.
Along my way to self-discovery I became my personality type, and so did everyone else. I remember wishing everyone could just wear their MBTI type on a name tag so I could know what to expect from people.
But, the truth is, I am not an ENTP.
Sure, I have certain tendencies and preferences. There are things I am naturally good at and things that I am naturally terrible at. And whether or not that fits in with a certain personality type, or strength, or love language, that’s fine.
But really I’m just Lauren. And I would rather people get to know me by spending time with me, rather than judging me based on four variables.
More importantly, I want to do that for other people. I want to spend time with and invest in others regardless of how compatible their type is with mine.
I’m not much of a science person, so I couldn’t tell you about the statistics or how psychologically accurate any of these tests are. All I know is that yeah—they can tell us a lot about each other. I also know that there’s a lot that they can’t tell you. Like how the first book you remember from your childhood was Frog and Toad, how you’ve always preferred the mountains to the beach, or how you’ll never forget your first bite of a Chick-fil-A sandwich because it changed your life forever.
It’s those memories and idiosyncrasies you can only afford through time and trust. If you want to take the test, you should. You’ll learn a lot about yourself. Just not everything.
*May he rest in peace.