When I was in my forties, I took the Myers-Briggs Temperament Inventory–the MBTI–for the first time. I’ve taken it several times since .
If you’re not familiar with the MBTI, the only thing I can attempt to explain in one short blog post is the fact that the test is able to place each test taker in one of sixteen personality groups. Although there are exceptions, people are inclined to look at the test results with amazement–how could someone figure you out so well on the basis of questions like those?
If you’ve never taken the MBTI, a version of it is available HERE. It’s well worth the few minutes it’ll take.
I’m an INTJ. That means Introverted-Intuitive-Thinking-Judging. The exact opposite of me would be an ESFP–Extrovert, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving. Those eight letters can be combined into sixteen four-letter variations. You with me so far?
The significant letter for today’s post is the I. Introverted.
That word isn’t used the way most of us use it. Neither is “extroverted.” Those two words refer to whether being around a number of other people energizes or wears a person out. So “introverted” has nothing to do with shyness, but with the fact that an introvert enjoys the company of a small number of close friends, but is totally exhausted by having to spend time in a crowd.
The HR director who interpreted my first MBTI illustrated this way. She’s an I, and when she finishes teaching a class, she’s ready to return to her office and collapse. An extrovert is apt to rub his hands together and say, “That was fun. When’s the next class? Tomorrow? Do I really have to wait till then?”
Sometimes a person falls on the line between two categories, not being strongly an I or an E, an N or an S, A T or an F, or a J or a P. When it comes to introversion, I am far on the I-side of the scale. So, not surprisingly, I don’t look forward to big parties or any type of large gathering. And when I have to attend such an event, I’m not only anxious for it to end, but totally exhausted long before the end.
Does that mean I don’t like people, though? Very definitely not! I really enjoy people who are close friends or family and in a group of limited size. So, if I don’t already know you, I would really love to meet you. But maybe it would be better if you don’t introduce me to all of your friends, family, and neighbors. Not all at the same time, anyhow.
But it does explain why I web programming, writing, and reading as much as I do.
Incidentally, just for the heck of it, I took the MBTI again a couple of minutes ago. If I recall correctly, I was originally on the line between intuitive and sensing. Now I’ve moved over into sensing.
How about sharing your MBTI type in a comment? If you’ve never taken the test, take a few minutes to do so and then leave a comment.
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