Updated: Apr 3
When we think of personality styles we usually correlate it to work: teamwork, managers leading employees, individuals learning more about their styles, etc. With many more people working from home and staying indoors, how could the same knowledge of personality preferences be applied to your family dynamics?
One of the most famous personality tests is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ® (MBTI®). The purpose of the inventory is to make the theory of psychological types described by Carl Jung understandable and useful in people's lives. This inventory was further developed by a mother and daughter: Katharine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers which led to the identification of basic preferences across four dichotomies in Jung's theory.
If you think of yourself signing your name on a piece of paper, it's easy, it comes naturally, and it may be completed quickly. Now, if you imagine signing with your less dominant hand it's more difficult, you may have to adjust the pen placement in the hand and it's often much slower to write and may or may not be legible. Your dominant hand is your preference, this is true as you might relate across the dichotomies listed below; you can likely do both but you might have a preferred approach.
Dichotomy #1 - Where do you get your energy?
[E or I]
Extroverts enjoy being with people, meeting with others, and bouncing ideas off of one another. They tend to enjoy giving presentations, expressing their ideas, and interacting with lots of other people during the day. They can be seen as an "outgoing" person or a "people person". Extroverts who must spend long periods of time being alone tend to feel bored and unmotivated.
Introverts are most productive when alone in a quiet space where they can isolate themselves from others to concentrate on their inner world. Introverts tend to prefer working on a project independently, rather than on a team and usually dislike having to present information to others, especially if they are not given adequate time to prepare. They can be seen as "reflective" or "reserved". Introverts can feel drained when there is a lot of interaction with many people during the day or being in a noisy or busy environment.
Dichotomy #2 - How do you prefer to take in information?
[S or N]
Sensors pay attention to physical reality - see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. Often concerned with the present and what is actual, current, and real; facts and details are very important. Sensors who experience constant change often feel stressed. They prefer to be in a place where their efforts result in tangible or observable results.
Intuitives pay attention to impressions or the meanings of patterns in the information they receive. They would rather learn by thinking a problem through compared to getting hands-on experience. Intuitives become stressed when they have little opportunity for creativity and innovation and are often described as designers rather than builders.
Dichotomy #3 - How do you prefer to make decisions?
[T or F]
Thinkers prefer to be in an environment where decisions are made logically, consequences are reasoned out, and objective analysis rue. Thinkers can become frustrated if they are pressured to comply with decisions or plans that do not make sense to them. Powerful politics, needy people, and an over-emphasis on satisfying everyone are all stressful.
Feelers prefer to be in a space that aligns with their values. They need to believe the positive impact of their accomplishments to feel satisfied. They value a friendly, caring space and often dread being with others who are critical, contentious, or supportive. Typically they are motivated to achieve consensus and harmony. A focus on the bottom line is unmotivating to Feelers.
Dichotomy #4 - How do you deal with the outside world?
[J or P]
Judgers prefer a planned and orderly way of life. They like to have things settled and organized, and feel more comfortable when decisions are made, they dislike surprises and interruptions. If surprised and changes are constantly derailing their neatly ordered plans, they will quickly become frustrated.
Perceivers prefer open-ended, casual, and unstructured way of life. They prefer to pick up projects as inspiration strikes them, and often work best in a pressure-prompted fashion to complete things at the last minute. They are most comfortable with uncertainty and flexibility. Perceivers can feel stifled by standard procedures, rules, and bureaucracy.
What's Your TYPE?
16 Personality Types
** Appropriate for those 14 years of age and older **
We spend so much time together, it's easy to forget we are each unique in our own way and have our own preferences. Knowing what you know now, you might be better able to understand why someone may prefer to do things a certain way or how they prefer to make a decision, especially if it's different from you. Typically, our personality preferences do not change much over time unless you have experienced a significant event, trauma, and/or are actively trying to adjust across these areas. Each dichotomy is measured in clarity, meaning how far you lean towards one preference in the situation in which you took the assessment.
Many times, MBTI® is used to help open the doors for academic and career opportunities. We can search for our type and "popular majors" or "popular careers" to begin thinking about different choices. Please note that one is stuck into one type, one major, or one career; many offerings are a starting point from where others with the same type find satisfaction.
I'm an INFJ: People with this personality type tend to see helping others as their purpose in life.