The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a tool that enables us to see what personality type we are. This tool allows us to understand each other and ourselves better.
Who were Myers-Briggs?
Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers were a mother-daughter team who had an exceptional ability to understand human nature. Their observations led them to create the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) tool. Their goal in creating the MBTI instrument was to help individuals reach their highest potential, however this tool also enables us to understand others.
How many Personality Types are there?
16!!! The 16 personality types are created by a combination of 4 sets of letters:
- I or E: Introvert or Extrovert
- N or S: Intuitive or Sensing
- F or T: Feeling or Thinking
- J or P: Judging or Perceiving
In future articles, I’ll break down each personality type.
Layman’s terms of what the letters mean
Introvert (I) or Extrovert (E): In layman’s terms, “introvert” or “extrovert” doesn’t mean who you are…it identifies what you need to recharge. For example, introverts need a lot of time alone to recharge. If they are forced to socialize with other people for too long, they will start to feel overwhelmed and de-energized. Extroverts are the opposite: if they are left alone for too long, depression will set in. They need to be around other people in order to feel energized and invigorated.
Intuitive (N) or Sensing (S)
Do you find yourself saying, “My gut tells me…” or “I have a hunch…”? Then you’re probably intuitive. “I’s” like to look at the deeper meaning of things. They are more inclined to look at metaphysical elements and can more easily sense paranormal phenomenon.
“Sensing” people will trust what they can process through their five senses. No “sixth sense” here, thank you very much! “S’s” are guided by what the they can see, hear, taste, touch, and feel. You guessed it: lots of scientists and mathematicians will fall into this category.
Feeling (F) or Thinking (T)
Again, what is your language? You are probably an “F” if you say, “I don’t feel good about this” or “this feels like the right thing to do”. “F’s” tend to process the world around them through an emotional lens. This is also how they tend to make decisions. Above all, F’s like to consider people and circumstances before logic and consistency.
In contrast, “T’s” will tend to say, “I don’t think this is a good idea” or “I think this is the right thing to do”. T’s will make decisions through an analytical lens versus an emotional one. Opposite of F’s, they base decisions on logic, not emotions.
Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)
The word “judging” here does NOT mean judgmental. Rather, it indicates how someone makes decisions. For example, “J’s” will take in many factors and quickly determine what decision should be made. On the other hand, “P’s” will take the stance of, “Let’s just wait and see what happens”.
What do you do with all this information?
As a result of MBTI, I have come to understand myself better. More importantly–at least to me!–I have a better understanding of my spouse and children. No, this doesn’t eliminate our relationship struggles, but I feel it minimizes our misunderstandings.
Stay tuned for more information on the 16 different MBTI personality types. Have you taken the test already? What personality type are you?