Do you know your personality type? I first took the Myers-Briggs personality test about three years ago. When reading my results, I was amazed (and slightly creeped out!) at how accurate the results were.
Although people have been studying personally for decades, Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist, is credited with laying the foundation for modern personality theory.
His theory centered on the idea of “introversion” and “extraversion” – he believed that each one of us falls primarily into one of these categories. From there, he drilled down further into the idea of cognitive functions such as “judging” and “perceiving.” Put simply, these functions are more specific tendencies that people tend to follow.
More recently, Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs-Myers expanded upon Jung’s theories. Together, they created the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator that psychologists currently use and study today.
The MBTI test streamlines Jung’s concepts and organizes each personality into an acronym based on the primary tendencies of each subcategory. The four-letter acronyms are easy to remember and quickly caught on with researchers and the general public.
So, all of this is great and interesting, but why should we study personality types?
To Learn About Yourself
First and foremost, I think it’s really cool to get to know yourself a little better through these tests.
When I reviewed my results, I felt like I was rediscovering myself all over again. The randomness about myself didn’t seem so random anymore. It was comforting to realize the method and reasoning behind some of my quirks.
To Identify Strengths and Weaknesses
I believe that the more you know about your strengths and weaknesses, the more successful you can be in your relationships and your career.
Sometimes, it’s hard to identify your own shortcomings. Conversely, it can be hard for us to appreciate and recognize our own strengths. The test lays these points out in an easy-to-understand format and gives you ideas for improving upon the weaker areas.
As an example, as an ENFP, I know I struggle with follow-through and routine tasks. Generally, I don’t do well under strict rules and predictability. Now that I’m aware of these preferences and limitations, I work extra hard to avoid them (if possible) or overcome them (if they cannot be avoided).
I think I’m much more successful as a result of my conscious effort to improve.
To Learn About Others
Companies are using the MBTI test to help employees learn more about one another. It can be very helpful to know someone’s personality type if you’re required to give feedback or coaching.
It’s also useful in your personal life to identify the ways in which your spouse or even your best friend communicate. Alan is much more analytical and reserved than I am, so he expresses his feelings in different ways than I would.
If you want to take the test, the 16personalities website is a wonderful resource for all things regarding personality-types.
Be sure to follow my blog on WordPress and find me on Instagram at @haileighsenatore. Drop us a comment to let everyone know your personality type!