For those of you who don’t know what MBTI is, it’s the Myers-Brigs Type Indicator, a personality testing tool. There are 16 personality types and I was classified as an INFJ. Read here for more info: www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test 

I have contrasting views on this because I see both the benefits and downfalls.

Foremost I agree with my personality diagnosis, well at least most of of it. It has helped me better understand why I do the things I do. Although, from a young age I was always very self-aware and conscious of myself and others. I really didn’t need to know the why of things, because I was quite an observant child, I knew even when I didn’t know how I knew. The real reason and the most important one is that I finally felt understood. When you feel like an outsider, it’s nice to hear that there is not something fundamentally wrong with you. That it’s just how you are and not to feel ashamed of being so.

However I also feel personality is not a fixed thing. Yes there are key elements of a personality that cannot change, for example whether you are introverted or extroverted – you will always go back to your default setting or natural tendency. My problem is when people choose to restrict themselves to their type, meaning using their type as an excuse to not grow or work on their issues. I truly believe that if you work hard enough at something you can do it. So I’m always aware or try to be of my thought processes by asking myself am I really trying or simply choosing to take the easy way out here by saying, “this is me, can’t do anything about my personality”.

Also there’s this thought that keeps eating away at me about any and all personality tests. Can humans really be categorized into 16 personalities or whatever classification? If you just think about it biologically/genetically. Each human is made up of approximately 3.2 billion letters of genetic code. 50% of this code comes from the mother and the other half comes from the father. Basically, there is not one person in the planet who has your genetic code, you are genetically unique. Even your siblings have inherited a different 50% from your mother and father than you. You only share certain DNA markers to indicate relation. Even with the case of identical twins when the same exact 50% are inherited to each child, they still have unique characteristics like fingerprints.

Bare with me and my ramblings….Genes are the foundation of your psychology, of course it depends on the environment too. But the interaction of your genes to the environment compared to mine will be different. So even if we objectively had the same experience, subjectively our perception of the experience will innately be different due to our differing genes. As experiences mold our psychology and overall personality, how can they be defined by 16 types. Surely when we consider all the possible genetic combinations we cannot define the psychological and personality manifestations into only 16 types.

Maybe I’m over thinking this too much… Conversely, maybe I’m overestimating the complexity of the human experience. For example, everyone has certain experiences but it’s nothing unknown such as death, birth, major life events, stress, unspeakable events, etc. The only difference is the varying intensity and the subjective perception of the experience. Still at the core, these events no matter how different can be distilled to these known basic life experiences. So in a way the psychological or personality manifestations will be simple, because there’s only a specific number of ways to perceive things.

Tell me what you think, because I think I’m overthinking this too much.

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