A Chart of the Letters

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator is a personality test with stunningly accurate results. I first took the test about 4 years ago and have been fascinated by it (ok, obsessed with it) ever since. I understand, as should you, that you cannot be defined by a personality type. Everyone is unique. But this test has definitely opened my eyes to the way I see the world and how I think. It has been a great tool in the understanding of myself.

Here's how it works...

Your personality type is made up of four letters, and each letter has a different meaning. (I'm an INFJ!) I will describe each of these letters. Your first letter is either introvert (I) or extrovert (E), your second is either sensing (S) or intuitive (N), your third is either feeling (F) or thinking (T), and your fourth is either perceiving (P) or judging (J). So, there are 16 different personality types. There are also 8 different cognitive functions within these personality types (Cognitive functions are an integral part of the MBTI but that is a whole other article for a whole other time). As you can tell, this test can get quite in depth, which is one of the reasons it fascinates me. There is always something else to learn!

ANYWAY. Onwards into the description of the 8 letters! 

Everyone has a little bit of each of the letters but will naturally be more inclined to one side (usually). 

Introvert vs. Extrovert

Probably the greatest misconception about these two types of people is this: Introverts are quiet and Extroverts are loud. NO NO NO. Although this is definitely true for some people, it is not the main idea of these two descriptions. Introvert or Extrovert just describes where you get your energy. Introverts get their energy from being alone and are drained by large crowds. Extroverts get their energy by being around others and are drained by being alone. Some introverts may enjoy being around people and act like extroverts- but they become tired and need some alone time after being around a crowd. On the other hand, extroverts may seem like introverts sometimes- liking being alone but not gaining energy from it. Everyone needs some alone time and some time with other people. Many people I know are right on the line between introvert and extrovert.

Intuitive vs. Sensing

These are probably the hardest letters to understand... and explain. I will do my best! This describes how you take in information. Sensors focus more on the here and now while intuitors are more focused on the future and possibilities. Intuitors thinking is more abstract. They like to connect ideas, see the bigger picture, and they tend to see patterns in the world. They can be described as imaginative thinkers. They can also seem to make irrational decisions by sensors because of their "gut" feelings. Sensors are more factual and take in information via their five senses. They like to know details before taking action, and their decisions are usually based on facts. They also seem to take notice of details more since they are focused more on the outer world rather than the inner world. Here are some examples: Imagine a sensor and an intuitor are put into a forest. The sensor will notice the individual trees, the grass, the insects, etc. The intuitors will think of the forest as a whole. Another example: imagine a picture in a house. The sensor will find importance in the picture because of the way it fits with the room's color or the functionality of the room. The intuitor will more likely find importance with the picture because it has sentimental value to them or their values and ideals in life. Remember, everyone has tendencies for both sensing and intuition, but will most likely be inclined to one.

Feeling vs. Thinking

This describes how you make decisions. Feelers make decisions based on their personal values and belief system, and how they feel about a situation. They also take into account the feelings of others, while thinkers usually do not unless it seems logical. Thinkers may see Feelers as irrational, emotional and unreliable. Thinkers make decisions based on facts and what they feel is the most logical choice. Feelers usually see them as cold and heartless.

Judging vs. Perceiving

This describes a lifestyle preference. Judgers approach life in a more structured way, while perceivers approach life with the view that structure is more limiting than enabling. Judgers tend to be more self disciplined and find a sense of self-control by making early decisions and taking control of their environment. They like lists and tend to stick to their plans. They need to be noticed way ahead of time if something changes so they can feel prepared. Perceivers like to leave options open to allow for exploration of many different options. They feel in control when they can leave these options open and make choices only when necessary.

You might have figured out what you are by now. The real Myers Briggs test costs some money, but there are a couple free ones online if you can scope them out. They may not be as accurate, though. Have fun learning about yourself and ta ta for now!