I took the Myers-Briggs personality test sometime during college. I’m pretty sure everyone took it around that time. I definitely found it interesting – look! That’s me! I’m like that! – but I quickly forgot the details. And by “forgot the details” what I actually mean is that I forgot the four letters that are the point of the whole test, really – the four letters that tell you and other people what personality type you are.
“I’m definitely an E,” I would respond when someone asked, “and maybe an N?” My voice would rise hopefully, as if perhaps the person who had asked could see inside me and determine who I was. “Is N the one that is the opposite of F? or is that J? I’m pretty sure mine ended with P.”
It wasn’t that I didn’t take it seriously: I was 19, I took *everything* seriously. It was just… well… I couldn’t remember those letters because they didn’t make any sense to me. Was I thinking or feeling? Why yes, I was. Judging or perceiving? Also a yes. The only letter I could really hold on to was “E” for “extroverted” and even that one had become almost “I” for “introverted” when a “sensitive” boyfriend had me take the test again years later. He honestly wanted to know the letters I couldn’t recall for the life of me.
No shock that I didn’t stay with that boyfriend: labels and numbers still escape me more often than I would like to admit. My spouse is able to remember not only the actual date we met but also the year. He knows things like the birth weights of both of our children and the names of characters in books he read long ago. I can remember who sat at which table at the wedding where we met, which student wrote what essay 15 years ago, and the names of all of my teachers since kindergarten. He knows his Myers Brigg personality type and he probably knows mine, too. We make a good team, so I fearlessly forgot my letters.
Then, a couple of years ago, a colleague stumbled across a funny little article called “The Definition of Hell for Each Myers Briggs Personality Type” and was quizzing us all as we ate lunch. She read hell after hell out loud as various colleagues shared their “type.” I laughed and played along until the inevitable, “What type are you, Amanda?” I sheepishly admitted that I had no idea. “But it starts with an E!” I chirped.
Then she read this hell: “Somebody is wrong, and they’re directing a large group of people! You can’t do anything about it and will have to obey whatever inefficient policies they decide to implement.”
My horror was physical. A shiver ran from my shoulders all the way down my spine. I shifted uncomfortably. There it was – no questions asked – whatever the letters are that go with that one, they define my personality type because that is absolutely my hell.
And that, friends, is also the moment we are currently living in education as politicians make inefficient policies about education based on… well, I honestly don’t know. Just another set of labels and numbers I appear to have forgotten.
But at least now I know my Myers Briggs type. Well, sort of.
10 thoughts on “Myers Briggs personality”
This is such a creative entry point into a reflection on the current moment! I laughed out loud when I figured out where you were headed with this—so funny and so true.
What a clever analogy! Creative and an interesting way to use description to reveal the flaws in broad categories – not just flaws – failings.
All of us who took that test (I only remember mine starts with I) can identify. The hell of that scenario is real to all of us, though, so it makes you wonder if those types could be true.
I love this post! I’m laughing because I’m the same – I can never remember my assessment, and I’m sure I’m directly in the middle of every “this or that” scenario. I think your Hell sounds spot on. I can imagine you in that room listening to the person repeat their wrong information and I can picture your physical reaction to being unable to do anything about it.
Has your board released its plan yet?
Too true, Amanda! I was relieved the day I found out that you didn’t remember your letters either. Solidarity, sister. HELL for me was answering the questions in the Myers Briggs test. I had SO many questions about the questions. This should surprise you not even a little bit.
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We are ridiculously alike. 😆
I did not know about this, very interesting. I will look it up. Thanks 🙂
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Defining your Meyers-Briggs type by backwards design via your personal hell made me giggle this morning. Now I’m wracking my brain to remember mine. I was definitely an I……though I shiver at the thought of inefficient leadership, too. Have to say that our district is doing a decent job, compared to horror stories I’m hearing around us.
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