Are you familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test? It is screening tool that helps to make theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung more understandable and useful in people’s lives. This test has been used by many vocations (health care, the legal system, certain military division, etc.) to get an idea about employee’s personalities and to assist in placing in them in correct positions. Jung believed that everyone could be divided up into one of sixteen personality types. You can learn more about this at the official site: http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/
I was first introduced to this theory when I was studying psychology in nursing school. We all took the test and I learned that my personality type is INTJ (introverted, intuitive, thinking, judging). I have repeated it many times over the last ten years and consistently get the same result.
INTJs are very interesting and complex people. We are often described as paradoxes. We are the most uncommon of all personality types. INTJs account for approximately 1.5% of the world’s population. When this is further broken down, only 0.5% of women in the world are classified as INTJ. I am one of the rarest people who you will ever meet.
Above all, INTJs pride themselves on intelligence. We are constantly pushing ourselves to learn. This is why I read medical journals for fun and can tell you all the scary facts of the Zika virus. It is why I make sure that I know about FDA reinvestigation of medications or guidelines for transgender wellness exams. Any random tidbit of information becomes locked away and saved for later. We are very curious. Always looking for new experiences and more knowledge. We are not inflexible when it comes to learning. We have the ability to be impartial and can consider things for many perspectives. If we decide our original views are incorrect, we can gracefully accept this and adopt a new view.
We are also very rational. We consider situations logically. We do not allow emotions to affect our decision-making. This can make us seem cold and uncaring. For example, in the medical field, there are some patients that are beyond our abilities to heal. If discussing a terminally ill patient with a member of the medical team, I may say something such as “She is going to die soon.” Sounds terrible, right? Many people would consider it to be disrespectful to talk about death so bluntly. However, it does not mean that I do not care about the patient. It does not mean that I am emotionless or that I am not grieving the upcoming loss of a patient under my care. I am merely stating a fact. I have realized that there is nothing else that can be done and have begun processing the loss. (And I will probably cry on my way home when no one can see me.)
We are also fiercely defensive when someone questions something that we know to be true. INTJs will argue, debate, correct, or demonstrate the proper way. Whatever it takes convince the other party that we are right. Oh, and if you mention a topic and you are ill-informed or under informed, we will educate you. We are sorry that you did not ask for our input. If we know it, we MUST share it. Otherwise, we will die. Well, at least it feels that way.
INTJs are also very independent. We do not need others to validate us. We do not need a crowd of people to back us up. Authority figures do not automatically have our respect; they must earn it. If you don’t like us, then that is fine. We put a lot of time and thought into our words and actions. We do not bend after we have made up our minds. If you are a friend to an INTJ it is a true compliment. We did not select you flippantly. You are intelligent, challenging, different, or possess a quality that we admire. You are special and we love you.
INTJs are obsessed or bored. If a topic or project is interesting, we will focus on it wholeheartedly. It becomes a passion. That is why I fall into so many fandoms! It is why I can binge watch all 7 seasons of Parks and Recreations in less than 2 weeks. If we love our jobs, it will become our life’s’ purpose. If we are a volunteer for a cause, we will strive to do everything we can to make sure it a success. However, if we are bored, we are worthless. We become tired and listless. We begin to procrastinate and try to avoid the situation all together. We need constant mental stimulation. We need a purpose. If that is missing, we feel like our souls are wasting away.
Surprisingly, we very open-minded. Between our desire to continue learning and ability to entertain others perspectives, we do not judge people’s lifestyle choices. We have an aversion to being trapped in tradition and following rules that have no purpose. Instead, we consider the situation logically and tend to accept people whose views, religions, and lifestyle practices are different from our own.
You may have noticed that introverted was the first quality mentioned in the acronym. And it is true. I am an introvert. I do not particularly like being the center of attention. I like being home. I like to read or binge watch Netflix. So you may be wondering why an introvert such as myself would put herself in the public’s eye. I have a podcast. I have an article. I cosplay. I attend conventions and start conversations with people. During my job as a nurse, I also work with the public and have constant interactions with people. Well, that is another very unique quality to INTJ’s. We typically like to lead from the back, so people do not always realize that we are guiding them. However, we have the ability to “adopt” an extroverted attitude. If we do not like the way a project or situation is going, we possess the ability to step up and take over. I first learned to use this in high school when acting in theatre. Being such a quiet student, no one expected that I would be able to go through with acting in plays. Instead of allowing my dislike of attention to prevent me from doing something I enjoyed, I was able set the introverted part of me aside temporarily. This quality has been invaluable to me. I have used it when I was a waitress in high school, when attending college, and throughout every work day. More importantly, it allows me to do what I love and that is to work with the magazine.
You may think that C. G. Jung was crazy to think that all people can be divided into 16 personality groups. Or that you do not need anyone to define you. That is fair. For me, knowing my personality traits and flaws based on my classification, has been very useful. It helps me to understand why I react the way I do in certain situations. It also has shown me that there are some personality’s types that I will never mesh well with and that is ok.
If you are interested in learning what your classification is, you can take official test at the Myers-Briggs site by clicking the link at the top of the article or you can search the web for several free versions.