Too Much Information

The unexamined life is not worth living. – Plato

The unexamined life is not worth living. – Plato


Wow… Who knew that answering couple of questions could deliver so many answers. A friend of mine dropped that she was INFJ in conversation the other day. I didn’t get it so she sent me a link to the 16 Personalities website. I immediately compartmentalized it along with astrology signs and tarot cards. Historically, I have been ambivalent about the archetypes that people use to explain or excuse their behavior. To me, the answers of who we are and why we do the things we do lie within us rather than outside of us. That’s not to say that who we are is not effected by external influences, but I have never been a strong believer in anything that resembles ‘predetermined fate’. Blind faith is not my strongest suit. 

Luckily for me, it was 2:30 in the morning and I didn’t really have anything better to do than take this test. I mean, I may have my reservations, but I would be a liar if I said I had never had a tarot card reading or researched my astrological sign in times of inquisitive boredom. So, I took the test and read the results. 

ENTP-T. Debater. At first, I didn’t see the fit. “The ENTP personality type is the ultimate devil’s advocate, thriving on the process of shredding arguments and beliefs and letting the ribbons drift in the wind for all to see.” That’s the first sentence. What a waste of time, I thought, I am gonna have to tell my friend all of the ways in which this test isn’t credible. It took me about a day to realize the irony of my initial reaction but, as I continued to read through the analysis in search of ways that I could discredit it I became more and more amazed by how close to home it it struck. 

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The 8 categories of your life that this test will explain with uncanny clarity.

Each section was more and more accurate and by the time I finished the test I was absolutely floored. The good the bad and the ugly were all right there. How did this test know that I have been a nightmare to work with because of my incessant questioning of the status quo and traditions? How could it know that my closest friends complain about how terrible I am with emotional support, but appreciate the way I deconstruct their problems and offer solutions? It even politely and CORRECTLY insinuated how these qualities carry over to the bedroom?!?!

Upon further investigation, I got to learn this is a watered-down version of the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator instrument, or MBTI, that Isabel Briggs-Meyer and her mother, Katharine Briggs, designed based off the theories of Carl Jung, a well-known psychologist in the early 20th century. They designed, this instrument to categorize people, based on preferences, into one of 16 different categories. The MBTI is a remarkably effective tool understanding why we behave the way that we do and thus has been widely used for almost a century. 

I started pestering other friends and family members to take the test and send me the results so that I could see what their personality profiles were. It’s amazing reading through my friend’s profiles, which were almost entirely spot on with their behavior. The most eye opening was reading the Parenting sections of my parents. It was dead on and it made me understand aspects of our relationship in an appreciative and forgiving light. If you are like me then I would highly recommend checking it out. Just don't do what I did and accost everyone you know with it afterwards. Unless you're a debater like me. ;)

You can check out the test as well as learn more about different personalities here.