May 30, 2012

It's Just My Personality - Part 1: Exploring Myers-Briggs

I've long been fascinated by the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, and I often start off having new clients take this test (a free online version can be found here) to get a general sense of how they tick.

This questionnaire, originally developed by Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, was designed to measure the psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions as informed by the theories proposed by Carl Jung in his book, Psychological Types.

The four dichotomies that make up the personalities types are:

Extraversion (E) - Introversion (I) 
Sensing (S) - Intuition (N) 
Thinking (T) - Feeling (F) 
Judging (J) - Perceiving (P)

These can then be combined to result in a four letter personality type (e.g INFJ, ESTP).

While this particular personality test doesn't cover all of the bases, it certainly highlights key characteristics and tendencies of behavior and perception that are commonly shared among those with a particular personality type. Understanding how some of our behavior, attitudes, and perspectives are driven by personality can be very useful and liberating. 

So, for the next eight weeks, I'll be breaking down each type to explore the way a person of that personality type might perceive the world and make decisions.

I encourage you to take the online version of the test, so you can know which posts to pay particular attention to, but I encourage you to read all of the posts in the upcoming series. Knowing how the other half sees the world can also be very useful!

TIP: When taking the test - don't over-think your answers - just go with your first, gut response!

P.S. Registration is now open for the Beyond Surviving Workshop: Recovering from Childhood Sexual Abuse, 7/21, 9a-5p, $35, San Francisco. If you are an adult survivor of sexual abuse and are no longer satisfied with simply understanding the impact of the abuse or the connections between your past experience and your present day life but are instead asking, “What do I do about it?” then this workshop is for you. Hope to see you there!

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