Friday, June 20, 2008

What personality type are you?

I have a complete and utter fixation with personalities and personality tests. I love taking them, delving in and discovering why I act the way I do, and realizing what makes others tick. I love reading my profile description, and I get all excited thinking that, Hey, I do make sense! There are other people like me! And I will comment to Ricardo, "Listen to this! Doesn't this sound EXACTLY like me?"

To which he will turn his head from the TV towards me and absently nod his agreement.

I am an ISFJ, according to the Myers-Briggs typology. I am of a phlegmatic/melancholy temperament, according to some other tests. If you want to talk animals, I am a golden retriever/beaver. And love language? Most definitely Words of Affirmation, with a little Quality Time thrown in for good measure. Basically what all that means is I am a laid-back, non-confrontational, peace-loving girl.

So all of this is well and good. But this particular personality type, my type, tends to rely heavily on feelings. Which can be both an awesome strength or a horrible weakness. It's a strength in the fact that I can empathize deeply with people, and my heart goes out to them as I try to see where they're coming from so that I can help in whatever way I can.

But it's a weakness when it gets all focused back on me, and when those little feelings forget that who I am and what I do are two completely separate things. Get a great compliment one day? That will send my heart soaring. Hear somebody say something negative about me? My heart sinks, and I have to mentally talk myself out of the depths to which it has fallen. This cycle can get out of hand pretty quickly, if its not reined in and brought back to reality. Obviously some feelings are essential and good; but it's when I put too much stock of who I am into those feelings that things go awry.

I have had several jobs in the past where I was 100% convinced that my bosses hated me. I had just started, and as with any new position, it takes time to adjust. So being the overachiever and people-pleaser that I am, I would scramble to learn quickly and anticipate every need in an effort to show what an exemplary employee I was going to be. But I rely largely on feedback, and if I didn't get it, I would automatically assume that they were displeased with my performance, which in turn would actually make my performance suffer.

I distinctly remember the feeling of relief that would wash over me when I would finally receive positive feedback. Usually it came with high praise of the job I was doing.....which, up to that point, I had no clue how they felt. The problem with this scenario was, I was doing a great job all along. I knew it deep inside, but since it wasn't being validated, I started to mentally tear myself down. You're not doing it right, they're not happy with you, they think you're dense and unintelligent. And once I had these awful thoughts rolling through my brain, it didn't take long for me to start second-guessing myself in the work I was doing.

So, as I look back, I now realize this earth-shattering bit of information; I should have never let my self-esteem be dictated by whether or not I got a glowing report or a disapproving one. Or none at all. I am the same person regardless, and to let my feelings take me on a roller-coaster ride of, "They LIKE me!" or "Oh my word, they HATED it", only serves to throw me into an emotional tizzy. Sure, it's nice to hear those encouraging things; I love getting compliments, affirmation, support. Who doesn't, right?

But. I cannot live and die by them.

And for me, this is so much easier said than done. But, truly, I'm working on it.

So what about you? What is your personality type? I'd love to hear about yours....did I mention my fixation with this whole topic? Yes. I did. So, fire away!

19 comments:

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

Are we the same person!?! I could have written this post!!!

I so get it. Same way!

Happy Friday!

THE ROOST said...

You just described my middle daughter. Are you a middle child? I love the book Birth Order, it talks about personality and your "spot" in the family. I am a leader that likes to have fun. What ever that one is....

Wendi said...

Yeah...I'm the baby of the family (youngest of 5) and could've written this post. I am a recovering people pleaser... :) I'm sure I will learn lots from you, since this is so relatable.

mer said...

I took the Myers-Briggs profile test about 14 years ago and was an ESTJ. Interestingly, my husband was an INFP.

I really think I should re-test though because while I have some extrovert tendencies, I think I'm more of an introvert now. And having children definitely changed me to an F instead of T. I'm curious what my profile would look like 14 years later.

Jodi said...

Hi and thanks for stopping by my blog!

I'm an ENFP as of last time I checked, so you an I have about as much in common as my dh and I (he's an ISTP). I also thrive on praise. Is it the F-ness that makes us that way or have I been misdiagnosed?

I might have to steal this topic at some point, it was a favorite of mine at one point, too!

Becoming Me said...

What a wonderful introduction to your blog. I loved this post and your blog is lovely. My personality is such a blend. On Meyers Brigg I believe I am an ENFJ, but all my letters are close together. I tend to blend in. Not so much intentionally anymore, I just do. :-) The best description I ever got though about my personality is from the Ennegram. You may want to check it out. I'm a 2. It is NOT numerology, though, it just uses the numbers as the personality titles instead of a name.

Liz :) said...

haha... I did a personality class/forum at work (they think it helps with good work environments) and I got addicted to doing online tests, etc but then I always think back and wonder if I put the "right" answer... Lets just say I'm not good at quizzes.. haha...

Thanks for visiting my blog, and yes I think I have more pictures than anyone I know... yeah, I'm pretty sure I do actually. :)

Elena said...

Yes, personality types are very fascinating:) I am a melancholy/sanguine mix. When I was younger I was more melancholy and now as I get older I am more sanguine. It is interesting to see my daughter's personality come out. She is very sanguine, a people lover, very dramatic and loves to be the center of attention. She is such a little character! Isn't God good how he makes people like snowflakes, no two are the same. I know he takes so much pleasure in our uniqueness!

Kellie said...

Knowing personality types in leadership is also good too, because then you can see why people do what they do!

It's been a long time since I have taken the Meyers Brigg...and I am horrible at remember acronyms! I will have to go ind the file that has my results in it!

Fun post!

Tracey said...

Where did you take this test?

Wendy said...

According to a personality test I took a couple years ago, I'm a merciful beaver! lol I haven't taken a real personality test in a long while, but I'm pretty sure it would tell me and the rest of the world what my family has suspected for a very long time... that being that I'm a complete nut! lol

Carolina Mama said...

Thanx for posting this I want to brush up. These are fun. I am in the middle of five but am very much a pleaser and no conflict person too. :) p.s. there are two of those NBA stars. :) See both, I got both up. :) Best.

Wendy said...

I have no idea what type of personality I have; but I'm pretty sure I have *some* personality... lol.

BTW, that cobbler recipe looks delicious...would you be terribly jealous if I told you I have 3 loaded down blueberry bushes that should be ripe later this week? But I don't think I have ever cooked with nectarines. Peaches all the way down here...Although our peach trees seem to have some kind of disease, so no peaches for us this year.

mamachristina said...

I am choleric/melancholy with a good dash of sanguine. I am far from a people pleaser, but I want recognition. I am fine with confrontation in the right spirit. If my ducks aren't in a row the way I put them my sanguine goes out of control. Fun huh! I love these tests as well and it certainly helps understand others as well.

Becky said...

Interesting post...I am fascinated too however, do not really remember what I am from tests I've taken in the past? Will need to do it again!

Erin K. said...

Becky took the words right out of my mouth - I love personality tests but I don't remember what I am from all the tests I've taken. I do know that of the seven motivational gifts, I am an administrator, through and through! I'm also a people pleaser who needs words of affirmation to feel like I'm doing a good job, but I think I'm getting a *little* better at that. :-D

Michelle@Life with Three said...

Are we twins that were separated at birth?!? I can totally relate. My love language is, without a doubt, words of affirmation. I am and ENFP on the Myers Briggs. And feelings? Yeah, I'm all about them. Your post described me perfectly. I'm working on it too, but like you said, it's easier said than done.

Gretchen said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog! I think I'm probably a sanguine-melancholy...But who knows? Im UP, I'm DOWN, I'm more anxious and more of a pleaser than I'd like to be, but I'm a WIP. I took the MB a long time ago, and I think I was an ENFJ, but honestly, don't remember completely. Even on those spiritual gifts tests, I come out fairly even. What does that mean? No talents? or All talents? ;)

Blessings!

Casey said...

I am a good mix of choleric/melancholy and register as an INFJ on the Meyers Briggs test. I too love taking personality tests and such. It is so fascinating to me- and they are usually dead on where my personality is concerned.