Years had passed since I last took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Test (MBTI), and since I was an adolescent at the time, I figured that my results would be far different now if I were to take it again. Come to find out, I was right! (Take the test here.)
Now that I am approaching 25 years of age, I am an INTJ: Introvert, Intuition, Thinking, Judging.
I’m not sure which personality type I possessed as an adolescent, but what I do know is that I was very different! Sure, I have loved biology, astronomy, quantum physics, languages, culture, music-making and video-editing since I was very young, but those are simply interests and passions that lived on throughout the years. Now that I am almost 25 and the emerging adulthood phase is coming to an end, I can count on these traits only growing stronger, but it is okay; I became who I am as a result of experiences and how I handled and grew from said experiences. So whether the personality traits are good or bad, they are the cumulative result of everything that has happened thus far which is extremely fascinating!
The greatest things that distinguish my present self from my past self are traits that I developed as a result of having enough. Self respect and control of my own autonomy are two things that took my entire life to develop. Let’s break everything down a little more though:
- Extroversion vs Introversion – Where do you put your attention and get your energy? Do you like to spend time in the outer world (Extraversion) or in your inner world of ideas and images (Introversion)? I used to be an extrovert. I used to crave people’s company more than anything. Was it because I enjoyed their company purely for the sake of, well, enjoying it, or was it because I wanted to feel like I was something? Important? Wanted? I don’t know, but now I find more happiness in solidarity than I ever have. I like spending time with others, but I also really enjoy my alone time. Is it because I dislike people now? No, I love them more than ever, but I look into myself for answers and, above all, for happiness, because I have learned that happiness is not something we can, or should try to acquire through anyone else.
- Sensing vs Intuition – Do you pay more attention to information that comes in through your five senses (Sensing), or do you pay more attention to patterns and possibilities you see in the information you receive (Intuition)? I used to be heavily tied to the past and even though I felt the need to change my life in order to avoid repeating the same mistakes, I was sometimes scared to leave my comfort zone in order to make it happen. Now, where this test is concerned, I lean toward the side of intuition; I have learned to leave past events in the past and instead strive to gain control of my life and the future. I feel energized from doing new things, and things that I previously perceived as impossible. Future possibilities intrigue me, as do whatever steps I need to take to allow these doors to either open or remain open. The downside to living in the past or future though is the failure to truly live in the moment, but I suppose it’s something we can try to work on!
- Thinking vs Feeling – Do you like to put more weight on objective principles and impersonal facts (Thinking) or do you put more weight on personal concerns and the people involved (Feeling)? Given that I scored within the “thinking” bracket, then you can probably assume how I think. I used to be the other way around; I would place all weight on the people involved as well as on my personal feelings, but that gradually changed as I began to rely on myself more. The only thing that stands in the way now are objective principles and impersonal facts – the mountains I need to climb to get where I want to be. People are extremely important, but I perceive the fore-mentioned as obstacles I need to overcome. I used to avoid telling people the cold truth if I thought it would make them upset, but now I find it completely necessary, even if harmony must be forsaken. I do it out of my caring for them, because in my eyes ignorance is not bliss and we possess the power to change our lives into something more positive as long as we are aware or made aware of what isn’t healthy. Unfortunately though that can make me out to be uncaring or indifferent, but I continue to do it almost on impulse.
- Judging vs Perceiving – Do you prefer a more structured and decided lifestyle (Judging) or a more flexible and adaptable lifestyle (Perceiving)? What’s important to note here is that someone might be curious in their inner world, but their lives seem orderly to outsiders and this would make them fit into the “judging” category while those who feel orderly on the inside yet live a spontaneous and adaptable life would fit into the “perceiving” category. I feel almost on the fence with this one, but perhaps that could be explained by the fact that I only scored 1% on the judging side. Still though, I will admit that while I love adventures and spontaneity, I still like feeling in control of my life and feel uneasy if I have failed to make important decisions in a timely manner, and tend to make lists in order to make it happen. In some respects I do see myself as “perceiving” though as I procrastinate and work in bursts of energy! For instance, an impending deadline will make me work twice as hard… Perhaps that’s a trait of the “judging preference” that I should implement into my life.
Read more about the specific traits associated with the different preferences here!
I loved looking into which careers suit the various personality types as well! INTJs are often suitable as, for example, scientists, chemical engineers, researchers, etc. I attended one semester of nursing school and loved the science and research involved, but did not like the clinical aspect of it. Now it makes sense. After a year or two of intense thought, I have concluded that I would like to pursue a career in research, molecular biology, or biological engineering and, well… Now it makes sense. Not that I think we are incapable of doing anything else; I think all of us are capable of everything! I just love recommendations based on personality types – it’s extremely interesting.
In addition to self-discovery, my absolute favorite part of finding out that I am an INTJ is understanding why I relate to Sherlock Holmes in the BBC’s modern Sherlock so much. Apparently out of 16 different personality types, we share the same one. Figures!
>> Take the test here! <<