We are all unique in every sense of the word. We are unique in our looks, our likes and dislikes, and definitely in our ways of thinking and behavior. It is this very difference in our personal characteristics which can make interaction with others both so much fun – and quite challenging at the same time.
As a person chooses to take more time towards better understanding themselves as to why they think the way they think, feel the way they feel, and do what they do, something quite amazing happens… One finds that just as this information is applicable to better understanding oneself; it can also be effectively used to better understand others.
For example, as you go out and learn more about Astrology and your own particular Astrological blueprint, you will naturally have an easier time understanding where another person is coming from through the Astrology lens.
I believe what makes a person who they are is a composite of many different aspects. As I have taken the time to better research and understand these aspects, I am fascinated by the idea of how helpful this information can be in understanding where our biggest challenges are in life. But more importantly, we can use this same information to decide what we need to do to overcome challenges and thus benefit from living happier lives.
Of the many aspects to what makes an individual who they are, a main part is their culture and more specifically, how they were programmed and conditioned while they were raised. Simply put, if you were raised by parents who were rich, you will be affected a certain way, very differently than if you were raised by parents who were considered poor by society’s standards. So, how our parents think and how we are raised will most certainly affect who we are and to some extent always shed light on certain thinking traits we regularly practice.
Another major aspect to a person is their education. Not just the education they received at school but the education conducted by any religious institutions, family and friends, and that which a person acquired on their own. What we take in through our five senses over a period of time forever become a part of us and will affect us one way or another whether we like it or not.
Some other lesser known aspects to better understanding ourselves are Numerology, Astrology, and MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) system. Both Numerology and Astrology are fascinating subjects which I have found to be very helpful in understanding parts of who I am. However the intention in this article is to discuss Personality Types as outlined by the MBTI system. I will simply layout the background information behind Personality Types and introduce you to a foundational understanding on how the MBTI system works.
The MBTI system was developed by Katharine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Myers. It is a system which can be reliably used to identify a person’s behavior in four distinct areas of life. These four areas have a so called “umbrella effect” on our life. They influence all aspects of our personality in a broad way.
The basic philosophy behind Personality Types goes as far back as Carl Jung who talked about the differences in the psychology and behavior of people in great depth.
It was these two women however who took the existing knowledge on human behavior and personalities, and developed a system around it which can be used to accurately identify a person’s unique Personality Type. Thus, following a person’s response to a specific set of questions and scenarios, an individual can be categorized in such a manner that their natural tendencies are clearly identified by a particular Personality Type.
The four areas, which allow for a combination of 16 unique Personality Types, are as follows:
How do we obtain our energy?
Extraverts (E) or Introverts (I)
Extraverts obtain their energy in life by interacting with other people. They focus their energy on the outer world of people and things. Extraverts are constantly paying attention to the world around them and how they can become a part of it. These folks are naturally outgoing and ready to spark up a conversation about, well, anything. Extraverts prefer to spend more time with others than by themselves.
Introverts obtain their energy by being by themselves. They focus their energy in the inner world of ideas and thoughts. Introverts prefer to immerse themselves in their own world, in anything that is of interest to them. They are considered shy or “keeping to themselves” from an outsider’s view looking into their lives. Introverts prefer to spend more time by themselves than with others.
What kind of information do we naturally pay attention to?
Sensor (S) or Intuitive (N)
Sensors pay more attention to facts and details. They are down-to-earth and generally sensible. They trust their direct experiences and lessons learned over time in life more than their gut instinct. Sensing individuals prefer to use established skills and ways of thinking. They are systematic people in their thought and life.
Intuitive people typically try to understand the connections, underlying meanings, and implications more than facts. These individuals are typically more creative than Sensors and possibly practice their imagination to a higher degree as well. They trust their gut instinct more than Sensors and can seem to make decisions without the support of facts and details, simply following feelings and vibes.
How do we make our decisions?
Thinkers (T) or Feelers (F)
Thinkers make decisions objectively weighing pros and cons. They are logical and analytical in their approach to life and its many scenarios. Thinkers are more likely to shoot straight and may be charged with hurting feelings because of their blunt delivery. They are more in touch with logic than emotions.
Feelers make decisions based on how they feel about a given issue by looking at its affect on themselves and others. They are more sensitive and empathetic in their view of life. Feelers are prone to watch what they say and what they do such that they do not hurt other people’s feelings. They are far more in touch with their emotions than logic.
How do we organize our world?
Judgers (J) or Perceivers (P)
Judgers like to live their lives by making most decisions quickly and easily. They would rather have things settled and agreed upon. They very much like to be in control on a given situation and like to know what to expect when going into a scenario. They are very conscious of their time and are punctual, habitual people. Judgers are typically very organized in all aspects of their life.
Perceivers are more apt to take their time making decisions, often anxious and unsure about exactly what they would like to do. They have a tendency to keep their options open in case something unexpected comes up. They are comfortable with letting other people run the show and call the shots. It is more likely for Perceivers to run late and find time just slipping away. Perceivers typically find organization a challenge and often have a hard time finding things when in need of them.
In conclusion, it is crucial to realize that these four different Personality Type indicators are not black and white, but rather a scale with each side on opposite ends. A person can very well be totally leaning on one side, be somewhere in the middle, or be totally on the other side depending on their specific situation.
Given these four essential dimensions of our personality, there are 16 different possible combinations of Personality Types. Each of these types is unique in their strengths and weaknesses, and thus equally unique in their challenges and opportunities.
By identifying your own personality type, i.e., ESFJ (Extravert Sensor Feeler Judger), you can better understand why you behave a certain way and enjoy it, while someone else behaves in an exactly opposite way and finds it just an enjoyable. You can also use this information to better relate to other individuals creating for a more friendly and effective interaction.
An excellent book on the MBTI system and the practical application of better understanding your own Personality Type and that of others is “The Art of SpeedReading People,” by Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger. If what you read in this article is of interest to you, be sure to follow up this article by acquiring more information about Personality Types and the MBTI system.