Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

16 March 2012

Oh my, I seem to have turned into an extrovert!

WAY back in the late 1990s a group of us used the quick 70 question quiz in the book Please Understand Me one evening to get a rough idea of which Myers-Briggs temperament type we were.  At that time I was an ISFJ.  The description fitted.  And I have stood by it ever since.

This week Jean directed us to a site about what being a mother looks according to the Myers-Briggs temperament types and how best to re-energise in light of that. 

I did the short quiz yesterday and found I was an ESTJ.  The description of the ESTJ mother seemed to fit.  The ISFJ description didn't fit as well.

Today I did the longer quiz.  ESTJ.

And then I pulled Please Understand Me off the shelves and redid that quiz.  Same. 

I think I WAS an ISFJ.  I don't think that was a wrong call at the time.  And I can see the progression to ESTJ wrought by increased confidence in the gospel, circumstance, necessity and actually, as my sister pointed out, this blog - which in a silent way that would suit a once-was-introvert, has enabled me to find my voice.

And in all seriousness, it is quite a useful discovery to have made.  My husband, who is an introvert and who married an introvert, is now married to an extrovert.  That has a bearing on how we organise our life together.

That is not to say as well, that despite my new found extroversion, there aren't days when I just want to be by myself.  There are times when I love those kind of days (or half days, or hour or two or snatched precious minutes.)  But that has as much to do with being tired as temperament.  After all, it's not an exact science. 

Now, shall I have an early night or ring someone up?


Wendy said...

I'm an extrovert with a strong I shadow, which basically means that I need to balance both. If I get too much people time, I need time away from people and if I get too much time alone I need some people time!

But on the whole "personality change" topic, I've had a similar problem recently. I used to be an ENFP, but one I did recently put me as an ENTJ. The first one was comprehensive and administered by a psychologist, but lots has happened in my life since then that has changed me (like moving to japan and having kids), so in all likelihood I have changed. But because of my experience with the E/I thing, I'm very aware that this is just another human concoction trying to put me in a box that I don't totally fit.

Meredith said...

Hi Wendy. Glad you are surviving your week+ of home alone with the boys.

I agree with you about the "human concoction" thing. I can actually see how the changes occurred, with age and experience. But the current descriptor certainly isn't fullproof. And as my sister also pointed, it takes all of the eight characteristics to fully parent a child...and probably fully live a full life with its range of relationships and experiences to be there will be lots of pulling and shifting, depending on the day and the circumstances.

It's all very interesting and a useful tool - but at the end of the day, it is just a tool.


mattnbec said...

I agree re age and experience etc. I wonder if, as time and the Spirit grow us and change us, there is a tendency to move more to the centre too. I guess I mean become a bit more balanced, especially if we're with people who are on the opposite end of the spectrum. I think that's happened to me, especially being married to a man who is quite different to me in a few areas. For eg, when we married, I think I was more strongly E and he was more strongly I, but I suspect we've both moved more to the centre.

Meredith said...

I wonder if we are onto something here. All my (not very extensive) reading on Myers-Briggs uses the tool for categorising but I wonder whether, as you say Bec, if we are growing then we ought to be growing towards the centre because certainly possessing all these qualities in some measure is useful.

Need to find someone in the know to ask about these things!

mattnbec said...

Yes - would be interesting to ask my SIL, who is a clinical psych. As I recall, when it was administered upon the group I did it with, they said it can change over time.

I also wonder whether, for some of us, ministry life in particular moves us more into extrovert territory in the necessity of social things and our boundaries expanding, or more into introvert territory as we grow weary of too much social stuff.

Meredith said...

I'd be interested to hear any snippets your SIL has to say but even so, just hearing that you were told that the categories can change over time tells me plenty. Certainly my experience and what I am reading from others here and at Jean's blog seem to show that the areas do seem to operate on a shifting scale depending upon need and circumstance.

Kath said...

My understanding of myers-briggs is that they are continuums and that balance is good. That as we mature we can develop the other 'pole' so to speak, but that we return to our more natural predeliction at times of stress/feeling stretched.
My two cents :)

Meredith said...

Thanks Kath for weighing in on this. What you say certainly reflects my experience of last week after a run of way too busy days and had a day or two of swinging back to the extreme end of introversion!!

Lovely to hear from you. Mx