What is your personality type?
To know oneself is one of the most important things we are to do in this world. As humans we have so many similarities and yet we still are uniquely ourselves. Even identical twins still have differences that make them individuals despite shared genetics.
As a doctor, I’ve often found studying personality types to help me in understanding people. Are they an extroverted feeler or introverted feeler? Do they use extroverted sensing or introverted sensing?* This helps when explaining health conditions, treatment plans, and in general, connecting with people. We all process information better in different ways and are driven by different thoughts and feelings.
And, so is our human. Our human has this innate knowing and preference. If we take the time to listen and learn we’ll learn that she has had a story for all these years as to why she is the way she is. And, if we are unhappy with pieces of the story, knowing her more will tell us how to change it.
I’ll focus on the personality assessments I know best, but also leave you and your human with other avenues to pursue more per your interest. I’m glad you are interested in learning more about yourself. This is the start of it all, knowing the why behind you which drives you toward your dreams, habits, and goals.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
The MBTI personality assessment originated from the work of Carl Jung and his research on cognitive functions. Each of the 16 personality types stem from the leading cognitive functions of the individual and this is paramount in determining ‘your type’. If you get bogged down by the letters after you take a 5 minute assessment online and then run around saying “I am an XTYZ!!” please allow my to virtually bop you on the head. :)
The power of this psychological assessment is learning your cognitive functions that directly shape how you see and interact with the world. Each of the 16 personality types has 4 prominent cognitive functions. Ultimately, as human beings, we experience all of the cognitive functions in some sense. However, there are 4 that primarily make us ‘us’. And these cognitive functions are tiered as primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary. Our primary and secondary functions are the most dominant aspects of our personality but we can further develop ourselves by growing our tertiary and quaternary functions.
There are many ‘mini exams’ of the MBTI online, but if you’d like to take the true MBTI assessment you’ll need access to a professional that can get you the exam and have it administered it. Here is further discussion on this. It is a long assessment but very much worth the effort if you’d like delve into it. Some businesses and universities even utilize the MBTI to improve work-life relationships and optimize the work environment.
This article discusses the 4 basic preferences of the MBTI. And I’ll be expanding on all the cognitive functions in future articles.
The Enneagram is another personality assessment but it does not stem from psychological research like the MBTI. The Enneagram Institute discusses this further here. There are 9 personality types according to the Enneagram that are developed in youth and remain unchanged as a person grows. However, there are variances within each of the 9 personality types and all stem from innate truths about ourselves that drive our pursuits over the course of our life. This resource makes the test available for educational purposes, fun!
The Big 5 Personality Criteria
This is a relatively well-known psychological assessment that considers the following: extroversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, openness, and conscientiousness. There is some debate on whether these 5 truly give you an accurate depiction of your personality, but it is still helpful to know where you land on the spectrum. Unlike the MBTI and Enneagram which posit your personality type is unchanged throughout the course of your life, these 5 criteria are on a scale that can change over time. If you took this test in high school or early college years versus mid-life or later it would likely be drastically different in certain criteria. And, if not, you likely have not been challenging yourself to grow!
We are constantly inundated by the thoughts of others (and many of them are just as confused as we are!), and we need to take time to rest within our own psyche and realize there are many answers within us. Both to what we really want to do, as well as, why we are the way we are. So explore and play! Take some tests and get to know your human. Determine your strengths and weaknesses. Challenge your limiting beliefs as to who you are.
If you enjoyed this article, would love your feedback. Please leave a comment and share it with other humans who may benefit.
*This is in reference to the MBTI cognitive functions. :)