If you’re anything like me (I think the scientific term is easily distracted by shiny objects), you’ve clicked the link on Facebook and taken the 16 Personalities test to figure out just who you are.
I ended up as an INFP-T, which is a confusing way to say I’m a “mediator” personality type. I could have told you that—my preferred state is holding hands and singing kumbayah, and I loathe conflict. More than once I’ve said, unironically, Can’t we all just get along!?
The types are based on the Myers-Briggs test, which I’ve taken over the years in various iterations. The premise is that there are 16 basic personality types, using combinations of basic types: Introverted (I) or Extroverted (E), Sensing (S) or Intuition (N), Thinking (T) or Feeling (F), and Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).
The N and F in the center of my type have been constants—though I don’t know that I agree but the way this is defined means that I make my decisions are not based on hard facts but on feelings. The first and last letters of my type have been more fluid—there are times when I’m more extroverted than introverted, for sure—I relate to that idea of the extroverted introvert.
The one that surprises me most is the last letter. I was always a J—focused, goal-oriented and orderly. But now I’m a P—casual and preferring a mix of work and play. As a woman of a certain age (cough—46—cough) I totally agree with this. I don’t worry about things the same way I used to. Whether this is a result of getting older, changing priorities as my children get older—as I get older—as my life changes, I’m not really sure. But I’m okay with it.
I don’t like to be defined by anything and I won’t let myself be boxed in by a website that tells me that I’m a four letter word (if you can call INFP a word, that is), but it does offer insight into why I am the way I am—like that it’s no surprise that I tend to speak in metaphors or that I hate being late or that if I don’t have a creative form of expression I get stabby. It reminds me that I need time alone to recharge—but not too much time, because I an easily become a hermit.
There are lots of personality tests like this, but if you want to try the one I did, visit www.16personalities.com.
Along with being awkward, Mari Farthing blogs at MariFarthing.com and is a prolific social media presence (meaning she drinks copious amounts of coffee each morning and proceeds to avoid housework by surfing the internet). She’s a freelance writer and editor and mother of two.