I know P has been secretly anticipating and dreading this one. I think and talk about personality and its implications a lot, and especially how they apply to myself and my friends. Creepily enough, I have each of my friends and their Myers-Briggs type on a list on my phone. I can usually decide your type within a month or so of friendship.
If you have never taken a Myers-Briggs test, there is a free one at this link:
Though I should warn you, this free one is not entirely accurate. I veto people’s results all the time.
I am quite a strong introvert (my Myers-Briggs type in Introverted iNtuition Feeling Judging, or INFJ). This means that it takes the least energy forme to be by myself or with my very close friends and family. P’s is Extraverted iNtuition Feeling Perception, or ENFP. Both of us do not have incredibly strong Feeling preferences, and therefore use Thinking often when problem-solving.
When you begin studying things like personality, it seems very limiting. Each and every person on this earth is different in their own way, and therefore smushing everyone into sixteen categories may seem not only close-minded, but impossible. Also, it is an interesting phenomenon that everyone can fit themselves into each of these personalities. I think it’s called Ferrar’s Law or something like that. But if we can learn about our primary function, the one it takes the least energy for us to use, we can use our strengths and improve upon our weaknesses.
A lot of my self-esteem issues stem from having trouble talking to people in large groups. Most of my friends are extroverts, so we tended to hang out in groups of twenty or more, especially when we were younger. It intimidated me and I mostly escaped to my own head. I don’t know if you’ve realized this, but it is very hard to make friends in your own head, unless you are schizophrenic, in which case… read a different article.
So then I started learning about this personality stuff, and I also read a game-changing book called ‘The Brain that Changes Itself’ by Norman Doidge. And I came up with a new motto:
The more I practice using my auxiliary function, Extraverted Feeling, the more comfortable I feel being bubbly and outgoing. It helped that a lot of my close friends extravert Feeling as their primary function, so I can learn from them. Also, I held social events with just a few people at a time. I am a fairly good conversationalist one-on-one, and I use that to my advantage. I realized that I need to re-charge myself after social activities by having some alone time.
I think “Be Yourself” is the worst possible advice you could give. Under this philosophy, their is little room for growth, since all you have to base “yourself” on is your past actions. I prefer to imagine the very best person I can, and then be that person. I can learn from my mistakes without incorporating them into “myself.” We are all constantly growing, changing, and getting better and better every day.