Monday, June 9, 2008

Four Letter Words.

About a year ago, I became infatuated with all things Myers-Brigg. Having taken an inventory online, I was presented with a four letter acronym and an explanation of what makes me tick. And as I began to read through that personality profile, I was amazed. Who knew that such an accurate description existed in four simple letters: I, N, F, and P?

The first paragraph was a general description. I had read somewhere that in a focus group where a personality test was administered to a classroom of high school students, the same rose-colored assessment was given to each member of the class. Each student was pleasantly surprised with their results, nodding in agreement, thinking the results had been tailored exclusively to them when really, the same blurb seemed to apply to everyone. Smart in their own way. Potential to do great things. Key themes that could read true for every student in the room. People like to see themselves in the brightest of lights.

But as I read on, so many of the questions I had, things that driven me crazy about myself over the years were instantly illuminated. How was it that I couldn't answer a simple black and white question, but instead see a full spectrum of gray? Could this be reverse autism, where I was unable to take anything literally? And where was this test 10 years ago during my adolescent angst?

More important was the following: could there be others out there?

And that's when I noticed the list. In addition to shedding light on why you are the way you are, Ms. Myers and her mother Briggs had thoughtfully included a list of notable counterparts. Although not many in number, there were others like me, only famous!

As I perused that list, I breathed a breath of fresh air.

With the existence of other fellow INFPs such as Jackie O (I always liked that pillbox hat), young Drew Barrymore's pal E.T., and Mary, mother of Jesus, suddenly, my shades of gray world became technicolor.


Tim said...

It's kind of amazing how accurate these things seem. Personally I'm an ENTJ, supposedly putting me in the same league as Margaret Thatcher and Steve Jobs. Sounds good, seeing as I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur.

Chris. said...

Hi Erika! I found your blog off of facebook. MBTI is fascinating! I do interpretations of this assessment at work for college students. It's your NF that really get you excited about this career typology/theory stuff.

Patton said...

I stumbled upon your site really randomly today: I was looking for examples of sketches from Prague (where I live as an expat now). Beautiful sketches BTW.

But interestingly my husband & I were discussing the Myers-Briggs this morning; I happen to be INFP, too. Kudos to you, kindred spirit!