About a week ago, I was talking to a dear friend of mine about how we perceive the world. She asked me something I wasn’t expecting her to ask: have you taken the Myers Briggs?
I had, a long time ago, and the conversation that followed was an incredibly insightful exploration into why we each are the way we are.
I thought about that conversation last night, after I spent ALL day with people. I couldn’t wait for my alone time so I could recharge, which entailed plugging in my headphones and surfing Pinterest. Since I was thinking about the conversation with my friend,I perused the ISTJ pins, because the test identified me as such. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.
Many fictional characters have been identified as ISTJs, including: Principal Skinner, Eeyor, Red Foreman, Spock, and Hermione Granger. I’m in full support of the last two.
There may or may not have also been a poster depicting robots. I would argue if it weren’t so undeniably true.
The good news is I know this about myself. One would think that being an ISTJ would hamper my efforts at fiction writing. One would be correct.
Thankfully, since I know this about myself, I have my ISFP friend (the same one with whom I had the conversation) who beta reads my stuff and tells me when a scene needs more emotion. It usually goes down like this totally hypothetical situation:
Her: You know that scene where her cat gets run over?
Her: She’d probably be a little upset about that.
Me: You think?
My more emotionally-inclined friends help me figure out where emotion might occur or occur more dramatically. I’ve gotten a little better at identifying the places where emotion may be required, but I’m not about to drop the support of the FPs among me.
Before I knew how I tick, life was a lot more stressful. I felt guilty for needing time away from people, and I felt inadequate for not crying at predictably sad moments. I found myself in uncomfortable situations because empathy isn’t something that comes naturally to me. I wondered why I didn’t neatly fit into the prescribed social constructs of our modern society.
Once I figured out that it’s just the way I’m wired, I felt a new kind of freedom. I decided that the world would be a ridiculous place if everyone became blubbering idiots at every Hallmark commercial. I understand that I need alone time to recharge. My favorite time of the day is when I sit at my computer to read or write something. I need that time to avoid turning into a completely inconsiderate ass, I figure.
I say all that to say this: understand your personality, and then cut yourself some slack if necessary. We’re all different for a reason. The Myers Briggs gives very useful information, but I’m sure there are others out there. According to those silly ones going around on Facebook right now, I’m also Yoda and Leonard from Big Bang Theory. That last one surprised me; I thought I would be Sheldon.
So go find out who the heck you are, and for fun, post your results in the comments here or on the Facebook page. Share some insight into why you are the way you are. In the meantime, I’ve decided to assign my characters Meyers Briggs personality types. This could be interesting.