I Spy With My Introvert Eye…

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Lately I have been a busy bee. Well of sorts. It’s as if I’ve had an epiphany. You know how I write about my personality type. Myers-Briggs is a nerdy obsession of mine. I love finding new information and insights about my type as well as others. The cool thing is that you really don’t have to force all of your family, friends, pets, people you watch out in public, etc. to take a test to find out their type. (I know! Crazy, isn’t it?) It’s sort of like being Sherlock Holmes in a general not-so-actiony lacking an awesome sidekick/best friend way. It’s elementary, dear Watson.

*Surgeon General Warning* This post is chock full of geeky psychology and doesn’t show any signs of a potential plot twist. Do not read if allergic to hypotheses, extreme giddiness, or MARVEL/Sherlock Holmes references.

I type people constantly, especially when I’m in a situation where I don’t know many people. If you are familiar with Myers-Briggs, you know that each of the sixteen types is composed of four letters. The first set of letters can either be an E (extroverted) or an I (introverted). This is the first set I try to figure out when I’m typing. Although it seems that this set should be the easiest to determine, I have found that it can give you more problems than what you have bargained for. Take for instance an INFJ. (That’s me!) Sometimes I can camouflage my personality and morph into the people around me. At first glance I can seem extremely extroverted. Not just extreme, I’m talking X-treme. (The latter spelling insinuates a degree of extroversion that almost seems superhuman.) However, when I do appear extroverted, it doesn’t last very long. The longest I’ve held out was probably an hour. After that I felt as if I ran a marathon backwards through the Atlantic Ocean.

On a side note, many people assume introversion means being shy. This is definitely not the case. Extroverts can be shy too. It’s like meeting an outgoing child for the first time. For the most part, kids will look at you with wide eyes and hide behind the nearest parental unit. Soon enough though they begin chattering about what crayon color is their favorite or how fast they can run. Introversion and extroversion has to do with how you recharge your emotional batteries. Would you prefer to sketch or read a book to relax? Or do parties and social events make you feel at home? That determines for the most part which of the two you are.

The next set of letters is S (sensing) and N (intuitive). The best way to explain sensing and intuitive is how you make decisions. Do you think seeing is believing or are your hunches always right? Sensors use their five senses to process and enjoy the world around them. They gather data and use it to determine what is going on or what their next move will be. Intuitives use their gut and almost “supernatural” (for lack of a better word) feelings to make decisions. Most sensors I know are male and most intuitives are female. It makes sense when you think of the phrase “mother’s intuition.”

Now we are at the next set, the T (thinking) and the F (feeling). Thinkers are analytical where feelers are emotional. Take my sister and me for example. I am and INFJ and H is an INTJ. There is only one letter difference, but oh what a difference it makes. We are pretty much polar opposites in the way we think. I tend to get my feelings crushed and trampled easier than H. I am also more touchy feely with the people I love. It’s not that H doesn’t have emotions; it’s just that she tends to internalize them in that big brain of hers and translate them into more of an equation or code with seemingly dry numbers and symbols. There are days when we literally can’t talk to each other because we just don’t get one another, but she is and always will be my best friend. Believe me, if you want to see magnetic forces, stick and INFJ and INTJ together. It will either be utter chaos or a sweet symphony of great ideas.

The final set consists of either a J (judging) or a P (perceiving) . Judgers aren’t haters. Just throwing that out there for good measure. They are the people who like to have a plan. They tend to map out their day, routes, and ideas and don’t really like the idea of random dots and blips on the radar screen of life. They love order. Perceivers on the other hand fly by the seat of their pants. They tend to have a laissez-faire outlook that leads them to many curvy, adventurous roads. It fascinates me how flexible these guys are.

So those are the four sets of letters every Myers-Briggs geek encounters on a daily basis. Once you get those down pat it’s all smooth typing from there. You might be thinking, “What good will this do me?” Well, I’ve always said that Myers-Briggs isn’t a sure fire, definite way of determining the outcome of relationships, but it is a fabulous blue print. It’s like being able to determine a Cape Cod from a Bungalow. Not every Cape Cod is exactly the same. Their can be a difference of size, room layout, colors etc. but you can always tell it is a Cape Cod, not a Bungalow. (And vice versa.) Once you type someone that doesn’t mean you automatically “know” them. It just means that you have a general idea of how their mind works and how they perceive the world around them.

I wish you all the best in your typing ventures! Who needs to play I Spy when you can play I Type? Am I right? (I have a feeling that last sentence is not helping my geek persona, huh?)

Stay incredibly amazing, you awesome individual!

Loads of Love,
Kate
xoxo

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