Myers schmyers.

Have you ever done one of those Myers-Briggs type personality tests?

In my current state of mid-life crisis, unemployed and trawling for jobs, thinking, do I really actually want to do these things they advertise? Do I even want to continue in Science? And if not Science, then WHAT? I have been reading a lot of advice along the lines of: find the things you love, your passion, what you enjoy doing and blah.

Also a lot of advice to know your personality, to know who you are and how you work so you can find the work that suits you.

Over the years I have done the free Myers-Briggs tests on the internet dozens of times, and every time, I come up with a different result. It drives me nuts. But it does not really surprise me. I do not fit into any of the categories! This is why I have never known what I am good at, what I want and who I am! I am an in-betweener.

I did some kind of personality test at school that I think must have been a proper Myers-Briggs because we paid and were given a tiny analysis at the end.

Mine said “no clear results”. The report also suggested that, based on my lack of clear results, I could be a photographer? I had never even touched a camera at that point in my life.

Erm, no big surprise, nothing has changed. Interestingly though, I have come to know myself a hell of a lot better than I did then. Then I didn’t even know I was an introvert. I have a strong feeling that the overwhelming bias towards being an extrovert actually made me believe that I was a people person, a group-loving person, and I would have answered some of the questions, not dishonestly, but just not self-awarely, if that makes sense.

Now I have the opposite problem when I take the tests. Out of the four letters that represent four different aspects of a personality, the only one I am sure of is that I am an I(ntrovert) and not an E(xtrovert). So when they ask if I like working in groups I say no way jose because I know I am an introvert and I know that this is a question to fish if I am an introvert, even though, group work does not really bother me. I prefer to work alone, but I don’t hate group work, persay.

As to the other three letter options (T or F, J or P and something or something else). I come out about 50%-50% for all of them. I am on the border of everything. At least in my own awareness. It could just be that I don’t know myself well enough to answer the questions.

Like the one if you are more of a thinker or a feeler. Instinctively I would say I am a thinker, an analyser. I think and I analyse but in the end I often make a decision based on how I am feeling, even after all the analysis, because the analysis makes it even harder to make a decision, right? After you have seen things from every angle it is almost impossible to make a decision because every angle seems right, so I use feelings anyway. I guess it is an information overload that makes choices impossible for me.

So does that make me a T or an F? I am definitely a T. No doubt about that. But I am also an F. ARGHHHHH! Let’s not even bother with the other letters. There are two possible explanations here. Either I truly am so balanced on the other three letters that there is no clear result in my personality, or I really just do not know myself and cannot answer these questions.

I just have to accept that I do not fit into the Myers-Briggs test, not the free ones anyway, and if my high school result is anything to go by, not the paid ones either. I will always be a profoundly dazed and confused seamonkey who has no idea what her passion, her thing is. Always doomed to being off the page, in the cracks and shadows, and if all else fails I guess I can be a photographer?


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Helen
    Oct 24, 2012 @ 11:59:25

    I had to do a whole barrage of psychometric testing in high school. Then they sat me down, and told me to be either an engineer or an accountant. And I would try to say something like “I like animals so I was thinking-” and they’d jump in with “Engineers and accountants can have LOTs of pets, and go on nice holidays where they can see wildlife.”

    there was an answer like that for every question and I left there promising myself that I would never be an engineer or an accountant. Weirdly enough, I read the report years later and it would have been really helpful if the person explaining it had actually explained more than my destiny being fixed.

    As for the Myers Briggs, I would love to take it again to see if it changes as you get older, I was always an INTJ, and I was dragged through those tests several times.


  2. poseamonkey
    Oct 24, 2012 @ 15:39:59

    Logically I would think I am an INTJ too Helen, but weirdly when I do the test I get other things too. And when I read the INTJ description it is not really all me. Argh it is so complicated, whatevs, we are all unique snowflakes right? I think I am a combo of about four of those categories.

    Also I remember at school there was a mega drive to get all girls who were decent at Science and maths to do engineering, maybe you were just a victim of a campaign? I remember going to a uni intro to engineering and after two seconds I was like, well, I have no idea what I want to do, but I do know it is not engineering!


  3. shans99
    Dec 16, 2012 @ 21:26:23

    Po, I have re-found you! I am so happy.

    Also I am in exactly the same boat. I get a different result every time on those tests. And I can’t tell if I am giving what I think is true of me but might not be, or what other people have said of me but isn’t what I really think, or…yeah so I might overthink it a bit.

    I like the default to “we are all unique snowflakes.” I shall use that the next time I take one of those tests and get yet another result which tells me I should be a farmer or something.


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