Sunday, March 1, 2009

Who Am I Really?

In my last post I was writing about how the Myer-Briggs test categorized me as a INTJ, an introverted, intuitive, thinking, and judging personality. It basically said that I was not comfortable in social situations, was cold and rational, and standoffish.

A Description of INTJs

Some people have mentioned to me that that doesn't sound like me and that they think I seem outgoing and more like an extravert or even an ESFP. I've heard myself described as enthusiastic, smiley, and sunny. So why the difference? Perhaps this quote from the INTJ personality description will help explain:

"INTJs can rise to management positions when they are willing to invest time in marketing their abilities as well as enhancing them, and (whether for the sake of ambition or the desire for privacy) many also find it useful to learn to simulate some degree of surface conformism in order to mask their inherent unconventionality." TypeLogic.com

Being a cashier for several years, I was miserable, but did very well since I assumed a more outgoing personality in order to sell better. Nicknamed Bubbles, this alter-ego of mine was fun-loving, ditsy, and gregarious, and everything I'm normally not. I periodically pull up this attitude when I don't know what to do and basically hide behind it as though it's a costume. I think that's why my favorite holiday is Halloween, I can play in character, I just can't play myself.

Thinking about it, I've played versions of this happy-go-lucky character for years. In school, I was always the helpful, little teacher's pet and my friends knew me as the outrageous one that was always coming up with stories and weird ideas and acting like a bit of a goofball. Once I decided I wasn't going to school one day and when my mother forced me up and out the door I walked down the street and instead of getting on the bus, I went into the chaparral and spent the day reading. Since that was so fun, the next day I took more books and a sheet to sit on and spent another day like that. The next day, a picnic and more books, and so on. I'm not sure how long it would have lasted, but soon two weeks had gone by and perhaps I would have kept doing it forever, but my mother went to pick me up early from school one day and lo and behold, I wasn't there. On my way back from the "bus" that day, I found everyone panicking, no one knew what to think. The most common reaction was that someone forced me to do it and I needed to reveal the perpetrator. No one believed me when I just said that I had said that I wasn't going to go to school and that I had spent the time by myself, reading. Eventually I ended up telling my friends that it was a hot guy with a convertible, and we spent the days in visiting the city, but it was funny how quickly people believed that pathetic made-up story and how little they believed the truth, that someone would choose to miss school to read.

There are numerous other examples of my anti-social, non-conformist behavior that I wish I felt free enough to exhibit. While reading Robinson Crusoe when I was a child, I couldn't understand why he'd want off the island and wasn't having a great time, I ended up planning out my entire mini kingdom if I were in his place. Heck, I still want a private island. My favorite Twilight Zone episode was the one with the only survivor of an apocalypse going to the library and being able to read as much as he wanted, then breaking his glasses-I really felt for the guy. One of my favorite books is The Stand, and I don't think what happens is too terrible. If I wasn't such a prude about stuff I would be a hippy. I want to have my own ranch and grow most of my own food, my own clothing if I wanted any (what's the point of it?), and basically not have to visit town except once a month or so. Wait, is that my private island idea all over again?

So, I guess the point of the Myer-Briggs test is to reveal who you really are and what you would be like if our society was different. What would you do if our society didn't condemn that behavior?

2 comments:

  1. Great information about you. I have my "work" personality which is the bubbly very social person that everyone likes and asks for help. In reality, I prefer to be in a quiet environment. My husband is the same way. I guess that is why we are good partners.

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  2. This is fascinating! I took that Facebook personality test (kind of like a mini-Myers), and got nearly opposite results - BUT we have something in common here. I'm very quiet, shy at times, most people tell me they think I'm INTROVERTED (similar to you having people say you are Extroverted because you are "bubbly"). Nobody would describe me as "bubbly" - ever. haha. But I am not introverted! I love being around other people, and have this quiet little social butterfly just begging to jump out all the time but just can't quite find the courage to always speak up. I think if I had a higher self esteem I'd be more social. But at the same time I also value my privacy. I'd love to live out in the woods some day, or out in the desert, with hundreds of acres of privacy for me and all of my furry friends. :)

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