Kirkepiscatoid

Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!


I have had a longtime fascination with the Myers-Briggs personality test--probably almost 30 years worth. My first time through the Myers-Briggs was in college, for one of my education courses, to give me an idea of what my teaching "style" would be and what things would be easy or more challenging to educate a classroom full of many different personalities. I was decidedly ESTP--Extroversion, Sensing, Thinking, Perception--but had a strong "shadow side" of INFJ--Introversion, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judgement. I was not a 90-10 on these two but more like 65-35.

Over the years, I have watched my INFJ "grow" in subsequent paper/pencil, and later, online Myers-Briggs tests. I am now at the place where on the little "quick tests" like on Facebook, I now consistently score INFJ. Not quite believing it, I recently paid for a "full bore" online Myers-Briggs again. No doubt this time. I am 60% INFJ, 40% ESTP. The pendulum has swung.

This has not been easy news for me. It messes with "who I think I am."

I have burned a lot of air time in my life on poo-pooing "sitting around and reflecting." I used to berate my friend M. on a regular basis for "sitting on his ass, thinking great thoughts, when there's work to be done." I am feeling the coolness from two of my friends at present, for ME "sitting on my ass and thinking great thoughts instead of DOING something." They don't really come out and say it, but they say things like, "When are you going to be 'fun' again? You're not fun anymore," or, "What's up with you? You're starting to sound like so-and-so." (one of my more deeply complex friends, who can be very withdrawn.)

That leaves ANOTHER unsettling paradox. As I become more aware, I sense a shift in my own essence that makes me realize I might not have been feeding the most fundamental part of my personality as much as I should have. Middle age has been shifting my Myers-Briggs to where what used to be the "shadow" side of my personality is becoming the more dominant side, and frankly, the more rewarding side...but this shift leaves a wake. People are so used to the gregarious and noisy side of me, that as it becomes less dominant, I am discovering that, in a way, I was "other people's thrill ride" at times. I am starting to have regrets about that, because it doesn't leave me a lot of room. For me to be quiet, for me to reserve comment, for me to absorb and reflect before speaking, to not do my usual pattern of "shoot from the hip", seems to alarm some people and they think something is wrong, when really, it's not. Then they badger me about it, leaving me even less room, and at more risk of my temper flaring and yelling to "back off." If I do that, it validates their opinion.

It's a dance. Not much I can say about that, except, "it's a dance." I think of my blogfriend Leonardo. What an evolution he must have been through to live the life he lives now, and how much is yet to still evolve? I think he senses parts of what I'm learning in this dance, and he has been so encouraging to me...but I sense that comes from his experiences of learning his own dance. You have to live it to do it!

Becoming more in touch with one's own introverted side, when one has always typed as an extrovert, is tricky. It increases one's ability to absorb. Absorption deals with having new feelings show up that the extroverted side of you mostly ignores. Life becomes more "one day at a time." It opens one up to a vulnerability that the more extroverted side has the luxury of impermeability.

But, as our personality types shift from our patterns of youth to the patterns of age, "Do we change?" We do...and we don't. We do in terms of our Myers-Briggs, for sure. But what we discover, if we are accepting of this outward shift, we open up to our internal core...and we discover our "core" has no "personality," that it simply IS. It is the "IS" that is in each of us. It is the "IS" within the great "I AM". Unaffected by personality. Unaffected by "quirks." Unaffected by life's stresses, life's surreal moments. Timeless and impermeable. Amazing.

3 comments:

WOW.

In an on-going chain of events, I have found a place where we converge and diverge.

As an ENFP, I have been on the opposite path, moving from what seemed introvert to my extrovert.

In any event, that is not my point - I just love how you sum all this up - truly, I love what you say with all of this

Hmmmm, I will have to find a myers-briggs test to see again what I am so I can better relate. back later.

After sampling a number of tests which each scored me differently -- I have come to the conclusion that I am currently: ENTP However, E vs. I seems to be much more complicated than I used to think as it has to do with our approach to the world - not just our comfort zone.

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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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