October 8, 2012

what's your type?

Several years ago, my wonderful friend Therese introduced me to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment/personality test. I am not educated in psychology or officially qualified to explain this assessment at all - I will leave that to the experts! But ever since I took this test for the first time, I have been very fascinated by this Jungian system of understanding myself and others. 
My own type is ENFJ (Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging), which is an Idealist type often referred to as the Teacher or Giver. I have taken the test several times over the past five or six years, and have always tested the same, although my percentages in each category shift a little bit every time. I find this consistency comforting and reassuring, another way to feel as if I know myself a little more. It is fascinating to see, too, where my specific percentages move up or down based on my daily life patterns and circumstances. 
The thing I love most about this assessment is how valuable each of the sixteen types are in society and in our lives specifically. Learning about the different personality types has helped me understand my loved ones better, and from there I can try to be a better friend in each of their lives. I have also learned to practice more awareness of the strengths of other types. It is so easy to give up on understanding when you do not connect automatically or easily with another person. But often it is just a matter of more learning about each unique individual's "wiring." There are many resources available to learn more about your particular type as well as those of others. One of my favorites is Personality Page, a site which not only offers in-depth analysis of each type, but several practical applications, such as how your type might relate in the workplace, as a parent, or in a relationship. It also offers a page for each type which illuminates opportunities for "Personal Growth" within each type. I have returned to these pages again and again for more keys to my own growth and learning. There is also a book that I really love which offers both a great understanding of the test's types and metrics, as well as in-depth type analysis. The name always makes me giggle, but since I love you all, I will admit this embarrassingly-titled and well-read book in my collection, Please Understand Me II, by David Keirsey (the "II" is what really gets me!!). 

Each year I find myself focused, either intentionally or subconsciously, on nurturing one of my "letters," focusing on both the strengths and opportunities within an aspect of my type. I love the way that this assessment offers me a structure for self-awareness and personal growth. As I learn more about my natural wiring, I find it helpful to consider the opposite of my own letters. For instance, I am a "J," which stands for "Judging," so in order to find more balance, I am embracing a chance to foster more "Perceiving" qualities this year. This applies especially in my writing and creative practices, where I have found myself often out of my comfort zone. I love that there are always new learnings and discoveries in seeking balance in my life, and that is what I love about this test - it provides a fascinating framework for this learning.
Have you taken the MBTI personality test?? I would SO love to hear which type you are!! And has it helped you to learn more about your own type? One of my favorite things is learning what types tend to surround my life. If you have not already taken the test or do not remember your type, you can take a free version of the test here on the HumanMetrics website. Please share YOUR type in the comments section!!
 As I have mentioned before, I am obsessed with ALL things "Rifle Paper Co.," and this gorgeous "Botanicals Garlands" set is no exception. It is one of my favorite recent finds!! I have already thought of nearly one million uses (well, almost) for it... happy to share it with you in today's post! I picked up the last one on the shelf at one of my favorite Chicago shops, Art Effect, but you can purchase the garland here.


  1. First things first, I LOVE your ENFJ garland! What a beautiful way to showcase your pride in your strengths! I think I need an INFP one ASAP! And as always, your writing is beautiful and thoughtful, as only a wonderful ENFJ would be!

  2. INFJ -
    Can't remember taking one of these tests before, but I have heard of them. The info I read about INFJs was right on in an almost eerie, but totally helpful and good way. Writing and psychology were both mentioned, so apparently I have already found my niches :)

  3. Therese - I thought you might like my ENFJ garland! ;) Thank you for reading, and mostly for all that you have taught me about myself and other types through your own learnings! Hooray for INFP's!! <3

  4. Jan - INFJs are super-cool and I am happy you took the test and found your type! :) Hope you find lots of inspiration from learning more. xo

  5. Finally did it, Cayt! I'm an INFP. We'll have to talk....

    1. Hoorayyyyy!! INFP's are super-awesome, can't wait to discuss!! xo