Throughout the past decade, I have been presented with a few opportunities to take the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). When I was initially told about the assessment, I was advised to not overthink the questions because that would help produce the most accurate results about my personality, wants, and needs. I can be somewhat apprehensive about the effectiveness of assessments that say they can pinpoint my personality, but I must admit that the MBTI was pretty accurate when it labeled me as an ENFJ (extraversion, intuition, feeling, judging) personality type.
To provide a brief background, the MBTI is a psychological assessment that is administered by a certified professional. There are some knockoff versions of the assessment online that can be somewhat accurate (try 16Personalities), but the MBTI is more lengthy and in-depth than its free counterparts. When an individual takes the assessment, they will be placed in one of 16 possible personality types. There is a chance that someone could be very close to the line that separates two preferences, so that individual may demonstrate characteristics from both sides (see table below for the four pairs of preferences).
|Preference #1||Preference #2|
The 16 Personality Types
"E" Stands for Extravert
I was not surprised to see the “E” in my personality type. I have always been outgoing. I can easily make a conversation with someone I barely know as long as I can find some common ground, even if that means being in the same line at the grocery store. I will say that I have become a little more reserved throughout the years, but I still socialize and gain energy from being around other people, especially those I care about.
I have moved a lot over the years and have maintained friendships in several of the states I lived in. Extraverts typically know many people, and that seems to fit me quite well. I have also found that I work well in jobs where I get to interact with others and empower them to be better individuals. This holds true to the ENFJ personality type because it fits professionals who work in social services or other related fields.
"N" Stands for Intuition
This preference was a fascinating one to me because I have been tested for learning styles and kinesthetic (actually doing the thing being taught) came out on top by a slim margin over auditory and visual. The test administrator actually said that my scores were so close that I technically learn best through all of these methods, which is a good thing I guess. The downside is that sometimes I cannot figure out which one is going to fit the situation best!
This brings me to the intuition preference that came out in my MBTI personality type. Intuition means brainstorming a lot and not dealing with the facts right off the bat. I do admit that my brain is constantly processing information and trying to figure out different solutions, so I’m not surprised that intuition stands out, but I do display some of the characteristics of sensing, the preference opposite of intuition, as well.
As an intuitive person, I find that I am daydreaming a lot about dreams and goals I would like to accomplish, but I often do not create a plan of action as to how I can actually bring all those thoughts to reality. I find my mind jumping from idea to idea sometimes and that can create a whirlwind in my mind. As for trying new things, I do tend to be up for them, depending on the situation. For example, I would like to try ziplining one day but I refuse to go skydiving. I have my limits! Sometimes I catch myself weighing the risks and benefits before just jumping into a new activity.
"F" Stands for Feeling
This one was no surprise at all. I have never shown much interest in technical things or those debates that are completely logical because I am always looking at the way each individual person thinks and acts. I have a genuine concern for others and I often trust my gut instinct when it comes to handling problems and other issues. I can be opinionated at times but I prefer to do so in a way that does not hurt those that I’m communicating with.
I have found this preference to be very helpful in my professional life because social services workers need to have a heart for people and a compassion that is different from everyday life. My brain has never operated in a complete concrete way and I cannot just simply look at data and believe it all to be true. My mind is always coming up with outliers or other possible reasons for things being the way they are.
In my relationships, my feeling preference has helped me to be more caring and to really show my true colors to those I love. I have a desire to put my significant other’s needs before mine and enjoy expressing my feelings to them. In any interaction I have, I do my best to keep the peace or de-escalate a situation so that matters can be discussed rather than bottled up or blown out of proportion. The MBTI definitely hit the nail on the head with this one!
"J" Stands for Judging
This is the preference that has the possibility of jumping to the other side of the grid, which I guess can be normal. Although I have tested as an ENFJ, I would not be surprised if some of the ENFP characteristics came out in my at times. Judging does not mean you are a judgmental person; instead, it means that you enjoy structure over just going with the flow.
In my work life, I do enjoy having a schedule and knowing what events are coming up. I carry a planner with me every day and keep my calendar updated so I know exactly what is going on. I find myself asking questions to clarify and verify appointment times so that I do not miss anything. I also keep a stack of Post Its next to my desk so that I can make lists and get things done before any deadlines I have to meet.
When I leave work, I still enjoy having a schedule, but I am more relaxed and will enjoy doing spontaneous activities sometimes. This is where the P (perceiving) comes into play. Instead of constantly wanting to know what is going on, I may prefer to get away from the regular grind and do something random like go to an unplanned outing or surprise a friend. I try to be as flexible as I can in all aspects of life, but I find that sometimes the J will take over the P, or vice versa.
My Life as an ENFJ
Please be advised that I do not label my life according to the MBTI or my ENFJ personality type. Instead, I have used my results to better understand myself and why I may act the way I do. I have found that this assessment has helped me in my work life and relationships. I feel like I am a better communicator now because I know my personality type and what makes me happy or annoyed.
The extravert in me enjoys being around people and working with others on a daily basis. I do value my personal time, but I will go crazy if I have too much of it. I have been known to coordinate get-togethers with friends and family so that I can spend time with a larger group of people and socialize with everyone.
My brain is constantly on and it can be difficult to turn it off at night. Sometimes I will lie in bed for hours before I finally get too tired to think anymore. It gets to be annoying after a while so I have to distract myself with some white noise so that I can drift to sleep.
My desire to help people continues to grow even in the midst of crisis situations that emotionally drain me. There is just an innate desire in me to see the best in people and to want to be their motivation to be successful in life. I think the helping professions are a good fit for me in this aspect. Some of the tasks I enjoy most in my work are facilitating groups, working with clients one-on-one to reach goals, and giving encouraging pep talks when they are going through a rough time.
Tori Canonge (author) from North Carolina on July 17, 2014:
Thank you so much for the kind words susi10! That's awesome that you're an INFJ! Always fun to be part of a rare group :-)
Susan W from The British Isles, Europe on July 17, 2014:
What a fantastic article, Tori! To be very honest, I never really took much notice at personality types, I never really did a test myself. Thanks to the link that you provided, I found out what I was and was impressed by the accuracy! I am an INFJ, the rarest among women (1%) and it describes me perfectly: analytical, slightly introverted, always planning a new project and with a desire to change the world. You did a great job and I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you! Shared and voted awesome and interesting! Loved it.
Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on June 15, 2014:
This title caught my eye as I have also learned a lot from the MBTI. I am an INFJ so we have some traits in common, Understanding myself has helped me better understand the behavior and reactions of others, which also helps me work better in team. It was interesting to get inside your head. : )
Tori Canonge (author) from North Carolina on May 29, 2014:
Thanks for sharing your personality type! It's so interesting to me how different personalities function and contribute to society. I remember reading through the relationship portion of the assessment and it tells you what your ideal match would be. I recall one of them being an INFP and that is exactly what my boyfriend is. We complement each other really well and I can tell how our similarities and differences help make our relationship work. I did add a link to a free version in the introduction - thank you for the suggestion!
FlourishAnyway from USA on May 28, 2014:
ENFJ might be described as a harmony-loving idealist. I am an INTJ, a so-called "mastermind" type who is a systems builder and loves the analytical. (It sure fits all that I used to do with data in my prior life.) You might consider putting a link to an on-line free test so people can figure out what they are, too.