Every now and then I retake the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test just to “check the temperature”, so to speak. I don’t believe in basing my actions on a label, but instead on using labels to determine what my personality is like at any give time. I do think that personality changes over time…I think that mood and personality are like weather and climate. One is short term, the other long term.
Anyway, I have taken several tests recently that put me in the INFJ category instead of INFP. I’ve been INFP for a long time, so this recent change makes me wonder what the reason is. The P and J stand for Perceiving and Judging, and according to the Myers & Briggs Foundation:
This fourth preference pair describes how you like to live your outer life–what are the behaviors others tend to see? Do you prefer a more structured and decided lifestyle (Judging) or a more flexible and adaptable lifestyle (Perceiving)? This preference may also be thought of as your orientation to the outer world.
Sometimes people feel they have both. That is true. The J or P preference only tells which preference the person extraverts. One person may feel very orderly/structured (J) on the inside, yet their outer life looks spontaneous and adaptable (P). Another person may feel very curious and open-ended (P) in their inner world, yet their outer life looks more structured or decided (J).
That makes some sense, I guess. It’s not so much how I feel about my order/structure or open-endedness, it’s about what the outside world sees. And this seems to indicate that over time, the outside world has begun to see more of an orderly/structured Doug than the curious and open-ended Doug. The reasons for this may be many, but it’s very possible that recent frustrations about a lack of planning on certain projects has pushed me over to the J side. When planning and implementing projects – technology projects, specifically – I look for clear project management guidelines to follow. This includes setting a vision, clear objectives and goals, and then establishing milestones, accountability, deadlines, etc. While I still have many P traits, the world sees me as more of a planner than in the past.
I don’t know if that’s necessarily good or bad, but it’s worth putting some more thought into.