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Friday, 25 Jun 2021

Understanding Your Personality Type and Why it’s Important

By Dr Becky Spelman
Understanding Your Personality Type | Private Therapy Clinic

Personality profiling is nothing new, and we each have our own brand of uniqueness. Understanding who you are at the core of your being – your values and traits – is one of the best ways to maximise your potential in life. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses may seem like a wet weekend at a corporate team-building seminar, but the more you know who you are on the micro-level of your personality, the more influence you can exert on your circumstance. Cracking the code of who you are is part of the joy of living. The knowledge of what makes you unique is one of the greatest forms of wealth we can cultivate.

The Meyer-Briggs Test

If you’ve ever heard anyone categorise themselves as an INFJ or an ESTP, they’re referring to the Meyer-Briggs personality type indicator. It’s not so much of a test as there’s no right or wrong answer as far as personality is concerned. It’s more scale that attributes certain variables to our personality, which dictate how you would react-respond to certain situations and environments. It was designed to measure your character by gauging your strengths and preferences and is based on the work of Carl Jung’s personality types. The format itself is referred to as the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and is one of the most widely utilised diagnostic tools within psychology across the world.

How is Your Personality Measured By the Meyer-Briggs Test?

The ‘test’ is based on a series of questions that will place you in one of 16 personality types. But the goal here isn’t to separate the good from the bad, so to speak. It’s not a hierarchal exercise in any way, shape or form. The goal is to help people better understand how and why they act the way they do, so they can use that knowledge as a component for how they might approach their life in a constructive way. The test itself is surprisingly accurate in what it can offer in the way of insight. It can indicate likes, dislikes, strengths, weakness, possible career paths and even compatibility with other people. The questionnaire itself is made of four different scales.

Extraversion (E) Introversion (I)

The introversion-extroversion duality was first explored by Carl Jung in his original theory of personality types. It was used to explain why people interacted with the world in the way they did. And although these terms are familiar to most people nowadays, the way in which they employed by the MBTI is slightly different from the more commonly used application.

Extraverts – typically spelt extroverts in other media – are portrayed as being “outward-turning” and are most often thought to be action-oriented people. They thrive on social interaction and like to be the proverbial ‘life and soul of the party.’ They often feel energised after spending time with other people. Introverts, on the other hand, tend to be “inward-turning” and thought-oriented people. They prefer deeper, more meaningful interactions on a less frequent basis.

Sensing (S) – Intuition (N)

This scale focuses on how people gather information from their environment. Just as with introversion and extraversion, all people engage with both sensing and intuiting to some degree. There isn’t a clear cut-off point between the two modes of interaction. The MBTI does indicate though, that people will tend to be inclined towards one more than the other.

Those who’re more in tune with sensing, tend to be more rooted in the physical-felt experience of interpreting the world around them making use of their senses. They’re often more grounded in the practical how-to of everyday life. Those who’re more of the intuitive persuasion, pay more attention to the pattern recognition and impressions they get from their experiences. They’re more abstract in their interactions.

Thinking (T) – Feeling (F)

This measure of personality relates directly to the previous scale and how people make their decisions based on the information they’ve gathered from their sensing and intuiting functions. People who lean more toward thinking, place a greater emphasis on facts and taking the objective point of view. Although you can get intuitive thinkers, this type tends to be more grounded in tangible reality.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, those who tend more towards a feeling approach to making their decisions will take their emotions more into account. The ‘feeling’ individual will be more likely to consider the impact their choices will have on other’s and their emotional state as well their own. Those who feel more are often empathic.

Judging (J) – Perceiving (P)

The final scale involves how people interact with the outside world – and more external influences that they might have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. Those who’re of a judging mindset, tend to prefer structure and making very firm linear decisions. In this sense, they might be more prone to following rules and being more conservative in their approach to life.

On the perceiving side of the equation, those who perceive are often seen as being more flexible and open to change. And thus more adaptable. As such, these people are the easy-going types that will change their mind on a whim, as and when they see better opportunities and avenues for experience open up to them.

Why Its So Beneficial to Know Your Personality Type

If you know who and what you are, you know exactly what you will and will not stand for. You know what your limits are and so you can set your boundaries, accordingly. If you’re new to the world of personal development, taking the MBTI quiz can provide a firm footing to stand on and encourage you to explore more of yourself. It really is a worthwhile quiz to take, as it can provide and a lot of confirmation and affirmation of the experiences you’ve had in your life up to this point. If nothing else, it can be a very validating exercise for those new to the world of psychology and introspective thinking.

About the author:

Dr Becky Spelman is a leading UK Psychologist who’s had great success helping her clients manage and overcome a multitude of mental illnesses.

***If you’re struggling with your mental health and think you might benefit from speaking to someone, we offer a FREE 15-MINUTE CONSULTATION with one of our specialists to help you find the best way to move forward. You can book yours here

Very Well Mind (17th Sep 2020) An Overview of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Retrieved on 26th April 2021 from, https://www.verywellmind.com/finding-happiness-happiness-and-stress-relief-3144580

Very Well Mind (17th Sep 2020) Reasons to Learn More About Your Personality Type. Retrieved on 26th April 2021 from, https://www.verywellmind.com/reasons-to-learn-more-about-your-personality-type-4099388

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