So I forget how long ago it was that I discovered the Jungian Typology test (sometimes called the “Myers-Briggs Typology” test). In a nutshell, possibly even a wrong one, because it’s lifted out of my brain, it’s a test based on Jungian theories that divide personalities into one of sixteen types based on the balance of four sets of traits:
Introversion vs. Extroversion
Sensing vs. Intuition
Feeling vs. Thinking
Perceiving vs. Judging
(I think Jung only relied on three of these sets… like I said, if you want to know the strict truth, go look on Wikipedia… they’re ALWAYS right over there.)
So, anyhoo, I like tests. When I was a kid, I filled out every direct marketing survey that came our way. “Why, yes, I DO like spending time outdoors! I DO have a dog!” If they’d ever made it into the mailbox, my family would have been buried in junkmail, but I’m pretty sure they were nipped in the bud.
So I took the test, a few years ago, and my results came out INTJ – Introverted Intuition Thinking Judging. The colloquial term for this type is “The Mastermind.” I enjoyed poring over websites describing me as impatient, perfectionist, demanding, and thorough. Then I went back to work.
Years passed. I got a different job–which I can unequivocally describe as a better job. I was a much happier person. I took the test again, looking forward to being reinforced as a mastermind.
So you can imagine my shock when my results came out INTP – Introverted Intuition Thinking Perceiving. What is this? No longer a Mastermind, I had been demoted to Architect. The major difference between Perceiving and Judging, from what I understand, is whether you SEW before you WRITE or WRITE before you SEW.
Masterminds line up all of their ducks before they have fun. Architects line up ducks for fun and then work only when driven to the point of insane guilt. I had started having too much fun, at work, and in every other aspect of my life. My true duck-playing nature scratched its way to the surface.
Anyway, I don’t set much store in classification systems like that. I mean, it’s kind of like dividing your pen drawer by color. Yep, there are the blue pens! Sorting them out doesn’t change the color of the ink.
But the introversion thing has stuck with me. I never thought of myself as an introvert–because I really like people. Only as I got older did I realize that the amount of “alone time” I need to refresh myself seems to be somewhere around double or triple that of the people around me. If the husb is out of town, I can spend the whole weeks happily puttering around by myself.
C.S. Lewis said, when cautioning against glorifying a love of humanity, “Love of humanity is easy because humanity does not surprise you with inconvenient demands. You never find humanity on your doorstep, stinking and begging.”
I find this funny, because I’m the opposite. Humanity? Not the biggest fan. I mean, blur your eyes and look around. My most common rant is, “What is WRONG with people?”
That seems to go hand in hand with my introversion, right? But here’s my secret–when you take humanity out of the equation and give me a human to interact with, I’m happy as a clam. I really do like people. I like YOU. And her. And that guy over there. And the guy who came to inspect my dryer vents. And the grumpy lady behind the counter at the drugstore.
I just don’t like all of these people when they gang together and act stupidly.
This is probably how I find my voice and form my characters as an author. An author plays God. You have to love every character you create enough to believe in what THEY believe, long enough to write it honestly. And how do you cultivate that love? By meeting real people and looking for the things that make them lovable, no matter how deep you have to dig.
So, introvert? Yes, definitely. But I’m the warmest, fuzziest introvert you ever met. I like everybody–one person at a time.
If you take the test, make sure to comment and let us know what your type is! I’m always eager to hear other people’s results.
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