Have you ever taken the Myers-Briggs type test? It’s a really fascinating (and rather long) personality test based on the four category psychological type theory proposed by Carl Jung.
- Do you prefer to spend time in the outer world (Extrovert) or in your own inner world (Introvert)?
- Do you generally focus on the information you can see, touch, taste, feel or smell (Sensing), or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning (iNtuition)?
- When you make a decision, do you prefer to trust your logic (Thinking) or the way you feel about it (Feeling)?
- Do you prefer making firm decisions and live a structured life (Judging) or do you prefer to keep your options open (Perceiving)?
Based on your questionnaire results, you can be one of the 16 different types
INFJ, INFP, INTJ, INTP, ISFJ, ISFP, ISTJ, ISTP, ENFJ, ENFP, ENTJ, ENTP, ESFJ, ESFP, ESTJ, ESTP.
I’ve taken the Myers-Briggs personality test several times, and I am always an ENFP (Extroverted, iNtuitive, Feeling and Perceptive). An ENFP is outgoing, curious, observant, compassionate, creative, overly emotional, easily stressed, overthinks and has poor practical skills as they tend to drift off into philosophical daydreams. The descriptions of ENFPs I read all over the internet are scarily accurate, except there are periods in my life where I am definitely an introvert.
Going back to my test results, they tell me I am 51% extrovert and 49% introvert. Just like everything in life, there is a spectrum, nothing is simply black and white (well, except maybe a zebra). I have realised that people can be both an extrovert and an introvert, they are called ambiverts!
So, why am I boring you with my “navel gazing” and interest in Jungian psychology?
If you are a regular follower of my blog, you may have noticed the frequency in which I publish is pretty patchy to say the least. I might blog four times a week for a while, followed by a couple months of silence. I love writing, connecting and sharing ideas until I suddenly become an introvert for a couple of months. I no longer want to share my world, I crave solitude for a while.
I tried to figure out my tipping point, and what it was that made me want to hide in my shell when I was enjoying spending time making connections. I soon realised that when I “over extrovert” (publish blogs four times a week, meet a lot of friends in a short space of time etc.), my inner introvert pouches and drags me back into my shell (often accompanied by my inner critic, tugging on the other arm) to maintain some equilibrium. I then enjoy some happy and peaceful time with my inner introvert, introspecting on life, ignoring calls and hiding from friends. Weeks pass and my inner extrovert comes knocking (this time accompanied by people wondering where I have been). I dearly miss people, writing, connecting and sharing ideas, which leads to some major over-extroverting again.
Life naturally ebbs and flows, is full of patterns and cycles but I’m pretty tired of my extroversion vs. introversion tidal waves. So, I am attempting to stop the over-extroverting and the subsequent over-introverting. Not only does it disrupt my life, it’s not fair on the people I love as they become unnecessarily worried when I become quiet.
If living between two extremely different cultures has taught me anything, it’s the importance of discovering what unique balance works for you, finding out how to enjoy the best of both worlds (in this case, extroversion and introversion).
I want to find that balance in the way I interact with the world, so hopefully everyone I love (including you lovely readers), will start hearing from me more regularly and consistently (but not too often!).
Do you struggle with swinging between introversion and extroversion?
Are you also an ambivert?
Have you ever taken the Myers-Briggs type test? (you can take it here)