January 22, 2016

Personal Branding: Personality Types

In November, I made a monthly goal to work on my personal branding. I didn't accomplish much that month, but I did take a personality test. I've taken a handful of personality tests throughout my life - one or two in high school, one freshman year of college, another a few years after that, and now I've taken one again just a couple months ago. Personalities and the way people think are always intriguing to me, so naturally, this kind of test is something I love to do and provides me with a lot of insight.

In the past, I've noticed that I've bounced between certain traits. I believe it's always been between the "N" and "S" traits and the "T" and "F" traits, but the older I've gotten, the more I've learned about myself and how I react to things, and now I feel like my personality type is a very real reflection of who I am, and I'm not as on the fence about certain ideas. 

For the record, I'm an

After reading through my long and detailed description, I can very much relate to the INTJ personality type. The only portion I don't totally agree with would be the "romantic relationships" description. It suggests that INTJs aren't one for chivalry or tradition and that we approach relationships without much feeling. I can't say that's me. I'm a big believer in "the old-fashioned way," and my emotions run deep. But at the same time I can also understand that maybe I am super analytical when it comes to maneuvering through a relationship - studying what works and what doesn't and formulating plans to keep things on the up and up. But I will say there is one sentence at the end of the relationships section that I can whole-heartedly relate to:

"(INTJs) prize honest, open communication, and all factors of the relationship are open to discussion and change, but this must be reciprocated... They spend a tremendous amount of time and energy trying to understand why and how things go wrong, especially if they've devoted themselves to the relationship, and they certainly hurt deeply when things fall apart."

But other than some back-and-forth with the bit on relationships, the rest of my personality description is me to a T. I'm a big time introvert, and I get easily overwhelmed in heavily stimulated environments. My imaginative mind is expansive, yet I think incredibly logically. Recently, this trait has caused me to feel a little misunderstood, too. This particular paragraph perfectly explains what my brain has been going through in recent months:

"A paradox to most observers, INTJs are able to live by glaring contradictions that nonetheless make perfect sense – at least from a purely rational perspective. For example, INTJs are simultaneously the most starry-eyed idealists and the bitterest of cynics, a seemingly impossible conflict. But this is because INTJ types tend to believe that with effort, intelligence and consideration, nothing is impossible, while at the same time they believe that people are too lazy, short-sighted or self-serving to actually achieve those fantastic results. Yet that cynical view of reality is unlikely to stop an interested INTJ from achieving a result they believe to be relevant."

Reading that paragraph, it's like it all made sense. I felt like I finally understood why my mind thinks the way it does. A perfect example: I frequently talk about how I want to retire before I'm 40. That's the statement of a dreamer, and my proclamation of such a far-reaching goal is often met with inquisitive expressions followed promptly by expressions of "no" and "that'll never happen." It's frustrating, and I fully believe that the vast majority of people wouldn't dare strive for something so off-the-wall. But me... I completely and realistically believe that with a lot of hard work and ingenuity, I could absolutely accomplish my goal.

Some other words used to describe the INTJ personality type that I feel so accurately explain who I am: logical, independent, decisive, depth, and private. Along with a bunch of other adjectives and descriptive phrases, I can relate to my personality type on a high level. But personalities aren't all positive. With positive attributes come flaws. Judgmental, maybe a little arrogant, and difficulty connecting with others are a few of the negative aspects of my personality that I have to learn to embrace and work with rather than let them harm my personal growth.

If you're interested in taking a personality test, I'll give one piece of advice. You must be introspective and willing to admit your weaknesses. Something about me, I'm constantly evaluating myself. I'm very honest (at least alone, with myself) about what I could do better and what needs improvement in my life. I'm very much aware that I don't necessarily come off as the most personable and likable person in the room. I struggle with developing friendships past the point of "acquaintance." I have a crippling fear of not being good enough or taken seriously by my peers. It's hard to admit, but in order to grow, we have to be willing to accept our negatives as well as our positives. And with that honesty, we'll be able to better understand ourselves and how we can improve as individuals.

But anyway, enough of my babbling. If you'd like to take this personality test and learn a little more about yourself, go to 16personalities.com and take the test. I'd give yourself about 20-30 minutes to get through the test. Once you get your results, you can go ahead and read your description or wait until you have more time to really explore your personality type. I'm really into this kind of stuff, so I took over an hour to read about my INTJ type.

And once you've done all that, drop me a comment and let me know your personality type and whether or not you could relate to its description. I think it's fascinating, so I'd love to know.

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