My name is Jenna, and I am obsessed with Myers Briggs personality styles. Myers Brigs Type Indicators consist of 16 different personality styles based off of cognitive functions, represented by four of the following letters: I (Introvert) or E (Extravert); N (iNtuitive) or S (Sensing); F (Feeling) or T (Thinking); P (Percieving) or J (Judging). For a more detailed description of what each letter means, check out this article.
My personality type is ENFP, meaning I am an Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving. For me, Myers Briggs doesn’t mean there are only 16 different people; everyone is unique and shaped by much more than just four cognitive functions. However, this test is a great tool that can help people understand one another’s emotions, rationale, and perception of the world around them. Here is why I love using Myers Briggs personality styles in my everyday life:
I have an insatiable desire to understand people more deeply.
ENFPs love to understand people, and Myers Briggs helps them do just that! When I meet people, I pick up on their little mannerisms and it becomes a fun game to try to guess everyone’s type. I’ve basically memorized all the profiles so when someone tells me their type I have a great amount of context with which I can understand and engage with them better, and I love it!
My feelings are hurt less.
As an ENFP, I am sensitive. When I find out people I love are Ts (Thinkers), I don’t take their “helpful” criticism so personally because I understand their need for efficiency overrides any desire to sugarcoat things, and it’s not personal to them.
It helps me understand what topics will engage people.
ENFPs typically love to talk to people and I am no exception. I know now not to ask my ISTJ brother what kind of cereal he would be if he could be one, or if plants have feelings. Since his type prefers more realistic conversation, I might be better off to ask him what he did that day. I also don’t take it as personally if someone doesn’t want to engage in such topics because I understand people are different.
I realized I’m not alone as an ENFP.
Growing up with SJ family members I always thought something was wrong with me for being so “absent minded” and weird. My family loves me dearly, but it is obvious that I am a wee bit different. Finding out I was an ENFP helped me understand that I am not worse, just different than other types!
It made me stop feeling below average.
ENFPs are bubbly, energetic and outgoing. Often, people underestimate our intelligence because this is mainly what they see from us. Sure, I might lose my phone three times a day but I also know how to counsel my friends and give them helpful advice when they need it. Now I can appreciate that ENFPs have a unique way of looking at life and are often very insightful.
It helped my find areas in need of self-improvement.
ENFPs often perceive their life as a quest for self-discovery and self-improvement, and so Myers Briggs helped me discover some natural areas of weakness. As an ENFP I was determined to change that. When I first found out ENFPs are known to start projects without finishing them, I enrolled myself in a triathlon. Without any prior athletic experience, I completed it six months later. Thanks to Myers Briggs, I am consistently working on my new goals and aiming for completion.
I can type my favourite movie characters and random people on the street.
ENFPs live in a fantasy world and are usually obsessed with anything to do with people. People-watching and watching T.V. are so much more fun when I can determine people’s cognitive functions in my head and pretend I truly understand their deep psychological processes.
It helps me mediate between people.
We ENFPs also generally see all sides of an argument, and often find ourselves on the fence during conflicts. Sometimes ENFPs have a gift of understanding people but don’t always know how to explain knowledge to others. Using Myers Briggs when mediating between others gives them concrete explanations for other people’s behaviours, and advice on how they can work together to benefit from one another’s type.
It gave me permission to not be extraverted all the time.
ENFPs are the most introverted of all the extraverted Myers Briggs types. I confuse my friends and even myself sometimes when I am not in the mood to go out. I used to think I was sad and tried to “snap out of it.” Now I realize taking a couple days off from the extraverted world is necessary for me and there is nothing wrong with that.
It helps me help people.
ENFPs love to see their friends shine and always want to be there for them when they are down. Now that I know Myers Briggs I can use it to improve the help I give my friends in these moments. For example, when my INFJ friend comes to me with a problem I will let her vent and only give advice if she asks, whereas when my ISTJ brother comes to me with an issue, I will ask if he wants my advice as opposed to just validating him because, to quote, “I am obviously upset, I just told you that. I want to know what you think I should do.” Different people need different things, and sometimes Myers Briggs can help me determine what someone is looking for.
These are only some of the reasons I will continue to obsess over Myers Briggs forever. Click here to try the test yourself!