If you want to change and grow and make your life shine, I think you need to know yourself. Like really know yourself. I thought I really knew myself. I mean, I’m 40 years old, what could I possible not know about myself? One day abut six months ago, I came across a personality test called 16 Personalities. I think it’s fair to say this test changed my life! I’d never given much thought to my personality type but I thought I’d have a go for a bit of fun. What started out as something to pass the time turned out to be an incredibly enlightening piece of information.
The test is based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) which classifies us into sixteen different personality types. There are four possible pairs of personality traits:
Where do we get our source of energy? Introversion vs. Extraversion
How do we take in information? Intuition vs. Sensing
How do we make decisions? Thinking vs. Feeling
How we relate to the external world? Perceiving vs. Judging
Your test results will give you a 4 letter acronym like ESFP or INTP or ENSJ. There are 16 different combinations relating to each personality type. You can then read a pretty thorough description of your personality type. If you want to know how it all works in more detail, have a look at the 16Personalities theory page.
So which personality type am I?
I’m ISFJ which is also called The Defender or The Nurturer. In a nutshell this means…
Introvert / we get our energy from inside us, we’re reserved, unassuming, thoughtful, calm
Sensing / we take in infomation by sensing… we’re practical, observant, traditional, factual
Feeling / we make decisions based on our feelings… we’re devoted, kind, caring, principled
Judging / we organise our world based on our judgement… we’re organised, methodical, dedicated, persistant
Here’s a good summary that I found.
“ISFJs are industrious caretakers, loyal to traditions and organizations. They are practical, compassionate, and caring, and are motivated to provide for others and protect them from the perils of life. ISFJs are conventional and grounded, and enjoy contributing to established structures of society. They are steady and committed workers with a deep sense of responsibility to others. They focus on fulfilling their duties, particularly when they are taking care of the needs of other people. They want others to know that they are reliable and can be trusted to do what is expected of them. They are conscientious and methodical, and persist until the job is done.”
How did a personality test change my life?
ISFJ. A four letter combination linked to a description that fit me PERFECTLY. Reading through my report was like a revelation. It was uncannilly accurate, like it had been written just for me, in such a way that’s hard to describe. What I took from it wasn’t just a vague list of attributes but a completely accurate description of me. In my school reports, my teachers always described me as ‘quietly confident’. A few years ago at work, my manager used the exact same phrase to describe me. I’ve always liked that anolagy but now I know why they used it. It’s because I’m an ISFJ!
The bit that’s made the most impact on me is finding out about introverts. I always knew I was an introvert. Mainly because I knew I wasn’t an extrovert! But I didn’t really understand what introvert meant. I thought it kind of meant you were shy which I certainly am not! So I read everything online that I could find. And it all made perfect sense.
I’m now more aware of where I get my energy from. I know why I feel drained in busy social situations where I have to make small talk. I know why my head feels like it’s going to explode when there are loads of people talking at once or lots of noise. I know that I need quiet time alone to recharge my batteries. I know why I prefer to have a small group of close friends. Understanding this has really helped me to get to know myself a little more, which is a good place to start when you want to change and grow and life a happier, more peaceful life.
I hope those of you reading this learn something about yourselves too because I know how amazing that feels. Once you know your type, take the extra step and do some research. Find out more. Don’t limit yourself to whats listed on your report because there’s a whole world of information out there just waiting to be discovered!