Thursday, July 17, 2008

You are who you are

Over at the Shrinking Violet Promotions, I took the Jung Typology test. It had been about ten years since I’d taken one of these and I wondered if the changes in my life over the years would make any difference to the results. If so, it means that personalities can change over time.

[On an aside, if you’ve taken any of these tests, you know that some of the questions are vague, such as this one: Do you enjoy a wide circle of acquaintances?

I didn’t know if the operative word was “wide” or “acquaintances.” Is the question designed to find out if I need lots of people in my life? Or that I am satisfied with acquaintances as opposed to friends.

Does the fact that I have a problem with this question say something about my personality?]

My score indicates that I am still an INFJ: Introversion-Intuition-Feeling-Judgment. (Here's an overview of the temperament types.) In fact, the two areas in which I scored high this time were the same as before: I and J. Granted, there is a chance that I'd inadvertently skewed the results because some of the questions were so obvious. Or maybe these tests are more reliable than I give them credit for. But the more interesting possible conclusion to me is that personalities don’t change that much.

Once an INFJ, always an INFJ.

That can be bad news or good. Take being an introvert, for example. It's not easy being one in an extrovert society. I've wished for the ability to mingle comfortably in large groups or to not have the need to hole up for hours after a party. But over the years, I've acquired certain extrovert-type skills and to appreciate the fact that I am an introvert. How else would I have been able to spend all that time writing and practicing?

When I first took a test similar to this one, I was not sure how I felt about the results. Over the years, my basic personality hasn't changed (at least according to this test) but something else has. Now I accept, no, more than accept, I am grateful to be given the traits I have.

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