Know Your Personality!

29 Oct

There exists no common ground among my thoughts, and I’ve decided a list is most appropriate:

  • Carrie and I went to the Gay Pride March today in the middle of Taipei. I won’t give you any details now; I’ll save that story for when the photos are uploaded onto my computer.
  • I went running this morning along a route Carrie showed me a couple weeks ago. It involves a duck pond and a college campus. I enjoyed myself very much. The weather is nice again this weekend. The high today is 74° and the low 69°F. I heard the low in my home state today is 38°!
  • My friend at work doesn’t like to be outside.
  • When a different friend at work sneezed two times the other day, a Taiwanese teacher asked him if he needs a jacket. The association between temperature and being sick is different here. If you are sick, you should not eat anything cold which includes fruit that is sitting at room temperature. And, apparently if you sneeze it means that you may be too cold? I honestly don’t understand the thought process behind it. I’m sure there are many things us Westerners do that boggle the minds of the Taiwanese, too. I’m curious to know which ones.
  • My Taiwanese teacher forgot to put one girl’s hairbrush back in her backpack, and a few other very minor things like this, so the parents are threatening to switch her to a different school.  Now this teacher has to be extra careful to make sure to do things like follow the clothing list created by the dad. If the girl needs her shirt changed, like after the park, my co-worker must consult the list and put the proper shirt on next, because if the girl ends up having on a pink shirt when the list clearly says that the blue one comes next… well, that could probably affect the girl’s future in unimaginable, disastrous ways such as reflecting more light onto the world and causing people to sneeze.
  • I still don’t know any Chinese.
  • Damnit.
  • Carrie and I are going to this big Halloween party tonight. It cost $700 which is about $23 USD, and that doesn’t include any drinks like it usually does around here. It’s going to be awesome. I’m going to be a party cat which includes a pink wig, cat mask, white tutu, tights, and bead necklace. Only problem is I don’t want to go. I’d much rather go to this smaller house party we got invited to or no party at all, but Carrie won me over with the following argument: “Halloween is the biggest party day of the year, and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see what it’s all about in this country.” She’s right. However, I’ve never cared about Halloween, and lately I’m not into parties, especially big ones. I decided to go because it just seemed like the right thing to do. I really do have to live my life this way, forcing myself to do things I don’t want to do, because otherwise I’ll be the most boring person you’ve ever met. Which leads me to my most thought about topic this last week:
  • Personalities. I’ve completely changed the way I think about my own personality and others’. I bet you’ve heard of the Myers-Briggs test (if you haven’t I’ll be posting a couple links soon).  I’ve taken the thing at least three times over the years but never remember my four letter label (there are 16 combinations of letters) longer than a month or so afterwards. I didn’t have much faith in the test results because I was never sure if I even answered the questions accurately. I wasn’t sure of my own preferences.

What I’m trying to say is that I really didn’t know myself at all and am just now figuring it out! Yes, this did cause me problems. I have a vague dissatisfaction underlying everything I do.  When I’m in my element, I can sometimes forget that I often feel anxious or inadequate, but I never seem to be able to stay “in my element” for long enough. Am I in the wrong career, the wrong school, the wrong relationship? What IS it??? I get frustrated and angry that life keeps plugging along in one direction, calling me to join, when what I really want to do, is run away. But where do I run away to? I mean, geez, I already moved across the world, where is there left to go? Not to say that I came here to run away from things; the truth is there just wasn’t anything keeping me in Austin at the time combined with the fact I’ve always dreamed of living abroad.  Anyway, I sometimes think, “This sounds like depression or some psychological disorder,” but in my slightly more mature state these days, I know that I am not depressed, I’m just confused about something, and when I figure it out…. then everything will start falling into place.  So let me explain what I’ve figured out recently:

My personality is not similar to most people’s and the activities I have a propensity for and enjoy doing the most are good for me despite my thinking that they aren’t.

Myers-Briggs says I’m an INTJ. According to the statistical data from this popular test, only 1-4% of the population is this same personality type. Females of this type account for just 1% of the population sampled. I just found out my mom is an INTJ also. No wonder she doesn’t think I’m weird; she’s the same version of weird. Even if those four letters mean nothing to you, the website I cite below explains my type this way:

These people have original minds and great drive for implementing their ideas and achieving their goals. They quickly see patterns in external events and develop long-range explanatory perspectives. When committed, they organize a job and carry it through. Skeptical and independent, they have high standards of competence and performance – for themselves and others.

I’ll break down each of the letters for you, and you will understand me just about as well as I understand myself, finally. And, you will get to hear a comical story.

1.)    I am an Introvert. Just because I can talk a lot to a good friend doesn’t mean I am energized by people.

2.)    I am an Intuitor. I do not live in the here and now and do not easily use my five senses to notice what’s around me. I live inside my head, constantly formulating theories and finding patterns. To those around me, this makes me seem spacey and odd, even dumb, because I won’t notice obvious, important things. For example, my friends and I would shower and dress in the locker room after running in the mornings before work a couple years ago, and at least five times I put my socks and shoes on before putting my pants on. Most of the time, I wasn’t even the first one to notice my mistake. “Um, Emily… I think you uh…”
I don’t make this mistake at home because there I am not engaged in stimulating conversation that leads me to think, and think , and re-thing even while others might have moved on to thinking about what article of clothing they should put on next. This is why I’m slow by the way. If I want to be ready in time, first of all, I have to pry myself away from whatever activity I’m working on because I am very unwilling to stop unless the task is finished (this has less to do with “Intuition” and more to do with the “J” part of my type). Second of all, do NOT engage me in any kind of conversation because what is small talk to you is a deep, existential topic to me. I’m really not being funny here, but I do realize how ridiculous it is.

3.)    I am a Thinker. My first instinct when making decisions is to think about it objectively, not think about how I or anyone else feels.  Now, we’re moving into why my type is rare. Rarely is someone an Intuiter and a Thinker. It’s like a double whammy. As if I didn’t think about things enough, now I’m likely to think objectively, but often not be able to act on it because I’m aware of the fact that it might not take everyone’s feelings into account, including my own. So I’m stuck standing there with my shoes on but no pants, wondering if I should bend over and give them another view of my behind while removing my shoes, which is logistically easier, or figure out where to sit down. In the end, I go with the tackier option because I really can’t come to terms with getting my towel all gross by putting it on the cement bench where all the stinky 7th grade girls probably throw their basketball shorts. In the end, I was basically the girl who doesn’t mind getting naked in front of everyone. Maybe I’m comfortable with my body, or maybe I just don’t give a crap how you feel.

4.)    I am a Judger. Again, not a cool trait. Instead of going with the flow and keeping things open-ended, I prefer to have set plans, make to-do lists, and work before playing.

Now that my annoying quirks have been validated as a genuine personality type, albeit a rare one, I feel much more at ease. My type is even called The Masterminds! Gone are the days of me feeling guilty for not wanting to go to, say, this Halloween party that Carrie keeps coming in my room, excited about. She’s been in my room three times in the last 10 minutes, borrowing my undershirt, paint brush, and eye-make up. She really does know me, though. Very nicely she said, “So…. I’m getting ready now…” Hint hint, get off your stupid computer and put that party cat costume on.

Ugh, who cares about a stupid party cat. What’s important about that? Now when I wear it to work on Monday, I’ll be very proud because there’s a point: to share the holiday with my students, teaching them how to trick or treat and such. Kids give everything more meaning, don’t they?

Here are some links if you’re interested in discovering your type:          This is the quickest test I’ve found, and as far as I know, it’s good. Just click on the orange rectangle, do the test, give a fake email address, and then with your test results, use Google to find out more information.       This is the Myers & Briggs Foundation website, and I’ve found it to be one of the more credible references. Hover over your type in the chart to see a quick summary.  What I like it for, though, is precise explanations of the differences between the two different choices, like “Intuition” versus “Sensing” for example.

Let me know what you find out!

My dad is an ISTJ by the way, so just one letter different from Mom and me.

Disclaimer: I might be way off in my representation of these Myers-Briggs, Jungian concepts.  My purpose was to share with you how understanding your personality as it really is instead of how you think it should be can make you feel better, not to give accurate information if that’s even possible with this kind of topic.


4 Responses to “Know Your Personality!”

  1. Linda October 30, 2011 at 2:10 am #

    Well, that pretty much explains it :)! Love you just the way you are!! Won’t you be my neighbor !!!

    • Emily Clark October 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

      Ha ha ha! Thanks Mrs. Rogers! Will you settle for virtual neighbors?

      Do you think his voice really never changed the way this you tube video makes it seem?

  2. Erika October 31, 2011 at 2:12 am #

    I am an EIFJ, which is different from all you guys! I never thought of myself as the black sheep of the famlily. 😦

  3. Erika October 31, 2011 at 2:15 am #

    Baically, the only one I have the same as you and mom is the J!

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