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A Changing Personality?

Having just taken a couple of gimmicky personality tests, I thought I would re-take a more solid personality test that I believe has pegged me pretty closely in the past. The Jung Typology Test can be taken for free in a number of places on the web. I just took it at the Humanetrics web site. Several times previously, I have taken this test and scored an “INTJ” – an Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Judging personality. When reading the description of the INTJ, I have thought that it generally fit who I was. Just now, I took the test again, and scored – much to my surprise – “INTP” – Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Perceiving. So I dutifully read through its description. I didn’t think it fit as well, although there were some statements that stuck out as true. To be fair, the results listed me as:

  • slightly expressed introvert
  • moderately expressed intuitive personality
  • distinctively expressed thinking personality
  • slightly expressed perceiving personality

Furthermore, going back and changing my answer to just one question that I was unsure about how to answer shifted me over to “slightly expressed judging personality.” Also, I was probably not too strongly defined as a judging personality before, so the shift may not have been too major. Nevertheless, I think this signals that a shift in my personality has occurred. I find that very interesting.

So, I decided to read though all the versions of my “nearby” personalities: ENTJ and ENTP, INTJ and INTP. From them, I am quite sure that I am indeed an introvert – the ENTJ and ENTP profiles did not sound much like me (although one parts did ring true). Between mostly INTJ and INTP, I have compiled some of the statements that I feel most accurately reflect who I am. I am interested in the opinions of others as to whether you think these statements are, on a whole and individually, true about me.

To outsiders, INTJs may appear to project an aura of “definiteness”, of self-confidence. This self-confidence, sometimes mistaken for simple arrogance by the less decisive, is actually of a very specific rather than a general nature; its source lies in the specialized knowledge systems that most INTJs start building at an early age. When it comes to their own areas of expertise — and INTJs can have several — they will be able to tell you almost immediately whether or not they can help you, and if so, how. INTJs know what they know, and perhaps still more importantly, they know what they don’t know.

The last sentence rings especially true to me.

Precise about their descriptions, INTPs will often correct others (or be sorely tempted to) if the shade of meaning is a bit off. While annoying to the less concise, this fine discrimination ability gives INTPs so inclined a natural advantage as, for example, grammarians and linguists.

I am not, however, so inclined.

INTJs are perfectionists, with a seemingly endless capacity for improving upon anything that takes their interest. What prevents them from becoming chronically bogged down in this pursuit of perfection is the pragmatism so characteristic of the type: INTJs apply (often ruthlessly) the criterion “Does it work?” to everything from their own research efforts to the prevailing social norms. This in turn produces an unusual independence of mind, freeing the INTJ from the constraints of authority, convention, or sentiment for its own sake.

I don’t consider myself a perfectionist; nevertheless, I can almost endlessly tweak things to make them better.

INTPs are relatively easy-going and amenable to most anything until their principles are violated, about which they may become outspoken and inflexible. They prefer to return, however, to a reserved albeit benign ambiance, not wishing to make spectacles of themselves.

I get along with most people, but I can become very stubborn if you try to get me to do something I don’t want to do.

In the broadest terms, what INTJs “do” tends to be what they “know”. Typical INTJ career choices are in the sciences and engineering, but they can be found wherever a combination of intellect and incisiveness are required (e.g., law, some areas of academia). INTJs can rise to management positions when they are willing to invest time in marketing their abilities as well as enhancing them, and (whether for the sake of ambition or the desire for privacy) many also find it useful to learn to simulate some degree of surface conformism in order to mask their inherent unconventionality.

I especially like the term “inherent unconventionality.”

ENTPs are usually verbally as well as cerebrally quick, and generally love to argue–both for its own sake, and to show off their often-impressive skills. They tend to have a perverse sense of humor as well, and enjoy playing devil’s advocate. They sometimes confuse, even inadvertently hurt, those who don’t understand or accept the concept of argument as a sport.

I have been known to turn people off with my over-argumentativeness.

Personal relationships, particularly romantic ones, can be the INTJ’s Achilles heel. While they are capable of caring deeply for others (usually a select few), and are willing to spend a great deal of time and effort on a relationship, the knowledge and self-confidence that make them so successful in other areas can suddenly abandon or mislead them in interpersonal situations.

This happens in part because many INTJs do not readily grasp the social rituals; for instance, they tend to have little patience and less understanding of such things as small talk and flirtation (which most types consider half the fun of a relationship). To complicate matters, INTJs are usually extremely private people, and can often be naturally impassive as well, which makes them easy to misread and misunderstand. Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense. :-) This sometimes results in a peculiar naivete’, paralleling that of many Fs — only instead of expecting inexhaustible affection and empathy from a romantic relationship, the INTJ will expect inexhaustible reasonability and directness.

I think this is soooo true. I think the dating rituals suck. Why must all this mystery pervade it? Bah…

In my self-analysis, I lean towards the INTJ side, but I also pull in a good amount of INTP and a bit of ENTP. Perhaps my personality is changing, but the change I think is slight and I still feel fairly well rooted in an INTJ framework. Nevertheless, I’m glad for the latest test, allowing me to see what other characteristics might apply to me.

One Response to “A Changing Personality?”

  1. jason Says:

    You hit the big problem with psychological tests. They need to demonstrate measured reliablity and validity. Personality tests can be bad on both. I’m no expert, but I don’t think the Meyers-Briggs (I think that’s the test you took, at least it is one that does though Jungian types) is consider to be too a great a measurement tool.

    It’s still interesting though.

    Have you listened to dillinger escape plan yet?

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