Hey, Babe--what's your type?
Hey, Babe, What’s Your Type?
I’m taking an online class. I knew it was my Destiny, because it began on Saturday morning, exactly one day after I turned in my current novel. The second reason I knew it was my Destiny is that the instructor asked us to play a little game to get to know one another. She asked us to take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality inventory.
Myers-Briggs! Why, by strange coincidence, in my current novel I created a guy who likes to Myers-Briggs everyone he meets. So I’ve had Myers-Briggs on the brain and happen to know already that I’m an INFP. (As I'm sure you've guessed.)
The test, FYI, has been around since 1942, but I first heard of it when my big sister Mary was in graduate school studying psychology. Mary tested the whole family one Christmas, thus giving us a scientific excuse for losing at Scrabble, or eating too much stuffing. Prior to that, we’d had to rely on the old, “I can’t help it, my Moon’s in Capricorn.” Or it could be that I'm confusing the Myers-Briggs (MBTI) with the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), which Mary also liked a lot.
What’s the difference? Allow me to enlighten you! (Blogging as a way to use up research leftovers.)
The Myers-Briggs simply tells you which Jungian personality type you are, in a “nobody’s better than anyone else, we’re all just different, so group hug” tone. It defines how we absorb information and reach conclusions. Ever wonder how you can watch a presidential debate and think, “I wouldn’t trust that moron to open his own breakfast cereal box” while your next door neighbor is out putting up yard signs with the moron's picture on them? Myers-Briggs can explain it. Plus, the short version can be done in minutes, which makes it suitable for picking up people in bars. (“hey, baby, what’s an ESFJ like you doing in a place like this?”) The questions are simple and to the point, as in, True or False: It’s difficult to get you excited.
The MMPI, on the other hand, takes hours and will tell you if you’re a sociopath. It can also diagnose mental dullness, brooding, interpersonal suspiciousness, gastrointestinal complaints and being misunderstood (all of which happen to me when I need a nap.) The MMPI is not so good for hitting on people in bars, because hearing a “yes” answer to the following questions will often discourage flirtation:
“I see things or animals or people around me that others do not see.”
“I commonly hear voices without knowing where they are coming from.”
“At times I have fits of laughing and crying that I cannot control.”
“My soul sometimes leaves my body.”
To me, these tests are simply a more scholarly version of the old Cosmo Girl Quizzes, like, “Are You in The Right Profession? What Your Hair Tells You About Your Secret Passions” or Dr. Phil’s “Ten Ways To Know If Your Husband is Cheating.” I cannot resist them. I even want to take the free Scientology Personality Test, but I fear being told I have none. (Catholics don’t require personality tests).
Okay, and not to brag or anything, but I share my INFP status with Mr. Rogers, Princess Diana and Homer (not Simpson; the other one). Also Shakespeare, Mother Theresa and Saint Luke. Apparently we all answered yes to the question, “I feel involved when watching TV soaps.”
So, babe – what’s your type? To find out, go to:
(Oh: what online class am I taking? Can’t tell you. I'm an introvert.)