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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI)

My good friend Deacon Tara Jernigan has posted on her blog, Free Range Anglican, a whimsical piece on Myers- Briggs personality types and running her household titled Myers Briggs and Marriage. In that vein, above is a chart of logos and pithy slogans about each personality type --- you can even buy a tee shirt of your type.

I have always enjoyed taking the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and seeing how I have changed over time. The first time my wife Gale and I took the Indicator some twenty-five years ago I came out as an ENFP and she as an ISFJ -- so we were (are) almost total opposites, giving truth to the axiom that “opposites attract”. Each time I’ve subsequently taken the MBTI I have moved toward the Introversion side of the axis. On the other hand Gale claims that Christian culture is one of forced Extroversion – introverts are forced out of their “shells” so to speak. They are not allowed to stay introverts unless they want to be counter cultural and risk being stigmatized by the prevailing cultural norm.

Back in the day when I began the ordination process we were required to take the MBTI. We went away on an overnight retreat in Greensburg. The Rev. Karen Stevenson, then a lay person, did a teaching on personality types and then we each discussed our personality type in a small group. I remember we had this wag in our group who explained that it wasn’t so much his” T-ness” that defined him but his “P-ness”. It's hard to understand, but for some unknown reason he washed out early in the ordination process. Unfortunately, I never worked in a setting where we’ve used the Indicator to help the staff understand each other.

A few weeks back the Rev Canon Dr. Mark Pearson visited our parish for a healing mission. I bought his book on Myers-Briggs personality types from the perspective of the Christian faith, “Why Can't I Be Me?: Understanding How Personality Type Affects Emotional Healing, Relationships, and Spiritual Growth” I hope to read it soon.

If you would like to take the MBTI, you can do so online, click here

1 comment:

  1. I took it and you can tell Gale that I'm an ISFJ too.

    Apparently we are in the company of Teresa of Avila, Robert E. Lee, "Bloody Mary" and William Howard Taft! Now there's a interesting roundtable for you.