Iíve been fascinated by MBTI and other personality typing for a long time. Iíve taken countless MBTI tests, and often get different results. Frequently, I am very close to the middle between types. (ďAmbiversionĒ seems more appropriate for me than extroversion or introversion.) Perhaps I think too hard about the questions, or have trouble separating how I ďreallyĒ am from how I strive to be. Often the questions seem too black and white, since I react and feel differently depending on the situation.
I filled out this questionnaire and have included a link to photos. Iíve felt unsure of my type for years, and Iíd love to hear your thoughts.
I apologize in advance for the lengthiness of my answers!
1. What is beauty? What is love?
While itís tempting to make blanket statements or try to find universal truths/definitions, I think the world and life are often too messy for that. The definitions of beauty and love vary from person to person, and between different situations. I suppose to me, beauty is a general term to describe what I am drawn to. Love is respect, a craving for oneness, and a desire to fully understand.
I would probably answer this differently a year from now, and maybe even ten minutes from now.
2. What are your most important values?
Altruism, awareness, environmentalism, humor, intelligence, growth, openness, passion, learning, compassion, empathy, respect, understanding, thoughtfulness, peace, originality, authenticity.
3. Do you have any sort of spiritual/religious beliefs, and why do you hold (or don't) those beliefs in the first place?
Juryís out on this one. I want to believe in a universality, that we can have positive effects on others, and that I will be somehow one with everyone I have loved when I die. Sometimes I take comfort in science, and other times I feel sad that maybe I canít be with my loved ones forever. Sometimes I feel that there must be some sort of spiritual web or connection, but then I suspect itís wishful thinking.
4. Opinion on war and militaries? What is power to you?
Itís idiotic and people should behave decently. We should all be taking care of each other. Itís not right to hurt others.
When I think about ďpower,Ē I think about the abuse of power. I have very negative associations with the term.
5. What have you had long conversations about? What are your interests? Why?
Iíve had long conversations about people, relationships, animals, dreams, films, art, books, the human brain, body image, feminism, music, society, ideas, evolution, religion, meditation, ADHD, PCOS, depression, environmental responsibility, colors, education, psychology, history, science, personal experiences, and lots of other things I canít remember right now.
Iím interested in all of those things, obviously. Iím especially interested in the natural world, emotion, psychology (of people and animals), music, and the subconscious. I think I want to have a clearer picture of what it means to be human, our relationship with the world and other species, patterns, how everything fits together, etc. Iím interested in the duality (and non-duality) of things. I want to understand myself better, and my place in the whole.
6. Interested in health/medicine as a conversation topic? Are you focused on your body?
Yes, to a degree. I think the focus on my body relates heavily to my own medical issues and how I can address these issues. I also have struggled with body image and disliking my body, so thereís an emotional focus as well. As Iíve grown older, Iíve tried to focus less on this dislike and more on why I feel this way (society, upbringing, psychological, etc.). I try to eat in a healthy and responsible way. Iím fairly interested in the body as a wholeóhow all of the various parts and systems work together and affect each other in complex ways that weíre still learning about.
Iím not a hugely ďphysicalĒ person in traditional ways. I dislike ďworking out,Ē (though I donít mind hiking, gardening) and can be quite clumsy and unaware of my body in space.
7. What do you think of daily chores?
At home, I hate them, although Iím very dutiful about daily chores that involve caring for my pets. When I get busy or distracted (or because Iíd rather be in the same room as my husband) I tend to let dishes stack up. In these cases, I put off chores until I feel too guilty or am worried that my negligence is negatively affecting others. Iím terrible at dealing with mail or bills at homeóI am easily capable of neglecting them or forgetting all about them. I get overwhelmed by financial affairs. I prefer things to be in a state of order, but 75 percent of the time my home doesnít reflect that. Sometimes this bothers me a great deal, and other times Iím completely comfortable with it.
At work, Iím very good about keeping things clean and organized. I get stressed out if I donít have time to stay on top of chores that keep my work environment running smoothly.
In both environments, I prefer that everyone share equally in duties. However, if things are getting gross or out of control, I am likely to just deal with it myself rather than wait for someone else to do it, even when I know itís their responsibility.
8. Books or films you liked? Recently read/watched or otherwise. Examples welcome.
This is too huge of a question. How about authors? Hemingway, Dostoevsky, Vonnegut, Cheever, Bronte, Salinger, Flannery OíConnor. Films: 2001: A Space Odyssey, Moon, A Serious Man, The Royal Tenenbaums, Jaws, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Best in Show, Wet Hot American Summer, Things to Do, Days of Heaven, The Graduate, The Seventh Seal.
9. What has made you cry? What has made you smile? Why?
I cry when I get angry, especially regarding injustices. I might cry when I feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and when I am disgusted by or disappointed in myself. I also cry when I think I have let down a person whom I respect and/or love. Sometimes I cry when Iím very happy, and I think this falls into the ďbeing overwhelmedĒ category.
I smile when I find other people amusing or humorous. I smile when things overwhelm me in a positive way (music, art, film, beautiful environments, wind, storms, etc.). I smile a lot when I am with people I have missedómy face hurts from smiling after a few hours with my sister. I only get to see her a few times a year, and sheís one of my favorite people ever.
I smile a lot when Iím watching animals, often when Iím watching children, and when I am at a live music event.
10. Where do you feel: at one with the environment/a sense of belonging?
Outside, often away from people. I feel a sense of belonging on rivers and streams, in the woods, on rocks, etc. I also feel a strong sense of belonging playing music or singing with others. I feel very comfortable with animals. I also find comfort in sitting/lying on the floor, hiding in nooks/crannies, being in attics, and hanging out in libraries. Sometimes I feel most peaceful in very sparse, clean environments. Other times I feel energized and happiest in messy, busy environments.
11. What have people seen as your weaknesses? What do you dislike about yourself?
Some people see me as intimidating or controlling, but in reality Iím a softie and something of a push-over. Some might call me too sensitive or too liberal. I get bored with detailed, repetitive tasks, so sometimes I procrastinate.
I dislike my fear of confrontation. Itís something Iíve been working to overcome. (If I donít let myself mull over it first, if itís something that happens spontaneously, I may not have a problem confronting others. I also donít have a fear of confrontation on othersí behalf.) At home I can be very disorganized. Iím forgetful. Sometimes I donít push myself enough, and other times I take on too much responsibility. My quest to be authentic fights with my other characteristics, and I often feel torn in two directions.
12. What have people seen as your strengths? What do you like about yourself?
I think people think Iím creative, original, and somewhat smart, and I like my desire for learning. People have come to me for advice, so I suppose I might exhibit good judgment at times. Often people will remark that I have brought something to their attention that they hadnít considered before, and I think Iím good at looking at situations from multiple points of view. I think I work hard, am fair-minded, and am unafraid to rescue/care for living things that need help. I think Iím really good at addressing problems and finding solutions and/or improvements.
13. In what areas of your life would you like help?
Iíd like to feel less anxiousóto feel less inwardly chaotic when itís time to relax. Iíd like to feel less torn between things, or able to better accept dualities.
14. Ever feel stuck in a rut? If yes, describe the causes and your reaction to it.
Rarely. I have a wide range of hobbies and interests, and tend to keep things varied. Boredom is confusing to me, when there are so many things to learn about in the world.
15. What qualities do you most like and dislike in other people? What types do you get along with?
I like many kinds of people, because I am interested in our differences and similarities. I am particularly drawn to intelligent people. This doesnít mean the most travelled person or the person with the most formal education; itís more about creativity, understanding, curiosity, etc. I like people who get excited about things, but donít dislike those who donít. I find that Iím very drawn to people who are sarcastic or have dark senses of humor. I often like people who are brusque or have ďhardĒ exteriors, especially if they have underlying softer qualities (kindness, sensitivities, etc.)
I try very hard to separate disliking specific qualities from disliking an actual person.
I struggle with people who donít question anythingóthe types who keep doing things the same way because itís always been done that way. I feel a mix of anger and pity toward people who are bigoted. I try to understand their viewpoints and the reasons behind closed-mindedness (fear, childhood environment, relationships, etc.), but I get very frustrated by the refusal to consider things in different ways.
I also dislike it when people are inconsiderate of others. Again, I look for reasons behind rude behaviors and try to understand why a person is behaving that way, but it bothers me a great deal. I grow angriest when a person is being rude or inconsiderate of othersóI can better handle when people are rude to me than when people are rude to others.
Fixations on wealth and power make me uncomfortable.
16. How do you feel about romance/sex? What qualities do you want in a partner?
I feel good about both. I want a partner to be my best friend, someone I can work and laugh with. I want intelligence and creativity. I want my partner to challenge me to be the best that I can, to push me to be independent, and to be a positive and stable presence in my life.
17. If you were to raise a child, what would be your main concerns, what measures would you take, and why?
Itís probably worth noting that despite our good health and sufficient financial situation, my partner and I have decided not to have children. There are many reasons for this, but if I had to select three they would be 1) environmental, 2) feeling guilty/selfish about bringing another person into the world when so many existing children live in such need, and 3) I already feel very fulfilled in my Ďfamilyí life.
That being said, if I were to raise a child, I would want to provide an environment that allowed the child to be an individual and pursue the path best for him/her. I would want to foster an environment that promoted tolerance, open-mindedness, curiosity, social responsibility, kindness, and a hunger for knowledge. I would try to serve as an example of these qualities, while providing opportunities to explore the world and take part in charity or volunteer work. The measures I would take would depend heavily on the personality of my childósomething that might work for one child obviously doesnít always work for another.
18. A friend makes a claim that clashes with your current beliefs. What is your inward and outward reaction?
Inwardly, I would feel disappointed, like I had misjudged them and thus let myself down. I might feel worried. If the claim were particularly abhorrent to me, I might feel disgusted and tempted to withdraw somewhat from the relationship. I would also wonder why they felt that particular way, if that belief was firm or flexible, and if it would be possible to find a middle ground.
Outwardly, unless the claim was just illogically outrageous (in which case I would express surprise), I would probably question them about the claim. Why do they feel that way? What examples can they provide that back up their point? Can they understand or accept the viewpoints of others? Can they accept my beliefs as part of who I am? My outward reaction would be one of questioning and prodding.
19. Describe your relationship to society. How do you see people as a whole? What do you consider a prevalent social problem? Name one.
I think some lyrics from Kimya Dawsonís song ďI Like GiantsĒ might sum it up best:
ďWhen I go for a drive I like to pull off to the side
Of the road, turn out the lights, get out and look up at the sky
And I do this to remind me that I'm really, really tiny
In the grand scheme of things and sometimes this terrifies me
But it's only really scary cause it makes me feel serene
In a way I never thought I'd be because I've never been
So grounded, and so humbled, and so one with everything
I am grounded, I am humbled, I am one with everything
We all become important when we realize our goal
Should be to figure out our role within the context of the whole
And yeah, rock and roll is fun, but if you ever hear someone
Say you are huge, look at the moon, look at the stars, look at the sun
Look at the ocean and the desert and the mountains and the sky
I am just a speck of dust inside a giant's eye
And I don't wanna make her cry
Cause I like giantsĒ
I think there are a ton of prevalent social problems. Some of the ones Iíve been worried about lately include economic inequality, apathy, defunding of education systems, prejudice, and the use of unethical materials/processes to make products we consume daily.
20. How do you choose your friends and how do you behave around them?
I donít know about the concept of choosing my friendsóitís always seemed much more organic and natural than that. Iíve been/lived places where I didnít really feel like I clicked or had close connections with anyone, and Iíve also been places where I clicked with people in a magnetic way.
I tend to be very joking and sarcastic with my friends, and also very protective and supportive of them. Iím likely to sit patiently and listen to their problems and give advice before venting myself. My friendships have tended to be creative in nature, heavy in communication, and oftentimes silly and humorous. I sometimes feel like I know my friends better than they know me.
21. How do you behave around strangers?
In small groups, Iím usually reserved at first, until I get a feel for the othersí personalities. I listen carefully. It depends on the group. I tend to be more reserved and awkward around women, and this is intensified in social situations (I tend to be more outgoing in professional situations). There have been circumstances, however, where I have instantly ďclickedĒ with strangers in a small group and felt comfortable with them.
If I perceive that a stranger is uncomfortable around me, I try to seem more approachable. I feel comfortable addressing large groups of strangers, even spur of the moment. I will be very bold and comfortable around strangers if I witness or hear something that seems wrong to meóa dog shut in a hot car in a parking lot, for example.