I high school, I remember having to take the Meyers-Briggs personality indicator…or something along those lines. I think it was to help us plan for a career, although the reason for taking the survey is less clear to me than the results.
The first time I took it, I was an INFP. The second time? An ENFP. The NFP part was clearly tilted in those directions, but the I and the E were only a few points apart. And, obviously, the results shifted between the first survey and the second.
So, what were the I and the E? Introverted versus extroverted. Pretty big difference in personality…right?
Anyway, the second time, when it indicated extroverted, I was happy. Our society tends to favor the extrovert, often being wary of introverts. Sometimes going so far as to describe them as “weird” or “loners.”
Now? Now I do not fear being introverted. I am strong enough to face any judgement that may come from this. But the question remains…which AM I, really?
I thought about this on vacation. Towards the end, The Dad took the boys swimming for about an hour while I stayed in the room to work out, do yoga and read a bit. It was amazing. Being alone for a time really filled me up (which is the very definition of introversion). After that time, I was ready to race down to the pool to see my family. Full of joy and ready to go.
I quickly recalled last summer. We counsel a high school church camp, so there are lots of late nights, chats and nearly 24/7 interaction. And? Well, I slept only a few hours each night and was so full and ready to face each day! (Which is not like me!) I just felt myself feeding off of these people and these connections (which is how extroverts “fuel themselves”). In fact, last summer, I had just about decided we needed to live in an apartment with other families where we can be constantly interacting with each other.
Oh…and I may have the extroverted trait of being talkative. Maybe.
So, which am I?
I don’t know that I have the answer. The best I can figure is that there are cycles in my life and, depending on where I am, I may shift from more extroverted to more introverted. And I’m okay with that.
By the way, guess what career is named as excellent for both INFP’s and ENFP’s? (And guess what career I NEVER considered in high school?)
Either way, I guess it was meant to be.