28 December, 2009

Gaining Insight (Part I.5)

I am not sure I'm ready to go all the way to Part II yet, so you get Part I.5. I am not sure that's the proper notation of an interim data point, when one is using Roman numerals. Perhaps I am on to Part I.V. Or Part I.II.

As you probably recall, I've been a personality-test freak for a long time, and have written blogs about it, and encouraged all my friends to take surveys as well. My favorites are the Enneagram and the Myers-Briggs (Jung) tests. As with many of the tests out there, I tend to fall kind of close to the borderline on certain criteria, though for the most part, I have always assumed that I am either a 6 or a 3 on the Enneagram, and either an ENTJ or an ENTP on the Myers-Briggs. If I had to say what I most often tested, or what I have identified myself as being, it would be a 6/ENTJ.

However, on the Myers-Briggs there are always a lot of questions that I have a hard time answering, and on which I doubt my responses. I would read the question, and in many cases, answer what I think I should be, as opposed to how I actually am. In fact, on a few occasions, I have had my results come out as ESTJ or ENFP. All sorts of variations. The Enneagram, on the other hand, almost always says that 6 is my highest score, and I don't have much difficult answering those questions that result in me winding up there, much as I am not thrilled about that outcome.

Then I was poking around online, and found some mappings of Myers-Briggs to Enneagram, which stated the most common Myers-Briggs associated with each Enneagram (I recognize that this represents an extremely self-absorbed, narcissistic expenditure of time and energy, but I am going to think of it as "introspection" rather than those ugly traits). And what I found was the people who are 6's are always F on the Myers-Briggs. There are a few different types that map to the 6, but they always contain F. And this made me wonder... maybe those times that I came out F on the test were not "flukes" but were actually the only accurate readings of my type?

All this time I have been assuming that I am a T and that there was simply no question about it.

Then I thought about it some more and realized that, although I do analyze everything, and I do spend massive amounts of time "applying logic", in the end, when it comes time to make a decision, I am very likely to discard my findings if they do not support what my gut feeling is telling me. In the end, I often abandon all of the analysis, and make a choice. It's better, of course, if my gut maps to what the data told me. But when it hasn't, I have readily discarded it. And to top it off, after I make this "gut" decision, I will then commence another round of analysis and logic, designed to rationalize or justify my decision! So, to an outsider (who doesn't pay that close attention), it looks like I am logic, logic, logic. But not really.

I don't know what this means. I think it might be relevant to my happiness and my understanding of self, though. Not sure how. But it seems that if I've been operating with an incorrect model of "self", that it might be difficult for me to get where I need to be. Because I continually try to fit all of my experiences into an understanding that does not take into account key facets of my inner workings. So, I'm trying to sit with this, and "recast" myself as the ENFP or ESFP (or ENFJ or ESFJ, though I don't think so on those). I don't want to dwell in this to the point of mental masturbation, but I feel like I should at least try it on for size, and see if my behavior and my internal workings are more consistent with this understanding of self.

1 comment:

  1. So, as it turns out, the only outsider was you. I think you're the only one who had yourself fooled that your decisions were based on logic. =)