Tillerman just cranked out over a thousand words to prove to himself that he is the INTJ that Myers Briggs personality testing told him he was, not the ESPN (or whatever) that Typealyzer says his writing suggests he is. That INTJ or ESPN designation can be a comforting source of identity that reminds us who we are. It tells us how we approach other people and life situations.
Perhaps the results of personality tests should be printed on a little card that could be put into our wallets next to our driver’s license and social security cards. They’d surely provide more useful information about any “real” identity than height, weight, hair color, eye color, and last known address.
The personality card would be a handy reference for ourselves. In times of trouble and soul crippling crisis, we could refer to it for guidance as to how our particular personality type should proceed. If we can read the road map that is encrypted in those four letters - ESPN – we will find a way through our dilemma. Our personality will approach the situation in this general way of that general way.
But is this understanding of “who we are” descriptive or prescriptive? If it describes us, it only helps us understand our behavior in the past. It tells us which of our inner tools we prefer to use or have preferred in the past. If we apply the same toolkit to new situations, aren’t we likely to get the same results? Doesn’t it take some “out of character” act to avoid living in the endless loop of Groundhog Day?
According to one personality typing theory I have read, Personality Types - Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery, personalities are somewhat more of a limitation than an asset. As we get older and healthier, we tend to demonstrate a wider variety of personality characteristics. If there is a goal, it is to achieve a balance between the types, giving us access to all the tools and allowing us to use the right one for the job. By that logic, it is a very good thing to get somewhat different results on different tests. (And it has to be good to frustrate the testers!)
I’m sure that Tillerman was the most entertaining of all possible IT managers, but I wonder if his old business world friends would guess that Tillerman and their old friend inhabited the same body. I suspect that in Proper Course he uses some inner tools that weren’t in his briefcase and that some of his work devices don’t get as much use as before.
For my money, I give as much credence to Typealyzer as the Meyers Briggs test. There is no reason both can’t be pretty accurate – or completely full of crap. If Tillerman has been tagged with some new letters now so as to be an alphabet soup of personality, it’s a credit to his complexity, versatility, and mental health.
In this case, the words of Walt Whitman apply to our blogmaster: “I am large. I contain multitudes.”
Yarg, a humble INTP