My Personality Confuses Me


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I think I must have a very confusing personality.

I recently took the Myers-Briggs personality test again.  I score moderately or strongly in two areas (intuition and judging).  But two of the areas I score almost exactly in the middle (extroverted and feeling).

The one that really confuses me is the introverted/extroverted one.  Why?  I took this test several years ago and I was introverted.  I took this test a couple weeks ago, and I was extroverted.  What?

When I'm in groups that I don't feel comfortable, or where I'm not sure I really belong, I am an introvert.  I also recharge with time by myself, which is an introverted thing.

However, I've always liked to get out and do things. I like social interaction, I like having events to look forward to.   I love parties.  I'm usually the one to set up gatherings with friends.  When I'm in a group where I'm comfortable, I talk a lot and carry the conversation at times.  All that points to extrovert.

Confusing much?

Then, I read this post, and I realized that I am actually a classic ambivert!

Ambivert: A person who is moderately comfortable with groups and social interaction, but also relishes time alone, away from a crowd.

This makes sense, because I was only 1% more extroverted than introverted on the test.

I think when I was a teenager I was definitely more of an introverted ambivert.  I liked doing things in groups, but I often felt awkward and quiet when I was actually there (unless it was a group that I had been a part of for years - then I felt more comfortable).

Now I think I'm more of an extroverted ambivert.  I need my alone time and I still feel a little weird in new groups, but I love getting out and doing things in groups and making new friends, and I don't mind being the initiator.

Thinking over this I also realized that I think the majority of my friends are introverts, or extroverts who aren't over the top.  I think there are two types of extroverts:

Group 1 - Extroverts that are very extroverted and border on overbearing/pushy.  Over-the-top extroverts can make me feel uncomfortable. 

Group 2 - Extroverts who are skilled at making others feel comfortable and drawing people into conversation.  I really like extroverts who focus on making people feel comfortable or included.  I actually married a member of this group.

I think more than anything my switch from introverted to extroverted has to do with me just growing up and becoming more comfortable in my own skin.  I'm comfortable with who I am now - when I was a teenager I was still figuring it out.  I've also figured out my type of people, the people who make me feel like myself.  I didn't know those people when I was a teenager.  Now I can spot "my kind of people" pretty easily, and those are the people I hang out with.  

Between knowing who I am better, and knowing what kind of people make me feel comfortable, that inner extrovert who was dying to get out all those years has made an appearance.  

Moral of the story?  People don't always fit into a box.  According to this website, all four of my potential personality combinations (considering I scored close to the middle in two categories) are "extremely rare" at 1-4% of the population.  Since I don't even fit into the "extremely rare" categories nicely, I'm assuming my personality is "extremely, extremely rare".  

But I have a feeling that everyone is "extremely, extremely rare" in some aspect of their personality.  No one fits perfectly into any one category, and even people who score exactly the same on these tests are still going to be different.  I like that.  What an imagination God has.

Second moral to the story?  Being a teenager is hard.  But hang in there, because things get much better once you hit your twenties.

P.S. If anyone is wondering, I'm officially proclaiming that the INFJ personality description here appears to get closest to my actual personality.
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Amanda said...

I've never taken a Myers-Briggs test, but I've read about them and think it would be interesting to take. We can all learn a lot about ourselves and those closest to us by using them. I've only ever taken a DISC personality profile through church.

LeAnna said...

This actually explains a lot about me, too. I took the test and it said I was INFP, but a lot of that was confusing to me. There are times when I really enjoy social interaction, but more often than not, I appreciate the quiet. I'd say I'm an introvert with ambivert moments. ;) I also agree, people can't fit into boxes, personality or not!

Bethany Rose said...

As you were explaining your different "personalities" with different groups, I was thinking "That's me, that's me!" Growing up I had two groups of people I spent time with. One group thought I was insanely quiet and shy where they other group would tell you I never shut up. Clearly the second group I was more comfortable in. Now that I am older this is a little different, but I would definitely consider myself an ambivert!

Lauren said...

Girl, I am right there with you! Everyone thinks I'm so extroverted because I tend to be a little bit of a loud-talker--but I really HATE small talk and being in big groups of people where I don't know hardly anyone. Work events are the worst because I feel like I have to sit there and talk with people I barely know...give me a small group of ladies who I love and adore any day of the week!

Devon P said...

I've always been an ENFJ on the Myers-Briggs but only score like 55% E over I, so also have some very introverted traits. I agree - personality is an impossible thing to categorize!

Felicia said...

I tend to be more introverted, but I am closer to ambivert, like you. I don't know what my Myers-Briggs personality type is, but I've taken a DISC assessment a couple times, and I'm an SC (you can look it up here if you care to know more - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DISC_assessment).

Rebecca Lobb said...

Where do you do this test?

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