thoughts on the myers-briggs personality test

Sometimes I think that all writing is egotistical. Because everything I write, I write out of fear, or love, or anger, or sadness, or just some other emotion. Everything I write, and to a larger extent, everything everyone writes, is based off of some experience that he or she had in the past. And this blog is mostly just myself writing because simply thinking about something isn’t enough.

But then I remember that self-awareness and self-assessment even is an extremely important thing to possess, especially if one wishes to do good in the world.

So going off of that, here’s another small post about my introversion and how maybe something has changed.

This summer, I attended the Kenyon Young Writers Program, which, I’m positive, is the most amazing two weeks any young writer could spend (except maybe Hogwarts). Waking up at 7:30 and going to sleep at around 11:30, we wrote incessantly, having workshops for (I think) 5 hours everyday. Despite needing two cups of coffee every day in order to function, I still found myself being energized enough to hang out with the friends I met there. We could talk for hours and hours on end, and even though at two a.m. my eyes would feel like lead, I still wanted to talk to them.

This experience made me question my introversion, which, as Myers-Briggs told me, was 90% of my mind.

I wondered how I could’ve felt so energized around friends I’ve known only for days, when back home (or back at school), one of the things I look forward to the most is my evening runs alone. I wondered if our measurement of introvert/extrovert was arbitrary, or if I had a tendency for mood swings that affects my interactions with other people.

I think what made Kenyon different was the people. Everyone I met there was filled with so much passion for writing and was genuinely nice, and even though I’ve only known them for two weeks, it feels like I’ve known them for years. It dawned on me that Kenyon was the first time that I really met people who shared my passion. Growing up in China, most of my peers were submerged under a sea of homework while balancing playing the piano or violin. Here in a small boarding school in Alabama, I haven’t met anyone who’s passionate about writing and storytelling. I’ve never realized how much I missed meeting other aspiring writers until I’ve met them.

Trying to put ourselves into these boxes can be insightful yet exhausting. I’ve taken the Myers-Briggs test around five to six times over the span of about 5 years, and I’ve always got INFJ. While the descriptions of this personality type were extremely accurate, I now know that there are limitations to the extent that these tests can bring, and solely focusing on the results and interpretations might result in pressure to fit inside these boxes.

I’m not saying that these personalities tests are necessarily bad for you, on the contrary, they can be quite insightful. After I took the test, I realized parts of myself through the words of others, and it was a great experience. I guess what I’m trying to say is that we shouldn’t try to force ourselves into the framework of these tests, when sometimes, we might not fit after all.

im an advocate!

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