The Pitfalls of Being an ENTJ Blogger

Dangers of Being a Myers-Briggs ENTJ BloggerBefore we were married, our pastor gave Keith and me personality inventory tests, called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). I’m a Myers-Briggs ENTJ. Keith’s an ESTJ. I’ll explain what those are in a minute.

In Christian circles, we’re used to personality quizzes, but there are often only 4 types. Or 5. Or 9. Myers-Briggs gives 16. Oh, yeah, baby.

And they’re so much fun! Once you figure them out, you spend your life analyzing everybody else. My daughter’s favourite pastime at university is trying to figure out what all her friends are.

You’ve probably seen some of the graphics of the Myers Briggs types by movie/TV show. I’m Mary on Downton Abbey. I’m Theodin in Lord of the Rings. I’m Princess Leia in Star Wars. Basically, I’m bossy.

Here’s how it breaks down.

Myers Briggs marks everyone on four scales:

Extrovert/Introvert: Do you get your energy from being with people, or from being alone? When you need to think something through, do you call a friend, or go for a walk yourself? Contrary to popular belief, extrovert doesn’t mean “life of the party”. Many introverts are great at parties. But it’s where you get your energy from.

Sensing/Intuiting: Do you like detail, or are you a big picture person? Do you like taking things apart and figuring them out, or dreaming up new ways of doing things? Do you like following a pattern or creating your own?

Thinking/Feeling: Do you make decisions based on logic, or based on emotion? Are you most likely to concentrate on what’s “right”, or to focus on relationships?

Judging/Perceiving: Do you like being organized, with lists and plans, or would you rather be spontaneous and go with the flow?

Worst Things About Being a Myers Briggs ENTJ Blogger

Now, that’s a HUGE simplification of the MBTI personality system, and to actually figure out your type it’s best to take a long test. Lots of them are available online (just Google it), and my daughter spends her life getting friends to take them, but as my mother, who is actually certified in Myers-Briggs Type says, you really are supposed to take it from someone who knows what they’re talking about. That’s why I can’t actually link to one, or I’d be violating the family code. But seriously, just Google it. :)

So anyway, I’m an ENTJ, which means I’m an Extrovert-Intuitive-Thinking-Judging type. I’m the executive. I’m the idea person. I’m the CEO. Only 1% of females are ENTJs, but there are three in my immediate family alone: me, my oldest daughter, and my aunt. My uncle is one, too. But he’s not female. (I guess that didn’t need to be said.)

An ENTJ’s biggest pet peeves are inefficiency and stupidity. We thrive on trying to make things better. Our mantra is, “just because it’s always been done this way doesn’t mean it can’t be improved! And I’m just the one to tell you how to do that!” Basically we drive everyone else nuts.

Winston Churchill was an ENTJ. So was Maggie Thatcher. So, unfortunately, was Hitler, which just proves that Myers Briggs says nothing about VALUES and only about PERSONALITY. One type is not inherently better than another.

Here’s our family:

Myers Briggs Family--and ENTJ Females

My husband is an ESTJ, which means that he’s far more loyal to established procedure than I am. I’m always trying to shake up things around us, including church, and he reins me in. He’s good for me. But other than that, we’re pretty much the same.

Then there’s my poor youngest daughter, the cuddly, feely one in this family of TJs. Pray for her. :)

Anyway, I just love this personality stuff, and I know there are some closet MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Inventory) people out there reading this, so leave a comment and tell me what type you are, too! I’d love to know.

But in the meantime, I thought I’d share with you some hard truths about me as a blogger that you may not know. Of course there are wonderful things about being an ENTJ Blogger (and I’ll likely blog about that soon!), but everyone likes hearing about the difficult things more. It somehow seems more fun to hear the bad stuff! So here goes:

1. To an ENTJ Blogger, Nothing is Ever “Done”

The biggest problem with being an ENTJ is that we always need to improve things. And because we have so many ideas in our heads, we can never just rest, thinking, “I’ve finished”. After Christmas, when I should have been writing a book proposal, I decided to redo my sidebar because it was bugging me. That led to me redoing the way I do ads. Which led to me creating a spreadsheet to tell if I was using the right ad companies. And so on, and so on.

Some people love working by lists, but that’s never worked for me, because if I were to list everything that I wanted to do, I’d never finish. I lived like that for two years as a blogger. I could never get away from my computer! There was always one more thing to do.

Now I do work hours. I work from 7-3, everyday. And then I stop. The computer goes off and the knitting comes out (well, after I’ve exercised). (Yeah, right).

It’s exhausting having tons and tons of ideas in your head. I’ve had to tell myself that ideas don’t mean I’ve failed or haven’t worked hard enough. Ideas are just fun things I can entertain later.

2. ENTJs Can Get REALLY Emotional

ENTJs are very logical types. We’re looking to fight inefficiency and stupidity wherever we see it.

But the thing about all personality types is that they have a “shadow” side–the opposite of their personality–which comes out sometimes. And ENTJs, when we do get emotional, get REALLY emotional.

My daughter (The ENTJ one) had a huge problem as a toddler controlling her temper tantrums. It wasn’t that she was naturally angry; it was that when emotions hit they hit so hard that she couldn’t get a handle on them. My ESFP daughter, whom you would expect to be more emotional, actually handles emotions better. She has a good cry and gets it all out.

Rebecca and I, on the other hand, will go through huge mood swings where we hate ourselves and feel completely insecure. To the outside world, though, we don’t always look it. We look like we’re in control of the situation, even when we’re not.

I’ve had to learn not to take comments on the blog too seriously, or let disagreements slide off my back. I do have a tendency to do a downward emotional spiral, and I’ve had to develop strategies for stopping that.

3. ENTJ Bloggers Hit PUBLISH Way Too Fast

It’s that “not being a detail person” thing that does you in. I’ll write a post, hit “Publish”, and then realize that I’ve titled it “8 ways to have great sex for HER this New Year” when I have 9 points. So then I have to change the title. But the RSS Feed still uses the FIRST title.

It’s such a little thing to read over the post first, before you hit publish, but ENTJs don’t like to do that. It means checking detail. It means that we’re spending too long on one thing when we could be moving on to the next idea. And who needs to check things? And after all, we’re ENTJs. So we’re right. Except when we’re not. Sigh.

I really have to learn to read things over before publishing. On most mornings, I publish a post, and in the next 10 minutes I have to revise it at least four times. I’m sure all you ST type bloggers just hit PUBLISH once.

4. ENTJs Have Way Too Many Post Ideas

I have this WordPress plugin called “Editorial Calendar” that I love, because I plan my posts in advance, just putting in a title of a post when I think of it, and going back to write it later.

But the problem is that I have about 60 post ideas right now that I haven’t written yet. I have no shortage of ideas. I just have a shortage of time.

So every now and then I vow that I’ll publish less frequently, because I have other things I need to write, but then I go ahead and publish anyway because I have so much to SAY. And, as an ENTJ, I’m absolutely sure that you all want to hear it (humility isn’t our strong point).

5. ENTJ Bloggers Pay Too Much Attention to Numbers

ENTJs hate inefficiency. We love improving things. And because of that, we’re a little obsessed with measuring things. A while ago, when I went through blogging angst, I confessed that I was way too addicted to checking my stats, and I had to quit cold turkey. And I did! It’s been really liberating.

But it is hard, and I’ve just replaced it with other things–pinning more, tweeting more, checking replies on Facebook, etc. It’s a sickness. The sad part is that in our quest to end inefficiency, we become more inefficient because we spend too much time on numbers.

I really need to remind myself anew that stats don’t tell the main story; only God does. If this blog is making a difference, who cares about the stats? But to an ENTJ, that’s easier said than done.

So there’s a little insight into me, your humble blogger. Except that I’m not humble because I’m an ENTJ. But I strive to be humble. Does that count?

Want to see more about ENTJs? Here’s my daughter writing about being a female ENTJ teenager.

I really do love this personality stuff, and perhaps I should write more about the types in marriage. After all, my mom does this for a living, and my daughter is now pursuing it in university, so it’s all around me. Any interest? Let me know in the comments! And don’t forget to tell me what type you are (if you know!)

Comments

  1. This is so funny, because I was just posting about this on Facebook last night. I’m an INTJ, so Palpadine in Star Wars, Elrond in Lord of the Rings, Gregory House from House, and O’Brien in Downton Abbey. INTJs are terrible daters, and I mean TERRIBLE. I have yet to make it past date #2. :-)
    Jessica Harris recently posted…Ending ExcusesMy Profile

    • Don’t feel too bad–you have at least dated successfully once; as an ISTJ, I have yet to successfully date anyone. :-S …anyone else out there find it much easier to take time writing out what you think/feel than to say it on the spur of the moment or in the course of conversation?

      • I’m and ISTJ too and know exactly what you mean re: writing things out. Often after a debate type conversation I think of what I could/should have said long after it is done.

    • I’m an INTJ too. I never dated until I met my husband at age 24 and we hit it off right away. I knew I was going to marry him by the end of our second date. So you don’t have to be good at dating. You just need one person to date and marry.

      Of course, we did rather unconventional dates. We never even went to a movie theater together until after we were married. We mostly did hikes and long drives in the country. We visited a museum. We talked about science and politics and faith and teaching and what we liked and didn’t like about all of those things. And, being about an hour and a half apart, we emailed and talked on the phone a lot more than we got together in person. Being unconventional worked for us, and we’re still best friends and crazy about each other.
      Lindsay Harold recently posted…What is Personhood?My Profile

    • Ha, I’m an INTJ too. I think you can add Katniss in the Hunger Games as one of our alter-egos also.
      Mary (Owlhaven) recently posted…Things I’m lovingMy Profile

      • So is Hannibal Lecter…

        I’m an INTJ guy married to an ISTJ woman. I think the biggest problem with marriages between people like us is we tend to “get up in our own heads” too often. I can honestly say that communication is an area where our marriage struggles. We like to think that we have each other figured out, so why bother making things explicit? Often we’re right, but sometimes, we’re way off, and that has led to some rough patches for us.

        And while MBTI is a useful tool, it (and other personality assessments) shouldn’t ever be used to pigeon-hole anyone. We’re all dynamic individuals, and should be recognized/respected as such.

    • Maybe I can shed some light, from my own journey. I’m an INTJ, and I never dated much either. Part of the reason was because INTJ-types are very good at (dare I say obsessed with) finding patterns — making sense from nonsense. We tend to be very good at things like IQ tests, simply because most of them involve pattern recognition. And NOT knowing how things work drives us INSANE. I remember finding magic shows infuriating when I was a kid — I couldn’t figure out how they did those things, and while the other kids were enthralled and happy and full of wonder, I was going nuts — needless to say, it made me feel a bit “defective”.

      Dating is such a chore because, we (INTJ-types) tend to hyperanalyze everything. And since relationships (especially in their “infancy”) offer so few predictable patterns, it makes us uneasy and confused, which doesn’t exactly make for a fun date. And being naturally introverted, we tend to withdraw when we’re feeling stressed. Let’s face it — being introverted is like being left-handed. You can function just fine with others, but you quickly realize that the world is made (and “normal” is too often defined) by people who aren’t like you.

      I guess all I can say is stay on the path that you’re on. Eventually, you’ll find someone who is on a tangential (enough) path, and can form a nice “braid” with your path. You have a lot to offer, and it’s only a matter of time. Patience in this is MUCH easier said than done, I know.

  2. Sheila, I’m a qualified administrator of the MBTI, so any post that takes it seriously gets my attention. I’m an ISTJ, and always have been; in successive inventories, the only function that moves is my T; apparently, I’m getting soft as I get older.

    There are many misconceptions about personality type. While I’m an I-30, nobody believes me, because I’ve learned to turn on the E when I need it (and pastors often need it). That works as long as I build in a lot of I time around it.

    These letters are all about preferences, and we do sometimes work outside our preferences; I imagine your younger daughter is forced to do that at home quite a bit! :-)

    Here’s to hitting the ‘Publish’ button after a good check! Keep up the good work. God’s best.

    Passionately His,
    Jeff+
    Jeff Loach recently posted…There’s Only OneMy Profile

    • I know exactly what you mean about the I-E thing. I’m actually only an E-5; so it’s barely a preference. My N doesn’t move a notch, and I’m so N I don’t even register on the S scale. I think I’m a 59–and 60 is as high as you can get, right? My T has moved a little, but my J hasn’t.

      I love this stuff!

      • An E5 is a mild preference, so you could go either way, preferring extraversion. The top end is 30. :-) I say to people, “If you see bumps and bruises on me, it’s from falling off the scale of introversion.”
        Jeff Loach recently posted…There’s Only OneMy Profile

        • “If you see bumps and bruises on me, it’s from falling off the scale of introversion.”

          Gotta love that quote–so true! :) As a 41-I, I find myself craving meaningful one-on-one interaction/conversation with people I trust, while trying to avoid social events with inch-deep and mile-wide surface conversation.

  3. Your post made me laugh because it sounds so much like my husband, though I think he’s a P. I’m an INTP/ISTP (I score in the middle on N/S).

    Anyway, I’d love if you did more writing about MBTI and marriage. I like thinking and I like MBTI stuff that makes me think.

    • I just may do that! The E/I dynamic is definitely a hard one for many in marriage. So is the T/F for obvious reasons. But I don’t think people realize that the N/S is, too. The E/I and T/F often come out during conflict, but it’s the N/S that often CAUSES the conflict. Ns drive Ss nuts, and vice versa. That would be interesting, wouldn’t it?

  4. Loved this post! I’ve been on a kick lately of getting friends and family to do online tests and see how much I got right about them beforehand. ;) I’m an INFJ, so blogging works pretty well for me because I write better than I speak! I’d love reading about how different types work together in marriage. I’m married to an ENTP and we seem to balance each other well; thankfully he also makes an effort to understand my introvertedness!
    Jamie recently posted…My “Word” for 2014My Profile

  5. P.S. You will all be glad to know that it is now 8:51, and the post has been live for about an hour and a half, and I just went in and changed a few grammar things. Sigh. That PUBLISH button kills me every time.

  6. My husband and I are complete MBTI opposites, which makes things rather interesting at times. I am a big picture dreamer, and my husband is a “just the facts, ma’am” kind of guy. Actually, he says that every personality test he’s ever taken proves that his personality is one that doesn’t put any stock in personality tests.

    Over time, I’ve become a less extreme I, and my P has become a bit less pronounced–but in the many times I’ve done the assessment in the past 30 years, I have always come out with a strong INFP.

    As an INFP, I am Luke Skywalker, Princess Diana, Frodo, Anne of Green Gables, Jesus’s mother Mary (don’t know how they figured out that one), John the Baptist (or that one), Luke (the doctor and author of the gospel, and I’m not sure how they figured that one out, either), and Isabel Briggs Myers (I am pretty sure I can guess how we know this one).

    I haven’t thought about how my INFP-ness shows up in blogging, but I’ll definitely think about it now. I am easily obsessed with blog numbers, too, although I can assure you that it has absolutely nothing to do with efficiency.
    Chris recently posted…This Profound MysteryMy Profile

  7. First, please do do some MBTI marriage stuff. That sounds fun. I really enjoy personality typing, even though it almost always drives me a little crazy, as I tend to end up on the border between two things, particularly with Myers-Briggs. I generally test ISFJ, and the I and the F are really strong preferences, and the J is decently strong, though my love affair with procrastination might suggest otherwise. The N/S, though, is really close, with S usually winning out. Which makes sense, because while I love to ponder big ideas and think deeply about them, I think my first love is for the details of things. But being in the middle is nice, because I can kind of mediate between both sides and (very nice) follow my INTP husband’s and my almost exclusively N-ish friends’ trains of thought (well, sometimes).

  8. E/INTJ here – the E/I is so close to the line. It means I need time with people AND time to myself to recharge, which I have learned to embrace.

    The biggest challenge in our house is kid #3 (out of 4) – he’s the only really strong E in a family of Is. We arrive home from an event that has 5 of us needing some space to ourselves to decompress and unwind, and he’s all ready to go! And he’s only 6, so it’s not something easy to explain to him yet. (we’re trying!)

    • Ah, yes, figuring out that one kid who is different! We just laugh about it now, but we’ve had those challenges, too, because we tend to be too hard on the one who’s different. And she’s such a softie, too. It gets easier as they get older, and I find as a parent that you just have to adjust your preference and your natural inclination to fit with theirs.

      • For sure.
        And my older two kids “get it” too, which helps. We have days when the 3 of us are all needing down time and kid #3 is in desperate need of interaction, and we actually take turns hanging out with him so that we all get the alone time we need.

        And two kids love to try new things, and the other two would happily never try anything new ever again – makes planning vacations interesting! (we aim for a bit of both, so everyone’s happy).

  9. It’s interesting that you and your husband have similar personality types. I am an ISTJ and my husband is an ISTP. We went to a marriage class last summer where the speaker was trying to make the point that opposites attract. He had everyone take a personality test (the DISC one) and then had everyone stand in different corners of the room based on their scores. He was pointing out that spouses would be in opposite corners, but my husband and I scored the same! Our only difference is the J/P. He likes spontaneity, and I like careful planning.

    • Yes, I’ve never really bought that “opposites attract” thing either. It certainly does sometimes work that way, but often we marry those that we just enjoy being around. My daughter’s best friend is almost her opposite, but they work really well together, so I can see it sometimes. But I don’t think it has to be that way!

      • My husband and I are so similar in so many ways, that when we disagree on something (even a food preference) it shocks us. In fact most of our “fights” (intense discussions, more accurately, since neither of us is very confrotational) are over things we can’t believe the other one doesn’t agree with us on!

    • Oh man! We did the DISC one in our premarital stuff, and the only difference was the relative strength of our last two letters. The Myers-Briggs, however, somehow comes out to almost exactly opposite. I think the truth in our case is somewhere in the middle. That is so funny and happy with you guys being so similar on both of them. :D

      • I’ve done both and I’ve always found the MBTI just nails it much better. But that’s my experience! When you start to dig deeper into their material, you find yourself laughing constantly, thinking, “that’s exactly what I do!” It’s really quite funny.

  10. I took the MB freshman year of college (so…2007), and was an ESFP. My hubby is nearly opposite. I can’t remember exactly, but I know he was ISTJ? Or maybe ISTP? Something like that. So sometimes we struggle. He seems to have no emotions, but I tend to be a slave to mine. Things like that.

    Lately though, I feel like my types may have changed. I’d love to take it again and see what it’s like and what has changed in me. Not going to pay a licensed person (sorry…budget too tight!), but maybe I will do some googling. ;D

    • My mom says that people sometimes do change over time, but not by much. We may change in the strength of our preferences, but our preferences tend to stay the same. So we mellow, but we don’t flip, if that makes sense.

      Teens sometimes flip, though, so if you took it when you were really young, then you may be different. My mother also says that when you’re in university your I and your S tend to be higher just because that’s your life. When you get older these tend to change. Google it! It’s fun!

      • I found one and it seems that my E and S have weakened. I’m only 4% in both, but the rest are still far flung toward F and P! Makes sense. I think working in sales has tried it’s best to kill my extroverted-ness.

      • (From an ISTJ) Interesting about the changing part… I was going to ask this because I tend to float between S/N and T/F. Maybe because my intuition and how I feel drives many of my decisions at a heart level, but because I do not trust emotions (too fickle), I look to logic & data to back up my initial impulse. The I and J are constant though.
        Leanne recently posted…Making the most of your credit cardMy Profile

  11. This is a really interesting post! I’m an ISTJ (but also close to an ISFJ), and have a tendency to over-analyze things. :-\ But of any personality test I’ve known, Myers-Briggs has proven itself to be the most accurate in real life.

    I’m curious though–have there been any studies done as to how identical MBTI personalities between men and women play out? Surely our complementary differences as men as women has some real-world bearing/effect even within identical personalities?

  12. Heather P says:

    I am an ISFJ. So I feel for your daughter!! :)

  13. I am INTJ and so is my husband (though he is less introved than I am). All three of my boys are introverted as well. I love personality stuff as well and have studied a few different methods but my favorite is Energy Profiling by Carol Tuttle. It made me nervous the first time a friend introduced me to it and I was glad to learn it is not contrary to Christ. My friend and I spend much of our time typing people. It is fabulous to be able to watch out kids, who are each one of the four types, interact and honor and accepr each others’ differences. Understanding and accepting people’s differences is such a benefit through life and in ministry!
    Tessa W recently posted…N is for Nutrition: How to Eat HealthierMy Profile

  14. I am pretty sure I am an INFP! I have only done internet tests though. I love that descriptions of this type mention things like “avid reader” and “good writers”.
    Katherine Crombie recently posted…Cord Edged Coasters: Free Crochet Pattern!My Profile

  15. I’m an INFP. Which, according to various sources I’ve seen, puts me in company with Shakespeare, Anne of Green Gables, and Frodo. I can live with that. I’m not sure what my husband is, other than I’m quite sure he’s introverted, too! I’ll have to have him take the quiz sometime and see what he ends up with. But yes, I think you should do more about personality and marriage, I’ve always found personality tests quite fascinating!
    Becky recently posted…Book #3: The Friday Night Knitting ClubMy Profile

  16. I’m very interested in personality types, so I LOVED this blog! My husband and I have been teaching the Couples Sunday School class for over 10 years and have used several personality tests (Florence Littauer’s, DISC, etc.) because we find it so beneficial to know not just our own type, but our spouse’s as well. I’d love to see more blogs, books, etc. on this! Sunday School lessons in the making….lol!

  17. I would love to hear how personality pertains to marriage! I’m an ISTJ. I’m not sure what my husband is; he despises tests like these while I’m horribly curious about them :)

  18. I could talk MBTI for hours. I used to administer the test, and I’ve taken it several times over. I’m an INFP. Problems with this in the blogging/writing world include:

    1. More ideas than time
    2. Difficulty following through to the very, very end (Once the project is fully conceived, it feels finished, and we want to move on to the next big idea. We can start many, many projects, but only finish a few.)
    3. An instinct to take criticism personally — especially when it’s worded as a personal attack (I can talk myself through this, but the tendency is to emotionally go there first.)
    4. A need to shut down and step away from social activity to recharge (which includes days that I just don’t feel like getting on social media, not because I don’t want to engage–I love my readers and colleagues!–but because I’m personally spent)

    By the way, my best friend is ENTJ. I get along really well with your type! I have enough NT in me that I appreciate people who don’t mince words. Especially when those words are wise ones. :)

    I do encourage people to understand their personality and those of family members as well. One of my favorite non-marriage books that really helped our marriage was one on personality type, because it helped my husband and me give each other grace in areas where we are naturally different.
    J (Hot, Holy & Humorous) recently posted…Top 5 Posts in 2013 (& 5 More I Hope You Read)My Profile

  19. I love this! I’m fascinated by it, too. I’m an INFP — a seemingly scatterbrained, non-list, creative person who would rather make up a new way of doing things than follow a pattern. Hence, I write patterns. Actual knitting patterns. I love that you posted that after you work, you KNIT! The only things I can focus on wonderfully well are the ideas inside my brain, and there are gezillions of them. Not enough time in the world to get them all out, and prioritizing them is HARD. Also, I hate housework. Thanks for a very entertaining post today! (Okay, they’re all entertaining, but this one mentioned knitting and Briggs-Myers, so … you know. Awesomeness.)

  20. HAHA those charts are awesome. I don’t mind being Elrond, but not sure if I want to be Emperor Palpatine….
    Here is another one with Harry Potter characters, on this one I’m Draco Malfoy.
    http://www.buildingthelifeyouwant.com/blog/the-harry-potter-mbti-chart

  21. I must be ENTJ as well because I definitely relate to ALL of those problems. Ha!
    Bonnie @ Love, Marriage and Sex recently posted…My Advice to Newlyweds About Love, Marriage and SexMy Profile

  22. Okay, I’ll probably get shot for saying this, but my academic friends would back me 100% in saying there are numerous problems with the MBTI. At best, you can use it for purely developmental purposes (in a very exploratory fashion). You might learn something about yourself – even there, you do have the Barnum effect lending the results what seems like more validity than they tests actually have shown. But these tests should NEVER be used for predictive purposes (e.g., selection), and any good, trained testing specialist (psychologist, education specialist) would agree. The form of the question is not meant to be used for prediction, and can’t be used for prediction, yet I see people push this kind of thing on employers as a selection type-test. Drives me crazy, so I had to comment. Let the beatings begin…

    • I know someone that wasn’t even considered for a promotion because his employer said his personality type showed that he wouldn’t be a good manager. He didn’t even know the position was open until someone else was given the job.

  23. That’s so funny Sheila. Now imagine this in a household – my family consists of myself, my husband, son and daughter. We each have a different personality type! In our family if anyone agrees with the other on how to do something, it’s a major victory! LOL!

  24. Yes! Please write about how it all works together in marriages!

    I’m an ISTJ on this personality test, but not sure what my hubby is. When we were in premarital counseling, we took a different test. I came back Choleric and he came back Melancholy. Pretty sure that the results said those two personality types do not work well together. :D Thankfully, after almost six years, we are still going strong! But I’ll never turn down help. If you want to write a marriage series on personality types, I’d love that!

  25. Lauren Davis says:

    As an ISFJ, I completely feel for your youngest daughter! Loved this post!

  26. I’m an ENTJ blogger, too. I.Feel.Your.Pain. Deeply – and without emotional control. :(
    Courtney recently posted…10 Things to Make Road-Tripping with Little Kids a Little Less PainfulMy Profile

  27. I’m an ISFJ and my hubby is an INFJ. Having both studied psychology in university, we are both fascinated with personality theory, especially the MBTI. Since hubby is the intuitive one, he is forever “reading” people and can usually figure out a person’s type after only a few minutes. I would love to see more posts from you on this topic, especially as it pertains to marriage and children. (Knowing our luck, we’ll probably have at least one child who is our complete opposite!)

  28. Fun article :) At least everyone in your family is an “E”. We have a family of three “I”s and one flaming E so we have to make sure he gets his people contact time LOL! I’m and I who as someone commented before, can turn on the E when need be but then I need a LOT of alone time – VBS being an excellent example of how I crash HARD at the end of that week and don’t want to talk to anyone. Great fun this stuff is indeed. TFS :)

  29. This is such read Sheila! I haven’t done the Meyers Briggs test but I was nodding right along as you described your personality. On the DISC profile I am a high D/I and your descriptions match mine, esp the blogging ones! This is what i needed to hear right now “Ideas are just fun things I can entertain later” I’ve been tripping over the urgent must-do ideas and lists lying in my Evernote – and head – that the world needs like yesterday..ha! thanks for a good laugh and education.. Would love to see those articles on marriage! (my husband is my complete opposite!)
    Ngina Otiende recently posted…My Top 12 Posts for 2013My Profile

  30. I am an INFP married to an INTJ. There are so many things were my husband just shakes his head at me because he never got how my brain worked, and sometimes I think questioned if I had one but learning about personality types has REALLY helped with how we talk to each other.

  31. Sheila, I love these too, facinating. Do you do testing via email or is it in office testing? I am in Australia and I struggle to find a tester and I would prefer legitimate online. Thank you.
    Tara recently posted…Slow Down and LingerMy Profile

  32. Love this stuff too! I’m an ESFJ, and married to an ENTP. This means that we have to be careful about not over-committing to social events, because even though we love them, we need to make sure that we have time to invest in each other. We love being just us though, too! Being opposites on the rest of the letters means that there’s lots to work through to find balance in perspectives and decision-making. It’s probably helpful that my husband is the T and I can trust his clear-headed thinking.

    Being a J (planner) married to a P (spontaneous) has also been fun. I’m learning to plan for unforeseen events so that when we do decide to do something at the last minute, I’m prepared (like, keeping the diaper bag stocked, snacks handy, ideas for quick lunches available, etc.). I’m still working on being more relaxed about the kiddos’ schedules so that we can enjoy those spontaneous outings! Good stuff.

  33. INFJ married to an ISTJ. I use these tests all the time in ministry! In general I gravitate towards the STJ types in friendships. I feel like the biggest conflict areas seem to be between the J & P types, and while I have several P friends, working alongside P types kind of makes me crazy…

  34. I would be very much interested in personality types in marriages. I believe it would help me discern the “why” in my husband’s behavior (like not being able to let something go that really bugs him. Me? I vent and then I’m done with it. Him? Dead Horse bearing shall commence momentarily).

    I do not know our personality types, but I want to get them for all four of us (my middle schooler and my high schooler in addition to my husband and myself).

  35. I have enjoyed all your posts since finding your blog several months ago. I don’t often comment but this post prompted me to do so. I, too, love personality tests, Myers-Briggs, Love Languages, melancholy/choleric/sanguine/phlegmatic, lion/beaver/otter/retriever, etc. I have one word of “wisdom” that I’d like to share if I may.
    In my past, I was into guessing people’s star signs from their behaviors. Not surprisingly, since I was dabbling in the occult, I was often right (the devil knows the answers and feeds them to those of us silly enough to go there!). For me, it was only a short-term dalliance, my church-attending upbringing knew, deep down, that it was wrong. When I gave my heart to the Lord and became full on in my Christianity, I became very interested in those types of personality tests. But there is a danger: we can treat those just like people in the world treat star signs — as things that define other people. We put them in a box from which there is no escape because we have deemed them to be “this type”! I’m all for finding out more about ourselves, building on our strengths and working on our weaknesses, but please, let’s not determine the motivation behind other people’s behaviors by their personality type. All of us need room to grow and change — ask me how I know!

    God bless you and your ministry.

  36. I’m an ESFJ, married to an ESTJ. I think we work very well together- we both are very detail oriented, but while I tend to think things to death (especially about who’s feelings could be hurt or about how I feel about a situation) his T self helps me to think a little more logically about my decisions. Meanwhile, I help him by presenting the “feelings” side of things. For example, he’s working on a huge remodeling project for a building at work. He doesn’t understand how many of our customers are so unhappy about having the building remodeled, even though it really needs it. I told him that the issue wasn’t with the building itself, but in changing the special place where they had such great memories. He’s a little more willing to do those extra details (like using some of the siding from the original building) now that he understands the reason behind it!
    Little Wife recently posted…Theme Thursday: BareMy Profile

  37. Believe it or not, I got my husband to take it. He is an ISTP and I am an ISFP. I found a write up of both of these types and I agree with a lot of them, for some, not so much. I suppose this is typical. I also think it’s interesting to note that while my husband is a relatively strong I, I scored high on all three areas, except for P (which was quite weak).
    Iva recently posted…Why I’m Choosing to Quit Facebook for 31 DaysMy Profile

  38. I love discussions about personality types, and I would love to see your take on personality types in marriage and family dynamics. This is me: ISTJ
    Introvert(100%) Sensing(62%) Thinking(88%) Judging(100%)
    • You have strong preference of Introversion over Extraversion (100%)
    • You have distinctive preference of Sensing over Intuition (62%)
    • You have strong preference of Thinking over Feeling (88%)
    • You have strong preference of Judging over Perceiving (100%)

    I have no idea what my husband is as he’s not taken a Myers-Briggs test that I know of, but I know he’s also an introvert but probably not to the extreme that I am. Knowing that I have highly functioning Asperger’s as well, I personally think that others on the Autism spectrum will probably have similar results. I think stuff like this is really interesting in understanding yourself. :)

  39. This topic is ENDLESSLY interesting to me! I would love more posts about marriage/parenting that relate to personality type. I’m an ISFJ, and my hubby’s an INTJ. We’re both just barely I’s and can swing extrovert if we have time to “recover” afterwards! :) With the whole T/J thing, I’ve actually told him for the past couple of years “ignore the fact that I’m crying” during a conflict because I just cry and get it out and then I’m over it, while he interprets my silent tears as if I’m hysterically sobbing and out of control!

  40. Sheila,

    I appreciate your blogging. Feel free to check out my article on Carl Jung, Neo-gnosticism and the MBTI.
    http://edhird.wordpress.com/2010/07/11/carl-jung-neo-gnosticism-and-the-mbti

    Blessings,

    Ed Hird+
    Ed Hird recently posted…My most read articlesMy Profile

  41. Stephanie says:

    Dear Sheila,
    Really interesting material and one of my favorite topics! I had never heard of the personality test you mention but I am very familiar with the temperaments. Two books I love are “The Temperament God Gave You” and even more, “The Temperament God Gave Your Spouse”. The last one has helped me more than any other book in my marriage. Temperment is an old study and still so important. I like that the author points out in these that it is so important to know ourselves NOT so that we have an excuse but so that we can work to change those parts of our natural reactions that are not good and so that we are aware of our good traits and use them well. Its all at the end of the day about using the knowledge to grow and be who God wants us to be.
    So glad to see you open this discussion!
    PS – I am a choleric/sanguine and my husband phlegmatic/and either melancholic second or choleric. :)

  42. I am so glad I am not alone in my love for personality stuff. I am a ISFJ. My husband and I are similar in our Meyer Briggs. I think he’s a ISTJ. (I know we are only one letter off.) I enjoy trying to figure out what my family and friends would be. Thanks for sharing. :)

  43. ENTJ (sposmodic) blgger over here too. xx But mainly makeup artist, yes, running my own business. :-)

  44. I am an ESFP

  45. Hi Sheila,
    I am an INTJ ( but sometimes a little bit E) and understand most of what you are saying for social media but blogging for sure. Always way too many ideas and not enough time.
    Thanks for a fun post.
    Blessings,
    Janis http://www.janiscox.com
    Janis Cox recently posted…A Great Review for Tadeo TurtleMy Profile

  46. I’m an ENFP, married to an INTJ. My husband and I completed official testing by a certified person. For our children, we have gone through informal tests in various books.

    I love that Myers-Briggs can help us better understand ourselves. Our oldest (home schooled) daughter is INTP. She always did artistic things and she also loved biology. But in her last year of high school, we got a book about careers using Myers-Briggs, and that’s when we realized that it was all really about “design” for her. So she applied to an Engineering program. I never would have thought of encouraging her in that direction (I studied Music & English) without using the Myers-Briggs analysis to help her (and me) better understand her preferences.

    Our other two daughters are ESFJ (not totally sure about the E) and ESFP. It’s really interesting doing home school with them, and trying to help them discover enough about themselves to choose post-secondary education. I think it can be dangerous as a parent to “impose” the type we think our children are. It’s easy to assume things, which is probably why I initially overlooked my oldest daughter’s analytical skill and focussed more on her artistry.

    One thing I find helpful to remember is that Myers-Briggs is about preferences, whereas I think personality is about intrinsic motivation. Although they are similar, they work differently. Usually if two people have the same personality type, people around them can see that they are alike, whereas the similarity between two people with the same type preferences may be more subtle.

    I love seeing people using any of these type of tests to understand themselves and the people around them better. My husband likes to use what he knows of my preferences to get me doing stuff he wants me to do . . . I have no problem with that, because it means I’m having fun doing it! :) For example, if I’m working on the laundry, he’ll come and sit and talk with me because it will keep me going longer, although for him it would seem much more efficient for him to go work on something else by himself.

    I’d love to see more posts about this topic, Sheila!

  47. Yes! As an ESTJ, I would love to read your posts on MBTI interactions in marriage. I’m a huge believer in understanding where we each currently fall in the personality ‘spectrum’ to best utilize our strengths & address our weaknesses. It’s fantastic for team-building, and isn’t marriage the ultimate team experience?! :)
    But I also believe we cannot let our ‘type’ actually DEFINE us. We are not limited by it, nor is one type better than another. Understanding can certainly strengthen relationships, sharpen communication, increase patience with differences, and add to appreciation of our spouse. <3

  48. Now I know why I like you so much! I am a fellow ENTJ (with 115 posts drafts at the moment).

    I really like what Jeff Loach said about learning to “turn on” something that does not come naturally. I think we can and do need to learn to do this.

    I also think personality is not nearly as locked at we tend to think. While I have been an ENTJ since the first time I took a Myers-Briggs test, some of the numbers have moved over the years. Not bounced around, but moved in one direction.

    Thanks for a great post on this!
    Paul H. Byerly recently posted…Falling on the Edge of the Bell CurveMy Profile

    • Do you hit publish too fast, too? :) I find the STRENGTH of my preferences moves around, but the preference itself seems pretty locked in, even if it’s only a slight preference. I also think knowing what our preferences are do encourage us to step outside of our comfort zone a little because we realize what we’re less comfortable with.

      Good luck with all your drafts! :)

  49. Hahahahaha, ISTJ here, married to an ENTJ. It works for us. :-)

  50. As a fellow ENTJ who has so far resisted blogging for many of the reasons you mention, this post makes me laugh. It’s caused me to reflect more on this kind of profiling and I am wondering how spiritual gifts may influence/support/balance-out the tendencies/strengths/weaknesses of our type. Any thoughts?

  51. This may have been mentioned somewhere in the previous comments, but I don’t have time to read them all now but do want to share this for all of the I’s out there. I will leave the Amazon link for this book to make it easy for others. I am a strong introvert. Western culture places a higher value on extroverts and the qualities that make up their personalities. This book has brought me peace with not being an extrovert. We introverts recognize the value of a little extroversion and try to be more out-going, upbeat, gregarious and involved, but it can be very taxing and living a “double life” sends a mixed message to our psyche: we are a child of God and no less valuable than anyone else, but we are somehow “less” than the others who are movers and shakers, even if modestly so. Introverts are not less, just different. This book will help you and others to see the value of introversion in this extroversion-worshiping society. Not knocking on you extroverts, just stating the facts.

    If this is you, READ THIS BOOK:.

    http://www.amazon.com/Quiet-Power-Introverts-World-Talking/dp/0307352153/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389631457&sr=8-1&keywords=quiet+the+power+of+introverts+in+a+world+that+can%27t+stop+talking

    Use the “Look Inside” function on the page to get some idea of the book’s contents.

    If you hesitate to use the supplied link for security reasons, the book is
    Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
    by Susan Cain.

    As an introvert, Sheila, I reread this twice and sell-checked before hitting Post.

    I just reread it one more time. HA
    userdand recently posted…Hon, I’m Really Not Up To ThisMy Profile

  52. I am an ESFP, no matter how many times I test!! It seems to be a very rare combo…wonder why?

  53. I finally went and took the test and then did a bunch of reading on it. I am an ENFJ and it makes total sense now :) I wonder if I can get my hubby to take the test.
    Melinda Todd recently posted…Live Unscripted – Be RealMy Profile

  54. Mrs.Momof6 says:

    I’ve taken three different tests on three different sites, and I get many different answers. ENTP, ENFP, ENTJ
    My husband took a professional test and is INTJ, he is low on both I and N, moderate on T and high on J.
    The only thing I can see in my testing is that my E is extremely high, the others always seem moderate to low.
    I wonder what that means… but it certainly didn’t help me! LOL I’m an enigma I guess.
    To make matters more frustrating, I read your daughter’s blog about being an ENTJ, and felt I could readily identify with it, but then my son read the ENFP results and thought I was strongly that, not strongly ENTJ. HEH…
    Thoughts??

    • I have great respect for you, Sheila, your books and remarkable blogging. I also enjoy learning about our different personality tendencies which can be helpful in celebrating our differences in marriage. My concern with the MBTI is that it has too much Jungian influence, based on Carl Jung’s 1921 book Personality Types. We used to promote the MBTI in Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada before we found this out through Leanne Payne and Dr. Jeffrey Satinover. Satinover is a Jewish believer in Jesus who as a Past President of the Jungian Society in North America, exposed the hidden antisemitism ‘quota clause’. Your reflections are welcome on my most recent article on this subject: http://edhird.wordpress.com/2010/07/11/carl-jung-and-the-gnostic-reconciliation-of-gender-opposites/
      Ed Hird recently posted…Restoring our health this JanuaryMy Profile

  55. I took one of the internet tests for the purposes of this discussion. Came out INFJ, but the F preference is very small.
    I feel like I took one of theses when I was younger and came out INTJ. I think I’ll have to take a professional one to be sure. The interesting thing is that I’m a scientist, though I love teaching higher ed.

  56. ESFJ here. :) My hubby is a INTJ, and my 8 year old step son is a ENTP. So fun in my house with all these crazy conflicting personalities.

  57. McKenzie Lee says:

    I just finished reading your daughters article, and I LOVE them both! Thank you both so so much! I oddly related to everything you said and it was so relieving to know im not the only one who struggles (and loves) being an entj!

  58. Would love to know more about how this plays out in a marriage! And I am definitely an ENTJ. :)

  59. As an ENTJ married to ESTJ (thanks for not feeling me being alone ^^ ).. I frankly do feel for your ESFP daughter!!

    • Sheila, How widespread is the acceptance of the MBTI in the Christian world? I am curious as to how many of those Christians endorsing the MBTI are aware of and sanction the Jungian nature of the MBTI world view. We used to promote the MBTI in ARM Canada to all our Anglican clergy before discovering where it came from.

      Rev. Dr. Ed Hird
      http://tiny.cc/dn19ax

  60. I’m infj and my husband is estp. Total polar opposites. God blessed us with an entj son and an enfp son. I’m surrounded by thinker men as my Dad is also an ENTJ. Mom is ENFJ. I’m the only introvert in this bunch. My personality is not very common. It’s Gladriel or Gandalf in LOTR, Dumbledore in HP, John in the Bible. Our motto ought to be, “Sit still long enough on a park bench and someone will ask you for advise.”

  61. We like to hear the “bad stuff,” because we like to know we’re not alone. I am ENTJ, too. On the emotions front, one of our difficulties, I think, is that feeling is not only our weakest function; it’s INTROVERTED. An EF wears her feelings on the outside; an ET tends to keep them on the inside and have greater difficulty EXPRESSING them. They’re THERE, but they’re underneath all the rational stuff, where people don’t see them.

    I’m guilty of most of the things you listed – like hitting publish too quickly. (I do that on FB, too!) But I almost fell off my couch laughing when I read #4. I currently have more than 280 topics on my post ideas list. (That’s just the one-off list. It doesn’t count the general-purpose ideas list, for ideas that can be used for more than one post.)

    I would add one to the list: feeling like our voice is not compelling enough. As a “just the facts, ma’am” kind of thinker, I can analyze, break down, make connections, and explain. I’m not so good at telling stories or making “personal connections.” In the past, it has been implied to me that this is “boring” and no one will want to read what I write unless I add personal anecdotes and such. But this is not true. I may not have the HUGEST blog in the world, but I have large enough readers to debunk that myth. This “no fluff” writing style IS mine. And the audience that is right for me APPRECIATES it. I can’t – and shouldn’t try to – be someone else.
    Rachel R. recently posted…7 Common Money Traps You Should AvoidMy Profile

  62. Nicki V says:

    I’m an ENTJ. I am constantly scanning my environment and seeing possibilities of how things can be better. It drives people nuts! I was once asked “Why fix what isn’t broken?” My reply is always “Yeah, you’re right, the square wheel wasn’t broken.” I usually win the argument. :)

    Sheila, you’re “Publish” happy tendency is not out of haste, it’s from continually wanting to improve on your post. Most people would hit publish and not look back or care to make the post better.

    I would say a big weakness of mine is empathy. Its not that I don’t care; it’s hard to feel sympathetic for people who make the wrong choices, are unwilling to help themselves, and not willing to put in hard work to better themselves. My drive to achieve, accomplish, help make the world a better place, eat and sleep all in a 24 hr day makes me look like the little white rabbit who is late for a very important date. Because I often have way too much on my plate, I find it hard to carve a chunk of my time to being sympathetic to the types I mentioned above. I get dinged on this ALL the time. *sigh* Some empathy from those who say I’m not empathetic is appreciated here!!!

    Anyways, love the post! It spoke to me in so many levels.

    • Oh, Nicki, we sound so similar! :) That’s too funny!

    • I have noticed this same tendency of people to lack empathy toward *my* normal, even while they chide me for my own lack of empathy. We tend to be thick-skinned and think sometimes people translate that into “say whatever you want, because she doesn’t have any feelings.”

      OR because they wouldn’t respond to a situation the way I do, they assume it’s out of an inherent rudeness or something (rather than just thinking differently) and will jump all over me because they think someone with a more sensitive personality needs defending. So I’ll say something blunt – not UGLY, just blunt – to someone and a third person will hear the exchange and think there’s a good chance the person I was speaking to was offended by what I said. So that third person will then call *me* out – usually in uncharitable terms – for having been inconsiderate. And in almost every case, the second person was never offended by what I said in the first place. But the folks who do this don’t consider that it is just as hurtful to me to be attacked for having been myself as they *thought* it was for me to say what I said. Even when it’s pointed out, people just don’t get that it’s hurtful to accuse someone of malice or negligence merely for communicating in the way that comes naturally for them. (I don’t mind at all having someone say something like, “Did you realize that what you said could have been taken to mean _______?” or something like that. I’m not talking about pointing out how I may have – or actually did – miscommunicate. I’m talking about having been chided/accused/berated. Which happens not infrequently.)

  63. This is so refreshing to read! I am a 24 year old female ENTJ. My husband is an INTJ. We own our own company and are on the senior leadership team of a new church plant. I spend most of my time in a very male dominated NT environment, which I love! I do however find it very difficult to find women who understand my insatiable desire for action and change and I find it difficult to fit in with the nicey nicey ISFP wives at church. I don’t know any NT females. I find this quite a lonely position to be in. Sometimes I wish I was a nicey nicey wifey just so I’d fit in a bit more. Have you experienced this?

    One question I do have is regarding rest- how do you rest/have fun? Since marrying by beloved introvert husband, I am finding myself going crazy on quiet Saturdays, which are our only ‘day of rest’. I don’t know what to do with myself. My husband keeps telling me to chill out and ‘have fun’. I’m trying to figure out what that means for me. I find getting stuff done fun, but this seems contrary to the idea of having a Sabbath day. Any thoughts?

    Thanks for the blog. :-)

    • haha I know that feeling! I read/research. That’s my idea of “rest.” It lets my mind stay active, because when *nothing* is active, I just go stir-crazy. I’m also learning to art journal. Artistic types of creativity don’t come naturally to me, so I have to work at them, but the process is fun. And it’s inherently a break from all of the regular weekly doing.
      Rachel R. recently posted…When I Knew He Was “The One”My Profile

  64. Thanks Rach. Ha ha glad you can relate. Yeah I can get lost researching a topic or watching TED videos. Art journaling is an interesting idea…I enjoy being creative but rarely make time for it.

    Any other thoughts? Entj ladies, how do you have fun?

  65. HI,

    I am ESTJ (with almost 100% in each) & My newly married wife is ISTJ (with 44% I & 1%STJ)
    What does it mean ?

    Thanks a lot in advance !! (For decoding our life!!)

    Regards,
    Mayank
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  1. […] week I wrote on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator–the MBI–and how they classify different personalities. I’m an ENTJ, and I told […]

  2. […] types, I’m an ENTJ, which is quite rare for a female. I explain what those letters mean here, in the first post I wrote about being an […]

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