Before 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?
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:
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!)