So, here’s a question for all you MBTI nerds: do you fear that knowing your personality type will pigeonhole you into acting a certain way and therefore limit your potential? For instance, if you’re an ESTJ and you’re proud to be, would you alter your behavior to fit the ESTJ stereotype better, even if it means limiting your life and potential as a result?
I can’t answer that for ESTJs, but I’m pretty sure I know the answer for INTJs. But before I do that, let’s back up a little.
A few weeks back, typology came up at my young adult group, when one of the ISFJs present again mentioned her criticism that she fears that MBTI could pigeonhole a person into a stagnating role. Originally, I thought her criticism was legitimate because there are people who will give up what they like and accept something they don’t simply because of peer pressure or because they’re following the group. Like I said, that was what I originally thought.
Here we are now a few weeks later and I am somewhat removed from MBTI, i.e. the fact that I haven’t written a blog post in quite a while. However, I did get back into it after discovering that a girl I had a crush on was an INFP. Things didn’t work out, but checking the compatibility between INTJs and other types has shown me that despite the fact I have wandered slightly from the topic, I am no less INTJ than I was several months back. All the INTJ traits and qualities I saw listed on the compatibility sites are just as true as they were when I first discovered my type. The only “thing” that happened was that I was not as acutely aware of my INTJ-ness in daily life.
I can’t deny that some things have changed as much in my life recently has--we are products of our experiences after all. But did those changes affect my personality, or merely change my direction in life?
There’s no denying that when a person becomes flush with cash and saddled with responsibility that there are likely to be changes in their life. Back when I was working at a pet store, it was my intention of merely buying four new tires for my car, but now that I’m making more than twice what I did, and this is before my initial performance review which will net me even more bank, and due to my car needing a water pump, head gasket, and strut, and I received a tip that this winter may be particularly brutal, I’m seriously looking at getting a new car. Such a thing was impossible when I made $10.15/hr and worked part-time. But at $12/hr with a soon promised raise to at least $14/hr at full time, leasing a new Kia or buying a used BMW is not so unrealistic. Such an influx of monies also brings promising new opportunities in the dating world, what I can do with my free time, and being able to pay off my student loans faster.
All of the above are pleasures I have had to forego due to my previous Bohemian and idealistic desire of trying to live off my writing dreams, which might make one think that I’m developing my Extraverted Sensing (Se) at the cost of my Introverted Intuition (Ni). I would argue however that I’ve been stagnating my Se and overworking my Ni due to my low income. Such pleasures have always been within the realm of my tastes, and none of the above desires have made me forget my dreams--I’m still writing after all and recently I’ve been trying to get the t-shirt business under way. (Resizing images is such a pain in the…!)
And as always, I’m still ambitious. Under the supervision of my… supervisor, who had my position before me, he has praised my smallest bouts of initiative which has made me all the hungrier for greater success. While I originally intended to use my day job for propelling my dreams, given the company I work for now and how it’s built, I may become a long-standing fixture in its employ--or at least for longer than I planned. There’s a lot of opportunity there for an ambitious self-starter.
Getting back to the topic, while finding out I was an INTJ has made me more aware of how I think and how such thinking can be predictable due to my known type, I by no means feel compelled to act in such a way that would make me more INTJ than I am. Calling me an INTJ is not a label or even a restriction--it is merely a classification and clarification of my essential nature, like calling a gem an emerald instead of just a crystal.
Was I pigeonholed by MBTI? No… I saw myself.
I'm sorry it took so long to write this, you guys. Life has gotten in the way, plus I'm working 40 hours a week now, and I'm trying to get serious about self-publishing and my t-shirt biz. It's difficult to imagine that just a year ago I was working at a pet store with merely the idea of staying there for a year or longer, and now I'm doing much more.
Anyway, I'll try to be more prompt about the next blog, and it is my hope to have a proper author website up eventually. Until then...
Keep writing, my friends.