Sunday, December 15, 2013


I recently was advised to take the Myers-Briggs personality test as a way to help improve workplace relationships.  I have taken this test before but could not remember exactly what my personality description was.  I took it once in high school my senior year as part of a career aptitude test.  And I took it once in Sunday School a few years ago as part of a marriage class. This past week as assumptions and accusations have been made about and toward me, and my integrity and reputation questioned by those close to me. I have had to revisit this test as I look inward and reflect on who I am and what I am about.  And try to determine the truth from the false.  What to absorb as something I need to work on and what I need to deflect as charged words spoken in the heat of the moment. 

So back to my test... I am almost positive the two times before I was an introvert.  But this time, for some reason, my personality test depicted me as an extrovert.  I was really surprised by that.  I know I ride that line very closely.  Depending on the situation.  Just curious as to why now, my pendulum is swinging closer to extrovert.

Could it be I'm in my 30's and at this point in life (I've been told) you begin to let go of past insecurities?  Or that my life experiences right now are giving me more confidence to be who I am?  Who knows?

I have never been one to hide much about our reality as a family and as myself so let me be open in my personality description...


E--Extravert-Expressive, outgoing, prefer group activities, eager to speak their minds, more comfortable when around other people than when alone, get energized by social interaction

S--Sensing-Observant, rely on their senses, absorbed in practical matters, focus on what has happened

F--Feeling-Sensitive, follow their hearts, keep feelings close to the surface, focus on harmony and cooperation

P--Prospecting-Probing, prefer keeping their options open, reluctant to commit, relaxed about their work, seek freedom

The first part of the description  makes me think I'm not a full extravert..." For ESFP personalities, life is a never-ending party. ESFPs love being in the center of attention and enjoying even the simplest things – their fun and impulsive nature is usually very attractive to other people. People with this personality type never run out of ideas and their curiosity is insatiable – they will always be among the first to try something new and exciting..."

I HATE being the center of attention.  And try, at all costs, to avoid it.  It makes me nervous.  It makes me uneasy.  I would rather sit back and listen and observe.  And make my own observations about the people that are loud and noisy and seeking attention.  Sometimes I'm even annoyed by those people.  I will say this, I can be okay with being the center of attention if it is part of my job.  Like public speaking.  Coaching.  Leading group exercise.  Part of my description was that ESFP's are performers.  While my first thought was, I AM NOT a performer...haha, mostly because my mind went to a certain type of performer...but as I thought more about it I do like to compete, I like to work hard, I am intense and determined.  And for some reason, that draws attention to me.  I may be seen as a performer by others, but I truly, myself, do NOT seek out that attention. 

I do enjoy simple things.  I am rather impulsive (just ask Jerad).  I would consider myself creative and curious.  One of the personality websites described me as an artisan.  I would agree with that as well.  Part of where my creativity comes from.  I was actually an art major my freshman year of college.  I love painting.  Writing.  Graphic design.  Workout/program design.  But hate doing crafts!  Ha! Figure that one out.  And I have gotten more confidence trying something new and exciting.  I firmly believe CrossFit has helped forged this confidence.  Especially since the whole idea of the sport of fitness is to be prepared for anything.

   "...ESFP personalities live in the world of opportunities and savor the pleasures, dramas and ideas that life throws at them. They are immersed in a never-ending performance, trying to cheer other people up. ESFPs are extremely talented at making other people feel good and excited, and they enjoy this immensely. The earthly and often unique wit of ESFPs is a perfect symbol of their playfulness..."

 Agreed.  Except that I HATE drama.  Which is part of the reason I never really had many close girlfriends growing up.  Any drama and I was out of there.  Bailed. Count me out.  Guy friendships have always been more reasonable to me.  Easier probably Not necessarily right or betterThere are many times when I am envious of my friends who brag about being bridesmaids in their bestie's from high school's weddings.  Or who still stay in touch with their childhood girlfriends--celebrating each and every moment in life together.  I never had that.  It is a bit tougher to stay in touch with your guy friends who you were close too.

I am energized by cheering people up, by encouraging and serving people.

ESFP personalities are very observant, able to notice and respond to someone’s distressed emotional state.      
I would agree with this 100%.
I wouldn't necessarily consider this a blessing either--All the time.  I find myself involved in many situations that I didn't necessarily want to be in.  But because I can easily sense when something is wrong in people, I feel obligated to check in.  To lend encouragement.  To offer a shoulder to cry on or lend an ear to listen.  Just like the previous description.  I naturally want to cheer people up.  Want them to feel better.  And the reverse side of this, is that I am a 'fixer' until this issue is resolved it wears on me.  I need closure.  And as a result I find myself carrying others burdens to an extent I lose sleep.  Can't think about anything else.  And even sacrifice myself to try to make it right.  Which might include apologizing for things I shouldn't necessarily need too.  Or being made to feel guilty for things I shouldn't.  Once I'm in...I'm all in.  And escaping these feelings is hard for me, until I know everyone is 'good.'

"The main weakness for many ESFPs is their spontaneity, which can lead to superficiality and forgetfulness, with more emphasis on quick satisfaction, but not their obligations and duties. ESFPs are also likely to do their best to ignore potential conflicts instead of dealing with them head-on.
It is likely that the ESFP personality will be very practical, but not when it comes to repetitive or analytical tasks. They would rather rely on their luck or ask other people for help than spend time trying to understand a complex theory."

Any of you can ask Jerad and he would tell you that my main weakness is spontaneity and an inability to make a decision--as I like to keep my options open.  Hahah! Makes me laugh writing this because it is the biggest contributor to our arguments.  He is a planner and logical thinker.  Needing to have things mapped out.  Spontaneity is the devil to him.  I thank God he is this way, everyday, though. Or else I'd be floating around with my head in the clouds never getting anything done.  He keeps me grounded.  My ability to try to avoid conflict is another problem...trying to smooth things over until it no longer can be ignored usually leads to big explosive arguments at some point.  But as soon as it is over, it feels like the pressure cooker has been shut off and life is good again.  And I always leave it wondering why I didn't approach this argument sooner.  Siting that I will not avoid conflict from here on out...

"It is likely that the ESFP personality will be very practical, but not when it comes to repetitive or analytical tasks. They would rather rely on their luck or ask other people for help than spend time trying to understand a complex theory.."  

So true.  I have always had trouble in school and in parenting, well in anything...with suffering through the explanation for why things work.  I just need to know "how!"  Just tell me when and how.  I'll get it done.  The only thing that has ever caught my attention and I've wanted to know the "why" too, is studying the human anatomy and physiology.  Physiology peaked my interest more than any other school topic.  Studying personalities has also peaked my interest in the 'why.'  As it has become so important to my understanding of why my kids act like they they tick.  And even moreso, as we have forged our way through Aspberger's and Down Syndrome...the jury is still out why 3 year olds have the tantrums they do...but I've resolved to just getting through this stage...not sure anyone knows the 'why' to that problem.  Seeing a psychologist has opened my eyes to so many things I've missed in ignoring the 'why' in how people think and act.

A strength and weakness analysis states these words...
Strengths: bold, original, excellent people skills, great sense of aesthetics and beauty, practical, very observant...
Weaknesses: always seeking attention, very sensitive, poor planners, always seek excitement, loathe conflicts, have trouble in academic settings...

Relationship traits: "Few things are as bubbling and unpredictable as ESFP relationships. People with this personality type live completely in the present, squeezing everything out of every moment and approaching their relationships from the same perspective. For instance, ESFPs often enjoy dating someone without thinking about the next steps or long-term plans.
This peculiar trait is probably both the best and the worst one when it comes to ESFP relationships. Dating or simply being with an ESFP is an unforgettable experience – they will always come up with new and exciting things to do, will be able to talk about everything and everybody (as long as you stay away from philosophical or scientific topics), and will genuinely enjoy spending time together instead of getting distracted by thoughts about the future or the past. However, this trait becomes a weakness when it is necessary to stop having fun and start thinking about serious topics, such as long-term plans, commitment and potentially life-changing decisions. ESFPs are very vulnerable to conflicts and are likely to react very badly if someone says something negative about their relationship or, even worse, if their own partner criticizes them for any reason. ESFPs personalities are very emotional and they also prefer to take things at face value instead of trying to guess the motives and reasoning behind them. Consequently, ESFPs are deeply offended by any criticism and may get frustrated even further if the other person tries to take emotions out of the equation by saying that the ESFP should not take this personally, that they are reacting irrationally etc."

Spot soon as we have to start talking seriously or long-term...all the fun is lost for me. I don't go into any situation thinking about what the bad outcome might be...again, it is a blessing that Jerad is in my life because he is a realist. He is constantly shedding light on situations for me, things that are not on my radar.  Never even crossed my mind.  Who things about this stuff?  What a buzz-kill...

"ESFP personalities are bound to have many friends – it is nearly impossible to resist their enthusiasm and optimism. People with this personality type focus entirely on the present and always find something exciting to experience and share with their friends. This does not mean that their relationships are shallow or based entirely on pleasure – quite the contrary. ESFPs are sincerely interested in other people, but they simply believe that there is no point in living if you cannot feel truly alive..."

I agree with this statement as well.  I would say I have a lot of friends, just not many close friends.  Probably due to my spontaneity and inability to commit to long-term decisions.

So anyway, in a nutshell, that is my personality.  Who I am. Raw. Open. Unfiltered.  Strengths and Weaknesses.

I gleaned most of this information from:

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