Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Comments to Taking It Personally

Opening of article

It started out as a whim, but turned into an eye-opener. In May 2003, I asked my Newsletter readers to take an online Myers-Briggs personality test and email the results, along with their diagnosis. Although this was strictly a readers' poll and not a scientific study, and bearing in mind the risks inherent in pigeonholing personalities, the findings were striking enough to indicate I might be on to something.

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  1. It appears to me that the conclusion here takes unsupported leaps in logic. The quote about positive results from maintaining outside-of-self relationships/habits is made by an E___. I would put forward that we Introvert Types would be better energized by regularly devoting time to inside-of-self pursuits -- but only if those pursuits were "politically correct" according to whatever surrounding network of people is available in our lives. Unfortunately, interior pursuits are too often snubbed as frivolous, self-patronizing, egotistical, worthless fluff... and incorrectly so.

  2. Just wanted to share that the figures cited for prevalence of different MBTI types in the US poplulation were updated in the late 1990s (sorry I don[t have the exact date but someone at www.apti.org (Association for Psychological Type International website) could tell you. Most recent results:
    E and I were almost even in reported prevalence, 49% and 51% respectively , a huge surprise.
    INFP and INTP were found to make up between 5 and 6%, not 1% each.
    INFJ is still uncommon, about 2%.

  3. Interesting article, John - you have succinctly summed up one of the major personality dichotomies in my marriage (my wife being the extroverted one, and I being the one who wants to stab himself in the eye after listening for an hour to the conversations people are having in a bar). I find it strange how people can neglect their inner life, or not even have one really, and focus all their attentions on social interaction as a means of fulfillment. Of course, there needs to be a balance, and being imbalanced can lead to isolation and depression in some cases. I think that playing music with others can help a lot in this respect - introverts can communicate with others on a level that does not necessitate painful small talk. Drum circle, anyone?

  4. Hey, Anonymous. Funny you mention drum circle. I play didgeridoo and bring it to a drum circle. :)

  5. Hi, found your article quite enjoyable. I can really relate to the necessity of "extroverted" activities despite being an intense introvert. In fact, I think you've motivated me to force myself to jump into the ice water.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.