I’m an ESFJ.
If you don’t know what that means, then that’s not necessarily a bad thing. ESFJ is what my Myers Briggs personality test verdict was. It’s a set of questions that helps determine how you see the world and make decisions, and everyone gets four letters that reveal their preferences.
Since getting caught up in the intricacies of the test, I’ve been wearing the letters ESFJ around as a badge, rejoicing when I meet someone who’s similar to me and stealthily casting judgement on any INTPs (the opposite in all four categories). I found comfort in the fact that other people were like me – whether that was being unable to spend more than a few minutes on my own without getting bored (Extrovert) or taking criticism about my work really personally and launching a crusade to get that member of staff fired for how s/he picked up on a few errors I’d made (Feeling).
But recently, I’ve found myself being more introverted. Perhaps my friends are becoming more boring as they settle down and have worked through their quarter life crises – I don’t know. Whatever the cause, I’ve found myself more happy with my own company and able to recharge by myself, as well as with others.
This newfound desire to be more introverted does not fit into my ESFJ rating though. Are you telling me that I might actually be an ISFJ (shudder), or – even worse – an XSFJ?! I can’t even say that without spluttering.
While I’m not having an identity crisis, it has made me see these kind of personality types in a new light. Thankfully, I was always taught they were a helpful model and not the truth. I still agree with that – the problem is sometimes those lines become blurred and the more you think about them and explain or justify your actions by your four-letter tag, the more it becomes an intrinsic part of your identity. It’s never been okay to justify inappropriate behaviour “because that’s just who I am as an ESFJ and I can’t help it”. You can totally help it and it’s an abuse of the test to operate out of that mindset.
I’m not warding people off such tests. I can’t tell you how helpful it was for me to learn I erred towards Feeling and that other people were similar to me. It brought a sense of freedom for me to love myself more – but it’s got to be more than that. Every morning is an invitation for us to fall on our knees before our creator and say ‘change me, mould me, make me even more like your son’. Not ‘please help me cope with the INFP I have to work with today’ – as if that colleague is wrong and I’m right.
I’m a Son of God. And that’s way better.