1 Do You Know Your Type? | The Billfold

Do You Know Your Type?

Twillman is an INFP in an INTJ organization. Which, he says, can be hard.

He first found out about Myers-Briggs as a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University in 1977. Since then, he’s been, as he describes it, “an active player in psychological type.” He has served on the Association of Psychological Type board and has helped make the EPA one of the most active agencies in promoting the Myers-Briggs.

“I gave the test to someone I met on the first date,” Twillman says. “Now we have two children and are happily married.”

Like many other enthusiasts, he describes himself as a “type watcher” — someone who takes pleasure in guessing strangers’ MBTI personality types. A common line from supporters is that the test starts an important dialogue around who we are and how we interact with others.

The Washington Post has an in-depth look at the Myers-Briggs test and whether or not it’s valuable. I recall taking the test a decade ago sometime in college, but don’t recall my type, which probably means I didn’t find the results to be very valuable. Logan took the test last year and said that her results were “sooo right on,” and when she described her type to me, I laughed because it basically described her to a T. It’s sort of like reading your horoscope and being surprised by how many of the details match up to your real life. Do you know your type, and do you find knowing your type to be valuable?


52 Comments / Post A Comment

florabora (#123)

I took it in psych class in high school…I have NO recollection of my result.
I’m not against it/finding it valuable but umm please no one use it to judge whether to date me.

If you haven’t taken it, I encourage you to read through all the possible types FIRST and decide which one(s) you think most match your personality. THEN take the test and see if you get the one you thought.

That’s the thing with horoscopes and with personality tests: they’re designed so that everyone can see themselves a little in each category.

@stuffisthings this is a really good idea! Although I will say that there are a couple types in which I cannot find a single thing that resonates with me.

@stuffisthings The Forer Effect!! Learn it, live it, love it.

Brunhilde (#78)

@stuffisthings I just read them all and I don’t think any of them describe me. They’re all too positive.

bookworm (#481)

I took it in college and found it to be pretty accurate (INFJ), although I don’t know how valuable I find it to be, especially in a working situation. My husband is an INFP – his P drives my J crazy (meaning I make decisions very quickly and he takes forever).

WaityKatie (#1,696)

@bookworm I feel like “his P drives my J crazy” could also mean something else…

BoozinSusan (#2,876)

I re-discovered the Briggs-Myers test last year, and I think it’s incredibly useful and, if you are honest in your answers to questions, quite accurate. You can find out your strengths and, more importantly, your weaknesses, if you want to get a better idea of how you can improve your behavior and habits (both inter- and intra-personally). I know it sounds crazy, but if people take the test and tell you their type early in a relationship, you can have a *reasonable* idea of where things will go from there. This site (despite the rather terrible mid-90s graphics and layout) was helpful to me when I was trying to figure out how to relate better to people whose types I was aware of: http://www.personalitypage.com/html/portraits.html

guenna77 (#856)

INTP all the way. done the test multiple times, always come out this way. i do find it valuable. it’s certainly not akin to a horoscope, and it’s not even about personality, not really. it’s about how you process information and the world around you, and how you feed information back into it. a group in my office is actually doing this right now, part of a team-building/better communication thing. it’s helpful to remind yourself that even though seeing a thing a certain way seems completely obvious, that other people are looking through different lenses at the same set of facts.

swirrlygrrl (#2,398)

INTJ. Moderate I, the N is very weak, and the T and J are suuuuuper strong. I think Myers-Briggs and other personality tests can be really helpful because sometimes it is hard to understand that people don’t think the way I do and it doesn’t make them bad people. The “how people see you/how you see yourself” tools can be great. Again, no one is so simplistic that a test can tell you everything about them, but they can be helpful in learning how to deal with people more effectively.

EM (#1,012)

@swirrlygrrl I am that too! Also my boyfriend. I think I am more F than T but they phrase everything as “feelings vs logic” which feels like a false dichotomy.

kellyography (#250)

We definitely did this in college, and I was an ENTJ at the time, which was totally right on. The last time I took it (a couple years ago) I was an INXJ, meaning I got more introverted and am on the edge between thinking and feeling. I’d say that’s also pretty on target, though I’d rather not be compared to Ayn Rand.

theotherginger (#1,304)

yes. this test is good until your roommates use the types as a prescription for behaviour in a passive aggressive way. like “we know this is important to you/this is how you are, and we just aren’t able to do that.”

The geniuses at my college used this as a freshman roommate matching tool. We eventually figured out that they matched E’s with I’s. That was a grand experiment in failure.

@forget it i quit HAHAHA oh no.

I’m an INTJ, and I mostly use the tool as a useful shorthand to other people who are familiar with the tests. Sometimes I have a difficult time expressing my feelings, and I’ve been described as an “evil robot.” Telling people my Myers-Briggs type is a useful way to explain that I can sometimes have those difficulties.

Stina (#686)

@Jessica Leigh@twitter We had to do it at an old workplace and reveal our “type” to our workmates. When others asked me what I was I said: “I’m an INTP. Basically I’m a Vulcan.”

I was somewhat surprised at how many “E___’s” were in our group given that we were basically a programming unit. Extrovert programmers? What the hell?

But Myers-Briggs. More useful than a horoscope but not like it’s your destiny either.

AlliNYC (#1,725)

@Stina Welllllllll “extrovert” in the Myers-Briggs sense is not exactly the same as the popular sense. It just means that you recharge your batteries by socializing with others. Whether that means you get your energy from a huge LAN party, or a keg party, the key is spending time with others rather than alone. There are a lot of programmers that are not loners… but you’re right, it certainly is a jarring disconnect at first.

Stina (#686)

@AlliNYC Good point. I concede.

ThatJenn (#916)

I’m an INFJ and have met very few INFJs and INTJs in my real life, and so was briefly surprised that so many people in the comments were one or the other, and then I remembered, oh yeah, I’m on the Billfold, the site I tell people was basically made just for me and people just like me.

Tatiana (#194)

@ThatJenn I’m an INFJ too! :)

faustbanana (#2,376)

@ThatJenn I’m an INFJ too, which is supposedly only 1% of the population. Oh God, are we the 1%?!

ThatJenn (#916)

@faustbanana Oh goodness, we are! Nice, I always thought reading the Billfold would help my finances, but I never dreamed of this.

karrrren (#957)

An ex of mine became mildly obsessed with MBTI a few years after we broke up. He actually went out specifically looking for an INFJ like me. It probably wasn’t a good idea; he found one and she was awesome in a lot of ways but it didn’t go well in the end.

Blondsak (#2,299)

@ThatJenn INFJ here too. And I’ve been with my INTJ boyfriend for four years, which can be interesting. Our fights for the first two years mostly boiled down to:

Me: “But you don’t care about my FEELINGS!”

Him: “Well, you’re not making any SENSE.”

Nowadays, after many many long analytic discussions, they are more like this:

Me: “Here is how I feel. Here is why it is logical. Here is why it is not logical. DO YOU GET ME NOW?”

Him: “Here are more reasons why it’s illogical. Here is how I don’t understand. Here is where I empathize with your feelings for a few sentences. Here is how I feel (this one not always included). I STILL DON’T GET IT BUT LET’S HUG IT OUT.”

ETA Hugging solves 95% of fights, because 95% of them are usually silly crap anyway. Holdings hands while arguing also recommended, for similar effect.

shoot (#1,281)

@ThatJenn INFJ pride! My BFF and husband are both INTJs, which is apparently quite strange, all of us clustered together like that and such rare types. Uh, we are the 1%?

ISTJ. If I recall correctly, the S, T and J were all moderate, but the I was almost as high as it could be. This would be why, when I began a 10-month dissertation data collection in Scotland with two months of living in a one-bedroom apartment and not knowing a soul in Glasgow, I was happy as a clam. The quiet was delightful. I did move in with a couple and their two small children after that, though, which was also fun and probably safer.

@Auntie Maim@twitter ISTJ represent!

Sloane (#675)

@Auntie Maim@twitter ISTJ, FTW! I’m really high on the introspective scale too!

@Auntie Maim@twitter Same here! And 100% introverted, which is why I love the internet so very much.

blair (#1,962)


“INFPs are usually talented writers. They may be awkard and uncomfortable with expressing themselves verbally, but have a wonderful ability to define and express what they’re feeling on paper.”

this isn’t bragging because it’s (pseudo?)scientifically proven!

lavendergooms (#1,978)

@blair INFP here! I’m a (surprisingly) weak I, but everything else is very high. Everyone else’s emotions are like giant neon signs to me, and my fear of the nebulous “getting in trouble” is still strong at 31.

LaNocciola (#2,880)

@blair We are the best/most awkward.

blair (#1,962)

@lavendergooms “Getting in trouble” is, verbatim, the reason why my mother and I (both INFPs, hayy) cannot watch slapstick adventure comedies

honey cowl (#1,510)

@blair Yip! INFP 4lyfe.

@blair Slapstick adventure comedies make me cringe like nothing else. Now I understand why! Thank you for making that connection, fellow INFP!

I don’t remember my letters, but I do remember it fit me pretty well. The one that I DO remember (probably because it was done more recently) was the color test? Where different colors are assigned personality characteristics? That one was pretty spot on.

olivia (#1,618)

INTJ 4 LIFE. And yes, it’s basically a perfect description of my personality. My husband and twin sister were like “That was written specifically for you and one else!”

INTJ. My dad (government executive) had a fascination with the M-B and tested me and my sisters a few times while we were growing up. We also used it in my organizational psychology class in business school. The most valuable thing I got out of it is learning that different individuals process and disseminate information differently, which doesn’t make them wrong or stupid. It’s helped me immensely in my life to realize that. A great book for M-B devotees looking to resolve interpersonal conflicts is Naomi Quenk’s “Was That Really Me?” about how the personality types react to stress and how to deal with them:


P.J. Morse (#665)

@KathleenD@twitter It’s really useful in the workplace. Where I am, we haven’t done a full-on test, but they did sketch out the concept enough for me to know who I’m not going to get along with on a team and how to make adjustments in advance.

I took the test as a freshman in college and it changed my life. First, because it so accurately described everything about me as an ISTJ, which was awesome, and second because it was the first time I realized–really realized, I mean–that other people? They are different from me!

My roommate at the time was an ENFP (so, the opposite) and I had spent so many weeks wondering why she couldn’t DO THINGS ON TIME and KEEP THINGS ORGANIZED and RESPECT HER ELDERS and STOP TALKING TO ME SO EARLY IN THE MORNING. When I took the test and read the descriptions of all the types it was like a lightbulb–ohhhh, she literally does not see the world in the same way. This made us better roommates and also made me a better person overall, I like to think.

Sloane (#675)

@dj pomegranate I had a roommate who was an ENFP (and I’m an ISTJ), and, um, it did not go well. I was aware of our differences and tried to find ways to compromise, but she said that compromises were just my way of imposing structure on her. You’re right – it was an eye-opening experience.

Fig. 1 (#632)

Approx 7 years ago when I took it in university, I was an I/ENFP. I found it accurate at the time, but when but when I was taking the test, I remember that I could have gone several ways on the questions – it was more about how I interpreted the questions based on the recent past. So, at the same time it was useful but not a predictor of how I would act in the future, since how I act in a given situation is affected by my personality but it is also affected by many other factors not covered by the test.

Also there is a big disconnect in how I think I am and how I actually am so I am Not To Be Trusted on tests.

You could compare it to aptitude tests – I took one recently and it told me I was very good in visual-spatial skills – and recommended the job I currently have. I developed these skills because of the job, though, not the other way around.

Dancercise (#94)

At work, I’m an ENFJ. It most other situations, I’m an ENFP.

WaityKatie (#1,696)

I’m INTJ/P, J/P, J/P. Switches back and forth every time I take the damn thing. Am I judging or perceiving, I don’t know!! (depends on the day). Also, to be honest, with a lot of those questions I could really go any possible way on/didn’t care about. So…more of general categorization rather than life destinies, I think.

ISTJ over here (http://nzmuse.com/2011/04/15/the-power-of-four-letters/), borderline FJ, which more or less nails me to a T.

Useful? I dunno. I think I had a pretty good understanding of how I tick, anyway. But I do love being categorising things, including myself.

EM (#1,012)

INTJ. Also according to my dad my enneagram point is 3 (Achiever/Performer) which makes me feel doomed to be an uptight overachieving robot.

Me too! I’m constantly told how “curt” and “abrupt” I am. I’ve always wondered if male INTJs get the same feedback.

oiseau (#1,830)

@Splendorofmorgan With people I know well, I am very direct and pretty abrupt, but with strangers I guess I’m pretty shy plus was raised in the south so am much more polite and indirect. That being said, I really hate small talk and would rather just not talk to someone than have to make light chit-chat. I mean, I CAN, I just don’t like to.

LHOOQ (#1,634)

The 16 personality profiles in Myers Briggs are kind of ridiculous, but I think at least two of the distinctions it makes (extrovert vs introvert, judging vs perceiving) are fairly helpful, if obvious.

I worked somewhere that used the Birkman Method, and I like it better for the workplace because it is more about what motivates you, and how you communicate.

LHOOQ (#1,634)

@LHOOQ Oh, and if anyone cares, my type is INTP.

oiseau (#1,830)

I am INTJ (robot thing= yeah) and my boyfriend is ISTP. Both of us fit the descriptions pretty well. Also I noticed other INTJs here saying things like “aha, other ways of thinking are valid, too!”, which wow, that was a big learning curve for me. My bf has a much different way of processing information and sometimes it’s hard for me to understand him… he tinkers with thoughts, slowly unraveling problems in his head and coming up with multiple conclusions, whereas I am definitely more inclined toward quick, decisive action. Very interesting!

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