Have you ever wondered what your personality type is? Back in the 1940’s, daughter and mother duo Isabel Myers and Katherine Briggs believed they could help people find occupations that were best suited to their personality types, and lead healthier, happier lives. The pair created the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI), which is a questionnaire based on their work with Carl Jung’s theory of personality types. It now now one of the most widely used psychological instruments in the world. The test is used to identify a person’s personality type, strengths, and preferences.

There are 16 personality types and the goal of the MBTI is to enable respondents to further explore and understand their own personalities such as their likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, potential career preferences and compatibility with others.

The questionnaire is made up of four different scales:

  1. Extraversion (E) – Introversion (I)

These terms are a way of describing how people respond and interact with the world. Extraverts are ‘outward-turning’ – they typically enjoy more frequent social interaction and feel energised after spending time with others. On the other hand, Introverts are ‘inward-turning’ and typically enjoy deep and meaningful social interactions and feel recharged after spending time alone. We all experience both of these to some extent, but the majority of us lean one way or the other.

  1. Sensing (S) – Intuition (N)

This investigates how people gather information from the world. Sensing oriented people tend to pay more attention to reality and what they can learn from their own senses. They focus more on facts and details and enjoy a hands-on experience. Intuition oriented people pay more attention to things like patterns and impressions. They enjoy thinking about possibilities, imagining the future and abstract theories.

  1. Thinking (T) – Feeling (F)

This scale is about how people make decisions based on the information they gathered from sensing or intuition. Thinking focused people place greater emphasis on facts and objective data. They are typically consistent, logical and impersonal when making decisions. On the other hand, feeling focused people are more likely to consider people and emotions when arriving at a conclusion.

  1. Judging (J) – Perceiving (P)

This involves how people deal with the outside world. Those who are more judging focused prefer structure and firm decisions. Whereas those who are more perceiving focused are more open, flexible and adaptable.

So why is it useful to assess our own personality type? Well, they are great for self awareness and self perception. They also help to boost each core element of our wellness, which is vital to our overall wellbeing. Let’s take a look…

They help strengthen our Emotional Wellness as they can support us to remove our inner critic.

Our Spiritual Wellness is nurtured by them because they lead to self awareness, self acceptance and they can help us to develop a stronger sense of identity.

They help nurture our Intellectual Wellness as they are beneficial in teaching us more about our skills and strengths, and areas that we can develop more.

Our Environmental Wellness is boosted because they can help us to understand the types of spaces that re-energise us.

They are great at boosting our Social Wellness because they can help us understand others better and improve our communication skills.

In terms of Occupational Wellness, personality tests can allow us to understand the types of careers that we are most suited to.

And finally, our Financial Wellness is nurtured as they can help us to understand why we react to managing finances the way that we do.

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