Monday, March 17, 2008

Who Am I?

Over the past few months, I've been somewhat contemplating my Meyer-Briggs Assessment. For most of my adult life, I've always tested as an ISTJ and for the most part have been that. But more recently, I can see that I'm not nearly as disciplined or refined as most ISTJ's I know. In my assessment, I'm totally an I, totally a J and mostly a T. My S/N is completely borderline, and I think I may have somewhere over the past couple of years crossed over to an N. Here's a little description of both:

The Portait of the Inspector (ISTJ)

Inspector Guardians look carefully and thoroughly at the people and institutions around them. Making up perhaps as much as ten percent of the general population, Inspectors are characterized by decisiveness in practical affairs, are the guardians of institutions, and if only one adjective could be selected, "superdependable" would best describe them. Whether at home or at work, Inspectors are nothing if not dependable, particularly when it comes to examining the people and products they are responsible for-quietly seeing to it that uniform quality is maintained, and that those around them uphold certain standards of attitude and conduct.

These quiet, no-nonsense Guardians have a distaste for and distrust of fanciness in speech, dress, and living space. Their words tend to be simple and down-to-earth, not showy or high-flown; their clothes are often homespun and conservative rather than of the latest fashion; and their home and work environments are usually neat, orderly, and traditional, rather than up-to-date or luxurious. In their choice of personal property (cars, furnishings, jewelry, and so on) price and durability are just as important as comfort or appearance. Classics, antiques, and heirlooms are especially valued, having achieved a certain time-honored status-Inspectors prefer the old-fashioned to the newfangled every time. Even on vacation, Inspectors tend not to be attracted by exotic foods, beverages, or locales.

Their thoroughness and orderliness, combined with their interest in legality and standardization, leads Inspectors to a number of occupations that call for the careful administration of goods and services. Inspectors feel right at home with difficult, detailed forms and columns of figures, and thus they make excellent bank examiners, auditors, accountants, and tax attorneys. Managing investments in securities is likely to interest this type, particularly investments in municipal bonds and blue-chip securities. Inspectors are not likely to take chances either with their own or others' money, and the thought of a bankrupt nation, state, institution, or family gives them more than a little uneasiness. The idea of dishonoring a contract also bothers an Inspector -their word is their bond-and they naturally communicate a message of trustworthiness and stability, which can make them successful in business. With their eye for detail, Inspectors make good business men and women, librarians, dentists, optometrists, legal secretaries, and law researchers. High school and college teachers of business administration, home economics, physical education, civics, and history tend to be Inspectors, as do quartermaster officers in the military.

Queen Elizabeth II, Harry S. Truman, Warren Buffet, Queen Victoria, James K. Polk,
and J.D. Rockefeller are examples of Inspector Guardians.

Here is the INTJ:

The Portait of the Mastermind (INTJ)

Of the four aspects of strategic analysis and definition, it is the contingency planning or entailment organizing role that reaches the highest development in Masterminds. Entailing or contingency planning is not an informative activity, rather it is a directive one in which the planner tells others what to do and in what order to do it. As the organizing capabilities the Masterminds increase so does their inclination to take charge of whatever is going on.

It is in their abilities that Masterminds differ from the other Rationals, while in most of their attitudes they are just like the others. However there is one attitude that sets them apart from other Rationals: they tend to be much more self-confident than the rest, having, for obscure reasons, developed a very strong will. They are rather rare, comprising no more than, say, one percent of the population. Being very judicious, decisions come naturally to them; indeed, they can hardly rest until they have things settled, decided, and set. They are the people who are able to formulate coherent and comprehensive contingency plans, hence contingency organizers or "entailers."

Masterminds will adopt ideas only if they are useful, which is to say if they work efficiently toward accomplishing the Mastermind's well-defined goals. Natural leaders, Masterminds are not at all eager to take command of projects or groups, preferring to stay in the background until others demonstrate their inability to lead. Once in charge, however, Masterminds are the supreme pragmatists, seeing reality as a crucible for refining their strategies for goal-directed action. In a sense, Masterminds approach reality as they would a giant chess board, always seeking strategies that have a high payoff, and always devising contingency plans in case of error or adversity. To the Mastermind, organizational structure and operational procedures are never arbitrary, never set in concrete, but are quite malleable and can be changed, improved, streamlined. In their drive for efficient action, Masterminds are the most open-minded of all the types. No idea is too far-fetched to be entertained-if it is useful. Masterminds are natural brainstormers, always open to new concepts and, in fact, aggressively seeking them. They are also alert to the consequences of applying new ideas or positions. Theories which cannot be made to work are quickly discarded by the Masterminds. On the other hand, Masterminds can be quite ruthless in implementing effective ideas, seldom counting personal cost in terms of time and energy.

Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, Dwight D. Eisenhower, General Ulysses S. Grant, Frideriche Nietsche, Niels Bohr, Peter the Great, Stephen Hawking, John Maynard Keynes, Lise Meitner", Ayn Rand and Sir Isaac Newton are examples of Rational Masterminds.

It's a little crazy that one letter can make such a big difference, but I feel like I'm not strongly either, but may have made the shift. Either way, I'm just plain crazy. There's no if's, and's or but's about it. I've highlighted in each what I'm most like. If you think I'm wrong, have at it! Sometimes, I scare myself.

(Both descriptions can be found at


Kathryn said...

Elements of both seem accurate to me! I especially liked the 'tell others what to do and in what order to do it' comment...LOL!

deanna said...

Yup, you know. Sometimes I just can't rest until I do that, to a fault!! Scary. What I just can't seem to fathom is that one percent of all people are like me - I'm such an outcast! Oh, but you know that already, too! LOL

Kathryn said...

Well, you're not the only outcast, if it makes you feel better. I am apparently an INFJ, which is from 1-3% of the population, depending upon the source.

deanna said...

Wow... so we're both pretty elusive. I wonder how we found each other! (We didn't - our extroverted friends connected us!)Here's another good description of you - I think it fits:

deanna said...

You'll have to copy and paste them together - for some reason comments don't wrap!

Kathryn said...

So interesting. I know certain things about myself, but to see them grouped like this is uncanny!

I don't think either of us recluses would've met had it not been for those extroverts!

deanna said...

Yup, it's a bit eerie. Underneath my exterior, shy geek is a need for connectedness... so I'm sure the fact that we were both from Connecticut had my wheels turning. From there, well, it was history!! We both have what it takes to stay in touch - we're that 2% - hehe!

kimsilver said...

Okay....what does it say about me, that I have never even taken this test?? I am now very much wanting to, though. I am also wondering, if I am one of the "extroverts" you are referring to....because I condsider myself a bit of an introvert at heart. :0)

kimsilver said...

I am an outcast, too, it appears. Only 1% of the population is an INFP. (Also known as an Idealist Healer) So they say..... :0)

deanna said...

Wow - we are just so unique, all of us! It's a good thing we have such extroverted friends! ;-)