A few months ago, a multi-published author mentioned to me that she sometimes uses a personality tool to add variety to her characters. Studying psychology, she said, can be a great resource for adding depth and realistic reactions for characters with very different personalities and temperaments. I was intrigued. I took a writing class shortly thereafter that included a segment on character psychology.
It also made me wonder if there were certain personality types more prone to volunteer for causes.
Whatever your profession, I’m betting you’ll find this personality test interesting. Have you ever taken one? This one is called Human Metrics and its based on Jung and Myers-Briggs typology. Online, there are about 70 Yes/No questions. It’s a quick click-thru and at the end (obviously), it gives you a summation of your personality type.
Now, I tend to be skeptical of anything that smacks of extreme reductionism. We, humans, we’re complex, right? How could a few questions possibly hope to encompass and define my personality?
My results? I am an Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging (INFJ). Here are a few snippets:
“Strongly humanitarian in outlook, INFJs tend to be idealists, and because of their J preference for closure and completion, they are generally “doers” as well as dreamers. This rare combination of vision and practicality often results in INFJs taking a disproportionate amount of responsibility in the various causes to which so many of them seem to be drawn.”
“INFJs are deeply concerned about their relations with individuals as well as the state of humanity at large.”
“Usually self-expression comes more easily to INFJs on paper, as they tend to have strong writing skills.”
Hmm. Okay, so they mention a few areas and activities that take up a significant portion of my day. I admit it was an unexpected shot of validation because sometimes, I sit at my laptop, staring at the blinking cursor, thinking “What are you doing with your life? Why aren’t you out in the corporate world earning the bucks? Why are you editing this novel about expat volunteers . . . again. The pieces you write for good causes, nobody even knows you wrote them. Not the best way to build an author platform, dummy.”
But maybe . . . just maybe, I’m doing what I should be doing. According to this profile at least, it seems I haven’t wandered too far off the path that my natural compass points to pretty consistently. That counts for something, doesn’t it?
(If you’re interested, read the complete INFJ profile provided by TypeLogic.)
Find out which personality type you are. I’m not saying they’re right. I just think it’s interesting, and you might, too. Do you feel like your profile aligns with your life and views of yourself? Do you want it to? If you volunteer, what personality type are you? Introvert? Extravert? What jobs and volunteer positions pique your interest?