The Hidden World of Myers-Briggs
Have you ever heard someone declare, “I’m an ENFP!” or spell out another conglomeration of letters and stare at you expectantly as if they have just granted you a peek inside of their soul? They’re referencing the Myers-Briggs system, a personality model that contains sixteen distinct “types.”
Each type represents an archetype of human mental preference. These preferences have a fundamental effect on the way we relate with and judge the world. When used as a tool for personal growth, learning to recognize them can provide insight into the parts of ourselves we have trouble seeing due to denial, pain, shame, and ultimately, fear.
Through my studies, I’ve found new ways to liberate myself from old paradigms, experience unparalleled levels of genuine compassion, and I now authentically express more fully than I ever have. I also find it to be one of the most fun parts of my life! Having access to this kind of intelligent interpersonal insight kinda feels like peeking inside of souls.
Why Internet tests aren’t iron-clad
If you’ve poked around the internet trying to learn about Myers-Briggs and were left unimpressed, no worries! Most of what you’ll find out there is pretty two-dimensional and doesn’t do a good job of seeing sweet, talented, sparkly, unique you as the multidimensional being you truly are. (If being described as sparkly feels a bit off-putting I apologize, but you did just give me a clue to what your mental wiring preferences may be)
The online Myers-Briggs test you took spit out four-letters, sure, but it lacked an important dynamic element when it comes to correct typing. The Myers-Briggs system is more complex than it appears at first glance. For instance, as you grow, you begin to draw on other parts of your mental wiring to support your native preferences, and as you develop your personality can become more balanced. This might look like becoming more introspective if in the past you’ve been radically extroverted, and vice versa.
Similarly, there are parts of your mental wiring that can feel lucrative to bypass in order to spend time in a frame of mind that feels safer but ultimately keeps you small. If you are answering simple multiple-choice questions in an online test, it may not always do a great job of distinguishing between healthy and unhealthy expressions of your mental wiring, and may not be effective at taking into account the effect of time and experience on the human psyche.
Taking online tests also require you to be really honest about and aware of your mental biases and preferences, and that is a skill that can take a lot of time and effort to gain. This is where working with a professional to help determine your type can really make a big difference, as they’re equipped to intelligently observe the way your mind wiring is presenting and can reflect back to you what they see and have discovered.
Myers-Briggs is considered a “horizontal model” because someone who is at a low level of personal development and someone at a high level of personal development can have the same type, but two other people at similar levels of growth and development aren’t necessarily the same type, and probably aren’t. (If you want an example of a really cool vertical model that categorizes people based on their level of development, check out Spiral Dynamics.)
Bringing Myers-Briggs back to its origins.
So if this tool applies to people of any age, is it just as useful to someone starting their personal growth journey as it is to someone well on their way? In my opinion, yes. When you get down to the nitty-gritty of the Myers-Briggs model and take it all the way back to Carl Jung, the man who first began working with the idea of these particular mental archetypes, entire new worlds begin to open up.
ENTER, PLEASE—the deeper stuff.
Did you know that if there’s an “F” as in “Feeling” as the third letter of your four-letter Myers-Briggs code, that a very important and vital part of your mental wiring is a preference for Thinking? And that for Thinking-dominant folks the reverse is true?
Also, did you know that just because someone with an “F” as the third letter of their Myers-Briggs code is considered Feeling-dominant, that they can actually identify more with their thinking preference depending on their unique background and relationship with that part of themselves?
Finally, did you know that there are two kinds EACH of both thinking and feeling preferences? Ever wonder why you, a very very feely person, who feels the feels down to her bones, really can’t level with the gal that seems to have made it her life mission to make everybody feel good all the time? A.K.A., the hostess with the mostest? And if we talk to the hostess with the mostest, it’s possible we might find that she’s way more in tune with the emotions of others than her own?
All of these factors and many many more come together to sing a very unique and beautiful melody that leaves room for crescendos and key changes and lots of harmonies, all contributing to a little interpretive number composed just for you. There are lots you can do with it, but my favorite is to utilize it for deeper self-knowing.
Myers-Briggs + origin story + your unique melody = tremendous growth and understanding
When you are able to gather the facts about your mental preferences and then are given a roadmap for how to navigate those preferences toward effective personal growth, your ability to move forward in life with ease and confidence explodes. When used as a framework with which to zoom out and observe yourself and those around you without judgment, Myers-Briggs, or what I call Jungian Mental Wiring, becomes a significant tool for healing and fertile ground to practice intelligent loving.
If you’d like to learn more, please join me for a live digital class held discussing what I mention in this article on Sunday, March 16th. If you’d like a partner in your discovery, pop over to my Holisticism page and see if the work I do could be supportive of the journey you’re on.
Questions? Ask me on instagram @laurentisza.
INTELLIGENT AUTHENTICITY AND CONNECTION WITH MYERS-BRIGGS AND OTHER SPIRITUAL TEACHINGS
3/16, 10a PST, Zoom
Lauren Tisza combines Jungian mental typing, Myers-Briggs, and astrology into one cohesive formula to help you understand yourself — and more importantly, how all of your unique pieces create a whole. Lauren teaches her clients how to work better with others, collaborate, and be in relationship with the world around them.
In this virtual workshop, you’ll learn:
—The individual components revealed by dissecting your Myers-Briggs four-letter code, as well as clues to determining your unique type if you're still unsure
—To identify and understand the style of decision making that shapes how you show up in the world, giving way to increased self-awareness and self-compassion
— How to identify and understand the styles of decision-making used by others.
—How to make small, authentic adjustments to better connect with and communicate with others given your unique preferences
— How to leverage understanding of both with personal growth, leveraging strengths, supporting weaknesses, and working with the shadow self
It's helpful to know or have a suspicion of what your type may be prior to the workshop. Scheduling an assessment with Lauren or asking questions on our Instagram Q&A will be helpful so that you can feel more confident going into the live event! Of course, Lauren will answer all of your Q’s in real time during the event, too — so ask away!