Who Are You Getting Your Identity From?

Who Are You Getting Your Identity From? {+ an Informal MBTI Poll} | Millennials with Meaning
Photo by Oleg Sergeichik on Unsplash

I’m a big fan of the Myers-Briggs.

Don’t get me wrong; I believe it’s a tool, not a sentence. I don’t want to put people in boxes and insist they conform to something they’re not. Nor do I want to imply that people are incapable of changing, because God can change anyone and it’s important for us all to grow. But I do want to understand people as best I can, and I haven’t found any better tool to help with that than the Myers-Briggs. There isn’t a person in the world whose type I’m not interested in learning, because finding out those four letters instantly helps me relate to someone better. It gives me a quick preview of who each person is.

I have long been a fan of 16personalities.com, the website where you can learn your Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) for free. It’s quick, convenient, and, in my opinion, quite accurate.

A few months ago, I noticed that some of the questions on the 16 Personalities assessment had changed. I’m not exactly sure when these changes went into effect, but I help friends take the assessment fairly often and noticed right away that something was different.

Of course, I had to take it myself to see if I scored any differently.

Which I did.

At first I was skeptical. Maybe my mood was just affected by the people I was currently around. Maybe I was having an off day. Maybe I hadn’t answered one of the questions as strongly as I really felt.

I waited a bit and then took the MBTI again when I was alone at home. Same result.

I took it once more and even tried to manipulate my responses a little. (I had to try! 😊) Same result.

It said I’m an INFJ.

I’ve always been extremely close on the intuition/sensing line. (Same goes for feeling and thinking, although I do consider myself to be slightly more of a feeler than a thinker.) But even though the INFJ personality type has always resonated with me, I have more INFJ friends than any other type, and when I compare myself to their personalities, I feel like they’re stronger intuitives and feelers than I am…so that means I can’t be an INFJ, right?

Not exactly, but that’s what I’ve always told myself.

The thing is, I’m probably a stronger judge than most of my friends are – that’s the area I score the highest in – but that doesn’t make my friends conclude that they’re perceivers, then, just because they score closer to the middle than I do!

It’s a continuum, and, like I said, it’s not meant to box people in. It’s meant to help you discover your God-given identity, not create it!

I have one ESFJ parent and one INTP parent, so really, it probably makes sense that I score so close to the line in some areas. I grew up with every trait represented in my household!

I know with certainty every Myers-Briggs type I’m not; it’s just been more of a challenge for me to pinpoint which one I am for sure. For years, I’ve more or less claimed to be an ISFJ. That used to be my most common result when I’d take an MBTI assessment, with the occasional ISTJ or INFJ thrown in. ISFJ seemed like the happy medium, so I went with that. It fits…for the most part.

But as I took the 16 Personalities test again this week and read through the INFJ results…those fit, too. They really fit.

I compared 16 Personalities’ descriptions for both types. The ISFJ description resonated with me a lot, but not quite as much as the INFJ one did.

My point here is this: All along, I’ve been getting my identity, to some extent, by comparing myself to others. Even though I’m a super introspective person and know myself very well, I’ve convinced myself I can’t be an INFJ because I’m not exactly like other INFJs I know. Even though the description fit me and I even scored as an INFJ sometimes, I doubted my results simply because I was too focused on other people.

But our personalities aren’t supposed to be about comparison. They’re about who God made us to be! If God made me an intuitive, I’m an intuitive – even if others are more intuitive than me. In the same way, if he made one of my friends to be a judge, she’s still a judge, even if she’s not as strong of a judge as I am.

Each one of us is uniquely designed. We share traits and personality types with others to some extent, but no two people on earth are exactly alike.

So who did God create YOU to be?

Are you letting your friends tell you who you are? Are you letting comparison tell you who you are? Are you letting your family or social media or society or your resume tell you who you are?

Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, and I didn’t even know it.

In the end, all that matters is what God says about us. He’s the one who created each one of us with painstaking detail, and he didn’t make any mistakes. Listen to his voice above the rest, and he will show you who he created you to be and what he created you for.

I have two challenges for you this week:

  1. Retake the MBTI on 16personalities.com if you haven’t recently, and see if you score the same type as before! I was surprised by my results, so maybe you will be, too.
  2. Tune out what the rest of the world says for a moment, and spend some time asking God who he made you to be. Sometimes we get so caught up in everyone else’s opinion that we miss out on our actual God-given identity!

Just for fun, I polled people on Instagram last weekend to find out their Myers-Briggs types. Here were the results:

Extrovert: 56%           Introvert: 44%

Intuitive: 57%             Sensor: 43%

Feeler: 56%                Thinker: 44%

Judge: 56%                 Perceiver: 44%

Interesting, huh? I was definitely surprised by some of the responses. I guess that’s another reason why we go to God for our identity – others can mistype us!

Let me know in the comments if your Myers-Briggs type has ever changed or if it changes after you retake the test! (I know it’s not “supposed” to, but I’m curious after my own shifted. Maybe I’ve been an INFJ all along – the verdict’s still out – and I just didn’t know or accept it!)

Have a great week and may God reveal more of who he created you to be in this season!

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