Although I have written on personality type before, I have struggled to know how to introduce Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Basics. Last week I participated in an Instagram challenge so that I could learn better strategies for interacting with you all as my readers. But I ended up learning so much more than just Instagram strategies! One valuable takeaway from the course was the feedback I received from other bloggers and mompreneurs in my focus group. Among other things, they asked me numerous challenging questions about personality typing. These questions helped me finally understand where to start in my explanation of MBTI basics.
The first section of this post examines why knowing your personality type is important as a homemaker and some common concerns about MBTI. The second section will explain the basic elements of the Meyers-Briggs system.
If you want to find out why personality typing is so important to me personally, read this post: How my MBTI Helped me Find a Personal Growth Outlet.
How Does Personality Typing Help Homemakers?
Improves Efficiency in Home Management
The home is a complex institution with a variety of tasks to do and resources to manage. Many major corporations use the Meyers-Briggs systems to improve their employees’ job performance as well as their interactions with coworkers. Systems like MBTI highlight each personality type’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as blind spots.
Once we can recognize these in our own lives, we can assess our homemaking for areas that need improvement. For me, it also helps me plan my time and tasks more efficiently because I know why I do things the way I do them.
(See Recommended Morning Routines for Each Personality Type. by Mystie Winkler)
Improves Relationships within the Home
Although this may look different for each household, the God-given responsibility of a keeper of the home is to provide a nurturing environment for her family (see Titus 2). Part of that nurturing is learning how each family member functions and identifying ways to better serve them, often in ways that don’t come naturally for certain personality types.
For example, as an Introvert, I value longer periods of peace and quiet and tend to get lost in my own world. Before I recognized that was my natural inclination, I would tend to get frustrated with anyone or anything that interrupted my reverie. Unlike some people who need to set aside me time, I need to set aside “we time”– a time that I intentionally spend relating to my family and the tasks around me in my outer world.
Aids Pursuit of Spiritual Goals
This is my biggest passion for the blog! As a homemaker, it is so easy to compare myself with what the world wants me to be. But I was recently challenged to ask God “What do YOU expect of me?” Ultimately, doing God’s will should be the most important goal of any believer’s life.
Knowing how a particular personality type’s brain functions can aid the pursuit of spiritual goals by taking into consideration specific strengths and weaknesses. I know that my personality type craves variety. When I am struggling to stay on track with my Bible reading, I try to mix up the way I do my devotions. Sometimes I might do a devotional, other times I might journal as I read, and some seasons I enjoy listening to the Bible on audio.
I will write more about this and other means for personal growth in the future. Meanwhile, I hope that you can see the value of knowing your personality type as a homemaker.
Common Concerns About Personality Typing
I realize that some of you may still have concerns about the Meyers-Briggs system or personality typing in general. While I don’t have room to address them all in detail, below are two of the most common concerns.
Doesn’t Personality Typing Just Put People into a Box?
As I have mentioned in other posts, I have found Meyers-Briggs Personality Type Indicators (MBTI) to be a useful tool in my own personal growth. I say a tool because many people mistake personality typing for defining who they are. Although no model will ever provide a complete understanding of the human mind, systems such as Meyers-Briggs Type Indicators help simplify the complex ways that our minds work. We can then use this information to make practical applications in our lives. MBTI describes how our particular personality type uses basic cognitive functions. They include Sensing, iNtuition, Thinking, and Feeling.
Interpretations of how each type behaves are subjective. That means descriptions you will see for a particular type may not be completely accurate for you. Because we all have different backgrounds and are at varying stages of personal growth, no two people will be exactly alike, even if they do have the same basic personality type. Think of them as a snapshot of what that personality type might look like in another person.
Aren’t Personality Tests related to Mysticism?
While I would not endorse every personality typing system, especially those relying on Zodiac symbols etc., Meyers-Briggs assessments take a more scientific approach to personality and are used in many professional circles. Although Jung (the originator of many of the ideas presented in the Meyers-Briggs system) had some wacky ideas, I have not personally seen any of those reflected in most of the Meyers-Briggs resources I have read.
All that to say, it is important to use caution and discernment with which sources the information comes from. To help you find reputable sources, I have created an MBTI resource page on this site.
MBTI Basics: Overview of Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator Elements
Your Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) will be made up of four letters indicating your preferences for the following functions: Extravert (E) vs. Introvert (I), Sensing (S) vs. iNtuition (N), Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F), and Judging (J) vs. Percieving (P). Each of the infographics below has some basic questions to help you figure out which functions you prefer.
Extravert or Introvert:
Which mode GIVES you energy and which mode DRAINS you?
Of course we all need to use both modes to function well in everyday life. BUT when we know which mode we THRIVE on, we can use it to fuel our weaker mode.
For example, as an introverted toddler-mama, I must intentionally interact with my daughter (energy drain). I do a lot better with this when I know I will have time in the day to refuel and reenergize (energy source which right now for me includes coloring, reading, and writing).
Sensing or Intuition: How do you BEST assimilate new information?
Do you like gathering detailed facts (Sensing) or making connections and examining possibilities (iNtuition)?
For example, as an iNtuitive, I get very easily distracted during practical tasks like cleaning the kitchen and may go off on another task before I have finished the job. (Ps. I find that listening to podcasts keeps my mind busy and helps me focus on the tasks at hand.) My husband, a Sensor, notices when things are out of place, but may not notice something new unless he is specifically told to look for it since exploring is not part of the Sensing function.
Feeling or Thinking: Do you prefer to make personal or impersonal decisions?
Real life is full of both, but which type do you default to? Many people mistaken Feeling for emotions and Thinking for rationality, but really it comes down to whether the decision is personal or impersonal.the Using the Thinking function results in impersonal decisions based on systems and data. The Feeling function makes personal decisions based on people and values.
As an INFP, Feeling is my primary function. When I need to make a decision I will first look at whether or not it matches my values or if it will bring happiness to others or myself. This even applies to practical decisions such as which groceries to buy. My ISTJ husband, on the other hand, is a thinker. When he shops, he usually considers impersonal factors such as whether we will actually have time to prepare the food items we have chosen. That is because he usually makes decisions based on what will be most effective.
Judging or Perceiving: How do you prefer to interact with your outer world?
Are you decisive or indecisive? Do you prefer to finalize decisions or keep your options open?
My sister, a Judging type, would often mention a scheme of hers and the reasons behind it. The rest of my family, mostly Perceiving types, were usually surprised when she would act on her plan relatively quickly. The rest of us talked about interesting prospects, but only occasionally acted on them– usually after exploring other options.
Putting the Pieces Together
You can get a basic idea of your type by putting together the corresponding letters from each dichotomy (e.g. INFP, ESTJ, ENTP, etc.). (Extravert (E) vs. Introvert (I), Sensing (S) vs. iNtuition (N), Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F), and Judging (J) vs. Percieving (P)).
You can read more about personality typing in my next post on Personality Typing for Homemakers:
You can also visit the Reflective Homemaker MBTI Resource Page.
There you will find links other MBTI resources and articles as well as information on FREE online personality testing. You can also follow me on Instagram or Facebook where I will be posting more personality tips and tidbits throughout the week!
So, do you know what type you are? Can you guess based on my explanations?
How do you think your personality affects your homemaking? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!