I was sat around the dinner table with my maid of honor Cecillia, her fiancé Harry and my fiancé Harry arguing about our Myers-Briggs scores. The last test I had done suggested I was ENTP and I tended to agree having read several descriptions. That said, I was pretty sure the last time I had done a similar test I had scored differently, although I couldn’t remember what that result was.
Cecillia’s Harry thought I would have been ESTP and frankly, he could be right. In my case, the “E” and the “T” are definite, there’s no argument there. The second and fourth letter are, however, so much more difficult to decide. The likelihood is that I am moderate senser-intuiter with a slight preference for intuiting. In fact, I could comfortably say I have changed over time. I think I used to be more of a ‘sensing’ type of individual but life experience has told me that my intuition and my gut feel often take me to the right place and spending too much time on the detail bores me, so I trust my gut a lot more.
I would go as far as saying, the person I am today is a lot different to the person I was, or thought I was fifteen years ago. I have grown to be an adult that’s more flexible and more willing to accept different ways of thinking. I used to be extremely rigid, I liked everything to be in absolute order: everything in the fridge had to have a place, the bookshelf ordered big to small and I was actually very unwavering in my views, I was always right.
In my teens, when we went on holiday I wrote a list of everything that would be taken, in insane detail: 10 underwear, 1 roll on, 3 spaghetti tops, … you get the drift. Today, I still like some order but my plans are a lot more adaptable. I still write lists but only where it matters, I throw my suit case together the night before a trip forgetting 20% of what I should have taken but not caring either way.
Cecillia doesn’t think a Myers-Briggs score should change. I totally disagree. I think every single life experience teaches me things about myself, my preferences and my capabilities that I didn’t know or had never thought about. I sometimes react to a situation in a way I would have not have predicted if presented with the scenario hypothetically.
For instance, I remember the first time someone told me they were an atheist I was taken aback, slightly confused. I had come from a monoculture (in Malawi) where no one would have the cahunas to admit such a view. In multicultural Cambridge, I was continually meeting all types of people. I obviously did know atheism existed but I had never paid it much thought. In my country, anyone who does not believe in God would be seen as immoral or demonic by most. I had known my atheist friend long enough to know he wasn’t either, he was actually a really thoughtful and sensitive guy. Nonetheless, I took his non-belief as a negative. I thought about beliefs long and hard and it actually took me a number of years to accept that there are circumstances that lead people not to believe in a God and that it was actually perfectly acceptable and normal. Years. Many similar experiences continue to shape me and change me on a wide range of subjects.
I would agree that after a certain point the Myers-Briggs should have a lower propensity to change but it might change nonetheless.
We continued debating the issue but my mum shut us up by saying, “There are three people in everyone, there’s the person people think you are, there’s the person you think you are and there’s the person you really are!” Who can argue with such wisdom?
By Heather Katsonga-Woodward
I'm always thinking, debating, considering and revising my views - some of those deliberations will be shared right here.