I just took a Myers-Briggs personality test because I’d already had dinner and I needed an excuse to not do the dishes. One of the questions was:
- “Regardless of what other people say, deep down do you feel that you are kind of weird?”
I haven’t always felt this way. Once upon a time I was a completely normal, self-conscious, easily-embarrassed, “just wanna fit in” kind of girl who spent two hours every morning trying to make her hair look like Farrah Fawcett.(#bighairfail) But then I gave up my hot rollers and moved to new places and lost people I loved and read Upton Sinclair and developed personality quirks…and embraced my weirdness.
Myers-Briggs classifies me as an ENFJ (Extraversion, iNtuition, Feeling, Judgment). ENFJs only comprise 3% of the population, so there aren’t that many of us. However, ENFJs are statistically the most likely of the 16 personality types to have a Facebook account, so we do make our presence known. Ha.
A few of my test highlights:
- It is more important to be: tactful. (Tact over truth. This does NOT mean my pants are on fire. It means the Feeler in me is more concerned about making you feel all warm and welcome than telling you the “truth” about how your haircut makes you look like your dog.)
- In everyday life: it is rare to meet someone who seems to be on the same “wavelength” as me. (Yep. Show of hands: how many of you are wanna-be hippies who wear sandals in the snow or birth your babies on the bedroom floor or dream of living in a Tiny House? That’s what I thought.)
- I think rules and regulations are: necessary for other people. (True. I fully admit my rebellion. Rules are for toddlers and beginning drivers and people who are incapable of governing themselves. I’m good on at least ⅔ of those.)
- I am at my best when: my surroundings are clean and uncluttered. (I know what Einstein said about messy desks, but my inner minimalist NEEDS things neat and orderly and at nice right angles lest she feel completely out of control.)
- I take pride in being: dependable. (You can count on me, the people-pleaser. Ask me to go back into the burning building to rescue your favorite Kate Spades, and I will risk my life and leg hair to make you happy. I’m accommodating, generous, helpful…to the detriment of my own well-being. )
Anyway, I’m weird. I’ve known it for a long time. My children remind me often. Even my mom has been known to ask, “When did you get like this??”
I’ve decided it’s because a Feeler, a Hippie, an Anarchist, a Minimalist, and a People-Pleaser all live in my middle-aged body. It’s crowded in there. And sometimes confusing (like when my mother felt STRONGLY that I should wear a skirt to my Granddaddy’s funeral so Granny would not have a cow. Now, the Feeler in me did not want to cause Mom further anguish, and the Hippie relished the idea of a flowy skirt, but the Anarchist did not want to adhere to societal conformity, and the Minimalist agreed because she already had a perfectly good pair of black pants in the closet, but the People-Pleaser acquiesced and bought a $40 black skirt that was never worn again.)
So it’s crowded and confusing living in my body. The Anarchist has some very radical opinions about mainstream behaviors you will likely never know because the Pleaser doesn’t want to isolate you, and the Hippie has grandiose “DIY” ideas that stress out the poor Minimalist, and with all that inner conflict, the Feeler just keeps eating mashed potatoes trying to make it all better.