A Life Stirred

A Case for Myers-Brigg, Part 3

on October 13, 2013

My mom likes to tell a story about a four-year-old version of me.  It was after Easter, and I had jellybeans at my disposal (way to pull through, Easter Bunny).  I asked my mom if I could have some, and she said, “Sure, just a few.”

To her, “Just a few” meant don’t eat the whole bag of jellybeans right now.  She meant “Take a small, four-year-old size handful.”  She was being a cool, kind mom, and letting me enjoy my jellybeans.

To me, “just a few” meant two.  That’s right.  I took two jellybeans.

She found me a few minutes later, crying.  Apparently, I was pretty devastated that I could only have two jellybeans.  She cleared up what she’d really meant by “just a few”, and we moved on.

But clearly, I was quite a rule-follower.  My desire to follow the rules (even a made-up-in-my-head rule) was so strong that I just sat there crying that I couldn’t have more jellybeans.

[Goodness, I wish I still had that sort of self-control with regards to jellybeans.  So not a problem for me now.]

Dang, I was cute.  Also, I'm pretty it was my idea to imitate the pumpkin's face.

Dang, I was cute. Also, I’m pretty sure it was my idea to imitate the pumpkin.  Also, while this costume was super creative, it was not very conducive to sitting down.  That was a rough day in preschool.

Even at age 4, my personality was already somewhat defined.  In fact-checking this story with my mom yesterday, she told me that sometimes my rule-following nature was a little extreme.  Occasionally, she wondered if there was something wrong with me.  Nice.  Apparently, if my parents told me something once (that was specific to a certain time and scenario), I would made it a permanent rule in my head.  I don’t think that’s so weird.  I just wanted to be obedient.  All parents should be so lucky, right?

All that to say, I am still very much a rule-follower.  And my Myers-Brigg type confirms that.  As an ISTJ, I’m a “Duty Fulfiller.”  I still remember reading my type’s description for the first time in college, and I was shocked to learn that some of the things I thought were just unique to me were actually a trait of an ISTJ.  For some reason, I find it fascinating that various aspects of my personality are NOT as random as they feel, but rather they are a cohesive part of who I am and how I work.

In fact, I reread some of the ISTJ descriptions, and I laughed out loud (yes, I lol-ed) multiple times.  It totally nails me.  Even now, as I’m in a completely different stage of life.

Just for fun, here are some of the ISTJ traits that totally describe me (from this page):

  • “While they generally take things very seriously, they also usually have an offbeat sense of humor and can be a lot of fun – especially at family or work-related gatherings.”  An offbeat sense of humor?  Yup.  That’s me.  And I’m definitely a lot of fun.  At least I think I am… [See above picture of me and the pumpkin.]
  • They’re not comfortable with breaking laws or going against the rules…However, ISTJs more often tend to believe that things should be done according to procedures and plans.”  Say what you want, the world would be a crazy, crazy place without ISTJs.  We follow rules.  Rules are good.  (Except the jellybean-related ones.)
  • “The ISTJ is not naturally in tune with their own feelings and the feelings of others. They may have difficulty picking up on emotional needs immediately, as they are presented.”   I have come a long way in this, but I am really not good at knowing what I’m feeling.  Mad?  Happy?  Sad?  Hungry?  I really can’t tell.  And don’t even ask me to ID what you’re feeling!  You’d be shocked at the number of times I’ve asked Ben if he’s mad at me only to find out that he’s tired and/or hungry.  This has happened at least 3 times today!!

So fun, right?  Have you taken the test yet?  What descriptions nailed you?

[On a side note, just found a list of other ISTJs.  Apparently, Darth Vader, Eeyore, and Puddleglum (from the Chronicles of Narnia) are ISTJs.  Not really loving that list.  I thought ISTJs were a more fun group.]

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One response to “A Case for Myers-Brigg, Part 3

  1. rmfowler90 says:

    Love this . . . and I love your offbeat sense of humor too. You are definitely more fun than the above listed individuals.

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