Most of you will probably have heard of the Myers-Briggs test, a personality questionnaire that reveals, apparently, the “type” of person you are. It assigns you four traits: whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, whether you accept information as is or try to interpret it further, whether you’re a thinker or a feeler, and whether you judge decisively or are open-minded.
It then provides you with information about your “type,” such as your strengths, weaknesses, and family relationships and friendships. In the friendship section, the test tells you the sort of people you are most likely to be friends with, how you make friends, and what sort of a friend you are. For example, I am an INFP, which tells me that I make friends with people based on shared beliefs and values, not convenience, and that I tend to have a few close friends, rather than a larger circle of friends. For me, this is very accurate. However, it also tells me that most of my friendships will fall into the diplomat category (IN.) This is not the case, as my friends fall into lots of different categories.
It’s important to note that the accuracy of the test will vary from person to person. For example, my brother’s type (ENTP) so accurately represents him, it’s almost as though the test personally knew him. Mine is pretty accurate, but not as much as his is, and quite a few of my friends have said they don’t feel their result is accurate to their personality at all.
But does it actually matter? I think the Myers-Briggs test can be a useful guide to discover why you may behave a certain way in terms of friendship, and can be especially helpful if you’re struggling to make friends with someone or a having a tricky time with a friend. You can look at your type and compare it with theirs, and this may help you to understand why you are both behaving the way that you are, which can help to promote tolerance and get you past your difficulties.
However, I don’t think that we should only focus on this test when trying to make friends with people, as this could cause us to miss out good friendships that we may write off because they are not our “type.” So although I do think it can be helpful and important for us to better understand ourselves and other people, it shouldn’t be the only thing we base our friendships on. Also, it’s healthy to vary our friendships and relationships. If we only make friends within our type, that limits the friendship pool for us and may mean we only meet people who are the same as us, which can lead to a narrow view of the world.
What’s your Myers-Briggs type? If you’re looking for someone to match up with, download Hey! VINA!
(Featured image via Brandy Melville)