Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Knowing me...

Sorry about the break in transmission...I'm fine, but life has been alarmingly full of all sorts of totally unbloggable things,- and as we gear up for Holy Week, I'm not sure the next few days will be much better. However last week, Katie asked what ENFP was all about…so I guess in the absence of anything else that I can safely blog, now is as good a time as any to attempt to respond.
Most straightforwardly, ENFP is my personality profile thanks to Myers Briggs Type Indicator….E – extrovert; N iNtuitive; F Feeler; P Perceiver (the opposites being Introvert Sensing Thinking and Judging…You can read more about MBTI here and do an abbreviated version of the test online here.
It’s a good 10 years since I was first introduced to this, …the C of E rates it quite highly and it has certainly been useful in various contexts where I’ve been working as part of a team. Knowing the profiles of other team members at least makes you understand why Mrs X always drives you bananas, or why Ms Z has refused to be in the same study group as you ever again. It’s also made me very aware of just how I work myself…that MBTI prayer in my sidebar is quite breathtakingly appropriate for my approach to life!
Along the line, I’ve also become disturbingly adept at superficial reading of people’s types.
"Oh, he’s ISTJ” I’ll say, airily…as if that explained everything, including, of course, why I am right and he wrong! Poor LongsufferingClockmaker was thus neatly boxed and labelled way before he did the indicator tests, and all was revealed (actually I was right that time….but then, it’s pretty obvious much of the time that we tend to work from opposite extremes, so no prizes may be awarded).
I’m aware that there’s a real danger that I might use Myers Briggs as a justification for being as I am, and never address the opposite poles which would enable me to be a more balanced, less irritating individual. Get my services for Holy Week sorted this week while there’s still time? Couldn’t possibly…I’m ENFP and we are last minuters…
Commit myself to booking a family holiday? The “P” bit of me hates closure….the road not travelled might involve more exciting scenery
Observe healthy boundaries between work and “life”…? My “F” demands that I empathise till the cows come home and beyond…so much so, that I feel quite startled when I realise that the parishioner to whom I’ve been so totally committed isn’t in fact my dearest and only surviving relative….(trouble is, the F is much admired in pastoral types…the pre programming to sacrificial love tends that way…)
Take what someone says at face value? Surely not....there must be more to it than that. At least, that's what I intuit...I've got to point Z when they've only just left A...and maybe actually that's not where they were bound...
OK, so I’m exaggerating somewhat…MBTI is good stuff, really,- it’s just that I suspect I don’t always use it as wisely as I might. As we’re so often reminded, “It’s just a tool”……and a tool, in my hands, is usually something to drop on the toes…
There you are Katie...see what you've been missing!

6 comments:

Caroline said...

well i'm not what i thought i would be...so what doyou think i would be?

Kathryn said...

Oh Caroline...you don't irritate me enough to qualify for instant typing!
I'd not be sure about the E/I axis for starters...NTP?????? But probably not...
You're mostly Caroline, WILD(whom I love dearly).hy

Songbird said...

Kathryn, I'm also ENFP, and my husband is ISTP. We see the world *very* differently. I have come to find his viewpoint fascinating, if still mysterious.
I found that seminary really encouraged my thinking function, just as grief had turned me inward in my 30's and parenting small children required me to be a bit more "J" than is my preference. But the "S" thing is trouble for me: food, the checkbook, the body, all the material stuff, the matter of worldly living. I don't know how to regulate my interactions with them. Perhaps that is my task at midlife. (Sounds unpleasant!)

Mark said...

Imagine two ENFP's preparing to move house...

Great post - missed you the last hew days.

Simon Heron said...

Just did the MBIT thing at the end of term here at Ridley. All highly amusing, particularly the difference between our results and those at St Johns Nottingham. Would be good to see how some of the other theological colleges turned out.
Incidentally, I too am ENFP - which would fit in with the desire to Blog I guess.

Rainbow dreams said...

Thank you for explaining Kathryn - am quite excited at trying it when I have some spare time soon I hope :-)