INTJ, or am I?

The Mastermind

I found out some time ago that my Myers-Briggs personality type is called the Mastermind. It was an interesting read, especially since I could definitely see some likenesses. And in some ways I found certain elements of that description to be freeing, in the sense that I could see those elements to be justified, in a sense. It was part of the balance of my personality to be an introvert, for an example, and it helped me to understand that I really do need to have time alone in order to balance my personality. Understanding that about myself helps me to make good choices for what I actually do need, both in choosing to be alone and in choosing not to be alone.

However, and this is where I am a bit of a rebel about personality tests — allowing oneself to be defined by your “personality type” is a form of self-limitation. Yes, there are likenesses in that description, but there are also warnings. I can look at that description and recognize several weaknesses in my character, and so work to avoid and/or strengthen them. I don’t get to just accept them. That’s a cop out.  I take responsibility for my actions; I don’t accept the excuse of saying, “oh, that’s just the way I am.” Maybe you do have a tendency toward such and such a character trait, but if it is a bad character trait, you are the one who decides to act upon it. I recognize in myself a tendency toward arrogance, and when I read the mastermind description it is there. But I take precautions against my own arrogance, with specific actions included in that to balance out the arrogance that is part of my nature. I do NOT allow it to have full play without any limitations.

In the same way, I find generational descriptions to be amusing and annoying at the same time. Yes, I am like my generation in many ways, but there are plenty of ways in which I am distinctly different. Aggregated data is limited when it comes to defining the person. Don’t assume that you are always a reflection of the aggregate. You are you, and should not be constrained by the box of the group.

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