Thursday, January 8, 2009

Marriage counseling and the Myer's Briggs test

Don't let the below picture fool you. I'm not getting a puppy. But, apparently, according to our marriage counselor, I AM a puppy...a frisky puppy at that. Matt, on the other hand, is a mad scientist.


We took these Myers-Briggs personality tests a while ago and our counselor reviewed them with us today. So funny, I laughed the whole time. Not really funny haha...but it just rang so true!


Apparently, I'm ENFP. Here is what it says on the Myers Briggs website about ENFP:


"Warmly enthusiastic and imaginative. Sees life as full of possibilities. Makes connections between events and information very quickly, and confidently proceeds based on the patterns they see. Wants a lot of affirmation from others, and readily gives appreciation and support. Spontaneous and flexible, often rely on their ability to improvise and their verbal fluency."

I agree with the imaginative and making connections quickly (Matt might say too quickly). Spontaneous and wanting a lot of affirmation: yes. Relying on my ability to improvise and verbal fluency: yes, (good at BS'ing my way out of things I guess). I'm not sure I'm as optimistic and warm-fuzzy as the description says though. I'm a little darker and more critical. Another part even said that I avoid conflict, which isn't true (with Matt at least) but it can be true with some people in my life.

Matt's personality description is, however, right on and, not surprisingly, the exact opposite of me: the INTJ.


"Have original minds and great drive for implementing their ideas and achieving their goals. Quickly sees patterns in external events and develops long-range explanatory perspectives. When committed, organizes a job and carries it through. Skeptical and independent, have high standards of competence and performance – for themselves and others."


I guess we do have the "N" (which stands for iNtuitive) in common, but we are apparently intuitive about different things. I'm intuitive about people's motivations and feelings, while he is intuitive about "external events".

Here are the highlights of MY personality type from the sheet she read to us, (the ones that I actually identified with, at least):


*They prefer the start-up phase of a project or relationship, and are tireless in

the pursuit of new-found interests.


(True, but I do tend to hang in there for the long-haul on principle...I don't mean you honey...you are not a project. You are a husband. I mean more like any pet-project I start...like homeschooling.)


* It is not uncommon to hear stories of ENFPs who have established themselves in a career and who, when faced with the daily routine of maintaining it, leave it to start another.


(I went from accounting to realtor to almost-school-teacher to mother

in about 6 months at one point)


*For an ENFP, work must be fun and must contribute to something larger than merely collecting a paycheck.


(It's probably good I'm not the primary bread-winner)


*ENFPs find it particularly difficult to estimate accurately how long an activity will take. Because people's needs are more important than schedules, ENFPs are often late and characteristically full of apologies for their tardiness.


(Oh man is this ever me. Poor Matt.)


*ENFPs are energetic and enthusiastic leaders who are likely to take charge when a new endeavor needs a visionary spokesperson.


(not that anyone's asking me to lead their company or anything, but I do tend to offer to
lead things so that I can get people on board with how I think things should go)


*For ENFPs nothing occurs which does not have some significance, and they have an uncanny sense of the motivations of others.


(much to Matt's annoyance, I do tend to think that everything means something,
especially everything he says. And I'm pretty sure that I know what that something
means, too! That may be one reason we're in counseling, but I can't help it if I know
exactly what he's thinking and why!)


*ENFPs consider intense emotional experiences vital.

(yeah, I'd probably rather fight than be bored...I need intensity man!)


*Because they tend to be hypersensitive and hyper-alert, they may suffer from muscle tension.


(just ask my chiropractor)


*They are not likely to be interested in the less-inspired routines of daily maintenance and ever will be seeking new outlets for their inspirations.


(My greatest wish would be to have someone clean my house for me. I'd much rather
do the more interesting parts of motherhood. Matt also reminds me that I should
shower a little more often...also not a very interesting thing to do.)


*As parents, ENFPs are devoted although somewhat unpredictable in handling their children, shifting from a role of friend-in-need-rescuer to stern authority figure. They may not always be willing to enforce their impulsive pronouncements....


(and this, my friends, is why my children will be in counseling!)


*underneath this effervescent enthusiasm is a person fiercely dedicated to "meaning" in life and reminiscent of the INFP crusader. Only the ENFP neither crusades nor meditates, not for long anyway. The ENFP is into everything, frisky, not unlike a puppy, sniffing around to see what's new.


(that's the frisky puppy part I mentioned. Matt keeps laughing and "woofing" at me)


*Who else is attractive and attracted to our curious journalist? Strangely, the abstract scientist: INTJ. Lost in his abstract world of hypotheses, he finds anchorage in the person who knows what's going on in the real world!


(that's you babe! Thanks for keeping me around.)



Here's Matt, the INTJ:


*They are insightful and mentally quick


(freakishly mentally quick)


*They are very determined people who trust their vision of the possibilities, regardless of what others think. They may even be considered the most independent of all of the sixteen personality types. INTJs are at their best in quietly and firmly developing their ideas, theories, and principles.


(the strong silent type...sexy. But imagine me, the frisky puppy, in the background
going: "What are you doing? What are you reading? Dooooo something with me!)


*INTJs learn best when they can design their own approach and when they are able to absorb themselves in an area that interests them.


(poor guy...I gotta get him out of that job he's in. He's definitely too innovative to be an
auditor for the rest of his life.)


*INTJ teenagers may be seen as serious and reserved young people who are labeled as bookworms by others.


(that's alright babe. God was just saving you for me! All the hot girls didn't know what they were missing!)


*For INTJs, love means including someone in their vision of the world.


(I voted Ron Paul for you honey...but sometimes your vision is a little "out there")


*Fellow workers of INTJs often feel as if the INTJ can see right through them, and often believe that the INTJ finds them wanting.


(and you wonder why I'm so insecure! Would you mind telling me that you approve of me once in a while? Then I'd just know!!!!)


*The emotions of an INTJ are hard to read, and neither male nor female INTJ is apt to express emotional reactions. At times, both will seem cold, reserved, and unresponsive, while in fact INTJs are almost hypersensitive to signals of rejection from those for whom they care.
(oh no, I KNOW what you're thinking (being the intuitive ENFP that I am) ....and trust me, I already knew that your defensive reactions were just because you wanted more attention and approval! And who better to give it to you than your "frisky puppy"...woof woof!)


*As parents, INTJs are dedicated and single minded in their devotion: Their children are a major focus in life.
(seriously best father in the world. He's really, truly the best)


*The INTJ "scientist" is also attracted to the ENFP "journalist," probably because of the enthusiastic, effervescent, and apparently spontaneous enjoyment and wonderment this type exudes-the very antitheses of the careful, thoughtful exactitude of the INTJ.
(so even though I drive you crazy, you basically need to me to enjoy life! I knew it!!!!)
So, that's us. And that was today's marriage counseling.







5 comments:

MA mom said...

I think I'm the INTJ and Dad's the ENFP. Finally, I have a name for our neuroses. INTJs are superior, of course!

On the Verge said...

i took a class where we ALL had to take these and then we had a professional come in and give us a conference for a week on all the types. its amazing! it freeks me out tho b/c it always pin points your personality.

Nathalie H said...

hey Chicago Mom, I stumbled upon your blog when searching for ENFP and their marriage choices. Totally agreed with many things in the article. A short while ago I went out with a guy whom I suspect was INTJ. There were always unresolved issues around my feeling of abandonment/insecurity, (in response to) his coldness,subsequently fear of my so-called drama.

Anyhow I still think that was one good match such that we complemented one another almost perfectly. So I hope your marriage counselling is nothing serious. Enjoy the fabulous love of opposites !

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With 16 different types to consider, marriage counselling approach will be more effective if catered with the client's type.


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