The problem with Meyers-Briggs

ESFPInfographic

Let me first start by saying I LOVE Meyers-Briggs. I am an ESFJ and SO proud.

Finding my personality type helped me to identify all the cool things about me that are reasons to celebrate, not look down on myself. All of my loving, warm-hearted, cry about everything, etc. characteristics are amazing and perfect for me and my own personal superpowers, as are the characteristics that make other personality types (and people) exactly who they are.

It’s pretty darn amazing.

However…

Leslie Knope is an ESFJ and even though she’s amazing, I could not be that altruistic all the time.

Anne Hathaway is an ESFJ but I don’t see myself with that kind of grace and poise anytime soon.

My mom is an ESFJ and even though I love how much I am growing into being a woman like my mother, we all know I couldn’t wake up singing songs and being happy every day. Also, I don’t see myself loving EVERYONE anytime soon (no matter how hard I try and how amazing it is that my mom does it).

The problem with Meyers-Briggs is the simplicity.

A hotly contested (as hotly contested as a character from a TV show that doesn’t even run anymore) personality is Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl.

My favorite analyses are the ones that say BW is an ESFJ because, obviously, I’ve wanted to be Blair since I “met” her.

She’s loving towards the people she loves and she’s there for them as much as she can be. She loves HARD and feels it when that love is gone, however, she runs away from it to avoid dealing with the hurt. She’s caring. However, those aren’t her only traits… Obviously.

Those more obvious to the untrained eye is that she’s scheming, she will do whatever she has to do to get what she wants and (she tries) to be heartless.

If she’s an ESFJ she definitely isn’t Leslie Knope.

In addition to the “positive” ESFJ traits that make us the caregivers are:

  • May be prone to struggle with insecurity stemming from their strong desire to be liked
  • Tendency to need lots of positive affirmation in order to feel good about themselves
  • Strongly dislikes criticism and conflict – can be overly sensitive
  • Can be manipulative, passive-aggressive and controlling
  • Tendency to partake in gossip
  • May fall into trap of being a “guilt tripper”
  • Can fall into trap of putting themselves in the “victim” role
  • Can be overly status-conscious and too concerned with what others think of them
  • Can be dramatic
  • Tendency to dislike change
  • May have a hard time accepting the end of a relationship
  • Has a hard time accepting/acknowledging difficult truths about those close to them
  • May neglect their own needs and be overly self-sacrificing
  • Do not naturally possess a strong internal moral code – morals are largely defined externally by their community/surroundings, so it is especially important that ESFJs are raised within/surrounded by a strong value system
  • Their respect for rule of law/authority/tradition may cause them to blindly accept rules without questioning or understanding them

Blair anyone?

I’m 54 percent extroverted, something that surprises most people. Actually, I’m in the middle of most if not all of my traits. I think I’m way overboard on the feeling, but what can I say. With that said, an ESFJ is massively different than an INTP. Right?

The issue with Meyers-Briggs is putting me in a mold that’s very different than who I am because 13 percent of the population ends up being an ESFJ.

So, don’t think  you know everything about me because you know my personality type. Also, don’t think you’re put in one category because your personality type thinks it knows everything about you.

You are more than words on a page. You are enough.

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