I came to know about my own MBTI type almost 15 years ago, and once I read the description of my type I felt more understood than what I have felt with many of my friends. It is quite accurate! 🙂
Anyway! Carl Jung proposed the theory of Extraversion and introversion, although both the popular understanding and psychological usage differ from his original intent of these terms. Extraversion tends to be manifested in outgoing, talkative, energetic behaviour, whereas introversion is manifested in more reserved and solitary behaviour. Virtually all comprehensive models of personality include these concepts in various forms. Myers–Briggs Type Indicator is one important instrument. MBTI is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. Mother & daughter duo Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers have developed this personality inventory based on the typological theories proposed by Carl Jung.
There are 8 preferences divided into 4 pairs of preferences or dichotomies – Extraversion/Introversion (E/I), INtuition/Sensing(N/S), Feeling/Thinking(F/T) and Perception/Judging(P/J). Various combination of these 4 pairs form 16 MBTI types such as INTP (Introvert, iNtutive, Thinking & Perceiving) ESFJ (Extorvert, Sensing, Feeling & Judging) and so on. Please note that the terms used for each dichotomy have specific technical meanings relating to the MBTI which differ from their everyday usage. For example, people who prefer judgement over perception are not necessarily more judgemental or less perceptive. Moreover, your abilities might differ from your psychological preferences. For example, many engineers & professionals requiring analytical skill are trained to use ‘thinking’ more frequently, though they may have ‘feeling’ preference.
MBTI type not only proves useful for career, but it is also immensely useful in getting deep insights about yourself. Moreover, it plays critical role in our relationships (professional as well as personal) as well as day to day interactions. Once you figure out your type and identify that it indeed represents you very closely, do read up details about that type. The test you take itself should give you some details about your type, but explore beyond that and find more resources for your type and understand it better. You’ll find that your type has some preferred roles, professions to match your natural inclinations. Though your profession might differ, if you listen to your inner calling, you’re likely to gravitate towards your natural inclination. For example in my case, I work as a Software Consultant, but psychology & writing/expression have always been close to my heart even before I knew my personality type and I have been actively pursuing them for a long time. These are known as common traits for my personality type: INFJ. Slowly, in the last couple of years, I am gravitating towards using my accumulated knowledge of all these years in a more tangible way.
There are free personality type tests available on the Internet that do quite a good job of figuring out your personality type, but you’re keen – you should take the official MBTI inventory and have it interpreted from an MBTI certified professional. Please take this test honestly and answer all the questions. Choose the answer that is closest to your thinking. There are no rights or wrongs here, these are just your preferences! Take it when you’re not rushed, take it when you have enough time to take the test and read its interpretations carefully. I have posted a link here for the free test, and depending on your own type (1 of those 16 types), you should be able to find more information on the Internet by just searching the type.
If you’re more curious about typology and your own type, I would recommend these two books. I am more biased towards the first one – Gifts Differing…, it is indeed wonderful!